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Paranormal Ghost filled tales of voodoo - hoodoo and zombies, Bigfoot, El chupacabra, Banshee's, witches, ghost hunting Cemeteries, the undead, the dead, Cryptids, Vampires, ghouls , Monsters, Ufo's, Haunted Locations, Haunted Buildings, People and objects, Paranormal Phenomena and strange Urban Legends perpetrate a type of folklore or "Fakelore," endlessly circulated by word of mouth through generations, repeated in television news stories, Documentaries, Radio Talk shows, Newspapers, Blogs, magazine articles and distributed by e-mail.
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Taken from first-person accounts and historical documents, this book chronicles more than 300 examples of alien encounters, conspiracy theories, and the influence of extraterrestrials on human events throughout history. Investigating claims of visits from otherworldly creatures, aliens living among us, abductions of humans to alien spacecraft, and accounts of interstellar cooperation since the UFO crash in Roswell, this discussion of the theories and mysteries surrounding aliens is packed with thought-provoking stories and shocking revelations of alien involvement in the lives of Earthling
While the validity of the existence of paranormal
phenomena is controversial and debated passionately
by both proponents of the paranormal and by
skeptics, surveys are useful in determining
the beliefs of people in regards to paranormal
phenomena. These opinions, while not constituting
scientific evidence for or against, may give
an indication of the mindset of a certain portion
of the population (at least among those who
answered the polls).
One such survey of the beliefs of the general
United States population regarding paranormal
topics was conducted by the Gallup Organization
in 2005. The survey found that 73 percent of
those polled believed in at least one of the
ten paranormal items presented in the survey.
Items included in the survey were as follows
(the percentage of respondents who indicated
that they believed in the phenomenon is in parenthesis):
Extrasensory perception (41%), haunted houses
(37%), ghosts (32%), telepathy (31%), clairvoyance
(26%), astrology (25%), communication with the
dead (21%), witches (21%), reincarnation (20%),
and channeling spiritual entities (9%).
Only one percent of those surveyed believed
in all ten items.
The items selected for the survey were chosen
because they "require the belief that humans
have more than the 'normal' five senses."
Another survey conducted in 2006 by researchers
from Australia's Monash University sought to
determine what types of phenomena people claim
to have experienced and the effects these experiences
have had on their lives. The study was conducted
as an online survey with over 2,000 respondents
from around the world participating. The results
revealed that around 70% of the respondents
believe to have had an unexplained paranormal
event that changed their life, mostly in a positive
way. About 70% also claimed to have seen, heard,
or been touched by an animal or person that
they knew was not there; 80% have reported having
a premonition, and almost 50% stated they recalled
a previous life.
Polls were conducted by Bryan Farha at Oklahoma
City University and Gary Steward of the University
of Central Oklahoma in 2006, and compared to
the results of a Gallup poll in 2001. They found
fairly consistent results.
by Terry Morgellan
Beyond the range of normal
experience or scientific explanation: such
paranormal phenomena as telepathy; a medium's
paranormal powers are just the surfsace. Real
aranormal phenomena are those happeninga supposedly
due to powers of the mind that go beyond the
normal, such as extra-sensory perception,
or perception by means independent of the
normal use of the senses, telepathy, psychokinesis,
precognition or powers of prophecy, and survival
of bodily death.
Paranormal psychology, also known as psychical
research, is the attempt to establish these
phenomena scientifically, and then to theorize
about their nature. Philosophers who have
interested themselves in this area of investigation
include Glanvill, Sidgwick, James, and Broad.
hile parapsychologists look for quantitative
evidence of the paranormal in laboratories,
a great number of people immerse themselves
in qualitative research through participant-observer
approaches to the paranormal. Participant-observer
methodologies have overlaps with other essentially
qualitative approaches as well, including
phenomenological research that seeks largely
to describe subjects as they are experienced,
rather than to explain them.
Participant-observation suggests that by
immersing oneself in the subject being studied,
a researcher is presumed to gain understanding
of the subject. In paranormal research, a
participant-observer study might consist of
a researcher visiting a place where alleged
paranormal activity is said to occur and recording
observations while there. Participation levels
may vary. In studying a supposedly haunted
location, for example, the researcher may
conduct a séance or participate in
other activities said to cause paranormal
Criticisms of participant-observation as
a data-gathering technique are similar to
criticisms of other approaches to the paranormal,
but also include an increased threat to the
objectivity of the researcher, unsystematic
gathering of data, reliance on subjective
measurement, and possible observer effects
(observation may distort the observed behavior).
Specific data gathering methods, such as recording
EMF readings at haunted locations have their
own criticisms beyond those attributed to
the participant-observation approach itself.
The participant-observer approach to the
paranormal has gained increased visibility
and popularity through reality-based television
shows like Ghost Hunters, and the formation
of independent ghost hunting groups which
advocate immersive research at alleged paranormal
locations. One popular website for ghost hunting
enthusiasts lists over 300 of these organizations
throughout the United States and the United
For believers, ghosts are generally seen
to be the spirit or soul of a deceased person.
Alternative theories expand on that idea and
include belief in the ghosts of deceased animals.
Sometimes the term "ghost" is used
synonymously with any spirit or demon , however
in popular usage the term typically refers
to a deceased person.
The belief in ghosts as souls of the departed
is closely tied to the concept of animism,
an ancient belief which attributed souls to
everything in nature. As the nineteenth-century
anthropologist James Frazer explained in his
classic work, The Golden Bough, souls were
seen as the creature within that animated
the body. Although the human soul was sometimes
symbolically or literally depicted in ancient
cultures as a bird or other animal, it was
widely held that the soul was an exact reproduction
of the body in every feature, even down to
clothing the person wore. This is depicted
in artwork from various ancient cultures,
including such works as the Egyptian Book
of the Dead, which shows deceased people in
the afterlife appearing much as they did before
death, including the style of dress.
A widespread belief concerning ghosts is
that they are composed of a misty, airy, or
subtle material. Anthropologists speculate
that this may also stem from early beliefs
that ghosts were the person within the person,
most noticeable in ancient cultures as a person's
breath, which upon exhaling in colder climates
appears visibly as a white mist. This belief
may have also fostered the metaphorical meaning
of "breath" in certain languages,
such as the Latin spiritus and the Greek pneuma,
which by analogy became extended to mean the
soul. In the Bible, God is depicted as animating
Adam with a breath.
Numerous theories have been proposed by skeptics
to provide non-paranormal explanations for
ghosts sightings. Although the evidence for
ghosts is largely anecdotal, the belief in
ghosts throughout history has remained widespread
The possibility of extraterrestrial life
is not, by itself, a paranormal subject. Many
scientists are actively engaged in the search
for unicellular life within the solar system,
carrying out studies on the surface of Mars
and examining meteors that have fallen to
Earth. Projects such as SETI are conducting
an astronomical search for radio activity
that would show evidence of intelligent life
outside the solar system. Scientific theories
of how life developed on Earth allow for the
possibility that life developed on other planets
as well. The paranormal aspect of extraterrestrial
life centers largely around the belief in
unidentified flying objects and the phenomena
said to be associated with them.
Early in the history of UFO culture, believers
divided themselves into two camps. The first
held a rather conservative view of the phenomena,
interpreting it as unexplained occurrences
that merited serious study. They began calling
themselves "ufologists" in the 1950s
and felt that logical analysis of sighting
reports would validate the notion of extraterrestrial
The second camp consisted of individuals
who coupled ideas of extraterrestrial visitation
with beliefs from existing quasi-religious
movements. These individuals typically were
enthusiasts of occultism and the paranormal.
Many had backgrounds as active Theosophists,
Spiritualists, or were followers of other
esoteric doctrines. In contemporary times,
many of these beliefs have coalesced into
New Age spiritual movements.
Both secular and spiritual believers describe
UFOs as having abilities beyond what is considered
possible according to aerodynamics and physical
laws. The transitory events surrounding many
UFO sightings also limits the opportunity
for repeat testing required by the scientific
method. Acceptance of UFO theories by the
larger scientific community is further hindered
by the many possible hoaxes associated with
List of prizes for your personal
evidence of the "Paranormal Proof Being
So you have collected all your real paranormal
proof and you think it is notably valuable
but tangible then what do you do Do you just
post it on a web site? Contact the news media?
How about submitting it for prize money!
In 1922, Scientific American offered two
US $2,500 offers: (1) for the first authentic
spirit photograph made under test conditions,
and (2) for the first psychic to produce a
"visible psychic manifestation."
Harry Houdini was a member of the investigating
committee. The first medium to be tested was
George Galantine, who claimed that in his
presence spirits would speak through a trumpet
that floated around a darkened room. For the
test, Galantine was placed in a room, the
lights were extinguished, but unbeknownst
to him his chair had been rigged to light
a signal in an adjoining room if he ever left
his seat. Because the light signals were tripped
during his performance, Galantine did not
collect the award.
* Association for Skeptical Enquiry is offering
a £13,000 prize.
* Australian Skeptics offers AUD $100,000
for proof of psychic or paranormal powers.
* Abraham Kovoor's challenge, an award of
Rs. 100,000 for proof of supernatural or miraclous
* The Independent Investigations Group offers
$50,000 to anyone who can show, under proper
observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal,
supernatural, or occult power or event.
* Indian Skeptic 100,000 Paranormal Challenge
Indian Rupees 100,000 ($2,500). Sponsored
by Basava Premanand.
* Prabir Ghosh of India is offering $50,000.
* Tampa Bay Skeptics $1,000 Challenge US $1,000.
* North Texas Skeptics Paranormal Challenge
* The late Philip J. Klass offered US $10,000
for proof of an extraterrestrial visit to
* After investigating psychic phenomena in
1922, Scientific American made two US $2,500
offers: (1) for the first authentic spirit
photograph made under test conditions, and
(2) for the first psychic to produce a "visible
psychic manifestation." (Christopher
* The Swedish Humanist Association is offering
a prize of SEK 100,000 that will be awarded
to anyone who can demonstrate beyond doubt
that they possess a paranormal or supernatural
talent that cannot be explained by conventional
For a decade, James Randi,
79, has offered a million dollars to anyone
who can demonstrate a paranormal occurrence
under controlled circumstances.
Since then, many individuals and groups have
offered similar monetary awards for proof
of the paranormal in an observed setting.
These prizes have a combined value of over
$2.4 million dollars.
100,000 (Sri Lank an Rupees)
Over's offered the prize money
starting in 1963.(US$883 apron)
for Skeptical Enquiry (United
apron) for proof the existence
of ESP, telepathy, or telekinesis.
for Inquiry West
Association of Skeptics
apron) (Money partially from
Hanna Argument and Biro EPA)
Skeptic 100,000 Paranormal Challenge
Rand Educational Foundation
million US dollars
prize money in US dollars.
Commission for the Investigation
of Anomalous Phenomena (KCIAP)
Sceptiques du Quebec (Canada)
York Area Skeptics
to the successful completion
of the James Randi Educational
Foundation prize winner.
J. Klass (now deceased)
proof of an extraterrestrial
visit to the Earth.
and Rationalists' Association
Ghosh will pay Rs. 20,00,000
to anyone can demonstrate a
supernatural power in his presence.
US$2,500 offers: (1) for the
first authentic spirit photograph
made under test conditions,
and (2) for the first psychic
to produce a "visible psychic
manifestation." (From 1922)
approx) Can be won in conjunction
with the James Randi Educational
association with the Sisyphus
project) award (US$15,000 approx)
Landsborough's Puzzling World
Sanad Rashed and Dr.Ahmed Khaled
proof Ouija boards function
Chris Angel offered $1,000,000
of his own money to Uri Geller and Jim Callahan
if they could psychically determine the contents
of an envelope he held in his hand. The offer
was in response to Callahan's claim that his
performance of a trick on a TV show called
"Phenomenon" was aided by spirit
America's Psychic Challenge
America Psychic Challenge is
a competitive reality TV series on the Lifetime
Television Network . The show originated
in the UK with the title Britain's Psychic
Challenge. Bunim-Murray Productions created
the American version for Lifetime TV.
During a national search of thousands, sixteen
self-professed psychics each gained a spot
to compete on television. For the program,
tests were created by the production company
with the stated goal of assessing contestants'
supernatural abilities. As each psychic is
tested he or she is awarded points based on
the results of the tests. At the end of every
show the two psychics with the highest scores
move forward to continue in the competition,
and the low scored contestants leave the series.
Ultimately the final two psychics face off
to compete for the grand prize of $100,000
and the title of 'America’s #1 Psychic.'
The show premiered on the Lifetime Television
Network on October 12, 2007 . Eight episodes
aired with John Burke as the show host . The
winner of the first season was Michelle Whitedove.
She beat her challenger Jackie Barrett by
only two points in a closely fought final.
Other competitors were Tori Allah, Jeff Baker,
Sloan Bella, Jamie Clark, Silvana Fillmore,
Joseph McBratney, Lynn Miller, Naryza, Catherine
Powell, Karyn Reese, Zenobia Simmons, Kim
Stempien, Joseph Tittel, and Robin Zodiac.
A Bulgarian version of the format is currently
on air on bTV. Similar TV shows are being
conducted in Russia (on the TNT channel) and
Ukraine (STB channel).
The One Million Dollar Paranormal
In 1968, James Randi was working on a radio
program with his friend and parapsychologist
Stanley Crypter. During one of the programs,
someone challenged him to "put his money
where his mouth is", and Randi offered
$100 of his own money (even though he wasn't
sure if he had $100 at that time) to the first
person who could provide objective proof of
the paranormal. Eventually this grew to $1,000
and then $10,000. Later, Lexington Broadcasting
wanted him to do a show called the "$100,000
Psychic Prize", so they added $90,000
to the original $10,000 raised by Randi. Finally,
years later a rich investor told Randi that
he "should have more teeth" to his
challenge and offered him the current $1,000,000
prize. As the prize fund grew, the rules that
surround claiming the prize became more official
To claim, one must agree to a protocol for
testing, must show in a preliminary test before
a foundation representative that they are
likely to succeed, and finally make a demonstration
in a formal test in front of independent witnesses.
To date, over 1,000 applications have been
filed but no one has passed a preliminary
test, which is set up and agreed upon by both
Randi and the applicant.
In the conditions and rules governing the
one million U.S.-dollar challenge, Randi plainly
states that both parties (himself and the
party accepting the challenge) must agree
in advance as to what conditions of the test
constitute a "success" and what
constitutes a "failure." He also
refuses to accept any challengers who might
suffer serious injury or death as a result
of the test they intend to undergo.
Since April 1, 2007 only those with an already
existing media profile and the backing of
a reputable academic are allowed to apply
for the challenge. The resources freed up
by not having to test obscure and possibly
mentally ill claimants will then be used to
challenge high-profile alleged psychics and
mediums such as Sylvia Browne and John Edward
with a campaign in the media.
Dennis Rawlins claims the challenge is insincere,
and that Randi will ensure he never has to
pay out. In the October 1981 issue of Fate,
Rawlins quoted him as saying "I always
have an out". Victor Zammit interprets
this to mean Randi will never let his organization
lose such a challenge. Others, noting this
magazine article grew out of political infighting
among the members of CSICOP, believe this
quote is being misapplied, and that it refers
to the fact that Randi employs safeguards
against cheating. Randi has stated that Rawlins
did not give the entire quotation. Randi actually
said "Concerning the challenge, I always
have an 'out': I'm right!" Which carries
a quite different meaning. Randi claims that
the phrase "I always have an out"
refers to the fact that he does not allow
test subjects to cheat, and others have interpreted
it to mean that Randi regards the chances
of him having to pay out as zero due to his
a priori assumption that so-called "paranormal
phenomena" do not exist. However, on
Larry King Live Randi stated he did think
such phenomena were possible but had no real
evidence and so "just did not know".
On Larry King Live March 6, 2001 Larry King
asked Sylvia Browne if she would take the
challenge and she agreed. Then Randi appeared
with Browne on Larry King Live on September
3, 2001 and she again accepted the challenge.
However, she has refused to be tested and
Randi keeps a clock on his website recording
the number of weeks that have passed since
Sylvia accepted the challenge without following
through. In an appearance on Larry King Live
on January 26, 2007, Randi challenged Rosemary
Altea to take the one million challenge. On
Altea and Randi's June 5, 2001 meeting on
the same show, Altea refused to take the challenge,
calling it "a trick". Instead Altea,
in part, replied "I agree with what he
says, that there are many, many people who
claim to be spiritual mediums, they claim
to talk to the dead. There are many, people,
we all know this. There are cheats and charlatans
Randi has recently challenged David R. Hawkins
to win the prize with Hawkins' "arm-pressing
technique" (applied kinesiology), suggesting
it would only take thirty minutes of easy
work, but believing that Hawkins would not
even attempt to apply for the challenge for
As an April Fool's prank on April 1, 2008
at the MIT Media Lab Seth Raphael and James
Randi performed a demonstration of Seth Raphael's
psychic abilities which was awarded the prize.
New qualification rules
In April 2007, the JREF made several changes
to the testing procedure in an effort to streamline
the process and refocus it to target high-profile
and professional paranormalists. The foundation
now requires a demonstrated media profile
as well as the support from some member of
the academic community before it will discuss
the challenge with claimants. The foundation
has also stated that these qualifications
can be essentially met by anyone who can win
any of the smaller and more regional skeptics
Randi and his associates have stated two
primary reasons for the change:
* In the opinion of the JREF, the vast majority
of the applicants for the existing challenge
appeared to be either mentally ill or unable
to demonstrate their powers even to their
own satisfaction. Many were unable to successfully
fill out the application forms or coherently
and consistently describe their alleged abilities.
The foundation has stated that treating these
applications seriously has both required an
immense amount of time as well as doing a
disservice to the applicants.
* The true intent of the challenge has always
been to aggressively pursue the most prominent
paranormalists and force them to subject their
claims to scientific scrutiny in a controlled
setting. Randi said that this mission had
been sidetracked by the complicated and costly
application process, and the foundation wished
to refocus its promotional and rhetorical
approach to aggressively pursue top psychics
in the media, making it difficult for them
to be evasive or provide an adequate reason
for not accepting the challenge.
On January 4, 2008 it was announced that
the prize would be discontinued on March 6,
2010 in order to free the money for other
uses. In the meantime, claimants are welcome
to vie for it. One of the reasons offered
for its discontinuation is the unwillingness
of higher profile claimants to apply.
powers television show
Exploring Psychic Powers Live! was a television
show aired live on June 7, 1989, wherein Randi
examined several people claiming psychic powers.
The show offered $100,000 (Randi's then $10,000
prize plus $90,000 put up by the show's syndicator,
Lexington Broadcasting ) to anyone who could
demonstrate genuine psychic powers. The show
is a good illustration of how claimants and
Randi agree to test protocols and how no "judging"
* An astrologer claimed that he was able
to ascertain a person's astrological sign
after talking with them for a few minutes.
He was presented with twelve people, one at
a time, each with a different astrological
sign. The people could not tell the astrologer
their astrological sign or birth date, nor
could they wear anything that would indicate
it. After the astrologer talked to the people,
he had them sit in front of a sign that the
astrologer thought was theirs. By agreement,
the astrologer needed to get ten of them correct
to win. He got none correct.
* The next psychic claimed to be able to
read auras around people. The psychic claimed
that auras were visible at least five inches
from the people. The psychic chose ten people
who had a clearly visible aura. The people
were to stand behind screens and the psychic
agreed that the aura would be visible above
the screens. The screens were numbered 1 through
10, and people were selected whether or not
to stand behind their screen at random. The
psychic was to tell whether or not a person
was standing behind each screen, by seeing
the aura above. Since random guessing would
be expected to get about five correct, the
psychic needed to get eight of the ten right.
The psychic stated that she saw an aura over
all ten screens, but people were behind only
four of the screens.
* A dowser claimed that he could locate
water, even in a bottle inside a sealed cardboard
box. He was shown twenty boxes and the dowser
was to indicate which boxes contained a water
bottle. He indicated that eight of the boxes
contained water, but only five did.
* A psychometric psychic claimed to be able
to receive personal information about the
owner of an object from the object. In order
to avoid ambiguous statements, the psychic
agreed to be presented with a watch and a
key from twelve different people. The psychic
was to match keys and watches belonging to
the same person. According to the prior agreement,
the psychic had to match nine out of the twelve
sets, but she succeeded in only two of the
* During the program, another psychic was
doing a run of 250 Zener cards, guessing which
of the five symbols was on each one. Random
guessing should result in about fifty correct
guesses, so it was agreed in advance that
the psychic had to be right on eighty-two
cards. Her actual score was fifty correct
guesses (Polidoro 2003:19-24).
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