Monday, 31 July 2017

Where are the bloody ghosts?!!!!

"So where are the bloody ghosts?"
A lady recently said this to me, as she stood in my face, as if by pressuring me I would be able to conjure up a few to make her happy. Of course it was my fault.


Yes it was my fault that she had not had an experience.
But it made me think.
I kept wondering what is it that these people want?
What do these people expect?
Where have they gotten these expectations from?


Have we raised the bar so high that it is now not achievable to please most people if they don't actually see a ghost.
Is that the goal of everyone coming on a tour?

Have we made promises to our ghost hunters that we just cannot keep?

Why do people really expect to come on a public site and if they don't see a ghost they have the right to give us a mouthful and tell us its all shit.

Where has the process gone?
That step by step process of connecting and experiencing?
Now, it seems people just want to scream - run - be entertained - be frightened - see a demon
(because a 'regular' ghost isn't good enough anymore)
WTF?

We have made a rod for our own backs.
All of this focus on obtaining  'evidence' for the sake of putting it on You Tube has led to a point where the ghosts see us coming and RUN!

 Are we as investigators now afraid to actually say, 'Well, nothing happened tonight' just in case we lose our followers?
Is that the most important thing?
If so - we should reconsider why we do what we do.

So here are some home truths - you may not like them.
1. Not every time you go on to a haunted site will mean you have an experience.
2. We cannot make ghosts perform/appear/touch you just because you have arrived and paid your money.
3. Just because you have not had an experience on your first ghost hunt it doesn't make the site less haunted or the ghost hunting team you are with shit.
4. Don't think that in the hour or two you are on a site that you have magically opened the portal for ghostly activity and you are guaranteed to activity.
5. Seeing ghosts is NOT THE ONLY way to experience paranormal activity.
6. Not every paranormal experience is a demonic one.
7. You are no more special than anyone else so just because you want it  wont mean it will happen.
8. What is it you really want - and why?


I am afraid that in the rush to get bums on seats at ghost hunts we are risking actual connections with the spirit world because they are not fantastical enough for the punters whose expectations are now no longer reasonable.

Can we please slow down?

Can we actually tell people that we may not see or feel or experience anything?

That it is not up to us it is up to the ghosts to decide if they want to play or not!

We used to be more patient. We had time to talk and ask questions and come to the conclusion that it takes time to create a pathway to communications with the spirit world and if you get something you are a lucky bastard and you were in the right place at the right time.

It seems those days are gone right now. You want it and you want it now!!
You are demanding it!

And you want it to be crazy-arsed and you want the ghosts to appear in full form, preferably with red glowing eyes and to growl at you. You want to be scratched so you can show all of your friends on Facebook because anything less than that is just not good enough.


Being realistic may not be as sensational as a possession but that's the reality.
Most of the time there is just - the experience.
The experience of the story, the history, the site, being with others, sensing the world on a very personal level.

All of this scaring the shit out of people has got to stop.
Real investigations are not like the Hollywood movies.
Ghost Hunting shows are not based on what really happens during a two hour investigation.
They are a mixture of story telling and entertainment.

Even during writing this post this evening I received a call from a young lady who was terrified because of a downloading some silly phone apps one of which told her that there was something under her bed!
It terrified her.
And if you think well, that's stupid - I have to say that I hear this all of the time.
Vulnerable people can be badly manipulated.
These people then call up people who sometimes ( just sometimes) offer services a huge prices to take away these demonic entities ( yes...they ALWAYS have to be demonic)!

We are not helping the areas of real research and investigation by making these ridiculous claims!

If you want to be scared - go to the cinema and see a movie - its far cheaper.
And you walk away somehow knowing that you will be OK...it was a movie of course.


These situations, when encountered in real life, can really do your head in.
Especially if you have had no experience before or they play on your core religious beliefs.
You do not need to be pushed further down the rabbit hole by lies and fallacies.

Ghosts speak in a different language.
They speak through emotional connections.
They make you feel.
They 'talk' through your senses.
Experiences are often subtle.
And very personal.
We all have the ability to sense these things but we are too busy wanting it NOW.
Wanting it big and in your face ( like that lady of mine I had to deal with on the weekend)
Like all amazing things that we encounter in this world sometimes it takes time and effort.
Yes - effort.
Personal effort is required and you should take it slowly and be persistent in your learning and always ask questions of everything you see and hear.


If you are really, truly interested, head to the tour providers and investigation groups that know what they are talking about and can answer your questions. Go to conventions and workshops.

Join in the activities provided and know that there is a 'process' - this learning takes time and things reveal themselves slowly.
You may have magical experiences quickly or you may have to wait a little longer. These experiences are personal and subjective. What happens for you may not be happening to anyone else.
These experiences may be profound or subtle.
They can change the way you see the world around you.

Expect nothing - be prepared for anything.
Don't act like a petulant child if you don't experience anything.
There may be reasons for that.
Maybe you are not ready.
Maybe you are not at the right place at the right time.
Maybe there is something inside of you that really just doesn't want to know.
And that's OK too.

Ghost hunting is not everyone's cup of tea - and in that case, choose to so something else.
Simple.
Don't spoil it for everyone else who is trying to be serious, if you think its really just a load of shit.
You are entitled to your opinion but so is everyone else.

And in the end did my lady see any ghosts on her tour?
No, she didn't.
She walked away saying to her friends that it was a load of shit.
The ghosts probably thought it was a load of shit too.



Saturday, 17 June 2017

Chasing Ghosts - An expensive yet glorious past time!

As I sit here, having spent the last few days refining risk management assessments, meeting with Council members and Board members regarding a possible new site for public tours, I reflect on what it takes to do this and of the continued importance to do so as I see a lot of out historic sites fade away or be removed in the name of progress and the immense sadness that brings to my heart.

                           Joseph Lycett - Newcastle ( Cultural Collection Newcastle University)

I live in Newcastle NSW and am very passionate about the place.
I love its unique history, the way it developed from the second oldest settlement on the East Coast of Australia as, well a repository for political prisoners who stirred up a shit fight at Castle Hill in the first instance, and then for those convicts that continued to be pains in the backside for the government in Sydney.

We started with what would have been seen as the dregs of society to become a totally kick arse place to live!


                                                     View of Great Northern Hotel and Newcastle Hospital -
                                                                     Cultural Collections Ncle Uni

Nothing could stop the amazing progress of Newcastle in the 1800's - we had one thing everyone needed.
Black Diamonds.
Coal.

But that's another story -

Getting back to my point in this blog...

Anyone walking the path of creating tours and events for all of you paranormal investigators and ghost hunters knows, with hand on heart, that it is not an easy job.

You require 'knowing someone" or having street cred or massive persistence to get anywhere at all. You have to know your shit.This is not a game - we pay loads of insurance to make sure it isn't. We have your safety to look after.

Getting sites is an ongoing process that can break the toughest of us as we navigate local councils, sites owners, stakeholders , rules and regulations, site fees, insurances, accreditations and even our tour participants.

But what a shame it would be if we didn't!



One of the big questions is - why does it cost so much to do a tour?

Have you ever tried to hold an event and hire a site?
Do you really think someone is going to give you one for free?

Dont hold your breath honey!

This costs serious $$$$!

Now I am NOT begrudging paying for site hire (something I am negotiating right now  and so it is at the forefront of my mind) but you have to understand that our charges to YOU are based on what WE are being charged.

Tour costs contain site fees and staff payments or may have a % of the tour price going straight back to the site owners just so they can continue to exist. These are negotiated before any tour begins and if we cannot cover those costs - guess what it comes out of our pockets.

Each time you do a tour you contribute to historical sites that are aching for funding just to keep the doors open. Yes, you may be putting some money in the pockets of the ghost tour business, but if they are anything like my business most of that goes back into equipment, research, advertising and standard running costs.

Never the less, we continue to do it - we do it because we LOVE IT.
We would not be doing it because of the money - there is very little of that.
I'm lucky to have a band of volunteers that can help me out, as without them I would be up sh*t creek.
But the balance of trying to cover costs and keep tour prices reasonable is always an effort.
Believe me, tour companies are ARE NOT trying to rip you off.
This stuff costs us heaps, not to mention the stress of things we cannot control like sites pulling out, the weather and none paying customers.

BUT I would not have it any other way right now.
I am lucky to be able to put effort into a job I love and in the process give a little back to my local history.

You see I am gleefully and willingly and lovingly stuck in the past.


One of the very best ways to learn about the past is by going on a ghost tour of your city.
Don't wait until you have seen other places on your travels - don't neglect the very place where you live.
Don't leave it till the very last.
You will probably find things that amaze you right under you very nose.

All this has come up because I am so very close to adding a new site site to my itinerary.
Its going to be good - very good.
But I can't tell you what it is yet.
You will have to wait just a little longer.


For even though the decision is close - it can still all go pear shaped as it has countless times in the past.
I have gotten very excited, just to find out that prices have changed, committees have changed, priorities have changed or simply 'we don't see the value of telling the public that there are ghosts here".




Support your local ghost hunting tour and investigation providers - they are all doing a marvelous job. 
Take a moment to tell site owners and stake holders how you enjoyed the tour so that they know.
It may take a moment of your time but it means a lot to the tour guides and business you are supporting.

In the end we are TRYING TO SAVE HISTORY.
God knows we have so few historic sites left in Australia.
Why lose what we have.

Pay the fees with a smile and know that you are supporting small business in a myriad of ways.
And above all explore - learn - get spooked - be in wonder - as you get it.
YOU GET IT.
History is alive and living right along side of us.
Let's do our part to keep our connection to the past alive and well respected.

#deadlyseriousabouthistory
 #ILOVENEWCASTLE 
#theghostlady 
#Iloveghosthunting




Monday, 22 May 2017

Chasing the Ghost of Annie Egan at Q Station Manly

Last weekend I was asked to be a special guest investigator at Q Station Manly at the Paranormal Investigator Tour starting at 10pm to 2am, with Anne and Roman Rzechowicz from Oz Para Tech.
Oz Para Tech run these intensive and immersive nights every two months, as well as being able to organise private investigation tours on the site for small groups.

I have been to Q a few times now and am always thrilled to investigate.

This time I found myself elbow deep in research as stories opened up to me about some of the doctors and nurses that spent time at the Quarantine Station. I was initially chasing some photos that I could show as part of my bit on the tour, but I found myself following one certain female nurse whose face I found staring back at me from the National Archives collection.


The North Head Quarantine Station is situated on Sydney Harbour, at North Head near Manly. To protect Australia’s early settlers from ship-borne disease and epidemics, it was established in 1832 as a place of quarantine for people entering the colony. It was also used to isolate residents of the Rocks after a bubonic plague outbreak at the turn of the twentieth century. Local residents and soldiers returning from France were quarantined there during the post-World War I influenza outbreak. The station ceased to operate as a quarantine facility in 1984, and is now part of the Sydney Harbour National Park. 



The most well-known burial was that of 27-year-old nurse Annie Egan. She had been nursing the soldiers from the Medic and had contracted influenza. On 26 November 1918, she was admitted to the hospital at the Quarantine Station. By 3 December, Annie was dangerously ill and died later that day. Despite her repeated requests for a Roman Catholic priest to visit her and administer the last rites, the Commonwealth authorities refused to allow a priest in the quarantine area. This resulted in a public and political outcry. ( historic info from National Archives of Australia)


Of course there would be a terrible fear of spreading disease in Sydney and so anyone who went to Q Station had to stay, at least for the Quarantine period, which was 40 days.

Poor Annie's case caused quite a stir at the time as she contracted influenza and at a request for last right was denied a priest for fear of transmission of the disease.
The Church replied to concerned of the doctors at Q by saying that they did have a priest ready to head to Q, and stay to look after the spiritual needs of the inmates, but they were not allowed to proceed as it was felt by the doctors that they had not picked the 'right man' for the job.

Arch Bishop Kelly, at Annie's funeral, really seemed to let it rip and was very upset at the whole affair. This was a gross miscarriage of justice!

But was it all that it was made out to be?
Was there anything else behind this sad event?
Q Station staff have told us that they have spoken to Annie's decendants and they seem to know nothing more, nor do they feel that there were any secrets abut what happened.


                                                          
                                                Article in the Telegraph about Annie's funeral.


A good repore exists between the two parties and as far as I could gather nothing more is insinuated to have happened.

So you can imagine my curiosity when I came across a blog post written by a psychic who had visited Q Station a few years back. She comments that she feels there is more to this story than we think.
She feels that there could be information, directly from Annie herself leading to the fact that Annie may have met a slightly more insidious demise due to what she had seen occur between a doctor and a child at Q Station.
Apparently there is a story about a 'girl dressed in pink' and the unfortunate circumstances of this child at the hands of one of the doctors serving at the time Annie was a nurse at Q Station.

Remember this, the psychic writes, came directly from the mouth of Annie and I guess the psychic felt so strongly about it that she shared it in a blog post about her.

Annie wished for the truth to be told. The psychic believes.

Was this the truth?
There is no other evidence to say so.

It was well known that the doctors were a law unto themselves.
And a few bits of information may allude to some of the doctors acting improperly.

But certainly deeper research would be needed.

I have only scratched the surface of the stories from Q.

I hope I can continue to find out more and I am passionate about uncovering the truth in these circumstances.

I do believe that we can really disrespect those that have passed by not telling their story truthfully.Of course they are not here to complain about it themselves so it is up to history (or their families if they still exist) to fix the errors of our beliefs.


Annie is buried at one of the three cemeteries that took bodies from Q Station.

During the inter-war years, concerns were expressed by relatives and official agencies about the care of the graves and the respect due to those buried at the third cemetery. Grave markers were installed, but in 1929 the Department of Defence was still concerned that the graves of servicemen were not being maintained to the standard laid down by the Imperial War Graves Commission. As a result, headstones were erected and the quarantine staff cared for the graves as best they could. The rugged nature of the site and the growth of native vegetation have, over time, obscured these graves. However, now through work by volunteers of the North Head Sanctuary Foundation, the graves of Annie and others buried there are now being tended.


                                                             Photo: National Archives Australia

As for Annie's spirit, does it rest in peace?
Or does she often make herself known back at Q Station?
Apparently Annie is said to be one of the more active ghosts on site with her apparition being seen and felt by staff and guests alike.

On the night I was there a few of our investigators reported being followed by a female they called Annie ( without having known her story) who they had picked up at the Hospital and whose presence continued to be felt for much of the tour.

We also had one lady who was continually poked and prodded while another person was getting intelligent responses/answers from Annie, when asked questions, using a  device called an Ovilus.
An Ovilus reads environmental conditions and uses an algorithm to convert the readings to a number. That number is attached to a word....and supposedly spirit manipulates all of that to communicate. Ghost hunters often use it while investigating and will record the questions and answers.

                                                                 Photo: Ghoststop

I called out to Annie myself during the night, a number of times in different spaces, but wasnt as lucky.
Maybe I had not gotten to know about her well enough yet.
Maybe I should have paid my respects at her gravesite first, before expecting her to come and have a chat with me.

Annie was know to be well loved by other staff members while she was there and also by all of the patients, especially the children.

It is such a sad way to die - a beautiful young woman who volunteered to help others, eventually succumbing to influenza and dying, without receiving, what she believed as her salvation before her death.

Annie - know we all still think of you and thank you for your service.

PS. If you are keen on Q Station and talking to the ghosts there why not join in on the Paranormal Lockdown weekend in July -  http://www.quarantinestation.com.au/Ghost-Tours/para-lockdown

Friday, 21 April 2017

Chasing Ghosts in Scotland this October 2017

Its been two years since I travelled for the very first time to England.
My memory was promoted by a Facebook 'memory' post where one of the first stops was Harrod's where I just had to act posh and sit and enjoy a cup of tea, like a civilised person, in their tea shop.


Of course it meant checking out the souvenirs and wondering if I could afford a Harrod's bag.
I left with an umbrella instead - much more affordable, and being looked at by the server at the tea shop as if I was going to put the cutlery in my bag!


Its exciting to know that I will be heading back with my bestie travel buddy Gayle Oliver this October. Unfortunatley due to my husband's ill health, he will be forced to just watch me via live feeds and Facebook posts as I waste....no 'invest' our money in an unforgettable experience.

Again I will be trying to head out to as many ghost tours and haunted sites as I can whilst being away.
This will again create an interesting relationship between Gayle and myself cause she really 'isn't a fan' of being scared' but she'll just have to harden the f**k up!

I hope you follow my preparation as I talk about some of the sites, in no particular order, that we will be visiting and fill you in on some of the history and stories of those places.

One of our stops will be at INVERNESS.
Here there is plenty to experience.
One spot will be the CLOOTIE WELL - a very spiritual place where visitors have been coming for years leaving their 'clootie' or piece of material which is imbued with wishes of good health and happiness and tie it to a tree. As the clootie is worn down by the weather the person's wishes also escape on the wisps of the winds and are granted.

We are also going to visit the CULLODEN battlefield for some EVP recording.

The last battle of the Jacobite risings of 1745 was fought on land just east of Inverness. With a snazzy new visitor centre telling the story in an interactive and innovative way it really brings the story to life. There is an immersion theatre to put you in the heart of the battle and an earpiece to hear tales from the battle as you walk around the atmospheric battlefield.(Quirky Inverness)


 I have head plenty about battlefields and some people's experiences visiting them. This will be my first 'battlefield experience'. 
Closeby are the CLAVA CAIRNS -
Three spectacular and well-preserved burial Cairns . Each with it’s own stone circle. A powerfully evocative place worth hunting out. This prehistoric site, thought to be 4000 years old is best observed at sunrise or sunset. Two passage graves stand at either end of the centre cairn. These cairns have passages leading into their centers which you can go inside to explore, you can see some ancient cup and ring marks inside the north east grave. The centre grave is different, with a passage into the middle it’s called a ring cairn. Each is no more than a metre tall and is likely to have been used for people of nobility such as tribal chiefs. A truly unique and special place just a five-minute drive from Culloden Battlefield. (Quirky Inverness)



Gayle is seriously obsessed with standing stones and Cairns so you will also be seeing loads of photos of oddly shaped rocks in the middle of fields - the things we do for our friends!



No, I am totally happy with that. It will give me an opportunity to see what there is to feel at these places. When I visited Avebury Standing Stones and Stonehenge  two years ago I was blown away by the experience.

 Gayle and I at Stonehenge in 2015

Now I have not mentioned Loch Ness which, depending on the weather, I will be wanting to visit as well as Urquhart Castle just because it looks bloody sensational. Its going to be freezing and I have bought thermal everything!







 I am hoping that Inverness will have a ghost tour in town and my nose will be smelling out any cemetery in the area as I am a hopeless taphophile.

You may be bored by the photos I will be sending you way - I hope not. I will enjoy sharing my dream holiday with you all.
 




Sunday, 26 March 2017

A Different Level of Spooky at Maitland Gaol

This weekend we had a very special event at Maitland Gaol, one that has been in the planning since last September, after I met Amanda Howard, true crime author, at APPI's Psychic Fair in Sydney.

                                                     Photo from Daily Telegraph article

I pounced on Amanda at the fair and asked if she would be interested to come to the Gaol and do an Author's talk. She agreed and so finally the night arrived last Saturday.

Amanda has written 18 books, and has another another heap on the boi,l and she is totally fascinating to listen to.

The backdrop of the Gaol and the history of the inmates there was a perfect place to allow our minds to enter, for just a moment, into that of the criminals Amanda has interviewed over the years during her periods of research.

One thing that struck me is that this amazing lady, who has such a very interesting yet very creepy career, can still be so very down to earth and a totally charming person!

I guess one would expect that all of that brutality and coldness that she sees at such a close perspective might leave an indelible mark on her soul - but her outward connectivity to people is gentle, open and caring.

Maybe I am just seeing one side of her - I would be thinking that having contact with murderers, serial killers, cannibals, psychopaths and assorted other variables of just plain crazy people would leave me rather mistrusting of everyone in general and have me forever looking over my shoulder.
Amanda is a huggy, laughing soul filled with brightness - not one iota of dark anywhere to be found.


We had a full house for our evening and were also offering an opportunity to spend some time investigating the Gaol after Amanda's talk.

With all of that gruesome information about some of the worst criminals in Australia and abroad floating in our minds and creating our very own horror stories in our imaginations we had a bit of a break to get some fresh air and a walk. Everyone was very excited.

We offered tea and coffee and Amanda was inundated with people purchasing her books. A long line of people wanting to chat more, ask questions and read all her books made this evening a moment when Amanda collected quite a few more Facebook likers and opened her up to more dedicated true crime followers.
Perfect!


                                                                Photo: Renata Daniel

Our next part of the evening started with Anne and Roman Rzechowicz, owners of OZ PARA TECH, their ghost hunting equipment on line shop ( go here https://ozparatech.com ) and a tech talk.

Anne and Roman chatted about some of the newest equipment being used in investigations and also participated in the evening by showing the Kinect and Portal in action in situ.

                                                             Photo: Renata Daniel


We gave the entire group a very quick walk through of the site, and shared some brief history and some stories as we journeyed through the wings.

Not only did the Gaol hold criminals who had perpetrated despicable acts on other human beings, but we have to remember that these were very different times when the Gaol originally opened in 1848 and its history also held stories of women and children being housed in sections of the prison and debtors, vagrants, drunks and for issues that would nowadays seem quite ludicrous.

                                                               Photo:Renata Daniel

We did not want to totally make the evening structured to the very end so we then allowed people to wander and engage in different experiences. They could check out new technology with Oz Para Tech or watch some old fashioned spirit connection with table tipping and glass dowsing.

On debriefing we found that both methods engaged our participants (both present and past!)

I was part of the table tipping experiment and even though we are well aware that nothing is guaranteed, frustration began to build as we sat hoping for some movement.

The Glass dowsing experiment got a reaction much more quickly and we could hear the glass scratching along the surface of the table as we madly thought 'come on, come on - let's get started'.

Both experiments where happening across from each other.

But these things cannot be rushed and one thing that you do learn is patience with a giant P!

We ended up probably waiting a good 20 minutes before we got some movement on the table, also after changing some sitters around, and finally a very strong and forceful energy began to gently lift and drop the table, slowly, steadily, time and time again.

What effect did this had on the sitters and observers?

Maybe some believed what was happening came from spirit?
Maybe some didnt - and thought it was one of us moving the table?

I always come back to the fact that if someone was really lifting the table, even subconsciously, it would be much harder to bring it down as gently as it always does as the table drops back to the ground. Our experience this night was of the table definitely lowering at the same gentle pace as it rose.


                                                                Photo: Renata Daniel

Amanda joined us for our walk, as she had never been at the Goal before, and also watched some of the experiments, but, she faced a 3 hour trip home I farewelled her at the gate and wished her safe travels home. She is amazing - buy her books!!! They are well worth the read.


                                                            Photo: Renata Daniel

 At the end of the evening I was exhausted.
Worry that all will go well and that our participants will feel that they get their money's worth is always something that plays on my mind. I want my paying customers to have a good time and get something out of an evening with Newcastle Ghost Tours.

The next day was mired with brain fog - the usual post investigation/ event status that I succumb to which can be only dealt with by massive amounts of coffee and indulgent food - something my body seems to need to ground and start behaving normally.

I did, very unusually, have some very profound experiences myself during the event.

Normally, with my event manager hat on, I am just there to make sure everyone else is having the experiences, but this time because of that intense sitting at the table, I was very much overcome by energies that were pushy with one rather big shove at one point as if to push me out of the way.

But more than anything, curiously, what I felt was an exploration from the spirits - as if they had to spend time learning to understand and master OUR methods and attempts of communication with them.

They were trying to reach me, yes - and often, not knowing how, or doing it and failing.
Or not going far enough...or testing me.

These experiences take time - and I now strongly believe...on BOTH sides.

This was the most personally profound thing that I take away from this weekend.

So my level of patience has to be even more conscious now. I have to be clearer in my messages.

Not always will connections be made quickly.
Not always will they be clear.
And maybe we have to be more precise with what what we are trying to achieve and explain it more?


Anyway - its ALWAYS a learning experience.
And I personally am only starting.


If you wish to join me on one of our Ghost Hunting 101 nights at the Gaol call directly to Maitland Gaol to find out more.

These are two our experiences where you will be introduced to parts of the Gaol and given an opportunity to investigate - find out more at their website at Maitland Gaol.
http://www.maitlandgaol.com.au/visit/public-tours





Monday, 6 March 2017

Chasing Demons




I've been studying a little about Demonology over the last 5 months.
Demonology is not the study of how to worship the devil (yes, some people do believe it is)
It is the study of the history of demons and demonic belief in history and for me, current beliefs about demons and their effect within the paranormal and specifically in Australia.

Considering I was bought up in a very Catholic environment I really only heard about demons and the devil in church - my parents never mentioned such topics.
It was not talked about at home and my first real understandings came from religious teaching at school and "Rosemary's Baby", a book written in 1967 and a best seller about the time just before I hit my teens.



Religion at school back then could leave scars on impressionable young children - being taught by nuns in full neck to knee black habits was daunting. They looked and behaved so differently to anyone else I was accustomed to. Back then they could still wield the cane and they did with delicious force. Did we really need unseen demons when my primary school years were over shadowed by guilt, confession and repentance and hours of praying with knees on hard wooden floors?



Anyway...

I am someone who is very interested in continued learning and research about the paranormal and I have varied subjects that I want to know more about.
I thought I dip my toes into what seems to fascinate us most - demons.



Specifically the reports of demons, possession and infestation in Australia.

What interests me is the level of such reports in this country right now.
Are the demonic encounters being reported and dealt with the type that we hear about that are formless or animalistic in nature and features?
Or at they human in form?
Are they site based or do they appear randomly and seem to choose a varied array of hosts without a particular reason for doing so?
Are people across the board encountering these or are they religion specific/ nationality specific?

Are people believing that they are encountering demons because of their fear of what they see/hear/feel and therefore label their experiencing 'demonic' when it may be another sort of encounter (including alien)

These are questions to consider, as we may think that an encounter features a demon or some awful negative energy when it might be really just a ghost (when I say 'just' I really dont mean to down play the encounter just to offer a point of difference between the two in this dialogue).



What might constitute a demon in the first place?
A demon is:
'an evil spirit or devil, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor in hell'
'a supernatural, mythological and often malevolent being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore'
'a fallen angel'
'an evil spirit or a person or thing who is evil, or a person who does something with great enthusiasm and skill.'
'are malevolent spirits created by Lucifer. They are created from corrupted human souls that have endured extensive torture in Hell'.

Thank you Google for just some of those descriptions!
Are they on the mark?

My personal classification of demons is that they are entities that have not lived on this earth as people - creatures who are not identifiable as human in shape or form.
Anything that can be identified as once having been human is in a different category for me.

But that is just my view and you are most welcome to have another. I wont be arguing the point.

We are probably both right (and wrong) depending on our beliefs and experiences, or lack of.



What I do want to find out is whether we are seeing the same sort of demons that are portrayed in the movies (yes I know, movies you ask? ...but they ARE an huge influencer on how we perceive these things).
Therefore do they take the shape we expect?
Do they have a pattern of being?
How are they dealt with?
Do we call priests or mediums or spirit communicators or paranormal teams?
What effect do they have of the victims?
How prolific are demonic encounters now as opposed to say 100 years ago?

Of course some cultures/religions feel that anything paranormal is demonic while for others demons do not exist.

What a huge array of ideas and beliefs!
It's mind boggling!

Personally I have not has such an experience that could classify as 'demonic'.
I have encountered energies that were angry to a point of causing havoc but it has been minimal in the time frame of the incident - in other words it happened very quickly and was never repeated.

I am fascinated by on going stories of entanglement and how this may be influenced by a person's understanding of what they are going through.
At what point does someone reach for help and what sort of help do they get?

What I am trying to do is build a picture of our current relationship to these paranormal encounters here in Australia and is it different to patterns of encounters overseas.

The Catholic Church tells us that these sorts of encounters are on the increase world wide - in fact they are educating more exorcists to cope with the workload.

We certainly do have trained religious - based exorcists here in Australia and a few locally        (Newcastle, NSW) and again the type of things they deal with come in a wide in variety.

One local exorcist I interviewed last year told me that their experience really only covered 'sites' that they exorcised and not 'individuals'. They had not, up to that point, encountered a possessed person.
The criteria for true possession is fierce and detailed and is highly scrutinized by religious officials before a proper exorcism can be even considered.
Mental illness is taken into account and a  detailed report goes on for months and longer - so what of those people that conduct clearings/healings after one brief meeting?
Do they help and how?
I am not trying to be critical here - I am wondering if some people might label something demonic when it actually may not be? 





If you have had an experience which you would classify as demonic I encourage you to write to me and tell me your story.
I promise to keep it confidential unless permission for sharing is granted by you
Please contact me at info@newcastleghosttours.com.au

PS please no religious ranters no needing to tell me I will go to hell ( I have already been told that 100 times) This is a serious subject which deserves our respect and that I hope leads to some clarity which I can then share in a way that promote understanding of where we are at about demons with the paranormal.



Once again, please send me your encounter in the best way you recall it from start to finish and how it was treated and dealt with - I would like at least 50 encounters to work with and study to make it a worthwhile overview (no story is too small nor too complex).
to : info@newcastleghosttours.com.au

Monday, 26 December 2016

Chasing Hungry Ghosts

This is not the average run of the mill blog about another ghost story - yet it has to do with ghosts, unseen wraiths that cause continual havoc in our physical world.
These particular ghosts we have all had occasion to be effected by.
They can become poisonous and destructive if left unchecked - they can possess us and direct us.
You must always be on the look out for them, for they are hard to spot, usually shielding their real needs and desires behind a facade that will make you think that what you are about to engage in is perfectly fine.

The Hungry Ghost in mythology is a creature depicted with a small mouth and small hands and a huge belly that needs to be continually fed in small amounts but can really never be satiated.
It is left wanting and needing more. 
We all have lurking hungry ghosts inside each and every one of us.

Myth is often tied to an aspect of our souls and our selves. It is a way of explaining that which is hard to understand. Like Gods and Goddesses that embody characteristics of our humanity, good and bad, and archetypes which help explain personality types.

The Hungry Ghost is a concept in certain Chinese religions representing beings who are driven by intense emotional needs in an animalistic way.

Both Buddhism and Taoism share the idea that hungry ghosts can emerge from neglect or desertion of ancestors.

According to the Hua-yen Sutra evil deeds will cause a soul to be reborn in one of six different realms.

The highest degree of evil deed will cause a soul to be reborn as a denizen of hell, a lower degree of evil will cause a soul to be reborn as an animal, and the lowest degree will cause a soul to be reborn as a hungry ghost.

Desire, greed, anger and ignorance are all factors in causing a soul to be reborn as a hungry ghost because they are motives for people to perform evil deeds.




             The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated during the 7th month of the Chinese calendar.

According to tradition, during the 7th month of the Chinese calendar the gates of hell are opened up and the hungry ghosts are free to roam the earth where they seek food and entertainment.
These ghosts are believed to be ancestors of those who have forgotten to pay tribute to them after they died.
They have long thin necks because they have not been fed by their families.
Tradition states that families should offer prayers to their deceased relatives and burn hell money. It is believed that "hell money" is a valid currency in the underworld and helps ghosts to live comfortably in the afterlife.

Families also pay tribute to other unknown wandering ghosts so that these homeless souls do not intrude on their lives and bring misfortune.

A big feast is held for the ghosts on the 15th day of the 7th month, where people bring samples of food and place them on the offering table to please the ghosts and ward off bad luck. Live shows are also put on and everyone is invited to attend.
The first row of seats is always empty as this is where the ghosts are supposed to sit to better enjoy the live entertainment.
(source information: wikipedia)



There is an aspect of this hungry ghost mythos in all of us.

The hungry ghost does not always live in another world with entry into our world only once a year begging for food.

The food might be real physical food that is supposed to sustain these creatures in traditional beliefs but it can also relate to 'other' types of sustenance that feed our egos and souls.

Our ancestors, forgotten and alienated crave for soul food and may live vicariously through us to get what they need with or without or permission.

This might be through addictions to substances or emotional requirements, needs of the flesh and the mind and often to the detriment of the body that these ghosts inhabit.

They are never satiated...always hungry always looking for more, no matter how much they get.
If a battle is not fought to contain these hungry ghosts we can be continually haunted by them.

So beware in feeding the hungry ghost in others and be aware of the hungry ghost inside of yourself!

Once you start to feed it its hunger intensifies and may become an overwhelming and uncontrollable aspect of life.

I love the concept of hungry ghosts - as scary as they are.
I can understand their relevance when interpreted through myth and story telling.
Stories have a way of allowing us, as intelligent people, to draw our own conclusions in a way that makes sense to us as individuals.

Your ghosts will be different to mine. Your hungry ghost will want something different than mine do.

These ghosts can be triggered by our own reoccurring stories and beliefs about ourselves that fire up the hunger within us.
We are compelled to feed that hunger.
We then own these ghosts and we get trapped in the never ending cycle, like the relatives of ancestors that feel obliged to offer gifts and food so as not to incur the wrath of their personal ghosts.

Sometimes the fear of ignoring the ghost is far greater than trying to fight its grip.

If you must feed these ghosts be careful to give love only for these ghosts carry a truck load of hurt and no matter what they ask for in the end only love will fill them up.

Be kind to your hungry ghosts!
Love them, and quieten their voices so that you can slowly let them go.
You will survive without them.