Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Nature of Deja Vu

The term déjà vu comes from the French and means, literally, "already seen." Those who have experienced the feeling describe it as an overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn't be familiar at all.
Déjà vu is a phenomenon that by its nature as an instantaneous event cannot be scientifically proven to exist. And yet it does. The occurrence of déjà vu is actually quite common, 70% of us experience it at least once in our lifetimes.

There are many theories regarding the nature of déjà vu experiences.
In recent years déjà vu has been the subject of serious psychological and neurological research. The most likely explanation, according to scientists in these disciplines, is that déjà vu is an anomaly of memory.
Basically these theories link déjà vu with a misfiring of brain signals related to memory and recollection. Connections have been found between the experience of déjà vu and disorders such as schizophrenia and anxiety. People with these disorders are more likely to experience a déjà vu phenomenon than the rest of society.

The strongest pathological association of déjà vu is with temporal lobe epilepsy. People with this form of epilepsy often report experiencing déjà vu. This correlation has led some researchers to believe that the experience of déjà vu is a neurological anomaly related to improper electrical discharge in the brain.

Most people suffer a mild, non-pathological epileptic episode regularly. The sudden jolt, or hypnagogic jerk, A hypnagogic jerk is the experience of a large jolt, usually felt just before falling asleep and often described as an electric shock or falling sensation. It may be that a similar mild neurological abnormality in the form of a jolt to our memory functions can cause the experiences of déjà vu.
It is worth noting that people in the 15 to 25 year old age group report having far more instances of déjà vu. One speculation is that déjà vu is a kind of mental misfiring that occurs as the brain is maturing or as we have more life experiences.

The study of déjà vu experiences has until recently been relegated mostly to the fields of parapsychology and paranormal research.

It is interesting to note that the symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy involve many experiences which are common elements of paranormal studies.

Seventy-five percent of people diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy experience partial seizures which may include such features as: déjà vu, hallucinations of voices, music, smells, or tastes, feelings of unusual fear or joy, and the appearance of auras. Patients may also describe a sense of dissociation in which they report seeing their own body from the outside, commonly referred to as astral projection.

Far from discounting the study of the paranormal, the recent theories describing déjà vu experiences as electro-chemical misfiring in the brain, and the connections with temporal lobe epilepsy highlight the importance of continued research into paranormal phenomena. Many of the subjects of paranormal research exist as such simply because mainstream science regimes deem them unworthy of study.

Déjà vu like many other experiences, (dreams, astral projection, precognition, thought healing, etc,) have been discounted or undervalued as a topic of serious research. Nonetheless these experiences are encountered by a vast number of people and therefore worthy of study for that reason alone.

We may find that focusing serious research efforts on subjects currently within the realm of the paranormal will lead to a greater understanding of "real world" problems. We may also find that while some myths may be shattered along the way, many of the topics of paranormal research will be proven, validated and absorbed into the world of the commonplace

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Icons of the Cemetery

Below you will find an alphabetical listing of common icons found in many cemeteries. Each symbol has its own unique meaning. Thus, when carved on headstones, each symbol silently suggests the life story of the people the symbol comes to represent.

The Anchor

As an early Christian symbol, the anchor alludes to St. Clement who is often depicted with an anchor and fish (Wikipedia). On occasion, between the 18th and 19th century, this symbol may have represented someone who has a seafaring profession (Leimer). This symbol may also denote hope (Anon).

The Ankh

Although the Ankh has been around since the Egyptians; this symbol would not have been popular in colonial times. It stands as a symbol of reincarnation, peace, prosperity, and eternal life.

The Arrow

The arrow can suggest martyrdom, were like qualities, or mortality.


Found on headstones slightly over a decade old, these symbols apparently represent the hobbies that the deceased participated in at one time. Other common symbols representing the deceased’s hobbies exist in cemetery art as well.


The Bible denotes wisdom (Weeden). It may often represent the divine word of God or personal accomplishments (Anon).

The Caduceus

The Caduceus depicts the symbol of a physician or the healer. The symbol itself consists two snakes entwined around a staff and the symbol stand as an emblem for healers (Merriam-Webster's).

The Dove

The dove is common to Christian decor and symbolizes peace and the Holy Ghost or Spirit. It also signifies the human soul (Anon).

The Dragon

A dragon is the symbol of Imperial Power, the universe, and chaos (GAzis-Sax).

The Eye of God

This symbol appears significantly similar to the 16th century painting, "The Eye of God.” It signifies that God is universal, and sees all, including sins.

The Firemen Emblem

The hose and ladder emblems can often be found on headstones representing individuals that were at one time part of the Fire Department.

Celtic Cross

The knot work on a Celtic Cross is a pagan symbol. The intertwining knots symbolize eternity (Weeden). In our era, the Celtic Cross may represent someone of Irish descent. It is interesting to note that each cemetery surveyed displayed at least one Celtic Cross.

The Crescent Moon

The crescent moon may represent virginity (Weeden). It may also suggest rebirth, and victory (Anon).

The Cross

The cross is a symbol of Christian faith. Thus, this is an extremely common symbol among local cemeteries.

The Crown

The Crown was popular in 18th century New England as a symbol of righteousness (Leimer).

Hand-Pointing Upward

Such a symbol signifies the hand of righteousness (Weeden). It also suggests the pathway or ascension and the elevated realms of heaven.


This symbol is common among married couples; indicating marriage, or farewell (Reid).


Also a common Christian symbol; the symbol indicates prayers and hopes for attaining life after death.


This symbol differs from the marriage symbol, in that the sleeves denote male and female in the latter. This symbol suggests loyalty and friendship even after death (Reid).


This symbol may simply denote the deceased's love of horses however, to some that may mean a reference to Saints Martin, Maurice, and Victor, all signifying horseback riding (Anon).


An hourglass, depicted without wings, is a symbol of passing time or Father Time (Anon).

The Hummingbird

This icon may be depicting the deceased's affinity for hummingbirds. Yet, viewed as an animal totem, this bird represents the notion of wisdom, joy, and happiness (Evridge).


There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding the symbol: Some view it as the Greek symbol for Jesus, Savior of Men and thus sometimes it is viewed as in hoc salus which literally means" there is safety in this" or “in this safety” (Weeden). IHS is sometimes translated as Iesus Hominum Salvator, which means “Jesus, Man, Savior or the Saver of Men.” In other instances, IHS is sometimes translated as In Hoc Signo, which translates as “In This Sign, Ye Will Conquer.


A Lily is representative of purity and resurrection because of its white color (kewebshop). In Christian art, the Lily is a symbol associated with the Virgin Mary, as well as the Immaculate Conception.

Leaves (Ivy)

Ivy signifies regeneration, immortality, friendship, and faithfulness (Leimer).

Masonic Symbols

One common Masonic symbol that looks like a pentagram with various symbols, is the icon associated with The Order of the Eastern Star. Another common symbol is that of a compass and square and is the symbol for masons, which stands for faith and reason. The "G" located in the middle of the Masonic symbol stands for God (Hawkins).

Pine Cones

This icon suggests a full, long life with children (Hawkins). Pine cones have many seeds in them, which makes it the ideal symbol for fertility and regeneration, or live after death and immortality achieved through one's children.

The Rose

The Rose signifies completion, perfection, and achievement. In Christian Art, the Rose is symbolic of grace and compassion or love. An eight-pedaled rose signifies regeneration (Leimer). The Rose is also a pagan symbol associated with the Goddess.

The Ship

The ship may be an icon that suggests the deceased's fascination with such. It also indicates the Christian faith and that the ship of faith can carry one through the world, as well as safely into the afterlife (Anon).

The Star

This icon suggests the spirit. For someone of pagan beliefs, it may suggest the four cardinal directions and Akasha; the symbol of all the elements and the spirit (Hawkins). As a Christian insignia, it comes to mean the tale of the birth of Christ.

The Sunset

The Sunset represents death, rebirth, and the promise of everlasting life. In art, the sun is a symbol associated with Christ, and the sunset can represent the ending of one’s life and the entry of an individual into the Kingdom of Heaven. Sunsets are also associated with the cardinal direction of the West and are therefore associated with endings. In some pagan belief systems, the sunset is associated with the Summerlands.


The wheat icon suggests time and the divine harvest. It also suggests that we "reap what we sow" and that we will return to the divine harvester (Weeden).

The Willow Tree

The Willow Tree is German in origin, and represents sorrow: especially the weeping willow (Leimer).

Winged Angel

Winged figures indicate the flight of the soul (Hardy). Angels also represent the higher realm, a higher state of existence or consciousness, and can be a symbol representing guardianship or protection.

The Wreath

The Wreath symbolizes the victory of a good life and therefore, victory over death. It also suggests the circle of eternity (Hardy).

The Urn

The Urn stands as an icon of death; ashes of the deceased who have been cremated are often stored in urns. They are sometimes seen alone, or with willow trees and drapes: drapes suggest the final curtain of life (Hardy). Since the Urn is a vessel, it can also represent to act of returning to the Goddess, or the womb of reincarnation.

Woman with Anchor

A woman with an anchor is the Masonic symbol of hope (Hawkins).

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Most Authentic Ghost Footage of All Time?

This Pennsylvanian family is certain that they've captured footage of a ghost moving through their woods at night, and who are we to argue? What we find most shocking about this video, though, is that the obviously Southern daddy who is speaking in the background has somehow wound up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania of all places. Maybe that's his relative flitting between the trees.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Ouija: Not a game

The Ouija board has been used by thousands of people for spirit communication and is very similar to automatic writing, the only difference between the two being the absence of the board itself in automatic writing. Both forms of communication are very dangerous; as are séances, because they are usually uncontrolled forms of communications. In other words, the individuals that use these channels are usually novices and are unaware of the possible dangers that await!
A controlled situation would be where a psychic, medium or clairvoyant is present. This way the medium could sense if any dangers are present and close off the communication before any harm was done.
The Ouija board is just a piece of compressed wood, sold at virtually all toy stores and occult supply and book stores. Ouija is a combination of two words: "oui" and "ja" which mean "yes" in French and German respectively. The board itself is not dangerous but the form of communication that you are attempting often is.
Most often the spirits whom are contacted through the Ouija are those whom reside on "the lower astral plane". These spirits are often very confused and may have died a violent or sudden death; murder, suicide, etc. Therefore, many violent, negative and potentially dangerous conditions are present to those using the board. Often times several spirits will attempt to come through at the same time but the real danger lies when you ask for physical proof of their existence! You might say, "Well, if you're really a spirit, then put out this light or move that object!" What you have just done is simple, you have "opened a doorway" and allowed them to enter into the physical world and future problems can and often do arise.
I would strongly advise against the use of the Ouija, automatic writing or séances. If you don't happen to be lucky or unlucky enough (depends on how you look at it) to contact any ghosts, then if nothing else, you could become emotionally attached or dependent on the board's advice. This can be psychologically adverse on the psyche as you will attempt to get more and more information out of the board and you could actually just be using the board as an avenue to the inside of your own mind without realizing it. In other words, you could be asking questions of the board and then your subconscious mind would be using the planchette to answer your own questions! This often happens to those people who use the board by themselves.
I believe the following cases are true examples of what could happen to those who continue to use the board or become obsessed or possessed!

Friday, 5 August 2011


Exorcism is mainly thought of as the rite of driving out the Devil and his demons from possessed persons. Exorcism is mainly performed in incidences of demonic possession that is generally distinguished from spiritual possession. A general assumption is that the Roman Catholic singularly practices the rite of exorcism, but some Protestant denominations such as the Pentecostals and other charismatic groups practice it as well. These groups refer to the practice as "deliverance ministry" where gifted people drive out devils and heal while they touch the persons with their hands, called laying on of hands, and pray over them.
Technically, exorcism is not driving out the Devil or a demon, but it is placing the Devil or demon on oath. And, in some incidences there may be more than one demon possessing a person. "Exorcism" is derived from the Greek preposition ek with the verb horkizo which means "I cause [someone] to swear" and refers to "putting the spirit or demon on oath," or invoking a higher authority to bind the entity in order to control it and command it to act contrary to its own will.
In the Christian sense this higher authority is Jesus Christ. This act is based on the belief that the Devil, his demons, and evil spirits are afraid of Christ. The belief itself is based on Scripture. Coming from the sea of Galilee Christ entered the land of the Gerasenes. He was immediately met by a man from the tombs cut into the mountains of the area. The man was said to be possessed of an unclean spirit. Nothing could bind this man, not even chains. He lived in the mountains, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But, so it is told, when seeing Christ approaching, the man went to him seeking help. The unclean demon immediately recognized Christ, and Christ recognized the demon. Christ, then, summoned the spirit to leave the man, and asked his name. "My name is Legion," answered the spirit, "for we are many." Once the demons left the man, Christ sent them into a nearby heard of swine who then jumped in to the sea and drown. (Mark 5:1-13) Unlike other exorcists, it is believed, that Christ did not exorcise because He did not need to call on a higher authority since He Himself was that higher authority.
Now, not only did Christ exorcize demons, or unclean spirits, but he gave the powers to his disciples. "...he gave the power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease." (Matt.10:1)
From these two Biblical passages and others Catholics and Protestants alike believe they have the power to cast out the Devils and to heal. The Catholic Church has a procedure out-lined rite of exorcism which is set forth in "The Rituale Romanum." Other than this text the ritual has great variance determined by the exorcist performing the exorcism. The code of Cannon Law allows authorized ministers (the exorcists) to perform solemn exorcisms not only over the faithful, but also over non-Catholics and those who have been excommunicated from the Church.
During the ritual usually salt, representing purity, and wine, representing the blood of Christ, is present. The victim is to hold a crucifix during the rite. The exorcist is encouraged to use holy water and relics, usually pieces of bones from Saints, and recite Biblical scriptures and other prayers.
The greatest danger to the exorcist is becoming possessed by the Devil or demon himself. This is the reason why the exorcist must feel as free of sin as possible and feel no secret need for punishment. Otherwise, the Devil or demon can easily entrap him. An example of this is Father Jean-Joseph Surin, the Jesuit exorcist of Loudun, who became possessed while ministering to Sister Jeannes des Angest. Surin was reared in a cloister, practiced severe self-denial during his early years as a priest, experienced severe muscle pains, and had virtually cut himself off from all social contact which led him to come to the Sisters' Convent in poor health and a confused state of mind. Unlike his fellow Jesuits he was thoroughly convinced Sister Jeanne and her companion Sisters were truly possessed. Author Aldous Huxley in his "The Devils of Loudun" (1952) described Surin's mental state as one of "pathological illiteracy."
This is possibly the reason that Malachi Martin, a former Jesuit professor, claimed in his book "Hostage to the Devil" (1976), that much of the success of the exorcism depends upon the exorcist. He describes the type of priest best suited to be an exorcist as being a man of good physical health, being of middle age, routinely going about his normal pastoral duties. He usually is not brilliant or engaged in teaching or research. Although, Martin adds, there are exceptions to all these characteristics.
In his book Martin also describes the setting where the exorcism takes place. It is usually in a location where there is a definite connection between the demon and the victim, like the victim's bedroom or resident.
But, again, to Martin, the most important thing is the exorcist's disposition and those of his assistants. Presently few exorcists choose to work alone. Three other people usually assist the exorcist. One is a junior priest who has been trained in exorcism procedures. He monitors the exorcism, helping the exorcist when possible not to be distracted by the possessive demon. Others can include a medical physician and a family member. The most important thing of all is that the exorcist and his assistants be physically strong and relatively guiltless. None must have any secret sins which the Devil or demon can use against them. In some incidences the Devil or demons may shout out the sins of the exorcist or his assistants attempting to shame them and ruin the exorcism.
Although all exorcisms are different in proceeding there are similar stages they follow. Martin describes these stages:
The Presence: The exorcist and his assistants become aware of an alien feeling or entity. Attempts or actions of the evil spirit appear to be the victim's. The exorcist's first job is to break this Pretense and find out whom the demon really is. Gaining the entity's name is most important.
Breakpoint: The moment when the Devil's Pretense finally collapses. This is usually a moment of complete pandemonium. There evolves a scene of panic and confusion, accompanied by a crescendo of abuse, horrible sights, noises, and odors. The Devil then turns on the victim, speaking of the person in the third person.
The Voice: Also a sign the Breakpoint, the Voice (of the demon) becomes "inordinately disturbing and humanly distressing babble." The demon's voices must be silenced for the exorcism to proceed.
The Clash: As the Voices die out there is both a spiritual and physical pressure. The demon has collided with the "will of the Kingdom." The exorcist is now in direct battle with the demon, urging the entity to reveal more information about itself so it can be controlled. As previously mentioned, there is a connection between the entity and the victim's resident. The entity wants a place to be in, or it must return to Hell. An existence out of Hell is what the Devil or demon is fighting for.
Expulsion: In the supreme triumph of God's will, the demon or spirit leaves in the name of Jesus. All present feel the Presence dissipates, occasionally with receding noises and voices. The victim may remember the ordeal or may not recall anything that has happened.
The ritual of exorcism is more cautiously employed by the Catholic Church at present than it once was. When reviewing the conditions for demonic possession that were once listed one can easily see many of the symptoms are those of epilepsy, hysteria, schizophrenia, and other psychological disorders. So priests are cautioned to be as certain as possible the person is truly demonically possessed before performing the ritual.
In some incidences this precaution may not be enough to guard an innocent person against the ritual. For example, Saint Paul exorcized a slave girl who made much money for her masters by soothsaying. (Acts 16:16-18) Today, occultists call such acts prophecy. Catholics are still forbidden to visit fortune tellers. Other religions such as Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Shinto and others have some form of exorcism rituals. One of the best known Judaic rituals, cited in Judaism rabbinical literature dating from the first century AD, concerns the dybbuk, an evil or doomed spirit which possesses a victim and causes mental illness and a personality change. The dybbuk is expelled through the victim's small toe, and then is either redeemed or sent to hell.
In many Eastern religions spirits and ghosts are blamed for many ills, and are cast out of people. However, such afflictions are not regarded as all-out battles for the persons' souls. The typical Hindu exorcism practices consist of blowing cow-dung smoke, pressing rock salt between the fingers, burning pig excreta, beating or pulling the victim's hair, reciting prayers or mantras, and offering gifts of candy and other presents to get the evil or troublesome spirits to depart from the persons.
The ritual employed in Shamanism is that the shaman enters a trace during which he attempts to discover the cause of the victim's trouble. Frequently the cause is thought linked to a dead person. The shaman then is said to travel to the lowerworld to speak with this soul. He then knows the cure of this victim's affliction, or may even bring back the soul to cure it.
All persons do not consider the purpose of the ritual of exorcism as expelling the spirit as condemning it to hell as do the Christians. Some, including occultists and Witches, do not consider the spirits demonic but at times become confuse and invade persons' bodies. The purpose of this type of exorcism is to release the spirit. Then the spirit is free to journey onto its resting place or new life. Witches frequently are asked to exorcise ghosts and other unwanted psychic energy that trouble persons.
Spirit exorcisms, as cures of physical illnesses and solutions to other personal problems are common in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, the Orient, and among tribal cultures.

Is this Michael Jackson?

Everyone loves a ghost story.
But only the most one-eyed of Michael Jackson fans could see anything in the latest supposedly creepy goings-on at Neverland.
Footage from a TV crew's tour of the King Of Pop's now deserted ranch, which appeared on the respected Larry King show in the US, has been seized on by believers of the supernatural.
They are trying to persuade YouTube visitors that a shadow filmed in one of the unending hallways is actually Jacko's ghostly presence.

The alleged sighting is the latest in a string of bizarre rumors to emerge after his death nearly two weeks ago.
These include reports the late singer will tour the world via hologram and that he will be buried without his brain.
Neither Miko Brando - the son of screen legend Marlon - nor his cameraman noticed the spectre during their trip to the California ranch.
But after it was posted on YouTube, rumors have spread like wildfire across the internet.
Viewer comments and chat forums have debated in earnest the possibility that the shadow belongs to Jackson himself.
Jackson was a huge fan of JM Barrie's Peter Pan, the little boy who never grew up (as the name of his ranch suggests) and lost his shadow before Wendy sewed it back on.
On YouTube, one user said: ‘Yes, that is MJ, even the hair style silhouette everything..!! Immortal!’

Another wrote: ‘That is so weird. I have played it over five times now and I have to admit that it does resemble MJ. I can’t believe I am saying that actually. It’s his image.’
But others were not so convinced.
‘It is the shadow of a TV crew person in the room, idiot people. Get a grip… that’s not genuine ghost footage!’ wrote tubs1000.
So what do you guys think?

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Runcorn poltergeist

It was in August, 1952, that young John Glynn Jones and his family, living in Byron Street, Runcorn, first came face to face with the paranormal. John, aged 17, was a well-behaved, rather serious young man interested only in getting on with his job and studies with a view to qualifying as a draughtsman.

The trouble began in mid-August, 1952, when the tenant of No.1 Byron Street, Mr Sam Jones (aged 68), his sister-in-law Mrs Lucy Jones, his grandchildren John and Eileen Glynn, and a middle aged spinster lodging in the house were joined for the weekend by Mrs Jones's son and his wife on a visit from North Wales.

Mr Sam Jones and young John had to share a double bed in one bedroom while Lucy Jones and young Eileen shared another bed in the same room.

No sooner had they got into bed and were trying to get to sleep than the dressing-table started to make noises. The noises got louder and louder until all four occupants were driven from the room, then silence reigned for the time being.

When they returned to their beds the noises started up again and there was no more sleep for any of them. The next night was even worse, with the dressing-table drawers sounding as if they were being pulled out, rattled and slammed back again.

Again the nuisance stopped when the occupants left the bedroom but started up again when they returned to their beds there. This time the dressing-table moved about a foot from the wall of its own accord.

As usually happens in cases of such phenomena, John was the first suspect, guilty of a teenage hoax, and before many more wakeful nights had passed he was subjected to all kinds of tests to find out whether he was the cause of it all.

Proof that John was not the guilty party was forthcoming when, despite four witnesses actually sitting on him as he lay in bed, the manifestations continued in their presence.

A widely held theory among authorities on the subject is that where there is poltergeist-type activity some teenager, usually a female, is being used as a nexus or agent by the poltergeist entity, which draws on their psychic energy, unknown to the victim, to create the various manifestations.

One might call such entities invisible vandals, though the annoyance caused and the actual damage done is anything but invisible. The poltergeist is a pastmaster at sound effects, moving some solid objects and levitating others.

In some cases on record candles and coals have been fired like bullets into walls and ceilings, glass and china smashed, doors and windows rattled and flung open, however securely they have been fastened. The Byron Street phenomena occurred in cycles, peaceful interludes alternating with spells of pandemonium.

Advice and offers of help came from all over the world, as did curious visitors. One letter was from Germany enclosing a formula for exorcism. Unfortunately the envelope had been opened in transit and one of the four vital pieces of paper was found to be missing.

Exorcism rarely works in such cases but it was claimed that this formula had been used with success in a German poltergeist outbreak which had lasted 15 months.

Mr Sam Jones said that he had lived in the house for 35 years and had had the dressing-table for 42 years but he had never known anything like it before. Even when the drawers were sealed with adhesive paper they continued to rattle and the mirror swung backwards and forwards on its pivots.

Three burly policemen were thrown off an empty chest on the landing and soon realised that the 'disorderly conduct' at No.1 was something outside their knowledge and control.

At one stage a spiritualist medium, Mr Francis, was called in and a seance held but they only seemed to make matters worse. Two bibles, a picture-book, a tin of ointment and a table cover were thrown about the bedroom in front of witnesses. There followed a quiet period which enabled the family to catch up on some sleep, but early in September the 'ghost' returned with a vengeance. One witness reported that a clock and several other items moved a distance of five feet across the bedroom in his presence.

Later in September there were more violent happenings and at one point John was lifted out of his bed and deposited on the floor. By this time the London based Society for Psychical Research started to take an interest and several members were invited to come and observe the phenomena for themselves.

One member was the Rev. W H Stevens, a local Methodist minister, who was appointed the society's official investigator. On entering this haunted house he was welcomed by being hit on the head with a dictionary.

Mr Steven's theory, a familiar one in the world of the paranormal, was that the force responsible for all these mischievous manifestations was being exerted, albeit unwittingly, by John Glynn himself. It was the result of a build up of repressed energy, such as one finds in a teenager, being abused by an evil entity. After each display of phenomena it took time for the 'accumulator' containing this energy to recoup before the next outburst.

At times, as many as fourteen observers were witnesses to the levitation of household objects, the breaking of china and general vandalism. The kitchen ceiling under the bedroom began to crack and the laths were exposed.

In the belief that the whole matter was getting out of hand, the house was closed to random investigators and press reporters. Friends invited John Glynn to their house in Frodsham, a nearby village, where they held an outdoor lunch party to give him some relaxation from the strain and suffering. One of the guests noted that a glass of lemonade being poured for John burst in the hostess's hand; none of the lemonade fell on the floor but John was drenched in it.

Long after the phenomena ceased, sometime in October,it was revealed that the total cost of the damage done by the poltergeist at No1 Byron Street and surrounding properties, including a neighbouring pig farm, had been estimated at £20,000.

As usual in such cases, there was no satisfactory explanation as to the cause of all the trouble and damage caused.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Photo mystery deepens

They have recently been given information about an event that occurred in Sheffield Park a few years before Chris' photo was taken.
A photo with a mysterious figure in the background

Whether what you are about to read, is connected to the image that Chris took, is entirely for you to decide. But one local family is now appealing to Chris to reveal the truth about the image. Was this picture a hoax, sent to us as an elaborate joke, in the hope they would fall for it? If not, the family in question suggest they will have to come to terms with something far more unsettling....
The latest developments occurred when they received details of a tragedy that happened in Sheffield Park on Saturday 4th August 2001. 87 year old Mrs Florence Bristow had gone to the gardens, with her son John and his wife, for an afternoon out.
Once there, they hired a motorised buggy, intending to travel around the edge of the lake. Unfortunately, Florence suffered a heart attack and fell across her son who lost control of the buggy, which then plunged into the water. John's wife dived into the lake in an attempt to save her and although first reports suggested Florence had drowned, later tests showed that she had died before entering the water. Resuscitation attempts were tried at the lake side but to no effect.
Florence Bristow in 1979

Until recently, Mrs Bristows family had not seen Chris' "ghost" picture, but when they did spot it on our website, they were shocked. John contacted us to say he believed the picture "Shows a resemblance to my mother".
Further contact with the family revealed they believe "the lady in the photograph bears a striking resemblance to her [Florence] even down to the type of top she is wearing". John has kindly given us a photograph of Mrs Bristow, with permission to post it here on the website.
So they were asking, is Chris' photo a hoax? His brother Paul, the person who took the original photograph, says it's not! Maybe you know the person in his photo? Could it be you? Were you in Sheffield Park on Sunday May 16th 2004 and can you remember seeing anyone who could possibly be the person in the background? Or is there another explanation for the image?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sheffield Park: Spook or Spoof?

This is the true story of a man from Sussex, U.K named Christopher Petty. Christopher Petty and his brother decided to spend a day outdoors, enjoying the warm Sussex sunshine. Little did they know when they started out that they would be joined by someone or something else.

Sunday May 16th started like any other day in
The sun was shining and like many of us, Southern Counties web surfer Christopher Petty decided to make the most of the weather and get out and about.
He and his brother decided to visit the National Trust's historic Sheffield Park Gardens in Sussex. They took their cameras; it is a particularly beautiful spot after all, and a few photographs of the day would serve as a nice reminder. So, when they started snapping away, neither of them expected the following results, once the pictures were developed...
Chris explains:

"On the photo there appears to be a shadowy figure of a woman to my right which I can't explain as:

a) There was no-one beside me at the time and

b) There was no statue in that part of the garden.

On the picture there is a mark on the subject's shirt which looks similar to the sunlit leaves on the shrub behind, as visible to the right of the picture.

After much consideration I can only guess that there is either a photographic explanation for this, or that the shadow is in fact a ghost".

At first glance they agreed with Chris.

There does appear to be a statue behind him, but he says there was nothing there when the photo was taken.

A National Trust representative has confirmed with us that there are no statues in the park. So they subjected the image to a series of rigorous scientific tests, conducted by our leading paranormal experts....(well, Heather and Ed) Their advanced testing methods have proved it to be...., not quite as spooky as it first appears....
They have decided, after much learned discussion, that the "paranormal phenomenon" which haunts Chris' photo is in fact somebody's granny.

How they came to conclusion:
1) They lightened the photo.

2) They sharpened the photo.

3) They took the background out.

4) They increased the colour saturation, which showed the ghostly apparition to have a pink face, a blue rinse and fuchsia lippy. So not your average ghoul.

5) The "spook" also appears to be wearing a rather fetching V-necked, smart but casual pullover, which is as far removed as you can get from the usual long white robes and chains etc...

However, the plot thickens...
Chris says there was no-one beside him at the time of the photo being taken, and who are we to disbelieve him? So how did this nice old lady get into the photograph unnoticed? Did she leap out from behind a bush only to hop back into the shubbery again once the flash had gone off? Possibly.

Was she wearing a Cloak of Invisibility, which she whipped off, to reveal herself at the very second the camera took the photo? Highly unlikely. Or is she, as Chris suggests, a ghost?

Monday, 1 August 2011

The symptoms of a possession

A possession is a state in which a person’s body has been taken control of by Satan. It is an extreme state of devil’s actions on a human being. How to recognise it?
During a possession the devil can control a person’s body against their will. He can secretly remain in the body and manifest himself only in specific situations , when he can or when he must (e.g. during an exorcism). During such a manifestation, the possessed person is not in control of their body, the evil spirit is able to speak through their mouth and attack others.
Recognizing a possession is based on diagnosing the possible causes and symptoms of the evil spirit’s work. The symptoms might be, e.g.:
  • an aversion for the sacred (blessed objects, objects related to religious cult, sacral buildings, e.g. churches),
  • blasphemy and cursing,
  • aggression towards the clergy and praying people,
  • speaking and understanding unfamiliar languages, speaking in somebody else’s voice,
  • supernatural occurrences in the surroundings, ranging from oppression even to levitation.
In an initial recognition, everyone can investigate the person’s life, their attitude towards God, faith, sacraments and blessed items. If the person suspected of possession reacts to a cross or a meal blessed with blessed water with aggression, a stiffening of the body, or if satanic symbols appear on their body, an exorcist priest should be contacted. The final recognition is up to him and he is also the only person that can undertake an exorcism. In the process of freeing from the evil power laypeople have a great role to play through accompanying and supporting the freed person, as well as through helping the exorcist priest during his prayers for delivery..