Halloween Food Suggestions

Halloween has always been associated with vampires, ghouls, banshees, poltergeists, witches, trolls and spirits. Spooky decorations and weird costumes are just the usual sights during the Halloween. The scarier you would look the more stunning and spectacular you will be. Nasty and disgusting looking candies, finger foods and cupcakes are always the best-sellers and the favorites in a party. If you are planning to have a party at your house, your guests will definitely enjoy it if you serve them with your special tasty and crunchy human brains and creepy but sweet insects and bugs.

Instead of buying Halloween food for your guests, you can prepare the entire menu for everyone. Cookbooks are available for preparing Halloween food and some lifestyle magazines have Halloween food recipes that are easy but really interesting. You can also check out the internet for Halloween food procedures and preparations. There are some food websites that you can visit to give you some ideas on what to prepare for your party. Pasta can be served with olives, eyeball-like meatballs and really thick and rich red sauce. Add a name plate to it which shows “Worms in bloody sauce with bugs and eyeballs”. Prepare huge bowls of gummy worms and chewy gums. Make sure to put a wriggling severed hand into the bowl as well, as if someone is drowning inside the bowl. You can buy a severed hand from a specialty shop that sells Halloween decorations and stuff.

Baking is a fun and relaxing activity. You can do it with your kids and prepare something special and very spooky. You can bake cookies and create weird shapes like a human ear, fingers, eyes, severed foot, bats, ghosts, pumpkins and silver bullets. To make it really creepy and disturbing, add on bloody red icings and other details made of icings like maggots, bugs and coagulated blood.

If you can make Jell-Os, this is a real frightening treat for your guests. Gooey stuff, Jell-Os for this instance, is gross and very unappetizing to look at. With your Jell-O mixture, blend in several food colors like bloody red, alien green, deep brown and black. Use several kinds of molds to acquire different Halloween shapes.

There are some ideas that you can try if you are planning to prepare your Halloween party menu for your family and kids. Decorating you house for the Halloween is as important as preparing a spooky and unforgettable menu for your family and guests.

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Got Ghosts?

We all have deceased loved ones, and that means we all have ghosts! Ghosts are discarnate spirits who either don’t want to move on with their spiritual transition or don’t realize they are dead.

Ghosts have many and varied reasons for being reluctant to move on. Sometimes they are afraid they will be turned away at the gates of heaven. Sometimes they are afraid they will meet people on the other side whom they don’t want to encounter. Sometimes they have a pet or favorite person they are connected to, and they cannot bear to part with that pet or person. Often, they are attached to a location such as a house or business, and they do not want to leave.

If you have ever wondered if your deceased loved ones are around you or looking in on you, the answer is YES! Here are some of the ways they choose to signal you that they are around:

1. Ghosts love to play with electricity. You may see lamps flickering or turning on and off. They may play with the television, changing the channel or turning it on or off.

For example, one day I was in our downstairs office doing some computer work, when I happened to notice a wall sconce flickering on and off. I said, “Hello, I can tell you are here…..”. The light then went on and off several times very deliberately, and then it stayed on!

2. Ghosts will often waft around a fragrance that you have associated with them in life.

A gentleman I once knew used to wear Paco Rabamme men’s cologne. One day, I was sitting outside with my husband and our friend Ron. Suddenly, I inhaled the delightful fragrance of Paco. I said to my husband and Ron, “I smell Paco! Ron, are you wearing Paco??” Ron looked totally blank, and so did my husband. Neither one of them had ever heard of Paco. That was when I got the message that my friend had just come by for a visit. He knew how much I liked the fragrance of Paco, and so that was his signal that he was around.

3. Ghosts will often create a cold breeze around you! It can be quite unnerving, too!

I once felt a fierce, icy breeze move past the back of my head. At the same moment, my refrigerator moved TWO FEET TO THE RIGHT, and I felt as if someone had struck me on the back of my neck! I remember saying, “Well, you didn’t have to get so MAD”, and then wondering who in the world I was talking to! I still don’t know who it was, but whoever it was, they were NOT HAPPY!!

4. Sometimes ghosts are cold and hungry!

One of our favorite ghosts, Cousin Roger, used to come and check in on his cat. We inherited Calley-Jospehina when he died, and he would come in the middle of the night, turn up the furnace all the way so that it would register 90 degrees, and then he would EAT BREAD! In the morning, we would awaken drenched in sweat, and we would find bread with big bite marks in it very carefully wrapped up in its plastic wrapper! No breaks in the plastic wrapper, either, so we knew it was not some large creature eating its way INTO the bread bag! We had a little talk with Roger and invited him to help himself to anything he wanted to eat, but please to leave the heat register at 70.

When Calley-Josphina died a couple of years ago, Roger quit coming around. We think he came to get his kitty and take her with him, and we hope they are both happily basking in each other’s company wherever they are!

5. Have you ever missed an item of jewelry or some common household item and then later found it again right where you had already looked? That was one of your ghosts playing pranks with you!

6. Perhaps the most dramatic alert you will ever have that your ghost is around is when they come and sit on your BED and leave an INDENTATION THERE! Or, they will touch your shoulder, or your hair, or they will sit in your rocking chair and ROCK, or sit in your swing and SWING!

My own dear father came and sat on my bed two weeks after his death. He even leaned over and spoke to me, but his voice sounded SO FAR AWAY that I couldn’t make out what he was saying, I saw his “shade” (a grayish, ghostly form) get up and move down the hall, and that was the last I heard from him. I wish I had done a better job of acknowledging him, but I had been sound asleep, and it was quite an alarming and unexpected occurrence!

7. Sometimes you will HEAR your ghost talking or singing.

Many years ago, I walked into my childhood bedroom in our old house and heard a ROOMFUL of happy ghosts talking and laughing. As soon as I stepped through the door, they all STOPPED! My husband and I have come home from errands and have heard ghostly socializing coming from the back bedroom. As soon as they detect our presence, they stop.

Ghosts typically mean you no harm. (Demons are a different story). Ghosts generally do not have the power to do much other than to make you aware they are there. They CAN be angry, and I once had one push me down two steps as I came down from a third-floor landing during a ghost-busting session. Mainly, they want to communicate with you, and you can take the opportunity to invite them to “seek the light” if you want them to leave, or you can peacefully co-exist with them like my husband and I do. It’s up to you. It’s important for your own well being to know that you do not have to be afraid of your ghosts.

Recently, I discussed all these signals with a new client whose husband had recently died. When I finished, she was quiet for a moment, and then she said in a hushed voice, “Wow……..he’s been here a LOT!” Just knowing that seemed to be of significant comfort to her, and that is why I decided to write this article. May it bring you significant comfort as well!

Dungeon Master Basics – Creating a Fantasy Setting

Picture your typical fantasy setting. It’s positively medieval. You’ve got your castles, towns and villages, your deep forests and rocky mountain peaks, your flowing rivers and oceans. Everything is green, the sky is blue, and people ride around on horses wearing armor and swearing fealty to a King, who rules over a small aristocracy and a mass of peasants. This has to be so familiar that it’s almost comforting, a Middle Ages that never was, with dragons and wizard towers and orcs skulking around in the forests. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a generic setting as much as any other, but this is a fantasy game: how about injecting a little more fantasy into your world?

So say you decide to be a little more original and creative about your setting. What could you do, where would you start? The easiest way to go is to pick a different culture or time period from our own history, and set your campaign there. All you need to do is a little online research, spend a little time with Wikipedia and Image Search, and you should quickly have enough original material to run a game with a completely different feel. Samurai in Japan, or Aztecs in the jungle, or Mongolians riding across the steppe; there’s no need to limit yourself to Medieval Europe. If you want to get even more trippy, you could mix two of those together: what is ancient Japan was neighbors with the Aztecs? Throw in some magic, monsters and dungeons, and you’re good to go.

The next step up is to not just look at our past for inspiration, but to start asking questions like: what would the world be like if I changed a fundamental law or two of reality? What if gravity was weaker in certain spots? What if fire acted like water, or clouds were solid enough to walk on? What if the sky was green, and rain was acidic? You take one of these questions, and run with it. So say you decide that yes, your sky is green, and rain is acidic and causes burn damage. How would that change the world? For one, rivers and oceans would be acidic too. People would need to purify water to drink it, or draw it from pure sources deep beneath the ground. Which would mean that something in the atmosphere, not water itself, was making the rain acidic. What could be causing this? How would people live, what would they wear? How important would weather mages be? What kind of landscape would result from being scoured by acid? A harsh wasteland? Would plants evolve to live in the acid, forming vast jungles of toxic vegetation? Would animals adapt?

Step by step you go following the logical chain of your idea, until you have a complete campaign setting. Remember, with magic you can make anything possible, so any possibility can be real. The trick into preventing it from becoming a surreal dream the players can’t connect with to a palpable, real setting is to be logical about the consequences. Medieval villages wouldn’t exist in the same way if acid rain fell from the skies. Walking into one would jar the players, as they would find it implausible.

For more ideas, look at the more fantastic of the fantasy novels, like Tracy Hicks and Margeret Weisman’s The Deathgate Cycle, where each book chronicles an adventure on a world dominated by one element. In the end, you have to ask yourself: when playing a game of fantasy and imagination, why limit yourself to a stereotypical Medieval Europe?

Good RPG Games in the Pen and Paper Genre

There are many good RPG games in the pen and paper genre. Pen and paper roleplaying games have been around for three decades. In that time, many of the older RPGs have adapted and evolved while other newer RPGs have been developed. Here is a list of several good RPG games that are pen and paper tabletop roleplaying games.

Dungeons & Dragons – Currently on its fourth edition, Dungeons & Dragons is the most widely recognizable pen and paper roleplaying game ever. It was one of the first RPGs ever developed and today remains the most popular around the world, outselling all other games in its category.

Shadowrun – A fusion of cyberpunk, near-future, and fantasy, Shadowrun blends each of these elements into a fantastic roleplaying game. Like D&D, it is currently on its fourth edition. There have been many other games created for this setting, including video games, PC games, and a first-person shooter. There are even rumors of a Shadowrun movie eventually coming out.

Star Wars – Perhaps the most popular space opera roleplaying game, Star Wars is a setting created by George Lucas in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The Star Wars Saga Edition roleplaying game was created by Wizards of the Coast as the latest creation of Star Wars RPGs. Prior to this, Star Wars saw great popularity under the West End Games logo with the D6 system.

World of Darkness – White Wolf created several games and blended them into a system they called the World of Darkness. These games include, but are not limited to, Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changling, Wraith, and many more. White Wolf and its World of Darkness games are currently the number two in sales around the world, just behind Dungeons & Dragons.

Call of Cthulhu – An extremely popular roleplaying game based on the work of H.P. Lovecraft. There are many different publishers and game systems that have created games for the Call of Cthulhu setting. Most often the players take the role of people or investigators that are involved with strange occurrences and the occult. They uncover aliens, monsters, and demons that are popular in the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

Rifts – A kitchen-sink game Palladium Books, Rifts has it all. The game takes place on an altered version of Earth where different factions have taken over. It includes cyborgs, aliens, magical creatures, psychics, magical spell casters, and many more unusual creatures. There are also rifts that make travel to and from other dimensions possible, making the possibilities for the game endless.

These are just a few good RPG games that are available out there. There are a host of many more great pen and paper roleplaying games available. Roleplaying games are continuing to adapt and evolve with technology and this great hobby continues to innovate and grow.

Getting Into Dungeons and Dragons

For many many years Dungeons and Dragons was considered to be ‘Satan’s Game’. However, over the last ten years and with the growing popularity of the fantasy genre in pop culture, it has been becoming less taboo and much more widely accepted as a great way to pass a few hours with some friends and have a great time in doing so.

In order to play the game you need a few things… a copy of the rulebooks, funny dice, a gamemaster, and some players. Oh… and don’t forget the pens and paper! Of course, if you play online using a Virtual Game Table like Maptool or Roll20, all you need are the bodies. The dice, rules, and pens and paper aren’t needed at all as it can all be stored digitally.

You can find the rules for 3rd edition for free by googling, ‘d20 SRD’. There are numerous sites that have the full rules available for free. Hurray Open Gaming License!

The software to play online is also free if you know where to look. Maptool and Roll20 are the two best free options available at the moment. OpenRPG runs a close third. I never bother with pay to play tables as it’s a waste of money.

The only other thing you need to play pen and paper RPGs is your imagination. D&D is a game of pretend with a gamemaster weaving a world of adventure in which the players are expected to react in. It can be great fun for all involved but it requires a commitment on all parties to be reliable and dependable and to show up each week. Nothing sucks so bad as a missing player… well, a missing GM is worse as nothing happens with out him to spin his tale.

If you’re interested in getting into a game you also need to decide if you want to join a face to face game or if you want to play online. Face to face is great, but playing online allows you to play in your underwear… I’m just sayin…

Seriously though, playing online using Virtual Game Tables is awesome. It allows friends from all over the world to meet up in one online location and play. It lets family men and women participate without having to leave the comfort of their home or invite a bunch of people over. It’s also a heck of a lot easier to find a game online. While your town might have a few groups that play, playing online really increases the odds of your finding a game that suits your desires more. Shadowrun, Mutants and Masterminds, Serenity, Mage, Vampires, whatever you’re into, you can always find it online.

So if you have been thinking about getting into D&D, think no more. Just do it. You won’t regret it. It’s a great way to spend 4 or 5 hours to escape reality without resorting to drugs or alcohol. I hope this article serves to bring a while slew of new adventurers into the world of pen and paper gaming.

Let the good times roll! There are plenty of folks waiting to play if you only know where to look!

I Love Porsches!

My first Porsche ever was when I was about 4 years old. Those are the first memories I have about Porsche. It was a Corgi with Dutch Police logos, siren and blue lights hanging from the side. It was white with some bright red panels. Then came a blue 917, Corgi also.

I grew in Lima, Peru, and there where not many Porsches around. Maybe a handful of them. That was it. I don’t remember much seeing them in the streets. But I knew that these cars where real sports cars, racing cars.

A few years passed, I was a teenager already and a guy who lived a few blocks away from my house got a Porsche. It was an early 911, I can tell that now that I’ve learned more about their bodies, bumpers, engines, etc.. He had done some major modifications to the engine, exhaust and wheels. I could hear it coming half a mile away and I used to run to my window just to see and hear him passing by in front of my house. No matter what I was doing I ran to the window.

Peru, had had a Military dictatorship government, and the cars sold there had to be assembled locally. Brazilian VW Beetles, Toyota Coronas, Datsun Stanza, Hillman Hunter and Dodge Coronet were the only cars in the market. Only a few “imported” cars were allowed to the diplomatics, thus almost no new Porsches were introduced to the Peruvian motorpool.

At the end of the military dictatorship government, by the end of the 70’s, the economy was in very bad shape. The first cars that came after this period were American Chevrolets, Odsmobiles, Chryslers and some European Opels, BMW’s (315, 316, 318) and Mercedes (200’s). Not many Porsches.

A friend of my father in law bought a 1982 911 Turbo look and gave me a ride. I was amazed at the handling of the car, even from the cramped rear seat, and of course the sound of its engine. That same car was wrecked in 1985. He drove under a truck and the roof came off like an opened tuna can. My father in law bought the car and imported a used roof from USA and fixed the car. I had the chance to drive it once or twice at the most before he sold it.

It wasn’t until 1993 or 1994 that I had the chance to drive another Porsche. This time it was a guards red 89 Carrera SC.

Then another gap until 1997, when I drove my friend’s green 993. I was in ecstasy!!!

A bigger gap came through.

In 2005 I moved to Miami, Fl and started a car export business. In the meantime, I decided to buy myself a Porsche, drive it a little and then sell it again. I searched many times the web until I saw this nice looking 1968 white Porsche 911e in Birmingham, Al on eBay. It was a Saturday evening, and I’m used to go out with my wife on Saturday nights. The auction was set to end around 10 pm so I left a bid. When I came back home I couldn’t wait to turn on my computer to see what had happened. I had won my very first Porsche!!!!

I flew to Birmingham Alabama with cash in my pockets. After having a taxi taking me to the car’s location I found this nice, old Porsche waiting for me. I walked around it, asked the owner if he thought it would be fine to drive it back to Miami, an 800 mile road trip. Of course he said yes, he wanted my money!. The transaction took about 10 minutes and I was driving my new “old” 1968 Porsche 911 home.

I enjoyed that trip as much as I hope the new owner enjoyed his trip back to Texas just after a couple of months when I sold it.

A 1977 Targa was next, and then 964’s coupes, Targas and Cabrios where always sitting in my garage. A beautiful 1996 arena red 993 also joined the list, and even a couple of 912s and a speedster replica.

What I like about Porsches is something I just cannot describe. The look of the cars, the sound of their engines, driving them, the thumbs up every stop light, the feeling of driving a kids dream, being the envy of the block. Who knows what it is, it’s just a special feeling.

One thing I’m sure, there will always be a Porsche in my garage.

History of Sleep Remedies

The earliest forms of sleeping remedies are found in ancient Greece and Egypt. The most common form of sleep aid used in the ancient world was opium, which despite its many negative side effects and addictive nature actually is quite effective in inducing sleep. In ancient Greek paintings and statues the Greek God of sleep, Hypnos, was usually shown holding a poppy flower. Besides opium, there were other, much stranger sleep aids used during ancient times. Among these sleep aids are lettuce juice, the bark of mandrake, a herb called henbane, and when all else failed wine was an effective way to cure insomnia. Before the turn of the nineteenth century, opium and other herb based sleep aids were all that were available.

In 1805 a chemist by the name of Fredrick Setumer synthesized opium for the first time, though the use of it was barely an advancement or improvement from regular opium, it did start off a lot of new research into synthesized sedatives to be used as sleeping remedies. By the 1850s two new sleep aids had emerged as the most successful and were being commonly used around the world. The first of these was Chloryl hydrate, developed in the early 1830s in Germany. This substance is a very fast acting depressant of the central nervous system, and is extremely effective for inducing sleep quickly; especially so if this sleep aid is mixed with alcohol. For this reason, Chloryl hydrate was known as knock out drops or “Mickeys” as in the phrase “slip a Mickey into his drink”. The problem was that in many cases people overdosed, especially if any amount of alcohol was consumed, and never woke up after using these sleep aids. The other extremely popular sleep aid of the nineteenth century was pills made of a combination of bromides. These were originally not designed as sleep aids, but as a treatment of epilepsy. Though it turned out not to be effective in controlling seizures, it was discovered not long after their creation that they could make someone fall asleep very easily. Unfortunately bromides as a sleep aid come with a wide variety of side effects, and, like Chloryl hydrate can also cause overdose.

The next generation of sleep aids became popular around the beginning of the twentieth century and were known as barbiturates, the most common of these sleep aids was marketed under the name Veronal. In some rare occasions barbiturates are still used today as sleep aids or sedatives. However they are rarely prescribed as sleep aids because they very easily lend themselves to addiction. Other problems surrounding barbiturate sleep aids are the side effects, as well as the risk of overdose. It was not uncommon for people to use barbiturate sleep aids in combination with alcohol to commit suicide.

For quite a long period of time the three substances listed above, along with the home made remedies were the only sleep aids available. In the 1970s the government began taking a much more active interest in regulating both prescription and over the counter phamraceuticals and many sleep aids became either banned or highly controlled. As they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The banning of many dangerous substances in sleep aids prompted new research into producing safer and more effective pharmaceutical sleep aids. In the late 70s a new generation of sleep aids became available, benzodiazepines. These include drugs like Valium and more recently Xanax. While benzodiazepines are generally accepted as safer sleep aids and anti anxiety drugs than their predecessors, they still come with issues of dependency, addiction and have a very wide array of harsh side effects. Because of the almost immediate euphoric feeling from taking these drugs, they also lend themselves to recreational use, going by the street name “bennys”. Benzodiazepines also carry with them a risk of overdose, although much less than the other sleep aids mentioned.

This has caused research into sleep aids to come full circle, back to natural ingredients. Today’s natural sleeping remedies are far more advanced than the things like opium and lettuce juice used back in ancient times. Most modern natural sleep aids come in capsule form and use combinations from a variety of herbs and herbal extracts from all over the world. One of the most effective of these herbal extracts is St. Johns Wort, which has passed the tests of time as well as scientific method as an effective sleep aid and anti depressant. Other ingredients used in herbal sleep aids commonly include nardostchya jatamanshi and valeriana wallichi which are mild sedatives. The prime advantage of these sleep aids is there is no risk of addiction or dependency. There is also the fact that when taking a herbal sleep aid side effects are very rare, and in the cases they are reported are very mild.

The Ferrari 458 Italia Berlinetta

People usually do not think that Ferrari can improve on their cars because they’re already considered perfect and cutting edge, but at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009, Ferrari had no trouble proving the world that they can still make a more perfect car than before. They did that with the introduction of the 458 Italia. The 458 Italia was announced as the official replacement for the Ferrari F430, which was produced from 2005 to 2009.

The Ferrari 458 Italia is a current production model for Ferrari from 2009 and is considered one of the best looking Ferrari’s that is also capable of challenging the Enzo around the track. As of 2011, a replacement for the 458 Italia has not yet been announced. The 458 Italia comes in four known variants: the 458 Italia Berlinetta (coupe), 458 Italia Spider, 458 Challenge and the 458 GTC (Grand Touring Challenge).

Although the 458 was announced as a replacement for the outgoing F430 model, it was actually based on an entirely different design that was driven by Ferrari’s learning experiences from Formula 1 rather than the F430. The 458 was designed by Pininfarina. There have been unconfirmed reports that the inspiration for the design was drawn from the Ferrari Enzo and was designed to be Ferrari’s best V8 car, significantly distinguishing itself from the current Ferrari California model. Although it would be hard to notice, the design was actually driven heavily by the aerodynamic capabilities and efficiencies.

The car itself doesn’t look like it was engineered to produce a certain amount of drag, rather it looks like it was designed with passion and fury in mind with the end result being extremely aerodynamic. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari’s former Formula 1 driver also provided input on the 458’s design from things such as the steering wheel to the dashboard layout of the interior. A few key notable details of the 458 distinguish it from a number of other Ferraris, such as the triple tailpipes – last seen on the F40, and the five-spoke rims that emphasize the 15.7 inch carbon ceramic Brembo brakes.

The Ferrari 458 Italia features a 4.5 liter V8 engine that produces 562 horsepower at 9000 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at 6000 rpm. Despite the low peak torque, Ferrari claims that the Italia has access to 80% of the torque band below 3250 rpm. The 458’s engine is only approximately 3% larger by 150cc than the F430’s 4,300cc engine but displaces 16% more horsepower and torque. A tremendous increase can be attributed to a new direct injection engine design that Ferrari created in collaboration with Maserati, a first for mid-rear Ferrari engine setups. The 4.5 liter V8 gets the Italia from 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds and a top speed over 202 mph. That is 0.6 seconds faster than the F430, 1.1 seconds faster than the 360, 0.4 seconds faster than the F40 and only 0.3 seconds slower than the Ferrari Enzo. The Italia is Ferrari’s fourth road-car to receive the Getrag dual-clutch 7-speed transmission. It shares the same technology with the Enzo, 360 Challenge Stradale and the F430 Scuderia. The Italia is the first common production car that will not be offered with a traditional manual transmission.

The Ferrari 458 Italia has impressed Ferrari fans since the initial announcement was made in 2009. The Italia has impressive performance figures and has made a strong statement about perfection that will be hard to top, but then again, we are talking about Ferrari here. You can expect to see the Ferrari Italia 458 Berlinetta (Coupe) sell at a MSRP ranged between $225,000 and $250,000 depending on the options. The 458 Spider is expected to sell around $257,000 MSRP. A used 458 Italia rarely sells below $270,000 due to the low availability of the car.

Paranormal Investigation Tools

Investigating the Paranormal takes more than just expensive tools. It takes the proper mindset and attitude. It also takes heart.

I want to ask all you Paranormal ninjas a question. Who do you think was the first person to hear and EVP? I think the answer is Thomas Watson. Watson was the one who heard “Watson come here I need you on Bell’s telephone machine.

It seems like it is almost monthly that a new piece of equipment comes out that it is a must have for Investigation teams. I see these items on the various paranormal equipment sites and wonder which of the TV ghost hunting shows will be the first to preview this item, which in turn will make it a must have item.

According to the “world-wide web” the earliest formal examination into apparitions and haunting began in the mid 19th century primarily in England. One of the first groups formed in Western society was the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) which was founded in London, England in the late 1880s (which still exist today). The founders of the SPR, the first organization to undertake the controlled study of the subject, began their investigation with data collection. They analyzed an enormous amount of material, mainly about crisis apparitions (reports of interactions from people dying or in life-threatening situations). One of the most important results of these early investigations was the book Phantasms of the Living, by Edmund Gurney, Frederic Myers and Frank Podmore, published in 1886. It presented several hundreds of thoroughly researched cases. The addition of carefully investigated first-hand testimonies and experimental results provided a body of evidence which is difficult to dismiss. Their main “tools” at the time were mostly seances and psychics. They often used a still camera to document the events.

We have come a long way since then, I mean a long way. As paranormal investigators we use equipment such as digital cameras, digital recorders, laser grids, night vision cameras, and EMF detectors. I am sure that, there are, a lot more pieces of equipment out there that other investigators use. So do we really need to have all this “high Tech” stuff to complete a paranormal investigation. I know that we use this equipment mostly to document activity when it happens and to speak with entities and spirits. This documentation helps us to explain activity to whomever we need to.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound? I think the same would go for paranormal investigations. If you go into an investigation without any equipment, except for a pad of paper, and a pencil to write any events that may happen and then produce that evidence to somebody would they think you had caught activity. Just because you didn’t record it on a video or audio recorder does not mean you did see or hear or feel something. Do we depend on our equipment too much? I think we do sometimes. I think that sometimes we depend on it so much we lose sight of the overall picture of the investigation. I really do believe that the best equipment that you could ever have as a paranormal investigator is the one between your ears. Especially because you don’t have to put batteries in it. Don’t lose sight of the big picture and always remember the reason you became a Paranormal Investigator.

I would like to think that a successful paranormal investigation is not only based on how scientific or how advanced the tools we use during field investigation are. I believe such success is also based on how much we understand the existence of the paranormal and how we accept their existence. The great tools are embedded within our own personality. I believe spirits are human beings, who still keep their emotions and intelligence after death. Therefore, they still behave exactly like us, and like us they would like respect from the living. As a paranormal investigator, I understand the concept of humility that is related to positive behavior – showing respect and reverence for the dead will always create positive energy that in turn will attract the spirit to be involved in paranormal investigations.

Nobody likes to be forced to do anything. Even in life, we don’t like someone to order us to do things in an offensive way. Asking in a polite way. I think will always get a more positive response out of the listener and will definitely make them more apt to cooperate. We must remember that we are trying to build a relationship with these spirits. I believe that if someone behaves in a hostile way towards the spirit by ordering the spirit to appear, so that the spirit can be captured, then we should be ready to feel the negative reaction of the spirit towards us or we suffer the failure of getting success in the investigation. Nevertheless, the technology that we use during a paranormal investigation is not the most important thing that brings success, but a mere tool that helps us to document spirit existence. I support and believe that the best attraction for spirits to take part in our investigations is by showing respect and reverence towards them.

Writing Paranormal Short Stories

Writing is my passion. Dark Science Fiction is my favorite genre, but, technically, I’m a failing writer. I’m writing my second and third books at the moment and, upon reading my first, I found that I made some mistakes that I’m going to have to go back and fix. Writing is no easy task it turns out, even for me, but, as far as story telling goes, I’ve always been pretty good. I have a knack for it you might say. I, personally, have always thought that my short stories were pretty easy to get into. I love writing paranormal pieces and I think I have a lot to offer in the way of advice, so let’s get started.

First, the best idea is to relate your “experience”, or the “experience” of your character. By writing about a situation you have been in, or that you have seen, you can add a killer realism. You’ve been on the Earth long enough to have seen some things, so to slap your character in a situation which you know with certitude has outcomes that you know. The reason this makes sense is because, believe it or not, you aren’t the only one around that’s had these experiences. When people can relate, it’s more believable.

Second, well thought characters are a goldmine for believability, so when they are based off of people you know, or have known, obviously, they are better at drawing people in. I like to use my grandfather, because he, while having a quirky personality, is still believable. He’s what you might call a hillbilly, the mid-western version, so he has asked me to do some pretty hillbilly-like things. Perhaps he saw something in the garbage once and wanted it. “Throw that in the back,” he used to say. The fact of the matter is, ninety-nine percent of us aren’t wealthy enough to not work forever, sixty-six percent of us, depending on the model, are considered middle class and have roots in working class families, only a third of which are educated and salaried people or families. Below that line are the poor. What’s my point? There’s a good chance that a lot of readers might have a hillbilly floating around in their families. See?.. Believable.

Third, well thought settings. This is where imagination pays off, but it doesn’t have to be all imagined. Maybe you are having trouble with settings, because you are a fresh paranormal short story teller. By relating your paranormal short story to a place that is already known for it, you are saving time. Figuring out why and how your character is in this situation. Haunted houses in your own town or neighborhood make good settings and playing off of existing information can add to plausibility.

The good thing about a short story is that it doesn’t have to cover much time; one night maybe. In a scary movie or book, there are generally several victims. Each of them is a short story about one person or a few people. It’s the combination of all the stories that makes them worthy of a movie or a book. From there, breaking down this very short story, to add detail, is what makes it a great read, even if it is short. People like to feel like they are in the material they are reading, or like they are seeing it as it happens. Description is vital and it’s difficult to really get your ideas across without a decent vocabulary. The good thing is, if you know one descriptive word that would work to help describe scenery, or how someone is feeling, or what is going on, you really know a plethora. That’s right, you know them, because there are so many on line thesauruses that it would make your head spin. I don’t always employ them, but when I feel like my descriptive words don’t exactly muster enough emotion, or aren’t strong enough, the thesaurus is an invaluable tool. Just be sure you are as descriptive, especially about important and emotional moments, as you can be, and use as much description as you as you see fit to set the scenes of each moment in between. If I can do it, you can. Remember, the best possible thing you can do is play off what you know. Good day.