The Scale and Dictionary

I have been asked a couple times by different people so, here it is, the scale, as well as some of my own personal definitions to popularly used terms in the field of the paranormal. I will begin with “The Scale,” a device that I have developed to help categorize activity level.

Level one, normal. This is the beginning, nothing strange here, what so ever. You have given us a problem, we have found you the solution or the reason for whatever it is that is bothering you. Very simple, this is where everything begins from. Not much else to explain here.

Level two, not normal. This one is the next step up from normal. While you have presented us with a problem and we have been able to find you a solution, there is still a slight chance that the cause could be out of the ordinary. While this sounds fairly straight forward, it's not. It is actually one of the two most complicated categories we have. How much not normal is does it take to bounce out of the normal range and how high does it go before you make it to the next category.

Level three, abnormal. This is the second of the two hardest categories, the first being “not normal.” In this category, you will find that you have given us a problem and we have found you a possible solution, but that solution borders on the improbable. We have an answer, but have no certainty that that solution is truly the reason behind the problem. The reason this one is also hard to categorize is that how far from “not normal” can you go before you make the next level, “abnormal.”

Level four, paranormal. This is really an over used term as it were. While the basic thought of, “if it's not normal, it's paranormal,” can apply here, that is not the case. The category of “paranormal' is reserved exclusively for those activity problems that we have absolutely no answer for what so ever. There are very few things that fall into this category. While you're thinking that that class A EVP you caught would be a level four, there is still a possibility that it isn't. What type of recorder were you using? Tape or digital? If it's a tape unit, is your tape new? Ever heard of “ghost” tracking? You know, where previously recorded audio bleeds over into newly recorded audio? Oh, it's digital? You do know that a digital recorder is susceptible to radio interference, didn't you? You didn't? Hmm, seems I just gave you a possibility for your lovely class “A” EVP. You can almost always come up with one excuse or another for your great piece of evidence and that is what the hardest of hard core skeptics will do to it as well, try to find any reason they can to explain it away.

The Dictionary

I've had this discussion with a friend of mine, and another over used term in the paranormal field is, demon. What is a demon? Webster’s online dictionary defines a demon as 1 a : an evil spirit b : a source or agent of evil, harm, distress, or ruin 2 usually daemon : an attendant power or spirit : genius 3 usually daemon : a supernatural being of Greek mythology intermediate between gods and men 4 : one that has exceptional enthusiasm, drive, or effectiveness. So does that make me a demon? As in a demon for work? In all reality, the word demon first received it's negative status in a translation of the Hebrew bible. In Greek and Latin mythology, there is no connotation to a demon being evil or malevolent. So, can anyone tell me what a demon really is? Four different definitions, four different possible things that it could be, on both sides of being good and evil.

The next term I'm going to address is matrixing. This is the definition that I am going to work with for this article. Definition number one, again from Webster's online dictionary, : something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form. This is when you see something in a picture, mirror, or video that really isn't there. Your mind take what it sees and translates it into images that you will recognize and remember. It does it automatically, without you even thinking about it. So if ours eyes do it, why can't our ears? Is it possible that a random bunch of clicks and taps on a recording can be perceived by the brain as voice? I don't see why not. I have listened to a lot of different EVP's over the years where one person says they hear this and I hear something totally different than what they did. Again, the strange matrixing power of the brain. What you perceive is not necessarily what I will perceive.

EVP EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or better known as a voice left on an audio track that you didn't hear at the time of the investigation. Where did it come from? What really is it? Is it truly a voice from beyond or something else? Until we find a definitive answer as to what it really is, we can only speculate.

EMF EMF stands for ElectoMagnetic Field. This is a field that is around us all the time. From the time you go to bed until you wake up in the morning and everywhere in-between. Theory behind it is, that as a spirit tries to manifest, it draws in all the energy around it, from every source possible, including you, the investigator. Most EMF detectors are designed for a specific frequency range, the most come being 50 to 60 hertz, which is the common range for electrical work for which the device was designed. The commonly used “K2” has a range from 50 to 20,000 hertz. Now that you have opened your frequency range up so wide, how do you know that you're not picking up the neighbor's “ham” radio station? The 160 meter “ham” band covers just about three quarters of that frequency range.

There are many more terms and phrases tied to the field of the paranormal. I will continue to update and write more on this topics as the ideas come to me.

As investigators, we need to look at every piece of evidence that we collect thoroughly. Are there any, and I mean any, possible explanations as to what you have caught. We need to take current technology and expand through research and study, while always remembering to respect your surroundings and who or what every maybe around you.

Want to comment on this piece, feel free to click the link.



Here is the August 7th episode of Spirit Buzz incase you missed it or want to hear it again. Hope you all find it enlightening.

Listen to internet radio with Spirit Buzz on Blog Talk Radio


Spirit Buzz round 2

Check it out, listen in, we're going to be discussing the article below. Call in with your comments. Hope to hear from you!


Seriously?!?! You're Kidding Right?!?!

I've been sitting on this for sometime now, but enough is enough. ParaTV is really going over the edge. How far does it have to go before they say enough? In the last year alone, I know of at least three new paranormal themed reality shows. Whatever happened to the real TV shows? You know, the ones with the actors? Putting a new spin on the old norm is now how it seems to be done. Really, you can't even call them spin off shows because they aren't, they are the same show, with a different title and different people. I actually gave up watching all of them some time ago.

I’m gonna try not to name any names in this article and please remember, these are my personal opinions and views. You don't have to agree with me at all. If you would like to comment, please use the link below to send me an email and I will address each comment individually. I will also decide at that time if I will add your comment to the website. I am very open, so the chances that your comment will end up on here is very high, as long the language is clean, otherwise I will edit out the foul language before I post it to the site. Now, that being said, let's begin. Again, these are all my own views and opinions and everyone is entitled to their own.

The latest one out now is a new project by a current paraceleb, who currently has a show. This show is about the worst there is. They lock themselves in a location all night and try provoking the entities to contact them in any way possible, including assault. Are they absolutely crazy? What kind of an example are they setting for their followers and fans? That is not how one should handle an investigation. The dead should be respected, not insulted and angered for an entire night. If the entity doesn't want to talk to you while you’re being nice, why would they want to talk when they're angry. This can also cause confusion with EVP's. What might be a normal, angry human spirit could easily be confused for something demonic. Now that being said, this new show is supposedly about a team of "news reporters" who travel around the country covering and investigating "paranormal news stories." Really all it is doing is creating more competition between teams that investigate the paranormal. Teams will be fighting to get their 15 minutes of TV time. Real teams are in the field to study, research, learn, and help their clients, not compete to be seen on TV. Seriously, this is what the field is coming to?

Same with one of the other shows that pitted two paranormal investigative teams against each other in a well-known haunted location. Really gave the wrong idea about what this field is all about. We need to work together in this field, not compete against each other. We need to work together find new methods and ways to investigate the paranormal.

There is only one show I have seen that is really working to advance the field. This team always seems to be at the leading edge of new ideas and methods. There is also another piece of equipment in the works that may be a major breakthrough in the field and I can only hope that this new technology is released soon.

Sad thing is, every episode is basically the same, over and over. The only thing that changes from episode to episode is the location. Same methods, same questions, same techniques, same everything. Where is the research into new methods and techniques? Where are the new ideas? Nowhere, that’s where, they have all sold out and are just in it for the money and ratings now. That’s why no new ideas or technology has come to the field in the past few years.

Most new teams out there have been lulled into a false sense of security that nothing bad can happen to them because nothing bad has ever happened to their favorite paracelebs. Every paranormal related show is guilty of this. They don't show or talk about the dangerous side of the field. The worst thing that has ever happened is someone got scratched. I've seen and been involved with things much worse than that.

Another thing, how much of these shows are real and how much is fake. They all claim to be real and unedited, but I have heard from a former ParaTV team that the producers do edit the footage to make it seem more dramatic and exciting. They bend and twist it into whatever they feel will bring the best ratings. How do we know that they don’t do this with the evidence? Hollywood is the absolute master of special effects, how do we know they don’t have their finger in on the evidence editing, either before or after review. The paracelebs don’t even get to see the finished product until it actually premiers on TV. They have no control over what is done with the footage after it goes to the editing table and I have heard this from more than one group of paracelebs.

Hollywood is all about drama. Based on a true story might be one small fact from the case, but the rest has been amped up and hyped up to make more people interested in watching it. Without the drama, no one would watch the shows.

I guess what my real point is, what has all this ParaTV really done for the field? On one hand, it has opened more people up to the possibility that there is something out there. More people are willing to talk about strange things that they can’t find an explanation for and not be worried about being called crazy. The downside is that everything is becoming a competition to get on TV. Don’t worry, I’ll be adding more to this as it comes to me. Feel free to use the link below to send me comments.


Here is July 10th episode of Spirit Buzz on Blog Talk Radio with Jill Marie Morris and yours truly. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.


Listen to internet radio with Spirit Buzz on Blog Talk Radio


2011 Paranormal Convention at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, MN

I'm going to write a review on this weekend, but for right now, here are the pictures from that weekend.

Barry Fitzgerald and I on Friday afternoon. Great guy to talk with, full of information.

Kris Williams and I on Friday afternoon. Awesome to talk music with.

Chris Zaffis, me, and Brain Cano on Friday afternoon. John Zaffis was no where to be found for this picture.

Barry Klinge, me, and Brad Klinge on Friday afternoon. Really fun to chat with.

Me and John Zaffis on Saturday morning. Godfather of the paranormal and really hard to track down.

Ok, that's it for pictures, I was to busy chatting and networking to take too many pictures. My review of the weekend will be coming soon, so check back often.


207 by Jill Marie Morris

My review of the book

The story 207 by Jill Marie Morris is a riveting and suspenseful story of a young family, ripped apart by demonic oppression and possession. Jill Marie has an amazing ability to bring the reader right into the story, as she describes the details of both her physical surroundings and that of what she “sees.”

Both well written and awe inspiring, the story draws you in, until you find that you have trouble putting it down. I found myself reading it and seemed to lose track of time. As the story grows, so does your curiosity about finding out what happens next. From the opening page to the final paragraph, Jill Marie keeps you on the edge of your seat.

From a truly tragic standpoint, Jill Marie has been able to open up to her audience about a truly horrible time in her life. From the wonderful and happy birth of her first son to the tragic death of her husband, Jill Marie takes the reader on a journey that will not only change the way that you look at the world around you but will also open you up to the possibility that there really are things out there that are not understood, even feared.

Hopefully through her research for her second book she will be able to find answers to the questions that she has been living with for over 20 years. I really look forward to the chance to read it. Even though we have only known each other a very short time, I feel very honored that I can call Jill Marie my friend.



The Technology Gap and the Paranormal

A few weeks back, Justin brought this idea to me. We got to talking about, is it possible that “older” entities have trouble with “newer” technology. I'll elaborate on this more as I go here. Being a very legit question, I decided to run with it and see how the ideas unfolded.

Is it possible that the technology and equipment that a paranormal investigative team uses during a investigation can cause problems? I'm not saying problems with contamination, I'm talking about the technology gap between us and an “old” spirit. A lot of the cases that we deal with seem to be based on older spirits, and I don't mean old like grandparents old, I mean from years ago. The spirit in question could be 20 years old when they died in 1918. That's what I mean by old. Now that being explained, how does the technology gap between now and then work out. Close your eyes and think of it this way, you were born in 1891 and in 1911, you were somehow brought forward in time, 100 years, to 2011. Think about how much of a shock that would be to your mental systems. In 1911, most people didn't have electricity, let alone running water in their house or an indoor toilet. Back then it was sun up to sun down, anytime after that was by fire or candle light, and hopefully on the night that you woke up and had to use the john, there was a full moon out. Now, jump forward to 2011 from your picture of 1911. You now have “candles” that “light” with the flip of a switch, noise and moving picture boxes that allow you to see and hear what is going on outside your house, indoor toilets, running water, and the list goes on and on. See where I'm going with this?

Now imagine yourself, not as a person, but as a spirit. No one around to explain what everything is or to answer your questions. Just you. Okay, so I don't believe it would be quite that drastic. You would be able to look over people's shoulders as the time passed to learn, but remember, how do you ask a question? Or on the other side, how do you know that you're not just stuck with the 1911 ability, meaning that everything you see isn't what you would have seen in 1911. Unfortunately, no one has been totally successful at getting a direct answer from the other side but then again, maybe no one has asked the proper questions. In most investigations, we ask mainly about the spirit itself, such as, “What is your name?” and “How old are you?”, not things like, “What do you see?” or “What is it like as a ghost?” Maybe those are some questions that I should talk with my team about adding into the normal set of questions. Kind of a way to relate to a spirit, in less of an invasive way. Maybe it doesn't want to tell me its name or age, maybe it wants to talk about the weather or what the glowing green light on the desk is that we keep calling a K2 meter and saying that it's not going to harm them. I don't think they don't know, but maybe they think that's the light that everyone keeps telling them to go to. You see, this is where the technology gap comes to rear its ugly head. What is that little green light on the “K2” or the red light on the “recorder” that you speak of? You keeping saying catch, why should I let you catch me?

In a previous article, I spoke of using an EMF (ElectroMagnetic Field) meter during investigations and I'm sure I have raised a few eyebrows of the people that don't watch shows such as “Ghost Hunters,” “Ghost Adventures,” or “Paranormal State.” An electromagnetic field is defined as a physical field produced by electrically charged objects. A light bulb, a battery, or your computer would be examples of electrically charged objects. You can even get an EMF reading off of a person who is wearing wool socks and had been dragging their feet on the carpet for the last 2 hours in a dry room in the middle of winter. Yeah, you know that shock I'm taking about. That charge can actually be measured with the right EMF detectors. A normal EMF detector functions in the 50 to 60 hertz range. They're designed to be used in the electrical field, which runs in the 50 to 60 hertz range, they have just been adapted over and I will explain soon. A K2 meter is designed to function in a much larger range, mainly from 30 to 30,000 hertz. Now that you have a little bit of grasp of the EMF/K2 meters, I will explain how they are used in an investigation. When an entity “manifests” itself, it attempts to draw energy from any source that it can. The batteries on your camera, your cell phone's battery, or in some cases, they're said to draw off a person's energy. This is what we use the EMF/K2's for, to find the areas of high energy that can't be easily explained away, such as a TV, hair dryer, or radio. Once we find the areas, we set to work, either trying to find out what is causing it or to try and find out if it is a spirit trying to manifest.

This bring us back to where we started from, how does the technology gap affect a spirit. I really don't know how to answer that question. I have my theories and speculations, but I can't say for sure, so I am going to go off of those ideas. As I said earlier on, no one, as far as I know, has been successful in finding out what it is really like on the other side. I think it really has to do a lot with the spirit and the situation. Some people welcome change and embrace it, where as others want nothing more than for things to stay exactly the way they are. Is that same mentality carried on to the next life? Does the spirit of the crabby old neighbor that had to have everything just so, is he still that way on the other side or has he mellowed out? I guess where I'm going with this, is if you don't want to learn and adapt with the changing of the times, who says you have to? Why couldn't you be that old grump that you were when you passed?

I am continuing to work on this topic so if you have any suggestions, questions, or comments, feel free to email me and let me know.


Vile Vortices

Vile Vortices, also known as the 12 Devil's Graveyards of the World, are 12 areas across the planet that have had strange phenomenon connected to them in one way or another. Most phenomenon is either disappearances, time lapses, failure of electronic equipment, and the appearance of strange creatures. The most popular of these vortices is the Bermuda Triangle or Devil's Triangle, followed by some lesser known ones, including Dragon's Triangle or Devil's Sea and the Michigan Triangle, both of which I will cover in the next paragraphs.

Everyone knows about the Bermuda Triangle, but almost no one knows of the Dragon's Triangle, or Devil's Sea. Some reports say that the Dragon's Triangle is more dangerous than the Bermuda Triangle. An interesting note, while I'm thinking about it, is that both the Bermuda Triangle and the Dragon's Triangle are polar opposites. In other words, if you were to start at the center of the Bermuda Triangle and bore a hole straight through the center of the earth, you would end up in about the center of the Dragon's Triangle. Most legends of the Dragon's Triangle date back as far as 1000bc and tell of dragons that live in underwater palaces hidden in caverns. With more recent technologies, these so called dragons are really underwater volcanoes. Now while that explains the fire from underwater, it doesn't explain why when a ship does disappear, there is little to no debris to be found. The last disappearance that drew large amount of attention was that of the Kaiyo Maru No. 5, a research vessel of 31 crew members, sent to study the claims of disappearances. When the Kaiyo Maru itself disappeared, Japan aborted the study. Japan later recovered some of the wreckage of the ship, but were never able to recover all of it. It is believed that the Kaiyo Maru was destroyed by an underwater volcano.

Another little known triangle is the Michigan Triangle. It is said to be located right over central Lake Michigan. It is said to have similar characteristics to both the Bermuda Triangle and the Dragon's Triangle, which include but are not limited to, disappearances, time lapses, time slowing or accelerating, and reports of strange creatures. One claim is that of Northwest Orient Flight 2501, which disappeared on June 23, 1950. Light debris was found, but divers were never able to recover the entire plane. Another claim is that of the disappearance of George R. Donner, captain of the O.S. McFarland. The report claims that the captain told his crew that he was going to retire to his cabin for a few hours of sleep before the ship reached port and to wake him when they started to get close. Several hours later, the first mate went to wake the captain, but he was not in his cabin and the door was locked from the inside. A search was conducted but he was never found.

This is just a touch of the information that my brief research was able to turn up. Since this is an area of interest to me as well, I will continue to research this topic and publish more information as I find it. If there are any questions out there, feel free to email me.





Click on each picture for a full size view of these news paper articles. Each will open in a new tab or window. Once open, click on the thumbnail to maximize. I recommend you read these before you read the following blog so that you know what I am talking about. These articles are used with the permission of the Sanborn Weekly Journal of Woonsocket, South Dakota.

The Paranormal*

Written by Seth Swenson, Director of The MinnDak Paranormal Society

“We Are Not Alone” as written by Jill Swenson and “Casper” as written by Dan Hagman are both thought provoking and well written pieces. Both columns pose the question, what is out there after we are done here. As a paranormal investigator and researcher with ten years of experience, I can say, there is something out of our definition of normal out there. Fifteen years ago, the paranormal and ghosts were experienced, but never spoke of for fear that your peers would call you crazy and loony, but times have changed and conversation of strange occurrences is more common place. This has a lot to do with the large amounts of TV shows that have to do with the paranormal and the study of poltergeists (poltergeist, by the way, is German for “noisy spirit').

Reading both columns work on the history of Woonsocket. Another question we have begun asking is, “why do all paranormal investigations seem to be based on past events?” Every case that my team has ever worked, has been based on past events. What is it that causes a spirit to be trapped here? There are many theories as to why this happens, two of the most popular being that they are trapped here after a tragic event and don't realize they've passed, or the other, they have unfinished business. But why does that have to be the case? Why couldn't the spirit be determined enough to decide that it wants to stay right where it is? Does it have to “cross over” if it doesn't want to?

Who really is “Casper?” Is Casper your grandfather, great-great uncle, or some other close or distant relation? In Ireland, the Banshee is a misunderstood spirit. Some say that it is evil and you will die if you see it or death is soon to come to you if you hear the Banshee's cry. The Irish believe that the Banshee is actually an ancient female spirit of the family or clan. She has been chosen to watch over her clan and warn that death is soon to come, not necessarily by tragedy but perhaps by natural causes. There are many different stories from all across the world of this sort of phenomenon, this is only such one case. Really, that being said, Casper could be anybody. Many religions believe in Guardian Angels, why couldn't those Angels be Casper?

Now Jill talks about bumps and noises in an old house in her article. While the possibility exists that the noises are caused by some sort of paranormal activity, during an investigation, the team spends a good amount of time trying to find a logical explanation for what is causing the noises. We also use a wide variety of equipment to try and capture, either on video, still image, or audio, any type of activity to support what our client has told us. But why does activity have to be tied to the location? Why couldn't it be tied to an object or even a person? We handled a case where the client owned what appeared to be a late 1930's or early 1940's rotary desk telephone. The entire investigation was quiet except for when we put an EMF (ElectroMagnetic Field) meter near the phone. One of the investigators working this case picked up the phone and said “hello,” at which point the EMF meter went crazy. This would appear be a case where it was an object that brought the activity to the location, not the location itself.

My team has developed a formula for what we find. Normal, not normal, abnormal, and paranormal. Normal being that we have found a perfectly logical explanation for the activity. Not normal is that we are about 50% sure that we have an explanation but are not positive that explanation is the case. Abnormal is that we have some theories as to what is causing the activity, but we can say with no certainty that that is the real reason for the activity. Paranormal, you guessed it, we have no explanation at all. In all the cases we have handled, we have only ever once been able to label something paranormal, simply because the EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) we caught had no possible explanation at all. Even the case involving the telephone was only able to be classified as abnormal, simply because we had a couple good theories as to what was causing the spike on the EMF meter.

Being an investigator and researcher for over ten years has taught me one major lesson, you can never go into a case expecting it to be normal or routine. Every case we handle is as unique as the individuals involved in it. You can go from a case where the client has been living with the entity for many, many years, and loves it, even thinks of the spirit as a novelty or part of the family. Other clients will live in shear terror, because they don't understand what is going on. That's where we come in. If the client is comfortable with the spirit, they call us in to try and document the entity's existence. They may not know who it is that is with them and would like to try and find out who it is. In cases where the client is living in terror, we do our best and try to help them find a solution to the trouble.

If you would like to learn more or contact us, visit us on the web at WWW.MINNDAKPARANORMAL.ORG.

*This blog was originally written and published in the Sanborn Weekly Journal.


The MinnDak Paranormal Society
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Revised: 11/26/12