Psychic Questing and the Paranormal

This essay was presented as a talk to the London Earth Mysteries Circle on 22nd May 2007.

 Introduction

I have been involved with psychical research and investigating haunted locations for quite a number of years and as well as being involved with a number of groups including the GhostClub, I run my own paranormal research group called “The Spectral Light”.  As a result of these activities I have investigated something like 100 to 150 haunted locations and evolved an approach to ghost hunting based on the psychic questing method having found that it does produce some useful results. 

My methodology is a little at odds with what is currently in vogue with regards to paranormal investigation in that I have for the present moved away from an empirical, more scientific approach utilising tools such as thermometers and emf [1] detectors and focussed more on developing my own perceptions and verifying as much as possible after the investigation.

Whilst my approach is very experiential it does allow a strong interaction with the energies and entities which might be present at a particular site.  Whilst I think one day science will answer these questions at the moment I do not think that the necessary tools and methodologies are present in order to allow us to provide a proper explanation and analysis of such phenomena.

A second reason why I take this approach is I am interested in the historical aspects of locations and entities and use of the tools such as a thermometer or even camera do not really facilitate an analysis of the content of any information and impressions psychically received.  I have found that if I spend the time on an investigation focusing on equipment I become too distracted to be able to focus on the more psychic perceptions which I might be able to receive.   Strangely, and I really do now know why, but often I have found that the very presence of equipment reduces any activity on an investigation.

There is only one thing we can say for certain regarding the supernatural and that is that ordinary people from all walks of life and throughout history have been experiencing these occurrences.  Whatever the ultimate explanation might be with regards to what a ghost or other entity is, we can be sure that people are experiencing something and that there is therefore a phenomena to explore.  I hope to be able to convince at least some of you here that my approach is at least worth a look and if I can persuade you to try these methods and then you receive results I will feel that this talk has been successful.

First of all I would like to begin with a potted history of psychic questing.  I will not go into too much detail here as a lot of this is already well known or available through sources such as wikipedia, Andrew Collins and Graham Philips books etc. however will ensure that everyone is aware of what I mean by the term.  I do refer you to questing books or the internet for further information on this.  For further information please see the references at the end of the essay or the research page.

I will then talk in more detail defining psychic questing with reference to the psychic landscape.  Here I will discuss how entities and psychic phenomena fit into this almost shamanic world view and what the implications of this are.  At this point I will also be able to explore why the more empirical approach has so many difficulties with this subject.

Then I will take a look at entities which might be encountered, dividing them into two broad categories; active and residue and discuss the implications of this.

Finally I will more on to discuss in practical detail some of the methods which have produced very good results for me.  From this I hope that everyone interested in taking this further will be able to build a questing toolbox which they can use in going out to explore and experience the unknown..

Psychic Questing

First of all then lets talk a little bit about “psychic questing” or just “questing”.

History

The terms “psychic questing” or just “questing” were coined by researcher Andrew Collins in the late 1970s to describe the activity of utilising psychic methods to gather information and using this as a directive force in working with the psychic landscape, interacting with particular sites and entities and when taken to a “black questing” extreme undoing the nefarious activities of dubious magicians such as the infamous Black Alchemist.

Often the sites explored are sacred sites such as stone circles or holy wells however this need not always be the case and questing can just as easily take place in range of less likely locations such as Victorian follies and stately homes.

Andrew Collins accounts are detailed in several seminal books including “The Seventh Sword” which details Collins and his associates attempts to recover the Meonia swords.  We also have the “Black Questing” books such as “The Black Alchemist” and “The Second Coming” which detail his work in countering the activities of the Black Alchemist.   Later questing books include “Twenty-First Century Grail: The Quest for a Legend” detailing a modern Grail quest.

 There are also other questing books including Graham Philips’s “Eye of Fire” and “The Green Stone”, Jack Gales’ “The Circle and the Square” and Alex Langstones’ “Bega and the Sacred Ring”.  Generally all these books are in high demand due to their initial limited print run and the popularity and growth of the questing movement.  The books themselves are well worth chasing however and sources such as ebay often produce bargains.

Despite the modern coining of the term, questing activities have probably been going on since humanity began.  We see examples of this in Bligh Bonds excavations at Glastonbury[2], Jeffrey Goodmans “Psychic Archeology” and also the Terma tradition of Tibet to name a few. 

These methods have also appeared in popular media with (for example) the Grail sequence in John Boormans classic film “Excalibur” and examples of Black Questing in Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Harris’s Adept series which features a hunting lodge in Scotland using questing techniques to undo the black magic of a rival lodge.  Activities not that far removed from the real life activities of Andrew Collins and Bernard in The Black Alchemist.

 The psychic landscape

Questing invokes the psychic landscape and works from the perspective that around our mundane world there is another world.   In this world we step outside our everyday awareness and discrete partitioning of objects and embrace concepts such as spirits, a freer information flow based on psychic awareness and where concepts such as “magical energy” and thought forms take a life of their own.

Questing provides a complement to the more regular method of gathering information through more regular experience and scholarly research and whilst superficially it might be viewed as purely subjective it is important to remember two key points.

i.                     Psychic information must be tested and backed up.  In isolation it can be next to useless however when a persons channelled information becomes backed up by collaboration or library research it shows itself as a potent method of gathering leads and whole areas of data.

 

ii.                    Often psychics report the same information.  Taking into account the cultural filter of which I will speak more of later I have often found psychics pick up on the same information in circumstances where we can rule out autosuggestion or fraud.

 For example a psychic picking up the ghost of a priest in a church is not particularly remarkable since we might expect to see priests in such locations and so need to be aware that autosuggestion is not playing a part.  However several psychics picking up on ritual magic activity in a particular cave under a courthouse in central Nottingham is remarkable, especially when they receive the same imagery, symbols and often traces left after an entity is summoned over several different visits.  Once possibilities such as fraud are eliminated from the equation we can see that a psychic event cannot be simply categorised as objective or subjective and this sort of result indicates that whilst the details of the perception may depend upon a persons “cultural filter” there is an objectivity in that something is present for separate individuals to “pick up” upon and experience.

I find that when I am in such places and find myself being aware of particular details just before someone else reports the same perceptions often nothing short of remarkable and is one of the reasons why I find this sort of activity so addictive.

Whilst questing often refers to magical and psychic techniques, there is actually a very fundamental difference between a questers' use of some techniques and the approach taken by one with a more ceremonial magic perspective and that is related to control.  A quester will surrender this and go with the flow, seeing what entities want to present themselves, what information wants to come through etc.  Trying to dictate what will come through, when and ensure that it only happens at 5pm Saturday afternoons is enough to kill the activity dead.

From a questers viewpoint the landscape becomes alive and investigating a haunted location from within this framework one can bring out encounters with entities, allow one to tune into the lives of people long gone and recover, often experience details of their lives and deaths. This is partially because the necessary world view does not see things in isolation; rather it sees a lot of the variables involved as all interrelated and able to play a part on intensifying and helping to collaborate any experiences.  In a sense this is almost like a web where pulling different strands will reveal certain details, each of which is connected to each other.

It does take a bit of practice and a little patience to develop the ability to enter and interact with the psychic landscape, however mostly this simply getting ones head around the world view and suspending disbelieve for the interval.  Whilst it is very important to be a bit sceptical later and test everything,  this must never be a factor during the activity itself as the necessary scepticism needed to test things tends to rapidly switch things off and kill any activity.

Questing is never a complete all or nothing activity, but rather one which is learned and further developed by the use and practice of these techniques.  I have found that the more one does this sort of activity the more in tune and psychic one becomes and in many ways this can guide psychic development as much as regular meditation or a magical daily practice.

At first it is very hard to believe that such a framework is possible and exists and it is the act of being there and working with it is real which instantiates it and manifests these results.  Andrew Collins and Graham Phillips took a vital step in saying (as described in the beginning of The Seventh Sword) that despite 100+ years of psychical research, next to nothing has been proven, despite the testimony of so many people.  They took the unprecedented step of assuming that something was out there and work with it wherever it might lead.

Looking at the questing phenomena perhaps we can speculate why this approach worked so well.  Going from both the accounts of Collins et al and also having found from personal experience we have a group of people who were close friends to each other, believed what they were doing and absolutely loved this to the extent that they must have ate, slept and breathed Questing.   I don’t think that the phrase “controlled hysteria” is too strong a word to describe this enthusiasm.  Here we are talking about people willing to (for instance) go on a 100 mile drive at 2am to explore a site based upon a dream.  No wonder enough energy was built up to generate poltergeist phenomena, lead them to lost gems and channel information of incredible accuracy.

This also gives us an important pointer towards forming our own questing groups.  Such groups need to be closed.  As well as the enthusiasm, it is the absolute trust and reliance such groups generate coupled with the magical silence implicit in serious work that becomes the foundation from which the phenomena springs.  I have found that such an approach is as true when looking at a site, as it is when investigating historical mysteries and working towards unravelling any magical activities which might have gone on at a particular location.

An open group perhaps organised more simply with members coming and going and continual discussion and analysis short circuiting the energy is doomed to failure from the onset.

One other facet of this which is linked to group management is that of observing “magical silence” when on a quest.  Once you have your circle of close questing friends ready you must keep the details of the quest, even the fact that you are on a psychic quest a close secret.  This will keep the group mind built up from the activities private and to use a metaphor – “on a steady boil” not diluting the energies by mixing with the mundane world.  Once the quest if over its fine to say what you want but silence during the quest is essential.

This generation of a closed group mind also takes us a step towards understanding why the scientific approach has such problems working with this phenomena.  Key to questing is the concept of group minds, belief in the process and an almost reckless willingness to go with the flow.  This is the opposite approach to that which a scientist should take, stepping outside of the situation and analysing without participating in the experiment, rather than being caught up emotionally with the content. 

Another facet of this is the nature of the phenomena.  I am going to stand on a bit of a limb here and speak about how our minds work, first by saying that we do not perceive the environment directly.  Rather our minds assemble the world based upon the data gathered by our senses in effect placing each of us in our own virtual world which is in essence a self-generated simulation, and this is where we live all day.  In the process of doing this we also pass the information received from our senses through a number of filters which transform the data, modifying some things and erasing others.

For example the veins in our eyes, the ticking of a clock and the traffic flowing the street outside are all examples of edited data.  It is all too easy to assume we experience the world directly however in reality this is not the case.

The filters which we place over our perceptions explains to an extent why psychic perception is initially so difficult to work with.  If we step back for a moment and consider (for example) how we fail to notice a ticking clock we find that we can focus or reduce our attention on this phenomena and in the process intensify or diminish the experience.  To an extend this is therefore under our own control however as soon as awareness slips, habit reinforces itself and the sound slips below our attention threshold. 

The same thing happens with psychic ability.  With the exception of people we refer to as natural psychics, most of us live under a particular habit where we are not aware of our psychic senses, which initially are relatively weak.  However the process of overcoming the habit and exercising the talent strengths them, both in terms of being aware of them and (through use) the ability to perceive ever finer degrees of detail and information.

There is one other filter (or rather overlay) which influences our psychic perception and that is what I call the “cultural filter”.  This is the symbol set which provides the form which the experience takes on and the context that it presents itself to us in.  This enables us to experience the unusual in a way which can weave itself seamlessly into a context which we will be familiar with.  At other times however this filter might simply make an unexpected phenomena invisible to us.

There was an experiment done which required a number of people watching a basketball game (Simons &
Chabris, 1999).  Afterwards they were asked if they noticed anything unusual with the match – all said no, having failed to notice the man in a gorilla suit walk across the play area.  Because this was so at odds with the usual expected experience of a football match the filter simply removed it from the perception of the experience.

There are also examples which describe how this effect takes place in terms of modifying the perception rather than simply removing it.  In the field a common example concerns fairy lore and the UFO abductee phenomena as pointed out by a number of UFO researchers including John Keel.  Jacques Vallee etc who all have removed themselves from the “nuts and bolts” model of UFOology pointing out that we are not dealing with physical phenomena here.

 Typical correspondences between the two sets of experiences include: 

1)       Appearance.  Often we have accounts of UFO occupants appearing similar to the descriptions given by people encountering fairies.  We could perhaps ask does the term “little green men” refer to aliens or leprechauns

2)       Time distortion – Often people encountering either will experience some sort of time distortion

3)       An interest in babies and fertility.  In fairy lore we have the concept of a changeling.  In UFO lore we have accounts of breeding-programs etc

4)      Accounts of flying lights

5)       The experience of going into the hill or going into the saucer are also very similar.

 

There are other similarities also.  I would be interested to know if anyone has done any research regarding people using attempting to use traditional charms such as iron or St Johns wort against UFO’s.  It might produce a very interesting study.

 This cultural filter affects our perceptions and also to an extend tunes our perceptions so that the psychic with an interest in UFO lore will be drawn to and more prone to pick up on this level, within this context.  A psychic with an interest in magic will pick up on these energies rather than others present and generally perceive magical entities rather than (say) more regular ghosts.  I do think it is important to never be too swayed by appearances and to take this filter into account when analysing the content of any experience.

 

Ghosts and entities

My main focus has been in exploring hauntings and alleged entity incursions so this is probably a good point to explore what such an entity might actually be.

There is a wealth of information out there and I do not want to go into describing a psychic bestiary here.  Rather I would like to discuss the broader types of apparent entity we might encounter.  There are some very good books on the types of entity out there and if people would like me to email them a list afterwards please contact me.

Broadly speaking we can breakdown the phenomena into two categories; interactive and non interactive.  By this I mean things which communication during an investigation and things which do not communicate.  Often the inactive type of encounter is referred to as a residual haunting, and the interactive type as an a active haunting.

Residue hauntings

The non interactive entities are the easiest to deal with so I will speak about them first.  We often find the term “Stone tape” used to describe these.  This term derives from a television program written by Nigel Kneale and shown in the early 1970s.  The hypothesis behind this is that the stone in the room can somehow record the events which are replayed in the haunting.

Whether the recording medium is stone, or water as suggested by Tom Lethbridge, or something else entirely such as the earth magnetic field, it certainly seems that this form of haunting exists.  Several examples spring to mind

i. Roman Soldiers in a York cellar

The first of these concerns a witness to an event, Harry Martindale who encountered what appeared to be a “stone tape” ghost whilst fixing the plumbing in the Treasurers house in York.  Whilst he was working he heard the sounds of a horn and was startled o see a troop of Roman Legionaries, followed by a Horse and Cart march our of one wall, across the cellar and march into the opposite wall.

There are several details are this account are in indicative that we have a recording on our hands. 

i.                     The apparitions did not respond to Harry in any way, and is original account does include him attempting to communicate.

ii.                    We have a group of apparitions, including a horse and cart.  Whilst I can accept that some ghosts are truly entities, to have so many non-responsive entities at once suggests that the haunting was the entire experience and we cannot break this into individual ghosts.  A battlefield haunting would be a similar example to this

iii.                  Their feet and shins were invisible as if the road on which they were marching was below the ground of the cellar.  As we know floor levels tend to sink over time and it would be a reasonable guess that a road in Roman times would have sunk deep enough to be just below the floor of a cellar in modern times.

The detail in this case is very high.  Harry reported that the soldiers looked exhausted and dishevelled.   Importantly he noticed that the soldiers all wore round shields, a detail which was unknown at the time Harry made the report, but was later vindicated.  It has also been found through later excavations that there was indeed a Roman road under the cellar.  These points are fantastic, because it reiterates the point I made at the beginning that whatever the explanation behind ghosts, people are honestly reporting their experiences and we clearly have a phenomena to explore.

 

ii. Fading ghost as reported by Andrew Green

A second case concerns a haunting reported by the late Andrew Green.  This concerned an unnamed stately home in the South East of England.  Sadly the details such as location are lost but the accounts that we have do give us some more details suggestive of a recording.

In our stately home have a set of reports over time detailing a ghostly lady.  The accounts are characterised by the gradual changes in them over time.  The earlier accounts have our lady dressed in red, later this became pink and then as the colour faded altogether we have accounts of a lady in grey.  Finally the image disappears altogether and all we have are the sounds of her footsteps.

Sadly Green reports that the house has since been demolished so it is not possible to go back and see if even the sound of footsteps has faded.

These accounts are again very suggestive of a recordings in that here, the tape appears to be on replay, but unlike the account of the Roman soldiers seems to be fading.  We can of course only speculate what the cause of this might be.

 

iii.  Neolithic horseman

Paul Deveraux[3] reports a case experienced by an prehistorian called R.C.C Clay which involved encountering a bronze age rider on horseback travelling alongside where he was driving in his car. 

The fact that Clay was a prehistorian encountering a prehistoric figure is also perhaps relevant.   Deveraux goes on to recount a conversation with folklorist Jeremy Harte who goes on to say that before Roman history was taught in Dorset schools where are were no accounts of ghost sightings involving Roman soldiers.  Its as if the knowledge of the history gave the witnesses the symbol set needed to perceive the phenomena.

The important fact to note regarding the entities experienced here is that apart from being visible, audible and occasionally producing a smell these ghosts do not communicate with the witnesses.  There is no sense of a communication or sense that the ghost is even aware of the human witnesses.

 

Active Hauntings

The opposite to a residual haunting is an active haunting.  Here there is a sense of communication and interaction between the witnesses and the entities.  This is not necessarily in the form of a conversation such as you or I might have, but information can get communicated and often the process of working with the entities has a reaction with them sometimes calming and at other times exacerbating to the haunting.

I myself am not particularly clairvoyant so rarely do I see anything.  However in terms of sensing this type of ghost appears more common that the residual type.  In many investigations there is a sense of interaction suggesting that there is a sentience behind any presences.  We have also found that when we investigate a property which has never before been investigated there is often a sense of surprise as if anything there was not expecting people to be probing it for information.

There are a number of accounts suggesting an active entity, perhaps the clearest is that concerning the case of Flight 401 captained by Bob Loft and second office Don Repo.  On the evening of 29th December 1972 a Lockheed L-1011 crashed into the Florida everglades resulting in a high number of casualties.

After the crash site was cleaned up many of the recovered components were used in other aircraft – often identical planes – I find this somewhat macabre.  In theses airplanes the ghosts of the captain and second officer were often reported, often in these instances this was in a protective sense.

For example in one instance an airhostess reported that an oven was fault and later saw an engineer fix it.  However the actual flight engineer had not fixed this.  The person who did this remained a mystery until the hostess identified Don Repo from his photograph.

On another occasion Bob Loft was seen by both the captain and both his flight attendances.  They all spoke to Loft and then cancelled the flight when he disappeared.

As I have said, I am not particularly clairvoyant, so cannot report actually having seen a full interactive apparition, however on several occasions however I have seen balls of light produced on request.  This is a very visible luminescent ball and very different to the photographic anomaly called “orbs” which are solely the product of particles in the camera field of view.

However on numerous occasions there is often an invisible presence which responds in a very interactive way.  I will be speaking more about this later on when I come to discuss vigils.

Over the past few years I have done a lot of thinking about this type of entity.  I was working on the problem that it would be hard to tell whether such an entities was not simply a more sophisticated type of recording similar perhaps to how a computer program is basically a recording which can interact with people.  I needed to devise a Turing test for ghosts and find a way to see if I can find a way to discover whether entities which were apparently interactive were really sentient and not simply sophisticated recordings.

The Turing test was coined by Alan Turing when working on early attempts and artificial intelligence.  He postulated an experiment which was technically impossibly at the time, but possible now where we have a human interrogator communicating with the occupants of two rooms.  In one room we had a computer programmed to respond to questions in an intelligent way and in another we have a human as capable of conversation as you or I.  Keeping things simple so all the interrogator, the human and the computer have to communicate with are a keyboard and a computer screen the test is designed to find out whether a computer could fool the interrogator into thinking it was a human.

I was faced with the same problem.  Are sophisticated recordings fooling us into thinking that they are really sentient when they were in reality nothing of the sort.  After much thinking and working with entities I concluded that they really are sentient.  This was for the following reasons. 

i.                     Some entities are proactive.  They can work with a person or group in a way very suggestive of an agenda of their own and are not simply responding to events or stimuli.  The examples of Bob Loft and  Don Repo spring to mind here.  From a personal perspective I have come across ghosts which seem to enjoy startling people on the investigation.  There is a strong sense of these entities approaching and withdrawing, even withdrawing entirely and then re-entering the room.  On two separate occasions an entity, whilst invisible was able to make its presence known by creating electric shocks in both myself and one other person, often simultaneously, suggesting that autosuggestion was not a factor in this.

ii.                    Whilst so much of this is unknown and there they may well be variables which need a greater understanding, repeating a stimuli does not always repeat identical results. 

 

I was recently told of some evp’s[4] conduced by the GhostClub where several recordings were made at a particular location over several weeks.  The same questions were asked and the tapes left to play.  The resulting evp’s held the same information but expressed in a different way, utilising a different choice of words etc.

This conclusion is also supported by the questing record.  Collins reports encounters where a particular entity makes contact and passes on a quest or new information.  For example an entity called Joanna communicating with Graham Phillips information concerning the Meonia stone and historical details regarding the Egyptian Pharaoh Arkenaten.  This event is itself intriguing because Joanna wasn’t a ghost as such because the Joanna which Graham previously knew was alive and well at the time and unaware of all this, perhaps suggesting one of three things

i.                     A cultural filter on Graham Philips part so that he perceived Joanna using a familiar symbol – a person he once knew.

ii.                    The entity communicating the new information assuming a form familiar to him

iii.                  Something unknown about the human psyche allowing the real Joanna to take on a spectral form and communicate in this way.

I have experienced a similar phenomena; although sadly without the massive communication of information which Collins and Phillips received. 

On this occasion I was experiencing an out of body experience.  I had woken up from sleep and divided to get up.  At this point I felt what can only be described as a mild electric shock in my head.  I also heard the sounds of the electrical arcing sound.  I then tried to switch the light on but found my hand passing through the wall.  I turned round to see my body still lying prone on the bed, however the shock of this pushed me back into my body

This happened twice more and throughout this entire experience I was in a very confused state.  Whilst I became aware that I was out of body I did not realise why I couldn’t switch the light on.  I thought that we were experiencing a power outage.  On the third time I had the idea of moving closer to the window.  Whilst the curtains were shut there was some light coming in around the edges. 

I walked to the end of the room and became aware of someone standing behind me and a little to my right.   I became aware of a woman standing there.  At first she looked like someone I new slightly from work. (I don’t even know here name and hadn’t  seen her in months).  Then she started walking around me in clockwise fashion.  As she did so she became slimmer and taller, here black hair became blonde and long.  She looked about 35-40..  She had a braid down the left side of her hair.  I asked her if she meant me any harm and she said no.  I was not afraid or even really startled as any point.  There were no bad vibes at all. 

I know that there was more conversation between us than I can recall.  Things were very confused at this point and I remember having difficulty speaking.  She said something to do with my circumstances at the time and that there was some stuff coming up in the future which will be of relevance.  I was confused and tried to ask for clarification on this.  She tried to stop me asking (as if time was limited) however I persisted.  To silence me she made a motion as to put here fingers on my lips and at her touch I felt a similar electric shock and found myself back in my body.

This encounter is very interesting in that my impressions were the original image of the woman was not her real form but almost something to put myself at ease rather than seeing a complete stranger in my room. 

Sadly, like anything else in this field I am left with more questions than answers. 

Practical questing tips

I would like to move on and discuss some of the methods I use when working with the supernatural.  As mentioned earlier however I feel that everyone should develop their own based upon their own practices, beliefs and background.

I have found that the best way to develop ones senses and develop ones psychism is to actually go out there and do things, I feel that this must be in a way which encourages such development.  I do not feel that going out on locations with a camera, and various meters etc will develop you very much. 

As such it is important to go out with the intention to see what you can sense and feel without the added distraction of equipment.  At first don’t really worry how subjective this is, just learn to relax and be aware of your perceptions and feelings.  Also don’t try to force things but be patient and see what wants to happen.  Its very important to adopt a playful approach here and see what wants to play back.  Look around and ask if there is any suggestion of anything in a particular area, then focus on there.  Perhaps walk around and see if you feel different. 

When you find a hotspot there will often be a sharp change between stepping in and out of it.  You might feel the sensation as a headache, as heat, or as tingling or even perceive it as a ringing in the ears.  Also try to get other people to experience the same point and see how their reactions change in different points.

Vigils

Once you find a location which give you reason to suspect that there might be something supernatural going on, there are a number of tools you can use.  However time and again I find that one of the best starts is to begin with a vigil.

The idea here is to see what happens when a number of people are sitting quietly observing the location.  Usually this is done in very low light, however complete darkness is not necessary.  All that is necessary is to sit around in the room being observant for any changes.  Opinions do differ however I have found that relaxed quiet conversation seems to help, in fact sometimes the subject of speaking about ghosts itself can somehow draw attention and somehow attract them.

When sitting vigils there are some points to beware of.  Many of us are predominantly visual so often expect to be given things in visual terms and I feel that there is too much emphasis on this one sense.  I am often asked the next day if I saw a ghost.  The answer to the question is almost always no, however if I would be asked did I experience a ghost the answer is sometimes a yes.  This may be one of the reasons why darkness seems to work very well in investigations and vigils and just a person who is blinded finds their other senses make stronger, so in a dark room we find our other senses also improved and made more sensitive.

Of course we can all be susceptible to autosuggestion and when in a dark room waiting for ghosts the likelihood of this is quite high.  However there are things we can do which reduce the possibility showing that we are looking at an objective phenomena.

First we must be unafraid to describe exactly what we are feeling.  If we sense a presence in one corner of the room then it important to say.  Others might have the same sense and similarly if you are feeling a specific presence and someone else comments on it, it shows that what is being encountered is not purely subjective.

If this occurs try to get everyone to write down what they are feeling.  Try to get as much detail as possible and try to “tune in” to see what information come through.  Do not speak about this but compare notes afterwards and try to establish common points which  will be indicators that you are working with psychic perceptions.

You might also see flashes of light often of a particular colour which other people might observe.  On some sessions there is also a greyness about an area, suggestive of something.

From here it is impossible as to say what to do, but rather it is important to be guided by the events which are happening.  Play with the events, encourage what might be there to manifest itself as a light or a noise and see where it leads.  If you have a medium or psychic present then their reactions and reports can guide what to do, but often this is not necessary and simply going with instinct will often guide a deeper encounter.

You might find that different people will pick up on different layers of the history and entities in the place.  Because of my interest in magick I tend to tune into this level and into entities which are meaningful here.  Others tune into layers meaningful to them, however stepping back and once recording it is good idea to compare notes and see where common points begin to connect together.

Banishing

I would also like to say a few words about banishing.  Whether you use the famous Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, surround things in white light or use a method of your own I think it is important to step back and consider its use before you use it.

There are many books which suggest one banishes often, however in terms of investigation this is not always a good idea.  I do not think that it is ever appropriate to go to a location and start banishing.  First of all  do not think we have a right to banish from such locations, and secondly as a start to an investigation all you would do is kill things off before you start.   However even when leaving a site it is not appropriate to cleanse it unless there is a specific reason to do this, and a new age magic book suggesting it is ok to banish is not such a reason.  Similarly a site does not need contaminating with crystals, herbs or other paraphernalia, all this can change the energy and feel of the place and move it away from its natural state.

However I feel that this is occasionally a call to cleanse oneself, and banishing techniques work great for this as long as one is clear with the intention that one is banishing from within, not on this site – I often do this before I leave home so as to be clear that I am not changing the site in anyway.  In clearing anything in ones personal space (including simple stresses and pressures) one becomes more receptive to what might be present and les distracted.

The literature often speaks about entities latching on.  I have experienced the odd entity latching on and following me home however this is not particularly common when investigating a site or house.  What might be present at the location could have been there to centuries or more so it is unlikely to attempt to follow a particular person home or even show much interest in the investigators after the event.

However many entities do not really possess such as thing as a location and it is possible to attempt remote communication using a skrying technique such as using a black mirror or a picture.  This can create a temporary connection for communication and influence dreams etc.

The type of entity which is more prone to latch on are those which are not associated with a place and so more free to move as they wish.  Entities brought through using tools such as the ouija board are good candidates for this sort of behaviour and normally a good banishing (again on the self) is needed to wash them away.

I would also like to add that a lot of books play on paranoia and often serve to switch people off so much they are afraid to reach out and encounter anything. 

Other pages on this site give more details on the types of techniques which can be employed in psychic questing and imvestigating.

 

References and Notes

1.  Electromagnetic field detectors such as the GaussMaster or the Trifield.

2. Bligh-Bond, Fredrick. Gate of Remembrance (1918).  Oxford.  1921

3. Deveraux, Paul.  Haunted Land: An Investigation into Ancient Earth Mysteries and Modern-day Phenomen.  Piatkus books, 2003

4.  Electronic Voice Phenomena.  There is an interesting account of this on wikipedia