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    Across the Great Divide

       “Ghost Hunting Doesn’t Involve Breaking the Law” It seems that no matter how much I or other professional paranormal investigators lecture on the subject, some immature and amateurish yahoos out there just can’t seem to get the message- if you have to sneak in under the dark of night and uninvited then you’re not real ghost hunters and you deserve all that is coming to you under the letter of the law. Lately there have been more than a few stories that have crossed my desk about so-called ghost hunters having run-ins with local law enforcement.         Let’s be honest. Kids have been sneaking into cemeteries…

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     “The Perception of Believing” It is often said that seeing is believing. That is to say that there is no definitive proof that something exists- that something is real- until it is seen or heard by the eyes and ears of a human being. That seems a bit arrogant in its base. It is scientific fact that animals, such as dogs, sense and perceive things in our environment that are physically beyond our comprehension, but that doesn’t make it any less real. Or is it that believing is seeing? That one cannot have a sense of something’s existence unless they first believe in the possibility of it, thereby opening up…

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     “Hocus Pocus for Profit” Businesses featured on paranormal television shows are attempting to milk their 15 minutes of fame long after the cameras have left the building. I get that- to a degree. They’re in business to make money; but they do so by making a mockery out of the science of paranormal research with deceptive business practices. These businesses aren’t interested in the science behind the paranormal activity- whether it’s fact or fake; and they’re using shows like Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State to get advertising for their struggling business, then cashing in on that by playing up the results of those investigations by making it into a tourist…

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     “Haunted House for Rent” Haunted houses have been the stuff of local legend for generations; often these stories are exploited by Hollywood. Sometimes, though, there’s nothing fun about the experience, as the thought of sharing a home with an unexpected guest is no laughing matter.               Josue Chinchilla and Michele Callan, of Toms River, New Jersey, filed a lawsuit against their home owner, declaring that the rental property is also the residence of at least one paranormal entity and that this was never disclosed to them before moving in. They believe they had no choice but to flee the property, along with their two…

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    “Is Peche Island Cursed?” Last month I brought to light some interesting legends surrounding Detroit’s famous Belle Isle, but just off shore, a little more than a mile east, lies the small untapped wilderness known as Peche Island. According to descendants of the French family, who once settled the island for nearly 100 years, Peche Island remains untouched even while existing in the middle of urban sprawl for one very good reason: it’s cursed. The Native inhabitants tell a legend of how Peche Island was formed. The spirit of the Sand Mountains, along the eastern coastline of Lake Michigan, had a beautiful daughter whom he feared would be abducted. To…

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    “The Ghost of Belle Isle” Prompted by the unseasonably warm weather scores of people are venturing outdoors, eager to get a jump on summer fun. For many in the Detroit area that also includes picnics and other activities on historic Belle Isle. The park, located in the Detroit River and open to the public, is the largest island city park in the United States. In 2005, the then 101-year old Belle Isle Aquarium was the oldest operating aquarium in the United States but was closed to cut costs in the city. But unknown to few, besides some lifelong citizens of the Motor City, Belle Isle is much more than a…

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    Across the Great Divide

    “Hey Can You Look at This?!” I am contacted periodically by people and asked my opinion on a variety of paranormal “evidence.” While it really sparks my interest and imagination to find a valid photo, recording, or other bit of data that can lend credence to the field, the sad truth is that these incidents are few and far between. I’ve fallen victim to the excitement myself while on an investigation or training exercise and ‘chimped’ about like a fool thinking I caught something when, in fact, it was unwarranted. Nothing is more disheartening than to present “evidence” to the scientific community only to be laughed out of the room.…

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    Do We Need Parapsychology? When one speaks about a topic which is controversial it is important to understand the concept of a paradigm, or underlying worldview. It can be thought of as a framework of beliefs which are so taken for granted that most people are not even aware they have made any assumptions. A paradigm helps us to make sense of the world around us. In terms of science, it not only determines what is true, but how truth itself is determined. There is an obvious “catch 22” to this. If one doesn’t recognize the underlying assumptions made with a paradigm, it has the potential to limit our perception…

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    The Harsh Truth about Ghost Boxes The various ghost hunting “reality” shows that plague the airwaves have given a great deal of attention lately to an amusing new line of gear that merge EMF, audio recorder, and K-II devices all in to one unit; some even assert to turn this data into spoken words that they spout as proof of spirit contact. While in theory this sounds fantastic, in practice it’s a very different, very sobering, reality. Not only are these devices laughable at best, but these “professional” ghost hunters are actually trying to pass off the data from these devices as legitimate evidence of paranormal activity. These devices are…

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    Across the Great Divide

    The Ghosts beneath the Mistletoe The days are increasingly shorter, the air chills to the bone, and nature slumbers beneath a blanket of sparkling snow. This is the time of year when we gather with friends and family to talk, share life’s adventures, and relive the year’s memorable moments. If you’re like many folks, you’re also gathered around a television to enjoy classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Dickens’ immortal A Christmas Carol. But take a step back and look at these holiday classics through the lens of a seasoned investigator and you’ll begin to see them in an entirely new light. It is, after all, a fairly spooky…