Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why I think "ParaUnity" is bullshit.


Funny little buzzword that seems to get pushed around the paranormal community, a lot. Mention it in any social media setting and you'll be sure to get a ton of conflicting reactions. Express the fact that you are not a supporter, prepare for a shit storm of ridicule.

When people proclaim that they support it, what exactly is that they support? Is it supporting each other despite people's methods of evidence collection or their moral standards? What about individuals beliefs in what is considered paranormal, despite being logical or not?  Or is it simply respecting each other's differences regardless the way they operate? Where does the line begin, and where does it end?

The image above is frequently passed around the Internet. See anything wrong with this image? I do.

In my opinion this a term that is used too frequently, under way too diluted of pretenses. ParaUnity is too grey of an area for a community that contains too many starkly contrasted points of view.

The image above states, "We are ALL working towards the same goal", but are we? I don't think so.

The idea of ParaUnity itself is a misleading term that indicates that we are all under the same umbrella of goals and standards. This is just not the case. As a community that is unmonitored by any governing agencies, there is literally no set of rules of what is acceptable or what is not. In the day of entitlement and overt tolerance, everyone feels they too are entitled to be called a researcher, with no discrimination of their knowledge, beliefs, moral standards, intent or goals. While it's true that literally anyone can be a ghost hunter, there are problems that arise from being omitted from following a code of ethics or moral standard.

I have noticed those who seem to be the biggest promoters of ParaUnity, are those who are looking for find acceptance within the community. People who are confident in their research and know their role in the paranormal community, do not feel the need to seek acceptance.

Anyone can grab a recorder and obtain what they believe are EVP. That's a fact. That's all good and fine, but if you ask that same person to explain what makes an EVP and how it is obtained using that device, many will not have an answer. If we are going to be so bold as to call ourselves researchers, shouldn't we be willing to thoroughly educate ourselves on the subjects we participate in? Should we not partake in collective research studies where our data is compiled, scrutinized, and submitted to unbiased peer review?

Skill and understanding comes in time. For that, I can be patient as long as there's a willingness to learn.

I know many who read this, will think I am taking a very cynical stance on the ParaUnity term. I will say this. I believe everyone deserves respect, when it is warranted. I give everyone the same respect until I am given reason to believe that it is not deserved. Just because I show you respect, does not mean that I am required to be unified with you.

How do you get everyone to support each other's missions, when you have those that are here to conduct honest research for the advancement of paranormal research, and others who are here to make lots money and get famous by selling a really scary ghost story?

The difference between paranormal researchers and ghost hunters is so mind-blowingly different, it's impossible to put these two under the same umbrella of unity. If you say there is no difference, then I can only assume you are oblivious to the fact that there are people here who couldn't give a damn about truth or the the betterment of the community

My time spent in the paranormal community, I have seen the best and worst in people. I have met many wonderful people who consider themselves paranormal researchers. These people are always striving to represent the paranormal community with the highest moral standard. Despite their personal beliefs, these people are always willing to share data, openly welcome peer review, and are in it for the right reasons, to find truth. No matter our belief system, truth should always be the goal and honesty should always prevail.

On the flip side of the coin, there are the opposite kind of people. These people reflect the worst side of the paranormal community. These people hoard locations and data about them. If you promote unity, you should share your data! This also includes welcoming peer review. Time and time again, I see teams who religiously promote unity,  but post bad evidence on their pages. When you attempt to give honest, fair feedback you are ridiculed, called a bully and blocked from their pages.  How can you post an  extraordinary claim and not expect to get opinions? These types are always busy working on their paranormal resumes by beefing them up with misleading information and hokey  unfounded claims they label as "evidence". The fame seeking types are always easy to spot by their spamming of their pages on your own walls to the point of obnoxiosity. The paranormal community has single-handedly turned into a huge popularity contest.

Research is about truth, not how many likes you have on your counters.

Another problem we have in the community, is people misleading others with fake credentials. Unless you have a degree, from an accredited university in a supporting area of expertise such as parapsychology or anomalous science, you are not an expert. Certifications of completion from a Ghost Hunting 101 class, does not make you an expert in paranormal research. This simply means you have completed a crash course in one organization's theories on what ghosts are and how investigations should be conducted. This means nothing.

There are way too many self proclaimed "experts" forefronting this "black t-shirt paranormal movement".

Speaking of forefronting the paranormal community. It seems the measurement of one's success within the paranormal community is landing a show on a major TV network, rather than gaining recognition for our research. This is actually quite sad. This is not to say that many of the people who are on these shows have not done some extraordinary things, but the fact is...many have not. By the standards of the average person, if you are a TV para investigator, you word is gold. To be fair, if you are one of the very lucky few who get into the TV industry based on your research, I commend you. I really do. I would say that you are one of the rare few.

With the surge of paranormal programming becoming popular in 2004, this era's version of paranormal research is reminiscent of the 1800's spiritual movement. Everyone is engaged, everyone is fascinated, and nearly everyone is gullible.

People, charlatans are alive and well in 2015. We should damn well be watching what others are doing and we should definitely be careful about who we're giving our trust to.

So, when I am asked, do I support "ParaUnity", I will give a very blunt and honest no.

While I recognize everyone has a right to find their own path to truth, I am not naive enough to think we are all here for the same goal. I do however support other individuals who have proven themselves time and time again to be honest. I support those who have demonstrated their due diligence to provide clear information about their credentials, methodology of data collection, and welcome peer review of that data. I support those who practice ethical investigating standards, and who strive for excellence.

At the end of the day, no matter our beliefs we should all stop expecting everyone to deserve the same praise and treatment despite their intentions. I will always give credit where credit is due. If I think you are one of the toxic ones, I refuse to be united with you and your mission. Unconditional support and unity is not a requirement and plus, it's completely counterproductive to the goal of creating moral standard. Holding people accountable is the only way we will continue to advance this community to the next level. Quit holding everyone to the same standards, we are not equal. ParaUnity is bullshit. Respect is earned, not given.

photo courtesy of

Farewell from ALPS Founder, Anna Hill

March 25th 2015 I left my team Angels of Light Paranormal Society to pursue personal endeavors...this is my departure letter.

Where to begin...

All my life I've had an affinity for the paranormal. As a child I would read anything 
 factional to fictional, I could get my hands on. I felt I knew quite a bit for someone who had never actually been on a ghost hunt.

2011, I had this crazy thought to create a paranormal team. I had already been investigating with a local team for fun, I thought that I might like to give it a go for myself. Sometime throughout that year I began building Angels of Light Paranormal Society.

At that time, I had absolutely no clue where this would take me, if anywhere at all. Everything was so incredibly unofficial and exciting, I find myself having a hard time remember exactly how it all fell together. (My timeline for the creation of ALPS is still a mystery to me)

At that time everything was for fun. By January 2012, we were live on Facebook and our adventures were happening regularly. Looking at our old timeline I laugh a little at the things we were in awe over.

Regardless of how different my views are now, I smile at the fact that I was having fun and taking true enjoyment in doing paranormal investigations. I still had a sense of wonder. I was curious and fascinated and absolutely eager to learn everything I could about paranormal phenomena.

But something changed. Somewhere along the way I've lost that.

This past year has been a crazy time for our team, with lots of changes. People have come and gone over the years. Last year our co-lead Scott Wolf left, which was the hardest of those changes. I personally took a break over the the holiday season from the team to re-evaluate my place as the sole leader of ALPS, and to think about how to adjust to these changes. 

Leading a team is a lot of work, and can quickly take a toll on someone. I began to not enjoy doing this as much as I used to.

Over the last year I recognized I began to feel exhausted and was in pain more than anyone should. This last year has been a year of ups and downs, but it wasn't until December that I realized I would need a surgery to help correct an underlying issue I didn't know I had. I'm still waiting to have that procedure done.

Along with physical issues, other things have happened to me over the last couple of years. I began to realize some things:
1. To be a successful team built on integrity, you had to work hard.
Most things deserved a rational explanation. 
3. There are a lot of dishonest people out there.

Once I began to see inconsistencies within the paranormal community regarding what is paranormal and what is not....I've never been able to look back.

Despite my changing views, one thing that's never waivered is my goal to find out the TRUTH. This would seem to be a healthy thing, but the 
problem was, I was quickly going from simply skeptic, to cynical. This was not a good place.

I returned from my break with the team I spoke about earlier in this little entry. 
My break had not changed anything. 

When I returned my frustrations were waiting for me. I became so consumed with the responsibility of managing my team, that I had lost the passion that ignited my fascination to start this team in the first place. 
I realized that my feelings not only effected myself, but my team members as well. 
After a lot soul searching and thinkingI've decided it's time to completely step back from my position with ALPS. I've realized that it's not just my responsibilities of being a team leader that were weighing me down, but that I had stopped growing as an individual within the confines of a team. 

Even though I know my skepticism is useful for my team, I feel I've outgrown the "black t-shirt style" of investigating. I crave more. I desire to expand my horizons and work more people, engage in experiments and delve deeper into research studies that test the theories I've read about nearly all my life.
I've decided to take some time on my own and further my research. I now not only seek truth, but to find that wonder that sparked my fascination to be an investigator in the first place. 

Even though at times I wanted to pull my hair out trying to keep my ever changing team afloat, I am SO grateful for the experience. I've met so many wonderful people, and visited so many miraculous places I really don't think I would have ever seen without being part of a team like I have.

The amount of people have been able to help  is priceless. I've never ceased to be humbled by those that were genuine, to have them trust me enough to share their stories with me. 
Seeing a client relieved after we are done was worth its weight in gold. That alone made any struggle worth it in the end.

I'm grateful for so many things and I could waste LOTS of your time listing those.... but foremost, I'm grateful for my team itself. I'm proud to say I have been lucky enough to have worked within a team that prides it's self on compassion, honesty, integrity and truth. 

Scott, Faye, Jim (and Shannon), Cal, and Jennifer: I'm grateful to have had you all with me on this journey. You all have not only been my teammates, but my friends and extended family as well. I love every single one of you. I have absolutely no doubt I am leaving the ALPS legacy in good hands. While my journey maybe straying from the pack, I know you all are on your correct path to finding your truth.

Also I'm extremely grateful for the people who've followed ALPS all these years keeping up with our adventures and the continued love and support you've all shown. I hope you continue to support the current ALPS as it is.

So, while this maybe goodbye for this chapter of my quest in truth, it's the beginning of another, where ever it takes me.

Lots of love,


To keep up with Anna on her quest for truth you can check out her various projects:

Parnormal Dustbusters & Truthseekers

Ghost App Ghost

You Suspect Your Home is Haunted? Should You Investigate Your Home?

Every morning, like clockwork, at three in the morning, you're awoken to hear someone call your name. Alone and terrified, you stop to listen. You hear a bang, and then a series of walking. Alarmed, you get up to see if anyone is in your house.

Reluctantly you search the entire house and you realize that nobodies there.

So it's happened, you think that your home maybe haunted.

When in this type of situation happens it's hard to say how different people will respond to this situation. I've seen people react to the possibility of a ghost in their home in various ways. It runs the gamut of anything from those who think they must have gone crazy, to those who are terrified and want to find out answers immediately, even if they've never dealt with this type of thing before.

I have also seen a wide variety of what can go wrong when people don't know what to do, and take the situation into their own hands.

Now before we get started, this is not saying that my opinions are correct in this matter. All I can do is base an opinion after years of watching this type of situation go awry.

Bad things CAN happen, even when the situation seems completely innocent.

What To Do Next?

Now when faced with this situation, it seems people are left with 4 choices. Of course each choice has its downfalls, and positive aspects. There is no easy answer, but I will explain each as best as I can, based on my own observations.

Lets look at those options.

1). Ignore the situation. This is something that typically happens when someone doesn't feel the situation is urgent or maybe they're not quite convinced that this is a paranormal situation. Maybe they feel they can live with the fact that a ghostly roommate wants to hang around. Maybe they don't want anyone to think they're crazy, therefore are reluctant to talk about the situation. Or the obvious, they just simply don't know what to do.

Ignoring the situation is not a bad thing, Especially if you don't feel you are in any type of danger. After all, chances are if we don't give it much attention, it has the possibility of going away. At least that's what I've experienced after doing this for a few years now.

2) Who you gonna call? The other option, calling a local Paranormal Team to come in and check it out. Now here's one where I can easily point out the good and bad in the situation. The good is, if able to find a really good team, hopefully you can get answers that actually help resolve the situation. It's nice to have someone verif,y that they as wewell, experience what you are experiencing in your home. But once its been verified that they observe the same thing as you, then what?

It's important to point out that before calling anyone into your home to do ANY job, paranormal or not, its important to do your homework. I cannot stress this enough. Unfortunately the Paranormal community is not policed by any other governing agencies. There is not an actual certification procedure that takes place, ensuring you that the person you call into your home is by any means qualified to give a professional opinion about what it is they find. My best advice is to look carefully at their pages (web domains, Facebook, Blogs, etc). How do they carry themselves? Look at their "evidence" they produce. Look at their mission statements. Look at reviews left by other clients, who've used their services. NEVER be afraid to look into the individuals coming into your home. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Even as the founder of a team myself, it makes me sad to admit there are some really shady characters posing as helpful investigators who are not fit to be in your home around your valuables, or around your family.

With a little investigation on your own behalf, its easy to rule out teams who maybe not the best fit for your situation. My theory is, a team who has millions of photography-type evidence on their pages, may not be the best choice. While I agree that its important to share our findings with others in the community, there is a point where we have to draw the line. I find it suspect when a team has a rather large handful of evidence from every place they've ever visited, with very little supportive information to why they believe their findings are paranormal. A good team will be crusading for truth rather legend or a good ghost story. A good team will be seeking out answers other than paranormal before jumping to paranormal conclusions. Most likely this type of team will come into your home, "find a ghost" (if not many), and feed deeper into your fears and anxieties that you already have.

Use your gut instincts.

Teams that use analytical thinking will have a few good, solid pieces of possible "evidence" on their pages, if any at all. This is the type of team I recommend. It's important while investigating the paranormal, to rule out and exhaust all avenues of logical possibilities, before looking towards a paranormal one. This will mean hours of research, interviewing, and data collection before coming to a conclusion. Its important to find out what can be causing a claim. For example: Those foot steps, could they be rodents? Shaky pipes? A neighbor pacing down stairs? etc. If they immediately conclude that its the ghost of Mr. Sherman from 1843 pacing the halls, red flags should be going off.

Any team that can go in after a couple of hours and deem a home haunted,  may not be there looking out for your best interests. Ghosts are not circus performers, and do not work on demand. It takes time and lots of observation to come to any conclusion.

Now, after all of that, the good in finding a team to check out your home? You're getting an outside on an opinion by someone who does not have a biased opinion of your situation. If treated with care, a good team can give you answers without scaring you to death. It's important that a team remains unbiased to your situation. If they come up with nothing and make a determination that your claims are perfectly explainable, be relieved. If they come up with the conclusion that they have in fact had profound findings that they cannot explain, then you can go on to the next phase of what to do. That's up to you and your team of choice to come up with a solution, if any at all. Never feel pushed into doing anything you're uncomfortable with. You are in control of your situation. You have to decide if your situation warrants any further intervention. Sometimes simply ignoring the situation, or finding compromise is the best bet. Sometimes personal spiritual beliefs play into what your next step will be.

3). Investigating your own home. This option is the one I personally do not like at all. Much of what I have to say on this situation comes from cases I've done where people have decided to begin actively investigating their own home. Unfortunately, from my observation, 9 times out of 10 these type of situations have ended up with a more negative result than a positive one. Many investigators will adamantly argue this point with me, others will agree. After several years and numerous case studies, my opinion has remained relatively unwaivered.

A few years ago, I had a call from a woman who had moved into a new home, and she was terrified beyond words. She told me her numerous claims, ranging from voices to shadow figures being seen outside her peripheral vision. She stated that it started out as curiosity and she only suspected that there maybe things going on. She told me in time that her "ghost" had grown in intensity and became extremely malevolent. She had also become extremely depressed, and she claimed this entity was draining her energy. This is when she explains to me that she has hundreds of hours of video containing orbs that would surround her. Hours of voices on audio recorders, and a large collection of photos that contained ghosts. Hearing this I instantly suspected what was happening. Her curiosity had launched into bull blown paranoia. Still wanting to go into this without surmising what was happening without checking into it, I agreed to look at her footage.

As suspected, the many hours of video footage were captured in the middle of the night using a cellphone with a very bright external light source. There were small balls of light coming towards her. I could hear her talking to each one, beckoning some to come forward, others to go away. By her comments, I realized that she had already concluded that these were in fact paranormal in nature. Her photos were blurry and in my opinion, taken with a camera set up on night shot (slow shutter speeds), which is the incorrect settings for this type of situation. Her audio was quite questionable as well. She was recording audio while she slept and while she was at work. It was all completely unmonitored data collection. Much of the audio taken while she was sleeping, in my opinion, sounded like her talking in her sleep. Other clips sounded like a dog barking in the distance. The hums of noises coming from the world outside morphed into sounds that could easily be misinterpreted, through a phenomena called auditory pareidolia.

I gently explained my conclusion based on what I observed using her own words and her own "evidence". I concluded after investigating her home, she had terrified herself through over-reading everything she felt significant, even if there was a logical explanation for what was happenand.  She was not sleeping because her obsession with every creak or bump in the house had become out of control. She felt drained because every thought had become consumed with finding out what was happening in her house. She had become withdrawn from family and friends. She found herself going over recordings to the point she wasn't doing much of anything else.

Our investigation yielded no evidence of paranormal phenomena.

While her case was extreme, she is not the first, or the last person I've encountered with this type of reaction to investigating their own home.

When we are biased to our situation, its hard to be objective about what we find. We are too close to the situation. We are emotionally invested into it. Emotion typically overrides logical thinking. Our fears take control and we are left to bear the weight of the situation on our own. Often misperception and a lack of knowledge leads to the person becoming more traumatized than anything else.

Another reason, which is more an opinion of the metaphysical sort than anything else, is that if we are giving all of our time and attention to this "ghost", how can that be healthy? If there is something in our home of the paranormal sort, and it is feeding off our energy, why give in to it? Intention is a very powerful thing, in my personal opinion. If we are perceiving something as positive, we will gain positive from it. If we perceive negative, we will get negative from it. Regardless, there is a point where we have to realize we need to take a step back and ask for help from either someone experienced in this type of thing, or someone we can trust whether that be a friend, or even clergy.

Asking for help is a hard thing to do, but going with it alone is even harder in the long run.

4) Write it downSomething I typically recommend to people who are experiencing something strange in their home that is becoming a nuisance, is to simply keep a journal. If something notable is happening in the home, write it down. Keep track of the time of day its happening, what the conditions are at the time (weather, noisy outside, wind blowing, who's home, etc). Write down what we suspect is happening, and take a moment to reflect on what else it could rationally be. Keep an open mind to the non-paranormal possibilities. After writing it down, try your best to stay calm, not draw attention to it. Simply observe. It's my opinion that empowering the client to remain in control of their situation is very important. Do not give, whatever is happening, any attention to draw from. Much like a victim situation with the living, do not give the violator the satisfaction of being in control. If it is negative, there's a chance it may feed on your fears. If it is paranormal, even as noisy and as a nuisance, that does not necessarily mean that it is malevolent. Perhaps it is just misunderstood and our imaginations and emotions are getting the best of us. Simply observe and write down what you are experiencing. In time perhaps you can look at this journal and find information or trends you didn't realize were there. Come up with a conclusion on your own. If you are unable to do so, you have a great piece of information in case you do decide to seek help down the road.

The important thing is to remember to take care of yourself. Do not allow yourself to become a victim of your situation. Stay strong, stay vigilant, and become knowledgeable about your situation. If you conclude help is needed, reread this paragraph and proceed.

If you need advice on a situation or finding a team in your area, local or not, please feel free to contact me

"GHOST HUNTER GLASSES" useful or another weird sham?

A new trend in ghost hunting: Ghost Hunting Glasses. Surfing through Facebook Paranormal groups I've been seeing a few investigators raving about how well these yellow lensed glasses actually a low cost solution that help Paranormal Investigators. 

Being curious I began to research this over the Internet, and sure enough within minutes on eBay I come across an ad for "GHOST HUNTER GLASSES BRIGHTEN NIGHT VISION Yellow Lens ghost hunting equipment" The ad reads "These stylish glasses have Tortoise FRAMES & YELLOW NIGHT lenses. Yellow lenses help brighten your night view and filter out glare, and if there is someone who has 'past over' hanging out with you, these glasses may be a great tool for you to spot them. They may also help you to move around in the dark with less effort therefore keeping you safer from accidents and falls. What can we say! They wrap around you face giving you great eye protection from dust, rain and wind and avoiding rear reflections giving you a better view of your search for ghosts & spirits." The photo is copyright protected, but basically they look exactly as they sound. 

I found a few ghostie pages through out the web selling these things for around $10-20. They claim to be Night Vision glasses.
Check these out!

A great tool to help me see ghosts for alil over $10? I gotta try this!

So I've seen these glasses before worn by motorcyclists and even on the shooting range. I know they're made to help reduce glare and improves contrast. But do they really help us see better in the dark or better yet- see ghosts? 

Instead of buying the "ghost specific" shades. I picked up these "As Seen on TV" Night View glasses while hanging out in the line at Wal-Mart. Close enough. At $9 it was a cheap thing to try out, even in the ghost world. I admit I'm pretty skeptical, and least if they don't work, I'll look pretty cool right? 

Reading up on these glasses I see they work for people with macular degeneration and other eye diseases, diabetes, or who simply have trouble seeing after dark. The claim is that the yellow tint helps to filter blue and UV light, which improves visual clarity during broad daylight hours. In the dark those same properties are supposed to help make things look sharper. They're supposed to help to eliminate excessive shadows so things generally look brighter, even at night or during periods of extreme haze or fogginess.

Now I'm far from tech saavy, but as for filtering out part of the UV spectrum, this almost seems alil contrary to most theories that tell us need cameras that view the "full spectrum" from infrared to ultraviolet. So, by actually by adding this filter, we are actually reducing our ability to see even more of the spectrum. We want to see the UV spectrum, right?

My glasses guarantee to block 100% UVA and UVB. I have no idea what that means but I hope that ghosts don't hang out in it!

I suppose even if they don't necessarily help me find ghosts, seeing better in the dark can't necessarily be a bad thing? After all us ghost hunters, I'm told, do do it in the dark. (que cheesy rim shot drums after a bad joke)

And if they don't work at all, and I still get tripped up in the dark, I guess I have my Halloween picked out this year!

Review coming soon.....

Finding Truth Through Terror: Sleep Paralysis

A Preface

At 8 years old, I had my first experience of true terror, when I awoke to a man at the end of my bed. This man was definitely not my brother. He was a luminescent figure. No distinguishing features, just a glowing silhouette of light. I was frozen with fear, I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe. I could only sit, paralyzed with my eyes wide open from the confines of my bed. He never advanced, only stood and observed. This opened a whole new world for me. From poorly done Hollywood horror effects, to a tangible figure. My level of fear catapulted into full on paranoia. This man appeared to me on several occasions. Sometimes not for months, other times for nights on end. It seemed the more he visited, the closer he would get, until finally felt him upon me; suffocating and choking. I tried to talk to my parents, but of course, no one believed me. 

They must have thought I was crazy...

That was 30 years ago, in 1984. We did not have the Internet. Pretty much unless you had access to scientific journals or others who knew about certain conditions, people were left to themselves to figure out what was happening to them. As an 8 year old child this catapulted me into curiosity, and utter terror.

I also discovered later into my 20s, by accident, a condition called sleep paralysis. I was watching Montel Williams one day and these people began to talk about figures at the end of their beds, sometimes advancing on them, terrifying them. The paralysis that set in, and how they discovered they only had sleep paralysis. For once the illuminating man at the end of my bed made sense, or did he?  

While my experience didn't quite describe something horrific like any of the creatures I'm about to mention, as I got older my experiences did seem to change. My non-descript figure became something much more sinister.

One particular night I recall laying in bed with my children's father. My arms around his body, and facing his back, I was awoken to a humming. I opened my eyes and across the room, a masquerade mask I had hanging on the wall suddenly came nearly nose to nose with me. Terrified I laid there eyes wide staring directly into the eyes into the single most terrifying thing I have still to this date, have ever seen in my life. It was a man with a beard and gnarly twisted expression grinning at me. His eyes were so stunningly blue they were nearly white. His pupils were pinpoint, and he appeared predatory and ready to cause harm much like the way a wolf looks at his prey before going in for the kill. He was so intense I felt as if I would have a heart attack.

I tried to shake my boyfriend and scream, but nothing happened. My muscles failed me. The more terrified I became, the less I was able to do. I squeezed my eyes shut, but I could feel him there. I have never in my life been more terrified than I was in that moment. I honestly feared for my life.

The Old Hag, Succubus, Incubus and other Folklore

Throughout history, creatures have appeared in stories and in mythology. This phenomenon comes from the superstitious belief that a witch, or in this case an old hag, sits on the chest of their victims paralyzing them. The old hag even makes an appearance in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. 

  • Incubus (nominal form constructed from the Latin verb, incubo, incubare, or "to lie upon") is a demon in male form who, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sexual intercourse with them. Its female counterpart is the succubus. An incubus may pursue sexual relations with a woman in order to father a child, as in the legend of Merlin. Religious tradition holds that repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, or even death. 
  • Succubus is a female demon or supernatural entity in folklore (traced back to medieval legend) that appears in dreams and takes the form of a human woman in order to seduce men, usually through sexual activity. The male counterpart is the incubus. Religious traditions hold that repeated sexual activity with a succubus may result in the deterioration of health or even death. In modern fictional representations, a succubus may or may not appear in dreams and is often depicted as a highly attractive seductress or enchantress; whereas, in the past, succubi were generally depicted as frightening and demonic. 
  • The "Old Hag" was a nightmare spirit in British and also Anglophone North American folklore. Folk belief in Newfoundland, South Carolina and Georgia describe the negative figure of the hag who leaves her physical body at night, and sits on the chest of her victim. The victim usually wakes with a feeling of terror, has difficulty breathing because of a perceived heavy invisible weight on his or her chest, and is unable to move i.e., experiences sleep paralysis. This nightmare experience is described as being "hag-ridden" in the Gullah lore 

If we look back historically throughout nearly any culture, there seems to be a type of entity or "demon" that violates people while they sleep. 

In Scandinavian folklore, sleep paralysis is caused by a Mare, a supernatural creature related to incubi and succubi.

In Fiji, the experience is interpreted as kana tevoro, being "eaten" by a demon. 

African communities as "the Devil on your back."

In Turkey sleep paralysis is called Karabasan, and is similar to other stories of demonic visitation during sleep. 

In Thailand it is believed that sleep paralysis and discomfort is caused by a ghost of the Thai folklore known as Phi Am. 

In Eastern Chinese folklore, it is thought that a mouse can steal human breath at night.

Finding Truth Through Terror: Sleep Paralysis
Image Source :

Sleep paralysis is a condition described as results from disrupted REM sleep, which is normally characterized by complete muscle atonia to prevent the sleeper from acting out his or her dreams. 

Symptoms of sleep paralysis may include:

*Complete Muscle Atonia 
Muscle weakness and an inability to move.

*Sensed presence

People typically feel as if a presence in the room with them.

*Chest Pressure

It feel as though something is pressing down on them. This is something that is  sometimes perceived as being sexual in nature. 

*Difficulty Breathing

Attributed to claims of being choked.

*Auditory Hallucinations

People claim to hear strange sounds during episodes including voices, buzzing, and beeping.

*Visual Hallucinations
Dreams are still being enacted during this stage. With the ability to move, the experiencer may see strange presences.

*Terror or Feelings of Dread
Typically accompanies SP. This is a very frightening experience, and people ofter associate the experience with something evil or malevolent.

*OBE, Out of Body Experience
During SP the experiencer may experience an out of body experience or lucid dreaming.

*Feeling Exhausted
Many experiencers report feeling drained or exhausted the day after an episode.

Now having heard the symptoms of SP, its easy to see why the experiencer may attribute their experience to a paranormal occurrence. Even as someone who's had these experiences quite literally her entire life, it's hard to get used to something that renders its victim completely helpless. 

The fact of the matter is, is that SP is completely normal and not all that rare. Many people will experience one episode of SP throughout their lifetime. There are two stages of SP- ISP and RISP.

ISP episodes are infrequent, and usually occur only once in an individuals lifetime. This is the most typical case.

The other, which is what I have, is RISP. With this condition episodes can last for hours, and have a much higher occurrence of perceived out of body experiences.

ISP is usually attributed to Incubus, Succubus and The Old Hag because the victim doesn't typically understand whats happening to them and because of sheer numbers, are less likely to be candidates for having paranormal experiences (assuming that paranormal occurrences are rare). Much like myself, with RISP the individual can suffer back-to-back episodes of sleep paralysis in the same night, which is unlikely in individuals who suffer from ISP.

According to MedMD, who recognizes SP as a physical disorder not a psychological one, that, "Sleep researchers conclude that, in most cases, sleep paralysis is simply a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through the stages of sleep. Rarely is sleep paralysis linked to deep underlying psychiatric problems."

"Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes. Some people may also feel pressure or a sense of choking. Sleep paralysis may accompany other sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is an overpowering need to sleep caused by a problem with the brain's ability to regulate sleep."

SP is believed to be an disruption in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep.

Personal Tips on How to Prevent or Remain Calm During SP

I have found that remaining calm during an episode is what has helped me most. Instead of fighting to wake up completely, I am now able to remind myself that this is in fact a dream. It's not to say I don't get nervous but I do. I usually simply work on moving my hand or toes. Gradually I am able to move an arm or leg completely.

Preventing SP can be tricky, especially for people who work strange hours or have irregular sleeping schedules. My SP peaked when I was working NOC shifts at my local hospital. On my days off I found it hard to sleep all day as I did on work days, so I would sleep at night so I could see my family. Come work time, I would be back on my schedule. This caused my SP, lucid dreaming and OBE's to be out of control. This eventually took a toll on my overall health and caused me to feel drug down all the time. 

Try, if possible to get good sleep. Eat well, exercise.

Another trigger for me is supine sleeping. Sleeping on my back nearly always triggers an episode.


While its easy to see why people view SP as a paranormal experience, it is something that is recognized by the health industry just like sleep walking or narcolepsy. As a paranormal investigator we hear about cases of people describing symptoms and experiences that sound identical to SP. While we are sympathetic to peoples experiences, especially myself who's experienced them from childhood, we can't help to believe that most of these episodes can be explained easily through medical explanations rather than paranormal. We understand that this maybe hard for someone who is completely terrified by their experiences to understand, because they are so preoccupied by fear. But we hope through knowledge and education on the subject, we can help set some minds at ease, that there are somethings they can do to regain control over their situation. I can speak from experience that knowledge is exactly what's helped me heal decades of lack of control. My turn to help you all.

If you have having similar experiences to those listed in this article, we are always open to talk to individuals about their stories.

"A doll named Sue" PART 2: The investigation and Journal: An experiment into haunted items.

This blog was posted on, a blog Anna wrote for while a team member for Angels of Light Paranormal Society.

This portion of this segment I will outline alittle info about Sue, our plans for her, and the journal we are keeping. This portion will be updated as the journal progresses, so please check back if you are interested in this research!


A Doll Named "SUE"
So I guess the first question you might as is why the name "Sue". One thing we want to make sure of, is that there is no preconceived notion that we conjured up this name through any psychic abilities, or that the doll has uttered the name Sue.

Sue comes from the claims from her previous owner's claims into why there maybe any suspicion of paranormal activity in the first place. At this point we are open to the situation and are not making any assumptions that this doll is haunted.

  • - Client is kept awake by music like old gospel, and Johnny Cash, "Walk the Line" specifically.

  • - The clients name was said out loud on a few occasions, she also heard the sentence "I'm so tired help me help me help me help me!" IN A MALE VOICE

  • - Phantom touching. 

  • -  TVs being turned on and off .

  • - Very loud bangs through out the home. 

  • - A remote that was disassembled being reassembled. 

"Sue" has derived from two things. Johnny Cash and his song about a man with a woman's name. The claims surrounding this FEMALE doll have all been an ADULT MALE. The name seemed fitting. Nothing fancy about the simply captures the ambiguous nature of this particular case. It's strange, we admit.

The Research and the Experiment:

Having acquired this doll, we decided it might be a good opportunity to experiment with the situation. We want to note that all experimental situations will be done with the utmost respect, just in case this doll does possess the spirit of a deceased human being.

GOAL: Do inanimate objects have the ability to retain, or possess spirits?

How we intend to figure this out:

We have 9 members on our team, some who have volunteered to keep Sue for 1 month periods to see if they have any type of strange occurrences while in the presence of the doll.

We will use the clients previous experiences to provoke a reaction from the doll (respectfully, no aggressive or unkind measures will be taken). This is up to the person who has Sue at the time. Some ideas include:

  • -Playing gospel music, or even Johnny Cash.
  • -Leaving a remote control exactly like the clients, see if the remote reassembles itself like the clients claim.
  • -Turn the TV off, see if it turns back on without any manipulation. (following the same routine as the client did)
  • -Be aware of any phantom touching or disembodied voices.

Types of Things we will be recording, should we have any positive results:
  • -Time of day and date
  • -Barometric pressures
  • -Moon phases 
  • -Weather conditions (storming, Sunny)
  • -EMF/ELF fluctuations (when available)
  • -Temperature
  • -Basic observations about events happening at the time (who, what, when, where)
** these may vary depending on the situation.




The preliminary interview and investigation, June 24th. We have 1 recorder rolling during the interview. We do manage to pick up a few voices that seem foreign to our own. These voices are very clear and do not match anyone present. They are male. All in attendance are female, except Scott, whom we are very careful to make sure he is not talking during these times to avoid confusion

Present are Anna Hill, Faye Navarro, Scott Wolf, Roxi Rodriguez, the client and grand daughter.

We plan to come back for an investigation.

A short investigation was performed on June 27th. At this time we were only able to stay a few hours because of the client's age. A few recorders were left in the home after we left, to capture any evidence of the experiences the client was having. While we normally never leave equipment that we cannot observe, this is the only way the client would allow us to gather audio at this time.

  • Recorder 1: Located in the living room near the doll and the disassembled remote.
  • Recorder 2: In the client's room where the voices and music is heard.

We captured alot of shuffling/sliding noises near Recorder 1. A Very loud bangs were heard in the same location as the client claims. When we go to pick up the recorder, she lets us know that the original bang happened and that the "music played alllllllllllll night long". We did not capture any music or voices during this time on either recorder.

The doll was removed at the clients request on June 28th, approximately 2:30 p.m.


Beginning of Journal
June 28th- At this time the doll goes to Anna's house where it is sealed into a Rubbermaid container and the doll is kept in the garage. There are no reports of activity at this time.

July 9th- Still no activity. At this point, Anna feels it may have been a reasonable amount of time for the doll to spend time in the living quarters of her home. For protective measures, and due to her own beliefs, she feels as precautionary that she would like to take the doll to fellow member Jennifer's home (a practicing Wiccan) to do a blessing on the doll. At this time Anna also lays down ground rules. 

  • There is to be no malicious acts against anyone in the home.
  • If at any time the doll seems to become malicious, it will be resealed and taken to a storage unit.
  • It is welcome to play music or talk anytime it wishes.
  • Occasionally we will play gospel or music.
  • Assuming the Spirit enjoys Johnny Cash, cigar or other items will be offered any increase in activity will be noted.
  • These things will all revolve around good behavior.
  • All things will be done with respect, from both parties.
The doll is placed in the living room of Anna's home. Due to her own beliefs, tourmaline and selenite is placed around the doll. We are by no means claiming that this is scientific or that anything is proven to deter or cause paranormal occurrences. Theory is tourmaline deters the negative, Selenite promotes the positive. These are beliefs practiced by the individual conducting this experiment. In this case, this is Anna Hill.

July 10th- Approximately 10:30 p.m. I am in bedroom and had been watching movies with my son. Movies ended, my son went to his room and got in bed for the night. My husband is in the living where the doll is. He turns off the TV, turns out the lights and goes to the restroom before retiring for the night. As he leaves the restroom he notices the TV come back on from the hall way. He re-enters the living room, finds no one up and sees nothing that would disturb the remote or television buttons. He turns the TV off and returns to our bedroom where he tells me what has happened. He is skeptical in nature, but I can see he is alittle disturbed by this. We have owned that TV for two years, it has never come on by itself until tonight.

  • Moon Phase: 96% (pre-super moon) Waxing Gibbous
  • Barometric Pressure: N/A
  • Time of day and date: 7/10/14 10:30 pm
  • Weather conditions: Hot outside, inside temp with Air Conditioning 75 degrees
  • EMF/ELF fluctuations (when available): N/A
  • Investigator: Anna Hill
  • Basic observations: Living room is empty, no one is up but my husband. Animals are all laying down, sleeping. Doll has not moved and it in its proper place.

July 12th- No unusual observations since the TV. We visited the client today. She has since moved apartments and she also has disposed of the records that came at the same time as the doll. She has no reported activity since moving and removing the records. The doll has been brought with us (Not into the clients home) but to ensure she does not want this item returned. She declines and asks us to please keep it.

  • Moon Phase: 100% Full Moon

  • Barometric Pressure: N/A
  • Time of day and date: 7/12/14 apprx 9 pm
  • Weather conditions: Hot outside, inside temp with Air Conditioning 75 degrees
  • EMF/ELF fluctuations (when available): N/A
  • Investigator: Anna Hill
  • Basic observations: None

July 19th- 11 p.m. Chris and I are ready for bed. He heads to bed, I turn out the lights and turn the TV off. I head to bed and lay down for about a half hour. I get up for water and head to the kitchen. As soon as I hit the hallway, I can hear the TV is on again. As I approach the living room, it is in fact on.

  • Moon Phase43% Waxing Crescent
  • Barometric Pressure: 29.99
  • Time of day and date: 7/19/14 11 p.m. 
  • Weather conditions: Cool outside and cool in the house, always 75 degrees inside
  • EMF/ELF fluctuations (when available): N/A
  • Investigator: Anna Hill
  • Basic observations: Living room is empty, no one is up but my husband. Animals are all laying down, sleeping. Doll has not moved and it in its proper place.
  • InterventionsTonight (7/21/14) I will put the doll in my room to see if I witness anything while in its presence.

Aug. 9th 

    Sue's new journey started by visiting my (Faye's) house for the month. I have had no strange happenings and was looking forward to this part. I figure if things did happen once Sue got here I could contribute the occurrences to her but as of now there still has been no occurrences.  No t.v. being turned on, no unusual happenings. She has be next to my side of the bed until today I figure I would place her in the living room to see if things might start happening. With the claims she has been in the living room of both locations. So that is where she will be until Sept. 13th where her journey will take her to another team members house for a month. I will update if there are any changes.

Aug. 25th                  

  I moved Sue to the living room today in hopes that her being left alone for the majority of the time would help generate something. I even went so far as to play Johny Cash to also see if it would trigger something. Well, nothing had happened. 

Sept. 2nd

   I had some negative things happening from outside people that has put a huge strain on my family.  I decided not knowing at this point if there are any truth to the claims to Sue I decided that day to place her in the garage and left her there until Sept. 12th when Jennifer came up to get her for the month. I'm still convinced that the issues I am now dealing with since that day had nothing to with Sue being at my house. I'm hoping that things will be resolved in short time in a positive way and will look forward to Sue's next visit to my house.  So at this point there hasn't been any conclusive evidence to support any claims to Sue.  To be continued......
Sept. 12th
  Sue rides in my (Jennifer's) car heading to my home. It was late in the evening and Sue was seat belted in the back seat. I had turned on the radio attempting to find something to listen to. I put it on search (this is where the channels surf on their own). One of the stations was playing a Johny Cash song. I did not touch the radio, for I was not in the mood for country. The search just stopped on that station, and the search had not even gone round once. I only made one comment to Sue asking him if he stopped the search, but received no further response while driving home.
  • Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous 77% lit
  • Weather conditions: 78 degrees in side the car
  • EMF/ELF fluctuations (when available): N/A
  • Investigator: Jennifer Furgerson

Sept 13th

   In the morning I placed Sue on my couch facing the TV. My two dogs cam over and sniffed Sue thoroughly. Throughout the day my male dog brings Sue his ball and waits. He was waiting as if Sue was going to throw the ball. Nothing happened, and my dog gave up waiting.

  • Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous 68% lit
  • Time of day: 7am
  • Weather conditions: 75 degrees in house
  • EMF: N/A
  • Investigator: Jennifer Furgerson

Sept 16th

   My husband  starts to blame Sue for why he was getting irritated so easily.
  • Moon Phase: Waning Crescent 38% lit
  • Time of day: 4pm
  • In home Temp: 70 degrees from air conditioner
  • Investigator: Jennifer Furgerson

Sept 17th 

   It was about dinner time when I thought I heard a male grumble words passing the kitchen door. I asked my husband if he had said anything. He said no. TV's were off, the radios were off, and my husbands computer was off. The dogs were outside, and the cat was in the kitchen with me along with my son. I went back to cooking dinner, and then my son described the sound I had heard. He did not want to say anything cause he thought is was his dad.

  • Moon Phase: Waning Crescent 29% lit
  • Time of day: 6pm
  • In Home Temp: 78 degrees
  • Investigator: Jennifer Furgerson

Sept 23rd

   I have Sue in my bed room. The only odd thing that happens is that my room feels as if it were void of life even though I and my husband occupy the room.

  • Moon Phase: New Moon 100% dark
  • Time of day: 10pm
  • In home Temp: about 75 degrees
  • Investigator: Jennifer Furgerson

Oct 7th

   I have Sue back in the front room on the couch, but this time closer to the front window. While I was sitting on the couch, I was reading a book. The TV was not on, my husband was home in the back room. I felt as if a cold hand had reached over and caressed my upper left thigh moving toward my buttocks. I looked up from my reading, immediately looking for the dogs, the cat and my husband. None were near me. I turned to Sue and ask if that was him, I received no further response.

  • Moon Phase: Full Moon 100%
  • Time of day: 7pm
  • In Home Temp: 78 degrees
  • EMF readings: none
  • Investigator: Jennifer Furgerson

Oct 11th

   Sue travels home with Jim, after Sue has left, my dogs search the house for him. They give up looking after an hour.

  • Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous 82% lit
  • Time of day: 10pm
  • Investigator: Jennifer Furgerson

"A doll named Sue" PART 1: The Introduction, An experiment into haunted items.

This blog was posted on, a blog Anna wrote for while a team member for Angels of Light Paranormal Society.

Mid July we got a call from a woman explaining that her 91 yr old grandmother was having problems in her apartment and needed assistance. As always we were happy to oblige! Getting a distress call from someone in their 90's is not a typical call for us. Most service calls we get are from people who seem to range anywhere from their teens to maybe their 50's. I imagine this maybe because of how generations view the paranormal. Most 90 yr olds are not influenced by popular television, as the newer generations are. So to get this call, we immediately were fascinated in finding out the details. To keep this from being a long drug out blog I will break this down into a couple segements. Click here for Part 2.

On this investigation are Scott Wolf, Anna Hill, Faye Navarro, and Roxi Rodriguez.

Client History and Impression:
The client is a very sharp 91 yr old female who resides by herself. No noted signs of any cognitive issues, no history of mental deterioration. Her health only includes some aches and pains due to her age, but is otherwise healthy. During conversation, she never repeats herself and stays on point with all conversation. She has lived in her one story apartment for 12 years. She has never had a paranormal experience in her life, up until 7 weeks prior. She is tearful when speaking of her current experiences. We can see that she is worried that people will not believe her, and has not received much support from anyone except her granddaughter who has called us. She is very convinced that whatever is in her home IS in fact of paranormal nature. She has called a psychic which has done a remote reading via telephone. The client reluctantly has paid the psychic for their service, but feels that they are "full of it"

The fact that the client is in tears and visibly shaken by these events, makes us feel that she is genuine in her experiences and is not fabricating any details.


- Client is kept awake by music like old gospel, and Johnny Cash. She hears this music low but audibly. It keeps her awake. She only hears this music when she is in bed. If she gets up to look for the music it stops as soon as her feet hit the ground.

- The clients name was said out loud on a few occasions, she also heard the sentence "I'm so tired help me help me help me help me!" she says it sounds distressed. Once again audibly.

- Phantom touching. Client is touched and pushed while in her bed.

-  TVs being turned on and off .

- Very loud bangs through out the home. This has the client most frightened.

- A remote that was disassembled being reassembled. The client's remote had stopped working, she opened the back, put new batteries in and was having a hard time putting it back together. Knowing her granddaughter would return the next day, she left the remote sitting batteries exposed facing up with the compartment door sitting beside the remote. The next morning she awoke and found the remote sitting with the compartment closed and the remote was sitting upright.

Interventions by others (not associated with ALPS):

A psychic was called they charged the client a consult fee. The client was told that this is possibly a male Indian in the home.

- We got an EVP of what maybe a male protesting this claim.

A couple from the Catholic church, came in to do a blessing on the home. Before leaving the wife turns to a doll in the living room and says "AND YOU BEHAVE!" she then turns to the client and tells her, "that doll is no good, I would not have it".

- Doll impression. It immediately catches the attention of a couple of team members, Anna and Faye, upon entering the location. It's easy to be drawn to it, although it isn't necessarily creepy in nature. Even when you are not looking at the doll, or it is out of your peripheral vision, its easy to feel hyper aware of it. Not sure what to make of this doll as this point. (During this observation we have yet to be made aware of the blessing done by the previous)

Client feels uneasy about the doll.

So upon putting together pieces of the puzzle, we have to ask ourselves a few questions:

1) What would this woman of 91 years have to gain by fabricating a story? We've concluded, absolutely nothing. This has gained her no positive attention. Anyone she attempts to talk to immediately disregards her story, and tells her it is impossible. "Ghosts do no exist". This makes her feel sad and isolated.

2) At 91 years old can she cognitively be going through some sort of medical condition that is causing her experiences? Possibly, but we see no outward signs of mental deterioration, whatsoever. I have personally been in the skilled nursing facility field for most of my life and have worked with the high-100's of senior citizen. Our client here is by far one of the most mentally intact 91 yr olds I have had the pleasure of working with. Although she seems stressed, I believe her claims.

3) What's changed in the past 7 weeks to cause this woman who has lived in her home for 12 yrs to suddenly have paranormal occurrences? We asked the client to think hard about anything that has changed during the onset of these experiences. After being asked, she perks up and points to some records, and then the doll. These items were given to her by a friend, a pastor, who's wife (a friend of the client 50 years) had passed away. The husband himself is terminally ill and is clearing belongings out. The doll nearly meets a dumpster, but the client asks to keep it. Immediately strange things begin to happen in the house. 

Investigation time:

We conduct a very short 2 part investigation of the clients home. Because of her age we are unable to conduct long sessions. She is very leery of the doll. Next question, if this doll is removed, will occurrences still occur? The client has asked us to please remove the doll from her home. We are reluctant because this is not something we typically do, and we DO NOT advise teams to remove anything from a clients home unless specifically asked to do so. Never claim an item haunted and remove it, this in our opinion is unethical. We do not have the right to deem any item haunted without proper investigation and research into such item.

A Doll Named Sue

A doll named "Sue". Sue is actually a 1940's Gerber Baby Department Store Mannequin, and weighs approximately 8lbs.
So the question we are left with is, is it possible for items to hold and retain spiritual energy? 

The only way we feel our team feels we can know for sure whether this item is attached by anything otherworldly, is to conduct a series of experiments, record results, and to basically "keep an eye on it". Our team has agreed to do an ongoing research project into this item to see if we can validate our clients claims. (Part 2 of this blog will detail the journal we keep for "Sue", as well as more information about her)

"Sue" at our team meeting. Everyone getting acquainted.

Since "Sue" has been removed many of the claims have stopped. Some still went on. The client has decided to move from her apartment to another to escape her fear she has associated with her current home, and has since thrown away the records obtained during the same time as this doll. We met with her yesterday (July 12th) and she says all activity has stopped. We will continually meet with her until we have a consistent record of no activity.

*** this case remains open and inconclusive. We make no claims that this doll is haunted.....yet......