Thursday, November 26, 2009
I'm currently working on the draft trailer for our television series Ghost Cases, which appears on Eastlink TV in Canada, and I couldn't resist the temptation to take the rough draft and add some funny Halloween-type music.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Episode 3 airs Sunday evening, 8 pm AST on Eastlink TV. Holly and I explore the ghost stories of the Fairmont Algonquin hotel in St. Andrews, NB, and gather some of the most amazing video evidence you'll ever see. Don't miss this one!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Paul was good enough to forward me an advance copy of Episode Two of Ghost Cases. I had the chance to watch it Friday night and I have to tell you I really enjoyed it.Thanks Joe - glad you like it!
Ghost Cases takes a little different approach from what you might be used to on Ghost Hunters. In this particular episode, Paul and Holly visited a rural farm house in which seemingly paranormal activity was making life pretty uncomfortable for its living occupants. I felt Paul and Holly took the time to tell you a little more about what these people were experiencing and how it affected their lives. Like in most UFO cases, the only concrete thing we usually have is the witnesses, and understanding them may give us our best clue to understanding the phenomenon. You also get to know a bit more about the hunters too. You understand that Paul and Holly are just normal people with normal fears and foibles who just happened to be engaged in an unusual activity.
Ghost Cases is not so technology-centric as Ghost Hunters. For example, they are assisted by a psychic in this case - something I believe that Ghost Hunters used to do but abandoned for a more science-based approach. I would certainly like to see a follow-up to the case to see whether the psychic's efforts had any real or lasting effect on the manifestations there.
As a former TV guy, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the production values and videography were quite good - at some points rather artistic. They kept a few miscues in it (people sometimes at a momentary loss for words and such). I liked that. It gave it more of a sense of reality - in stressful situations, sometimes you do struggle for words.
I hope they pick up the show down here. I think it would be a thoughtful counter-point to some of the overwrought shows we get in the States.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Holly and I interviewed last night, on the red carpet at the 2009 Atlantic Film Festival opening gala at the Halifax Metro Centre, about the upcoming television series Ghost Cases, which will begin airing on October 18, 2009 on Eastlink TV in Canada, and which has international distribution through Breakthrough Entertainment.
The clip from Ghost Cases that they aired was from a rough cut of the first episode, as the series is still in post-production.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Holly and the rest of the gang were upstairs, in the kitchen, conducting what amounted to a seance.
As I review the footage, most of which consists of me talking to myself, at least until it happens (and to find out what it was, you'll have to wait until the broadcast), here are a couple of moments.
"I'm uncomfortable. This is not a comfortable experience. I don't have any funny, Paul Kimball wisecracks. This is uncomfortable. Assume for a moment that maybe there are spirits here, or whatever - upstairs, even if you do, you have that cameraderie, safety in numbers. There's something inherently completely idiotic about doing it on your own. There are places and times when I don't like being alone, and I have to admit, this is one of them. This was a completely stupid idea on my part. And yet, its like my friend Peter, who jumps out of airplanes for no good reason - he parachutes, which I would never do - but sometimes I think you just have to try it out, confront your fears, and hope that the chute pops, so... (nervous pause as I look around) - I hope the chute pops."Then...
"As a kid, I used to sleep with the door open to my room, I couldn't sleep with the door closed. I used to go out of the room and go across the hallway, and stand outside my brother's room in the hallway. He'd keep his door mostly open too - sometimes I'd even go in his room and sleep on the floor. I didn't like being alone. It makes you wonder - as a kid, do you see things, and then as you get older, you sort of become more in tune with this world and less in tune with whatever other worlds there might be, or maybe it's just that your imagination is more active as a kid, or maybe it's both. I think maybe it's both. I feel like that kid right now, and I wish my brother's room was right over there, and I'd go stand out in front of it."Scariest night I've ever had... coming to Eastlink TV this October.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
In the meantime, I would heartily recommend recent shows that Gene and David have done with Robert Hastings and some former USAF personnel (including Bob Salas) about UFO incidents at nuclear missile facilities, and Dr. Richard Haines from NARCAP. Top-notch stuff.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
As Laura admitted to me, none of them were seriously frightened by the board or the possible implications of what might transpire – in fact, they had no real idea at all how to even use the board, apart from “what we had seen in horror movies,” added Laura. But, like teenagers everywhere, they found the idea of “playing with the Ouija Board while my mom and dad were out” to be great fun and immensely exciting. However, what initially started out as nothing more than a bit of late-night joking around quickly changed into something far darker and much more disturbing...
Laura put out her hand to turn on the lamp that sat on a small bedside table, when she was horrified and panic-stricken by the sight of a silhouetted, large, black, hairy figure that was partially eclipsed by the shadows in the darkened room. Laura said the creature was “hunched over and had huge, long arms and big, white eyes.”The full article can be found here.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Should people investigating reported ghostly phenomena and hauntings make use of a ouija board as part of their efforts to determine what is going on?
Holly and I used a ouija board in one of our investigations. Nothing happened (so far as we know). But I've had friends who have had very odd, and scary, experiences with ouija boards, and as a result, whatever my personal experiences, I don't rule out the possibility that ouija boards might work, although not necessarily in the way that we might think.
I don't think the board itself, usually made by a mass-market toy manufacturer, is the key. Having talked to a number of psychics, they all say that the board is just the "key" that opens a "doorway" to... somewhere else. The problem comes with what might be coming through that doorway. One psychic put it to me like this - by using a ouija board, you are essentially leaving the front-door to your spiritual house unlocked. Now, if you think about your real house, most people lock the door, for good reason. Good people and friends are going to knock and wait for you to let them in; the kind of people who will be most likely to come into your house through an unlocked door are probably the very people you would want to lock your door to keep out.
In short, the psychics I've talked to all warn against using a ouija board, because you may be calling out for a particular ghost or spirit, but what you're likely to get is something else - something that pretends to be the person you're looking for, but who may well mean you harm.
This is born out by the personal experiences that have been reported to me by my friends. One of them, who is a lawyer who also holds a masters degree in english literature, and who is one of the most sensible, grounded people I've ever met, had a very frightenting experience when she was in university. She and a group of friends were playing with a ouija board when the "board" began to say some very disturbing things about this woman (who I was dating at that time). What really weirded her out, to the point where she called me at my residence and asked if she could come down to talk, was that her hands were nowhere near the board when these things were being "said", and the things that were communicated through the board were things that no-one else in that room knew except for her. When she got to my place, she was in tears. To this day, she will not even have a ouija board in her house. I have another friend, who also has a law degree as well as two graduate degrees, and is similarly sensible and grounded, who reports similar experiences, and will also no longer go near a ouija board with the proverbial ten-foot pole.
As I said, when Holly and I used the ouija board, nothing happened - perhaps because we were goofing around a bit, and not taking it quite as seriously as we could have. Given the stories told by my friends, maybe that was best! Regardless, I don't think I'll be giving it another go. As they say, better safe than sorry.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
When I was kid, until about the age of 10 or 11, I used to have recurring experiences where I would feel as if I was falling. It was always the same - I could literally feel the air rush around me, and that feeling in your stomach that comes when you're falling. These experiences wouldn't last long, and they always happened when I was awake - often when I was lying down reading, but not always. Anyway, I've always wondered whether this might have been some "echo" from a past life, where I had experienced a traumatic fall, perhaps even a deadly one.
Perhaps those experiences, if there is indeed such a thing as reincarnation, follow us through into the next life, at least for a while. This might explain why the experience came to me as a child, but eventually faded away and then stopped altogether. Maybe as you grown into the new life you've been given, you slowly lose touch with the old one. But in those early years, the echos remain, at least for a while.
Like I said, I don't believe, because the logical skeptic in me could never base any conclusions on childhood experiences that happened decades ago. But as with politics, where it's always local, so too with the paranomral - it's almost always the personal experience that makes one wonder the most.
Incidentally, I have always had, and continue to have to this day, a fear of heights.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
There's always a risk you'll get burned when playing with fire, and the idea of a spiritual realm is definitely a metaphorical fire, if not a literal one. Paul and I have joked from the beginning about having to travel to Peru at the end of the series to be "cleansed", but perhaps there is more truth there then I initially realized. I've never doubted the significance the unknown can play on a person's physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, and with that knowledge, I have entered the world of "ghost hunting" with my eyes wide open, so to speak. However, being aware of the unknown doesn't make one any better equipped to deal with it. With the number of completed episodes mounting, and unexplained experiences increasing, I've recently redirected my research back to this idea of "aura cleansing." Just in case.
It seems that virtually every aboriginal culture has a means of cleansing the body of evil spirits and restoring harmony. One of the more controversial (from a "Western" sense), is that of a Peruvian shamanic ritual using a medicinal hallucinogen called ayahuasca. Derived of Banisteriopsis caapi (middle right picture) and Psychotria viridis, this ancient shamanic plant medicine has been used for thousands of years by Amazonian aboriginals to heal the mind, body and spirit, as well as serve as a direct link to other realms. The "tea" often causes a bombardment of drug induced visions over many hours which allows the drinker to confront unresolved psychological and traumatic issues. To the Amazonian aboriginals, ayahuasca allows you to see with your "third eye"; bridging the gap between our world and the spirit realms so that you can literally, get to the root of your problems: demons and other evils. They believe that illness (mental and physical) is caused by the attachment of these entities to our person, feeding off our energy and whispering doubt, fear, and unhappiness.
In an article published in the March 2006 edition of National Geographic: Adventure (link below), writer Kira Salak discusses her own personal experiences with ayahuasca during a shamanic workshop in the Peruvian jungle. During one ceremony, she describes having undergone a "small" exorcism where she was shown a vision of the past. Over a year and a half ago she climbed a supposedly haunted mountain in Libya, despite warnings from the local people. Through these visions, Kira devised that an entity attached itself to her while there. She underwent a violent and painful struggle during the ceremony in which the shaman confirmed with her that an entity was released from her body (top left picture).
While scientifically nothing can be proven, this kind of testimony renews recent concern surrounding paranormal investigator's wellbeing in areas of reputed high paranormal activity and reinforces that caution should always be exercised. I'm certain that anyone who has actually participated in a paranormal investigation would not refute these warnings. But I think it is important to recognize that even when all known safety precautions are executed, there is always the possibility that something can and will slip through. In some ways, I guess these "precautions" are like contraceptives to the paranormal world: more is likely better, but nothing is 100%.
So how can we protect ourselves? In short, I'm not certain we can. Likely, sooner rather than later, we will all be influenced by the energy we subject ourselves to. It is how we choose to deal with these energies that will allow us to succeed or fail. Now, a plant derived hallucinogen discovered thousands of years ago obviously may not be the only way to free oneself physically and spiritually. But, if this particular substance, with supervision, helps break down the walls we erect and allows our own minds to battle the demons we all have within us, paranormal or no, I'm all for it. Physical and psychological healing induced via the unconscious and conscious works of the mind and/or spirit is still healing.
But does ayahuasca really work? Will it rid the body of unwanted negative energies, evil spirits, or what have you? Can it heal physical and psychological ailments? There is scientific evidence to suggest so (at least as far as illness is concerned; the jury is still out on the existence of evil spirits and demons). However, even with positive data, how would one know that a practitioner is not simply experiencing a placebo effect? In this case, what's the difference? The mind is a powerful thing. It can inexplicably heal itself and the body...why not the spirit too? After all, if there are demons and evil spirits, even in the form of negative energies, what part of you would fight them off and keep them at bay? Surely not the purely physical. I think that with more and more people involving themselves in paranormal investigation and exploration, we'll be finding ourselves in increasing need of aura cleansing methods, ayahuasca or otherwise. You can't open that many doors and not expect a few unwanted visitors.
Bottom left picture: Visionary Artwork by Daniel Mirante
National Geographic Adventure: Peru: Hell and Back by Kira Salak
Ayahuasca Healing in Peru - Kira Salak
Ayahuasca Workshops / Retreats and Conferences: