Friday, July 17, 2015

Voices from the Other Side - not who but when - EVP/ITC Pt 5

Who are the ghostly voices we record on both audio-only digital recorders and spirit boxes?

The previous article questioned some basic assumptions we tend to make about communications we receive from the Other -- or at least from Some Other -- Side.  

It's now time (we mean that literally) to consider not just who but also when these voices come from.

This is the next topic in a series of articles on Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC) and Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) and their role in paranormal investigating. If you missed the first article in the series, click here; the second, click here; the third, click here, and the fourth, click here.

(This article continues to use case studies from our own investigations to illustrate the perplexity of identifying the sources of EVP.)

Einstein has shown pretty conclusively that time is, well, relative, according to his General and Special theories. Space-time is an interlinked dynamic, and well-defined forces can warp not only space but also time.

If non-material entities are not bound by laws governing the physics of our own reality, then why would they be bound to the laws of how we perceive time? When we add in the variable of the paranormal to space-time, the notion of "real time" events becomes problematic.

Our own investigations have uncovered instances of what may well be residual hauntings at a number of locations. In several EVP conversations, we've found ourselves little more than eavesdroppers on scenes or situations that seem to replay past events. Our investigations at the Bross Hotel, the Creede Hotel, Cripple Creek's Hotel St. Nicholas, and the Twin Lakes Inn all include recordings that suggest, in part, residual hauntings that are not a part of current real-time events.

For example, listen to the exchange at the Creed Hotel which we slow down and replay at the end of the following video:

Are we even part of the end of this conversation?

When an EVP (delivered in a woman's voice -- if we trust the gender; see our previous article) announces, "I think I'm gonna shoot you," we doubt the remark is "aimed" at us. It seems more likely a pronouncement of one invisible presence directed toward another. In fact, the conversation has a context that's likely 120 or more years old! (See our Creede Hotel article for possible context.)

Other of our investigations have made us rethink other ways time may not mean the same thing for entities we have interacted with.

If an entity walks in step with us, so  to speak, in the direction we perceive time, we seem to hold real-time conversations. But time doesn't seem to mean the same thing on the Other Side -- if it means anything at all, that is. The most pronounced example we've so far uncovered from our own evidence occurred in post-investigation analysis of a very productive EVP session we conducted at the Hotel St. Nicholas in Cripple Creek, Colo.

That session took place in what was once an operating room when the hotel was a former hospital, and our use of a spirit box in that room included instances of residual haunting remarks by unseen voices talking to other unseen voices -- all relating to surgical procedures -- as well as real-time responses directed at us.

But that same session also included an instance where a voice instructed us to reverse one portion of the recording. Listen to the following, where we play the "reverse" instruction we heard in our own arrow of time, first at the original speed and then slowed down to hear all the allophones clearly. Then we reverse the recording and get what follows:

EVP in reverse to our arrow of time

These are clearly Class A EVP, no mistake as to what we heard. In this instance, one of the entities using the spirit box no longer walks in synch alongside us but instead seems to turn around and walk against our arrow of time, heading in the opposite direction! The voice telling us to "reverse" somehow understands we might not understand and alerts us to listen to that portion against our perceived arrow of time.

And note how we heard the "reverse" instruction more distinctly by slowing down the recording. A common characteristic of EVP is delivery that sounds a little rushed or sped up. We suppose that effect could be a by-product of the rapidly generated allophones of our spirit box and the manipulations by an entity to capture and rearrange these clipped sounds into intelligible words, phrases, and sentences. But it might also signal an attempt to manipulate and produce EVP in a space-time world that has no exact equivalent on that Other Side.

As a result of such recordings, we've altered our interview routine to ask if we're talking to something/someone who is contacting us in what we perceive as "real time," or a sequence in synch with our own arrow of time. In a very recent, new investigation, the response to this query produced an EVP of "Same time," which suggests the respondent recognized the question was relevant.

Our final observation about the dubious relationship of time and EVP: Kenneth Webster's book The Vertical Plane recounts ITC communication using an early computer that only had  32k of memory. Webster, who was a school teacher, and two friends renovated a house in Chester, England, set over an ancient foundation.

They began receiving typed messages on the computer screen and soon discovered they seemed to be communicating with a former resident of the original dwelling. (Recall this was almost a decade before the Internet or anything resembling the World Wide Web). This correspondent, calling himself Tomas Harden, claimed to be from the 16th-Century -- but even more incredibly, he claimed to be writing within his own 1500s time-frame and very much alive. Even more incredibly, Harden said he received a "leems-boyste," a light box or display unit, from someone living in the 2109! You can read a version of the account here if interested.

We're not quite sure to make of this -- except that such transchronological dimensions are also well within Einstein's relativistic description, which describes all space and all time as existing simultaneously in the fabric of space-time. Such musings have become more intriguing in light of 21st-Century physics' open discussions of parallel universes and multi-dimensional realities.

The nature of time and its relevance to both EVP and ITC may be more complicated than we ever imagined.

What made the above aside seem relevant to our own investigations involved peculiar photos we found on our cameras for one investigation we conducted -- photos we didn't take -- and subsequent appearances of other photos involving the same photographic compositions but including messages to us.

We seemed to have gotten the attention of someone, or something, and the subject of our next article, in two weeks.

* * *
We're having as much fun analyzing the results of our investigations over the past year as we did conducting those investigations for our book, WILD WEST GHOSTS.

There are puzzling experiences and encounters aplenty out there, and you just may want to pick up a copy of the book for either armchair musings of your own or else as a guide for some of your own expeditions into the fascinating world of the paranormal.

You can pick up the book as either an e-read or a trade paperback. Visit our Website for the links.

In the meantime, happy hunting!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Voices from the Other Side - ITC & EVP, Pt 4

Who are the ghostly voices we record on both audio-only digital recorders and spirit boxes?

As we've developed in the previous articles in this series, these devices seem to produce authentic communication. But what is the intelligence behind such electronic phenomena?  

It's time to address who -- or what -- is talking to paranormal investigators when we use ITC to record EVP.

This is the next topic in a series of articles on Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC) and Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) and their role in paranormal investigating. If you missed the first article in the series, click here; the second, click here; and the third, click here.

For this article, we use case studies from our own investigations to illustrate the perplexity of identifying the sources of EVP.

Recall from Part 2 that these voices are not produced by human vocal cords. Whether the voices occur on digital recordings or through ghost boxes, EVP are not disembodied voices since they occur as the result of electronics and therefore produce human-like speech but not human speech.

This observation leads us to challenge the fundamental assumption that  "female voices" originate with  female spirits and "male voices" originate with male spirits. For one thing, we don't even know if gender is relevant for some unknown Other Side! (A good analog may be the paranormal concept of reincarnation, where  disembodied souls may well re-embody in the opposite gender. In effect, that belief system describes the soul as genderless.)

It's particularly tempting to assign gender to audio-only recordings we've captured on digital recorders. After all, these voice phenomena seem to be produced by a more direct source. But audio-only EVP are still manipulations of instrumental equipment, and we've yet to hear voices on site with our own ears: The sounds we capture only become discernible through later amplification and sometimes by slowing down the recordings to make the EVP more resemble the delivery speed we expect from normal human speech. (Faster-than-"normal" delivery is a typically reported characteristic of EVP.)

One example suffices to make our point.

When we investigated the Forest Queen Hotel in Crested Butte, Colo., we discovered on later analysis that we'd captured what we assumed was the EVP of a former prostitute named "Liz-Liz," who had reportedly jumped to her death from the window of the hotel's upper-floor Room 4.

Listen to the following to see if you think that EVP sounds like a female spirit:

A "female" EVP?

At the time of the investigation, a housekeeping staffer told us the prostitute's name was Thelma, but our subsequent research revealed her name was actually Elizabeth, or Liz-Liz. Either way, we requested -- and got -- an interaction that sounds feminine in pitch to us. But then, that's what we expected. Again, no physical anatomical human organs produced this EVP. Neither we nor anyone else understands how this electronic production takes place. We only know that the response came almost immediately after we asked for interaction.

Was is it produced by the surviving personality of Liz-Liz? Maybe. Or maybe the EVP results from some other source. Since we discovered the EVP only later, no true conversation took place to clarify who -- or what -- produced the "voice."

The capture of this EVP suggests we need to return to that hotel to investigate further, hopefully initiating a more sustained conversation with whatever created the EVP we recorded.

We couldn't make out what the voice actually says, only that it sounds like speech. Such electronic captures are called Class C EVP, or electronic voices that are difficult to understand. (Class A EVP are voices most people can understand if amplified while Class B EVP are amplified voices where not everyone will agree on the same meaning for the words.)

The supposed gender becomes even more problematic for EVP we've captured by ghost box since any non-physical intelligence using such a device must rely on available sounds. Our ghost box doesn't scan radio frequencies as a source of vocabulary. Instead, we use a box that generates only random allophones -- the box supplies no actual words -- that must be assembled into words, phrases, and sentences. As a result, if the available random sounds have a higher pitch, the EVP will "sound" feminine; if random sounds happen to have a lower pitch, they'll sound masculine.

Using ITC of this nature may assist entities from the Other Side to produce EVP, but we're even further away from trusting pitch to assign gender.

For example, listen to this EVP produced by our EchoVox ghost box at the Windsor Hotel in Del Norte, Colo.:

A mixed-gender trio, or simply available sounds?

What intrigues us most about this recording -- well, apart from the recognition of our names even though we didn't provide that information during the session! -- is the way three "voices" work together to complete one sentence. Are we interacting with three different entities acting in synchronized, coordinated effort to communicate, or merely one unknown entity using the medley of available sounds generated by the EchoVox?

The latter seems more plausible to us -- if we can be permitted to suggest plausibility at all!

Although our discussion so far seems to take us even further away from identifying the sources of EVP, our intent is to frame the question in a broader way that might help explain what's going on -- the subject (with more examples) of our next installment.

* * *
We're actually having as much fun analyzing the results of our investigations over the past year as we did conducting those investigations for our book, WILD WEST GHOSTS.

There are puzzling experiences and encounters aplenty out there, and you just may want to pick up a copy of the book for either armchair musings of your own or else as a guide for some of your expeditions into the fascinating world of the paranormal.

You can pick up the book as either an e-read or a trade paperback. Visit our Website to learn more.

In the meantime, happy hunting!

Friday, July 3, 2015

The black box of ghost boxes - ITC & EVP, Part 3

Ghost boxes are something of a black box -- these devices produce voices, but why this occurs is still a mystery. Even more, no one knows for sure where these electronic phenomena are coming from. 

Who is talking to paranormal investigators when they use a legitimate ghost box?

This is the third in a series of articles on Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC) and Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) and their role in paranormal investigating. If you missed the first article in the series, click here. If you missed the second, click here.

 The original generation of ghost boxes relied on radio frequency (RF) sweeps as a source of words, claiming such utterances were RF manipulations to allow the Other Side to communicate. But this claim is difficult to defend except in those instances where captured words record correlations to investigator questions or else describe historical circumstances surrounding reported paranormal activity.

Even then, it's a tenuous argument to say radio-generated words carry the freight of new intentions, and skeptics aren't without some justification to suggest the explanation is a combination of coincidence and investigator expectation as a more likely cause for many ghost box EVP.

For our money, we find the newest generation of ghost boxes more defensible since these devices rely on so-called phonetic generators that use only random banks of sounds as a source of utterance. These boxes contain no words at all, which means the capture of intelligible words, phrases, and sentences are remarkable.

Such gen-2 ghost boxes may produce more reliable EVP, but the voices still originate from unexplained sources.

One long-term paranormal investigator and early ghost box user is Tim Woolworth, whose ITC Voices Website is filled with careful analysis of and thoughtful insights about the nature of the phenomena. (Woolworth is a former investigator for Central New York Ghost Hunters; he also has a background as a sound engineer. We highly recommend both his Website and his insights).

One of the more thought-provoking observations he makes is that ghost boxes don't just communicate with the dead. The devices can also result from the living when they dream. (See Woolworth's article, "Consciousness Projection: Voices of the Living Through a Ghost Box.")

If you checked out the ATransC "TransCommunication White Paper" on EVP characeristics cited in the previous article in this series, you've already encountered the notion that EVP are also reported from other possible origins such as coma patients, transmissions from other dimensions, and even telepathic communications from extraterrestrials!

Maybe we should be calling these devices "Consciousness Boxes" rather than Ghost Boxes!

Some reports go even further, suggesting communication from other moments in time -- both from the past and from the future. The notion is certainly consistent with the Einsteinian theories of Special and General Relativity, which state all moments in time exist simultaneously just like all locales in space. This corollary of Relativity may be over a century old, but it nonetheless challenges our own paradigm of reality.

Although the inquiries we made for our new book WILD WEST GHOSTS tried to elicit responses from lingering residents at the haunted locales we investigated, we seemed to have collected EVP that include other non-local sources as well.

In effect, our own paranormal investigations produced instances where recorded voices sometimes converse with one another -- occasionally commenting specifically on our ghost box or else the other technology we use. At such times, we felt like eavesdroppers. At other times... perhaps the subjects of someone else's paranormal inquiries from some undefined Other Side! (At least, that's our take during moments when we let ourselves consider such unsettling possibilities.)

* * *
In light of our research into the phenomena of EVP and ghost boxes, next week we'll revisit some of our own EVP captures and puzzle over the range of possible sources for these voices as well as offer a few tentative observations and conclusions.

Don't forget WILD WEST GHOSTS is now also a Kindle book and available worldwide. Here's the USA link, but easy enough to find on Amazon from any other country. :)

Until next time, Happy Fourth of July to our stateside followers, and a good weekend to our many other international friends.

Happy hunting!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Communicating with the Other Side -- ITC & EVP, Part 2

Paranormal investigators who use ghost boxes do so with the expectation these devices may provide a means of communicating with the Other Side. But ghost boxes might as well be black boxes. Sure the results can be very impressive, but where are these results coming from?

(This is the second in a series of articles on ITC -- Instrumental TransCommunication -- and EVP and their role in paranormal investigating. If you missed the first article in the series, click here. You might  want to revisit the final part of that article anyway to get a running start into this one!) 

For one thing, we have to remember that EVP are *not* human voices.

That's a hard concept for us to wrap our heads around. Sure, one of the possible origins of the voices are the survival of  personalities after death, but the voices recorded are not really their actual voices. In fact, many paranormal researchers point out EVPs can fall outside the expected frequencies and characteristics generated by human vocal cords.

EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena, and the operative word is electronic, which has two senses: 1) voices captured through electronic equipment, but also, 2) voices *generated* through electronic equipment. That means EVP are not disembodied voices since they occur as the result of electronics -- they are, after all, electronic phenomena by definition! -- and therefore produce human-like speech but not human speech.

This is true whether we're talking EVP produced by ghost boxes or audio-only digital recorders since even direct recordings capture sounds that need to be replayed in order to hear.

Nikola Tesla
A Short (& Selective) History of EVP Capture
EVP production has a history dating back to the beginnings of practical electronics.

Seems like every time a new technology emerged -- telegraph, wireless radio, telephone, audio recordings -- inventors and users reported strange and inexplicable messages. Even Nikola Tesla picked up unexplained voices, and since no one else was transmitting within range at that early stage of radio development, he assumed he was receiving conversations from nearby planets.

Thomas Edison considered the phenomenon, correctly deducing that EVP (a term that wouldn't take on coinage until the 1970s) would be a matter of a device sensitive enough to amplify very faint signals.

In his private diary, Edison writes, "I do myself hope that personality survives and that we persist. If we do persist upon the other side of the grave, then my apparatus, with its extraordinary delicacy, should one day give us the proof of that persistence...."

Oscar D'Argonell described voices with discarnate voices through early telephones in 1925, and Edgar Wallace captured the first EVP on a 78 r.p.m. record cutter in 1932. By 1947, Attila von Szalay reported success using magnetic tape. Father Ernetti of the Experimental Physics Laboratory at Catholic University in Milan conducted oscillograph experiments with a wire magnetiphone in 1952, but when the wire broke, he still recorded voices -- and conducted and recorded conversations with his dead father.

78 r.p.m. record cutter
When Swedish scientist Friedrich Jürgenson was recording bird songs in 1959, he also captured a voice commenting on his work. In further recordings, he captured his deceased mother's voice telling him, "Friedrich, you are being watched." He shifted his scientific focus to EVP.

Over subsequent decades, researchers like Konstantin Raudive, Franz Seidl, Marcedllo Bacci, Americans Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless, Hans Otto-Koenig, Sarah Estep, and many others from around the world have continued to accumulate instances of EVP. Every time a new or refined technology advanced, EVP occurred in the new form-- as though voices on the other side were indeed "watching" progress and responding.

 And on this side, paranormal researchers -- especially the Association of TransCommunication (ATransC) -- have pulled together enough data to propose a growing list of characteristics that seem to distinguish these EVP. (In particular, take a look at the ATransC "TransCommunication White Paper" to skim through a list of 21 characteristics.)

There seems to be plenty of evidence of reported communication throughout the 20th Century, often from scientists and researchers who stumbled onto EVP even when they weren't looking for the phenomenon.

Ghost Box Tech
But let's fast-forward to 2002, and the invention of the first ghost box by Frank Sumption, often called "Frank's Box." The purpose of Sumption's device was real-time communication with the dead, and he claimed he got inspiration for the design from the spirit world -- guess they were "watching" him as well!

Frank's box was perhaps the first device to combine white noise and radio frequency (RF) scanning to provide sounds that spirits could use for communication, and it received its share of criticism from skeptics and paranormal investigators alike, citing that even though words were random, the experience was still explainable as auditory pareidolia – a situation created when the brain incorrectly interprets random patterns as being familiar patterns. Not to mention other sources of transmission such as Citizen's Band radio!

Fair enough, and one of the plausible objections to many subsequent iterations of ghost boxes over the next dozen years. But the latest generation seems to have sophisticated the process in a way that no longer relies on RF. 

And at that point, the game just got more interesting -- the subject of the next article. (Click here to read the next article in the series.)

* * *

We're pleased to announce our book WILD WEST GHOSTS is now a Kindle, and it's available worldwide! Here's the USA link, but easy enough to find on Amazon from any other country. :)

The book recounts 14 investigations we conducted using both ITC and ghost boxes (guess it's something of a spoiler to reveal that the next article is going explain why we still buy into ghost box-generated EVP!)

In the meantime, happy hunting!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Using ITC & EVP for paranormal investigation - ITC & EVP, Pt 1

Paranormal investigation has its share of esoteric alphabet soup, and skeptics have developed an equally bewildering array of specialized jargon to propose alternative explanations.

When we committed to serious paranormal inquiries for our book WILD WEST GHOSTS, we decided to employ an investigative approach called ITC -- Instrumental TransCommunication. In a nutshell, ITC is  the investigative strategy of using electronic devices to elicit communication with the Other Side.

Seemed like the right approach for us since neither of us has much -- okay, let's be honest, *any* -- psychic ability.

We relied upon a number of specific devices, including electromagnetic field meters (add EMF to the soup). Most ghost hunters operate under the assumption that disincarnate entities draw upon electromagnetic energy to manifest or communicate in the physical realm. (Yes, that's a big assumption -- one we'll come back to later.) Establishing baseline readings first, investigators can then monitor fluctuations in EMF that might indicate the presence or interactive willingness of a spirit.

Our primary GB: an EchoVox,
which generates sounds
rather than words, but
also a reverberating
feedback loop of sounds
We also used more conventional electronic devices such as digital cameras, camcorders, and digital audio recorders, but we decided to use Ghost Boxes as well (often referred to as GB in the trade). A fairly new innovation, ghost (or spirit) boxes provide a flow of potential sounds or words that, again in theory, spirits can manipulate in order to communicate with investigators. Many such devices rely on rapidly and randomly scanned radio frequencies (RF) as a source of ready words. Others fall into a category that generates random phonetics or phonemes only, requiring spirit manipulators to splice together provided sounds in order to create words or phrases.

The words that come through either a ghost box or digital recorder are collectively called EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon).

Ghost box technology is new enough that many within the paranormal community itself are still skeptical of the phenomena; at the same time, the results of these devices have garnered many strong advocates.

As n00bs to the field, we were oblivious to this in-house controversy and jumped right in, using a ghost box during all our own investigations. We also got immediate -- sometimes startling -- results.

Just to be clear: we were operators, not sound engineers, and hadn't a clue how long the technology had existed or how it worked. Think of us as drivers rather than mechanics. But since we started offering our GB findings as evidence of the paranormal, we soon realized we needed to get a better handle on just what was going on.

We can't help but break into something of a wry smile at skeptical tirades that paranormal investigations employ "pseudoscience." Wry because of the Copenhagan Interpretation of quantum mechanics. (Let's add quantum mechanics to the alphabet soup as QM.) Quantum theory underpins much contemporary electronics -- from transistor radios to lasers to quantum computing. Even though no one can figure out how it works at the quantum level, QM works 100 percent of the time.

So scientists find themselves on the horns of a dilemma: either accept they can't explain it (yet) and use it anyway, or continue to wrestle with the inexplicable. It's like a black box no one can see into but which "spits out" correct answers every time. To accept that it works and let it go at that (QM whiz kid Richard Feynman's ultimate solution) seems metaphysical and unscientific. But that's where QM theory stands.

Ghost boxes are something a "black box" as well. The engineering and circuitry aren't that mysterious -- the devices either scan RF signals or else generate their own random phonemes -- but what results from GB-generated sounds in a paranormal investigation -- that's a whole other realm, literally. Results can seem spot on and undeniable in context.

But do they originate from the supernatural?

We've come full circle to the assumption EVP represent disincarnate voices of personalities surviving into another realm. But the assumption is huge. It's like a potentially faulty syllogism -- the logical construction of two premises and a conclusion in the form of "if A is true, and B is true, then C is true." For EVP, the syllogism might read this way:
  • A: Ghost boxes produce EVP
  • B: EVP are voices of the dead
  • C: Therefore, ghost boxes produce voices of the dead.
To accept this syllogism, paranormal investigators have to build a convincing argument that premise B is true. That, or resort to a version of the Copenhagen Interpretation, allowing the sounds that come out of ghost boxes as a kind of black box we can't explain.

Is there enough collaborative evidence to accept premise B? That's the important question, and the focus of the next article.

* * *

Click here to read the next article in this series, which delves into the history of the GB as well as the nature of EVP, plus share some resources for those who, like us, want more answers.

Remember that our new book WILD WEST GHOSTS is out, exploring 14 haunted hotels in southwest Colorado -- including a lot of ITC and EVP evidence. It's available now as a trade paperback from Amazon and Barnes&Noble. Also available as a Kindle e-book.

Check out our FB page for book talks and readings we're offering in the weeks ahead.

Happy hunting!

Friday, June 12, 2015

WILD WEST GHOSTS ... is out!

We are delighted to announce that the publisher has released our new book on Colorado haunted hotels.

Wild West Ghosts is available from a variety of sources, including both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It will also appear in a expanding number of independent book stores and tourist shops in Colorado and the western region.

Here are some online links to order your copy:

Please check out (and like!) our Facebook page for the book to see the latest updates as well as upcoming book talk events we've scheduled for the coming weeks across the Mountain West.

Here's what reviewers are saying:

"These are not 'ghost stories,' but rather are a collection of documented paranormal evidence that the authors collected at each of these wonderful Colorado hotels from the past... Wild West Ghosts is your tour guide to a wild ride of haunted locations that will definitely keep you from getting a good night's sleep!"
- Shane & Jennifer Herrin, founders of Small Town Haunts

"We live in a mysterious world filled with peculiar happenings, and Mark and Kym have done a fantastic job illuminating some of the curious corners of our world so that all of us may see them. This book is a wonderful addition to any library but keep it in your travel-bag, not on the shelf."
- John E.L. Tenney, co-host of Destination America's Ghost Stalkers reality series

"Wild West Ghosts is a must-read not only for those passionate about the paranormal world but also for Old West history buffs or anyone who loves to travel and experience a wonderful overnight stay. The coolest part of all is that they provide very specific local information, much like a travel guide, that will allow you the opportunity to find each of these beautiful locations and to do your own ghost hunting...and perhaps experience the very same paranormal events!"
- Timothy Yohe, paranormal investigator and founder of Paranormal Insights

* * * *

The book may be out, but what we're learning from those investigations is ongoing. Next week, we'll start sharing new findings from our evidence that are still developing since the book went to press.

Happy hunting/hauntings, all!

Friday, June 5, 2015

S/O to our indispensable paranormal community

The past year's journey into the paranormal has introduced to us to more than just things that go bump in the night (or day). It's been an introduction to a fascinating exchange of ideas and an opportunity to cultivate both friends and mentors.

As we stand poised to launch our new book, WILD WEST GHOSTS, we want to take a moment to reflect not on analyses of EVPs and anomalous activity but rather on the good will and support of our paranormal community.

The friends we've made in the  Google+ communities that we've joined have been a constant source of new ideas and puzzling findings. Friends and followers who have experienced that world secondhand through our writing, we want you to know that these are a dedicated bunch of folks. They burn the midnight oil in some really creepy locations (sometimes even in their own homes!) ... and wait ... and wait ... and, sometimes, extraordinary things happen.

To each and everyone of you in these groups, we say, "Thanks for the warm welcomes and the generous sharing!"

We also want to shout out our thanks to the fourteen hotel owners and staff, who allowed us into their haunted locations. Without exception, they invited us in and supported our every request. (And, we might add, the results and material we collected were amazing.) These are the people you'll meet if you use our book to visit these paranormally special locales.

Thank you!

There are also several individuals we want to single out who helped us specifically with the content of our book. These folks read our manuscript, made suggestions, and offered kinds words to help make the final product a better book:
  •  Shane and Jennifer Herrin
This dynamic pararnormal duo founded both Small Town Haunts and The Daily Ghoul -- and these publications are a constant resource for anyone serious about the supernatural world. They're also active with their own investigations. Check them out!
  • John E. L. Tenney
John has been a longtime and well respected paranormal investigator even before co-hosting Destination America's reality series Ghost Stalkers, and his kind words about our project have encouraged and sustained our own determination to seek the truth.
  • Timothy Yohe
Tim, an even more prolific writer than we are, offers astounding insights from his own investigations and about the supernatural world in general through his Paranormal Insights blog as well as his weekly newsletter. And we can't wait for his own forthcoming book!

Finally, we want to give a vigorous hat-tip to those who lended critical copyediting eyes to the manuscript: Debra Anderson, Marty Grantham, and Teresa Milbrodt. Included in that team, of course, is our publisher Larry Meredith of Raspberry Creek Books. He's been with us in "spirit" every step of the way!

* * *
We'll announce venues where the book will be available next time, as well as locations of a half dozen initial readings we're offering in Colorado and Montana over the next few weeks. In the meantime, please feel free to check out the WILD WEST GHOST Facebook page, which will post regular updates as we tap our feet waiting for publication.

The book may be done but our paranormal journey is just beginning, and the following week we'll begin a new series of articles about the fascinating phenomena of ghost boxes and what we're learning.

Until then, happy hauntings, all!