Author: Jared Grace

Hey everyone. I am a 30 something New Englander that has been fascinated with the paranormal since I was a kid. Though I do try to look at things with a skeptical eye, I tend to give most paranormal items a chance until I can disprove it. I look forward to hearing from you all.

I was going to write this article Monday as a precursor for the game to come but decided instead to wait until the game was completed before reporting on it.  The game I’m speaking about is a game with a simple name and simple rules.  A game that, while seemingly all to simple, is a game that can be impossibly complex.  The name of this game is simply “Go”.  Many people in the west are not familiar with this game but in the East Asia it is enjoyed by many.  While Go has very simple gameplay, two players take turns placing tiles on a board, trying to gain territory by arranging those tiles in strategic shapes or patterns, the trillions of possible moves and almost limitless board positions have many Go players and enthusiasts claiming it is the most complex game ever to be created.  CEO of Google’s Deepmind project, a 5 game series marked as the ultimate face off between man and machine, is even quoted as saying “There are more possible Go positions than there are atoms in the universe”.

lee sedol

This afternoon, in Seoul South Korea, Deepmind’s Alphago program took on the world champion Go player Lee Sedol in the first of 5 games to be played to see if an AI program can truly beat a human in the most complex game in history.  Alphago’s creation was something of a marvel as well.  Rather than simply re-programming the system when it made mistakes, Deepmind built “reinforcement learning” into Alphago’s program.  This means that Alphago is able to realize it’s mistakes and make the necessary corrections.  Alphago is also capable of looking into the future to predict the best possible moves, and the moves of it’s competitor, to find the best way to gain victory.  In essence, Alphago, an artificial intelligence, is learning.

 

But an AI certainly can’t beat a human being in a game that is largely based on intuition, can it?  There is some precedent coming into today that it, in fact, can.  Back in October of 2015, Alphago took on the European champion and won.  While many people believed a success in AI like this was years, if not decades, away, the win helped to spring board a head to head match up with the best of the best, Lee Sedol.  Because of this win, and in fact perhaps even without it, Alphago seems to be a clear favorite.  If Lee Sedol is able to beat the Alphago system, he will win $1 million.  During the press conferences leading up to his match up, Lee exuded the confidence of a world champion, however that confidence seemed to falter a bit just before the first move of the game was made.  Lee’s eyes could be seen darting from side to side and he took many sips of water before getting the game underway.  Here in lies a huge advantage for AI…..it doesn’t get nervous.

Lee sedol vs alphago

Sitting across from Lee was Deepmind developer Aja Huang who would make the moves that Alphago chose.  While the game was very close, and both sides made their share of mistakes, Lee eventually conceded that Alphago was simply too dominant in this game.  Lee had lost and Alphago took a 1-0 lead in the 5 game series.  Lee’s confidence had faded away in the post game press conference where he, along with many other Go aficionados, were stunned at the outcome.  Lee was quoted as saying “I didn’t know Alphago would play such a perfect game”.  Looking dejected and on the verge of tears, Lee will have another chance to beat Alphago tomorrow, March 10th.  It will be streamed on Youtube for any person who is curious about the result, though a warning, Go is not the typical spectator sport many are accustomed to watching.  There are often long pauses and movements are on the inches scale, rather than feet or yards.  Regardless of its spectator appeal, this match up between AI and human is of the most extreme importance and could truly serve as a milestone in artificial intelligence creation and development.

lee sedol loss

If you would like to read articles on the match or about Google’s Deepmind program you can find information here:  http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/09/google-deepmind-alphago-ai-defeats-human-lee-sedol-first-game-go-contest

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The Epic of Gilgamesh is not only one of my favorite stories of all time, it is perhaps one of the most important stories as well.  While most of you will know of the story I will briefly discuss the theme for those of you that are unfamiliar.  Firstly, it is the oldest epic poem discovered to date.  It predates the perhaps more well-known epic tales of Homer: The Illiad and the Odyssey, by 1500 years.  The Epic of Gilgamesh is about the semi-mythical 5th King of Uruk (in modern day Iraq) and his 126 year reign.  Throughout the tale we follow Gilgamesh from an egotistical and rather deviant King to a philosophical man searching for the meaning of life.  While Gilgamesh’s purported 126 year reign as King can certainly be accepted as “paranormal”, there are other mysterious people and events that have sparked debate.  For example, Gilgamesh’s once rival turned friend and traveling companion, Enkidu, is described as what can easily be construed as a Sasquatch.  A “wild man”, said to be created by the Goddess Aruru, Enkidu was said to be created as 1/3 human and 2/3 beast-a claim that perhaps could be attributed to a Sasquatch.  He is created as an exact mirror of Gilgamesh, who is described as 1/3 human and 2/3 God.  Not surprisingly, the two battle to a draw and, having gained the other’s respect, become best of friends.  Upon *spoiler alert* Enkidu’s death, a downtrodden Gilgamesh begins questioning the meaning of life and the importance of man’s accomplishments if they are all to be for naught because of death.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a tale that was originally told in Akkadian, a Mesopotamian language dating from about 2800 B.C.E. to 100 C.E., but written in Cuneiform on clay tablets that were scattered throughout the area, and possibly the world, millennia ago.  Because of this we have never been able to fully read the story, but instead are given a partial tale where the reader is asked to fill in the blanks.  It was originally discovered in 1853 in Ninevah (modern day Iraq) and has remained largely untouched since then.  That is until about 4 weeks ago when the Sulaymaniyah Museum in the Kurdistan region of Iraq announced that they had found a tablet with 20 new lines to the poem.  The museum disclosed that it had been purchased, along with about 80-90 other tablets unrelated to the Epic of Gilgamesh, from a shady character that had probably acquired them during the looting of Baghdad that took place in 2011 after Saddam Hussein’s capture.  While 4 years have passed since its acquisition, it’s important to note that authenticity and translation had to be determined before making a momentous announcement like this.  It is also important to note that what came to be known as the “flood tablet”, a discussion of which will take place shortly, took 20 years to decipher by a self-educated man named George Smith while sitting in a British Museum.  Another accomplishment of note here is that Cuneiform is not so much a language as it is an alphabet.  An alphabet with no punctuation or paragraph structure…oh, and, of course, there is that little problem of erosion as well.  Any person tasked with the decipherment of such a tablet has a mighty task in front of them indeed.

While the Epic of Gilgamesh has some possible paranormal angles in it, as we discussed the Enkidu/Sasquatch connection and the extended life of the 1/3 human 2/3 God that is Gilgamesh, it has other topics that spark quite a bit of controversy in and of itself.  Namely the aforementioned “flood tablet”.  As you can probably imagine, this tablet tells about a…well….flood, but not just any flood-THE flood.  The great flood of Christian faith with Noah and his ark, is an apparent “rip off” of this Babylonian/Sumerian story that takes place thousands of years before the Bible.  While it seems clear that there was a great flood in times past, there is evidence to prove this that has been collected scientifically for decades, the question seems to be: When?  In the flood myth of Gilgamesh’s time there even includes an ark built by one man, Utnapishtim.  In this story the Gods were angry at mankind and the God Ea warned Utnapishtim of their intentions.  After this warning he built an enormous boat just before the rains began.  It rained for many days but when the rain stopped Utnapishtim’s boat crashed into a mountain where he released a dove, a swallow, and a raven to find land.  Sound familiar?

There has also been some controversy as to whether Gilgamesh ever existed.  His father is known to be the Priest-King Lugalbanda, who was featured in 2 poems recorded earlier than the Epic of Gilgamesh, who was famed for his magical abilities.  His mother is said to be the Goddess Ninsun who is the holy mother and great queen.  Having a father that is renowned for his magical abilities and a mother that is said to be a goddess would certainly explain some of Gilgamesh’s more “unusual” traits.  However it would also indicate that perhaps Gilgamesh is nothing more than a myth, a story told throughout generations to teach a lesson.  However, there are a few indications that perhaps this is not the case.  Firstly, Gilgamesh’s name appears on the Sumerian Kings list and in fact records his reign as being 126 years long.  Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, a German led expedition in 2003 found what could perhaps be the tomb of the legendary King.  While they are still hesitant to announce that it is in fact Gilgamesh, the tomb found is eerily similar to that described in the Epic.  The tomb, found just outside a long forgotten city in the Iraqi desert, was found under the former flow route of the Euphrates River, where Gilgamesh was said to be buried when the waters receded.  For more on the discovery of the tomb please go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2982891.stm

Whether you believe Gilgamesh to be a real man, hero, King, or extraterrestrial one thing is clear, The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story that carries wonder and intrigue for thousands of years.  Any of you who have not read this story should check out: http://www.aina.org/books/eog/eog.pdf  or if you are even more curious you can listen to it read in its original tongue at: http://www.openculture.com/2015/10/hear-the-epic-of-gilgamesh-read-in-the-original-akkadian-language.html Gilgamesh holds lion

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After a long hiatus A Paranormal World has finally returned to the Grimerica page.  In my absence I have been keeping busy, not only with things in my personal life such as school and work, but, of course, my exploration into the realm of the unknown.  If you listen to our friend Jim Harold’s Campfire podcast a few months back I appeared as a storyteller recounting a story I had previously spoken about with Darren and Graham on this wonderful podcast.  One last note I’d like to mention before delving into my current research project and thoughts for the evening.  I will be creating a separate blog of my own apart from Grimerica (Don’t worry I still have every intention of blogging here as well, Darren and Graham have been great to me and I love being a part of something such as this) and I am in the early stages of gathering information for the creation of my own podcast.  As this information becomes more readily available I will be sure to let everyone know where else they can find my absent minded, late night ramblings.  Thank you for dealing with my shameless promotion and now on to what has my mind tonight.

 

Why do children seem to be more apt to encounter ghostly activity?  As many of  you have previously read, I had plenty of my own encounters with ghostly phenomenon as a kid and my daughter (9) has mentioned her own fair share of unexplainable and somewhat creepy encounters with shadow men that have stood over her bed, and one particular ghost who speaks to her from behind the shower curtain at her grandmother’s house.  Hell, my son (4) has even woken his mother up many times at night complaining about the man in the corner that won’t let him sleep.  (This is your father’s department is the typical answer he receives from his mother.  My phone ringing shortly thereafter).  Now sure plenty of people are able to chalk this stuff up to simple childhood imagination or a trick of the light that confuses the child.  I mean, why else do some (not all) people lose touch with their paranormal visions?

 

Recently my girlfriend began telling me of a situation her nephew has been having at his house.  Now I do not want to get too involved in this story at the moment as I have not gotten permission to use names or locations (and frankly I am in the process of setting up some investigations into this that could lead to many more posts, podcasting stories, and/or a book).  This story however involves multiple witnesses to activity, a multitude of spirits, and someone named “Mikey the cow”.  Interesting right?  Believe it or not, I am typically the first one to dismiss many claims as easily explainable activity.  I may be a believer and I have certainly had my share of events happen to me, but I find that too many people WANT things to happen so much that it sways them to believe things are taking place when it is simply a mundane circumstance.  What is happening down there seems to be something different; and this is what sparked my brain over the last few days.  Why do children SEEM to have more encounters?

 

The answer most people have for this, and the answer that may be correct, is that children have not had it ingrained in them that this is not suppose to be.  The thought that adults “know” these scenarios are not suppose to be persuades our brains to tell us that nothing is there, when in fact there may well be.  Those moments when the hair on the back of your neck stands on end for no particular reason.  The fleeting glimpse you see of something out of the corner of your eye.  That voice in your head that wakes you up in the middle of the night…..it was just a dream right?  To children, this isn’t abnormal.  Or maybe it is abnormal but they haven’t been told that it CAN’T be.  To a child what they are seeing is perhaps simply something they can’t put into words, and so they personify it to an invisible friend or someone they share their secrets with before bed.

 

Parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, listen to your children and do not dismiss these claims out of hand.  Research or talk to those that may have more knowledge than you about this phenomenon.  In some situations your child’s “Mikey the cow” may lead more spirits to your child.  Or perhaps, “Mikey the cow” is the only thing protecting your child from the other spirits trying to corrupt him.  Or maybe this is nothing more than a child’s imagination.  I promise you this, I will get to the bottom of this in the coming weeks and, in one forum or the other, get the results out.

 

Just a short post to get back in the swing of things here at A paranormal world.  Thank you for taking the time to check in again and be sure to check back for a deeper and more in depth look at some of my future cases, books, and blogs.  Have a great night everyone.

 

~Jared

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First of all, to all of you out there that take the time to read my blog (and any others that the hard workers here at Grimerica put out) I’d like to apologize for my long delay and thank you for again stopping in to check out “A Paranormal World.”  As most of you can understand, life sometimes gets in the way and time, as relative as it is, sometimes slips past you as well.  Regardless, I am back now and I hope you all enjoy the rantings of a New Englander as the seasons change to the spookiest of all as we embrace the beauty that is FALL.

One of the topics I enjoy talking about, on here and in my personal life, is religion.  Partly because it is so taboo for most people and partly because I genuinely enjoy knowing what people think on the topic.  While some people scare the daylights out of me with their blind faith and never questioning attitude, others truly put together solid, well thought out arguments on the topic.  Personally, though I’m technically Catholic I am certainly not practicing and would classify myself more in the spiritual realm than anything else.   While faith is important to a lot of people, I often wonder how much of people’s faith is simply the placebo effect.  With that said, I was browsing through my Netflix queue this afternoon and came across a documentary called “The Unbelievers”.

The Unbelievers

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this documentary, it is essentially the pairing of Lawrence Kruss and Richard Dawkins traveling the world and talking about science, faith, and the cosmos.  While I do not believe everything that Dawkins in particular (this was my first real introduction to Krauss) has to say on topics, I highly respect the man and his opinions always come with a high level of research and understanding; something that makes him all the more trustworthy.  They both tackle the atheist perspective brilliantly, and without giving away too much of the film (that I’d recommend you watch as well), each tasking themselves with bringing atheism to the mainstream.  They talk in length about the “Age of Reason” and why people need to think for themselves and be rational.  While I preach the same motto of not simply being a follower but doing your own research, the film and the presenters themselves fall into the one part of “rationality” that I can never seem to fully get on board with.  Science is great, and science holds the key to the universe (I truly believe it can get there) but science is far too limiting in its current understanding.

When science looks to topics such as the supernatural it runs into the dilemma of not being able to come to a rational understanding of it.  Why?  Because science is based in facts and data that can be replicated in a stable environment.  For the most part I find this to be the exact way in which the world should be approached.  However, there is so much on Planet Earth, let alone the entire universe that is not understood, how can one be so bold to claim that science has all the answers?  Here we approach the problem with claiming there is no higher power, no GOD if you will.

Dawkins and Krauss talk about how the universe could have been made from nothing (The Big Bang).  While I firmly believe The Big Bang to be fact, I can’t yet wrap my head around how something can come from nothing.  While Krauss talks about how nothing can come from something, citing mass religious extinctions and the death of enlightenment periods throughout our history, how something as massive as our universe can come from….well….NOTHING just doesn’t make sense.  Now perhaps Krauss is onto something here and I simply don’t have the amount of information I’d need to wrap my head around such a weighty topic, but for now I have to stick with my own personal beliefs, my own faith.

I find it difficult to believe that something as complex as human DNA can be created simply by the Earth being hit asteroids, meteors, and the like and the right combination of protons, electrons, neutrons, etc hit in the right possible way and *poof* here became life.  With that said let me slightly digress for a moment and ask the reader this.  If that is your belief, if that is truly what happened, why could that not have happened to any number of infinite planets we have in outer space?  What makes humanity so special?  We’re not that special, that is the answer.  Back to my current point.  I’ve mentioned this in previous posts and I’ll mention it again here now because I believe it is important to the conversation on God and if there is one.  Perhaps our DNA is too complex and special to be a random act of happenstance.  Perhaps a higher power did create us.  But maybe, rather than that higher power being the Catholic God, Allah, or the countless other Gods and Goddess mentioned across the world, our creators are the extra terrestrial beings that were advanced enough to come up with our DNA code.

dna

If The Big Bang did create the universe, what created the energies that created The Big Bang?  In fact, what created the being/thing that created the energies that created The Big Bang.  It goes on and on forever.  As far back as the mind can take you without making you feel dizzy and a little sick to your stomach.  However you’d have to imagine that at some point there was nothing..and thus something created from nothing.  Dawkins and Krauss certainly bring up great points, and they are certainly well read, well researched individuals worthy of our highest respect, but I think it is far too early in humankind to close the door on faith and the cosmos and how they may be intertwined.  We simply do not know nearly enough to qualify ourselves as experts on either topic.  There may be experts on such topics as we currently understand them, and I wouldn’t call it a huge leap to say Dawkins and Krauss fill the rolls nicely, but I ask the readers of this blog, the scientists hard at work everyday trying to solve the mysteries of the world and universe, and Dawkins and Krauss themselves to leave a little wiggle room.  Do not allow yourself to be cornered into believing the answers are clear when we know so little.  To give Krauss credit, he does mention the wonder and happiness being proven wrong can give a person.  Perhaps one day we will definitively be able to do just that.

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When a loved one passes the pain and sorrow that it causes is immeasurable; especially when that love one is a child.  Often, we have loved ones cremated and spread their ashes among an area where our dearly departed cherished.  But what happens when that area doesn’t allow you to do such a thing?  Well, as one woman reportedly did (as reported by CNN as well), you dump the ashes anyway.  The location of this was none other than the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World (WDW).  As the story goes this woman lost a 7 year old son whose favorite ride was the Haunted Mansion at WDW.  She approached Disney and asked if she would be allowed to scatter the remains there, to which Disney replied negatively citing that it is against the law to do so. (Disney actually gets these requests about twice a year and there is an untold number that may spread the remains without ever asking, though Disney officially says there is no definitive proof anyone has done this.)   Not feeling satisfied with WDW’s decision, the woman spread her sons ashes along the ride regardless and since then there have been a number of rather chilling reports surrounding the ride.

disney_haunted_mansion_ghost_boy

This photo was taken by a woman with a night vision lens as she was documenting the ride for a WDW virtual visit.  She did not notice this photograph until later that night when she was looking through the pictures.  She was rightfully startled when she noticed this and reports that there was no person of this age within 20 feet of her while in line.  Clearly this child is seen only a few cars in front of her and would have been easily seen while standing in line.  Perhaps more oddly though is why the child seems to be looking right at her when this particular part of the ride is shrouded in darkness and the camera used no flash (remember this was taken with a night vision lens).  Separate from this account many have reported seeing a child running around in the ballroom section of the ride, some have claimed to see a crying child at the exit of the ride who seems to ignore the inquiring guest when they ask to help, and one ride attendant even claimed to hear a child’s laughter coming from the interior of the ride, followed shortly by glimpses of something from the corner of her eye, and the feeling of a hand on her shoulder.    Perhaps it’s appropriate that the Haunted Mansion may actually be haunted.

This is just a single report of spooky happenings in the worlds happiest place.  The truth is however that there are more reports throughout the park from everyday people who claim to have seen apparitions.  One woman claims to have seen two cowboys vanish before her eyes by the Golden Horseshoe, another worker claims to have caught an apparition on video which can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jnjibWcbV2o

There are also numerous other reports from apparitions being seen on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride cameras but not by the naked eye, the exclusive Club 33, and Tom Sawyers Island where there are reports of children running around the island when the park is closed.  When employees go to escort them off premises they are nowhere to be found.  These are only a small number of places that have reported paranormal activity.

TomSawyerIsland

This story can’t be complete without at least mentioning the stories of Walt Disney himself still haunting the location, most notably his old apartment above the fire station.  Imagine the shock of one WDW employee as she was dusting the old apartment and the lights that she continued to turn off would repeatedly turn back on.  On her final trip up to turn the lights off she claims the voice of Disney himself was heard saying “Don’t forget, I am still here.”  To this day the lights are left on in his apartment.

WaltDisneyApartment

Though WDW refuses to admit that the remains of loved ones are spread throughout the park, there are many eye witness accounts and visual evidence that says there may be something going on down there.  In a place where some of the happiest memories in a person’s lifetime are had, isn’t it safe to say the park would hold a lot of spiritual energy that could be manifested throughout the area.  The memories that are made at WDW everyday are burned into the minds of those that have experienced them.  It is just as likely that the energy of those that have experienced WDW are burned into the park as well.  Apparitions and residual energy from people all over time and Earth collide in one location for all eternity.  It really is “A small world after all”

 

Are People Scattering Ashes at Disneyland?.” 11/15/07. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. <http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?id=5762824>.

“Haunted Places: Disneyland.” Haunted Places: Disneyland. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. <http://www.hauntedhoneymoon.com/hauntedplaces/disneyland.html>.

“Menu.” Ghosts and Ghouls. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. <http://ghostsnghouls.com/2012/06/04/true-ghost-stories-disney-world/>.

 

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Upcoming Work

Untitled Project:  Anyone who has ever visited New England, especially during the Fall, knows the feeling of wonder and fascination that electrifies the air.  New England is home to some of the nation’s most haunted and paranormal locations.  From the Hockomock Swamp to the UFO reports at Loring Air Force Base, New England is chock full of the paranormal.  In my upcoming book I will explore some of the most interesting and terrifying stories that New England has to offer.  I will give the reader not only the history of the account, but a “boots to the ground” first hand experience of the location that will include pictures, links to audio, and interviews.

I am still currently collecting stories from in and around the New England area so if anyone would like to share please contact me.  Thank you.

P.S.  This post was part of a college assignment which is why it is a bit out of the ordinary for what I typically post BUT with that said this is a real book that I am working on (slowly but nonetheless working on) and would totally appreciate any feedback or stories you may have.  Thanks again for reading.

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Mexico is a major tourist attraction for not only those Americans that love spring break in Cancun or Acapulco but for the world at large who come to see their fantastic beaches and drink some Tequila.  However there is a much creepier and perhaps haunted location that is starting to get a lot of tourist buzz in the canals of Xochmico near Mexico City.  It is known as the Island of the Dolls.  This small island is loaded from top to bottom with discarded dolls, many of which are missing limbs and all of which stare lifelessly at any visitor brave enough to walk among them.  Sound like a horror story to you….keep reading.

Island of the dolls1

As the story goes the island’s only inhabitant, Don Julian Santana, found the body of a drowned child in the canal some 50 years ago. He was haunted by her death, so when he saw a doll floating by in the canal soon after, he hung it in a tree to please the girl. He hoped to both appease her tortured soul and protect the island from further evil.  It is said that the only thing that would keep her apparition at bay was the placing of new dolls and doll parts throughout the island.  So for the next 25 years, until his death, Don Julian placed these discarded dolls throughout the little island in an effort to keep her satisfied.  In a strange and frankly slightly terrifying turn of events, Don Julian himself died by drowning in the same canal as this little girl.

Island of the dolls2

But what would possess a man to go to such extremes; to not only fish any doll or doll part out of the canals that he found but to trade his crops for dolls.  If we were going to “go down the rabbit hole” as the guys from MU are so fond of saying, perhaps there was the ghost of a little girl that needed to be appeased.  Perhaps she returned to the sight looking for her doll that she dropped while falling into the water that would claim her life.  Finding that she could not take it with her she would return often looking for one that she could bring with her onto another plane.

Or perhaps we need to look further back in time to where this land originated.  The canals themselves were built by the Aztecs that ruled this area hundreds of years ago.  Stories of cursed and haunted native lands abound in all corners of the Americas and this is no different.  The Aztecs often practiced human sacrifice to appease their Gods.  This being Aztec land perhaps the idea of sacrifice echoes throughout the area.  Don Julian appeased the Gods with his giving of the dolls, and when he was unable to continue the Gods drown him in the same way the little girl was taken.  Or perhaps Don Julian was simply so scarred by the sight of a little girl dead in the water where he lived that his mind made up the idea of pleasing the little girl and her spirit.

Antonina- Don Julian's favorite doll said to answer prayers

Now there are plenty of stories that visitors to the island report: the dolls eyes following the, limbs moving on their own, and the like.  To look at this from a logical sense it is more than likely a creepy island that will give many people an eerie and ominous feeling, a lot like going into a dark, dank basement on a stormy night.  The reality is however CREEPY does not equal HAUNTED.  It is logical and realistic to think that if you are going to a reported haunted location with as eerie a feeling as these mangled and bug infested dolls would give off, that you may get the feeling of someone watching you, limbs moving (though it could simply be a breeze picking up or your own body brushing up against them), and being followed.  But is the island really haunted?  I don’t know.  It is certainly somewhere that is worth reading about if you are a fan of the creepy and strange.

To read more about the island you can visit either http://weburbanist.com/2010/10/06/mexicos-creepiest-tourist-destination-island-of-the-dolls/  or http://www.theislandreview.com/island-of-the-dolls/ .

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For many years I have experienced dreams in a very vivid way.  Now not all the dreams I have are of this vivid, almost lucid, style; there is however a certain consistency in them that is the reason I write this now.  As a lover of the paranormal I often dream of hauntings and, at times, alien encounters.  There is nothing strange in that as I spend a good portion of my time thinking about, researching, and asking questions about paranormal activity.  What becomes strange about these dreams is that they all have the same reoccurring idea and feelings to them.  Recently, over the past year or two, I have learned to sense this feeling within my dreams and stay focused on them rather than wake up from them.  Don’t get me wrong, the experiences are often terrifying but I truly feel as if there is something more to them.  I want to retell a few of them here that I still remember very well to this day, in some cases almost a year later, and I welcome thoughts and comments about what this could be.  Perhaps it’s nothing at all.

The oldest dream I can remember that involved these same feelings (of which I will describe later in as much detail as I can) involved me walking around in a previous house that I had lived in.  Prior to this dream I had had these feelings before but as this is the oldest one I can vividly remember without making up filler facts I will start here.  I was walking in my kitchen when I felt a tug on my shirt, I knew at that moment in my dream that it was about to happen again.  Suddenly I feel a force come into my body, I’m lifted into the air and left hanging, weightless.  This is usually about the point that I wake up however in this instance I remember telling myself “this is just a dream, stay with it” and I did.  Often times I am able to turn around while hanging in the air, other times I am paralyzed; this particular dream was the former and I rotated myself in midair.  I began hearing whispers, something trying to tell me something, though I was unable to understand it at the time.  After struggling to hear these whispers I was suddenly dropped and I woke up from my dream.  Though these dreams are very intense and I can obviously remember them after an extreme amount of time has passed, I never wake up with a jump or screaming, I simply open my eyes.  I find that to be a strange part of this.

The next dream I can remember well occurred about six months ago.  I had hit a rough patch in life and was forced to stay at my father’s apartment for an extended period of time where I slept on the living room couch.  Not a great situation but it is better than sleeping on the street.  On this particular evening I was awoken (in my dream) to a sensation of something in the room with me.  I stood up and began to look around when out of nowhere the force entered me again;  This time with quite a bit more violence.  I was lifted into the air and hung there for a second or two before being thrown through my apartment door (I will say here that I don’t know if the door was open in my dream, closed and I slammed through breaking the door down, or simply passed through the door itself) over the railing and down the stairs.  Again I simply opened my eyes at that point, and though I do remember gasping a little there was no sudden jumping or anything like this.

The last dream I remember well, and the one that actually led me to write this blog tonight, occurred only about two weeks ago.  In my dream I was at a neighbor’s house and as I was getting ready to leave I recognized that I was in a dream.  I remember knowing that if I went to his basement I would be able to create this happening again.  I clearly remember telling myself “hmm, I wonder if I can create that feeling again.  I haven’t sensed it in a while.”  So off I went down a flight of stairs and into a door on the right side at the bottom of the stairs.  The room was well lit with another door on the opposite wall that I associated with an entrance to his garage, though I never got that far.  I took no more than four or five steps into this basement and felt it a split second before being thrown into the air weightless again.  I hung there for what seemed like minutes but I know was only seconds.  The sensation was stronger this time, it very rarely is a “good” feeling I get from this but this time there seemed to be a lot of anger.  As I mentioned before I am often able to move around while being hung there…..however this time I had no need to try to move on my own.  I remember hearing a bit of a growl or a grinding type of noise (though full disclosure here I may be adding that in now as I think back on it, I cannot be positive about this) I was, I don’t know whether to say dragged or thrown but I think the better description is dragged (though I was still weightless) across the room aggressively and I noticed a small wooden door, no more than maybe three feet high.  I was being dragged to this door and I knew very well that I did NOT want to go in that door.  Just as I was being dragged into it I was able to move my leg to press it against the wall to stop myself.  It was then I woke up.

I have had this dream many times, more often than these other locations, happen in the home I grew up in.  I don’t mention these accounts here because I cannot clearly recall the details of them other than the room (my old bedroom) and the feeling of being grabbed, pulled into the air, and hung there weightless.  I can attest to the feeling I get every time I wake from these dreams (a feeling that I am getting as I write this as a matter of fact and that in and of itself is a bit strange to me as I am sitting at work in my office on lunch and have no reason to be having these intense feelings).  The best way I can describe it is the sensation you get after you get a cold shiver.  Goosebumps all over your flesh, hairs on your neck standing up, and you can simply feel prickles all over your body.  The one part of my body I notice feeling strangest each time is the upper part of my legs by my quads and hamstrings.  The sensation is always the strongest there and I often have to rub them or simply lay there and try to forget about it for a bit before the “shiver” feeling goes away.

I mentioned this story briefly during a paranormal podcast recently in the chat room and a woman who claims to have a “vision” of people and what is going on around them mentioned the thought of alien encounters.  For some reason that is often what I have associated this with, although the dream itself always feels more of a ghostly variety.  I really do not have any answers, and frankly I’m not really all that afraid of it even though at the time it is occurring it is some of the most intensely scary moments I can imagine.  I am learning to allow myself to sense these feelings in my dream and to know I’m in a dream so I can stay with it.  In my everyday life I have trained myself to sense my surroundings well and have had confirmation on multiple occasions about paranormal activity being found or believed to be in an area that I sense.  This is what I am trying to do with these dreams now and hopefully I will have an answer someday.  I just feel like there is something to these that I am supposed to understand.  Though I do caution myself that each time these dreams occur (especially lately) they seem to be getting more intense and more violent (I don’t know if that is the right word given that I don’t remember being hurt in them and I don’t wake up in any sort of pain but it is the best word I can give to describe it at the moment).

So that is my story for now.  If and when this happens again I will make it a point to blog as soon as possible in hopes of giving you all the most accurate information.  With all that said if any of you have thoughts on what this could be, perhaps it’s nothing more than a bad dream, please leave your thoughts in the comments section. If you’d have a similar situation but do not want to post please feel free to shoot off an email to me. I’d love to hear from you all.  Thanks for taking the time to read.

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Hello fellow paranormal enthusiasts and skeptics alike.  We’ve come into yet another year and as I look back on what 2013 has brought me, both professionally (not much lol) and personally, I got to thinking about some of the paranormal stories that captured my attention and my imagination throughout the year.  Firstly, I want to take a minute to mention a few of the new people and discoveries I’ve made this past year.  As someone who has always been involved in researching and learning more about the paranormal I really did not know a lot about the podcasting world and for the most part, up until mid year, really only listened to MU.  Now granted MU is amazing and I am not knocking that show in any way at all but with only one podcast to listen to each week (2 now gentlemen if you’re reading this, signing up for plus FINALLY in the next day or two) I was left searching for more throughout my daily grind.  Finding Darren and Graham here at Grimerica has been great and their podcast has opened me up to some new ideas and adventures I’d like to delve a bit deeper into and hopefully I will do just that in 2014.  Great work guys.  Keep it up this year, eh?

I also found Cam and Kyle at Expanded Perspectives and they have greatly influenced my paranormal research, etc throughout this year.  Listening to them mentioning their hesitations at beginning a podcast and seeing the success it has had thus far has left me with a desire to do the same, when time permits. For now I am more than happy writing this blog (and perhaps others to come this year) and interacting with you all as I can.  Of course a shout out to the guys at the Gralien Report, Jim Harold and his paranormal podcast, and anyone else I may have missed…you guys are great teachers, researchers, and investigators.  You all delve into this field in the right way and give credibility to a field that is often laughed at and shunned in the mainstream media.  I am honored to call you all acquaintances and hopefully in 2014, friends.

Moving on from that I want to take a few minutes to mention some of the headlines and stories that captured my attention throughout 2013.  Here’s a look back at some of my favorites.

I have to start with a documentary about a location that I have lived in for a large portion of my life.  Aaron Cadieux and Manny Famolare directed “The Bridgewater Triangle” documentary http://thebridgewatertriangledocumentary.com/ about the unexplained phenomenon that haunts the area of south eastern Massachusetts.  Though I have to be honest with you all, I have not scene this production as of yet, I have studied the area and have had first hand experiences there.  The reports of everything from UFO encounters, to mass hauntings, thunderbirds, and who could forget the pukwudgies.  The reports are many and very detailed and it is about time someone took the time to look into this location.  The Hockomock swamp, where much of this activity is centered, has a very creepy and ominous feeling even during the day-I can attest to this first hand.  Though creepy does not equate to anything supernatural the reports certainly have needed research for a while.  I recommend everyone (including myself) to watch this documentary.

2013 is the first time I have heard of the slender man as well.  The first situation in which I heard of this creature was in a computer game that many in the gaming community swear may be the scariest game of all time.  The goal of the game is simple, wander around in the woods while trying to avoid the slender man and retrieve pages cryptically written on (Help me), who will creep up on  you and scare you to death.  I have to admit, after watching this video I needed to play.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpUHQK-gANk Recently a video surfaced out of Russia that some believe shows the slender man himself.  Though I am a bit weary of the video, the creepy factor is certainly heavy.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beX2aMws_qw

The stories that have surfaced on the web about children who remember past lives have intrigued me from the start.  These children are often able to recall locations, details about friends, family, and locations, and in some cases, even the way they had previously died.  Some of the most compelling evidence involving these cases are the birthmarks or scars that are often associated with the way the previous life had come to an end, appearing on the children who believe they are that person reincarnated.  Having read Tom Shroder’s book “Old Souls” was one of my favorite reads of the year, though the book came out many years ago.  http://www.amazon.com/Old-Souls-Compelling-Evidence-Children/dp/0684851938/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388931357&sr=1-1&keywords=old+souls

Though this is only a small sampling of what I have learned about and discovered this year, I wanted to mention these few topics as it is a step away from the typical ghost and UFO stories that everyone knows about.  Every day fringe topics pop up around the world and, though often mocked by the mainstream media, deserve the attention that many other news stories get.  It’s been said often but until these topics get serious coverage they are going to continue to be considered nothing serious and filler for some news stations.  Hopefully with the coverage given to the topic by the likes of Micah Hanks, Ben and Aaron, Jim Harold, Cam and Kyle, Graham and Darren and with people like RPJ and all the others that ask the hard questions, question the facts, and seek the truth, these topics will finally get the respect they deserve.  A great job to everyone and continued success to us all in 2014.

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In the seemingly ongoing saga of paranormal activities that seem to happen in or around myself I submit a story that my brother relayed to me just the other night.  For years now my brother has had many cases of sleep paralysis, he has witnessed apparitions, and has heard whispers in the dark.  Within the last two years he would drift off to sleep but just before entering the dream state he would suddenly get a feeling of fear and dread pass over him.  He would explain his fear and reluctance to even open his eyes as he knew he was not alone in his room.  He would then feel a presence sitting on his chest and hold him down.  This could simply be chalked up to a simple case of sleep paralysis, an actual diagnosable condition, however combined with his previous experiences with the paranormal, including witnessing an apparition standing at the end of his bed a few years before, his testament to what he believes is true is very persuasive.

About two weeks ago he was lying on the couch about to go to sleep with his girlfriend sleeping soundly next to him.  He suddenly had that feeling of not being alone in the room.  He lifted the blanket over his head and rolled to his side, with his back facing the back of the couch and his front in the direction of his girlfriend.  What he felt next scared him more than any other experience he’s yet had.  He felt a needle prick enter the back of his neck and he became instantly paralyzed.  He insists he was fully awake and, though he tried to speak and wake his girlfriend and move his hands to grab her, he was unable to do either.  After only, what seemed to be, a few short minutes, he was able to move again.  He woke his girlfriend up and searched the house top to bottom, no sign of anything.  Though there is no evidence of missing time or an intruder, one can’t help but think about a possible alien presence interfering that night.  Or perhaps it was simply a dream?  Either way this is a terror inducing moment for another member of my family all too familiar with the paranormal.

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