Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Portals to Hell: A Short and Sweet Review

Portals to Hell on the Travel Channel is the next installment in an already saturated Paranormal Television market.

Starring Katrina Weidman (Paranormal State, Paranormal Lockdown), and Jack Osbourne (Son of Ozzy: When did this guy start being a ghost hunter?). We follow the investigative duo as they travel to notoriously haunted locations around the country in search of (you guessed it,) the portals to hell.

Portals to Hell seems to try to differentiate itself from other Paranormal "reality" shows but falls a bit short. The investigators seem to fall into the same traps as other shows such as relying too heavily upon unscientifically proven equipment causing Jack and Katrina to jump to conclusions to fit the narrative. Much like other shows everything thing that happens from sounds to equipment cutting out is paranormal related.

Portals to Hell even manages to fall short on some of the basics such as fully explaining what equipment is being used and what and how it works. Too many times I had to stop and wonder what device Jack and Katrina were using, and how they were able to decipher the messages they were receiving.

In reality, there are really only so many different ways to represent ghost hunting on television. It's understandable that viewers want to see spirits, and in a niche market that is ghost hunting, there are only so many different "haunted" locations, and so many pieces of equipment to use.  Paranormal State, Ghost Hunters, and Ghost Adventures really took off due to being some of the first shows of this genre, so many new shows will follow the same cliched path leading to a lack of innovation.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

My Experience with Paranormal Television: Not what You Would Expect

Remember that paranormal television was born from some kind of true event. Ghostly events do happen, just not as often as entertainment would like you to believe. During my time I have seen some truly terrifying things, all unexplainable, none on television.

Having been in the paranormal field since around 2010, I have been both lucky and unlucky enough to have been in the situation to be on television (some voluntary some not). While it does bring some excitement to your investigations, it also reveals the entertainment aspect of the paranormal.

We were followed by a News crew on one of our investigations, where some things happened but mostly it was a quiet night. The news piece that aired seemed to be mostly accurate, of course, they took some liberties to make the situation a bit creepier than it really was. Fast forward a few years and several episodes later, I have changed my mind on the experience.

On several occasions, after viewing the new episodes my opinion has changed. Viewing the shows on television events would be shown that never actually happened, or were in heavy debate among the team. Obviously, these incidents were included by the production company in order to make the program worth viewing.

During my time investigation, I have had plenty of events I would deem as paranormal, just not anything since the television experience has started. Every time I am involved with something that ends up airing on television, I end up irritated knowing that half the events that were shown never happened. These events along with years of experience have soured any kind of paranormal television for me.

Don't get me started on those that star in most of these one story shows. Do you what you love for the experience and education of the unknown, not for the possible fame.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The art of Smudging: Fact or fallacy?

From Getty Images
Many people tend to take things at face value. Take, for instance in the field of paranormal investigating, people have taken what others have told them and passed it off as fact without any research. This includes equipment, demons, ghosts, anything paranormal related, where there is no proof that anything is what it is said to be. Everything seems to be based on ancient mysticism.

Paranormal hobbyists and investigators know about smudging through the ever popular and expanding paranormal media, this includes television shows, books, and radio shows. They use it to cleanse houses of spirits, usually at the end of an investigation after they've done their data collection. Along the line, they were told that smudging removes spirits, and it might, but there is no scientific proof of this.

Smudging is an ancient Native American ritual using natural herbs to cleanse the negative energy from a person or place. There have been scientific studies conducted that prove that burning sage or incense have a positive effect on the human body. The herbs used for a smudging act as a natural "purifier" of sorts that cleanse the area of any harmful bacteria. Science shows the effects can last for hours, if not days depending on where a smudging was conducted.

In reality, if investigators choose to use smudging in an effort to cleanse the property or person of any wanted "spirits", the thought should be this may help to cleanse the home, not that it will indefinitely wash the area as there is no scientific proof that it does so. There is nothing wrong with belief, and sometimes that's all you need.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lucifer on Fox: A confusing ride

The new buddy cop show debuted recently in the name of Lucifer. As you can guess, the show centers around Lucifer the Lord of Hell. Or as I should say, the retired Lord of Hell. Airing on Fox, Tom Ellis stars as Lucifer Morningstar, the debonair and wildly charismatic recently retired Lord of Hell. Lauren German is an unknowing police officer who thinks Lucifer is just a very weird samaritan.

Lucifer seems to be trying to blend the Lethal Weapon style mismatch partners and the Elementary style of a consultant to the police. This style doesn't fit the supernatural element they're attempting to introduce as well, with repeated visits to Lucifer by an angel demanding he returns to Hell.

With the very confusing and unique theme and the fact that One Million Moms is already boycotting an advertiser, it seems only a matter of time before Fox cancels the show. Until then, it will be interesting to see if Lucifer can recover and turn itself into a must-see event.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

X-Files 2016: Long lost plot

People have become more and more enamored with conspiracies and the paranormal over the years, as

The X-Files was one of the longest aired series dedicated to paranormal phenomena and government conspiracy. Originally aired from 1993-2002 on FOX, the series followed agents Fox Mulder and Dana Skully on their quest to uncover the truth. The original series that spawned two movies dealt mostly with government cover-ups to carry out illegal testing, and attempts to further it's own agenda.

Stories written for the original series fit the era it aired in, but with the X-Files continuing in 2016, the story seems to have stayed in the 90's. The plot seems to be a regurgitation of mainstream beliefs that are circulated today, especially by those Alex Jones style radio hosts.  In fact, one could assume Chris Carter is an Alex Jones fan, and only expanded on his ideas. This version of the X-Files doesn't push the envelope as much as when the journey began.

With four episodes remaining, there is little time for the X-Files storyline to evolve to the point where most fans would expect it to be, but I admit I'm hooked all the same. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ghost Adventures uses the authority in Hollywood while on investigation

Scott and Zak at the Hollywood Sign
The Ghost Adventures Crew took a trip to Hollywood, to investigate the historical landmarks that litter the landscape of the city.

The first stop was the Hollywood sign, where it is reported that an aspiring actress threw herself from the iconic landmark. They brought along the Dearly Departed Tour Company as their guides on this incredible quest. Dearly Departed Tour Founder Scott Michaels was on hand to give Zak Bagans and the Ghost Adventures Crew the play by play in history.

One of the many artifacts in the Dearly Departed Collection
For people who aren't from Hollywood or visited there, the DDTC does just that. What sets this company apart from other tour companies and tours is Scott and Brian Donnelly. Scott has built a name for himself as "the authority on the dark side of Hollywood." Scott is the man when it comes to knowledge on Charles Manson, even producing a few documentaries on the subject. Scott has even gone as far as to import and collect artifacts from famous Hollywood murders, and serial killers and display them for all to see in his shop. The DDTC storefront is more like a museum then it is a shop, with visitors able to spend hours wandering the store. I was there for a tour mid-2015 and witnessed fans of his stopping by to give him a gift, something, of course, to display in his museum.

In speaking with Scott, once he found out I was a paranormal investigator, he did go into stories about how his store is possibly inhabited by spirits from all the items he's collected. Maybe this is the place Ghost Adventures should have investigated.

Brian Donnelly may be the best tour guide in Hollywood with his extensive knowledge and love of everything Hollywood. Brian takes the out of the way approach to Hollywood, not just visiting the hot-spots and his love for his profession shine through in his presentation. If you're not already following Brian on Facebook, you should start. Brian's page may be your end-all-be-all for history and celebrities in Hollywood.

For those of all who are into the dark side of history in Hollywood, stop by the DDTC and have a chat with Scott and Brian, and I would highly recommend taking one or more of their tours, as you will not be disappointed. If you are into paranormal investigating, the DDTC store front/museum is a great place to visit. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Precognitive dreaming: The gift of foresight

Precognition is knowledge of a future event or situation, especially by extrasensory means. People having these dreams would be dreaming of events yet to come to fruition, action for action, word for word. Sometimes these events will come to light in a few days, sometimes not for years at a time. Most of these dreams seem to be about normal, ordinary mundane topics, not the dramatic life changing events people may expect.

Some theories suggest that some of these precognitive dreams may just be the body and mind trying to subconsciously tell you something.  An example would be a woman dreaming she was pregnant before she eventually took a test to reveal the fact that she indeed was pregnant.  This case the woman’s body communicated to tell she was pregnant before any tests could confirm, or before she started to show.

Psychologists have been trying to determine whether precognitive dreaming exists or is a byproduct of the minds tendency to find patterns. Some suggest the mind will try to find “meaningful patterns in meaningless noise.” This explains why people see shapes in clouds and faces on Mars. Some also claim that some of these dreams have only been right by chance, not because the person saw it in a dream.

Parapsychologists argue that precognitive dreaming is much more than the body trying to communicate, or coincidence, this phenomena is real a version of clairvoyance. There are many claims of precognition where the dreamer could not have known any of the facts outside of the dream, and that there are too many claims for it to be just coincidence. There is a theory that these dreams may be a byproduct of unreleased psychokinesis by those who gifts go unused.
The fact is there is no explanation for precognitive dreaming, but research is ongoing by believers and nonbelievers alike. For those lucky enough to receive these visions, keep practicing, and keep dreaming.

Anyone have precognitive dreams; please feel free to leave your stories in the comments