Psychiatrists — Modern Day Witch Hunters

The other evening as I was listening to Coast to Coast AM, George Noorey was interviewing psychiatrist Dr. Diane Powell who was discussing her new book, The ESP Enigma. I was absolutely flabbergasted when Dr. Powell stated that being psychic is considered to be a delusional mental illness by the psychiatric community.

This frightens me more than any ghost ever could. It immediately brought to my mind images of the Middle Ages, when anyone who was psychic was considered to be a witch, in league with the devil, and the poor soul was burned alive.

Sadly, it appears this bigotry against psychics carries into the 21st Century, where is has now been stigmatized by the psychiatric community. But instead of witch burning, these modern day witch hunters, (psychiatrists), can simply violate the psychic’s civil rights and lock them up in psychiatric hospitals, which are really nothing more than prisons.

This is not to say that there aren’t people out there with legitimate mental illnesses who are in genuine need of treatment. However, to label people with psychic abilities who are able to hold a job, be it doing psychic readings or a regular job, and who are take care of themselves and their families, and who are in no way a danger to themselves or anyone else, as mentally ill is nothing more than pure, unadulterated bigotry.

Shame on psychiatrists. They are no better than the religious fanatics in Medieval times who burned anyone alive who did not adhere to their strict, rigid dogma. Those who individuals are psychic have every right to use their God-given gift without being labeled or stigmatized. Those of us who have adopted New Age beliefs as our religion of choice, also have every right to believe in our religion of choice, without being labeled or stigmatized.


The Accidental Ghost Hunter’s Review of “Ghost Adventurers”

There’s a new kid on the block, or at least in cable TV shows about ghost hunting and the paranormal. It’s called Ghost Adventures, and it airs on the Travel Channel just before Most Haunted.

This show is very entertaining and the three young ghost hunters, Zak, Aaron and Nick, have a lot of potential. They travel to known haunts and do their own taping, as opposed to bringing their own sound and camera crew with them. They are also locked in, literally, to the locations they are taping. So far that’s only backfired on them once, and that was in their pilot episode when they were locked down into the Goldfield Hotel. They boldly told the spirits that they weren’t afraid of them, and they weren’t. At least not until they came upon the poltergeist throwing the bricks and lumber across the basement. That’s when they totally freaked out and started running and screaming. They later admitted they ended up escaping the hotel by jumping out of the fire escape.

Therein lies my only real criticism of the show. They have a real attitude. Zak in particular is a cocky one who really likes to provoke. He reminds me a lot of Brian from Ghost Hunters, but even at his worst, Brian was never as arrogant as Zak. One of these days he’s going to get hurt. He’s already been scratched and has been warned by a priest that he is playing with fire. I guess that’s the difference between an accidental ghost hunter and someone with a TV show who needs to document activity, by any means possible, to keep the ratings up. I am spiritually aware enough to treat spirits with respect. Since I don’t know if the spirits I encounter are good or evil I tread lightly.

I will give Zak credit for using a scientific approach. He and his team use emf meters, do EVP (electronic voice phenomena) work, and try to get as much on camera as they can. They then go to neutral third parties to have the evidence verified.

This show is entertaining, and certainly more credible than Most Haunted. Definitely worth staying home for on Friday nights.


The Star of India

Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Not all of my experiences with the paranormal are visual.

Last summer, when I visited San Diego, I brought along a friend who is a sensitive and is able to connect with spirit people. I guess that would make her a medium, but she is also a very religious woman, so she would never conduct a seance.

That said, we had to visit the Star of India. I’ve visited this wonderful historic ship many times in my life, but it wasn’t until recently that I learned the ship is haunted. I do however have a vague memory of being on board the ship when I was about eight years old, feeling someone run their finger down my back, almost like they were playing tick-tac-toe, and turning around and finding no one there. I just remember feeling annoyed at the time. Years later, I’ve found I’m not the only person whose had this kind of experience on the Star of India.

While I did not capture anything unusual on film my friend “Ginny” took a seat on the deck and see what she could tune into. Soon she told me she had picked up on the spirit of a young boy who had died on the ship after falling from the mast in the 1800s. This is well documented, but she also got some lesser known information. She said the boy’s name was Stephen, he was traveling with his family, and he had one sibling. She said he was also upset because the ship had changed since the time he had traveled on it.

When we left the ship we stopped and chatted with one of the Maritime Museum volunteers. Ginny told him what she had picked up about Stephen, and the volunteer was stunned as she described many little known details about him.

While it’s possible that Ginny could have looked this information up prior to our visit but I highly doubt it. We decided to come to San Diego on the spur of the moment, and as a wife and mother of a two-year-old, Ginny just doesn’t have that much spare time.


The Accidental Ghost Hunter’s Review of “Most Haunted USA”

The crew from Most Haunted has come to America to visit some of our most famous haunted places in a new variation of their show called Most Haunted USA. And the show is most entertaining. They have visited many locations visited by other production companies, such as Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

One of the things I like about Most Haunted is their historical research. They have always included a professional historian as part of their team. They also use physics which gives the show some more interesting insights. Now I have nothing against psychics. In fact I believe some people have a natural talent to perceive things beyond our five senses the same way others have a natural talent for singing or athletics. However no psychic is ever 100% accurate, and I would like to see more historical research on the things the psychics read during their investigations.

The team also includes parapsychologist Dr. Ciaran O’Keeffe to offer other, less than paranormal, explanations for what the team encounters. O’Keeffe is a dyed in the wool skeptic, if not a cynic, and he is, more often than not, able to write off the team’s experiences with the paranormal with more worldly and more plausible explanations. So when O’Keeffe is ends up being impressed or is unable to offer an alternative explanation I’m more inclined to be impressed too.

The real flaw with Most Haunted is their less than scientific approach. They don’t do EVP, (electronic voice phenomenon) work, nor I have noticed much work with EMF, (electro magnetic frequency) devices, or other credible tools for documenting an actual haunt. Instead they rely on old parlor tricks, like table tapping, ouiga boards, and seances, which can be easily staged.

Still, if you are looking for pure entertainment, Most Haunted USA is a lot of fun. But if you are looking for a team doing serious paranormal research you probably would be better served with Ghost Hunters.