Loyd is scheduled to lecture at the Paranormal Lock Down Retreat
at Eastern State Penitentiary, June 21-24, 2007. www.darknessradio.com/TRIPS/easternstatepen/
Loyd is scheduled to appear at the San Antonio Paranormal Extravaganza,
August 3-5, 2007, in San Antonio, Texas (for a lecture, a Professor
Paranormal performance, and a chocolate tasting session). Go to www.ghostchickspromotions.com/sape
for more info
Loyd is scheduled to appear at Univ-Con 2007 in Pennsylvania in October.
20 Questions for Loyd Auerbach, MS
1. Where do you see ghost hunting and Paranormal groups, web sites
or Ghost information, tours Books like your own in 10 years?
That’s quite a list, and I’m really not sure where most
of them will be in 10 years without some change.
I’d like to see ghost hunting and paranormal groups recognize
that what they’re doing should not exist in a vacuum –
there needs to be cooperation between groups, not territoriality,
sharing of actual data and purpose, not some of the petty competition
Beyond that, I hope groups recognize that what they’re trying
to “hunt” is part of the greater field of Parapsychology,
and that to understand what these phenomena and experiences are one
must do much more to ask questions and incorporate what has been learned
in the larger study of psychic phenomena. I hope that the end of ignoring
Parapsychological history and methodologies is coming soon.
There are so many curious people out there who could do much to help
our understanding of apparitions, hauntings and poltergeists, and
if they can begin to understand how to properly work through the information
gathered from technology and from psychics (and witnesses), the field
would get a big shot in the arm – maybe we’ll be closer
to understanding what’s actually behind these experiences.
Ghost tours will probably continue to do well in some cities, not
so well in others. Frankly, it depends on the people running the tours
and how good they are as story-tellers.
As for books like mine, they’ve been around for over 100 years.
New information and new stories mean continued demand for them –
even though the demand will never really be great enough for book
sales to support research.
2. What would you personally consider to be the definitive proof
that ghosts are real?
First, we have to have two things happen in Science: a definition
of consciousness and proof that consciousness exists. Proof (actually
acceptance of proof) of the existence of consciousness (presumably
IN the body) is essential for any evidence to be accepted as proof
of the existence of ghosts – which are consciousnesses outside/without
Unfortunately, nothing of a technological nature we use today is
providing proof of ghosts, and Science rarely accepts people’s
experiences. On the other hand, the environmental sensors might reveal
patterns of how disembodied consciousness can affect the environment.
3. What is the most real evidence you personally have uncovered so
Verifiable information perceived by witnesses (and on occasion psychics)
from the apparent apparition or haunting that there is no way the
witnesses/psychics could have known.
The tech can only provide us with anomalies in the environment –
none of it has been designed to detect ghosts or psychic anything,
mainly because we still don’t know what we should be trying
to detect. No consensus on consciousness means no path to try to detect
it in science.
4. Are you skeptical of the claims other make of their findings?
I’m assuming you’re speaking of “findings”
as in evidence and the conclusions folks reach. If so, this depends
on who they are, their knowledge base, technical expertise, and how
well they eliminated alternative (non-paranormal) explanations. I’m
certainly skeptical of people who claim to have detected something
when they demonstrate they don’t know how to use the technology
they claim has made the “finding.” I am also skeptical
of people who are less than critical about their own evidence, who
don’t at least consider alternative explanations.
And there are some of my parapsychologist colleagues whose evidence
is exceptional, but I disagree with the conclusions they’ve
reached about it. Just as they might disagree with me. Discussion
of the differences of opinion is essential when it comes to trying
to figure out what’s going on.
5. If you could investigate your "Dream Haunted Hot Spot"
where would it be?
That’s a tough question – I guess I’d love to visit
a few castles in the UK, especially Wales and Scotland. No one in
particular, though because I have parapsychologist-colleagues at the
University of Edinburgh, I’d love to visit Edinburgh Castle.
6. What was your first Paranormal encounter?
This is tough – I had a couple of very interesting readings
done for me by a medium from Canada, and by the late psychic M.B.
Dykshoorn (who worked with Interpol). I saw someone do PK at a parapsychology
workshop in Chicago while I was in college.
My first personal experience was my first case, a poltergeist case
with a telepathically-created “black knight” (representative
of the psychology of the situation). While I did not witness either
movement of objects or the ghostly knight, I did feel myself “pulled”
in a particular direction while walking around the house for the first
time, and ended up standing where, as the mother stated “that’s
where He appears.”
The case can be read about in my first (out of print) book ESP, HAUNTINGS
AND POLTERGEISTS: A PARAPSYCHOLOGIST’S HANDBOOK (Warner Books,
1986) and in my more recent A PARANORMAL CASEBOOK: GHOST HUNTING IN
THE NEW MILLENNIUM (Atriad Press, 2005).
7. What scares you about Ghost Hunting or Paranormal Investigations?
Really only two things: Living people (because they can hurt you,
carry guns, knives, etc.) and unsafe locations (problems with the
building itself, and I’m not too thrilled with rats and spiders).
In my opinion, there is no paranormal/psychic phenomena to be afraid
8. If you could work side by side with one of the Paranormal Investigator
greats, who would it be?
I have been fortunate to work alongside some of the greats (hey, do
I count?), and fortunate to have been mentored to some extent by the
late great Dr. Karlis Osis and the ASPR’s psychic Alex Tanous
(also no longer with us).
While I know William Roll, I’ve not had the opportunity to
work with him directly on an investigation. Same goes for Tony Cornell
in the UK.
If I could go back in time, I would like to go on a case with Hans
Holzer in his heyday, as well as Scott Rogo, Harry Price, Nandor Fodor
and some of the original SPR/ASPR greats.
9. Read any good Paranormal Books lately other then your own?
Right now, I’m reading THE INTENTION EXPERIMENT by Lynne McTaggart
and EXTRAORDINARY KNOWING by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer. I’m also
rereading ENTANGLED MINDS by Dean Radin (highly recommended) as I’m
in the midst of teaching my “Theories and Models of Psychic
Experience” course at HCH Institute. Also taking another look
at INVESTIGATING THE PARANORMAL by Tony Cornell.
10. What Question do people ask you most when you tell them your
a paranormal investigator, writer?
“Have you ever seen a ghost?”
To which I answer – “I’ve felt, smelled and heard
what I consider perceptions from apparitions, and I’ve seen
objects moving about on their own, but I’ve yet to SEE a ghost.”
11. In your opinion, Where is the most Haunted city in America?
Can’t really say – technically, it could be the city
with the most reports of hauntings OR the city with the most reported
locations. Don’t really know which, though certainly a lot of
cities make the claim.
I can say the least haunted cities are places like Las Vegas –
just too new a city, and too much going on 24 hours a day for folks
to really notice ghostly experiences.
12. Do you feel more people should get involved with Ghost hunting
or Paranormal Investigation?
Am I recommending that they do? If they are really interested in
the phenomena – in other words, the experiences people have
with apparitions, hauntings and poltergeists, as well as the incidence
of the phenomena – then yes.
If they are interested or curious about what these things are, what
causes the experiences, how the phenomena might impact the environment
(which is what the technology is measuring: the impact on the environment),
then again, yes.
If they are interested in field investigation of such experiences
as they fit into Parapsychology, and what these experiences say about
the implications for psychic experience (psi) and survival of bodily
death, then again, yes.
If they are interested in helping people deal with their experiences,
However (and this may not be very popular with some folks), if they
are NOT interested in learning what is already known about the phenomena
and experiences (I note the lack of even awareness of what Parapsychology
knows about such things), then they need to stay away from cases where
people (witnesses) are involved. I’ve met ghost hunters who
are proud of their photos and EVPs – and somehow also proud
that they’ve never read a book or article by or about what parapsychologists
know about all this.
If they are not interested in working with witnesses, and are more
interested in simply running around spooky places (which are not “haunted”
by the way unless there are witnesses who have had experiences) merely
for the thrill of it, then they should take a look at what they call
themselves…they may be “hunting” for ghosts, but
they are certainly not “investigators.”
13. What does the future hold for you?
Honestly, things are a little uncertain at this moment. I am currently
pushing out my Parapsychological Studies distance learning program
in hopes that more “ghost hunters” and people calling
themselves “paranormal investigators” will have an opportunity
(and the inclination) to really start understanding what we need to
learn about apparitions, hauntings and poltergeists in order to really
get to what they are and their properties --- more to develop real
theories of consciousness, psychokinesis and more.
Living on the West Coast, with most of the paranormal conventions
some distance from California, I’ve not been able to attend
more than a couple over the years. I’m now putting myself out
there to the convention folks a bit more, in order to hopefully get
to a point where I can make the rounds and impart some of the knowledge
and experience I have as a parapsychologist and field investigator.
But in the meantime, the distance learning certification program will
help fill the gaps, once people know about it.
I’m also hoping to somehow get involved with a process to bring
ghost hunting groups together, both so that data may be freely (and
properly) gathered and shared, and also because I keep hearing terrible
things about the bad behaviors of some groups – both how they
treat other groups, and how they treat people who call them in to
I’ve also got a new book I’m just finishing up, though
it’s on a different subject. The book is called HAUNTED BY CHOCOLATE:
HOW TO GO FROM CHOCOHOLIC TO CHOCOLATE GOURMET, and will be out this
fall, 2007, from Atriad Press. While it is mainly about chocolate,
there’s recent research tying the stuff to psychic implications,
and that will be discussed in the book.
Why chocolate? Ummm….because it tastes REALLY good! Plus the
chocolate world is headed the way of wine…more and more chocolate
makers, more and more variety, more and more excellent chocolate.
Along with the book, I’m actually now presenting a chocolate
tasting session/lecture, and will be doing it for the first time for
a paranormal audience at the San Antonio Paranormal Extravaganza in
the beginning of August.
14. Paranormal Conventions do you see them growing? And which ones
are the Must go
Clearly they’re on the rise, but I’m not sure they’ll
be “growing” other than there being more of them. For
the conventions to really grow in popularity, they need to start reaching
out to parapsychologists, psychics and others who are the professionals
in the field, and not put emphasis on the latest amateurs with the
biggest claims or gimmicks. They’ll also need to be more financially
set so they can pay for the appropriate folks to speak.
As for which are the “must go,” I really can’t
say at all. I live on the West Coast, and most conventions seem to
be Midwest and Eastern seaboard. I’ve only been to a couple
due to distance and lack of time (and funds) to travel to them.
At the moment, I have to say the San Antonio Paranormal Extravaganza
at the beginning of August is a “must go,” because I believe
it’s the first of many great conferences put on by two of my
recent students, the Ghost Chicks.
15. What is your most favored tool of the trade?
People are the best detectors – we DEFINE apparitions, hauntings
and poltergeists by how people have and do experience them. No tech
has been designed to detect anything psychic or paranormal, as we
don’t know what we’re actually trying to detect. Most
tech, when used properly, can only tell us of anomalies in the environment
that can be correlated to people’s experiences.
That said, the tech that’s been the most correlated is a magnetic
field detector (in hauntings and apparition cases; nothing helps in
poltergeist cases). However, because there can always be other natural
or technological sources of EMF one must completely eliminate other
causes of anomalous readings.
16. Tell us about your best moment in investigating or conference
attending for you?
As far as investigating is concerned, it was when the Blue Lady (the
ghost) at the Moss Beach Distillery restaurant walked through me repeatedly
back in 1999, followed by three psychics walking into the room after
more than two minutes of this, with them “seeing” her
do so. I’d been investigating the place since 1991 (and still
do), and this was by far my “closest” encounter.
As for a conference moment, I think it was at the 2005 Parapsychological
Association Convention in Petaluma, CA. I was the keynote speaker
after the banquet. Very nice to get recognition from my colleagues.
17. What is the hardest part about being a paranormal writer?
Frankly, making a living as a writer. This is true for all manner
of writing, not just about the paranormal.
18. How do you document your investigations?
Note taking, audio recording (and sometimes video) of interviews with
witnesses, testimony of witnesses, psychics, investigators and sometimes
people we’ve brought in who know nothing about the case (psychically
sensitive or not at all sensitive). We note the environmental readings
we get with technology like thermometers, EMF detectors, magnetometers,
geomagnetometers, and such –we especially correlate anomalous
readings to the concurrent experiences/perceptions of the witnesses
and psychics. Naturally, we spend a lot of time eliminating normal
explanations for the individual incidents reported by the witnesses
(and for the individual readings we get on the equipment), and consider
alternative explanations such as low frequency sound and high magnetic
fields as being responsible for the perceptions.
19. Have you ever taken a ghost Tour? And, What about it did you
I’ve taken a few – in San Francisco, in New Orleans,
and in NY City, and probably others I’m forgetting about from
over the years.
Most were good – sometimes the stories didn’t quite sound
right, either historically or parapsychologically. For some, there
was a lot of misconception about ghosts being bandied about. One tour
guide was a terrible public speaker.
I will say none of this is true about the San Francisco Ghost Hunt
(run by my buddy Jim Fassbinder).
20. What in the field of ghost hunting and Paranormal Investigating
needs the most attention.
Education of the ghost hunters and investigators. There’s SO
much bad information and misconception being perpetrated by folks
on the web and on TV. If nothing else, there should be some required
reading for anyone and everyone who wants to do this. People need
to learn not to accept their readings and photos and EVPs as proof
(it’s evidence) and should ALWAYS try to eliminate alternative
explanations. How else can we study the real thing? And please, everyone,
at least take a little time to understand the place of ghost hunting
and paranormal investigation in the greater field of Parapsychology
(start learning about the field at www.parapsych.org, www.parapsychology.org,
Secondly, the “field” needs people in it to start using
a little common sense and definitely develop people skills. People/groups
don’t even try to get along. They claim areas as their “territory,”
which is not only unprofessional, but kind of crazy – what other
area of business or science does someone claim territorial rights?
This happens within companies where people are assigned territories
to work. And it happens with Gangs. Silly, really, if people have
any real interest in understanding what’s going on.
Finally, there needs to be cooperation. What CAN be great about the
numbers of people and groups springing up all over is the amount of
data that can be gathered. But it needs to be GOOD data, and it needs
to be shared, torn apart, and really looked at so we can find the
common factors and what’s really going on here.
There’s so much that can be accomplished if people take the
time to understand what we know so far (some of which is unfortunately
still probability, rather than hard fact), to cooperate and to share
what they have learned. But to do this, people need to know that it’s
okay to be wrong sometimes, to have other people question your data,
and even question your methods. It’s how Science moves ahead
and learns things.