Archive for the Investigations Category

“…in Heaven & Earth…”

Posted in Investigations, Magick, Occult Detectives, Paranormal on May 24, 2022 by Occult Detective

I shared this story with friends last night, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t shared it here, or, at least, I don’t recall doing so. Proceed with caution and with an open mind. I will do my best to maintain the confidentiality of the owners and location.

A few decades back, give or take, I was asked to investigate a business property. It was housed in an old building, constructed in 1912. This building saw a lot of traffic in its heyday, but fell into disrepair and was little more than a derelict structure for many moons until the current owners revitalized it in the late twentieth century.

The owners reached out because they were having inexplicable fires occurring in one of the upstairs rooms. Electricians were baffled. As they were also experiencing other paranormal phenomena, calling me in seemed apropos.

I was able to identify much of the phenomena as residual, such as the sounds of pre-War radio, though I was pretty sure there was an intelligent spirit on the ground floor, and something a little darker in the basement. My main concern lay with the electrical fires however.

After several visits, I became confident the culprits were what some call land wights or the fey, but most simply refer to them as fairy folk. Precocious and alien, wights are preternatural spirits, sometimes malicious, but then, their thinking is different than our own. They frequent abandoned places, woodlands, groves, streams, and yes, neglected buildings.

I set a trap for the creatures, honey and polished stones, and I sang to them while I strummed a tune on my guitar. Gathered into water collected from the most sacred local spot I knew, I took them to that place and released them, unto Seven Pillars, the Gateway Between Worlds, where they could make a new home for themselves.

When I speak with those who have become weekend hobbyists, often because they enjoy the Discovery Channel’s slate of ghostly programming, predominately I see they’re of a mind that there are two, maybe three types of spirits — intelligent ghosts of the deceased, residual spirits, and demons. That kind of thinking is not healthy. This is a lesson every occult detective or paranormal investigator needs to take to heart.

Become acquainted with the history and folklore of the area you frequently investigate. What’s that oft (read: over-) used line from Hamlet? “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Or something like that.

We have to recognize that existence is much more expansive than that which is at our fingertips. We move through a reality that encompasses various planes and dimensions and divergences, and it is all populated by a myriad of preternatural intelligences.

The sooner would be “ghost hunters” wrap their heads around that, the better.

The Converse UFO Club

Posted in Investigations, Occult Detectives, Paranormal on May 9, 2022 by Occult Detective

I had a dream last night, of being upstairs in the old Converse High School. I was looking for something, and found myself inside one of the abandoned classrooms on the top floor, in the very room that was home to the Converse UFO Club I founded back in 1976. On the chalkboard was scrawled a number of arcane sigils. That’s when I woke up, at 3:15am.

This got me thinking about the origins of that club and how much fun we had. It was my 5th grade year. Mr. Piper’s class. Several kids were falling behind in math, so Piper, in a stroke of genius, decided to give everyone a test. If you scored perfect, then you didn’t have math the rest of the semester. So what did I do? I cheated off of Mick Miller. There were about a dozen of us who were excused from math class, but we weren’t left to our own devices. We were charged to present a lecture to the school, on any subject we chose. I coerced my classmates into forming the Converse UFO Club and we spent the next six weeks studying unidentified flying objects.

We were given one of the unused classrooms on the third floor. It was full of ancient desks, chairs, old flags with fewer than 50 stars, chalkboards, bulletin boards, and old US maps. We put all of it to use and put together a cool little clubhouse, far from the prying eyes of teachers and other students. I crated in my collection of UFO books, newspaper clippings, magazines, and comics, and we got to work.

Needless to say, we had the time of our lives… and we came up with a pretty good theory, for a bunch of ten year olds. The thesis we presented posited that these alien spacecraft were powering their vehicles with hydro-power, based on the amazingly high number of sightings that occurred in and around water. Never mind that with two-thirds of the planet being covered with water increased the potential for sightings near such to be more likely than not. Well… we tried.

We presented our findings before the school. We were given As for our effort. And, ultimately I made a little comic book seed money from it all by narrating UFO articles onto cassette tapes and selling them to my classmates.

Hard to believe that by ten years old, I had already formed two clubs, The Monster Club in 1974, (in which we made encyclopedic entries in a journal concerning all manner of paranormal/supernatural beasties and chased ghosts in every derelict and abandoned house or barn and throughout the Hoosier hinterlands in a ten mile radius), and the UFO Club. Harder still to believe that in a few short years, by 1983, it would all take a far more serious turn.

Happy National Paranormal Day

Posted in Investigations, Paranormal on May 3, 2022 by Occult Detective

For some inexplicable reason, since 2013, May 3 has been christened National Paranormal Day. Well, every day is “Paranormal Day” in my nape of the woods, but if this once great nation wants to set aside a day other than Halloween for talking about all those things that go bump in the night, then I’m here for it.

So, as we’re supposed to share a “paranormal” story, why don’t I share one from this past weekend?

I played host to Indiana Ghost Trackers on Saturday night, April 30th, known to those more magically inclined as Walpurgisnacht. We descended on an undisclosed location, a former fraternal lodge in the north-central part of the Hoosier State, during a violent thunderstorm and beneath a New Moon, the second of the month, called a Black Moon.

Everything was aligned for an eventful investigation. The spirits of Beacon Lodge did not disappoint.

On a night filled with inexplicable knocks, disembodied footfalls, spiraling light fixtures, and the presence of shadow figures, for me, the most unnerving experience came as I sat in the darkness of the great ritual hall, illuminated by punctuations of forked lightning and the accompanying rolls of cacophonous thunder.

There, in silence, we sat beneath an ancient gaslit candelabra. As I meditated, reaching out to connect with the spirits I have grown accustomed to in that neglected space, a female voice spoke, as clear as if you and I were in conversation. She said, “Best stay awake.”

Many times over the years we’ve encountered such voices, distinct and clear on rare occasions, but audible to the naked ear nonetheless. Despite these many occurrences, it is always a preternatural treat to the senses when these unseen forces reach out.

I’ve been blessed to have experienced innumerable paranormal experiences.

Tell me, what are some of yours?

So, what are your plans for Walpurgisnacht?

Posted in Investigations, Magick, Occult Detectives, Paranormal on April 28, 2022 by Occult Detective

My “May Day” Weekend is sorted. Saturday afternoon you can find me at Viking Fest in Whitestown, then, that evening, I have the pleasure of hosting my friends with Indiana Ghost Trackers for a “ghost hunt”.

Let’s see: New Moon? Check. Walpurgisnacht? Check. Chance of rain? Check. Should make for a spectacular night.

Beltane will be a fine day for rest, recovery, writing, and reflection.

The occult community is awash in finger pointing, “told you so” proclamations, and a whole lot of track covering. I’m referring of course to the Georgina Rose fiasco. I was chided for dismissing her as her popularity grew. I just didn’t see why everyone was so enamored with her, to be honest. Maybe it’s because I’m old(er), but she never seemed anything more to me than a “witchtok” anime cosplayer who went viral. Her videos were never insightful in any way. For being touted as a “leading voice” in Thelema, it never seemed to me that she had a grasp on what Thelema was, let alone what it could be.

Then the receipts came in. Frater Pena on his Codex Astarte substack led the charge, bolstered by Marco Visconti, commentary by Temperance Alden and Nike (former podcast co-hosts), and a veritable host of others.

The thing is, it’s kind of ugly out there, and a lot of buzz words are getting tossed around that make me uncomfortable. It’s sort of a microcosm of all the BLM/Insurrection/Pandemic rhetoric that has exploded the past couple of years.

Something’s got to give.

So, Sunday…Beltane… I’m going to light a fire and visit with my cats, spend real quality time with my family, and think…a lot. Then, when the dust settles, I’m going to share those thoughts.

You have been warned.

Magic(k) in Paranormal Investigations with Shawn, Michelle, Eilfie, and Me

Posted in Investigations, Magick, Occult Detectives, Paranormal on November 5, 2021 by Occult Detective

“Bob Freeman, Eilfie Music, and Michelle Belanger talk about the use of magic before, during, and after paranormal investigations. They all share their personal practices and stories of real-life investigations.”

A few nights before All Hallow’s Eve I joined Shawn Hebert for a roundtable discussion regarding the use of magic(k) in paranormal investigations to launch the second season of his podcast, The LVX Files. The real stars of the episode were the whimsical and ethereal Eilfie Music, whom I adore, and the erudite and perspicacious Michelle Belanger. Both are paranormal television veterans, having cut their teeth on Paranormal State which ran from 2007-2011. Michelle, of course, in addition to being an author, has gone on to be a part of a number of other programs, including Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman’s Portals to Hell.

Just to give you a few insights into the discussion, firstly I was very much under the weather. I had been suffering from a pretty nasty ear infection and between the pain medication and antibiotics it’s a wonder I was coherent at all. Luckily, Eilfie and Michelle were on top of their game and did the heavy lifting. Secondly, I was having all kinds of technical issues. Not only was my internet dropping in and out, but the overhead in my den was giving me fits, hence the dim lighting.

All that being said, man did I have a ball in this discussion. This was my second time as a guest on The LVX Files and Shawn is a terrific host. He’s just so comfortable to talk with and is able to direct the conversations effortlessly. I appreciate that he is always a part of the moment. A lot of interviewers tend to be aloof and separate from the subject. Shawn is not shy about climbing into the mud with his guests and that’s much appreciated.

While our roundtable tended to focus on the television side of things, which was completely reasonable considering Michelle and Eilfie’s pedigree, there was a lot of good general information that dropped.

Let me explain things a bit from my perspective. I have zero interest in gathering evidence to prove a location is haunted to the public. I have zero interest in whether the public at large believe in the multiverse of dimensions that exist and are home to the vast array of entities that make up what some call the spirit world. I have a vested interest in helping people who do believe they have encountered these beings, in whatever form they take, and I am compelled to interact with them, for my own interests and in the interest of helping those in need.

I don’t feel like the so-called “scientific method” used in paranormal investigations is of much use beyond looking good on television. The gadgets tend to give an air of verisimilitude to the viewer. It gives them something tangible to focus on when, in reality, the best tool an investigator has is their 5 (or 6) senses. Unfortunately, that does not make for “good television”.

So, what do I use beyond those senses?

A typical investigation finds me first doing a tarot or rune reading beforehand. Usually tarot. This gives me a feel for the place. Next, I do a sweep of the location with copper dowsing rods. This helps me isolate the active areas and gives me a clue as to what sort of energy I am dealing with. Then, I open a dialogue, sometimes using a digital recorder or ghost box app. I’ll sometimes utilize scrying mirrors, summoning circles, blasting rods… the whole occult arsenal.

Having an opportunity to chat with like-minded people was a thrill for me. It’s more rare than you’d imagine. We occult detectives are an isolated breed. And for the talk to go down with three of my favorite people, well, that’s just icing on the proverbial cake. With luck, we’ll have the opportunity to rattle the chains of the departed together, in some lonesome clime or long forgotten hall… when these plague days are well behind us.

Old Ghosts Can Be Like Old Friends

Posted in Investigations, Occultober, Paranormal on November 2, 2021 by Occult Detective

As I’ve often shared, I grew up on the edge of my maternal grandparents’ 60 acre ranch, but what I don’t speak of often is of how my mother, after a falling out with hers, moved us from the farm into the nearby town of Converse, population 1200 (give or take). Considering I went to school and bought my comics there, you wouldn’t think there would be much of an adjustment.

Well, you’d be wrong. I hated it. I hated the house we moved into. I hated being away from Turkey Creek and Little Pipe Cemetery. Luckily, moving out was just four years away… but, I adjusted over time. Still, I resented being taken away from the farm. I loved it in the country, but our new home did have a peculiar charm to it.

It was (is) haunted.

I thought maybe it was because of all the renovations required to make the dump livable, but there was plenty of activity in that house. Mostly of the residual kind, but on occasion, intelligent presences manifested over the years. Night terrors and sleep walking, things I had “grown out of” returned. There were phantom smells, footsteps, and knocks. And little secret rooms hidden in the walls which I made use of.

Of course this was a time, these young teenage years, when I was experimenting more readily with magic, so I was attracting a certain amount of activity through these studies. I certainly felt something with sinister intent. Overactive imagination? Maybe…

Later, when I discovered an old map of the town, prior to its name change to Converse, should I have been surprised to discover that our house was built on the site of a former church and cemetery? Our neighbor had a skeleton in their basement, dug up while doing some excavating, and when you looked out across our yards you could see the roll of the lawn give up the telltale sign that graves had once littered the landscape.

The intelligent hauntings have seemingly long since passed, though residual activity still occurs there on occasion. It seemed to be rekindled when my father was struggling with cancer from the hospital bed we’d set up in the living room. After he passed, things quieted down again, or so my mother says.

Still, sometimes when I visit, when I walk into the rooms I called my own as a teen, I get the sense still there is something there, watching me, wishing I would lie down to sleep there as I had once done. Maybe someday I will again, just for old time’s sake. Old ghosts can be like old friends, even the ones who mean us harm.

OCCULTOBER: A Long Strange Trip Revisited

Posted in Investigations, Occultober, Paranormal on October 18, 2021 by Occult Detective

There were some concepts that I brought up recently that I never got to fully explore with you, and, while I still cannot delve as deeply as I would like due to time constraints, I would still like to add some things further.

Regarding Hallucinogens in the Investigation of the Paranormal:

Using mind altering techniques to enhance the perception of self, space, and time, and to communicate with beings that exist within extra-dimensional realms, or with those men and women who have crossed from this life to the next, have been used for thousands of years by shamans in all cultures. Obviously, psychedelic drugs have been used just as long to accelerate the process, as a tool to experience these spaces and to allow for a more proactive interaction with preternatural intelligences, both on a cosmic and more personal scale. Hallucinogens create the possibility of transpersonal experiences with entities that exist within the spirit realm. To deny this is to deny the history of human spiritual evolution, and to not acknowledge the role they might play in parapsychological investigations is irrational.

While undertaking such an endeavor requires controlled experimentation, whatever risks there are are mitigated by the tremendous benefits from being free to explore the entirety of human experience by delving into the untapped potential within ourselves, potential unlocked by many mind-expanding substances, such as DMT, Psilocybin,Mescaline, Salvia, Datura, among others.

My own experiences with substance-enhanced investigations have proven to me the value in such work, however, the criminality of such actions have tempered such research once I became a husband and father. That these natural substances have been criminalized represents a war on free thought and mind-expanding explorations of our inner selves…

Whether for a personal inner journey or used as a conduit to interact with other beings, hallucinogens are an important and vital tool that should not be discounted or ignored.

#OCCULTOBER: A Long Strange Trip Cut Short

Posted in Investigations, Occultober, Paranormal on October 15, 2021 by Occult Detective

A short day for me, on this, the 15th of October, a mere 16 days out from All Hallow’s Eve, thus I must be brief. My initial thoughts for today’s blog was to discuss one of the most neglected tools for investigation of the paranormal — psychotropics, particularly hallucinogens.

I have long been a proponent of their use, with proper guidance and all care given to them, of course. When dealing with entities whose homes are realms outside the material landscape, there are any number of natural stimulants that can help you cross that divide.

I unfortunately do not have the time to delve deeper into the subject today, so I leave the idea here with a promise for further discussion in the near future.

What do you think? Is there a place for drugs in the tool kit of an Occult Detective?

We’ll more talk on this soon…

#OCCULTOBER: “Werewolf Hunter” (Ghost Hunting Tales of Indiana & Beyond)

Posted in Investigations, Occultober on October 8, 2021 by Occult Detective

I was thinking about the various paranormal adventures I’ve been blessed to take part in over the decades I’ve been at this. While Indiana has always, and will continue to be my primary concern and interest, especially the hinterlands of my own backyard, I have been fortunate to investigate some rather intriguing places beyond these Hoosier boundaries.

One of the strangest adventures took me to Arkansas back in 1993. A number of “Dogman” sightings in the Razorback State caught the attention of my friend “Poor Tom”. I packed my bags and headed South to spend a handful of days helping him investigate. He was something of a backwoods sort, a bushcrafter with a fair amount of Navajo blood in him, so after interviewing a couple of eyewitnesses we headed out into the wilderness on a two week hike through the Ozarks.

The idea of the “Dogman” had taken firm hold in that era, but mostly in Michigan. I’d never heard of Dogmen that far south. Arkansas was “Boggy Creek” Monster territory. Both the Dogman and Boggy Creek Monster were said to be roughly seven feet tall and covered with hair, and this description held in our interviews, but the people we talked with were confident this creature had a wolf’s head sitting atop a bipedal humanoid frame.

Tom was full-on convinced it was a skinwalker. In Navajo culture, a skinwalker was a witch who could take on the form of an animal— most often that of a wolf. I tried to explain to him that a Dogman and a Skinwalker were far removed from one another, but he was locked in. I was in the Sasquatch (or Sasquatch-adjacent) camp myself, but the idea of stalking a skinwalker through the rugged, mountainous terrain of my ancestors had quite the appeal to me. I was not yet 30 and being able to put “werewolf hunter” on my resume was all the coaxing I needed.

Needless to say, we didn’t catch sight of any sort of Dogman, Skinwalker, or Wildman of the Woods. We did, however, enjoy a fascinating adventure — camping and hiking in an amazingly beautiful (but humid and bug infested) part of the country, smoking both legal and illegal substances, and, on one magical moonlit night, consuming a bit of Psilocybin. We did run across wolf tracks, or, more likely, the tracks of a pack of wolf-dog hybrids. But that was as close as we got, although we did commune with ancient spirits there in those misty mountains.

It’s the journey that makes the adventure. Part of my love of “ghost hunting” lies in my fascination with history, architecture, abandoned places, and isolated woodlands. If a place turns out to not be haunted, or to be quiet, on an investigation, I’ve still had an experience I treasure.

#OCculTOBER: Paranormal Dream Team (Part I)

Posted in Investigations, Occultober, Paranormal on September 27, 2021 by Occult Detective

I was thinking over the weekend, having watched a few episodes of Paranormal Lockdown on Discovery+, about what my idea of a “Paranormal Dream Team” would look like, if I could only choose from those involved in magical or paraentertainment. Here are my selections:

Joining me (Keter) would be Heather Taddy (Binah), Katrina Weidman (Chochmah), Eilfie Music (Da’at), Josh Gates (Gevurah), Amy Bruni (Chesed), Michelle Belanger (Tiferet), Dana Newkirk (Hod), Greg Newkirk (Netzah), John E.L. Tenney (Yesod), and Shawn Hebert (Malkuth).

“Traditional” investigators Taddy, Weidman, and Bruni, are balanced with the “Magical” talents of Eilfie, Belanger, and Dana. I see Greg, Tenney, and myself as having feet in both worlds. Hebert, I chose because he has fresh eyes (having never investigated before) and is well versed in magic ritual. As for Gates? Well, I appreciate his investigative curiosity and his sense of humor…

Of course, a team so large would require an operation worthy of their skill set and number… Why, I believe the haunted Hoosier hinterlands of my own backyard would be more than enough to keep such a crew enticed. Prowling the forests along the Mississinewa perhaps? Or a certain small town awash in preternatural activity?

What about you? If you were to embark on an exploration of the paranormal kind, who would you call?

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