Tag Archives: hauntings

255 – Professor Paranormal: Parapsychology Pedagogy with Loyd Auerbach

With the litany of web sites and television shows on the topics of ghost hunting, psychic mediums, and theories of the unknown, it’s easy to get swept up in what is entertaining, but not necessarily good/correct information. The X-Files may have popularized the expression “The Truth Is Out There,” but how many paranormal investigators make the effort to apply proper research methodology when looking for the truth?

Today’s guest, Loyd Auerbach, has built his career around researching the paranormal in a scientific manner. His impressive combination of academia, open-mindedness, and careful investigation makes him uniquely qualified to responsibly educate us on the topic of Parapsychology.

Loyd was an early guest on See You On The Other Side, back in 2015 when we were still in the double-digit episode numbers. I recommend checking out that episode to dive deeply into his extensive educational background, and hear Mike fanboy out at the opportunity to talk to one of his heroes:

Parapsychology Fact vs Fiction: An Interview with Loyd Auerbach
http://www.othersidepodcast.com/27

But this time around, Mike was on vacation, so Allison Jornlin of Milwaukee Ghosts and I had the opportunity to converse with Loyd. The timing was perfect, as both Allison and Loyd will be presenting at Hawaii Paracon in less than two weeks!

Loyd’s interest in the paranormal and psychic abilities dates back to his youth, with ghost stories and television shows peaking his curiosity. Entertainment such sitcoms Topper and Dark Shadows, reading classic Greek Mythology, and monster movies fascinated him, as did the study of science and other “nerdy” activities. His natural inclination was to admire psychic abilities- not fear, chide or ridicule them.

By the age of 13, Loyd was reading works by J.B. Rhine and his colleagues. He formed a parapsychology club in high school (endorsed by Rhine himself!), which opened doors to meeting other luminaries in the field. His early exploration of the topic provided a perfect foundation for continuing studies at JFK University.

So, what is involved in earning a degree in the field of paranormal/parapsychology? Loyd’s rigorous graduate academic studies included history of parapsychology, laboratory research, field investigation of real-world cases, physics and parapsychology, anthropology and paraspychology, neuropsychology, statistics and more. Clearly, choosing this career requires unabashed devotion to an extensive amount of work.

Years and numerous case studies later, Loyd points the skeptics to research and evidence of psi/psychic abilities. Compelling data/statistics behind the Ganzfeld studies and the Stargate remote viewing program “shows that there’s something really here.” And his own extensive work with psychics/mediums has provided evidence that humans have a tap to an information source that is undeniable. However, he is unabashed in putting “a big question mark” next to cases where the proof is not present.

Loyd recounted one entertaining case, dubbed “The Sexorcist”, in which a house was haunted by the energies of an extremely amorous couple. This brought to light the possibility that a residual type of haunting does NOT require that the origin of the “residue” be deceased… A myth perpetuated by modern ghost entertainment. What would it be like to witness a ghost of someone still living? Apparently, some people have seen apparitions of their own self. Can you say…

My paranormal perspective continues to grow, thanks to guests like Loyd. For those striving to develop their own psychic abilities, he recommends beginning by making sure to write down (or sharing with another) any personal experiences/feelings that you think may be paranormal. The conscious labeling/acceptance that you are experiencing something can help identify patterns in the body/mind which can bring light to when/why these things are happening.

And with his strong dedication to education, Loyd was the perfect person to recommend books for us to read and expand our own knowledge of the paranormal. Here’s a starter list we went through, which very well may be the beginning of a See You On The Other Side Book Club (join our Patreon community here!):

You can also further your own education through online classes available at the Rhine Research Center, many of which are taught Professor Paranormal, Loyd Auerbach himself!

You can find Loyd online:
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/loyd.auerbach.author/
Twitter at https://twitter.com/profparanormal
Email at profparanormal@gmail.com

For the song this week, we took one of Loyd’s most well known quotes, “Faith is belief without proof. Faith is fine, but don’t call it science.” and put our own spin on it. Here’s Sunspot with “Bull$h!t Detector”.

When there’s smoke ya know there’s gotta be some fire
When you talk you show that you ain’t a liar
Put your money where your mouth is and step up to the plate
Ya gotta back up your story or I’m just gonna cut bait

Faith is nice but proof’s a little better
You’re setting off my bull$h!t detector
If it don’t pass the test for the professor
Then I don’t need you
Unless you’re true

Show me don’t tell me, no pink elephants, don’t tease
If you want me to stay I need some evidence, so please

Faith is nice but proofs a little better
You’re setting off my bullshit detector
If it don’t pass the test for the professor
Then I don’t need you
Unless you’re true
Faith is nice but proof’s a little better
You’re setting off my bull$h!t detector
I need something more than just conjecture
Cuz I don’t need you
Unless you’re true

Happy Birthday Ed Sheeran, Is There A Ghost Voice In “Thinking Out Loud”?

It’s a big week for famous singing ginger, Ed Sheeran. First, “Thinking Out Loud” wins the Grammy for Song of the Year and then it’s his birthday on February 17th. I first heard his music during the end credits of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and liked it and I figure if the guy is alright with Peter Jackson, then he’s alright with me.

But the reason that we’re talking about “Thinking Out Loud” today is that people were hearing a “ghost voice” in the track. The moment happens at about 44 seconds into the song.

So, the Internet being the Internet, the rumor quickly went around that the “ghost voice” was actually a spirit who never found love and is sadly singing from the other side.  Or that the studio that the recorded it in was haunted and that it was the spirit who was singing along with Ed in the vocal booth.

This trended on Twitter last year and became a big topic of speculation for his massive teenage fanbase. Kids love ghost stories, cute singers,  and gossiping with their friends about it, so this was kind of a perfect storm.

And of course, when a topic is trending, there’s no reason not to have a little fun with it, here’s a video with over 100,000 hits purporting to analyze the track and find the ghost voice (but it really just contains a jump scare at the end.)

And this weird speech-synthesized video actually explains the whole issue as just an effect of the reverb.

Reverb? I doubt it. Sounds just like he was putting a little extra inflection in his voice with the word, “heart”. I can’t even hear a harmony background vocal in there on the verse. But when you tell people there’s a ghost voice in there and you can only hear it with headphones they start to convince themselves that it’s in there, especially if they listen to that section repeatedly.

I’ve been in the recording studio and have had that same effect. You’re listening closely to something over and over again and you start to hear phantom sounds. An echo or a weird note can show up that’s not really there when you listen to something repeatedly in a short stretch. Your mind starts playing tricks on you, that’s why it’s always recommended to leave for a little while and studio guys have special tricks to “keep their ears fresh“.

Ed, you’re a Grammy winner now, so you can finally afford that comb you always wanted!

The first studio engineer that Sunspot (Wendy and my band, we write a new song for each podcast episode) worked with was named Ted Weigel and we recorded in his Madison, Wisconsin recording studio that’s now long gone and replaced by the Brink Lounge. We would often start recording sessions in the evening and since we were paying the day-rate and didn’t have a lot of money, we’d record for long spells into the next morning.

Ted would always say “my ears are fried” when needing to close a marathon recording session. We’d always laugh to ourselves about that statement. We were still energetic teenagers and didn’t understand yet how your attention and hearing and senses would just get worn out, like a muscle after a hard workout.

I think the only way to hear the ghost voice in this track is to listen to it over and over and convince yourself that it’s there. So to anyone that can still hear the creepy background voice on the word “heart”, I’d say what Ted used to say in the studio so long ago, “take a break, man. Your ears are fried!”

57 – Dark Side of Paradise: Haunted Hawaii

So, making the rest of us completely jealous, my sister Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts got to go to Hawaii this summer to visit some family and bask in the perfect weather. But we sent her on a mission, that if she got to go to paradise, then we were going to get some ghost stories and a podcast out of her. And we didn’t even have to threaten her, she did her duty and visited some of Haunted Hawaii’s most interesting sites.

The first story she gets is from our family member, Laling, who gave us a haunted tale about the Pauahi Tower. She herself had a strange experience one night there hearing children playing outside their door late at night. And when she went out to see, there was no one there! Later, her experience was validated by someone that knew the  history of the tower, knowing that it was a playground before the tower was built.

Pauahi Tower
Listen for the children playing…

Then she goes on the Mysteries of Hawai’i ghost tour with Lopaka Kapanui (a tour that she loved so much that she went back on a private tour with him a couple days later, so it comes highly recommended and we’ll probably have to have him on the show sometime because he sounds like a fascinating guy.) We get Lopaka himself to tell a story about fishermen that caught a mysterious naked woman who might have been a legendary Hawaiian lizard goddess.

One of the stops was the Iolani Palace, which is the only place in the United States that was ever an official royal residence.

Iolani Palace
Ain’t no way the Professor could have ever made something like this!

While the building itself was magnificent, what intrigued Allison most was a well that was said to have been the residence of a calling spirit.

well of the calling spirit
If you hear a female voice and see a hot naked woman by this well, DO NOT FOLLOW HER, trust us on this one.

Well, that takes us back to our episode about the Smiley Face drownings in La Crosse, Wisconsin and our interview with the makers of the Hidden Truth film, who had researched native calling spirits of the water that according to legend, used to lead young men to their deaths. Of course, this reminded Allison of an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker as well, that dealt with the Hindu demon, Rakshasa, which in the episode disguised itself as a person’s friend to lead him to his doom. Also, if you haven’t checked out Kolchak, it’s a delicious bit of 70s television horror-comedy that is still worth your time after forty years!

Later they went to a cave of a shark spirit with Lopaka, and Allison had her first visual unexplained experience. He sang to the spirit of the cave and he said it told him they had five minutes to spend there.

The cave
You want in? You better sing…

When she saw a flash across the cave, she herself didn’t believe it until Lopaka mentioned to her that he saw it too, so the trip was extra magical for Allison because unlike some of the people we interview on this program, we don’t regularly see ghosts, spirits, or unexplained things, so anytime we can chalk up something to the unknown, that makes it extra fun.

An offering to the spirit of the cave
An offering left by previous visitors to the spirit of the cave

Plus, her husband’s camera ran out of battery way too fast in the cave and wouldn’t work. It’s often rumored that spirits might not be powerful enough to make us feel or see them,  but they might be able to affect energy levels like battery power or electronics. Allison tells of a story where her projector wouldn’t work earlier this year for no discernible reason (and I can attest to that because I set the projector up the night before) at a haunted American Legion Hall where they moved some servicemen’s pictures to make room for a projection screen. It never had happened to her before that (but it happened to me in Merrill, Wisconsin with my video camera a few years ago) so she hadn’t believed other people’s stories about mysteriously draining batteries, but now she does.

Of course, Allison visited some places where they filmed LOST and Jurassic Park, but she was more interested in the monuments to the dead that they saw throughout the island.  Piles of black and white stones are littered all over the place and it’s in remembrance of passed-on relatives and friends.

Black and white monuments
Which one is for Jacob and which one is for the smoke monster?

The one that garnered the most of her attention was a memorial to a 17 year old that had passed away and seeing all the memorabilia laid out at the site to remember him. She hadn’t seen anything like that before and found it unique and touching. But the most interesting thing was the dog who was completely silent and still sitting and watching over the memorial. Allison said that she didn’t even notice him for several minutes as she was studying the monument. She said that he was the guardian of the place. Maybe not quite paranormal, but still pretty cool.

The Guardian
Look at the upper right of the picture and you can see him watching over…

And speaking of dogs, Hawaii has it’s own bipedal canine, just like we talked with Linda Godfrey about in our American Monsters episode. Allison and Scott went on a “Orbs of Oahu Ghost Tour” and while if you know me, you know I think that “orb pictures” are just tricks of the light and not spiritual, she said they had a good time on the tour and learned some scary stories of a Hawaiian Dogman. There are modern reports of people seeing a dog eating roadkill at the side of the road and they think it’s a normal pooch, until it stands on its hind legs! The legend is that it is Kaupe, an ancient cannibal whose spirit is cursed to roam the island of Oahu and has the body of a man with the head of a dog and sharp claws.

The last place that Allison visited was the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, a solemn place where there are still scores of bodies of sailors still under the water in the wreck.

Flag over the USS Arizona
The American flag over the USS Arizona Pearl Harbor Attack Memorial

Allison and her husband, Scott talk about their impressions of the site while they visit and they talk about the drops of oil from the wreck that still bubble up to the surface of the water.

Oil from the USS Arizone
Do you see a face in here?

That’s Allison and Scott’s picture above, but a few years back someone took a picture of the oil there that they said formed a face.

USS Arizona ghost photograph
Here’s the famous picture that turned up a few years back.

Now, is that just Pareidolia (the human tendency to see faces in patterns, like clouds, walls, stones, etc…)? Or something more, we’re not sure. But it does remind me of a New Twilight Zone episode called “Something In The Walls” that was my first introduction to the phenomena, and it scared the crap out of me when I was a kid!

Have any stories of Haunted Hawaii? We’d love to hear them, post in the comments below if you have your own tale of the supernatural from paradise.

The song this week is related to the calling spirits that Allison talks about. There’s always someone who you never want to hear from because you know it will only lead to disaster.

Listen to “The Call” by Sunspot.

Bloodshot eyes and nicotine fingers,
Where you been, the silence lingers,
the same old song from the same old singer,
and the tune is getting old.

I think we’ve been down this rabbit hole before
This ain’t the first time I’ve been lied to since I walked in the door .

When you hear the call,
your gut drops like an anchor
Against the wall
you’ve got your answer.
But this time I think I could be alright,
And you know just how this story goes.
The siren leads you by the nose,
and you’ll be bleeding on the floor by the end of the night.

Broken nails and broken words,
Damaged pride and damaged goods,
you can’t believe the things you’ve heard,
this fixer-upper is a money pit.

I think we’ve been down this rabbit hole before
This ain’t the first time I’ve been lied to since I walked in the door .

When you hear the call,
your gut drops like an anchor
Against the wall
you know your answer.
But this time I think I could be alright,
And you know just how this story goes.
The siren leads you by the nose,
and you’ll be bleeding on the floor by the end of the night.