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In recent weeks it has come to my attention that certain parties are using my ghost stories and those of my contributors as references for their own commercial enterprises.  If you or someone you know is writing a book on ghosts in the Pacific Northwest, PLEASE DO NOT!!! copy or use the following stories or any other materials within this website as references.  

Jefferson Davis (25 April 2003)

 

  

Here are some buttons which will take you to an archive copy of the last  years of the "What's New" section I began in 2001.

Archive of What Was New, located at the Bottom of This Page

My Events for 2017:

Other Events:

Vancouver Informal Paranormal Pub: Monthly Event

McMenamins Paranormal Pub:  Monthly Event

Dark Arts Evening at the Commodore Hotel - 17 February 2017

Oregon Ghost Conference: 31 March - 2 April 2017 

International Bigfoot Conference: 1 - 3 September 2017

Port Gamble Ghost Conference: 27 - 29 October 2017  

News, Articles, and Opinions

Video and Newspaper Articles on Spirit Tales of the Vancouver Barracks Posted 20 September 2017

Into the Second Month of Spirit Tales of the Vancouver Barracks, Posted 10 August 2017

I was on the Dead Files New Episode, on 5 August, Posted 21 July 2017

Haunted England posted 27 April 2017
* London                               
*Salisbury and Stonehenge  
*Stratford Upon Avon           

Native Spirits at Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge? posted 25 April 2017

First Encounter with an Ovilus, at the Edgefield posted 26 March 2017

UPDATE The Haunted Commodore Hotel in Astoria 10 Mar 2017

Update on Oregon Ghost Conference  & my schedule  Posted 6 February 2017

The Haunted Commodore Hotel in Astoria  Posted 24 January 2017 

Jan 2017,  Vancouver Informal Paranormal Pub Discussion on Group Etiquette Posted 22 Jan 2017

Do You Want To Be On A Ghost Hunter TV Show? Posted 5 January 2017

 

 

Video and Newspaper Articles on Spirit Tales of the Vancouver Barracks Posted 20 September 2017

The Spirit Tales walk is gaining interest, as we get closer to Halloween.  Here are links to two media coverage items. 

 My friends Aaron Collins and Steve Sroba went on my walk, and recorded some of the high points of our trip in a video.  The video is about 16 minutes long.  There is a bit of talking, but I think you will like the background scenery of our walk.


Photo and article courtesy The Columbian

I had two special guests at my Sunday walk, on the 17th of September, a reporter and photographer from The Columbian.  Here is an article on the walk.

 

Into the Second Month of Spirit Tales of the Vancouver Barracks, Posted 10 August 2017

In July of this year, I began my spooky walking tour of the Vancouver Barracks.  It took a while to gain permission to do so, but I think that past tours I did for charity in 2015 and 2016, demonstrated ordinary people are interested in ghost stories.  The work is ongoing, any guided-tour business thrives or fails based on word of mouth.  So far,  all of the patrons who took the tour seemed to enjoy it.  I like their feedback, such as tour start and ending times.  Many people do enjoy tours that take place in darkness, or partial darkness.  I offer two tours on Saturdays, and the second one ends at 9:30 PM.  

One thing that came as something of a surprise is the number of people who take my Sunday Afternoon Tour, which runs from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM.  I learned that some families like this time, because they can go to church or other community event, then go out to a late breakfast, and end the day with a ghost walk.  Afterward, they go home and prepare for Monday, and the beginning of the work week, by getting a good night's sleep.

Unfortunately, in the heat wave of late July and early August, the number of people willing to walk around in 90 degree weather is very small.  Tour sizes shrunk, which was disappointing, but then again, it meant I did not have to walk around in the heat leading a tour either.  Now that the weather is cooling off, I hope more people think of the tours as a fun thing to do over the weekend.

In the coming weeks, there is a possibility that there may be more events in October, as part of the spooky season.  If so, I will post more later.  Here are a few pictures from the 5 August tour.

 

 

 

I was on the Dead Files New Episode, on 5 August Posted 21 July 2017

On Saturday night, 5 August, I was be on the Travel Channel tv show, the Dead Files.  I was in the Olympia area early in 2017, and waited about six months for the episode to air.  I was there as a historical consultant again.  For those who think all of these television ghost hunter shows are phony, my experience was not.  They contacted me, and asked me to do some research on the subject of the Puget Sound Indian War of the mid-1850s.  While they had their own researchers, I managed to find some new information, which I brought to the interview.

While they interviewed me, as always there were non-committal about whether the interview would be included in the episode.  I never met Amy, which is part of their process.  When they produce the show, Amy's readings are the focus, which is when Steve brings out the documented historic information.  I did not go looking for information based on her impressions.  Speaking of impressions, as I recall, we filmed this episode in late winter, or early spring.  It was sunny, but cold, standing under the shadow of the roof of the viewing platform.  At one point, my right hand was numb from the cold, and I nearly dropped my papers.  Steve is lucky he wears a suit coat! 


My friend Jyl sent me a couple of pictures from the show.

 


I admit, I lifted this picture from Steve Di Shiave's Facebook feed.  Hope he does not mind


Follow this link for a description of this episode.

Haunted England posted 27 April 2017
* London                             
*Salisbury and Stonehenge
*Stratford Upon Avon         

In April 2017, I took a holiday to England.  This was the first vacation I had taken in about five years.  To intentionally use a pun, I wanted to visit  some of my old haunts to see if anything changed.  I am not just interested in the paranormal, I am interested in history and archeology, which are closely related subjects.  I also wanted to renew my friendships with school chums Vix, and Kathryn, as well as paranormal friends Philip and Sarah, and her family.  I managed to do this, visiting London, Salisbury, and Stratford upon Avon.  In these places, I found friendship and fun, history, and the paranormal.  I would like to share some stories and links with you.  Maybe one day you will go there, and visit some of the places I recommended to you.

* London

I had two paranormal highlights in London.  One was attending a meeting and lecture sponsored by the Ghost Club, and attending a Jack the Ripper walk of London's East End.

The Ghost Club

The Ghost Club is the world's oldest organization devoted to the investigation of locations that are purportedly haunted.  One of their past members was Charles Dickens, along with academic professionals ranging from engineers and physicists, to theologians and poets.  Some of their later members included paranormal investigators Harry Price, and Peter Underwood.  The Ghost Club still performs their own investigations, while many of their members write and publish ooks, as well as review them.  They also hold monthly meetings.  Normally these meetings are for members only.  However, for some blessed reason, when I am in London and a meeting is held, they let me attend.  On two occasions I have given talks on paranormal investigation practices within the United States.

Normally Ghost Club meetings are held at the Victory Services Club.  However, this year, their meetings have been held at a pub in the City of Westminster,  called the King and Queen.  

 

This year, I did not give a presentation.  Instead,  I attended a lecture given by a gentleman named Callam (Cal) Cooper.  Like many other people involved in researching the paranormal, Cal has a day job.  He is researching both psychology and parapsychology.  He has bachelors and masters degrees in psychology.  He is also lecturer and a doctoral candidate at the University of Northampton.  Fortunately, the university has a kind of  parapsychology sub-department within their psychology department, trying to separate  the difference between people who may have disorders such as schizophrenia from psychic phenomena.  Because of his position as a researcher, Cal had access to a wide population base to conduct research, which was the topic of his presentation.

Within the United States, most paranormal researchers actively try to track down evidence of the paranormal in locations with a reputation for being haunted.  Cal's approach was more traditional, focusing on a type of haunting that has been largely ignored within the United States in the last few years.  He studied incidents where ordinary people  have been visited by the spirits of people who had recently passed on.  These incidents are not tied to a location, rather they are tied to people, and a series of recent events.  They are not as predictable as visiting a haunted house.

This type of haunting has been reported in the literature over the years, and follows a pattern.  Someone is going about their daily business with no thought of ghosts.  Suddenly they look up, or they hear noise, or they awaken from a sound sleep, to see a friend or family member.  That family member may say something, or may simply wait to be identified, and then vanish.  It is only later, that the person who saw the apparition finds out that the person they saw was dying, or died shortly at the time of the incident.  There are variations within this pattern.  Sometimes there may be sounds or smells that are symbolic of the deceased.  Oddly, sometimes the apparition of a living person appears, as if to signal their future demise.

It is hard for science-gizmo researchers to document this kind of haunting.  They are usually single-time events and not repeated, though Cal found some cases where the departed returned at intervals.  He used information from earlier surveys, as well as surveys of his own.  (I did not take notes of this lecture, so any numbers or percentages I give you may be off to some degree.)  In his research, Cal found that around half of the people who responded to the surveys reported some kind of death visitation from friends or families.  Of these, a small but significant minority did not know the person they saw was dead, at the time of the event.  Half of these visitations took place within two weeks of a death, though some people reported visitations nearly a year after the person passed on.  Nearly everyone felt hopeful after these visitations, and it helped them pass through their grief.  Only one person out of 50 reported a negative effect of the death visitation they received..  

Some psychologists might suggest that these were hallucinations brought on by extreme grief, as part of the subconscious minds efforts to find some kind of healing.  However, that does not explain the people who did not know of the death.  Furthermore, many of the people who reported these visions or experiences did not have a history of mental disorders or hallucinations.  I spoke with him briefly after his presentation, and we discussed further personality studies of informants.  That was not the focus of his research, though he hopes other researchers will do so in the future.  

Cal Cooper has written several books on his paranormal research.  You can find out about them by visiting his website.

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Jack the Ripper Walk

It has been a great pleasure to meet professional researchers and scholars who are much better than myself.  Philip (one 'l' not two,) Hutchinson is one such person.  Philip has held offices with the Ghost Club in the past, and is a respected researcher on the subject of Jack the Ripper.  He has written numerous articles and books on the subject.  He is also the best Jack the Ripper tour guide in all of Britain.  He gives tours for a company called Discovery Tours.  

I have lost track of how many companies with physical storefronts or internet sites, advertise and give nightly Jack the Ripper walks.  I am sure there are more than half a dozen.  This can make it interesting, when visiting the murder sites.  After all, (according to some) Jack the Ripper only killed six women.  There are also entrepreneurs who stand outside the Whitechapel district tube stations with cardboard signs offering tours.  I have been on five different company's walks myself.   I do not normally give such an overwhelming endorsement, but if you are going to take a Jack the Ripper walk, I recommend Philip.

Philip is also involved in historic preservation and the paranormal in his home town of Guildford.  He owns a company called, the Ghost Tours of Guildford.  I have been on that walk, and recommend it as well.

Below are some photographs of myself and Philip  taken on the day of his Jack the Ripper walk.  Oh, and one photo of me recreating a scene from one of my favorite horror movies.  This London Underground tube tunnel is where they filmed a chase scene from American Werewolf in London.

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*Salisbury and Stonehenge

salisbury_cathedral.jpg (243763 bytes)The English city of Salisbury is famous for its cathedral, which was the highest in England, if not the world for many years.  This very old city is in a great state of preservation, mostly because the Germans never bombed it in World War 2.  Instead the German pilots used the tall cathedral spire as a navigation point on their route to bomb London and other British cities.  If you go there today, you can see one of the remaining copies of the Magna Charta, which is the foundation of England's unwritten Constitution.

Salisbury is also the gateway to Stonehenge, which is listed as a world heritage site.  Many bus and train lines from London and other major cities converge in Salisbury, dropping off tourists who want to visit Stonehenge.  This year, I paid a modest 29 English Pounds for the privilege of  traveling from Salisbury, less than 10 miles, to a parking lot and visitor's center, about two miles from Stonehenge.  Once there, I made another bus trip of about two miles, to another parking lot, and then toured Stonehenge.  My entry fee included a self-guided audio player.  These days, tourists are kept away from the stones, by walking along a maintained path.  It is possible to register with the authorities and walk through the actual monument, but I did not have the time to make arrangements.  Once I finished my tour of the site, I had to catch another bus to return to the visitor's center.  The bus drop off point was on a path that took me directly to the gift shop.  The only way I could leave was by passing through the shop.  The steward at the door and I chatted for a few minutes, and he blamed American museums for this little innovation.  Humm.

However, there are a few other ways to visit.  There are normal public busses that will take visitors to places like Amesbury, where they can walk to Stonehenge, and several other significant prehistoric sites.  If you trust European drivers, you can also rent a bicycle and make about a 20 mile loop from Salisbury to Stonehenge and back.

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stonehenge_07.jpg (49669 bytes)Because this website is concerned with the paranormal as well as history, Stonehenge brings up a question to me, about reported paranormal activity at the site.  Many many visitors report feeling in touch with ancient and cosmic forces while visiting Stonehenge.  Many non-Christians make regular trips there, and conduct religious rituals on occasions, such as the annual solstices and equinoxes.  There are a few stories about people seeing ghosts, but these are rare.  There is no great body of literature about people actually encountering the spirits of the dead there.  We know from the archaeology that many people died, or were buried in and around Stonehenge.  Over the years, it was a tourist destination, and surely many people died at or near there.  In World War 2, the Salisbury Plain was used by the Allies, as they trained for the D-Day Landings.  The British military still have a presence nearby.  Mathematically, there should have been enough recent stress and/or mayhem to leave some kind of haunting remnant.  I would be curious to hear from anyone who wants to share some experiences with me.

salisbury_museum.jpg (153360 bytes)Many of the graves of people buried in and around Stonehenge have been excavated.  It is possible to see their remains at the Salisbury Museum.  They include the bones of the Amesbury Archer.  He was a true international traveler, who grew up somewhere on continental Europe, but made a trip to the Salisbury Plain, over 3,000 years ago.  He died and was buried in present day Amesbury.  The museum has many other exhibits, and maybe ghosts.  According to some sources, the nearby military museum is haunted. haunted-salisbury-1.jpg (29603 bytes)

One great reference I found to look for the paranormal in and around Salisbury is a book aptly entitled, Haunted Salisbury.  The authors, Frogg Moody and Richard Nash did a great job of organizing the paranormal history of Salisbury into a readable, fact and ledgiblly written volume.  I learned a lot about several locations in and around Salisbury; and I have visited here many times.  There is a ghost walk of Salisbury, but it only runs from May through the summer.  They do not have a dedicated website, to book a tour, it is best to go to the visitor's center.  You can pick up Haunted Salisbury in the visitor's center as well.

One location I usually come back to is called the Haunch of Venison.  This began its life in the Middle Ages, as a kind of hostel for workmen, building Salisbury Cathedral.  In the years since, it has at various times been a hotel, store, bar, brothel, and unofficial meeting place of judges and lawyers participating in the various trials taking place in Salisbury.  According to some rumors, in World War 2, on the eve of D-Day, the pub was shut down, and used as a  meeting place for Eisenhower and Churchill.  There are several ghosts in the Haunch of Venison, including a card sharp, whose hand was cut off for cheating.  There is no clear date of when this happened, but in the early 20th century, workmen discovered a human hand still clutching  playing cards in a bricked up niche in a second floor fireplace.  There is a replica of the hand on display.

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*Stratford Upon Avon

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Stratford Upon Avon is a very old English town.  For centuries its secret to wealth and trade came from the River Avon, which flows through the town.  It is still famous for the swans and water canals.  Fortunately, much of its Medieval through Tudor architecture remains.  It was the town of Shakespeare's birth and death, and is the home of the Royal Shakespearean Theater.   I spent several days there.  The high point was when I spent most of one day with my school chum Kathryn and her family.  I also saw the play Antony and Cleopatra.  The play was so well acted, I really came to believe the actors were the same wishy-washy weaklings Shakespeare had portrayed as being.  I also hung out in a pub called the Garrick Inn, oh, and attended one ghost tour.

 

 

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stratford_Garrick_inn.jpg (136877 bytes)The age of the Garrick Inn is hard to pinpoint.  Like many English buildings, it includes elements from several time periods.  This was built long before William Shakespeare's birth, much less that of the famous actor David Garrick.  Some portions of the building may date from the 1300s.  Latter portions date from the 1500s, placing them within Shakespeare's time period.    The building has served as an inn and public house since at least 1718.  In the years since, it had several names before becoming the Garrick Inn, in 1795.  David Garrick was a charismatic actor and theater producer.  Some historians credit Garrick's natural acting style and productions with bringing Shakespeare back into fashion among 18th century play goers.  

The inn was named for Garrick a few years after his death, which DID NOT take place there.  However, other people did die in the Garrick Inn.  One of them was a young man named Oliver Gunn, who may have been the towns first plague victim, in 1561.  The staff believe he or others may haunt the inn, and have a two page handout on events that have happened there over the years.

I did not see any spirits other than the hard cider I had with my dinner in the bar.  The food was excellent, better than ordinary pub grub, but not too froo froo, to make me forget I was in a pub.  If they are not too busy, I found the staff friendly, and open to talking about the ghosts and many other subjects.   

stratford_tudor world.jpg (181433 bytes)Another location of historic and haunted interest is a family owned, and privately funded museum called the Tudor World.   I stopped in to visit their gift shop, and spoke with one of the owners.  She was dressed in a very fine Elizabethan dress, which I was praising when another patron walked in.   The new person, who was English, said the owner looked just like Queen Victoria.  It is good to know that American tourists are not the only ones to embarrass their nationality when they are on holiday.  

The museum is located within a small complex of buildings, all dating to the Tudor period.  Patrons pay a modest fee for guided tours of the open yard, as well as tours of the buildings, where there are several different dioramas set up illustrating life and death in the Tudor period.  Some of them use mannequins, which can upset people who remain after hours, to attend the ghost tour.

stratford_ghostwalk_01.jpg (120059 bytes)My friend Kathryn and her family live not too far from Stratford, and they came and spent the day with me, walking around Stratford upon Avon.  Separately, we all bought tickets for the ghost tour, which was interesting.  Once the normal museum shut down operations, one of the staff took a group of us inside of the main building and led us through the place.  He had shut the doors and windows, so we were in the dark.  The only light came from cracks in the walls and window sills, and the small lantern he brought with him.  

He told many stories about paranormal events that had taken place over the years, witnessed by patrons as well as guides.  This included stories from the plague years, which decimated all of Stratford.  There was also the young man beaten near to death by mercenaries staying in one of the buildings.  He managed to crawl into an attic and hang himself, rather than suffer another beating.   Then there was the knife maker/sharpener who still seems to haunt the space where he used to have his workshop.

With the scary stories, and lack of light, several of the patrons thought they heard strange sounds.  The guide did point out that a lot of sounds came in from the outside world.  The same for strange smells.  They also had a small stereo outside, which played spooky music and sound effects.  All of this may have conspired to scare some of the younger people taking the tour.  Even though I do not think we had any paranormal events, I enjoyed myself and would recommend the museum in the daytime and at night for tours.

In addition to this tour, there are spring through summer ghost walks on Saturday evenings, with special walks in October.    

Every day there is a normal city walk beginning at 11 am, starting at the fountain.  This talk normally runs for about two hours, but on the tour I took, a core of us stayed with our knowledgeable guide for a full three hours of interesting walking and talking. 

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Native Spirits at Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge? posted 25 April 2017

In late March, I received an email from Rielly, a young lady from Ridgefield, Washington, north of Vancouver.  She described several odd and unusual incidents that she others experienced at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.  The refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  It hosts a large population birds and other woodland and aquatic animal and plant species in its 5,200 acres.  Here is a link to their website for more information.  In addition to the wildlife, Native Americans, archaeologists, and others know that in the past, a large Native American population lived in and around what is now the refuge.  Many believe that this community was known to explorers such as Lewis and Clark as the Cathlapotle village.  

In 1805, Lewis and Clark visited a village near modern day Ridgefield, with 14 large plank houses, and as many as 900 residents.  The people living there were the Cathlapotle, a Chinookan speaking people.  There are multiple spellings for these people, including Quathlapotle, who may have called their village Nahpooitle.  Lewis and Clark were followed by other Euro-American explorers and trader.  With them, and sometimes ahead of them came many epidemics.  By the 1830s, most of the Chinookan folk left the village, and other native peoples, such as the Cowlitz and Klickitat moved into the abandoned village.  By the mid or late 1850s, they also left the village site.  For more information on Cathlapotle, please visit this web page.

Although that was less than 200 years ago, many people forgot the exact location of the village site.  By the late 20th century,  archaeologists and historians investigated many prehistoric sites in and around Ridgefield, looking for Cathlatpotle.  Eventually their investigations led them to the Native American site within the Wildlife Refuge.  In 2005, volunteers working with the Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland State University, and the Chinook Nation complete construction of a replica plank house, of Chinookan style.  The Fish and Wildlife Service and Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge hold interpretive sessions at the site.

The Ghosts of Cathlapotle?

Rielly wrote me a lengthy letter about some things she and others experienced within the boundaries of the refuge.  If you are interested in the full letter, here is a link.  I will also summarize some of the more memorable phenomena from her letter and other sources.  Rielly and others have noticed that there is a certain heaviness within the refuge.  They described it as similar to being out of breath, but more spiritual, rather than a real problem with lungs.  It is as if some force wants visitors to leave as quickly as possible, and not linger in any one place.  Another visitor to the refuge named Olivia described this feeling in another way.  For her, it was as if she walked into a party room late, and all the people there stopped what they were doing, to watch her before going back to what they were doing.  This heavy feeling is particularly strong on one high hill, with a lone tree standing on the  hilltop.  On another hill, other people reported hearing a strange buzzing sound, which stopped when they walked off the mound.

Another person, a young man decided to walk to the refuge, to meet some friends.  It was around 9 PM, when he walked through the refuge, near the plank house and stopped.  He turned around when he heard the sound of someone running up behind him.  It did not sound like someone wearing heavy shoes, or bulky clothing.  Rather, it sounded like someone running very light-footed and quick.  The sound got closer, and he felt someone brush past him, but he never saw any living person or animal.  After being brushed lightly by the invisible runner, he heard the sound of continue past, and eventually it faded away.  Although the young man did not frighten easily, this alarmed him, and he went home soon after. 

In another case, a man and woman were walking through the refuge, on a rise, when they saw a man on the trail below.  The woman reported that he was walking around shirtless.  He was dark skinned or deeply tanned, was wearing long brown shorts or a kilt, and had long dark hair.  She described his face as soft and young looking, as if he was in his early 20s.  He looked somehow out of place to her.  She thought he might have been homeless.  However he moved as if he belonged there.  She and her male companion looked away for a few seconds, and when they looked back, the shirtless man was no longer visible.  He could have ducked into hiding somewhere, but he would have moved fast to have hidden so quickly.  At first the woman did not think this was related to any Native American spirits, since she had never heard any ghost stories about the refuge before.

Other people have reported hearing odd sounds and an unquiet feeling within the refuge, both in daylight or at night.  One person heard the sound of a woman whispering, in a remote portion of the refuge.  


 Before anyone reading this account thinks it would be cool to go there at night and hang out looking for spirits, please consider other realities.  At this point, I must point out that this is a wildlife refuge.  This could be a dangerous place in many ways.  The legal consequences for intruding on the refuge when it is closed should give anyone pause.  Furthermore, people get lost in swampy areas and can become injured, particularly at night.  Other people have found drug paraphernalia on site.  The people who use things like that can be dangerous as well.  If you are not worried about yourself, please consider the wildlife.  Many species of animals are sensitive to human intruders, particularly at night.  Please be respectful of their needs, otherwise you could damage their habitat.  Please visit in daylight hours, when the refuge is open, and safe.

 

A Visit to Cathlapotle

On 4 April 2017, I visited the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge with my clairvoyant friend Andrea, and local person Rielly, and her friend Olivia.  We paused a while to talk about their experiences before entering the refuge.  We agreed that Reilly and Olivia would lead the way, and Andrea and I followed.  I asked them not to tell us anything, but to wait for Andrea to note down her experiences.  We would compare notes along the way, and at the end of our walk.   

 

Olivia visits one of the many tall 

trees within the refuge

 

 

 

 

Andrea  investigated the plank house  

 

 

Unfortunately for us, the weather was rainy that year, and the river was high.  This meant the marshy areas of the refuge were flooded.  Many of the paths ended in pools too deep and large to walk across without getting too wet.  We missed the high hilltop Rielly and Olivia mentioned.  

Once across the bridge, we walked along a path through grasses and shrubs to the plank lodge.  There are a series of  paths from the lodge, leading through the refuge.  We took one that went upward in elevation, toward a line of trees.  As we got closer to the trees, Andrea received the word or impression of the word SACRED.  She had many impressions of life energy, and saw children playing in the woods.  She also detected a series of spiritual watchers, looking after the spirit children, and other native remnants.  Andrea also had the impression of burials, where the dead were placed in canoes on the water, and sent down the river.  Neither she, nor Rielly or Olivia knew that many people who lived along the river sent their dead to a final rest in this manner.  

Andrea also brought her ovilus, and reported the following words as we moved through the refuge,  MUDDY,  WARRIOR,  ROW, CHILD, VIOLENCE, RESTORED.  Of course, these could be randomly generated words, but they seem to correlate with the environment and situation around us. 

A few minutes later, we paused to try contacting any spirits through electronic voice phenomena, using a digital voice recorder.  We only made one attempt, where each of us asked two questions each.  We did not hear any significant sounds in this attempt.   A few minutes later, the Ovilus came up with more words, OUR, FOREST, LEDGE, SEVERAL, DAVID.

As we finished our walk around, Andrea, Reilly, and Olivia discussed some deeper meaning to their feelings and their impressions of the visit.  They all expressed a belief that there were spirits in the wildlife refuge.  These spirits were watchful, and perhaps welcoming of visitors, if those visitors respected the history and heritage of the place.  That the spirits wanted people who were disrespectful to leave.  When those people visited the guardian spirits of Cathlapotle did their best to hurry them along.

 To learn more about the spiritual beliefs of the Chinook and other people of the Pacific Northwest, there are two good sources/authors to look into.  In the 1850s, the US Government hired an ethnographer named George Gibbs to gather information on the region’s tribes.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gibbs_(ethnologist)

Decades after Gibbs’ death, a woman named Ella Clark published his collected stories, as well as other tales she gathered from other sources.  These stories are as close as you can get, except for visiting living, Native American heritage-speakers.  Here are some links to places to download or buy copies of Gibbs/Clark’s works.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/20612219?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

http://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu/masc/finders/cg146.htm

https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&an=ella+clark&tn=&kn=&isbn=

 

First Encounter with an Ovilus, at the Edgefield posted 26 March 2017

On 16 March 2017, I met with Andrea Stenger at the Edgefield, in Troutdale, Oregon.  The Edgefield is locally famous for many reasons.  For several decades in the 20th century, it was the Multnomah County Poorhouse.  In those years, hundreds of society’s poor, indigent, incapable, and abandoned were sent to the poorhouse to live out the rest of their lives.  The correct term for them in those days was inmate, and the person in charge of the poorhouse was the Overseer of the Poor. 

In the later 1900s, newer social welfare programs caused Multnomah County to close the poorhouse, which had become a geriatric facility.  It sat vacant for many years, until the McMenamins Brothers purchased the vast brick building and its grounds.  The McMenamins are entrepreneurs who led the vanguard of the brewpub-hotel movement that has captured the Pacific Northwest.  Over a period of decades, they converted the Edgefield into a successful hotel, with a brewery, winery, movie theater, and golf course.  Even in winter, it is very difficult to get a weekend room at the Edgefield, without booking well in advance.

As people visiting my website might expect, the decades spent as a poorhouse seems to have left many unhappy memories within the brick walls of the Edgefield.  Memories that may manifest themselves in a paranormal way, perceived by the many guests who stay there today.  The staff keep a log book at the front desk, where guests share their observations.  These experiences have taken place from the attic to the basement and the three floors in between.  I wanted to talk briefly about an odd occurrence that took place as Andrea and I toured the building.

Today, the basement is taken up with general storage, as well as an area with large beer brewing tanks, and stack upon stack of barrels of aging wines.  This makes an excellent backdrop for the popular wine tasting bar.  However, in the past, as the Edgefield’s inmates grew older, the staff brought them down to this basement at night.  This was not some form of torture.  It was an economical way for the nursing staff to monitor the inmates en masse as they slept, rather than making nightly bed checks on each inmate.  Some of the inmates died in their sleep down there, and may have left some spiritual remnant behind.

While we were in the basement, NOT sampling the wine menu, Andrea and I talked about the many ghost stories surrounding the building.  As we had walked around, she activated her Ovilus IV device.  I am somewhat of an old school paranormalist.  Over the years, I have watched many people employ scientific devices which have ordinary uses, to look for evidence that when we die, we leave something behind.  Because these devices were not designed specifically to find the paranormal, I am sometimes skeptical of paranormal investigation usage.  I prefer to learn the scientific principles of how the devices work, and whether their paranormal uses are in line with the original design parameters.

The Ovilus IV is one of a long line of electronic devices manufactured specifically to find evidence of the paranormal.  Below are excerpts of a description of the devices from the website for Digital Dousing, who manufactured and sold the OVILUS IV .  There is along list of its features, which I have not included.

 

The Ovilus 4 is a major step forward in ITC Devices designed for paranormal research.  ITC  “Instrumental Trans Communication” is a term used to describe devices that use an electronic or mechanical means to allow spirit communication.

For the first time with Real Human Voices.

Full Color Touch Screen.

 

Ships with 4 different voice options:

    Male English Voice

    Female English Voice

    Male Spanish Voice

    Female Spanish Voice

The Ovilus IV converts environmental readings into voice.

The Ovilus IV does not employ any random generation or algorithm to create speech in any sequence or structured form. When energy changes are detected, the magnitude of the change is used to select 1 of 2048 predefined words.  During normal operation the Ovilus IV will voice many words. This is the environment changes around the Ovilus triggering the voice.

Based on the description, it is clear that the Ovilus IV can speak with different gender voices in different languages.  It has a dictionary, as well as a phonetic function, where the voices will ‘sound out’ individual syllables.  Users can also shut down the audio output and have words appear and be recorded on an LED screen on the device.  There are many other functions available on the Ovilus IV, which I will not explain.  Despite all these technical details, one thing not explained to my satisfaction is, how does it really work.

I am paraphrasing what I think is the makers explanation.  They suggest changes to the electromagnetic environment cause the Ovilus to generate the words.  However, it is not clear what kind of changes make up which specific words, and whether this is a constant effect.  That is, will the same electromagnetic field readings, temperature changes, motion, and who knows what else, will cause the same word to be generated, or not.  I admit that the website is quite large and I may have missed theoretical details, but if I do not have diagrams and a detailed explanation, I find any ghost hunting gear suspect. 

Having said that, in the interest of being open minded, I will not dismiss the Ovilus and similar gizmos out of hand.  This category of devices should be put to rigorous scientific testing.  Which Andrea and I did not do at this time.  However, we did have an interesting experience that might have been causation or coincidence.

One of the stories I told Andrea centered on the stack of barrels in the basement, stored behind glass walls.  Many years ago, some of the vintners were shifting barrels of wine from one part of the complex to the basement.  Each barrel weighs several hundred pounds, and takes two to three strong people to move, lift and stack.  The workers were doing their job in the middle of the night, and were the only ones in the basement.  They brought a load of barrels down to the basement and stacked them carefully, before leaving to get another load.  They locked the basement door behind themselves, to keep out intruders.  When they returned with more barrels, the workers found one of the barrels turned sideways on the wooden crib, on the top stack of barrels.  

It would have taken great precision and strength to get the barrel turned and balanced, to sit sideways on top of the stack.  The vintners did not believe this was the work of a lone prankster.  It would have taken at least two men.  Knowing the history of the basement, they finished their work, and left quickly.

As I told Andrea of this occurrence, she had her Ovilus pointed toward the barrels of wine.  A few seconds later she showed me the screen, which read, “barrel”.  This could have been a coincidence, but what a coincidence.  Out of over 2,000 words, it selected the one word that could have described my tale.  Is this a case of some spirit reaching out to us, which is causation?  Or is it a highly interesting instance of random chance generating a word, to which our own minds make a correlation between the Ovilus readout and my story?

Andrea has many paranormal interests.  She and her friends work at Paranormal Portland Society of Associated Services.  You can also find them on Facebook.  I borrowed many of Andrea's photographs for this article.  Thank you Andrea.

 

 

The Haunted Commodore Hotel in Astoria  Posted 24 January 2017

In mid-January, I visited the Commodore Hotel, in Astoria, Oregon.  The Commodore has an interesting history, and as you might expect on this website, it is haunted.  The Commodore was a traveler’s hotel and saw many guests from the early to latter 20th century.  In those years, the only way to cross the Columbia River from Washington to Oregon was by ferry.  The ferry service was limited, especially during storms.  It they arrived too late in the evening and missed the ferry, travelers needed to spend the night somewhere, and the Commodore was an inexpensive option.  However, on 27 August 1966, the Astoria-Megler bridge joining Washington and Oregon opened, which spelled the doom of many of Astoria’s traveler hotels.

The Commodore soon shut its doors for lack of clientele, and remained sealed up for decades.  With the recent increase of overnight tourism in Astoria, a group of entrepreneurs purchased the Commodore and renovated it, as one of Astoria’s affordable hotels.  Soon after opening the hotel, many staff members noticed strange things in different places.  The staff often find the room to one room on the second floor open, even if there are no guests staying there.  Several of the staff have felt strange things in the basement, near their break room.

Suzy Olsen owns a local business, Chariot Spirit & Home.  She also has an interest in the supernatural, and asked me to visit the Commodore with her.  While I noticed nothing overtly supernatural, we did have some interesting experiences that warrant a future visit.  When we walked down to the basement with one of the employees who spoke about a disappearing slice of pizza, I heard a loud metallic clank from a set of metal dishes stacked against a wall.  The sound was quite loud, and there was no one standing near them to make the sound.  However, it could have been the result of vibrations on the room.  Maybe.

We went to the far corner of the basement, where Suzy and most of the employees reported uneasy feelings.  We sat at a table in that corner, with a Tri-field electromagnetic radiation detector, and a digital audio recorder.  We had gone throughout the basement and identified several areas where the EMR was relatively high because of power lines, outlets, or magnetized metal.  Near this corner, the EMR was relatively high, at around 3 milligauss, but there were no obvious reasons for the reading.  We made four attempts to make contact with any entities through Electronic Voice Phenomena.

In each attempt, we each asked a series of questions that needed short answers to respond.  After each question, we waited several seconds for the digital audio recorder to pick up any response that was not obvious to us in real time.  We sat very still while asking our questions, which lasted about two minutes with each attempt.  After each attempt, we immediately listened to the recording, hoping to hear a response. 

In the audio, while I think there were a few anomalies, there were no obvious voice-answers.  There was a lot of background noise from a refrigeration unit humming and rhythmically clanging, which could account for any anomalies.  However, we did have a different kind of response.  Upon replay, we monitored the needle of the EMF detector, and when the recording reached the silent period after some questions, the needle spiked several times, rising as high as 6 milligauss.  When that happened, we noted it in Suzy’s notes, and redirected our questions along new lines in the next EVP attempt.  I have included the four sound files for you to review. 

Attempt 1          Attempt 2         Attempt 3          Attempt 4

 

                                                                                                       

                                                        

On 17 February, Suzy will host an event called The Dark Arts Eve at the Commodore Hotel.  Part of that event will be a visit to the basement!  I think attendees will find it interesting.  Even if you cannot make it to the Dark Arts Eve, you can visit the Commodore later.  The rooms are nice, the lobby was comfortable, and some of the staff were willing to talk about their experiences.

 

Dark Arts Eve at the Commodore Hotel, Updated 10 March 2017

Sorry it has taken me a while to write about the Dark Arts Night.  It very interesting!  I recommend people read the results of this interesting event, and maybe take part in another one in the future.

Suzy asked me to attend to provide some historic information to her guests, but she did not need my help organizing the event, or her experiments. Although she tried limiting attendance to 20 people, closer to 30 people showed up.  We were a bit short on chairs though.

Suzy's approach was very traditional.  While I brought my own electromagnetic field detector, Suzy relied on a swinging pendulum, candle flame, and spirit board, which some people call a ouija board.  In this case, Suzy's board was custom made, and about twice the size of ones made by Parker Brothers.

High tech paranormal investigators may not use the pendulum and candle flame methods of spirit communication.  These methods date back to the 19th century.  In the case of the pendulum, the medium, or clairvoyant raises their hand or arm, holding some kind of weight on a string.  They ask a question of the spirits, and after a few seconds, the bob at the end of the string moves.  If it moves on one direction, the answer is yes, if it moves in the other direction, the answer is no.  Some people have even placed pieces of paper under the pendulum with letters on them.  The pendulum will swing over letters or words, like a ouija board.

 

In the case of the candle method, it is very simple.  When someone asks a question, they look at the candle flame.  If the flame erratically grows or shrinks, the watchers can interpret that as a yes or no answer to questions, or some evidence of paranormal agitation.  

I do not think I need to explain how the spirit board works.  These are all very old, low technology methods of communicating with any spirits present.  Like all methods, there is no technical proof that they are totally effective in spirit communication.  There are many skeptics who point out that all three of the methods can be influenced at the subconscious level by the people practicing them.  In the case of the pendulum and spirit board, the participant's inner desires, fears, and theories can be manifested in the results.  In the case of the candle flame method, the fear or excitement of the flame watchers can affect their perception of the candle flame.   I must also point out that using high tech electronic devices suffer from these weaknesses, as well as weaknesses inherent in using energy based tools, such as battery failure, ordinary energy conduits creating EMF fields, etc.  Having pointed out the valid skepticism, that does not mean these methods are all invalid.  Oftentimes, the results are verified later, by independent research. 

As a group we identified many possible trends or answers to the questions asked.  Oftentimes the results of the various devices or experiments coincided.  For instance, at the same time as Suzy asked a question, several times the needle in my electromagnetic field detector raised, or spiked, AND the candle flame jumped, or flickered.  When two or more of these anomalous results happen, I think there is a greater chance that the experiments are valid.

Suzy managed to contact two separate entities.  The first entity was that of a child, who had remained behind in the hotel.  It may or may not have died there.  It wanted to leave but was somehow trapped in place.  It may have been the one who played pranks on the guests and staff.  At first this entity seemed to be very strong, and responded to the pendulum.  However, it faded abruptly, as if it ran out of energy.  It was soon replaced by the spirit of an Asian man, who may have come to Astoria in the mid-1800s as a Coolie.  His spirit predated the construction of the Commodore Hotel.  Coolies were people who were sold (by themselves or their families) into slave labor.  Theoretically this was a form of indentured servitude, where the person would serve for a certain number of years in return for money, or other services. 

One of the reasons the Coolies came to the United States was to become rich.  The stories of the wealth of the California gold and silver fields spread worldwide in many languages.  In reality,Asians were not allowed to own and work their own mining claims in most areas.  Many of the Coolies who came to the United States from Asia never lived to the end of their contract.  Some died from labor conditions, overwork, diseases, or were murdered.   Along with becoming rich, the other ambition of the Asian laborers was to return home.  If they could not do this in life, they hoped to send their bones home to their families.  Through the length of the séance, it seemed that the unquiet spirit of an Asian laborer was not buried properly, and his bones were not sent home.  Lost, he wandered the vicinity of the Commodore, which has been a familiar space, when he was alive.

The skeptics may be right, and these spirits might be the product of the collective imaginations of  Dark Arts Night patrons.  However, some of the answers would have needed a lot of historic information to make sense.  I did not provide that kind of background before the event, and to the best of my knowledge, none of them had a great amount of knowledge about this part of Astoria's past.  I think other paranormal investigators would be interested in visiting the Commodore in the future.  Maybe they should try to contact Suzy?

January 2017,  Vancouver Informal Paranormal Pub Discussion on Group Etiquette Posted 22 Jan 2017

As some visitors to this website know, (and many do not,) once a month I host what I call the Vancouver, Informal Paranormal Pub.  This is a Facebook centric event where people interested in the paranormal meet once a month at a location in Vancouver, Washington.  We do not have any paranormal group orientation, or fixed set of discussion topics.  We meet, eat, and talk about current paranormal events, and our life experiences.  Some people talk about recent investigations and trips.  Others talk about equipment and techniques, and so on.

I find it a great way to connect with people near me who share an interest.  The group has about 30 members who are invited to the pub, but there is no requirement to attend every get together.  There are some regulars, and other people just drift in and out, which is fine.  I know they come to the pub when they want to, not when they MUST.

On 22 January, we had our first pub of 2017.  In 2016, we had our pubs at a place called the Tip Top Tavern.  This year, for various reasons, we met at the Uptown Barrel Room, on 21st and Main Street, in Vancouver.  I liked the half-pound Angus hamburger.  We talked about a variety of subjects; probably the most important was what I and others called Group Etiquette.  This related to the dilemma faced by many paranormal investigation groups who begin small, and gradually get too big for their own good.  Or do they?

I do not head my own paranormal investigation group, but over the past 20+ years I have seen them come and go.  Generally, what happens is, one person is interested in the paranormal, and they recruit group members from the people around them.  This means the group usually begins with a membership of friends, family members, and co-workers.  Because of this group intimacy, these groups integrate quickly, and have early major successes. 

However, over time the groups grow to include friends of friends, or complete strangers.  The newcomers are often attracted by the theoretical approach of the group, or their geographic area of interest.  As the paranormal group grows, I have seen many of them reach some kind of crisis point, where they become so adversarial that they break up, and the original members either form their own new group, or leave paranormal investigating entirely because of the negative memories.  In some cases, group members have sued each other in court, or harassed each other for months or years. 

On the surface, these differences can be theoretical.  For instance, a group may start with both clairvoyants and technical (gizmo) approaches to paranormal investigation.  Over time, individual members may want to go one way or the other.  In other cases, the division of labor is an issue.  Oftentimes, one person, or a small number in the group core do most of the tedious work of scheduling investigations, updating websites, writing reports, etc.  Some members spend a lot of money on equipment used by the group, while others pay very little, and sometimes damage the equipment.  Some people seem to take more credit for the group accomplishments than others.  This includes some leaders seemingly not listening to the input of the group.  If unresolved, these inequalities can lead to deep resentment. 

Some or all of these divisions can factor into the implosion of a paranormal group.  However, in my opinion, these are only surface factors, while the real reasons for conflict are rooted in the dynamic of the group itself.  Because most paranormal groups begin as an extended family or social group, the members tend to behave or act like they are at home.  That is mostly good, but what if the extended family paranormal group is dysfunctional.  If someone is the leader in their family, they might think they should act that way with the group, who should obey.  If someone is the ‘baby’ of the family, they tend to bring that to the paranormal group as well.  If people are not aware that they are acting out, as if they are in their family, the end result will always be disaster.

In my opinion, one way to lower the risk of the paranormal group dissolving into chaos is to appeal to the member’s sense of business professionalism, not their sense of family unity.  Many paranormal groups begin, or later add a series of documents to codify group behavior.  These can include a mission statement of why the group exists.  The best groups also have a code of conduct, which spells out how group members are supposed to treat each other.  Most successful groups also have some kind of leadership board, which oversees the group’s progress, and whether they are meeting the letter and spirit of the founding documents.  There are many different subjects and dynamics a specific code or business model can address.

Group meetings should always have some kind of business component that looks at past performance and the future.  If people do not follow the rules, the group has the right to remove members, and individual members have the right to leave, without harassment.  I hate to say this, but successful paranormal investigation involves more than running around, looking for evidence of the spirit world.  I encourage anyone thinking of starting a paranormal group, or who are members of one that is struggling to think about my suggestions, before it is too late.

Update on Oregon Ghost Conference 2017 Updated on 6 February 2017

  For many people from Oregon and Southwest Washington, the Oregon Ghost Conference has become an important part of our year.  For the past five years, the conference has been on the first weekend in April, and has kicked off the spring and summer season for people conducting paranormal investigations and planning haunted holidays across the Pacific Northwest.  It has attracted speakers from as far away as Southern California, and the Canadian border.  Last year, the conference included talks and workshops on a variety of subjects, ranging from past life regression and hypnosis, to finding your own psychic voice, to the latest equipment used in paranormal investigations.

I met last year with the conference organizer, Rocky Smith who along with a dedicated circle of volunteers, have made the conference an interesting and pleasant experience.  He told me that he wanted to keep the conference fresh, and have new speakers, and new topics for classes and discussion groups.  He and his staff sent out requests for new topics and events last year, and now he has a formal schedule of events.

Here is a link to the 2017 conference

This conference I will be very busy.  I will be giving ghost walks around Seaside, as well as participating in two panel, and putting on one educational class.  Here is a link to the entire conference schedule.  I am unsure which days I will be giving ghost walks around Seaside, since they are scheduled both Friday and Saturday nights.  I recommend you make your reservations as soon as you can.  Last year the walks sold out within hours of the conference opening.  

On Saturday I will be participating in two different events.  Between 2 - 3 pm, I will be on an author's panel on the main state.  Between 6 - 7 pm, I will be the moderator for a panel discussion entitled, So you want to be on a Paranormal TV Show.  Then I will probably eat a quick dinner and give an evening ghost walk.

On Sunday, between 1 - 2 pm, I will be in the Haystack Room, teaching a class on self-publishing for authors.  I am kind of old school, so I will focus on paper publishing.  I hope lots of budding author-publishers attend.

 

 

Do You Want To Be On A Ghost Hunter TV Show? Posted 5 January 2017

Have you ever heard the expression, "always a bridesmaid, never a bride"?  In the last couple of decades, I have been on several stand-alone paranormal videos, as well as on different television series.  I was on Haunted History (Pacific Northwest episode), Oregon Ghost [Coast] Explorer, and in 2017, I will make my fourth appearance on the Dead Files.  In addition to these shows which have aired, I have appeared in one or two television pilots which were never completed or aired, and I have been a contributor to television shows that did not reward me with a television appearance.  I cannot tell you how many local television station Halloween segments I have done.  I have also done online auditions for some television producers, looking to staff a new show.   I think I fit the expression as a perpetual bridesmaid, which has given me an unique perspective.

I also think almost everyone who has had a paranormal experience would like the chance to share their experiences with a television audience.  And everyone who has become a paranormal investigator would not only like to appear on someone else's show, they want to host their own show as well.  Of course most of the time, people get their own television shows after appearing as a guest on someone else's show.   Even if some people complain about  some shows, most will still agree to appear on these shows, for the chance of their own future show.  If people deny this, or a desire to be on television, it is because they have been turned down, and are suffering from a case of sour grapes.  Sort of.

I have been to enough conferences and paranormal meetings to hear many criticisms of the various shows currently on the air, or those that have been cancelled.  Complaints usually range from critique of ghost hunting techniques; to creative editing to make a boring story more interesting and thereby false; to out-and-out fraud on the part of the entire television cast.  That is where there is a bit of genuine concern on the part of would-be television stars, as well as sour grapes.  I have heard many people claim they would never appear on this or that television show.  Some critics have been true to their words and turned down appearance, while others have dampened down their objections long enough to stand in front of the camera.  Which makes all of us human beings.  That is why I recommend thinking of the people on television, and the staff behind the scenes as human beings as well.

Because I am probably in the top ten of Northwest ghost hunters to not appear on his own show, sometimes I talk to other ghost hunters; ones who want to be on television, or have been contacted by producers of existing television shows.  The best advice I give them is, if you are turned down, it is nothing personal on the part of the production staff.  They are putting together a television show, and they have to please the viewers, the on-air stars, and an inverted pyramid of people at the television station.  Their bosses include television station producers, their lawyers and bankers, as well as the producers, bankers, and lawyers of their own production company.  It is not an easy job.  They have to be flexible, and that means if you want to be on their show, you have to be flexible as well.

I will give you a for instance.  Several years ago, an international travel show was coming to Portland and wanted to film a spooky episode to aire on Halloween of that year.  They contacted me, and I contacted other paranormal groups, and the managers of several haunted locales.  We had everything set up to allow them to attend a paranormal investigation, and tour several historic, haunted locales around Portland.  I traded emails with the show runner up to the day they flew out from their home base.  Then nothing.

About a week later, the show runner sent me an email apologizing for not letting me know, the producer/star of the show changed his mind in mid-flight, and they went with a second production idea.  I was  furious at the time.  I had put myself and a lot of people out, preparing for this television show.  It was a learning experience.  I spoke with my friend Joshua, who has produced MANY television shows on the paranormal and other very serious subjects.  He reminded me about the perspective of the television producers.  They answer to many bosses, and have to be flexible, otherwise they will lose their jobs.  The fact that it was not personal on their part took away some of the sting, after about a year.

I want to speak a bit about most of the people in the television business who I have worked with.  They are professionals, and they have good ethics, if you bear in mind, how complex their jobs are.  Most of these shows are billed as 'reality television'.  As a whole,  reality television is real, and yet it is not.  In the course of recording a one hour (44 minutes of show, with 16 minutes of commercials) television show, the director may shoot 30 or 40 hours of footage.  This has to be edited down to its 44 minutes, with some kind of act break and fade in around commercials.  Along with this, what happened during the shoot?  Who was it, what did they do, and what was the resolution of the episode/incident/visit?  Someone has to take all this footage and fit it into the 44 minutes, while convey everything  through editing.  Sometimes they get it wrong, according to some of the participants.  Sometimes the television audience does not get it.  There are dangers of bad editing and deliberate deceptive editing.  Most of the time, I have found it has been accidental.  

I have high praise for most of the television staff I have worked with.  I single out Joshua Alper for everything I have seen of his work.  He was ethical and cared about everyone I saw him work with.  Joshua was a long time producer - writer for Haunted History and many seasons of Unsolved Mysteries.  He always told me the truth, even if it meant telling me my television ideas sucked!  He took the time to educate me on some film techniques, and the culture behind it.  

I have also enjoyed working with the producers, directors, and cast and crew of the Dead Files.  From what I have seen over the years, the show is pretty much as they portray it on the air.  I have never met Amy, who is not supposed to meet or be influenced by anybody on site.  Steve really is a former Marine, and a retired cop.  He is both funny and serious at the same time.  You cannot stand nose to nose talking with someone for two hours, (waiting on camera set ups) without learning something about them.  He and the production staff are very serious about getting the facts right, because of criticism of other television shows.

I appeared as a historian, a job which I have done for several years.  It just so happens, I write books on historical haunts.  Although they have their own historical staff, part of the reason I believe the Dead Files has me return is because I have always been able to dig out more historical facts and perspective on the haunted locale.  They have listened to me, and let me talk about the history in my own words.  

I have spoken with people who have been guests on different shows over the years.  Some have good experiences, some have very bad experiences.  Word gets out, and shows that screw over their guest experts and ghost hunters develop a reputation.  I advise people who might appear on a television show to do their due diligence.  Watch a few episodes of the show.  Understand the show concept, and whether its premise and episodes fall within your sense of good or bad technique.  Go online, and contact former guests.  Ask these guests if they were treated fairly.  If the former guest complains, evaluate whether the guest is disgruntled for some non-factual reason.  What did the producers promise you, versus what do you hope they will do for you?  Make your own judgment, and if things go wrong, be prepared for the consequences.  Above all, remember you are on the show to help them get-it-right in some way.  The show does not exist to make you famous.  Understand this, and you and the television show staff will both be happier. 

 

Other Events:

 

Vancouver Informal Paranormal Pub

I really enjoy going to ghost hunter/paranormal conferences.  One bad thing is, most conferences are only once a year.  Although we share and interest in almost anything paranormal, we are also people.   Oftentimes, I enjoy the talk at meals, or in the hallways between classes more than the discussion or classes themselves.  There are some paranormal groups, mostly in Portland who hold monthly meetings.  However, as a Vancouverite, I am reluctant to attend some meetings.  Show of hands please, who hates driving in and around downtown Portland, even on a weekend?  While I cannot see all the hands, I suspect that there are many of them in the air right now.  I also wanted something in my home town of Vancouver, Washington.  

In 2016, I decided to start an informal discussion group in Vancouver, where people could just hang out and talk ghosts, ghost hunting, and related topics.    I picked a location in downtown Vancouver, the  Uptown Barrel Room.  They are nice enough to let us set up in their back room, which accommodates about a dozen people.  We eat, we chat, and just hang out.  

Thank you Tara-Ann for pictures of my gatherings!

There is no formal schedule of who will talk, and about what.  Some people have shared pictures of their recent paranormal vacations, or investigations.  Oftentimes in sharing experiences, though informal discussion, people have learned different strategies for their ghost hunting investigations.  Although there are over 30 people on the Facebook members list for the Vancouver Informal Paranormal Pub, there is no requirement to attend all meetings.  Click this link to visit the page, and send us a request to join.  I recommend people try out this arrangement in their  own home town, or come visit us some time.  We meet once a month, on a Sunday at 5 PM.  You can drop in, or send me an email to let me know you are interested in attending.  

email Jeff 

 

 

McMenamins Paranormal Pub  

Some time ago, the McMenamins Mission Theater in downtown Portland began their Paranormal Pub, with the local chapter of MUFON.  Their meetings are generally the last Sunday afternoon of the month, beginning at 6:00 pm (doors open) followed by a two or so hour talk beginning at 7:00 pm.  The Mission theater is located at 1624 N W Glisan, Portland, OR.  Parking can be a bit of a bear though, even for a Sunday.  You will have to go through their website to find out the paranormal talks each month.

 

Dark Arts Evening at the Commodore Hotel, Astoria, Oregon

On 18 February, Astoria's Fort George Brewery will be releasing a new line of beers.  The release event is called the Festival of  Dark Arts   The evening before, on 17 February, Suzy Olsen will be at the haunted Commodore Hotel, hosting her own dark arts celebration.  She calls this event The Dark Arts Eve at the Commodore Hotel.  For a nominal fee, guests will be treated to local ghost stories from Astoria and invited to share their own.  There will be many other happenings, I am sure.

 

 

 

 

 

 Oregon Ghost Conference 2017 Updated 6 February 2017

In 2017, the Oregon Ghost Conference will be in its fifth year.  By 2016, it grew so large, its organizer, Rocky Smith moved the conference to  Seaside, Oregon.  The conference was a supernatural success, attended by many paranormal experts from as far away as Southern California.  It included panels, seminars, readings, and discussion groups.  On one evening, I and other paranormalists gave ghost walks around Seaside, and conducted investigations in one of Seaside's more haunted locales.  

This year, the conference will have as many as four ghost walks per evening, depending on demand.  While many people (like me)  return year after year to give talks, panel discussions, or conduct teaching seminars, our presentations have changed from last year to this.  That way, it will be fresh for you, and everyone else.  This year there are a lot of how-to seminars and classes, ranging from beginning ghost hunting, to equipment, to producing videos.  There will also be guided ghost hunts, and many social events to mix and mingle with people who share a similar interest.  Here is a link to the 2017 conference

Port Gamble Ghost Conference 27 - 29 October 2017  

According to some, the paramount paranormal conference of the Puget Sound  is the Port Gamble Paranormal Conference, over the Halloween weekend.  The organizers of the event are based out of  Port Gamble, one of Washington's most ghost hunter friendly towns.  Many of the Pacific Northwest's most talented and accomplished ghost hunters and clairvoyants go to this conference to teach classes, give readings, and learn more about the paranormal themselves.  If you live close, and maybe far away,  I recommend you attend.  

Registration opens 1 May 2017 and here is a link to their website.  You can follow links there to take you to the conference

 

International Bigfoot Conference: 1 - 3 September 2017

This website is not just about ghosts, it includes critters, such as the hominid some people call bigfoot, and an exploration of whether it is a  mythical or real being.  There are local gatherings across the country, but this year, the International Bigfoot Conference will meet in Kennewick, Washington.    Some of the people making appearances include Bob Gimlin, Jeff Meldrum, Lyle Blackburn, Clyde Lewis, and many others.  For more information on sponsors, talks, presenters, and vendors, visit their website.

 

 

 

My Personal Appearance Schedule for 2017

9 February 2017, I will be at the Brookwood Branch of the Hillsboro, OR library at 6:30 pm.

17 February 2017, I will be in Astoria at the  The Dark Arts Eve at the Commodore Hotel at 9 pm.

24 February 2017, I will be at the Whatcom County Library, talking about Weird Washington

March 31 - 2 April 2017, I will be in Seaside, OR for the Oregon Ghost Conference.

May 31, 2017, I will be at the Stevenson, WA public library at 6:30 pm.  I will be talking about Weird Washington.

June 5, 2017, I will be at the Battle Ground, WA public library at 6:30 pm.  I will be talking about Weird Washington.

June, 2017, I will be at the Goldendale, WA public library at 5:00 pm.  I will be talking about Weird Washington.

September 16, 2017, I will be at the Hillsboro Library Writer's Fair.

On 28 October 2017, I will be emceeing a Halloween fundraiser for the Vancouver Barracks Military Association.

4 November 2017,  I will be selling books at the Ladybug Bazaar at Battle Ground High School.

11 November 2017, I will be selling books at the Mountain View High School Christmas Bazaar.  

17 and 19 November 2017,  I will be at Orycon, on various panels

25 November 2017, I will be selling books at the Prairie High School Christmas Bazaar.  The school is located at 11311 NE 119th St, Vancouver, WA.

2 December 2017, I will be at the Hockinson High School Bazaar selling books.

 

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