The Reluctant Ghost Hunter
Twenty-Two Years of The Anomalous:
Heresies, Discoveries,
And the Road Beyond
This presentation is dedicated to the
memory of author Joe Fisher
Why do we do this?
Some seek proof of survival.
Some seek metaphysical truths.
Some feel the need to help the departed.
Some seek answers for their own experiences.
Some do it for the mystique or socializing.
Some believe scientific proof can be found, for
vindicating ghostly lore and spiritual beliefs.
I fell into it…
For me, the foray into the
paranormal began as an
extension of research
into claims of alien
abductions and contact.
I had no concern for, or
necessarily any belief in
ghosts as spirits of the
dead. The dead can
tend to themselves…
The Question I asked…
What is the true nature of these strange events
in human lives, that seem to lie outside of
known causality?
By 1992, I became aware that experiencers of “alien”
phenomena also appeared to have lives rich in
paranormal events.
Thusly were quests formed… quests for clues, quests
for a model that incorporates the entire spectrum of
anomalous human experience – not just ghosts, aliens,
and PSI…
Part 1: The Winding Road
The early years…
1987 – 1996: Primary focus
on UFO, “alien”, and
paranormal entity
1996 to 2003: Partnership
with L. Schillig – Ghost and
PSI investigations…
2003 to 2007: More cases making sense of what was
observed, seeking new clues,
and constructing viable
models of the paranormal.
The Avalon Approach: 1996-2003
Partnership with a highly
accurate intuitive and
clairsentient, Mrs. Lori
The dual approach –
controlled intuitive plus
Multi- dimensioned focus:
historical factors,
factors, medical,
psychological, and spiritual
factors… the role of the
What did we observe?
From 1996 to 2003, Mrs. Schillig and I handled
between 50 and 70 formal cases… Every case was
unique and different, as was every experiencer.
We found that “Ghosts” comprise a wide array of
phenomena that appeared to arise from a number of
different root causes.
Comparatively few of these cases, after critical thought,
actually suggested to us interaction with a known
deceased human personality or spirit.
We saw that the overall phenomenon of ghosts is
highly complex and only a small part of a much greater
spectrum of anomalous experiences.
Avalon Observations Part 2
By 1999, we derived a taxonomy or general
categorizing system for the different “types” of
We discovered that haunts tend to be extremely
rich in Jungian archetypal symbology – thus
demonstrating that they are far more about
living human (experiencer) consciousness than
dead people.
Avalon Observations Part 3
We verified on numerous occasions what SEEMED TO BE
low level but measurable magnetic anomalies (>20% of
geomagnetic ambient or ~.1 gauss) that related to locations of
unusual activity.
We verified on at least 3 occasions localized thermal inversions
of >5oC in areas correlating to recent unusual activity.
We observed occasional atmospheric ion count changes or efield distortions in areas correlating to unusual activity.
We observed on at least 4 occasions, slight but measurable (.02
inches of Hg) barometric pressure drops in rooms where
unusual activity had been recently reported.
We asked, “if these measurable phenomena are real, then why
would the dead produce them but the living don’t!?”
Avalon Observations Part 4
We came to see that experiencer is by far the most
important factor in haunts. A person might
experience ghostly activity for 10 years in a house, then
a new family might move in, and never experience
anything unusual… at all.
There are, however, many variables that can amplify
or increase the probability of paranormal activity.
(Discussed later)
We did experience deeply synchronistic events during
research, such as equipment and camera failure and
oddly timed personal hardships.
Avalon Observations Part 5
Paranormal activity in
cemetery settings may
indeed be a very distinct
“family” of phenomena,
not so much related to
“spirits” but residual
human bio-field, ala the
Egyptian concepts of Ka
and Ba…
Avalon Observations Part 6
Photographic evidence is
crucial, and viable
anomalies on film or
digital format may be
found. However the
vast majority of
paranormal looking
elements in photos are
explainable as artifacts.
What we did NOT observe…
We never obtained any EVP data that could
not be explained by audio simulacra, RFI, or
background or spindle noise. We did not
however use typical Q-A EVP format, rather
recorders were left under controlled conditions
An Orb Moment…
Orbs continue to be one of
the single most debated
subtopic in ghost research…
Classic photo orbs are
almost entirely explainable
in most…but not ALL cases.
Some orb images suggest a
reflexive or anticipatory
nature that in turn suggests
observer psi or a trickster
Stray Notion #1
With every case that
comes your way, ask
yourself again, “Why
am I doing this, and
what am I looking
for?” Make sure you
have your answer
before you proceed…
The paranormal is
not a playground.
Stray Notion #2
If you use a scientific instrument (such as
gaussmeter, IR pyrometer, EMF meter) to
acquire data, it is essential that you know both
the theory of operation of the instrument, the
basic physics of what you are measuring, and
what constitutes a significant reading for the
calibration of your instrument. No excuses.
Stray Notion #3
When you investigate,
you become part of the
phenomenology, and
thus become a variable.
It’s because of this that
classical Scientific
Method ultimately fails
in paranormal
research… even as we
must try to use the
instruments of science.
Stray Notion #4
In those cases where ghost removal or cessation
of the paranormal phenomena is requested –
the most SURE FIRE method has nothing to
do with mediums or exorcists. It has to do with
helping the experiencer through the emotional
issues of the phenomena, and helping them to
become introspective and analytical about their
The act of analytical observation and
removal of the experiencer’s emotional
attachments to the phenomena “deconstruct” the system. Without human
emotional energy and attachment, ghosts…
for whatever we fancy them to be… lose
the ability to manifest, and return to latent
patterns of “data”…
Stray Notion #5
 The
likelihood of “disentangling” a
real paranormal situation from the
influence of the investigative observers
is inversely proportional to the
number of investigators on site… in
other words, keep your team as lean
as possible!
Stray Notion #6
Large “Pay-to-Attend” ghost hunts or tours
become literal feeding and breeding grounds
for perceptual distortions, negative noncorporeal entities, and manifestations. You will
not learn any useful information. If you want
spooky laughs, socializing, and creepy
environment, fine – just be aware of the
energetic and spiritual scene you are
participating in, and why you are there…
Wayward Thought
If some ghosts are indeed the earthbound
personas / spirits / components of the
deceased… maybe it is the attachments of
the living that keep them here… be it
through memory, myth, or folklore…
Another one…
Folklore and myth are forever key parts of what
makes us human. Ghost folklore and legends
are wonderful stuff. Sometimes, it may indeed
be that a genuine haunting creates the folklore…
however…sometimes folklore can create a
genuine haunting… (The “Phillip Effect” –
TSPR 1972)
Four Favorite Avalon Era Cases:
Carsonville, MI – May 1997
Cloverdale, Ohio – October 1998
Mansfield, Ohio - May 2003
Conneaut, Ohio – November 2003
Carsonville MI 1997
Knowledge Gained:
The key role and supreme
importance of The
experiencer, their
history, and their
psycho-spiritual issues…
Cloverdale, Ohio 1998
Knowledge Gained:
The role and key factor of
negative human
emotional energy or
informational resonance
in hauntings…
Mansfield, Ohio 2003
Knowledge Gained:
The role of symbolism and
archetypes in
hauntings… and the
possibility of physical
Conneaut, Ohio 2003
Knowledge Gained:
The key role of
geographical placement,
and earth related forces
in some hauntings…
Photo Courtesy of Mary Lou Lardi, 4-2003
Harvey – 1998
The Penny Dropper - 2003
The Ribbon from Nowhere – 2007
Part 2:
Putting it Together at Quest’s End: Compiling
a Coherent and Viable Model of Paranormal
Personal Activity…
All observations that pass critical thinking and
examination must be considered in selfhonesty… physics, psychology, sociology,
spiritual beliefs, environment.
All pre-conceived or cultural notions must be
set aside.
No circular logic or self-defined terms allowed.
Variables and Relationships in
Paranormal Cases – a Review:
Paranormal Phenomena (PP) are experientially
selective and observer dependent.
Interpretation of events and forms of
manifestation can both be culturally driven.
In cases of claimed PK / poltergeist activity, the
objects or locations involved are often symbolic
and even archetypal in Jungian terms, and are
linked in that way to the experiencer.
The presence of the
investigator and the act of
observation constitutes a
strong variable in on-going
paranormal situations.
Consequently, in many
cases, a reflexive property,
evocative of a Jungian
Trickster nature is exhibited.
Cultural and spiritual belief
properties of the investigator
can be reflected back into
the greater phenomenology
and events.
Levels of claimed activity – “manifestations” – appear
to be influenced over many cases by such
environmental variables as:
Weather – low wind, high humidity.
Season – in some cases a cultural (Halloween)
cognizance factor, but other times not.
Locales where large EM emissions could interfere
constructively. (Notable case - Elmira, MI, 2007)
Nearby earth disruption such as mines, excavation or
In some cases, historical personalities and
events are presumed to be factors, however
many paranormal cases occur where there is no
known link to such factors as deaths in home,
previous tenants, or even previous homes on
sites. This is an expression of the application of
cultural expectation. (Notable cases –
Mansfield, Ohio, Sept. 2001 and Carsonville,
MI, 1997)
Geographical alignments (Toledo, Ohio, 2004)
Occult history and locations of improperly conducted
magical operations.
Geological factors, such as underlying rock strata
composition and stresses, as well as aquifers and
theorized subtle telluric currents.
Geomagnetic and geo-gravitational gradients are
claimed to enhance or attenuate paranormal activity
per unit area (F. Crawford 1992)
Areas near ancient Native earthworks or sacred sites.
The geometric forms in architecture as well as
building materials appear to influence
manifestations (Mansfield, OH 1998, Kent,
OH, 2008)
Disruption of material surfaces – remodeling,
construction, demolition – can cause a sudden
rise in manifestation potential.
The presence and ratio of ionic species in the
air appears to play a strong role in some cases
(Troy, OH 1998) Anecdote claims that
negative ions repel or attenuate ghosts.
Possibly related, we have seen a re-occurring
factor of upper respiratory medical issues in
Neuro-chemical (hormone?) factors in PK /
Poltergeist demographics.
Investigations now and beyond…
Any further investigation needs to be driven by
those parts of our model that are yet unclear…
Cases involving occult or ritual magic factors.
Cases of strong PK / Poltergeist vectors.
Cases involving geo-physical factors, geomantic
alignments, and ancient sacred sites.
Careful sociological profiling of both
experiencers and investigators…
Wait a minute, what was that last one
One of the most neglected yet powerful tools
for analyzing an anomalous personal
phenomenon is to study the lives of the
experiencer as well as investigators. Observe
how people’s lives are affected during and after
a case… beliefs, behavior, relationships,
personal habits.
For this reason, I have always tried to maintain
an ongoing follow-up policy with case
The Questing Puzzle
Whether or not we
find the resulting
picture attractive to
our eye, there is only
ONE correct solution
to a jigsaw puzzle…
All pieces must fit,
and none can be
The Infernal Truths
There is no aspect of claims of ghostly phenomena
that cannot also be modeled as a projection or
expression of consciousness from the (living)
This statement, however, is predicated on the
existence of an unknown process by which
consciousness interfaces with the physical world of
This interface would either make use of, or generate,
an energy-information principle that is not currently
defined by any branch of physics.
Part 3: Reduction and selection…
Down-selection of the three most viable
hypotheses that fit the incredibly broad nature
of the paranormal experience…
Model #1 – The Pseudo-Phenomenon
Paranormal phenomena are actually an
extremely broad set of perceptual and
experiental anomalies - including photographic
and instrumented data – that can all individually
be reduced to sensory illusions, statistical flukes
or non-repeatable artifacts, and that it is our
own collective yearning for a greater truth that
compiles these into a memetic set and pancultural phenomenon we perceive as unified
and real.
Model #2 – The Noospheric
Paranormal Phenomena in the classical form of ghosts
/ haunts are sensory and experiential events that
appear to work through a human consciousness
analogue of the Internet. The majority of ghostly
manifestations are internalized to the experiencer’s
perceptions, with occasional projected interface to the
physical world. Uncovering proof of the “WI-FI” that
connects us to the Collective and to the physical matter
world is the great single challenge here…
Model #3 – The Archonic
The Noospheric model of paranormal phenomena is
“complicated” by the presence of an external
intelligent agenda – resulting in the reflexive and
deceptive Trickster nature inherent in nearly all cases
involving extensive experiencer –investigator
interaction. This external intelligence might be some
expression of the human Collective that went rogue
millenia ago – or it may be truly non-human and
parasitic / predatory – Archonic to use a Gnostic
Which model is best fitted?
Model 1 does not consider the fact that some
instrumented anomalies are reported repeatedly in
diverse cases. It also does not take into account
similarities between ghostly and “alien” encounters.
Model 2 does not take into account the entangled
reflexive-reactive, and sometimes destructive elements
of many cases and case studies. It also requires the
modeling of the “WI-FI” and psi-physical interaction.
Model 3 requires the same definition of the
consciousness – psi link, however it accommodates
modes of paranormal experiences outside of ghostly
encounters. It also would suggest an objective reactive
component to the phenomenon.
It is, however, literally a model on the edge of comfort
and comprehension for many treasured and necessary
belief systems. It places ghosts into a light that many
would not find pleasant.
Model 3 would also imply
that communicative modes
between humans and
“spirits” (seances,
mediumship, and QA
techniques) are likely to be
filled with contrived but
useless fluff at best, and
deceptive / psychologically
debilitating at worst.
To quote E. Swedenborg,
“Spirits Lie”.
To what end? If Model #3 is the best
fit, where do we go from here?
What we have is an opportunity to explore the
frontiers of Man’s connection to the universe at
We can learn to help those in the grip of
paranormal assault and predation.
We can explore and try to prove the “WI-FI”
mechanism that connects Consciousness to
itself and the universe…
We can become more than we were.
Essential Reading
The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts by Joe Fisher
Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a
Quantum Reality by Dean Radin
Our Haunted Planet by John Keel
Psychic Self Defense by Dion Fortune
Ghosts: Appearances of the Dead & Cultural
Transformation by RC Finucane
Messengers of Deception by Jacques Vallee
Alien Energy by Andrew Collins
And on down the road..?
I will go on. Exploring the
“WI-FI”, teasing out the
nature of the Trickster, and
helping those whom I can.
In the end, ghost
investigation cannot offer
proof of survival beyond
death. But it offers a chance
to learn and grow. And

The Reluctant Ghost Hunter