Archive for the Paranormal Category

Welcome to The Occult Detective

Posted in Magick, Occult Detectives, Paranormal on November 14, 2022 by Occult Detective

Welcome, sleuths. Pull up a chair and pour yourself a drink. We’ve got plenty to talk about…

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Posted in Horror, Investigations, Magick, Occult Detectives, Paranormal on September 19, 2022 by Occult Detective

My Thoughts on The Witch’s Guide to the Paranormal by J. Allen Cross, published by @LlewellynBooks

Posted in Book Review, Investigations, Paranormal on September 7, 2022 by Occult Detective

Barking right up my proverbial tree, and just in time for Spooky Season, we have J. Allen Cross’ The Witch’s Guide to the Paranormal: How to Investigate, Communicate, and Clear Spirits. Llewellyn actually sent me an Uncorrected Proof a few months back, and I’ve read the book twice through, and revisited certain chapters since, but before I give you my thoughts, let’s see what the publisher has to say about it:

Flex Investigative Methods That Only Witches Can Wield

As a witch, your ability to manipulate energy allows you to interact with ghosts in ways that other investigators can’t. Discover how to use your magical toolkit to identify and resolve the four main types of haunting―residual, poltergeist, human earthbound, and inhuman entity. J. Allen Cross guides you through the basic principles of a haunting, while building a foundation of paranormal investigation, witchcraft, and mediumship skills. You will learn how to craft a seal, open and close portals, perform an exorcism, and help spirits cross over. With more than forty exercises and rituals, this book shows you how to make the most of your talents so you can bring peace to restless spirits and those they haunt.

Llewellyn is pretty dead on in the description. J. Allen Cross does an admirable job of covering all the bases. As a near lifelong paranormal investigator and purveyor of the strange and unusual, I can honestly say this is a solid primer for anyone, let alone the target audience (ie young witches/occultists interested in ghost hunting).

One of the biggest thrills I got was poring over Cross’ Recommended Reading List and, in addition to Michelle Belanger’s excellent Ghost Hunter’s Survival Guide (highly recommended), Cross mentions one of my favorite books from the early years of my studies, The Llewellyn Practical Guide to Psychic Self-Defense and Well-Being by Melita Denning and Osbourne Phillips, which I devoured in, I’m going to say, 1981 or so. Fine book if you happen upon it secondhand.

This “Witch’s Guide” is a treat for would-be investigators and, I think, helpful to even some of the more seasoned folk out there. It is concise, well-researched, insightful, and engaging. It’s obviously written by someone with first hand experience in investigating the paranormal and in folk magic.

This has long been a passion of mine, utilizing occult practices in the investigation of and communion with preternatural intelligences. This is a neglected part of the field of paranormal research and investigation. All too often, the media shows us one form of investigative procedures and it produces far too many copycats. There is far more to interacting with spirits than flashlight tricks and emf detectors. Thankfully this book has come along to champion that cause.

The Witch’s Guide to the Paranormal: How to Investigate, Communicate, and Clear Spirits by J. Allen Cross, published by Llewellyn Books, will be available wherever books are sold on Thursday, September 8. Here’s a helpful link to AMAZON so you can add this book to your library. Trust me, this one needs to be there.

Lonely House by Michelle Belanger

Posted in Book Review, Horror, Paranormal on July 28, 2022 by Occult Detective

Bordermen Games

Michelle Belanger is an occult expert and author of more than thirty books on paranormal topics. You probably know Michelle best from appearances on A&E’s Paranormal State and the Travel Channel’s Portals to Hell. In addition, Michelle also creates tabletop games.

Michelle’s Ouila Board Scramble is a lot of fun (and a great tool for any horror themed rpg), Midnight’s Kiss is a solid gothic rpg, and I also have read Michelle’s work on World of Darkness: Ghost Hunters. All to say, Michelle does solid work in the gaming community, in case you weren’t aware.

Michelle’s latest is an immersive storytelling rpg, billed as “a solo game of collaborative fiction”, called Lonely House. It is a storytelling game, which tend to be really hit or miss with me (usually miss), but right out of the proverbial gate I could tell Lonely House was something special.

The…

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Magick Without Fears Hermetic Podcast

Posted in Magick, Occult Detectives, Paranormal on June 9, 2022 by Occult Detective

I was thrilled to finally be a guest of Frater R:.C:. on his Magick Without Fears podcast. While I wasn’t at my best (thanks a lot, opioid analgesics), it was an absolute honor to chat for a couple of hours (three if you’re a patron) with one of my favorite people.

We were all over the place, talking about everything from occult detectives and paranormal investigation, the Satanic Panic, music, psychedelics, cancel culture, Dungeons & Dragons, and a host of other things I can’t remember right now.

Pain medication is rarely conducive to cognizance.

To be honest, I could have talked for hours more.

A huge thanks to Frater R:.C:. for having me on. If you don’t already, be sure to put Magick Without Fears in your podcast queue.

“…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.

My thoughts on Consorting with Spirits by Jason Miller

Posted in Book Review, Magick, Paranormal on April 25, 2022 by Occult Detective

Apologies for being quiet of late. It’s becoming a habit, unfortunately, but I have been having some minor health related issues and some weighty deadlines that have kept me from the blog. Again, my apologies.

So many things I should share with you: recent paranormal investigations, upcoming appearances, and a little matter of the occulture meltdown underway on social media, but let’s focus on something more prescient to our desires — book reviews! I have a couple I need to share, so let’s spend today with what is easily the crown jewel of 2022 thus far — Jason Miller’s Consorting with Spirits.

First, here’s what Weiser Books had to share —

“Working with spirits can be some of the most dangerous yet some of the most gratifying work a magickal practitioner can engage in. With Jason as your guide in this book, you are in some of the best hands out there when it comes to approaching and working with spirits. This is a book I wish I had fifteen years ago when I began working closely with spirits.” —Mat Auryn, author of Psychic Witch

Throughout history, humans have sought power and knowledge from spirits. Learning how to conjure, communicate, and negotiate with these unseen powers is one of the keys to success in magic.

Consorting with Spirits presents a detailed explanation of what spirits are, their different classifications, and how they exist in relation to the world we normally perceive. The reader will then learn a system of practices that will cultivate three main skills: The capacity to perceive spirits clearly, the ability to interact with them effectively, and the tools to deepen your relationships. It is this focus on deepening relationships and increasing clarity in communications that has been missing from much of the material about spirits.  

This book will teach you different ways of interacting with spirits, from offerings and invitations to forceful conjurations. With these tools in hand, you can work with your spirit allies to achieve any goal, from protection, to wealth, to vast knowledge.

Consorting with Spirits shares:

  • Proper training necessary for calling and conversing with spirits.
  • How to evaluate the messages you receive.
  • A full view of different modes of contact and what situations each mode lends itself to
  • Why the best sorcery is local.
  • The tools to establish and maintain a long-term relationship with spirits (consorting).
  • The 6 different manifestations of spirits and their corresponding magickal operations, qualities, benefits, and drawbacks.
  • The 4 methods of interacting with spirits: prayer, conjuring, compelling, and evocation.

Let me begin by stating emphatically, Consorting with Spirits: Your Guide to Working with Invisible Allies is an impressive work. On twitter I shared that I found it to be “a brilliant exploration of spirits in all their many & varied forms. A must-read for occultists & paranormal investigators alike.”

As I have stated many times, my introduction to the magical world as something distinctly real and vibrant as opposed to the stuff of fantasy, myth, and folklore was the book Unseen Forces by Manly Palmer Hall. I formulated many of my ideas about spirits from that treatise and slowly began to interact with those varied forms until a more clear (but far from complete) picture began to emerge.

What Jason Miller has done here is validate my own internalized beliefs (through UPG, trial and error, and theory and practice), and doing so by pulling back the veil and taking the reader on a fantastic journey.

Consorting with Spirits is an Unseen Forces Advanced Course, and it was everything I wanted and needed.

If there are negatives to this book, it is that it is a) too short, and b) not in a beautiful hardcover.

That said, it is an impressive volume in its trade dress. It sports a lovely and evocative cover by Wojciech Zwolinski and interior art by tattooist Matthew Brownlee. The font choices are easy on the eyes and tables and diagrams are crisp and well tended.

Matt Auryn delivers are terrific foreword, personal and professional at the same time, as all the best forewords tend to be. Mat has that certain air about him that is comforting and it really comes across here. He was an ideal choice to lure us further into the work.

But, let’s be clear, Jason Miller’s the star here. His narrative voice is erudite and instructive, but balanced in a way that makes the process almost interactive and collaborative. There is no doubt that this is a man who has indeed consorted with the sort of beings that are part and parcel to a man in my profession as it is in his.

Perhaps the greatest praise I can give in regard to this book is that you will learn from it, and you will be able to incorporate the lessons here into your personal practice. Miller delivers all the tools you need.

I had stated that this book is a must-read for occultists and paranormal investigators. Especially investigators. Too many of my colleagues are closed to the near infinite possibilities of the things they are interacting with. Consorting with Spirits would be the perfect mind opener for many.

Consorting with Spirits: Your Guide to Working with Invisible Allies by Jason Miller is available wherever books are sold as of the 1st of May. It is surely the ideal Beltane gift (especially to one’s self). This one needs to be a part of your library. Trust me on this one.

I’d rate it 6 out of 5 Stars.

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