Monday, February 8, 2016

Misconceptions of Skepticism

Often times when I am in a group, imploring critical thinking, I'm met with criticism of being a disbeliever. Sometimes I think that skepticism is confused with cynicism. Dr. Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine, explained Skepticism as not a position, but a process.

Skepticism, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary is, "the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain". Rather than making the determination that something is untrue, it's reserving judgement until all facts have presented. In the case that the facts are
ascertained and insufficiently support that a claim is true, it's then that "disbelief" takes place. When this disbelief is supported by fact, it's then that is becomes knowledge.
Many believe that skeptics are close minded to the supernatural, which is not entirely true. Most skeptics believe in some sort of scientific method. Scientific method is essentially being flexible and open minded to all possibilities:

Form a hypothesis
Form new hypothesis, according to new data
Start over

On the contrary with blind faith, the belief seems to stay the same, despite new information. This is proven to me time and time again, in the interactions I have with devout believers of the paranormal. We can very carefully, and in the most simplistic fashion, lay down facts and most blind believers will remain unwavered. To me this is the most quintessential example of close mindedness.

Often times, the paradigm of those in the paranormal community who do take the blind believer stance, seem to believe that if someone tries to obtain further information about a claim, they must be a disbeliever. This is not true. Many self proclaimed skeptics are in fact open to the idea of paranormal phenomena. There's a misconception that skeptics are atheist, when in fact many are very spiritual or religious.

Skepticism is not something that we only use for looking at claims, but also in everyday living. We utilize skepticism everyday. We utilize it when reviewing political agendas, researching care providers, choosing vaccinations for our children, avoiding scam artists, deciding how to eat, and even delegating problems that arise at our jobs. We use it in our everyday interactions with each other, when we are trying to understand one another. It's essentially taking the time to look at all the facts, in order to be able to make an educated decision.

When looking for a doctor, would we pick the first one we see? Or will we research their care reviews, talk to friends or family, and look at what they specialize in? Do we give the guy our information over the phone that claims to be a debt collector, or do we question his credentials? This is applying skepticism. It's not as unhealthy or negative as many think. It's not always about debunking, but rather removing the untrue or the unnecessary, to make way for what is correct or useful. It's considered a method of rational inquiry.

If we were to remove the negative connotation that is attached to skepticism, we may learn that we are all not that much different. All of us have a contingent desire to discover truth. It's simply a matter of implementing all our tools and resources to come up with the best possible solution to an infinite question, "Does paranormal phenomena exist?"

We may never know, but when we all work together towards the same goal of truth and integrity, we will stand the best possible chance of gaining a better understanding of those very difficult questions.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Anna's Cabinet of Curiosities (Photography)

So it's been quite awhile since I've blogged. A lot has changed since the last I have. I've pulled away from the Paranormal Community in the last year, starting in January. As of recently I've completely isolated myself in light of a major move and other life changes that I'm happy have happened.

Most people know, the Paranormal is a pretty small facet in things I enjoy. My first love is collecting strange and even macabre antiques and vintage items. This includes Memento Mori mourning items, Medical devices, Quack Medicine, antique taxidermy, entomology pieces, so on and so forth. I decided to start showing my collection, much like I do on my Facebook. Turns out people really enjoy seeing and reading about my items. SO, here's the first installment of "Anna's Cabinet of Curiosities" (Although my hobby has now far exceeded a cabinet). I'll start with some interesting photos. These are all from my personal collection. Enjoy!

Some pictures are so profoundly odd, that I immediately fall in love, just due to content. This one is a great example. Doesn't look like much until you look into the back ground and see the guy creeping out from a doorway. Wish I knew the story behind it.

This hauntingly beautiful couple came into my life by pure chance. On an afternoon a friend and I had been antique shopping in about 5-10 different stores. Walking out of the very last store after an unsuccessful day of treasure hunting, I saw these guys above the cash register. I asked the price, positive it would be outside my budget. It's a pretty large hanging photo. The store attendant said she'd have to call the boss to find out a price because they had just got it in, and it wasn't marked. After a few moments of her asking, "You sure?" and reminding him which photo she was talking about, she hung up. She shrugged her shoulders and she said, "He wants $20 for it".

I have no history on them but I sure wish I did. Every picture I get in a frame, it's tempting to look at the backs of photos.

The Hidden Mother

Victorian photography studios loved a good illusion, whether it was to accommodate the long exposure time, or play with it.

While spirit photography is pretty well-known (thanks in large part to Lincoln’s “ghost”), here are a few other tricks that you might not know about. Recently, Linda Fregni Nagler published a book called The Hidden Mother where she compiled over a thousand photographs of a parent masquerading as a chair beneath a cloak. As the exposure could take a good part of a minute, and children aren’t exactly thrilled to sit still for their portraits, parents would hide and hold them still. But the results were kind of creepy — like specters looming up behind the uneasy kids. There was always this sense of a high mortality, too, especially for children, making the ghostly presences especially ominous.

Below are some of these “hidden mothers” (and possibly fathers, although it’s hard to tell, of course), as well as other Victorian photography tricks and illusions, where death was always around the corner, and the medium of photography was just starting to be a part of life. And other things that we might not consider as tricks now — like coloring photographs — was as fantastic as a person holding their head (well, almost).

Another tintype I picked up. Appears she was in a unioncase at one time, but I really don't know what to make of her? Any of my antique people give me any opinions? At first I thought she had painted eyes, but I'm sure if her hands are deformed, or blurred from movement.

Here's a little tintype I picked. Small child who appears to either have a severe lazy eye, or maybe a glass eye, or another deformity? Either way I found her captivating 😍 The name on the back is Touella DeWitt.

This funeral themed Photo I bought at an Antique Faire for $1.50. I have no history on it. The wreath reads "father".

President McKinley #1901 Stereoview

The 25th President of the United States, William McKinley, was shot and fatally wounded on September 6, 1901, inside the Temple of Music on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley was shaking hands with the public when he was shot by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist. The President died on September 14 from gangrene caused by the bullet wounds.

McKinley initially appeared to be recovering, but took a turn for the worse on September 13 as his wounds became gangrenous, and died early the next morning; Vice President Theodore Roosevelt succeeded him. After McKinley's murder, for which Czolgosz was put to death in the electric chair, the United States Congress passed legislation to officially charge the Secret Service with the responsibility for protecting the president.

An autopsy was performed later on the morning of McKinley's death; Mann led a team of 14 physicians. They found the bullet had passed through the stomach, then through the transverse colon, and vanished through the peritoneum after penetrating a corner of the left kidney. There was also damage to the adrenal glands and pancreas. Mynter, who participated in the autopsy, later stated his belief that the bullet lodged somewhere in the back muscles, though this is uncertain as it was never found. After four hours, Ida McKinley demanded that the autopsy end. A death mask was taken, and private services took place in the Milburn House before the body was moved to Buffalo City and County Hall for the start of five days of national mourning. McKinley's body was ceremoniously taken from Buffalo to Washington, and then to Canton. On the day of the funeral, September 19, as McKinley was taken from his home on North Market Street for the last time, all activity ceased in the nation for five minutes. Trains came to a halt, telephone and telegraph service was stopped. Leech stated, "the people bowed in homage to the President who was gone".

Ambrotype, left, Daguerrotype type on the right.

On the right is said to be a post mortem Daguerrotype, waiting to have this confirmed by an expert.

On the left an Ambrotype of two Victorian Era women..they are alive...its in need of some repairs.


"The earliest non-film, non-paper photographs were Daguerreotypes. They were made between about 1839 and 1860, although some continued to be made up until present time by those who admire this process. The image was set onto polished silver — this was a non-emulsion method — so they have a mirrored surface in which you can see your own reflection. You won't find this with any other type of photographic process. This highly reflective surface makes it a little difficult to see the image itself without turning it back and forth a little until it is at an angle where the subject matter is visible and clear.

The earliest Daguerreotypes were made on silver clad onto copper, and later ones were electroplated onto copper. Since silver tarnishes, Daguerreotypes had to be encased behind glass and then sealed to keep out air and moisture. If you have a Daguerreotype, it will be enclosed in a hinged case, and under no circumstances should you try to remove it from the case, as doing so can cause irreparable damage. The earliest Daguerreotypes had a gray or bluish coloration, but ones made in later years had more of a light brown tinge with some blue where they were tarnished. In most cases, the majority of the tarnishing will be around the edges of the plate.

The images in Daguerreotypes were usually very crisp and detailed, but they were laterally-reversed, left to right, unless, in rare circumstances, a reversing mirror was used when the photo was taken. So, unless you have other non-Daguerreotypes of the person in your Daguerreotype, you might not ever know whether they parted their hair on the left or on the right, or if the mole was on their left cheek or their right, etc."

Information credit:


"Ambrotypes were at the height of their popularity between about 1853 and 1870, although they continued to be made until well into the 1890s. They were more popular in America, and in Europe they were called "amphitypes."

Like Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes were often laterally-reversed and they were also mounted in hinged cases because the image was set onto an emulsion-coated glass and needed a background behind it, such as black paint or varnish directly applied to the glass, or japanned cardboard (black baked-on lacquer), black velvet, or a black varnished metal mounted behind the glass. Ambros are shiny but, unlike Daguerreotypes, they do not have the mirrored surface and they lack the sharp contrast of a Daguerreotype. Ambros tend to be rather dark throughout, even when tinted. If an ambrotype is not in a case, you can tell it from a tintype or Daguerreotype by the fact that it is on glass and is therefore transparent.

Ambrotypes can degrade over time, with the black paint or varnish cracking or peeling, giving it a blistered look, and the emulsion can darken further, causing additional loss of contrast. Ambros do not tarnish and so they do not have the bluish coloration found in tarnished Daguerreotypes, but when the background is damaged, the image appears to be destroyed, even though in many cases it can be restored. Most ambrotypes were made in the same sizes as Daguerreotypes so that either could be mounted in the same size cases."

Information credit:

So everyone knows I love history, especially anything slightly macabre or death related. I absolutely love the human experience and to me, having a small window into these peoples lives is a huge honor. I thought this piece was amazing ♥ Check out this little post card I just picked up.

Man & Woman in Buggy with Horses - Funeral Motif
The card is written by the woman in the picture, and it reads:
"I have got the wreath of flowers and the Scarf on my lap, the last Christmas present he ever got me. The wreath was off his casket. Dear Niece, as I thought I would send you one of mine and Walter's pictures and your dear Cousin Jimmy's horses and buggy. The Dear one that is gone, the one you loved so well and you know he loved you. The one is gone to Heaven above and you can look at this picture and think of the last time you ever rode in his buggy for it was the last day he ever rode in the buggy. Maudie"

Mailed: Written and dated Feb 16, 1909, but not mailed.

I have to wonder if she ever got the message any other way since it wasnt mailed. Also makes me wonder why it was never mailed. She must have missed Jimmy dearly.... so fascinating.

This is so cool my 1800's antique tintype mourning brooch, with the decedents hair inside. According to the guy I bought it from, it was found in the attic of a Georgia home. Civil War Era, Said to be that of a Civil War Soldier. Wish I had more of the history on it!

Another Funeral themed photo of mine. A beautiful random Victorian cemetery scene post funeral. On the arrangements, are the words "caro padrino cara madrina" meaning 🌹💀 "Dear godfather, dear godmother"

Now this interesting lady is a post card of a Daguerrotype titled "Masked Woman" from the Collection of W. Bruce Lundberg Secrets of the Dark Chamber: The Art of the American Daguerreotype

Monday, September 7, 2015

Client Creates GOFUNDME to Escape Home Investigators Claim Haunted

This morning I was shown a gofundme account  from a woman named Cora Ellis Greenwood, claiming that ghost hunters had come to her house and given her proof of her home being haunted. According to the gofundme, "there are 60 ghosts and even a Incubus demonic spirit that is here." (please note update at the bottom of this page) This fundraiser was shared 201 times and accumulated a total of $1,060 by 6 people. An update followed saying they did move, but that they also needed funding to buy a new truck. I'm not sure what this has to do with the "haunting" but none-the-less, they were still accepting donations.

Video starts out very dramatic and, admittedly some nice fancy title shots of their team name and a title page that says" Original Client Copy from initial investigation, Authorized for Release". This page also notes that the investigation was 2 hrs long, and of this they've come up with 25:50 of investigative "findings" (including title shots).

Here is the video for you to make your own determination.

I find it funny this is titled, "Private Investigation: Goshen, Ohio *Client Copy*" but yet it is made public and it isn't private at all. Through this video, I see the client, the town, and even occasionally photos of herself and her children on walls throughout the home. Plenty (aside from the gofundme) identifying the client.

Here is my take on what I'm watching "play by play":

** UPDATE** this article has been updated 9/23/15 with a response from Arc Paranormal

Sorry this will be long winded as it's a lot to review. You can either choose to read my take or watch the video for yourself and come up with your own conclusion, up to you.

Starts with the GH (ghost hunters) saying that this is only an initial investigation and that the team will come out with the intentions of "Validating" the claims of the client. This to me, says they may be going in with some bias, seeing that they are looking to validate the clients claim vs. trying to find alternative causes for claims. This is just my guess, I'm typing this out as I'm watching.

Here they say they do not bring out all their gear, only some. They claim to only look for "legitimate findings or captures, to see what we can put together". They also claim to do a "who died in" the house, I assume using He says this gives them a list of who died in the house or if previous owners died elsewhere. They also note that they will also help clients find psychic mediums or priest, catered to their needs, granted they gather "evidence" supporting a haunting.

**ADDED NOTE** A screen shot of the information bar on the video in at the end of the video, shows that their findings show there were NO DEATHS IN THE HOME. Please keep this in mind.

So at this point the GHs explain they are about to show you their findings, that they are in no special order.

1) "EVP MAHAYLA" -The scene opens with a dog crying and you will hear a whisper that honestly isn't too clear for me. I only assume it says "Mahayla" because the GH have told me that's what this says. If a small animal is on scene this is already a contaminated scene. For me, this audio clip should be disregarded, hence the scene contamination.

2)" EVP HEY" -This scene opens to a dog barking, again- contaminating the scene. They say that they have, at this point, vacated the apartment. This for me, tells me that there is no one present to debunk what is happening. This could easily be auditory pareidolia of the dog grunting or sighing.

Noises can travel funny in different areas, depending on the acoustics of the building. -At the end of this clip we hear a strange noise and the GH explain that this is an "EVPBOT". Best I can find is that there is an "EVPBOT" that is a phone app. I found one on YouTube and the developer at Moditronic Paracorder says this "Guarantees proof positive EVP sessions". (We haven't proved ghosts, so how is this proof positive?) I can't take anyone serious who uses phone apps on a residential investigation. This also will add contamination including EMF, which will mess with EMF equipment. I have proven that even on airplane mode, that you will still get a mild EMF "blip" on meters. I do not know yet if EMF meters will be used on this investigation, but will note this for later on.

Here is a video, explaining the "EVPBOT":

3) "EVP YES"- This scene starts, "This is up in your bedroom we get another response". The GH asks, "Who killed themselves in here. You Stuck?" A strange hum comes across the speakers. At this point I am not looking at the screen. I am instead typing this. I hear nothing that sounds like a voice to me, but a hum that is then electronically digitalized and slowed down. Looking now, I see the prompt written across the screen that says "YES". To me, this again is fear inducing ghost hunting aimed at proving there's a ghost, rather than using logic to analyze whats happening. Again, I suspect auditory pareidolia or the GH catering what he sees as answers to their questions for their own agenda of "proving paranormal phenomena" in the home.

4) "Particle"- Scene starts in the living room, GH indicates at this point that the client has returned. Dog barking again, scene is still contaminated. Now rather than being actual audio, the GH points out this very small amount of sparkling to the left of the screen. At this point we know we have investigators, a dog and the home owner there. This can mean any one of them are stirring things up.

Upon seeing this, the GH shouts" WHAT WAS THAT? IS THAT YOU?" Immediately the GH says, "now we know a lot of people mistake things for dust particles." He goes on to explain its pulsating and that its away from the camera. In fact, dust particles are microscopic. Their size depends directly on the amount of light reaching them. The closer to the lens the brighter and larger they seem. Something that's centimeters from the lens, can appear to be across the room. As they fall away from the spectrum of light, they appear smaller until they dissapear. This sometimes gives the illusion they are entering or exiting solid objects such as inanimate objects like walls, or even people.. The "pulsating" they describe is the particle that has an uneven surface, in motion, turning. This can easily be a light dog hair or dander floating through the air. As it turns, since it is not a perfect sphere, the light dynamic changes, giving it the optical illusion of pulsating.

At this point the GH changes the camera setting to "negative", which shows the object loftily moving through the air. He is now moving his camera to look for the object, causing his camera to move out of focus. Instead of using rational thought considering the camera is being moved about, he accuses the "spirit" of knocking his camera out of focus. GH confirms that "THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT A PARTICLE"

4:52 minutes in, I am literally seeing no skepticism at any time during this investigation.

5 & 6) SB7 "BITCH" & Gibberish- Okay...SB7 is one of my least favorite pieces of equipment, but I'll keep an open mind here. Upon hearing this "voice" saying what they believe is saying "BITCH", they're immediately excitable. Rather than reserving an opinion, they already assume its saying "bitch". I want to add that in this video, they express that they "finally figured it out" (the SB7), that this was the first investigation that they used it on. So- they really don't know how to use it? They claim there's no way to pick up voices with this radio scanning so fast. They don't even know how to use the box, how do they know? My first thought here is, is a residential the time or place to guinea pig a piece of equipment?

7 & 8) SB7 "Crazy"/ Sigh "USE ME"- This scene opens to the GH calling out the "spirit" calling it a coward, which I don't personally recommend being confrontational with "spirits". We're in their home, let's be respectful, in case they are here. You hear a voice that the GH interprets as "crazy". Immediately the GH assumes this is supernatural and further calls out the "spirit" saying, "Hell yeah! you don't like me?" More gibberish is picked up which could be anything, but again the GH puts across the screen what they think the "spirit" is saying.

*Note- at this point I feel it's safe to say that these guys have already proven themselves new to the SB7, this being their first time using this piece of equipment in a "field" setting. They also have proven to be extremely excitable and bias in their critique of each scenario that has arisen from this investigation thus far. We are 7:14  into this 25:50 investigation video....

9) SB7 Session "DUMMY" -This scene opens with them asking for "April" he asks over and over and over again, seemingly waiting for a response that confirms "April" being present. At this point I do not understand the significance of "April" but assume, it must be a name they found?

The first several times there's no response. He continues to ask until he hopefully finds what he can consider a confirmation of "April". He gets no confirmation, so instead he moves onto a "spirit" named Franklin. I consider this "FISHING" as a way to keep on until a desired result is found to cater to a claim. To me this is the Ghost Hunters Equivalence of "cold reading" by mediums.

During this time I'm glad they let the box run and they've continued to show footage, because it helps support a point I'm about to make. They say that the radio is scanning too fast to pick up anything, but at this time we can hear several melodies that come through as obvious music, vs. voices. Some of those melodies are even familiar.

Of course, another blip comes through that they say they find a word "DUMMY". I'm actually shocked that they didn't immediately translate this one to something like "DEVIL", since its indiscernible in the first place. Phonetically speaking, it's closer to "devil" than "dummy" in my own opinion.

Another GH suggests using an app that the client has told them they like to play with. *RED FLAGS* This suggests to me that this client may have been spooking themselves out, by playing with ghost apps, prior to the investigation. There is an obsession, I've noticed in my research that happens with clients who conduct their own investigations with equipment, or worse, smart phone apps that they do not understand their function. Here the GH's are more than happy to oblige their claims, by increasing their fears by promoting app usage.

**Most apps carry a disclaimer that they are intended for entertainment purposes only. I find it disappointing that this video does not point that out.

10) SB7 "Rastafarian voice?/"BADA BOOM!" -At this point in the video, there seems to be a change in dynamic, at least for me. At the beginning of this clip, I think I hear the client in the background saying that shes captured audio (prior to this investigation) of a man's voice saying "moist" in this location. Again, RED FLAGS, the client is showing signs of being really absorbed in her own findings shes gathered before the arrival of this team.

To me, this is where a team shouldn't be playing into this type of of claim, but rather keeping an open mind and considering that the client is excitable and emotionally invested, leaving it hard for them to remain unbiased in their own findings.

Now we hear a voice come across the radio which sounds like Reggae music, "BADA BOOM!". Very obviously MALE. At this point the team should be realizing they are indeed picking up radio stations. Instead, from the play backs and digitizing, it seems apparent they've added this song to their "findings". This to me sounds like the music group "Sublime".

8:57 minutes...again, I am STILL seeing no skepticism at any time during this investigation.

11) SB11 "CHRIS"  Now they say they've moved on to the SB11. I'm not going to waste much time here, except to say, it doesn't sound like "CHRIS" to me.

12 - 21) SB7/SB11/"The clusterfuck"- Now we're in a room where the opening scene shows GH claim that the temperature meter is going off. This doesn't really surprise me with the amount of people that appear in this room. Here video is showing a set of legs near the approximate area of the Mel Meter, KII, and said temp sensor- also I see what appears to be a speaker (?)

Seems there's a lot going on here...they have the SB7 and SB11 going on, multiple people in the room, multiple equipment. At the beginning of this video they said they didn't bring everything along, Id hate to see this scene with the introduction of anymore equipment. They catch what they believe a voice, on one of the SB's that says "Jealous" after a temp spike. You'll see at this point the camera is being held in the GH's right hand as he brings his hand into frame to fuss with more equipment.

Distraction would be a HUGE word for me here.

And now they catch "something" on the right hand side of the screen that they can't seem to find a rational explanation for. Seems rather obvious amongst the chaos of this scene, someone raised their hand. But instead, the GH proclaims, in the reveal, "WHAT IN THE FUCK IS THIS?" (Super professional) GH says that it's transparent. In my opinion when I slow this down and look frame by fream, all that's happening is that his hand is in motion in dim light, causing the appearance of transparency.

Also, if you notice, he only says something during the reveal, rather than during the time of the event because they are so caught up in all the chaos of the scene, he doesn't realize he's moved his hand in front of the camera.

This screen caps the GH's right hand is free to move about and is fully capable of coming into frame. The camera is being held in the left hand. The next two frames show what the GH is excited as previously explained. To me, I can clearly see four fingers that are slightly parted around the ring finger.

At this point of this scene, again you will hear the dog barking in the background, which should immediately cause concern for any audio captured during this time. The scene is extremely noisy. The GHs are all very distracted.

You'll see a large red "WTF??" come across the screen, which indicates they don't know whats happening. GH makes speculation, during the review, that this could be something saying "Die" or anything else. He is admitting he doesn't know. I would assume since he doesn't know, might be best to toss it out.

Upon the temp sensor going off, again, they express that something is "definitely here". Again, this shows bias. At this point it's apparent that whatever happens in this scene is definitely paranormal in their eyes. All rationale has gone out the window (if there was any present in the first place?).

The client is laying on the bed where the meters are, making room for false positives on the meters. I hear more noise contamination, and again we're looking for "April" (finally they feel they have April, although it sounds MALE and nothing like "April", and no one reacts to the response at the time). To more this is more indicating bias of paranormal activity.

I count at least 9 occurrences during this scene that they believe are paranormal, but I have to admit they are hard to distinguish because they seemingly run into each other. This scene ends with what the GH feels is the "spirit" using the SB7 to say his name, showing proof in his opinion, of the "spirit" being  "really intelligent". Again, showing bias that this is indeed a ghost.....there really is no reason to analyze this scene further.


22 - 24) EVP "CHRIS"/ SB7 "We Used It"/ Particle-  New scene in bedroom, again tons of contamination. SB7 is going off loudly, people talking, who knows. These guys are really excitable with the use of the Spirit boxes. Want to remind everyone, again, clear music/melodies are coming through the box. It's very possible voices from the living, in commericals or radio broadcasts, could be coming through.

Again another particle that the GH says that there is no way it can be dust...even though he is standing and moving around, right there. They try different angels from different cameras that caught nothing, but this one camera did. Had it been spirit energy you'd think all cameras would have caught it from various angles. It being dust, only the one camera caught it, because it was in closest proximity of that light source at the time. At this point, with the risk of sounding sarcastic, I am suspect that physics isn't this teams strong suit. I promise you this isn't sarcasm, but an honest opinion based on observations I've made during this investigation.

18:36 minutes: I STILL see no skepticism at any time during this investigation.

25) SB11 "HELP ME"- Now they've moved onto one of the children's rooms, (the son's). The GH talks about previous voices were all female, although I've noted 2 male voices just in this critique. He says they all seem friendly, although in my observation I've noticed the words "BITCH" and "DUMMY" being suggested by the same GH earlier in this video. Seems like a huge conflict of observations here. Again dog barking away, they feel they catch a "HELP ME" on the SB11.

AGAIN- contamination and the use of a piece of equipment they have admitted they barely know how to use. Basically they are testing it on a client based residential investigation. Again- I reiterate, is a residential the time or place to guinea pig a piece of equipment?

26-28) "EVPBOT"/Particulate - Now we get to see the GH setting a cellphone up in a bedroom while an overly excited investigator enters talking about KII hits happening in the kitchen. Everyone leaves the room and they turn the lights out. Why the lights out? Idk. The beginning of this session demonstrates the EVPBOT chanting out loud. Its indiscernible what's being said, if anything. Now the app is chanting for spirits to come closer to the box. At this point air particulate flys into frame of the camera and IR lighting. This according to the GH, is not particulate, but "totally anomalous". Again, bias. The GH is already convinced this is paranormal. I wonder, had they left the light on, would they have caught what the GH claims is paranormal? A self illuminated energy of light should be invisible lights on or off.

More particulate happens. Again GH claims it's impossible that it was a particle or bugs. GH proclaims, that this PROVES" There is DEFINITELY something moving through your sons bedroom". Again- "This is totally totally anomalous"

Personal bias and unfounded claims are being used as "definitive proof". This seems irrational and irresponsible to me, in my opinion, at this point.

21:52 Still yet to see any type of critical thinking or skepticism being used.

29) KII readings/cold spots. Not going to spend a lot of time here....except KII being hand held when it should be stationary, next to another electronic, and we know cellphones are of use in the house during the investigation, (hence the last scene). They claim that the WiFi router is the only thing that puts off EMF, but no one notes that it is off for this investigation.

Noting what appears to be an entertainment center and a light switch in proximity to these readings. An investigator on scene, does try to explain something was putting off some high EMF but, the reviewing GH seems to pay no attention to this in the reveal.

Cold spots are noted near the air vent.

Dog is still barking.

Again- GH proclaims "Something DEFINITELY going on in your house" while emphasizing on the clients children. This is fear mongering and instilling more fear on top of the fear already felt by the client, in my opinion. Much of what is seen in this video is easily debunkable and not very solid in terms of undoubtedly being "paranormal", again- just my opinion.

More of my opinion: Completely irresponsible.

They offer the chance for the client to get rid of it (the spirit(s)). How?

Funny moment for me here, GH claims to steer away from the Ovilus, which may "confuse" the client although they've welcomed pseudo-scientific ghost finding devices like SB7, SB11, KII, Mel Meters, and even phone apps like the "EVPBOT"?

Gh says here, that ghosts play off emotions of people and its best to "step away from the place". I'm not sure what he is insinuating by that.

At the end of this video here, he decides to show the DiedinHouse report. He claims that they see that "April" died in the house of an overdose. Contrary to that claim, the top of the report states, "DiedinHouse did not find any information relating a death to this address."

He says that "April did pass away there last January like you said due to a heroin overdose in the living room" BUT, the report at the bottom of this page clearly shows that DiedinHouse has no record of April dying in the home.
Again, conflicting and now FALSE information.

Now not only has the GH identified their client, but now they are giving away personal information, publicly of everyone who has lived in the home. A simple Google search of "April" gives me complete information about her family. Now they have all taken it upon themselves, to tell the world publicly how she died.

At this point I'm actually very perturbed at what's occuring in this video.

They're telling the world that she is 'stuck here" based on shotty, bullshit "findings" that they call evidence. What makes them the expert on that? What do they have that proves they have the credentials qualifying to come up with these conclusions? What right do they all have to do that to her family? What happened to client advocacy, or advocacy for the dead? Are we not there to help?

How have they helped these people?


I admittedly was shocked when I first read this gofundme, and even more so once observing the first half of this video. I felt moved enough to go ahead spend my entire labor day, breaking down this video, and doing a write up about it because it genuinely struck a nerve with me. THIS SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING.

This case is, in a nutshell, demonstrates the type of behavior happening in the paranormal community that is extremely unethical. It shows exactly why I stopped doing residential based investigations.

Those that DO, do residential based investigations, owe it to their clients to do their due diligence to try and help them, bring understanding, and to be HONEST. It is NOT your job to increase their fears, to impose your beliefs on them, or cause more chaos or damage. To me, this is the perfect, "What not to do while investigating a private residence" video. So much is wrong with  it, that I'm sure while even trying to be thorough, I've missed a lot.

I see a few things happening here: A client who has already been investigating her home, and seems to be in a vulnerable position, so she calls in what she believes are "professional Ghost Hunters". She's already possibly had an unhealthy fixation on her home possibly being haunted. I don't know her back story, so I do not want to make any assumptions other than that I can base my own observations on. The fact she started a gofundme to leave a house ghost hunters claim have "60 ghosts and even a Incubus demonic spirit" is disturbing. The fact that she is also trying to get a truck using the same gofundme is suspect, but I will reserve judgement.

This very well could be someone making an attempt to capitalize on a situation, but I will let you all come up with your own conclusions.

Now, a very jumpy, excitable, bias team has been brought in to give her answers. While their "About" section of their Facebook says they've been in operation since 2009, their lack of knowledge about their equipment, the inability to recognize false positives, and their lack advocacy for both the living and the dead...lead me to believe they are far less experienced in critical thinking than they realize. Their Facebook states, "Our main goal and focus is to use radical and unconventional investigative techniques to gather paranormal evidence. We specialize in images and video in the ultraviolet spectrum". But, on the contrary, their actions in this video shows me that they are anything but unconventional when it comes to the average run-of-the-mill team. The actions I see them taking, mimics exactly what we typically see other teams doing; using equipment wrong, coming up with conclusions using biased based belief before reviewing all their material, and using broken theories that are unfounded to express their false "knowledge".

A 2 hr investigation should not render close to 30 pieces of individual "findings" that were concluded as "evidence of the paranormal". This is irresponsible and sloppy, in my honest opinion.

I could honestly go on and on about what I feel is wrong with this scenario, but I think my point has been clearly made. No need to beat a dead horse. This is a very sad, unfortunate case of using a vulnerable client to beef up a YouTube with broken paranormal theories and techniques.

*UPDATE* 9/23/15 Message from Kevin Caldwell of ARC Paranormal (Anomalous Research Cincinnati):

"Hey Anna Hill, I just noticed this post about the Goshen investigation and you have quite a few things wrong about your assessment. My name is Kevin Caldwell and I am the founder of ARC and I would be more than glad to correct you and answer your questions. First off, none of us had any idea about the gofundme page with our video on the Goshen investigation. That was created by the client and we have nothing to do with it or had any knowledge of it being up with our video on it. We have never told any of our clients that they have a ghost, ghoulie, goblin, demon, angel, or alien. All those are just theories and they have never been proven and may never be proven. We do not call ourselves ghosthunters or care to be labeled as such since we investigate the phenomenon and don't go into psuedoscience unfounded claims. Which is funny, since that is what YOU are claiming that WE are claiming in this video. This particular client was scared to death before we ever came out to investigate. We try to work with people and tell them that there is nothing to fear with these things, but that is all we can do. We never fear mongered anything and try our best to dissolve the clients fears. The claims of 60 ghosts and a demon is absolutely ridiculous! That never came from us, that is the belief of the client. Maybe its from the psychics she had come out? We never recommend psychics or priests, since they indulge in pseudoscience nonsense. This client chose to contact a group of psychics, after we had advised not to because it would only lead to misinformation and fear mongering. Our investigation did not instill more fear, but it helped to validate the clients claims. And yes, we believe the anomalies itemized in this video are evidence of anomalous activity at this location. We never say ghosts, or demons because honestly those are just bullshit theories. I can say they are invisible unicorns and have the same credibility as someone saying ghost or demon. No one knows what these invisible intelligences are or really much of anything about paranormal phenomenon since it is still a mystery. I'm sure you understand this since you are a bias skeptic. I seen you put some work into your blog on the Goshen video attempting to debunk the claims. I'm close to being a biased skeptic too since most of the paranormal field is fraud, misconception, and rediculous theories. There are no professionals or anyone doing scientific study of the paranormal at all! To be scientific you have to be able to recreate the conditions and that is impossible to do with the paranormal. So when biased skeptics like yourself say a group is not doing anything scientific, your totally correct! By biased skeptic I mean that you totally deny any and all claims of paranormal phenomenon. I understand your stance, but you are wrong! No we are not paranormal posers or frauds like many others out here. Nothing we put out is for entertainment or based upon some garbage paranormal tv show. I don't research to prove anything to you or anyone else. You make your own assumptions about this stuff. With that being said, there are a few EVP's in the video that are of a female while we were outside of the townhouse. Yes we spent only two hours in there, but with 7 cameras that equals 14 hours of video. So, 25 minutes worth of 14 hours is not much compared to you saying out of two hours we have 25 minutes of findings. A big difference when you see it that way. And we know many groups think dust particles are orbs or other nonsense. But, what is itemized in this video we consider to be anomalous. Why? Well, show me an infrared video where a single dust particle is floating around 10-12 feet away from an IR camera. Particles highlight close to a lens from the IR light, not 10-12 feet away from the camera lens. You show me a video where this is normal, or until then I consider it to be anomalous. And it is flashing! The other anomaly in the kids bedroom is of an odd shape and it clearly goes right into the wall! If you can replicate something like this then I want to see it. Because you can't, it is anomalous along with a few other things we catch flying around. We have tons of video of bugs and dust to compare these things too. The spiritbox replies you mention is all just Sublime coming through the radio? All of them? Sorry, but who can take that seriously? I know, I thought the spiritboxes were a bunch of annoying bullshit too. But, we have captured too many responses on cue and we rip the antenna off of ours so it mainly gets static. Now the Ovilus's are total bullshit and we don't use them. I can be as critical as you, except I don't make excuses for things that cannot be explained as you do. Am I wrong? Then, tell me what you think is genuine paranormal evidence? Exactly, which is none. Right? And that blob looking anomaly going up on the right side of the camera is not Chris's hand! You can see right through it and that is a badass HD camera and you can compare it to when he does move his hand in front of it. No blur, no transparency. People like you should spend your time and effort focusing on the paranormal frauds out there since it is easy for you. Sorry, we are not frauds and these are all real captures. Just because you don't believe any of this stuff is real is fine with me. Just as you claim we are disrespecting the client by investigating, you are disrespecting the client by giving your theory of it being nonsense. This client at Goshen was talking about moving before we investigated the place. And her claims were EXTREME compared to what we captured there. As we tell all of our clients that we do not know what any of these things are. We can only do an investigation and itemize what we believe to be anomalous. It's that simple! So, you are wrong in assuming that we made someone leave their house because of our pseudoscience claims. Because there were no claims other than our video saying here is what we found to be anomalous. So don't tell us that we ran someone out of their home when you don't know all the details anyways and I respect my clients not to give that info out. And we never said there was a ghost or demon there at all. We advised against believing that to our client over and over. I respect your skepticism and I know most the paranormal field is total bullshit theories and we try to explain this to our clients. But, at the end of the day they are the ones who have to deal with this phenomenon themselves. We cannot control them or their actions. We have no fear of these goofy invisible freaks as I like to call them. But, a lot of people do whether you believe it is all nonsense or not. Focus your efforts on exposing the real paranormal frauds out there instead of heckling those who take this seriously. I agree that the gofundme page is ridiculous! I'm amazed that she actually got $1000 from it. Go tell those people that the activity is not real. We have nothing to do with any of that. And it is called a private investigation because it is at a private residence. Easy to take some of this stuff out of context huh. I hope this answers your question of why we ran a family out of their home? lol, I would say that the phenomenon itself or maybe a financial situation ran them out???
Like · Reply · 16 hrs"

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Unreliable News Sources

****This is a compilation in the works, if you know of a satirical website not listed, please let me know. I will also add, that in the making of this list...I was blocked from proceeding because of certain websites Facebook recognizes as malicious.

(I will also work on unreliable sources such as, AboveTopSecret and, at a later time )

Satire and parody sites. Avoid sharing articles from these websites: (April 1)
**Avoid sharing articles dated April 1 without confirmation, even reliable news sources
The Beaverton

Broken World News
Call The Cops
The Chive

The Duffle Bag
The Final Edition Blog
The News Nerd
The Occasional
The Onion
Rock City Times
The Stringer Daily
Wyoming Institute of Technology


Websites to help identify news sources:


Exposing The Truth

Bad Sources And The Spread of Disinformation

Doubtful News’
“Beyond Doubtful” list of no-go-to sources

Irreverent Monk
Fake, Parody, or Unreliable "News" websites

MGHurston Creative Services
List of Fake News Sites (Satire and Hoaxes)


The Antiviral Guide to the Worst Hoaxers and Liars on Facebook

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Land of Make Believe (Paranormal Community)

Okay my dad wasn't a candy maker, never learned the art of sugar coating anything... But I'll give it my best shot.  👍🌈   

Welcome to the Land of Make Believe;

Where everyone is equal despite their lack of moral integrity, their methodology, mental health status, criminal history, their "research", their education, or their ability to discern truth from bullshit.

Where our motto is- "I'm good. You're good. We're all good. Unless, of course, you talk about anything that doesn't compliment what I believe. Then you're a bad neighbor "

Where anyone with $400 can receive any certificate stating they are in fact the Master of the Universe at any given skill set. Please remember, even if others outside the Land of Make Believe are fooled into thinking they need many years of schooling to achieve such accreditation, this does not take away from your certificate of Unicornification. It's not your fault you found a shortcut, haters.

If normal titles are too bland for you, you can always acquire a flashier title like "Orb analyst", "Evp specialist", "Demon Doctor" or "Grand Puba of Weird Shit" (that's mine, don't try to take it). They are all socially, and "professionally" accepted in the Land of Make Believe.

Where anyone with the slightest amount of technical ability can make a flashy Thingy McBob™ and call it a Ghost Annihilator 5000©. (Patented, don't steal my idea).

Where red hula hoops in photos serve as the greatest tool to combat disbelievers and naysayers. If there's a hoop, there's a ghost.

Where if you forgot to book your ghost in advance you can simply make one "happen" via Ghost Capture. (This is where proof has no bearing on what my friends uncles cousin caught while photographing the corner of his room)

Where the same little girl ghost in plaid has been everywhere from feeding a deer in Texas, to your little brother's sock drawer in New Zealand. (And no one questions if ghosts can have a twin or time travel.)

Where despite if you're found, with proof, to be a fraud... You can be accepted by minions of the Social Media Underworld, who will defend you with the greatest amount of brainwashed honor.

Proof has no place here in The Land Of Make Believe.

And lastly,

Just remember,

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day on my YouTube, good.
Would you share mine?
That would be fine...

It's a neighborly day in this Facebook group,
If you don't like me, boot me...
Wont you like mine?
Share it that's fine...

I have always wanted to have a neighbor, that agrees like you...
If you disagree with me, I'll block you- it's true....

So, let's make the most of this share button today.
If you don't, I might as well say:
Would share mine?
No you won't, fine?
Then you can't be my neighbor...

Won't you please,
Oh don't you please,
Please don't you be... my hater.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Community Moving On (After a School Shooting)

It's important to remember, but not to dwell.

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair…Chinese proverb

Some people may wonder, how does a community move on from a school shooting? How do the students react to going back to school days after such a tragedy? How do parents learn to trust the environment that they send their children to daily? Even years, or decades later, do people forget about the tragic events that unfolded years before?

The questions many wonder, or ask, have no easy answer. For everyone, the answers will be different.

For a parent who sends their child to school where a mass shooting has occurred, there is a morality that is put on our children that most parents don't need to think about when they send their children off to school. I'm one of those parents.

Everyday when I pull up to the school, to drop my son off, I scan across school grounds. I think about the terror that occurred in C building, that sits at the front of the school. I think about those 4 people who died in that shooting on  May 1, 1992. Their names have become familiar to nearly every household in our community, even if you didn't know them personally.

Although my mind wanders to tragedy, my heart is met with gratitude everyday I pick him up safely. I know life is short and it all can change in a moment. We must be grateful for today.

I was in high school the year that The Lindhurst Shooting occurred. I watched from my classroom 15 minutes away, as the event unfolded on the news. I had friends that went to the school, as well as shared a bus with their students on the way to ROP classes in town. Through mutual friends, I was acquaintances with two who passed away. We knew that several kids had been shot, but we had no way to know how many, or who.

Most of you have never heard about the Lindhurst Shooting.

This was long before social media, long before cell phones, and way before Columbine.

This type of thing was unheard of.

To this day, come May 1st my Facebook fills with memories of Beamon Hill, Jason White, Judy Davis and civics teacher Mr. Robert Brens. Other days it's just on our minds, but falls on hushed lips.

23 years after, our community doesn't wallow in the sorrow. If fact, we rarely speak of it at all.

Lindhurst High School says the media brings unwanted attention, after every school shooting.
They're ready to move on.

The last thing I want to do here, is to take away from the terror those closely involved went through. I do not care to glamorize the way that the shooting has effected me, except to say that as a whole, if you live in our community this event has effected you in some way. Whether you have children that have attended the school as I have, or if you knew the students who died didn't matter.

That was our school. Those were our kids.

Here's a great write up on the events that unfolded that day in May 1992.

I won't go into the entire events that unfolded that day, but here is an episode of "Hostage: Do or Die" that highlights the Lindhurst Shooting. The only thing I ask, is as you watch this, please understand that this is a real event that happened. This is not a drama or a movie. This is reality.

If you wish to learn more about the story of the Lindhurst Shootings, there is also a movie about it, called Detention: Siege at Johnson High, starring Freddie Prinze Jr, Henry Winkler, and Rick Schroeder. According to comments on the IMBD from people who were actually there during the shooting, the movie did it's homework well, aside from making it seem they were having a pizza party during the hostage portion of the event. While a movie will never compare to actual events, it may put things in perspective as to what these people actually went through.

While searching for images, it's hard to find any of the victims. Most are on Find-a-Grave. In the process, anyone searching is inundated with photos of shooter, Eric Houston. I won't do that here.

Instead I simply want to say, rest in peace to Jason, Judy, Beamon, and Mr. Brens.
Beamon Hill - April 27, 1976 - May 1, 1992

According to Find A Grave "Beamon lived across the street from my youngest son, Kory, in Olivehurst, CA.. He was a good kid, well mannered and respectful of his elders. He had a big heart and always tried to look out for others. This may have caused his death.
Beamon's bravery and selflessness saved Angela Welch's life. But, in the process , it also claimed Hill's young life.

Angela, a 16-year-old Linda girl who Hill pushed out of harm's way, wants the world to know that he is a hero. She said Hill's actions not only kept her alive but, helped saved about two dozen others who were in the classroom when tragedy struck."

Jason Eric White February 5, 1973- May 1, 1992

Eric moves down the hall and shoots Jason E. White in the chest. Jason was charging Eric at the time in a heroic, but unfortunately futile, effort to end the bloodshed. According to Find A Grave, "Jason loved the song, 'The Dance' by Garth Brooks and played it over and over. He was a nice kid that never caused anyone any trouble. What caused him to be murdered on the day Lindhurst High School changed forever? "

Judith Marion "Judy" Davis October 17, 1974- May 1, 1992

Little information is available about Judy, but we know she was in Mr. Brens class during the shooting. She was shot immediately after her teacher was. According the the Columbine Angels website, "I was sent to my grandfather's house after being released from school. He was neighbors with Judy Davis' parents, and close friends with her entire family and Beamon Hill's family. That evening, when Judy's parent's came home after finding out their daughter had died, I heard her mother weeping from next door. The pain in her voice seemed to carry from her house over to me. I had realized at a very early age that, we lived in a world where the young and innocent are no safer and have no longer a life expectancy than the old or evil."

Teacher, Robert Brens August 18, 1963 - May 1, 1992

According to the Appeal Democrat our local paper, fellow teach and friend of Brens, Robert Ledford has never wanted to leave Lindhurst High School, and he is still there, teaching in the classroom where White was killed.

"I've lived here all my life," he said. "I student-taught here. I love teaching here. I love my comrades. It's a hard job, but somebody has got to do it."

Though today's students were not yet born at the time of the shooting, many ask Ledford to share the details.

He and Brens, 28, were colleagues and friends, attending football games together and bettering their teaching skills by taking classes at Sacramento State, and he said he is proud to tell students about Brens.

"I tell the kids, 'Once a year, I will relive it for you,'" Ledford said. "But you can't relive it every day, because it will eat you up."

Ledford talks with his students about the circumstances surrounding that day, starting with the King verdict riots that drove the canceled rally. Then he walks them through the course of events — every shot fired, every person wounded, every person killed.

The memorial that sits in front of Lindhurst High School to commemorate the victims of May 1, 1992

Monday, July 27, 2015

Why "Paranormal" Isn't Enough For Me

Often in my journey through the Paranormal Community, I'm asked why I choose a more skeptical way of thinking, rather than a believers stance. Why I don't feel well enough in the "magic" of an event, but rather dissecting to exhaustion. My only honest answer could be, is that it's in my nature.

Since I was a small girl, I had a knack for tearing things apart to see how they work. I didn't care for the covers on some tape cassettes so I would tear them apart, splice them (if I didn't like songs), and decorate them with different colored cases or decorate the inside of clear ones. I enjoyed seeing how different things worked. The mechanics of it was fascinating to me. I have to admit, I still do it today. 

If I see something working and it appears a little complex, I will no doubt take the back off and check it out. I've always been good with mechanics and methods of operation.

When I was a little girl I had this nearly life sized doll that had a music box inside of her, they called them "companion dolls". She was absolutely magical to me. You'd wind a key on her back and she would play a melody. I loved this doll, I remember taking her with me, even if she was awkward with her size. I seat belted her in where ever we went. I remember looking at this doll and thinking she was somehow alive in there. 

Patti Play Pal Child-sized "Companion Dolls" were all the rage in the early 1960s-70s. For all of us who did not have any sisters, this was the next best thing! There were slight deviations in size but the majority stood at 36", about the size of a three year old child. The popularity of these dolls started with the beautiful Ideal Patti Play Pal (also seen it as Playpal). Soon other companies started to get into the market as they saw the explosion in popularity of this new life-sized doll.
Her eyes were so glossy. She strangely spooked me a little all the while I felt her as a friend.

Most girls would be content to leave her as she was, but for me every time I dressed her I found myself attempting to open the compartment on her back to figure out what was playing music inside. I went out to my dad's workshop and brought in a hand full of tools I've seen him use often. I was no stranger to any of them, as I was usually my dad's right hand "man" when fixing things. 

The door on her back was screwed in and even had some glue to keep the back from being opened. This obviously didn't stop me, instead I used a screwdriver to wedge the back open. Inside I saw this strange gold contraption. At this time it was nothing short of finding my dolls heart amongst a major operation. It really seemed I found a gem. 

I unscrewed the mounted music box from inside and brought it out and put it on the kitchen table. I'm sure I fumbled with it for awhile before I finally turned the key and watched it play. A small "comb" brushed along the bumpy cylinder, and that familiar tune played. I marveled at this tiny piano plunking keys one at a time. I watched it as it was freshly keyed, how it moved in time and how it slowed as momentum gave way.

I was mesmerized by it. I remember glancing down at my doll on the floor feeling as if her soul had left and it was sitting right here on my kitchen table. The doll lost her magic, but I opened up a whole new world, marveling at how such a tiny complex mechanism could create such a beautiful, haunting sound.

Upon seeing what I had done, my parents took my doll to the community dump. I mourned for her. In memoriam, I kept her music box. I played it until one day I left it outside and it became rusted and it never played again.

But my curiosity continued. Who figured out how to create this? How did they do it?

After this I was never able to look back. The magic of dolls and jewelry boxes didn't matter. To me the magic was in figuring out how this is happening. How can something so simple and so complex create such magic?

The paranormal is no different for me. The magic I felt in that doll is no different than the magic people feel day to day when something they don't understand, happens. Sometimes it's an event that provokes a memory of a deceased loved one, sometimes it provokes fear.

People have the desire to believe in the magic of it, despite the emotion or anguish that may accompany it. Most will completely avoid the fact there maybe some mechanics working, natural or otherwise, somewhere that are causing this phenomena. People want so badly to believe in the magic of an after life, they will not take a minute to open that compartment and look inside.

People are afraid that if they look inside, they will become disenchanted to the world as they wish to know it.

For me the magic isn't in the enchantment, but in the marvel how simple and complex something can be at the same time. What is it? Who or what is creating it? How is it creating this magical event I'm witnessing.

To me, that's the wonder of it all.