You are walking in the dark and suddenly you see what looks like a face in the shadows. Of course you are frightened. What was that? Many of us have had this happen. Seeing a face where there should not be one is very disturbing.
What if we just thought it was a face? What if it really wasn’t? What is it then? There is a term for seeing faces in inanimate things. According to Ask.com and Wikipedia, it is called “PAREIDOLIA”.
Pareidolia (/pærɨˈdoʊliə/ parr-i-DOH-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant, a form of apophenia. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.
The word comes from the Greek words para (παρά, “beside, alongside, instead”) in this context meaning something faulty, wrong, instead of; and the noun eidōlon (εἴδωλον “image, form, shape”) the diminutive of eidos. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, seeing patterns in random data.
As you see, it may also include sounds and patterns. Does this mean what we have seen is not something paranormal? The answer is maybe. Like many things we deal with, there are two sides to the story. It is believed that a good portion of what we think we see is actually not paranormal, but pareidolia. We think we see a face when it is just clothes handing in the closet (in a very interesting or scary way).
I for one, have seem things both pareidolia and paranormal. There are times I really am not sure which is which. Here is where our intuition and our senses come into play. I am not a true expert, but I feel our intuition tells us much. I know that if you see something unexplained, your body will sometimes give you “goose-bumps” or you feel a chill. It is a natural reaction to the unknown and our bodies are preparing for fright. I also know that when a ghost is close by, the body will react the same way. This is where the intuition helps. Most times we have a sixth sense if the “thing” is paranormal or not. I say trust your senses and listen to that little voice inside.
I too, have heard things that I thought were voices that were not. A voice was heard and seemed to be in the room where I was sitting. It happened twice. After some time and a diligent search, it turned out to be my dog sleeping and snoring. I had a good laugh at that. Also electric appliances may cause noises that seem questionable. If you hear noises, be aware of what is in the area. Take a good look and listen closely.
This doesn’t however, prove all things are debunked. We have captured many EVP’s (electronic voice phenomenon) while in the library. Our goal is to always try to debunk what we may find, but many times it just isn’t possible. We assume it is our friends from the beyond. The recordings are saved and analyzed as best we can. It does seem the spirits do have things to say if we just listen.
Bottom line, it is many times our perception of what we are encountering. I know there are many things unexplained. I also know many objects and shadows can take on the image of something else.
What is your take on this?
It is almost time again for the Beyond Reality event at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. This year’s event is April 11, 12, 13, & 14. If you are a regular reader here you will know that this is my third year to attend. This year my family is tagging along to join in the fun. The standard presentations and guest speakers will be the daily events along with the evening ghost hunts. It is always interesting to watch the professionals and how they conduct their investigations.
My husband agreed to go this year to my amazement. He is a true sceptic. The weekend should prove very interesting to say the least. I am not sure what his take will be but I look forward to sharing it all with him. For someone that has never had a paranormal experience ever, it should prove educational. I hope he is ready for it all.
Last year for the first time I met John Tenney who is well known in paranormal circles. He was interesting to listen to during his presentation as well as great to visit with. He is knowledgeable as well as humorous. He just makes me laugh, which is always good fun.
I am very excited to announce that Grant Wilson previously of Ghost Hunters (Syfy Channel) was added to the lineup. As an avid fan of Ghost hunters, Grant has been sorely missed. My hope is to find a chance to visit with him and ask a few questions about his take on investigations. J Included in the lineup are others from Ghost Hunters, Amy Bruni, Britt Griffith, and Adam Berry. Comedian Mike Brody will also return with his unique humor and stories. Great fun.
Last but not least is the return of Chip Coffey, psychic extraordinaire. Chip has a way about him that is unexpected. He swears, he tells it just like it is and makes no bones about how the messages come through. He is great to visit with if you get the chance.
Estes Park is a beautiful town filled with friendly people and is surrounded by mountains and wildlife. The elk alone would make me want to make a return visit. They are seen many times in town, around town, by a stop light, by golf course, by the library, etc. They are everywhere. In previous visits we also saw big horn sheep along the highway just outside of town. The area is set in the mountains. If you like photography it is a great place to visit. Many photo-ops can be had by just driving through town. Estes Park is also known for its many Christmas themed shops. Christmas all year round . I personally love stopping by the Highlander Shop. Scottish, Irish, and Celtic items are available. Beautiful handicrafts.
The Stanley Hotel has a long history of ghosts and hauntings. Explosions, Native Americans being tortured and deaths are among the tales you will hear. It is on the National Register of Historical Places as well as National Register of Haunted Places. This is indeed a unique location.
If you interested in attending the Stanley Hotel Beyond Reality event, please visit the following link:
What is an orb? According to Ask.com, the term orb describes unexpected, typically circular artifacts that occur in flash photography-sometimes with trails indicating motion-especially common with modern compact and ultra-compact digital cameras. Orbs are also sometimes called backscatter, orb backscatter, or near-camera reflection. The paranormal interpretations. Consistent with paraphernalia, Orb backscatter has been broadly interpreted as a highly variable range of supernatural paranormal phenomenon without verifiability -including invisible spirits, unexpected lights, auras, angles, ghosts, energy field, psycho-energetic artifacts, energy balls, etc.
Depending on which expert you ask or generally what you believe in, will depend on what perception you will have about orbs. I see orbs as many things. Photos have been handed to me that shows many round unusual spheres that seem to not belong in the area they were captured. Is it a bug? Is it camera flare? Is it paranormal? Depending on what you have caught and where can certainly make a difference.
One example is the Sweetwater County Zombie Proms. The Youth Services librarians hold a Zombie Prom each year at the library. Patrons dress as zombies and just as it sounds, is a dance of sorts. Bands are brought in and a Zombie Walk takes place down our main street. Almost every year the Zombie Walk happening, photos are taken. In these photos are orbs, many, many orbs. The questions is asked each year, “Is this paranormal?” Depending on who you ask, you get a different answer. I personally think we have both energy orbs and paranormal. The reason I state this I generally believe most of the orbs are from the extremely high energy brought in by the young people attending the prom. But, with this said, we have also received a photo with an orange orb. This has never happened before and it definitely stands out. Usually orbs are white or light in color, why is this one orange?
During our regular Ghost Walks many photos are taken. Many interesting orbs are captured. After comparing most of them with our expert friends, P. I. Team of Utah or U.R. O. P. A, it was determined that they are generally dust. We do however have a couple that may not seem so easy to debunk.
At times some light anomalies have been shown and thought to be debunked by the experts, but our team still has questions as to the origin. Here is one example that the verdict is still out. We think we see legs at the left and maybe part of a coat or skirt.
What do you make of the photos? I would love to see what your take it on the orbs shown. If you have a great orb photo or input on orbs please share with us.
Thanks so much!
The Sweetwater County Library currently subscribes to the paranormal magazine TAPS ParaMagazine. I try to take time to read its articles as time allows. Today I opened the newest edition for January/February 2014. On page 24 I found something that gave me a good laugh. Yes, I am a sick puppy.
To understand the humor in this, you must be a frequent watcher of the SYFY Channel series Ghost Hunters. Steve Gonsalves is one of the key members of the TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) team. Steve suffers from several phobias such as fear of heights, bugs, flying, etc. Steve also is a man of many tattoos. He has “tats” on much of his body.
Included in the magazine is the cartoon TARA Normal from the website TARA Normal.com and is created by Howie Noel.
The cartoon states the following:
Top Four Tattoos Steve Will Never Get-
- Frequent Flyer
- 2. I Heart Spiders
- Tango is the Boss of Me
- The Movie Phantasm is Overrated
Those of us that deal with paranormal one way or another tend to find humor whenever we can. I know it is a serious subject, but it can also make you laugh. Example: During the filming of Ghost Hunters, Jason Hawes, the founder of TAPS, will find a way to sneak up on his team members when they are not expecting it. It always gets a laugh. Life can be too serious and I tend to think like they do, laugh when you can.
One of my favorite story of the haunted library is a humorous one. My good friend Cindy Moore had started working for the library in 2003. New employees usually have many questions about the ghosts or haunting and Cindy was no exception. She knew about the Ghost Log and had looked at it but really paid it no mind. Like all new employees she set about learning her new job and taking care of business.
This is the story she told the morning after her first evening shift.
Like all Circulation and Reference staff she had to work one evening shift. The shift was about to end and it was her duty to close up the Multi-purpose Room and back area of the library. She remembered the stories about the ghosts and the reports that were listing the Ghost Log so she was a bit apprehensive. As she entered the back door of the Multi-purpose Room she said she suddenly saw something big and scary. It startled her so much it made her scream out. Cindy then offered to show us what happened. As she walked along the path she had walked the night before, she told us how she was a bit nervous about being there at night and being alone in the room where many paranormal reports had been reported. As the staff followed her to a door, she opened it and she said “Do you see it? Isn’t it scary?” What we saw was Cindy’s reflection in a full-length mirror that is mounted on the opposite wall in the back hallway. In the dark it must have truly given her a scare. We all had a good laugh.
Just remember, we all have our work to do but…… no one says we can’t have fun doing it!!
During our ghost hunting or Ghost Walks at the Sweetwater County Library, the search for good evidence is always key. Many tools are used to help us with this, such as KII meters, EMF Detectors, digital thermometers, digital recorders, cameras and of course camcorders.
Many of you have been gracious enough to share your EVP recordings, videos and photos. It is always appreciated. Out of all the evidence, few videos are available. It seems a rare gift when we are able to capture anything on a camcorder. There is a theory that the spirits are shy and may not want to have their likeness captured. We hope not. During several of the Ghost Walks I have asked the spirits to allow us to take their photo. Each time we try there is always the hope that we will actually capture a wonderful image or video. It is usually not the case.
Although very little video footage is available, there are a few that I would like to share. P. I. Team of Utah was able to catch footage while in the Staff Lounge. Listen closely as they use the “ghost box or Frank’s Box” to try and speak to any spirits in the room. They do receive a response. (r visit their webpage http://www.piteamofutah.com/ )
Try as I might, I have not been able to gather any footage of a full bodied apparition. I was able however to catch some footage while one of the Ghost Walk tours was in the Staff Lounge. As you will see, the footage is of the KII hits as we were asking questions. Please notice, I placed a red ball in the center of the table. The lights from the KII’s reflect off the ball, thus showing when they light up.
Each Ghost Walk our goal is to try to gather as much evidence as possible to show possible proof of spirits residing in the library and surrounding area. Generally it is people like you that are the lucky ones that have caught the best evidence. With all our continuing diligence and dedication it may be possible to prove once and for all that “spirits” are real. Our hope it that anyone that has caught or in the future catches good evidence, please share with us. We are always happy to post any photos or videos that you might bring in.
Thanks again to all of you that have been willing to share. Without you we would not have the wonderful evidence on record.
Also thanks to PI Team of Utah for sharing their video evidence. Your team is always appreciated.
Is your house haunted? Do you see shadows, hear strange noises, or items seems to move from where they were last seen? Do you know someone that is being pestered by a ghost? These may seem like silly questions to some, but they are not if you said yes. More people than I ever realized may have a ghost problem in one way or another. Many people choose to remain silent about the issue until it becomes more than they are willing to live with.
Working at in a haunted building has taught me many things. One is that those with a ghost problem are looking for answers. Because of our history they just might come by to looking here. Being that we are both haunted and a library, we try very hard to help the public find the answers they might need. We try to provide books and videos that help to explain what may be happening in that person’s situation. We also try to network with several professionals to help provide the public with experts there are educated in the paranormal.
I sometimes feel like we are much like the local bartender who gives service and always tries to lend a friendly ear. People come to us because they feel we will not laugh or think them crazy. We know there is something out there and we do want to do our best to help those in trouble. We do find about half the stories we hear are simple and the people actually do not mind the ghost/spirits. Sometimes the ghost might feel like a family member and the person does not choose to try and make the spirit leave or move on. This is your or their choice generally.
The other half is very much the opposite. For those of you that are finding a spirit to be too much or they are dark in nature, we can put you in touch with experts that are qualified to help with these matters.
Wyoming Paranormal Teams-
Paranormal Hunting Observation Group—Cheyenne—
Paranormal Research Society of Casper—Casper
Paranormal Research of Wyoming League—Powell
Contact Name Holly Berryman Phone 307-254-1240 Email email@example.com
Northern Wyoming, and the Big horn Basin in Wyoming.
Sleep Walkers Paranormal—Riverton
Southeast Wyoming Paranormal—Laramie
Website: temporarily down
Wild West Paranormal—Riverton
Utah Paranormal Teams-
There are multiple paranormal teams in Utah. Two of that are in our network and are friends of the Sweetwater County Library are P. I. Team of Utah and U. R. O. P. A. (Utah Researchers of Paranormal Activity). Each team has been to the SWCL several times and have proven to be valuable connections.
P. I. Team of Utah have been gracious enough to host events informing the public of the “who, what, how and why” of ghost hunting. Both P. I. Team of Utah and U.R.O. P. A. have investigated the library at least twice. By having professionals investigate we feel they are unbiased and will report to us in a professional manner. My personal recommendation is to call one of these top teams if you are needing help.
P. I. Team of Utah-Ogden, Utah area-(TAPS Affiliate) Website: http://www.piteamofutah.com/
U. R. O. P. A, Northern Ogden, Utah area- Website: http://www.uropa.org/
A special thank you to all the professional teams for all their devotion and hard work. They contribute so much to the library and our paranormal events and education. Thank you.
First, let me say thank you to all of those that attended. It was a wonderful night. We started out with a few hiccups, but things were smoothed out and all was well. Two staff members fell ill and our good buddies Hannah Yeager and Kenedie Grant stepped up to fill in. THANK YOU ladies! Our amazing staff donated home baked items, along with recipe cards prepared by Bianca Jorgensen. These alone could get you to come out. They were fabulous.
The Ghost Walks themselves were exciting. We had activity with the KIIs right away. Several felt cold spots and thought they heard a voice. For some unknown reason this year the Lady’s Room and the Staff Lounge have been extremely strong for evidence. We do get occasional “hits” elsewhere but not often.
On the second tour, the Staff Lounge was wild. We gathered around the table and general area. I asked those people with the KIIs to place them all around the table. It did seem that we were getting answers to our questions and only when we asked questions. Love that. Bianca ran the Ghost Box and several heard direct answers to questions. One lady heard them say her name and was a little surprised by it but was then excited.
Several people asked to go inside the actually restroom where previous activity is known to have happened. Once inside the EMF detector with the orange top began sounding off and lighting up. We asked them to step back into the main area and ask “them” to come too. It seems they did for a minute and then disappeared. I was sitting at the end of the table towards the restroom and I suddenly got an odd feeling and asked an attendee, Jerry, to step to the left of me and move the device from side to side. Sure enough! The device began lighting up and sounding off. Jerry was able to catch a shape of a person and then it changed and moved. He had to really work to find it again but he was successful and it seemed to hang around for some time, all the while moving and changing its location. Interesting stuff!
One of our regular patrons has attended several of the “Walks”. During this one she took photos and was able to catch an odd play on light. Carol thought she might have caught a photo of a little girl. Whenever a photo is sent into me and it seems unclear, I send it off to P. I. Team of Utah or UROPA for analysis. Jenny from P. I. Team of Utah did in fact take a look, but her opinion is that this is just camera flair. I agree to the most part, but I do think the “legs” on the left are rather interesting. Take a good look at the photo. I would be very interested to see what you all think. Please take a minute to leave a comment.
Please enjoy a few of the photos from our event. Thanks again to our staff and those that made it possible. We hope to see you all again next year.
Sylvia Browne (born Sylvia Celeste Shoemaker; October 19, 1936 – November 20, 2013)
In the realm of the paranormal, there are those special people we call psychics. I was sad to learn that Sylvia Browne, beloved psychic and author, had died on November 20, 2013. She was known for her work as a medium helping others contact those they had lost.
From the several of her books comes an overall view of whom and what Sylvia Browne was and always strived to be. She will be missed.
Blessing from the Other Side
Keeping our lives in perspective is difficult for everyone. For many, holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries become overwhelming events; not to mention job changes, family crises, and personal issues. We lose perspective and become preoccupied with things we cannot change. Sylvia Browne helps readers get back into the spirit of appreciating their life with this inspirational book that reminds them of the countless blessings that we received before coming into this world.
The Other Side has a lot to teach us, and Sylvia Browne shares its most important wisdom and comfort. With chapters on forgiveness, past lives, contacting The Other Side, and finding your life’s purpose, among others, Sylvia Browne tells uplifting stories of those people she has helped find their way in this world through remembering their time in the afterlife. Sylvia Browne believes that if we can remember why we are there and what we are supposed to be doing here, then our lives will become happier, healthier, and more spiritually fulfilling. Let Blessings from the Other Side be your guide to remembering how beautiful your life can be.
Sylvia Browne has been working as a psychic for forty-eight years, and regularly appears on the Montel Williams Show. She is the author of the bestsellers Adventures of a Psychic, The Other Side and Back, and Life on The Other Side.
Insight: Case Files from the Psychic World
Insight is Sylvia Browne’s exploration of her fifty years of psychic readings, in her own words and in the words of those whose lives she’s touched and often changed forever. Her stories about life as a psychic, as candid and down-to-earth as Sylvia herself, offer whole new perspectives on the profound, varied, worldwide impact of her extraordinary gift.
Covering a wide variety of subjects including love and relationships, health and illness, family, finances, spiritual issues, legal cases, pets, and lost items, Insight is Sylvia’s generous reflection about being a psychic and how she discovered the compassion to nurture each and every one of her clients throughout her unique and distinguished career.
Past Lives, Future Healing: a Psychic Reveals the Secrets of Good health and Great Relationships
With millions of copies of her books in print, Sylvia Browne has proven herself the reigning expert on psychic phenomena. Now Sylvia gives readers an unprecedented look at the way so many of our health and relationship problems have their roots in our unresolved past lives: from unexplained illnesses to bizarre phobias, from irrational anxieties and fears to the partners and lovers we choose. Even birthmarks and recurring dreams can be traced directly back to these past existences. In the friendly, no-nonsense style that her fans have grown to love, Browne shares amazing and inspiring real-life stories of people who have transformed their lives through understanding their previous existences.
See your local library for more about the psychic realm and Sylvia Browne.
We all love a good ghost story and I usually reach for the non-fiction or true tales of haunting. The Sweetwater County Library shelves are filled with such legends. We try to fill all areas of the paranormal with books, videos, and other media.
Ghosts of Wyoming by Alyson Hagy
In Ghosts of Wyoming, Alyson Hagy explores the hardscrabble lives and terrain of America’s least-populous state. Beyond the tourist destinations of Jackson Hole and Yellowstone lies a less familiar and wilder frontier defined by the tension wrought by abundance and scarcity.
A young runaway with a big secret slips across the state border and steals a collie pup from the Meeker County fairgrounds. A chorus of trainmen detail a day spent laying rail across the Wyoming Territory, while contemporary voices describe life in the oil and gas fields near Gillette. A traveling preacher is caught up in a deadly skirmish between cattle rustlers and ranchers on his way from Rawlins to the Indian reservation on the Popo Agie River. Locals and activists clash when a tourist makes an archaeological discovery near Hoodoo Mountain.
Alyson Hagy was raised on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She is the author of three previous collections of short fiction and two novels, Keeneland and Snow, Ashes. She lives and teaches in Laramie, Wyoming.
Who can resist a good ghost story…the kind that gives you goose bumps, makes your hair stand on end, and leaves you terrified of the dark? Coast to Coast Ghosts: True Stories of Hauntings Across America is filled with black-and-white photographs and real-life spine-tinglers that take you on a nationwide journey to places where the dead refuse to rest, from Seattle to San Diego and from New Orleans to Key West. By Interviewing credible witnesses, historians, and renowned parapsychologists, as well as researching forgotten library archives, author Leslie Rule has validated sighting after sighting. This is a book that you won’t soon forget. ..no mater how hard you might try.
Leslie Rule, a professional photographer, is the author of Whispers from the Grave and Kill Me Again. She is the daughter of best-selling true-crime author Ann Rule. Her lifelong fascination with the paranormal began in a haunted house built on an Indian burial ground overlooking Puget Sound where she grew up. She currently lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington.
There’s nothing like an old-fashioned bed-and-breakfast or inn for beautiful antique décor, delicious hearty meals, the luxury of times past. But the guest houses featured in this unique guide offer much more? Phantom servants watching from the upper floors, eerie footsteps echoing in hallways, and ghostly voices calling from the other side. Now Frances Kermeen, the former owner of “the most haunted house in America,” takes you on a one-of-a-kind tour of America’s most bewitched places to stay. Feel the chills as you visit:
- Rooms where women should not stay the night alone-unless they want a romantic encounter with a spectral lover
- The beautiful Key West inn that’s terrorized by a doll with a ghastly chuckle
- A certain hall in a coastal California hotel where a female apparition calls enticingly to male guests through a door at night
- The Utah hotel where poltergeists torment the maids and frighten young schoolchildren.
For these and many others please stop by the Sweetwater County Library or your local library.
Debunking: Meaning-to prove untrue.
The September and October Ghost Walks at the library were a huge success. As always, some Walks were quieter and some were amazing. One can never tell what you might find during one of the events.
For anyone that does not know about our Ghost Walks, they are in fact a paranormal investigation. By purchasing a ticket you may join one of the tours you are allowed to partake. No one under the age of 15 is allowed to attend. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own ghost hunting equipment as well as use the libraries ghost hunting gadgets. These include KIIs, EMF detectors, digital recorders, camcorders, laser grid pens, and digital thermometers. Our hope is we or the patrons touring with us will be able to catch evidence of spirits in the building.
After each event we ask anyone that is lucky enough to catch EVPs, photographs, or video to share with us. By recording this information and combining all evidence, a better view of what we have is known. Evidence is our key to help tell the story of the spirits in our midsts.
Not long after the last Ghost Walk tours, one of friends contacted me stating she might have caught a “green man” and would I review the photo and other evidence she emailed to me. I was excited but I know to always be a bit skeptical when it comes to evidence. Once I viewed the photo I did indeed see something green and it seemed to be hovering above where a regular person would be walking. I enlarged the photo but this was of no help. I then enlarged and printed the photo. This was also inconclusive. Next I physically walked and stood where the woman had stood while taking photographs.
Debunked! I was disappointed to find what seemed to be the “green man” was actually a green plant. It seems a very tall thin plant stands just behind the Events Billboard. When the photo was taken light filtered through and made the large leaves seem to be transparent and they took on the shape of a possible human figure.
As disappointing as it is at times to find the evidence debunked, we still press on. Once the woman was told she understood and was glad to know the truth one way or the other. I appreciate her understanding. I have in the past received photos of shadows and unknown shapes. The person that took them was not understanding when told of how the evidence had been debunked. It is never our intent to upset the person submitting proof, it is quite the opposite. We will now and forever continue to search for truth and hard facts whenever possible.
Special thanks to Corrie Probst for sharing her photos and evidence.
Thank you to all of those that have taken the time to share evidence proven or debunked. Your efforts are always appreciated.
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