Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Queen Is Elegant

By JEBradstreet

When you are an enthusiast for paranormal places and happen to be visiting Southern California, pretty much the main hotspot you will find in any online search is the Queen Mary- a luxury ship that has been docked in Long Beach for decades. Now a hotel and museum with classy rooms, timeless hallways, and so many exhibits to see, there is plenty of room to get lost and find yourself... or something else.
Music from an older era plays in the lobbies, helping to lend an antique feel to the environment. Stairways and corridors go on for hours, and one can easily find themselves in places they did not expect.

Some of us leave with fantastic experiences to store in the memory banks. Others leave in the middle of the night.




The lights of Long Beach are incredible from the bow. There is plenty on the surface to discover.  Preserved quarters of the captain and his mates, along with old communication rooms can be found in random places along the deck. There are perfect locations to watch sunset, smell a cool ocean breeze, and see where past ceremonies have occurred- such as this pavilion near the rear of the ship.


But upon further searching, I found that the room in which I had the least interest became the spot where I felt the most overwhelming energy.
A sense of fear pervaded my mind and body the moment I stepped into that darkness. A dim, greenish light shined in water down below where you could see the large propeller at rest. Around it were coins and floating dollar bills, as if people considered the room to be a wishing well. Perhaps it was my phobia of enclosed areas filled with water, or perhaps the stories of men who died in the propeller's grinding twist are not legends after all.
The moment I went around to the next entryway and exited back into the museum, I felt immediate relief.
Although the entire ship is said to be haunted in one way or another, the area where most evidence has been recorded would be the first class pool- said by some to be a gateway for entities. Now off limits for safety reasons, it was saddening to not be granted access and witness this area in all its eerie glory. The pool is currently under renovations to be returned to its original state and may open some time in the next year. Fingers crossed.
In the meantime, all we have to indulge our fascination is the locked doors leading inside.

I explored all night and could not decide if I should be happy or worried that people seemed to disappear after 1AM. When I finally did retire to the room I woke up hours later in one of the most chilling cold spells I have ever suffered. My travel companion had to wrap around me to stop the shivering, and even she became frozen trying to warm me.
What an amazing feeling when it subsided.

The next day we were allowed access to the infamous B340- a room surrounded by rumors and no shortage of paranormal tales involving death, poltergeist tampering, and activity so prominent that guests are no longer privileged to stay. We found a gutted, empty room. And we were not allowed to hang around long.
The paranormal tour was intriguing. It included the tale of a security guard who still works his shift there, even after a small child held up its arms then walked right through him.  The tour guide also mentioned ghosts in a front lobby area, the aforementioned propeller room, and the spirit of a man who was crushed in the engine room #13 door.

  It wasn't just the comfy accommodations and their cool portholes that allowed me to leave smiling the next day. It was not the surreal experience of a place that has long been on my bucket list. It was the thought and further realization of this strange world that, many times, the most elegant and gorgeous places also have plenty of ghosts to hide.



Have you visited the Queen Mary? We'd love to hear your experience.  Comment below to tell us all about it....

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Symbols: behind their meanings

By Jennifer Furgerson
In the paranormal world we deal with symbols painted on buildings, tattooed on people, and just showing up where we least expect them. How do we decide their meaning, or even what they are? We research. A lot of people who see pentagrams, or upside down crosses tend to immediately think that these symbols are evil. No second thought of why they are there, no second thought of other possible meanings. Lets see if I can shed some light on three misunderstood symbols.


The Pentacle

 Lets start with the Pentacle. Most commonly known as a star placed in an upright or inverted position. Some people see it as just a star and nothing  more. Others see it as a very positive symbol, yet even a larger majority see it as one hundred percent evil. Where did this negativity come from? Lets start with the history or the closest time in history of when the Pentacle was first used.

Its first known use as an English word was in 1561. Over time it was used as a talisman, representative of the five elements, goddess worship, and devil worship. How did a simple five pointed star go from being just a star to have multiple meanings? The answer is simple. The people and/or religious leaders dictate what is good and what is bad.  In the pagan belief system the Pentacle represents the five elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit). Right side up meaning the goddess and inverted meaning the male god. Over time when Christianity began to grow and spread, the symbol began to take on new meaning to represent the sign of the devil. The Pentacle in this manner is represented by the inverted star.

Some have come to believe that it is supposed to represent the goat head of the devil. Today the Pentacle still has both positive and negative feeling surrounding it. Where some still use it in their pagan practices, others just wear it as nothing more than a fashion statement. The symbol its self is neither good or bad. 

When seen in an abandoned building or a place that is said to be haunted, it is unfortunate that most  people will place it as an evil symbol and give no second thought to why the Pentacle was placed there. Most will jump to the conclusion it was placed there to call the devil or other evil spirits. Its just as likely it could have be placed there as a symbol of protection against the evil that may lurk within. 


Alchemy Symbols


What happens when its more than one symbol used like in Alchemy? These symbols are seen alone or with others. Alchemy symbols were first used before the 17th century. These symbols were used to denote the elements, planets, compounds, etc. During the 16th century superstition ruled many people's minds. It was thought that these symbols had some sort of a connection to magic.

With that kind of knowledge the people of the 16th century thought that these symbols could do many things from protection, causing harm, calling up angles or devils, to possibly bring someone back from the world of the dead. Sometimes the symbols would be used in conjunction with the Pentacle. The symbols would be placed either around the star in a circle or placed at the star's points. This would be drawn on the walls, floors, or ceilings of peoples homes, businesses, and places of worship.

Over time these symbols were thought to be in decline and no longer used. Today Alchemy symbols are seen graffiti-ed in cemeteries, old abandoned churches, and sometimes abandoned asylums. It does not matter if  those symbols where placed there to call forth the devil, or bring forth protection, unfortunately it gives most people the sense that evil was conjured there.

The Cross

Now the cross in today's world is seen by many as a very good symbol to have around, but what if I told you that was not always the case. One of the earliest known uses of  the cross was in Egyptian hieroglyphs over a thousand years ago. When placed on the walls of their temples and tombs its meaning was 'to protect, guard and/or avenge'. Later they would use a similar symbol that meant 'beauty and perfect'. The symbol of the Cross was seen in many cultures, yet in the early infancy of Christianity the Cross was depicted as a gruesome way to  publicly execute of people. The Christian were very reluctant to use it as a holy symbol of their faith. It is in debate with scholars of when the Cross started to have a positive light to be used in  a positive manner.

Now the Cross seen in an upright position is normally seen as a symbol of faith of God in the Christian world. The upside-down Cross however has received an evil connotation over the last  few hundred years. Not many people realize that the the upside-down Cross
originated during the times of the ongoing crucifixions by the Romans  In fact it comes from the Catholic tradition of the crucifixion of Peter. It was written some time after 200 A.D., that Peter requested to be crucified upside-down as he felt he was unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus had. In later years some Christians came to know this Cross as a symbol of humility. Even the Catholics Pope's symbol has an upside-down Cross with keys crossing over it. Unfortunately in today's society there are people that choose to use the upside-down cross as a satanic icon.


Even though there are many symbols in the world that have multiple meanings, most are greeted with ill will and thought only as being evil and never having the chance to be anything else. These symbols have been seen in countless graveyards, old churches, and other places that have been abandoned. Most people will not take  the time to know learn the back history of a symbol, but would rather let their imaginations run wild. Perhaps the next time you are lurking about in a place that may seem or look sinister, keep in mind that what you see may have more than one meaning. In some cases we may never know the actual intent of why the symbols were drawn in these places.

For more information on the symbols and their meanings please check out these websites.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Odd Noise

By JEBradstreet
        So, the USS Hornet, huh?


A place of afterlife legends atop the water, where certain sections are still closed for asbestos removal.  Many areas are flat-out off limits, and there are plenty of living bodies around to tell you where not to go.  Of course those sectors always make me most curious. :)
It was early August, 2015.  The ALPS team took me to the ship.  It started on a top level, the museum full of aircrafts and other era artillery.  A fantastic place to see familiar faces that all seemed to start with the Spirits of the Old West event at the Washoe Club back in 2012.
The ship was packed with different exhibits that appeared around winding corners and in unexpected rooms.



Many people coming and going, much merchandise on display from vendors and our current paranormal generation of grinders.
Early on, a tour guide briefly led the team down to an engine room where unexplained things were heard by naked ears and also recorded on audio.  Off to a good start.
My next question... where will I crash?
At first I was worried to have to rest my head surrounded by many people on the top level.  Couples, strangers, snorers!  But then we were shown down to the bunks that were yet another level below the busy and packed area of the others.  A less-occupied level that Faye had mentioned earlier.
Indeed, it was dark.  So I paid attention to the guide when he flipped switches for lighting.  When I saw Faye ask him the procedure a moment later, I knew there was backup as usual.
In the evening they served us dinner.  A filling meal that made me just right for a smoke.  I stepped back above, where the dark museum opened up to the rear of the ship– and this sight hit me.


The sunset was far beyond the bridges, the ships, and the water, far beyond the buildings of San Francisco.  It made plenty of colors as we socialized, smoked, discussed, then prepared for when the sun went down behind the city.
Many people were assigned in different groups that explored separate areas.  We passed by each other and BSed.
Sommer took us up to the control room, a fantastic display of blue radars and yellow charts.  How many emotions and energies from important decisions had made their way through that place over the years?
We explored lonely rooms that branched off shadowed hallways.  Supernatural experiments with different strangers. The hallways were ominous at all times.  Several people later found EVP’s in their archives.  One from Scott seemed to mention me by name, and it touched on a major past nerve. 
And who knows what else was found by the many investigators who were there?  Do share your evidence if your eyes reach this post.
We were guided to some of the most notorious spots, and it was easy to feel uneasy in most of them.  Being surrounded by so many people made the areas easy to face.


But the night got quiet, and other groups seemed to fade off like souls in time.  The USS Hornet is not a place you want to be stranded in the dark.  Odd noises from all directions is enough to make the mind wonder– but the things that are really there?


Four of us were on the grind latest into twilight hours. Myself, Faye, Scott Litaea, and some guy who followed us, said nothing, and crunched on vending machine snacks that made me envious.  Everything seemed quiet, except for the hum of the ship.  Time came to call it quits around five in the morning.
I was tired enough that the bunk felt like a bed.
The alarm in the morning, a surprising siren that blasted like the good old military days.  It was a sound meant to rise you from that bunk and be ready for plans in store for you.  I can’t say, after maybe an hour of deep sleep, that I was entirely annoyed when I reached a lower deck.  The kitchen area!  It was an awesome breakfast.
The experience felt like a camping trip aboard a haunted and historic American vessel.  It was a mixture of so many different people with goals that revolve around a similar subject.  What can ever go wrong there?



How amazing it was to see so many familiar faces who are currently working hard on the grind for their passions and for the future.  Here’s links to some of their Facebook accounts where you can find further links to their projects:

Josh Heard:    https://www.facebook.com/josh.heard.9 
Conner Hopkins:     https://www.facebook.com/connor.hopkins.9
Scott Litaea:     https://www.facebook.com/scottdlitaea
Sommer Jonez:     https://www.facebook.com/sommer.jonez
Jessie Garcia:     https://www.facebook.com/JessiePGarcia

.... and so many more. 



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Odd Silence

By JEBradstreet
There was a strange silence at the Miner’s Cabin.
        The Gold Hill nights were cold, but the stars exposed themselves in spirit.  I watched the moon have a strange eclipse then vanish behind the horizon.
         Inside the cabin, the Angels kept it warm.  November cold drafts made their way in, but their source was always questionable.  The T.V. played Ghost Adventures.  It turned off when time to communicate, of course  :)



        You might have heard of the Miner’s Cabin on the premises of the Gold Hill Hotel.  It’s a saloon, too.  Rumored to be near the bodies (and souls) of men who perished in flames of a nearby mine.
A woman guided me through the hotel itself, years ago.  She let me have keys and pointed the way to some of the haunted rooms.  A property caretaker told me that the wooden side of the building was added in the 80's, but the stone section is the original hotel/ crash spot/ area for bizarre happenings.



The bartender spoke of plenty strangeness, some stories even happening on this staircase.  I believe there are other photos the very same, only with strange anomalies.


        The night was not kind on temperature.
Jen, Faye, myself– the three of us stood outside, a recorder on the table that sat under the ruins of an old elevator shaft.


 

        My focus pulled me to a place off in the dark.  An odd feeling coming from there, where most tense darkness hid.  Humans who are in tune can often feel watchful energy.
        Jen pointed and said, “Over there.  To the left.”
        A presence we both felt in the shadows.  I was surprised she verbally expressed what I started feeling just a moment before.  But we heard no voices, and we received no definite signals.  November drove us back inside.

        During a session when we asked questions and walked back and forth through the cabin I was nervous to be the only person to come face to face with something.  My main fear being that I would have to tell the tale with no witnesses.  But I walked back and forth through the cabin, a short route from the living room to the back bedroom.
It was almost a relief to not see an apparition.  And I thought we were ever so alone those nights.
But time always tells, and there is no denying the EVPs calling Faye’s name.  (Or did they say “Hey”?)  And it certainly sounds like someone addressing me by name in one audio clip that Faye sent my way.
I was provided food to eat, and a spot to sleep.    But most of all, good company.  There was silence at the Miner’s Cabin.  Or so I thought.  Either way, it was a ghostly one.


- JEB

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween... The night of ghosts, ghouls, and most things that go bump in the night.

By Jennifer Furgerson
It is no surprise that many paranormal investigators love Halloween, or at least this time of year. Many believe that it is the one time of the year that the veil between the dead and the living is at its weakest. Many others believe that its a night of evil rather than good. So, who is right, who is wrong? To better answer this let's look at where the idea of where Halloween came from.


The Origins of Halloween

In ancient times, Celtic speaking countries  many had pagan (Middle English, from late Latin 'paganus' country dweller)  roots and belief system that marked the end of the harvest time and the beginning of winter. The festival known at Samhain (pronounced 'sah-win') was the time where they would honor their ancestors, have a great feast, dance, play games, and give offerings from the last of the harvests to their goddesses and gods. They would hollow out turnips, pumpkins or what ever they could carve a face on in hopes that the eerie face would ward of an evil that may be lurking near. This was considered the best time to contact the dead. The celebration would be an all day event, and by the night fall, candles were lit and rituals preformed to help honor the memory of their loved ones that had passed during the year and those before. 

It was not until 609 AD that the celebration of All Saints Day was moved to November 1st from May 13th  by Pope Gregory IV. Scholars believe that he moved the day to help counter the pagan festival. There would be a Mass that would honor the saints who did not have their own day, so that all that were considered 'hallowed' (regarded as holy; venerated; sacred) would be honored. The day before became known as All Hallows Eve. During this time, it was felt by many Christians the pagan festival was bringing forth evil spirits, and the devil. It is thought that in the 12th century,  people would put on masks and costumes so that they would not be spirited away or influenced by the dead. They hope it would conceal their identity long enough till midnight, where they felt the dangers were over and unmask themselves to prove that they were truly one of the living.

By the time the twentieth century was in full bloom both celebrations were practiced, but mostly by the Irish and Scottish immigrant communities. People were dressing in costumes, wearing masks, carving pumpkins, holding dances, going to church, and still honoring the dead.


From Samhain, to All Hallows Eve, to Halloween, started with pagan roots, re-routed by Christians, and then settled into the holiday of Halloween as we know it today. This Halloween many of all ages will dress up in costume and either trick or treat, go to parties, go to a harvest festival put on by a local church, or participates at a haunted house or maze. There are some that just stay at home and hand out candy to the trick or treaters perhaps while watching a scary movie.



Halloween has also been the theme for movies over the years. The theme varies from the gruesome to the light at heart. Many take the Halloween traditions to the extreme, and some follow the traditions of both Samhain. Very few follow the theme of All Saints Day.


Movies for the adults:

Halloween

The Houses October Built

House of 1000 Corpses

Trick r' Treat



                  Some movies are for the young at heart or just for kids:

                                                 Nightmare Before Christmas

                                                 Halloween Town

                                                 The Halloween Tree

                                                  Hocus Pocus









Even television stations have Halloween specials or Halloween themed shows. 



So who is right and who is wrong? Nobody.

It is up for the individual to decide what they believe about Halloween. There is only one question left to ask: What will you be doing this O' Hallow's Eve?



For more information about Halloween and its traditions feel free to visit these sites.