Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Tale Of A Wedding Dress

When I was in my early 20's I was in a band where we liked to dress and used imagery to express our selves. We were considered goth but at the time goth was not a term used to describe a music genre. I was influenced by the silent films I saw and I decided that for our first show at the On Broadway where we played with groups with names like "Beast" "Black Dolls" and "Fade To Black" I was not going to wear your typical black clothing but appear in a long white dress and look like the gothic images of ghosts and female vampires I saw in those old horror movies. So being new to San Francisco I decided to shop for an old dress in the Haight area. At that time thrift and vintage stores had more affordable items. You could find something unique on a budget and it would last you for years if you did not end up selling it or giving it away. I came across a store called Ardvarks. While going through racks of long dresses, I pulled out a faded white crepe dress that looked like it was from the Victorian period. It looked barely worn and in good shape except one flaw. It had dried blood stains on it. I wondered why such a garment that looked like it was out of a gothic novel was doing hanging among old prom dresses and colorful bridesmaids outfits so I decided to ask a store employee. The guy who worked there merely shrugged at my question and told me that it was found in an attic of a Victorian house and that was all he knew. I decided it would look striking on stage so I paid 12 dollars for it and took it home.

Like many dresses from that period it was a very small size but as I have always been on the thin side, I had no problem fitting into it. I felt so feminine and regal when I put it on while I was getting ready to go on stage except for one problem. I was freezing in it and I felt an icy cold presence around me that I couldn't shake off. Being a thin crepe dress and my tendency to get cold, I should have expected it. Except this was no ordinary type of cold. It felt like a cold presence walking around me. Several friends and my band mates noticed this and remarked on it. They were not the type of individuals who sensed these things right away (with the exception of my sister and my friend Sara.) but they felt this one keenly and it gave them the creeps. It ended up that I only wore the dress twice. Once for a photo session and once for the show I bought it for. But that is not where the story ends. Like many items I rarely wear, it ended up in my closet in a box. But the ice cold presence did not go away. It would walk by me when I least expected it and at night my room mate and I heard soft knocks and what sounded like a slight tapping. At times it went on for a while and finally my room mate requested I give the dress away. How she connected the noise with the dress, I don't know but she was very adamant that it was the cause of the disturbance and the interesting part was that she was right. I knew I was never going to wear it again so I was not bothered much about giving it up. I sold it to a vintage store who was thrilled to have such a beautiful time piece in their collection. After this the cold presence was no longer felt and the knocks stopped too. I often thought about who wore this dress and what really happened. Did she die before she became a bride? Was there a terrible accident? I will never know the answer to those questions. But it does make me wonder how many other mysteries in Old San Francisco remain unsolved. Their stories are important and if I was investigating them more closely as I am doing now, I would go back and try to find out more.

May their souls be at peace during the season of light. We will tell more stories tonight on the air.

Photo of me when I was with a group called Children Of Night in 1982 wearing the famous wedding dress by Bob Shattuck.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

TAROT IS AN INTUITIVE PRACTICE

The best Tarot readers that I have seen and have had a personal reading from, have all been what I consider "people" persons.  They are able to perceive and pick up intuitively on other people's unrest, patience, frustrations, etc.  This does not mean they are friendly wonderful, people persons, but they have the ability to "pick up on" the perceptions of others intuitively.

These type of people make for effective Tarot card readers, as they can perhaps see the bigger picture that is presented by the cards, before them.  Tarot reading requires an astute listener, and someone with a certain degree of empathy.  Having empathy helps when presenting both good and bad in a reading forecast.

I have been fascinated by Tarot for years, and have had readings done a number of times.  I have even begun painting my own Tarot deck, but have yet to complete it. I believe Tarot is what you put into it, like most things in life.

If you are skeptical and do not believe any of the prophetic nature of the readings, then you will of course not listen and close yourself off to what is really, more often than not, common sense and forces the person who is being read to take a closer look at their current, past and maybe future activities.

Tarot doesn't tell you the name of the person coming into your life, it doesn't tell you where you may have gone wrong, only you know these things, and it is the job of the Tarot reader to help review your past and current choices and maybe try to find who the person of interest may be, or what mistake in your past your may have made.

Is Tarot magic? The answer to that question is no, not really.  It is merely a tool used by someone effectively who speaks with people frequently and has a genuine nature to want to listen and help out where and when they can.

I think the most effective thing about Tarot, isn't the mystic cards or the "what do they cards say about me" aspect, but that they help induce conversation with the person being read.  Anything that can get people talking to one another about themselves, their actions, behaviors with others can only be a positive and if it takes a deck of cards to make this happen, then so be it.

Anthony Anderson

Tarot As A Guide To Your Inner Self

Tarot was originally created as images that speak to the subconcious and reveal what your inner psyche is trying to tell you, Much like dreams and the images that arise during deep meditation. Yet most of the time when certain cards come up such as the tower or the death card they can be scary and intimidating if one is not prepared to understand the deeper meaning behind a situation. That is why it the responsibility of a reader to  counsel the client fully and have them walk away with better knowledge on how to approach their issue than when they came. One way to do this is to look at the surrounding cards and see where and why the situation is occuring.Timing is also a factor. I have done readings where I saw what was going to happen the very next day to readings that came true a year later. The cards traditionally can predict a time frame but mixed together in a pattern it's a combination of intuition and remaining open to letting events unfold. There is also the practice of asking further questions and seeing what solutions the cards reveal. A journal or a notebook is always best to keep a record of the readings. Then you can go back and see what the pattern was trying to tell you. Keep in mind that the pattern comes from your inner self. The cards work as a tool to help you because the mind responds to imagery and symbols as a way to help us understand ourselves.

One exercise I recommend for those who would like to start reading for them selves is to pick a deck where the images are most the pleasing or you feel the most connection with. I always recommend the Rider Waite Smith deck to start with. But if you have an affinity for another deck you run across then by all means buy that one. When I started reading for others I was working a lot with herbs and making herbal remedies. I came across the herbal tarot and the deck not only helped with personal situations but the herbs in the deck were great reminders of what that person needed for their well being at the time. Take for example one person was having nightmares and feeling vulnerable. The card with St. Johns Wort keep coming up. As a flower remedy it is used for protection. As an herbal remedy it is used for mild depression. The latin name for it called Hypericum means over a spirit. It was exactly the sort of help this person needed to get started on her healing process and the cards were a great tool to help her see this. (They did not replace a more serious visit to a doctor or therapist.Always be mindful of that.) After a while you will start to form a connection with your deck where you feel more familiar and it becomes easier and more like working with a long time friend.

One way of learning to read for yourself is to take the cards, and throw out all the traditional and astrological meanings for the time being, and think of a question. Put your hands over the deck and hold it while concentrating on your question. Shuffle and when you feel an intuitive shift inside to stop then placethe cards in one large spread and pick the card that stands out for you. Look at the image and see what  is the first thing that comes to your mind. Go with it.Even if it doesn't appear to make sense. Write it down and come back to it later. You will be surprised at what comes through. For example when my cat Phoebe died I was grieving and not ready for another cat. Candlemas a pagan holiday celebrated in February was coming and I asked Brigit the Goddess who traditionally is associated with this day if she had a message for me. The Sun card came up which sometimes announces a young male child. (among other meanings.) I was confused but went with it and before long I was given a golden tabby kitten where the stripe on his side was shaped round like a sun. I named him Apollo. I had dreamed of him the year before when my cats were still alive. Now he had finally entered my life when I least expected it and right on February 1st. (I swear it's true.I have a couple of people who can attest to this.) This experience was talked about in Pamela Eakins book on tarot. I also recommend her deck Tarot Of The Spirit. The images are beautiful and very powerful.

I look forward to discussing this very special oracle with our guest Tommy Netzband who is a professional reader and hearing what our listeners have to say.

Photo above is of Pamela Coleman Smith who helped create the Rider Waite Smith deck in 1910.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Moth As A Symbol Of Death

There is a lot of folklore on both sides of my family.  Since my mother lived longer and was an immigrant when she married my father,  she brought with her the tales and superstitions of her childhood in Mexico. One of them was that every time she saw a moth within the vicinity,  she would be say: Oh no a moth. I hope no one is going to die. She was a religious woman though more so later in life and she disliked anything to do with superstition or the occult. Yet she never questioned the folklore she grew up with. As young girls growing up in suburban America the stories always seemed out of place in our culture and surroundings,  yet the funny part was that right after our mother would announce her suspicions after seeing the dreaded omen, we would hear of bad news that a relative was sick or worse.  Perhaps it was all coincidence or one could say that she brought it on by focusing on the subject.  But the truth was that she hated anything to with death and she did her best to shrug it off.  But nevertheless it was spooky to witness bad news shortly later.

So what does this have to with people witnessing sightings such as mothman and other unexplainable entitities?  Because the moth has been seen as a symbol of death in other cultures. Black witch moths are native to certain regions of Mexico and they are known to fly at night and are known to be seen in sick rooms.  This sighting of mothman took place when it was dark and the entity reminded the viewers of a large black moth.  No one knows why or where this entity came from.  In studying the spirit world many shaman traditions speak of entities known as elemental spirits.  These spirits are known to take place in the natural world and known as non human but with distinctive qualities that are related to the animal plant or insect species. As my host Anthony said in his blog, they may exist in alternate realities or other dimensions and that could be the reason why we can't find them after a rare sighting.  This may also count for other symbols of death such Angels, and grim reaper type spirits.  They are seen rarely and at certain times in life but their origins are a mystery.  Yet those who have claimed to have seen these visitors never wavered in their accounts. This also goes for the timely sightings of different animals and insects who are known to be messengers of sad news. They are just innocent beings living their daily lives. Yet the connection they have with humans brings them into our lives during times of stress or deep sadness.  (Happy times too but that is a subject for another blog.  ).

By studying these symbols and why they affect us so much is to study our own inner nature and times of transition and transformation. Change can be scary but often it can freeing and for the better. Myths and stories of other beings stay with us for centuries and the more we preserve them,  the more we understand the cycles of life.

I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts on the air or by commenting below.

Black Witch Moth illustratration by sister Jude for Deviant Art.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

VISITATIONS FROM DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS

One has to wonder with creatures like the Loch Ness Monster, Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, Chupacabra and even Mothman, if these are species that are just rare or simply appearing in our own atmosphere from another dimension.

Another dimension would explain why we don't always see them, or is so rarely.  This might also explain why we do not find bodies or skeletons of such creatures, they simply do not live here.  The somehow come into our atmosphere and look around, hunt, etc and then disappear as quickly as they arrived.

I personally have very little knowledge in this arena, as I am a ghost hunter. Cryptozoology is a pseudoscience all its own and has its own believers and non-believers, but still hold many fascinating possibilities of what might exist around us.

What I found curious about the Mothman in comparison to say, Bigfoot, is that whenever there has been sightings of Mothman, it has for the most part been after recent UFO sightings.  Maybe the UFO's are dropping them into our atmosphere to see what would happen? To Mothman and to those that encounter them.  Another oddity with Mothman is the appearance of Men In Black around the aftermath of the UFO appearances and sightings. Men dressed in black suits, that look a little off, as if outdated and they ask odd questions of those that claimed they saw the UFO's.  I read of claims that their speech patterns are almost mechanical (very similar sounding to those I have heard in recorded EVP's).  The words are correct, but the speech patterns are oddly phrased or spoken.  They have an odd understanding of sorts of humans and their behavioral actions.

I also found it odd that while researching materials about Mothman, it indicated that many believers feel that Men In Black could be an arm of the government, whereas maybe they themselves are here to do damage control and monitor sightings and activities and are not from here at all.  If people feel they work for the government; sounds like a perfect cover doesn't it?

The one thing I had a hard time associating was the appearance of Mothman as a sign of impending death and destruction.  It was spotted in West Virginia, just prior to the collapse of the silver bridge, killing over 46 people, some of which had recently seen UFO's in the surrounding area.  I also read it was the opposite, that the appearance of Mothman was a warning to those in the area that disaster would soon strike.

Or maybe the appearance of Mothman simply meant that Groundhog Day would come a little bit later this year than normal.  Either way, you understand my meaning, both seem to be reaching for an explanation and seems completely made of 'assumption' rather than fact based.

There have been sightings of Mothman even this year, in 2016.  The large bird-like man has been seen in Singapore a couple of times, each report has been inside some sort of abandonded house or building.  Is Mothman still making visits to our realm, or maybe he (or she) never stopped visiting, just learned to adapt or keep out of sight since those early outings in 1966.

So next time you hear about Bigfoot or Loch Ness Monster, keep in mind that maybe they are not from around here at all, and that would explain a great deal as far as evidence of their existence.

Anthony Anderson

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

PARANORMAL TIME TRAVEL

Within the paranormal world, many often refer to sightings of apparitions with no interaction as 'residual energy", a recorded moment in time that is replayed in the same place for some unknown cause or reason.  The sighting of someone from another time, dressed in clothes of the past walking back and forth, performing the same activity inside a house, is merely the imprint of the energy of another person performing that same task over and over again.

What if this was not the case?  What if when a paranormal investigator, or average person catches a quick glimpse of someone walking through a wall and turns and looks straight at them then continues on and vanishes?  Is this residual energy, or perhaps a form of time travel for both parties involved? 

Let's say a person from the 1800's is preparing a meal and walks through their house to answer the front door.  Another person catches sight of (for only a fraction of a second) the image of a woman walking into the hall and up to the front door, then vanishes.  Is the present day observer traveling into the past, or is the woman from the 1800's traveling through time into the future?  Same house, different centuries. 

When recording EVP's, often researchers will capture the sounds of native American drums, gunfire or musket fire.  Maybe the sounds of a crowd of people, or group of children giggling.  A door slamming shut or a window closing, where there is neither a door or a window.  Is this also another form of time travel, but in an audible sense? Rather than visual, this time it is heard, same principals, of recorded as an imprint.  What if a researcher recorded and EVP after asking a question and it is another person asking, "Did you just hear someone?" Mutual audible time travel perhaps?

Perhaps it is not a different time at all but an entirely different place or universe.  Both see or hear each other at an exact moment and wonder "Who or what is that?"  Depending on your culture or civilization, you would excite any number of theories, our species leaning the heaviest to "they must be the spirits of our dead."  What if someone else, just hears another voice or voices and wonders, "Where are those people, where are they coming from?"  It could be they don't see their people hanging around them for any reason, and simply want to find out "who" is being heard in their atmosphere.

Time travel can be a great many things, but to the paranormal world it can also be both the answers and questions to what we all seek as researchers and investigators.

Anthony Anderson

When The Window Of Time Opens

Over ten years ago I had the strangest dream about San Francisco. I was walking around Beach street when I came across a group of people waiting to cross a street corner. I remember them distinctly. Two women in their 30's and a young boy of at least 13 years of age. They all were dressed in the clothing of the early 19th century. As I looked different I caught their attention. They seemed open and friendly so I asked what year it was and they told me 1903. I then told them that I was from the 21st century and I just happened to be visiting. Rather than act skeptical or treat me like I was talking non sense, they listened and told me that they believed me. We talked a little longer but what was said I don't recall. All I remember is that they were interested and good listeners. Something very rare to find in this age of distractions. I woke up that morning remembering the dream very vividly and writing it down. I could have just put it behind me as an unusual dream but something inside me knew it was more than that. I had tapped into an alternate realty and it took me back somehow. Why that year and street corner, I don't know. A year later, I was in the car with a friend and we drove past that neighborhood with the intentions of going to the beach. I saw what felt like a familiar street corner and told him to stop for a minute so I can look. The details of my dream came back to me. I started to talk about it but then decided to keep it to myself. That is till now. If somehow I had wandered into the past in my dream, could I have warned these people that their city was going to change drastically in a few short years due to a natural disaster? I have no answer for this. 

When the subject of time travel comes up, it's mostly dismissed as the well thought out fantasties of science fiction but putting that aside, our culture has long held a belief that somehow we are able to access the past and plan our future through imagination and visualisation techniques. In centuries past only shamans, druids and trained seer's held the secrets to tapping into other realities and dimensions which included both the past and the future. As a medium, I also have this ability. Sometimes by effort through meditation and trance, sometimes by dreams, and often just spontaneously while day dreaming or thinking. How do I know it's really the past or a future time? The way to answer that is that it feels different. I just know. Anyone who has ever had the same experience will likely say the same thing. Artists and writers are also known as the time travelers and seers of our society. Inspiration often comes in the ability to tell a story that is often part good imagination and part remembering. So is painting or drawing. Music too. We are building and accessing into another realm and translating it into art and music. It's the same with actors and people who participate in reliving history through plays and fairs For a time they go back and when they are out of character, they feel as if they just stepped into another gap of time. And of course most of us have experienced de ja vu at some point in our lives.

Then there the scientific side that is currently researching the physics of time and how it works. The more open minded we are about the possibility of time travel, the more discoveries we will make and it will further open doors that will hopefully help us in areas of medicine, space exploration and other ways I have not thought of here. If we can use it to heal and evolve as a species than all the speculation on time and dimensions is worth it. Many mysteries on unsolved histories will come to light and we will bring what we have learned into the future.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WHAT SCARES US?

As we approach Halloween, and we are doing our live Halloween show on "Ecto Portal" tonight (www.fccfreeradio.com, Live Studio 1A 8-10pm), I wanted to think what truly scares all of us?  Ghost stories, horror movies, crazy and current clown scares?  Maybe the things that truly terrify us are everyday things, things we know can and do happen.

I began to think about 911 calls, and the horrible and frightening situations that people get into, these are the real terrors and scary situations.  An intruder enters your apartment or house and you are alone.  Someone follows you down a dark street and you begin to run, as do they, right behind you.  A missing child in a large, public store or parking lot. A mysterious cell phone call that is not all together ... normal.  These are what makes us truly frightened.

In the spirit of Halloween and our show this evening, I have decided to write about a specific experience of my own that happened about 7 years ago.  I was asleep and my cell phone rang and startled me awake early in the morning.  I picked it up and the readout displayed "999-9999".  I did not answer it.  I tried to go back to sleep, a few minutes later, another call and this one read "000-0000."  I also did not answer that one.  Now I was unnerved and wondered if I was being harassed, or was it wrong numbers, crossed cell phone lines?  A few minutes later a third call, this one I did not even pick up the phone to read the display, instead I let it go directly to voice mail.  Ten minutes had passed and I was too curious not to find out who or what left a message.  I called my voice mail and received a 2 minute long phone call message.  For the first minute and 30 seconds, I heard faint static on the line but no voice, or message.  Then a few second later I heard the faint sound of an ambulance or police siren with heavy static and noise, followed by a voice.  The voice seemed like it was neither male nor female, or I could not tell to be honest.  The voice was panicked and said in a static whisper, "Ohhh, pick up, pick up, somebody please pick up." Right after the message ends.

Here is a video I made about this unusual phenomena.  My own call is featured second in this video.

People have had strange cell phone calls and messages, and mine is not the first and probably not the last.  Who is to say someone who has passed on, who knows very well how to use a cell phone doesn't pick one up and try to make a call to get help?  Would their voice be recorded?  If it was simply the call itself and did not have 2 others that preceded it, would it have made less an impact on me?  Probably is the answer to that question.  Calls from both numbers reading 999-9999 and 000-0000 as the caller?  What are the odds of both happening within a minute or two of each other, then the call with the 2 minute message and a voice speaking at the very end?

If you listen to tonight's show you will hear how this call and stories like it have affected how I mixed the show's music and theme.  Disturbing sounding for sure, but it is a true scare.

We also explore a live Oujia seance tonight in the studio after our 9PM hour, which we will also videotape and have on our facebook page the morning after, for those curious in our findings.  Perhaps you would like to participate as well, if you call in we will ask the board your question!  Listen live for the number and join in on our Halloween fun!

Happy Halloween!
Anthony Anderson

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Thoughts From Beyond

It's not surprising that the subject of death is the first subject of our show this week. October is a month associated with Halloween, All Souls Day, and Day Of The Dead.The leaves on the trees begin to fall reminding us of the cycle of death and rebirth. With shorter days that get dark early we tend to stay inside more and our thoughts turn inward to studying, sleeping and dreaming. It's no wonder that traditionally it is known as the season where the veil to the other world is at it's most open and we can feel our ancestors and loved ones the strongest.

Death is such a personal experience for everyone that many stories are saved and told over again in families and circles of friends and communities, yet we often wonder from time to time that if a part of someone has survived, what are their thoughts and how can we reach them or vice versa? Being asked this question more often than ever, the thought that came to me is that we often get a glimpse of those answers when we are in mourning and in deep grief because that is when the newly departed soul is reaching out to us before their next journey. I know it's not easy because grief takes over your whole being and everything seems like a blur. Yet in looking back when others are telling me personal stories of their loved ones passing,  they often tell me they dreamed heavily about the individual the first year or so after the death occured. The messages through these dreams were varied. Most often  their loved one came to say goodbye, other times they were trying to reassure the person who was grieving that they are ok and not to worry.  I have even heard of unfinished business such as the case of my grandmother who had a dream about her aunt coming to her and asking for special masses to be said for her soul. She mentioned that her soul was in purgatory and she was in a terrible state.She then instructed my grandmother to go into their bedroom and their was a certain opening in the wall where there was a box of money hidden. She asked her to take that money and use it for special prayers for her soul to be uplifted and the rest of the funds was for my grandmother to keep. Well right after my grandmother had this dream, she told my mother and made her promise to keep it a secret. She then had my mother accompany her to the bedroom mentioned and after inspecting it, they found the opening in the wall and inside was the box of money just as it was revealed. I mention this story because I heard the story so often in my childhood and I do recall that the dream occurred when her aunt had only made her passing recently at the time. That is just one example and I do realize that for many people reading this, the story has religious over tones. I am recalling exactly the way it was told to me and it's important to keep the details in there as it was remembered.

However I have also seen grief become a stumbling block if it is prolonged for a period of time. I am aware that in grieving there is no time frame and everyone handles it differently but I have witnessed some sad situtations where grief seem to be holding  someone back and we should equally pay attention to what messages we are receiving when that happens. Years ago when I was looking for a place to live I ran across a former co worker who lived in a large flat and he lost his mate two years before.He was depressed and drinking alot, and he told me he kept having dreams of his partner leaving on a boat. I felt so bad for him and I learned that all of his friends and support group were trying to get him help. But the dreams were disturbing him the most. In another similar situation, a friend of mine lost her fiance and she was grieving for almost 6 years. He kept appearing to her in a boat that was sailing away and he was waving good bye just like the other guy's dream.

The journey toward death is a subject very few wish to speak of and it is often different and highly personal for the person involved. There are matters to be discussed, papers, inheritance. wills, relationships, concerns,forgiveness, memories.Often the person dying will start to talk about what he or she is seeing and dream of relatives and loved ones long passed as being present in the room or in a dream. This is the time to ask questions, pay attention, and see what we can learn from them. It's hard and it's painful but it can be rewarding for all involved if we make the journey easier. We will be forever having questions on what the process feels like and what is going on in the mind of the dying. By being open and attentive to details before and after the person has passed we can be better prepared and bring something positive back to the living.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences on the air.





Wednesday, September 28, 2016

PARANORMAL AUTHORS CAPTURE BOTH FACT AND FOLKLORE SPECULATION



The paranormal author is an unusual brand of writer.  When researching and discovering about historic locations, many paranormal writers also take into account local stories, legends and experiences and examine them side by side.  The real test of a historic writer and a ghost story writer is how the material is researched and presented.

For the most part, paranormal investigators also have a big interest in history and unearthing stories of people and places from the past (and sometimes even the present).  I also noticed that there are those that simply collect the stories and legends and call them 'ghost stories.'  They don't really research what is fact and what is fiction, they simply tell the tales as they are relayed to them or passed down from the past (or those still alive to tell them).  They rely on memories from those they meet and encounter, those that indicate they were there and witnessed the events of the story, or know somebody who knew somebody who was involved.

Without research and facts to back those stories up, they are simply to remain as such; stories.  They are fun to read and marvel at the possibilities, but without facts, we can never really be sure that we are getting the full story.

I can honestly see the benefits of both kinds of authors.  With the author who collects the 'ghost stories', they are capturing important social folklore of geographical regions, states, towns, and buildings.  They showcase often a period of time for that location or people who live there, and maybe the ideals of the time leading to the specifics of the 'ghost story.'  In a way, they are capturing the social history of the paranormal, whether the events actually occurred or not.

Authors who do the research, looking for dates, property records, waterline maps, probate records, and old maps, not to mention local newspaper articles, they are even more important to the paranormal investigator.  With this type of information, we can fact check with investigation evidence, correlate names and experiences, and see if we can make concrete connections between them.

The novice investigator is excited to learn of the stories and often accepts whatever is found, simply because they are excited to investigate and discover.  The seasoned, veteran investigator looks for the historical facts and local stories, and using both of these lines of research, can come to a variable and often revealing outcome.

There are paranormal authors who collect and research, and those are the books I look for and wish to add to my own library.  Ghost stories can be re-written and re-cycled, but research and fact finding is the real hard work for paranormal authors.

I myself have a few books in the cooker, while researching them I have found it’s not always easy to locate the answers for the questions that arise.  When digging you also find surprises along the way and this also encourages you to dig deeper and find out the outcome of situations and events that transpire.


 When I was writing my "Alcatraz: 200 Years of Historyin 3D," I had numerous, well-written books on Alcatraz so information was bountiful, but I also gathered facts from both prisoners and former guards that I didn't find in other books, and added them as well.  My book is sectioned on a timeline over 200 years of the islands history (not just the Federal Prison) and was written as 'True' or 'False' questions, 

featuring color, 3D photos on every page.  I also included photos of places on the island the public can never visit due to the dangers and regulations of the National Park Service.  

Writing paranormal books, can be one of the more difficult than other history books, you really have to question your sources, and make determinations if the facts you find, line up with those that you already have.  In this field, making that important distinction between what was legend and what 'really' happened is a tough road, even against popular folklore.

As I work on a current paranormal book project, I have also found that newspaper articles are not always factual, and that you should check the findings against other articles and newspapers to be sure they are accurate.  You might even find facts that nobody else has even considered while working on a project.  Paranormal research can be important historical fact the same as conventional historic records.

A. Anderson

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Some ghosts I left behind

When I was five years old, my family lived in an old neighborhood on South Willard street in San Jose. There were a lot of old houses we would walk past and once in a while my sister Linda would insist we explore some of the houses that looked empty and deserted of which there were a few. During those excursions we would sometimes find old bottles, vases, tools and other things that were of no interest to us as kids. (Of course as an adult who loves antiques I wish I could go back and see those items again.) In case you are wondering., no one questioned why two little girls were wandering around an old house. They probably thought we were nothing but silly kids playing. In a way we were. But something deeper drew us to those places. We knew they were haunted. It wasn't that we saw or heard anything. We just knew. Once on our way home, I said to Linda there is a ghost in there. She nodded in agreement and then we talked of other things. That is what my childhood was like.We just accepted these assumptions as a fact and never questioned it.

Not too far from us was historic downtown where we would get a funny feeling every time we went past the Hotel Saint Claire and St. James park. Of which both places were later reputed to be haunted. Of course there is a famous story about a lynching that happened in St.James park in the 1930's. It was the Brook Harte kidnapping case where two men confessed to kidnapping and murdering the famous heir to the department store Hart's. An angry mob dragged them out of the courthouse and lynched them. As young children we had not learned the story yet but we always had a creepy feeling walking past there .

Some years later we  moved to Los Gatos where there were many old buildings and estates. On our way to dinner, we would drive past the old Cats estate (pictured above) that use to belong the writer Charles Erskine Wood and the poet Sarah Bard Field. We were not sure who owned it at the time again being young kids, new to the town and still learning about it. But once or twice in the early evening dusk we saw someone by the gates. Of course it could have been the grounds keeper or the current family that lived there. Except that they just looked a little out of place. It was hard to explain. Their clothing and appearance were off. Maybe a little out of date. We could never prove it but later when I was reading that this place is haunted the first thought that came to me was: I knew it.

Other places that had a ghostly feel was an old house on the corner of a well known neighborhood in Campbell . It was very elegant, surrounded by fruit trees and no one was ever home.It was also near a shoppping center where there was a Safeway. It was a really beautiful house but there was an uncanny feeling to it that we could never explain. For the sake of the privacy of the neighborhood I won't mention the street or cross street here.But if anyone reading this lived in the Campbell area in the 1970's, you will know which house I'm talking about.

Other memories included Oakhill cemetery where at night we saw a woman run past us when we were teenagers (and we were so surprised we freaked out and probably scared her away.) and Winchester house where we lived near by. Once when we drove past there with our mother, Linda and I saw someone standing there looking out one of the windows. It was very late at night when the place was closed so we knew it was not a worker. Even our high school was reputed to be haunted. Apparently a teenage boy got murdered in what later became the athletic field. The neighbors reportedly could hear screams at 3 in the morning coming from there. We heard the stories but never payed attention. As adolescents our minds were on other things like boys, and music.

I could name many more places where the atmosphere seemed filled with spirit energy like The Rosicrucian Museum or the old homes on Bird Avenue in Willow Glen but for the sake of time I will stop right here. Little did I know that these places would stay in my memories and they served as a training ground for the investigating work Linda and  I got involved with later. Back in the day, it was rare to talk openly about these subjects. I certainly never saw myself writing a blog about these places.They were just part of my life.

Some years ago, a friend drove Linda and I past the old neighborhood on South Willard. We felt the spirits of our parents strongly. So strongly we shed a few tears. It's never easy to go back.

For those wishing to explore more go to this link: http://www.sanjose.com/guides/haunted-places-and-spooky-urban-legends/

I look forward to exchanging places and stories with our listeners on the air


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

INVESTIGATING AWARENESS AND YOUR OWN ABILITIES



Using your senses and awareness abilities while ghost hunting in any capacity, is something many point out as your most important tool.  I think this is true for the most part, but I also know that some are more in-tune with things around them than others.

For the novice investigator, using your senses isn't going to always help you when you begin in this field.  I have found that these skills are developed over time and that you can use them, but must keep in mind that documenting the experiences and things you feel and see are then harder to keep track of.  Instead of simply using a voice recorder, you must make notations verbally on what you see, hear and feel as you are investigating.  You could also write these down, but it can be cumbersome when moving around quickly and in the dark.

For those that shoot video you can always comment on the audio or dip into frame and describe what is happening around you.  The hardest would be for those that focus on spirit photography.  You can't do an audio describe (although with many cameras you could make a short video), you can only shoot photos.

I think even those that choose to focus on their own senses might want to carry a small voice recorder if only to turn on to describe what they see, hear and feel.  Maybe to obtain historical information or discoveries along the way.

I have always focused on audio recording, and take many photographs of the same areas where I record audio, simply to document the location to use in conjunction with my EVP videos and presentations.  Anything that I feel or experience I have either captured the moment on my recorder (sometimes even video, in conjunction with the audio) so I do have a record of where I was and what transpired.

If I think about what sense abilities I possess that use, I would say I do use my sight a great deal.  I tend to sit quietly in the dark (if possible, this is difficult if others around you wish to walk around and make noise, etc.) and get a sense of the sounds around me and the sights.  I will look to see what is stationary and what is moving.  I look at the placement of objects around me and if I hear something I will focus on the area where it originated from for a good deal of time.  I also listen with my ears very intently when I move around at a location, sometimes you can hear disembodied voices as you are mobile.  

Do I convene with the possible spirits at a location?  That is a question for another time I think, but I do try to relax, let the mind rest a bit and see what comes into focus.  Any thoughts, images that might seem unrelated at the time, but might make sense in a bigger picture after an investigation.  Séances do this same practice, see what images and thoughts can be collected and compare them later.  What I tend to do is have a personal séance of sorts, and try to relax and be more open to things around me.

Why do I record EVP and relay on audio equipment? When doing presentations it is a more effective tool and the art of the EVP is one that requires a lot of patience and stamina.  Many people give up on this sooner than later, due to the exhaustive hours it takes to listen intently through hours of recorded audio, with the risk of getting nothing.  It is long, hard work, but for those that keep at it and pace themselves and not let it consume your whole life; you will eventually find results.

I always hear folks say "I never get EVP's."  I would ask them, "Did you go through all of your audio from all of your investigations?" More often than not, the reply is "Well I just don't seem to find the time to listen to my recordings."  Well there is the reason you are not getting any EVPs, you get out of it what you put into it.  If you do not invest the time in any investigation practice you will never achieve any evidence or examples.

I do tend to incorporate the physical senses and my equipment, but I do tend to lean towards the audio, as that is where my skill set seemed to emerge having been at this now for over 7 years.  I also began to focus on my photography, taking photos in sets of 3 shots, so that if I do capture something it stands a chance to have another photo of the same angle/shot to compare it to.

Overall I think any investigator heightens their senses skill set, even if they don't realize it is happening.  We get used to the dark, and the sounds at night and the sounds that everyday things around us make that most people would not think of.  That window creaked, those were footsteps, when we might say that was a floor board creaking, or that was movement upstairs and not footsteps.
Never underestimate your own abilities; on the flip side, use some common sense and accountability as well to make sure that you don't get yourself in a frenzy of what might not be.


Anthony Anderson