Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Summoning The Pumpkin King

( This was our first blog after the formation of The SpiritChasers in 2006 )

SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE, EPISODE THREE, Parting The Veil / Summoning The Pumpkin King
Category: Dreams and the supernatural
October, 2006
Mood: Scared

A couple of weeks ago, James and I were lucky enough to partake in a two-man ghosthunt after-hours at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium, a historical venue which has been host to the likes of Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, the Harlem Globetrotters and other legendary entertainers. Built in 1923, the building also houses a theatre dedicated to a former 'Springs resident, the legendary "man with a thousand faces", horror actor / director Lon Chaney.

We brought with us the standard issue EMF detector for measuring any electromagnetic activity possibly caused by spirit energies, old school dowsing rods helpful in directing us toward paranormal hot spots and a laser thermometer used in locating cold spots associated with hauntings. We recorded everything on a Sony digicam equipped with night vision and a digital voice recorder useful for picking up any EVP ( electronic voice projection ), or spirit voices.

We'd just attended a show in the Lon Chaney which a good friend of ours had directed, and after most of the audience had thinned out, we made our way backstage. An old black wooden ladder beckoned us to a precarious catwalk above, which we climbed when no one was looking. From there we stumbled upon a dim hallway and were presented with a series of mysterious doors, dark rooms and cold stairwells.

I knew from previous visits that one of the doors before us led to an old and vacant apartment a former tenant was said to have been murdered in. Parts of his mutilated body, including his head, had allegedly been found strewn about the auditorium. There were also labyrinth areas under the main stage which led to tunnels under the city where another murder had occurred. A block away, one such tunnel ended at a former mortuary where paranormal phenomena had been reported on many occasions by many reputable people. In one of the stairwells in the City Auditorium, the apparition of a woman in white had been seen several times, and in the rafters above the main stage, the ghostly form of an unknown man has been witnessed sitting alone, observing the activity of others below.

In the years I worked for the Celebration Conscious Living Store in Old Colorado City, we promoted and participated as vendors in the popular Celebration metaphysical fairs held in Colorado four times a year. Two were held in Denver and two in the 'Springs, usually at the City Auditorium. The Celebration fairs, having run for almost thirty years, were always stimulating and remain an excellent place for networking with free-thinking friends, talking spirit, having your aura photographed, enjoying a psychic reading and trading wisdom with friendly sages. Working the fairs, which always ran through the weekend, I always got a kick out of observing the psychics giving readings there. Sometime or another, inevitably, one of them would turn and look toward the rafters above them, sensing the presence many before them have reported. The weekend before the ghosthunt, the Auditorium had just hosted one of the fairs, so I didn't expect a lot of activity as I knew the area would have been "smudged", or cleansed of any negative energies by burning sage and sweetgrass.

Climbing the silent, dark old stairwells and moving through desolate rooms, peering into the dark and listening for anything beyond the ordinary left me with an exhilaration terrific and breathtaking. I felt awake, extremely sensitive, focused, alive. Touching the unknown, parting the veil, looking to the past for clues as to our purpose on this planet and our destiny after death, two brave investigators roaming about the ruin, trying to catch a glimpse of the odd and the otherworldly.

It made me remember one Halloween after another, running through the artificial "haunted houses" our local radio stations were sponsoring, laughing, screaming, finding my way in the dim lighting, looking for the source of a particular feeling that came every October without fail. As leaves began turning the colors of autumn, gently showering me as I walked the tree-lined streets of historical districts, I could feel the ages pass beneath my feet in the crisp air, knowing very well that I shared the same path with others who were still walking, unseen, in the dimension of spirit.

It made me think of, and question, the great resource of the esoteric and occult literature available to me during my years in elementary school. I find it amazing and humorous that an elementary school library would have featured such books when you think of the overabundance of the "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" busybodies in our day and age flipping out over everything, so apt to censor, to omit, to burn, to sterilize in our modern anti-bacterial world.

Well, when I was little, children could still go trick-or-treating, unsupervised and at night. There were no razor blades in apples or poisoned candy ( an urban legend which gained momentum in the 80's, only three cases of poisoned candy have ever been reported, all perpetrated by individuals within the same family ). The books I was reading during this time had been placed there for a reason, shaping me to question and investigate life and death as we know it, including all of the psychospiritual which borders our human condition. I was learning all about the paranormal events which transpired somewhere on our planet every day. I gravitated toward these books instantly, voraciously, more curious than frightened, overstimulated with the exciting possibility that such unexplained phenomena could happen to me.

After all, the first house I'd ever lived in was an old Victorian home where a woman had hung herself in the closet of the room I slept in. My mother would hear her crying late at night, the feet of the woman visible under the doorway, blue and luminous. A heavy cellar door had slammed shut by itself on me there, catching one of my fingers, scarring and forever branding me with an awareness and interest in the great unknown. I looked forward to each of my school's book fairs with great anticipation, wondering what new book of ghost stories or tomes of the unexplained would be available. The tale of Bloody Mary was making the rounds at my school then, our version featuring the ghost of a desperate woman whose only child had drowned. Students were continually being dared the following:

1. Go into the school bathroom alone and stand before the mirror.

2. After the person keeping watch has turned off the lights, begin turning around counter-clockwise while repeating, "BLOODY MARY, I GOT YOUR BABY", a total of thirteen times.

3. Open your eyes.

The apparition of this woman was then supposed to materialize within the mirror, snatching out at you for the child you claimed to have. I always chuckled with delight hearing the terrified screams and stomping feet down the hallways around Halloween, knowing someone had just invoked and allegedly seen Bloody Mary.

Even before then, I can remember visiting the mall with my mother, shopping for a witch costume and looking wide-eyed over the assortment of nightmare figures displayed in shop windows. From down a strobe-lit hallway, other disturbing figures invited me toward a haunted house that was being put on, one in which I saw people enter, but never come out. I could hear shrieks of terror and pain, sounds of thunder and howling wind, creaking trees and doors, ghostly moaning and the rattle of chains. I hid behind my mother, even after she explained to me that it was all fake. I couldn't comprehend how anyone could enjoy such a bizarre and clearly horrifying form of entertainment. The figures continued leering at me near a faux wooden castle door under which an occasional plume of sweet-smelling fog escaped. It looked like the doorway to hell, and I didn't understand how my mother thought I would find being scared to death any fun.

We exited the mall, stepping into the parking lot, kicking through mounds of dry leaves and marveling over the fall colors. Sitting in the backseat while my mother crossed items off her shopping list, I turned my head to investigate a sudden commotion I heard happening near one of the building's side entrances. A small group of people I recognized burst from the doorway, laughing, holding their chests, turning to look back at the ghouls who had just chased them out of the haunted house's exit. I understood then, smiling at the people excitedly giggling, animatedly recapping the frightening adventure they had just shared. They looked alright, quite exhilarated in fact, and I longed to go with them, to stand among the brave individuals who dared to tread the dark places that no one else would.

This was a time of perceptible magic, brimming with an energy tangible and intoxicating. There were the Halloween parties thrown for neighborhood children, at school and in the homes of friends, school projects which left the smells of construction paper and Elmer's glue, the black and orange, the archaic symbols, the death masks and jack o' lanterns grinning from beyond. There were giant harvest moons, deep orange as they climbed the twilight sky, prompting a storytelling which ran late and vivid into the night, the passing of legends spoken in tones hushed and intent. This was an ideal time when I could find out about my own family's history with the paranormal, when busy adults could be persuaded to speak about the ghosts they had seen or heard. Menacing shadows would play about the walls while candles flickered in autumn drafts, and the slightest noise from another room was most definitely caused by the spirit who was being discussed and votes would be taken on who would have to go into the room and investigate.

Children ran through the streets during a night in which the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest. I ran with them, hollering, laughing, tearing through front lawns recreated as graveyards in cheap vinyl costumes and plastic masks cool on my face. Returning home, pawing through our sugary loot while Linus was still waiting for the Great Pumpkin on television, I would think of the possibility of such a being, presiding over dark nightmare landscapes, a pumpkin king who could be invoked and reward the brave with secrets. So much of our perception was tainted, clouded by fear. Was it possible one could learn to walk in darkness with detachment, adapting a night vision not manipulated by emotion? And what of these ghosts? What were they? What did they want? Were they really stuck in some limbo? Were they really trying to communicate with the living? I thought of the legend of the Jack 'O Lantern, a man who at one time walked the earth just as I did. He met the devil one night and was able to trick him up into a tree. When he died, he was refused admission into heaven due to his many sins. At the gates of hell, the devil recognized him and did not allow him to enter either, but threw two fiery coals at him which stuck to his eyes, forever banished to roam a netherworld between light and dark, laughing with madness.

As I matured, I was taken by the same odd pull every Halloween. I would have dreams of attempting to scramble up a wet hill I could never entirely climb, only catching quick glimpses of a luminous and festive Halloween carnival in process at the top of the mound. There was an old castle not far from my house, upon whose cemetery grounds grew a tree a man had been unjustly hung in long ago. The shadow of the hanged man was supposed to be visible every Halloween, never appearing for me as I waited like Linus all through the night, listening to Saint Saens Danse Macabe on the radio, peering through skeleton trees at the harvest moon, projecting my consciousness out into the night and all its mysterious places, hoping true magic could still be found on this earth. On November 1st, I'd always wake up depressed, feeling the energy had dissipated, the great carnival had left town and I had missed my one yearly chance to catch up with it.

Down the hill from my house was a daycare above a small lake. During the month of October the lake sat black and still in the night, the moon but a small luminous coin resting on its surface. The daycare was reportedly haunted by one or more children who had attended it, revisiting its rooms and playground even in death. My cousin was a teacher there, and would frequently fill me in on all the latest ghostly gossip. A child had been heard laughing when none were there, toys would roll out of the gymnasium of their own accord, kids would claim to see other children invisible to everyone else and footsteps could be heard upstairs when none were present. By that time, my ghoshunting skills had been refined over the years by the books I continued reading, gleaming techniques from Ed and Lorraine Warren, a husband-and-wife ghosthunting team who had visited haunts all over the world. My cousin used to live, as had all of our family, in a house infested with many spirits. Most of the activity took place in the back of the home, in the kitchen, dining room and utility room. There was a particular closet in a back room I had hidden myself in during a game of hide-and-seek once. As I parted the coats and made my way inside, it seemed like the closet was larger than I remembered, and I felt my way through to the back as if it were a Narnian wardrobe. Reaching out with my right hand, my fingers closed around something cold and soft. I moved my hand down its length, suddenly realizing it was an arm, and felt an old wrinkled elbow. Exploding from the closet, screaming in fear, I vowed never to enter that room alone again, and yet whenever I spent the night, I always slept on the couch near the dining room, listening and watching for any signs of activity.

The dining table chairs were always being moved about, as was anything left on the tabletop. Lights went on and off by themselves, lawn chairs were arranged in a circle, and invisible pebbles were thrown at the windows in the back of the house, their indentations in the soft ground below the only evidence that something strange was occurring. One night I sprinkled a fine coat of flour about the dining room and kitchen, and left a sound-activated voice recorder under the dining table. The next morning, I awoke to find that the chairs and the items on the table had been moved without any trace of footprints. Playing the tape back, I could hear the objects moving, the sounds of breathing, and the chiming of a grandfather clock my cousin did not own. One afternoon at the house, well before the age of cellphones, as my mother spoke with an aunt over the phone in the kitchen, she was shocked to find that same aunt walking up the sidewalk to the front door. She never entered, as she was still miles away in her own house, talking with my mother on her phone.

As Native Americans, all of us in our family were from a very early age instilled with a belief in a spirit domain, knowing full well that contact to and from our worlds was possible. Still, I needed to know more. What were they trying to say to us? Where do we go afterward? And so I joined my cousin one evening after the daycare had closed. I poked around the rooms, my intuition set at ten, asking the spirits of the place to reveal themselves to us. Nothing was happening, and we decided to take a break in the galley. We were just about to leave when I thought that perhaps it needed to be dark, so we turned off all the lights. Instantly, heavy footsteps were heard from upstairs, footsteps and a heavy scraping that followed us wherever we walked on the lower floor.

This same cousin joined me on opening night when the Blair Witch Project premiered at a Denver theatre. We'd been to many fake but fun haunted houses together, including the haunted mansion rides that were always featured at those carnivals they set up in parking lots in the summer. We traded books on ghost stories back and forth, rented horror movies we only ended up laughing at, and went to the same Halloween parties thrown by other family members every year. This weekend finds us at my Halloween ghosthunting party, where we will explore the area around Widefield Park, where a passenger plane crashed in 1991, killing all 25 people on board. We noticed some activity on a brief visit a couple years back, and this time will return armed with ghosthunting equipment.

Do we look forward to this time of year as it marks the "season of rest" after a busy, mind-numbing year? Do we look forward to the thinning of the veil, hoping it can bring us closer to those dear to us who have crossed over? Are we simply satisfied that, for one time in the year, we can dress however we like, appear as whomever we wish, in a society so full of regulations and labels?

I attended a spiritual weekend retreat in the Colorado mountains a few years back. At night, we would sit around the campfire, drumming, passing around my didgeridoo, talking long into the night. Eventually, as the moon turned the shadows of trees into ominous figures, we got around to sharing ghost stories. One guy spoke about growing up in a mountainous area without electricity or running water. Sometimes at night, when fetching water, there was a certain presence, an evil in the woods that would send the hairs on the back of his neck up like the tail of a frightened cat. I'd read about these places before, author John Keel wrote of a place which lied in a "zone of fear", a frightening area where an almost tangible aura of dread could be felt. Even in the year 2007, there are still many shadowy places in our world that are rich with energies dark and foreboding. At the retreat, I was also told about a nearby city in the four-corners area where skinwalkers had been reported, evil shapeshifters from Native American lore as well as many other cultures. In the same urban legend as the homicidal man with the hook lurking at a make-out spot, a couple's car breaks down at night in an area known as Blue Hill. The male goes off to find assistance while his girlfriend waits in the car. He never returns, and in the morning when a policeman arrives, he escorts the young lady into his car, instructing her not to look back. When she does, she is horrified to find the skin of her boyfriend hanging from a nearby tree. The man who shared this story with me swears it to be true, saying that documentation of this incident can be found in the city's records.

In the same "I swear to God it's true!" vein, I'll share one final story with you, just as it was related to me. The sister of a fellow aquaintence of mine is in Colorado applying for a job with our wildlife division. The position she is applying for requires her to spend months living alone in a cabin deep in the forests of our state, monitoring tagged animals, checking lightning strikes for possible fires, and so on. During her three-month probationary period, she finds that she enjoys the isolation and the freedom she feels living with and as one with all of nature. In her spare time, she begins taking scenic photographs of the area and its animals. Eventually, her time there comes to an end, and she returns to civilization while her performance is under review. One of the first things she does upon returning is to take her film to be developed. Later, as she walks through the parking lot going through her photographs, she has a complete mental breakdown.

Paramedics are called and she is taken to a nearby hospital. They had collected her purse and the photographs littering the parking lot and gave them to her brother ( the same man who shared this story with me ) when he arrives at the hospital, waiting in lobby for his sister. He goes through the photographs, looking for anything that might have brought on his sister's attack. There are pictures of mountain sunsets, of full moons, grazing animals, flowers and insects. When he comes to the thirteenth photograph, it becomes apparent to him why his sister has gone mad. The thirteenth photo is one of his sister asleep on the bed of her cabin.

Hoping you find the answers you seek this season, Happy Haunting.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I AM A SPIRITCHASER





   I am reminded of a piece by performance artist Laurie Anderson in which she creates a clone of herself as she's so weighted down by interviews in newspapers, the radio and TV that she no longer has any time to create any actual work.  When meeting her with James for our second time in Boulder earlier this year I wanted to tell her I felt exactly the same way, though the case is especially true now as I am recovering from surgery, fighting the flu, taking part in ghost hunts, conventions and promoting our body of evidence.  I have had no time to share stories, though I am making them.  In short:


   The SpiritChasers now have a new video channel on YouTube at:

   http://www.youtube.com/user/WeAreSpiritChasers  ( please copy and paste to your browser )

   The paranorml convention we spoke at was enthralling and will be headlining next year's event. Last weekend we also presented some of our evidence at Blue Moon Haunted History Tours' ghost hunt of the Crystal Valley Cemetery.

   This morning we were interviewed on Fox 21 News and are looking forward to the upcoming ghost hunt at Evergreen Cemetery.   Visit our YouTube channel for some clips.




   As the veil grows ever thin we are out in the field collecting new evidence and stories to share with you while hoping you are cultivating some of your own.

   For the most recent updates, please visit:  www.facebook.com/thespiritchasers

   Thank you,

   - Christopher Allen Brewer, October 2012



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

As Body Follows Spirit




   Christopher is currently recovering from yesterday's successful surgery but wanted to thank everyone who attended the paranormal convention in Victor last Saturday.  Big blessings to Stephanie Waters who organized the event and provided everyone with quite the paranormal playground despite being under the weather herself. She and Bob described The SpiritChasers as rockstars and are looking forward to future events.

   Your presence at The SC presentation meant the world to C&J, and even though they were misdirected to the Elks Lodge investigation instead of the cemetery, they hope you still D.I.Y. and had a good time.  Chris & James were still recording EVPs in the basement when authorities arrived at the cemetery, while others were lost in the pitch-black night altogether.  It was a chaotic evening but still an exciting one.

   Laura Westfall was an excellent seance host and her presentation with hubby Craig on the origins of Halloween was mesmerizing.  The levitating planchette is something The SpiritChasers are sure to never forget as well as all the startling EVPs collected by fellow instructors and guests.

   James & Chris ended their evening in the haunted Victor Hotel, staying up well past 4 investigating the lobby, riding the elevator, watching the infrared detector go on and off, taking photos in the dark, and watching The Scariest Places On Earth on their portable DVD player while reenacting all the funny bits.  Pics and a new blog will be posted as Chris recuperates.

   The SpiritChasers will also be involved in the Manitou cemetery ghost hunt this Saturday night as well as the chapel at the Evergreen cemetery on the Saturday the 27th.  The following Tuesday the 30th, they will be appearing on After Dark With Dr. Mike ( Christopher's 4th appearance on this popular radio program ) for another evening of spooky stories and Halloween lore.

   SpiritChasers 6 may be bumped to a Thanksgiving premier as body attempts to follow spirit.  Christopher also composed all new, original theatrical music for this year's film which, judging from the applause at last Saturday's lecture, is sure to add another exciting dimension to their art.


   It has been a busy Autumn for everyone and we are looking forward to sharing stories new and old as the veil draws ever thin.  Light your jack-o-lanterns, turn off the lights and open up the brand-new "Best Of Ghosts Caught On Film" as the leaves rustle outside and the night sky glows with an ever-growing spectral parade...

Friday, October 5, 2012

THE FARGO'S PHANTOM


 

   Last fall, two of our cousins who've assisted us on past investigations were visiting from Denver one weekend and James and I had planned an evening of spooky spiritchasing fun with them.  We started with dinner at what was described as "the world's largest family pizza restaurant", a 14,000 square foot two-level turn-of-the-century structure.  Built in 1973, the establishment was home to 120 original leaded and stained glass pieces of art, in addition to several authentic Victorian-era artifacts purchased from Denver and Central City.  Each piece had it's own strong, haunting charm, vibrations of which still continued to echo through to our time.


   The building had an opera-house feel to it, complete with crystal chandeliers, brass-knob staircases, waitstaff in period attire and an old-time player piano providing the perfect atmosphere.  I could feel myself stepping back through the ages, being able to appreciate the entertainments unchanged and just as they were back then.  The walls were covered with the old artifacts, from aged branding irons and framed pages of Victorian periodicals to stuffed animal heads and a frilly, long-sleeved lace garment from an unknown woman.  Also on display on the upper level were realistic wax mannequins of "Fargo and his sweetheart, Sophia".

   We decided on this eclectic eatery as we'd heard some of the urban legends surrounding the pizzeria, how the mannequins were known to change position overnight to confused employees, in addition to the frequent sightings of the apparition of a mysterious woman in the white lace garment.  Other employees reported things moving about of their own accord, as well as the sound of someone humming some forgotten, olde-time melody.  These incidents were apparently attributed to the "Fargo's Phantom" ( or "Sophia" ), though no one was able to say ( to us, anyway ) if she had been a real person or was in fact fictional.  Perhaps something of the artifact's original owners was still being played out here, caught in a temporal loop for as long as their items hung on the walls, the familiar piano medleys helping to bring them back to life...

   Upon entering, my puer eternis ( eternal youth ) began jumping up and down in excitement.  The restaurant instantly reminded me of another large, visually spectacular establishment in Denver called Casa Bonita, which had remained a favorite of mine since childhood.  We ordered our pizza and made our way through the salad bar, then headed upstairs to find seats near the balcony for the best view.  It was a busy night, and we waited for the waitstaff to clear a table which had just been vacated.  There was no one seated next to us in our corner, granting us some privacy as we joked about, sipped our sodas and took silly pictures, frequently peering over the railing to take in all of the activity below.

   After dinner, James took a couple close-up shots of the wax figures that had been seated directly across from us.  We went downstairs looking for other good photo opportunities and visited the arcade.  In one private area, and only in that area, we kept getting a sort of film, or vapor, in the forefront of our photos.  There was no moisture or smoke in that area and it definitely wasn't cold enough to photograph one's breath, or hot enough for condensation.  I had seen this phenomenon before in some very haunted sites we'd each previously been to and we were thrilled with the possibility that a spirit was indeed near.  It reminded me of the mist we'd seen inside Cave Of The Winds, the fabled mist surrounding the entrance to the Underworld.  It was just the start of an exciting, adventurous evening that would provide The SpiritChasers with some very intriguing visual media.  Later that night we would visit a former gambling den which had been abandoned.  We took a number of photos there and were thoroughly amazed by the images that began appearing on our viewscreens ( but more on that in a future blog ).



   The next evening, after my cousins had left, I uploaded our camera's memory card and clicked on the "slideshow" button.  I did notice one faint orb suspended next to me in the corner I was seated at, but other than the photos of the strange mist, there wasn't anything out of the ordinary.  That is, until the slideshow had nearly come to a close.  I had nearly missed it, laughing at several of our silly shots and poses, until I came to one in particular that sent goosebumps up and down my arms.  I halted the slideshow immediately and enlarged the picture.  It was one of the last photos we had taken upstairs, the one of the wax figures.  I was looking at the figure of "Sophia" when I noticed an oddity just above and to the right of her head.  Behind and across from her was the corner table we'd been seated at, which had still remained empty and waiting to be cleared when James took the photo of the figures.  There was no one within range of our camera.  No living person, that is.  Each click of my mouse's wheel revealed more of the nearly-transparent form.  It was a woman, sitting in the exact same spot where the orb had floated beside me.





Even before lightening the photo I could still clearly make out her features.  Her hairstyle was one popular during the 1800's, and she was wearing a frilly,white silk blouse, exactly like the one sitting inside a picture frame nearby.





   I knew no one had been in that corner because I had been looking over the table for any belongings we might have missed as James was snapping the pictures.   It was an amazing find and I was utterly full of gratitude for an entity who knew we were looking for her, and had decided to join us at the table.


   What others have deemed the Fargo's Phantom we now affectionately refer to as Sophia, and still invite her to join us for dinner whenever we return.  I thought of all the cheesy photographs we'd taken of ourselves that evening and my heart leaped at the thought of Sophia joining in on the fun, because at full enlargement, I could see that she was also smiling...


Christopher Allen Brewer, October, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

After Dark With Dr. Mike



   I'll be joining author Stephanie Waters again tonight at 9pm MST on "After Dark With Dr. Mike".  You can stream it live from your computer at: www.i25talk.co or tune in to 93.9FM / 1480AM.  We'll be promoting the upcoming paranormal convention in Victor and doing what we do best: sharing the gift of story.  Feel free to phone in with any questions at: 719-582-1467

   Stephanie's website for the convention and supernatural slumber party in the haunted Victor Hotel can be found at:

   http://www.coloradoghosttours.net

   Tune in to hear a good ghost story or two before bedtime...

Friday, September 28, 2012

"i LIKE TO SEE THEM AGAIN PLEASE"


   The following messages appeared in my inbox around 5 this morning:

  "Do you still have those picture of the shadows from the caves of wind that were on the TV show My ghost story's? I like to run some test on them..Hope your the same team.."

   "I like to see your pictures of the shadows..I like to run some filter test please.. Are you 100% sure they are not your own reflections from flash on cave walls..? i LIKE TO SEE THEM AGAIN PLEASE."


   This man professed to have several degrees under his belt, despite his grammar, and I at first harbored some suspicion that this may have been a new and creative form of spam or phishing scam.  Perhaps I was just bored, but I decided to reply.  His emails then became increasingly belligerent to the point of him challenging me to "BRING IT ON!"  The following was my response to him, after which I have never seen a top blown so violently since Eyjafjallaj√∂kull in 2010.  It was beautifully destructive, though we did have to block him from various channels.  We hope he has since found the sedation he requires and we thank him for helping us come up with this week's blog.   

  
   Hello, Mr. Underwood, my name is Christopher.  I am the founder of our team and I'd be happy to address your concerns ( you were up pretty early today weren't you? ).

   I'm not sure which "shadows" you're referring to.  You mentioned running a test of some kind on them.  Are you a scientist, or do you have some degree involving visual media?

     You claim that we might have somehow taken photos of our reflections on the cave wall / were we sure we did not.  Having done this for several years ( my first investigation actually occurred at age 12 in 1985 ) and applying the same caution, consideration and detective work as any other team in the field, we're obviously pretty sure we weren't photographing our shadows.  There is a photo of ours which a producer from My Ghost Story did not highlight correctly, but that would have been explained in the blog you just read ( if you were thorough and didn't just skip to the juicy bits).

   However, while we're on the subject of "detectives", we understand it takes more than a business shirt and a tie to make one.  As you were not in the caves with us at the time, you couldn't possibly have experienced what we did ( and we have been to these caves on many occasions ).  There is quite a tired trend in the paranormal field ( thanks to the many programs on television these days and their copycat viewers ) where "detectives" have taken it upon themselves to debunk or disprove the supernatural-appearing photographs of others.  While I think there is a much better use of one's time ( say, actually working as a forensic analyst ), I don't understand the appeal of such a hobby.

   If one doesn't believe in supernatural phenomena from the start, I can understand why they'd feel a need to tidy things up in their own little universe by branding anything otherworldly as "shadows" or "swampgas".  If they're trying to inflate their egos by putting down the work and genuine research of others, well, that's just sad.  It is an act which has become very prevalent these days as throes of bored individuals have decided to police paranormal investigation teams in hopes of making the world a better place, free of dust orbs and shadows on walls.

   For some reason, there is also a need for others to attempt to take away the wondrous and inexplicable experiences of others, to sterilize them for public safety.  This often happens as a result of jealousy from the observer who does not experience such things himself, and therefore must claim no one else does, either.  Again, there's a much better use of one's time.  Firstly, I'd actually visit the Cave Of The Winds Facebook page ( one of the first steps I'd have taken as a "detective" ) to surmise whether or not other guests were reporting the same phenomena ( and several have, you may wish to view the several other photos which guests have left on their wall over time ).  When someone has to go out of their way to disprove the personal experience of another individual, or to tell them they were mistaken in their perception of such an experience, it's called trolling.  Now, I doubt you'd consider yourself a "troll" or a "hater" as much as I'd doubt we were in a cave photographing our shadows for fun.

   As you haven't properly introduced yourself, provided me with any professional credentials, and made a number of grammatical errors in  your emails to me, I'm going to assume you don't have the time, tools or interest to properly "test" anything.  It is my firmest belief that anything we might share with you would then become victim to your own personal perception, whether you label them as shadows or smoke.  I doubt it matters what you see, as you already have your empirical stamp at the ready, so I'll save us some time.  You are always welcome to come to America and visit the cave yourself before criticizing the validity of another, but it's all so armchair now, isn't it?  It's so much easier to just cut to the chase and jump on someone's investigation with your labelmaker set to "swampgas".

   Well, it's been fun.  But you know, these days there is no limit to all the ghost hunting teams out there just waiting to hear from you!  If you're still bored ( having made it this far ), why don't you go and knock on their doors?  Because we are a little preoccupied having wondrous and inexplicable experiences that other people can't take away from us.  They are ours, and we are entitled to react to them in any way we wish.  We believe in them and we support them 100%.  These weren't the first of such experiences, either, because our perception has broadened year after wondrous year of looking for them, and we will continue to do so long after you have afforded a proper business suit.

   If you're still hungry, why not take a course in forensics or try something that will actually have a positive benefit for both parties involved?  I think our team has a little too much backbone for you, and those are very hard to spit out, even in Thronaby On Tees.  Still, I hope I was in someway helpful, and we will always look forward to the new and interesting ideas you may have on how we actually experienced the things we did.

   Take care now,

   - Christopher Allen Brewer ( The SpiritChasers ), September 28th, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Spirits Of Victor


   The SpiritChasers will be one of the many talented, passionate, friendly and knowledgeable presenters at the upcoming "Spirits Of Victor Paranormal Convention & Supernatural Slumber Party" on Saturday, October 13th.  We will all be staying at the haunted Victor Hotel, which has quite an interesting history for all of you spiritchasing buffs.  The hotel was originally built in the 1890's, destroyed by a fire in 1899, then rebuilt.  Back then, from October to June, the ground was too frozen to bury the deceased without the aid of modern equipment, so they were stored on the hotel's fourth floor until summer.  Also, a gentleman named "Eddie", who used to stay in room #301, fell to his death down the elevator shaft.  The elevator still operates by itself, stopping on the third floor, as it did when organizer Stephanie Waters called to arrange our stay.  There are many historic spots in Victor with supernatural legends surrounding them, and we are obviously very excited to be a part of this very exciting event.

www.coloradoghosttours.net

   We will be staying on the fourth floor ( room 301 having already been claimed ) and will be presenting a lecture from 3-3:50.  James and I will also be participating in one of the stops on the ghost walk from 7-9pm.  We are concluding the evening with an investigation of the hotel as well as a seance afterward.  We will be up well past "dead time" taking photos, telling stories and hoping to capture EVP.

   The following photos were taken at another haunted location, from our radio broadcast last week on "After Dark With Dr. Mike".  The building used to be a medical facility, and many persons suffering from tuberculosis passed away there.  We experienced some odd phenomena here on a previous visit with Lu from Independent Paranormal Consulting and Haunted Like Me.  The accompanying quotes are also from our last show there.  We will return to After Dark With Dr. Mike in October with Stephanie Waters to talk about the convention, Victor, and other stories.  I have returned to the paranormal field and continue to film material for use in SpiritChasers 6.  I will have much more to share in the coming season.

   Thank you for reading,

   - Christopher Allen Brewer, September, 2012





"Keep thinking young.  Reclaim your sense of wonder.  We were young in the eighties, we grew up watching Poltergeist, really wanting to live in a ghost story, and now we can."
 




   "They ( the Biography Channel ) flew a cameraman down to film us in the cave...from noon until 9 or 10pm, when there was no one else in the cave.  It was just us, the cameraman and one of the tour guides."

   ( Dr. Mike: "At Cave Of The Winds?" )

   "Yeah.  And we actually got more evidence the second time than we did the first.  I'm convinced, I really do believe that, just as the Ute Indians have said, that's it's an entrance to the 'Underworld'."




 

   "( We're ) always gravitating toward 'that which is hidden', we do this as kids, whether it's hidden Christmas presents or adult content.  Keep embracing mystery, engaging in this call-and-response with the Divine."






   "We are creatures of instinct, but also of intuition.  We have more talents than we're led to believe.  Like when you feel someone watching you, where does that come from?  That's a sixth sense.  We all have that.  We've all experienced that at some point in our lives."




 

   "It's really up to the individual.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, whether you want to call this paranormal or supernatural...you have every right to do that...it goes back to the 'haters' and these people wanting to take an experience away from you.  If you get a picture with this fuzzy little white orb and you swear that it's a ghost, we're not going to take that away from you.  That's your experience.  We all have this built-in intuition, if it felt like something 'otherworldly' or 'supernatural', go ahead and call it that.  That's you're experience and you're entitled to that."


 


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Demons, The Devil & Dreamtime


   Last Tuesday on the After Dark With Dr. Mike radio broadcast, we were talking about fear, and I brought up a dream I had concerning the Devil.  I had written about him in a July blog entitled "Fear".

   "In one of the aforementioned dreams, in January of 2008 to be exact, I dreamt of the devil, hitchhiking near my neighborhood Walmart.  He was disguised as a vagrant, slouched, damp and dark, holding a cigarette, hiding his fire behind its smoke.  I recognized him immediately, driving past him in my carnivalesque dream car, his coal-black eyes quietly waiting for some response.  Two nights later I passed this very same intersection in the "real world" to witness the very same man standing there, the cherry from his cigarette casting a dull red glow about his narrow eyes.  It was one of those things where you have to mentally stop and ask yourself if you really saw what you thought you saw, but he was there, his thumb in the air, his dark eyes waiting for a response, and I knew not to stop for him.

   That night, I dreamt of him again.  He was sitting where I left him: cold, lonely, misunderstood and heartbroken.  He was almost childlike in his hurt, like a schoolboy I wouldn't play with, his sorrow deep and yearnful.  In that desperate emotional exchange, I knew instantly that I had allowed fear to betray this messenger, and myself.  He had a gift of knowledge for me, he was only playing his part in a spiritual test, one I had failed.  There was no way to go back and retrieve the information he would have given me.  He had put on the tattered clothes our culture had chosen for him, displaying symbols cast upon him, like the people who have to dance humiliatingly about outside of establishments with signs bearing their sales.  He was sad for me, and when I drove by the next night looking for him I was devastated to find him gone."

   I didn't realize at the time, simply focusing on the others around the room ( James, Lu Valdaquez, Dr. Mike and Aaron ) that my anecdote would generate so much interest.  Though despite my explanation in the "Fear" blog about not taking the Dark Prince lightly, I believe I jokingly, sarcastically, referred to either him or the experience as "really cool", which was simply the atmosphere of the studio.  One listener immediately contacted Lu in response to my story, to tell her that he could help me understand the reality of my experience with "satan".  It was a kind gesture, but how could one know my own personal reality, and my own nighttime communion with my Creator, who was teaching me about the generic human responses to good and evil?  I thought of all the rationalists over time chanting the same "swamp gas" mantra when debunking UFO sightings.  "We just wanted to inform you that what you thought happened didn't really happen the way you thought it did, even though we weren't there."  Also, I didn't use the name "Satan", I said, "the Devil".  I knew from what particular book that listener was referring to, and I had no interest in a heated religious debate.

   After receiving an Indian name during my senior year of high school, one of my responsibilities was to pay special attention to signs, synchronicities, visions, animal totems, and dreams.  All of them were evidence of Divine intervention, of communication, of clues which I soon began a game of connect-the-dots with until a larger view of existence and the human condition began to reveal  itself.  I was expected to catalog each of these events in order to form a greater relationship with my author.  As much I respected and valued the pastor of my church, I had for some time no longer felt the need for a priest or any other "middle man" to assist with my uplink to God.  I wanted direct contact, I wanted to decifer the symbols myself, I didn't want any information being watered down or translated by biased persons.  I no longer cared how the Divine would appear to me, I was willing to accept it on its own terms, certainly not from the safety of any religion I was already familiar with.


   So, it was, in 2008, a year after the formation of The SpiritChasers, that I began exploring concepts of divinity in other cultures.  I had by then received several visions during my dreamstate and although most of them were wonderous, benevolent lullabies to my spirit, I knew there was more to creation and existence than light and warmth.  I wasn't afraid to have my familiar deck of logic shuffled.  I wanted to see the other facets of God, I wanted to peer into darkness with the understanding that the reality of life was also cruel, violent, visceral and cold.  I was thinking about other states and planes of existence, other realms, when I came upon a passage in a book about the origin of Halloween, a period when "individual men might even be received into these realms".

   This passage made me recall the esoteric White and Black Lodges from the television show Twin Peaks, populated by benevolent and malevolent beings respectively.  Love opened the portal to one lodge, fear the other.  A protagonist from the show, Special Agent Dale Cooper, ventured into the Black Lodge using fear as his key, in order to stop an entity who was attaching itself to human hosts like a parasite.  I thought of demons and possession, viruses and pandemics.  Had many of the evildoers throughout history been infected with a demonic sort of virus?  Was there really a war being waged over possession of our souls?  I thought also of a claim by William S. Burroughs ( carried further by performance artist Laurie Anderson ) in which he stated that language was a virus communicable by mouth.  James and I met Mrs. Anderson on two occasions, Lou Reed standing with her on our first encounter, yet I was too awestruck to ask her to elaborate, and settled for autographs instead.  She had released a book, "Night Life", which detailed a series of unsettling dreams she was attempting to decipher.  I had by then a great chronicle of my own dreamtime, some of which even proved to be prophetic.  So what would it take for one to actually "part the veil", to slip into an alternate reality?  And what key would one need?




   I began by playing a very disturbing video game every night before bed ( Silent Hill 2 ) in which a man begins to receive messages from his deceased wife.  She writes that she wants him to meet her in their "special place".  He finds himself stuck in an alternate dimension chasing after a woman who resembles his wife, while attempting to avoid hideous creatures which are reflections of his subconscious.  In the Black Lodge, Cooper encountered doppelgangers who were evil reflections of their physical counterparts.  I thus began to have a series of sinister dreams which others might refer to as nightmares, but I understood I was simply visiting another place.  My key happened to be no more than curiosity, and the yearning to continue my spiritual development.  I noticed that several of the heroes I admired in cinema encompassed the same archetype, from Indiana Jones to Dana Scully of The X-Files to D'anna Biers from Battlestar Galactica.  Each were attempting to uncover hidden wisdom.  I thought of the terminology of the occult and its reputation for darkness, a word which meant simply, "that which is hidden".  As unsettling as the dreams were, they were still beautiful and somehow perfect in their savagery.  The beings there simply were what they were for important purposes, and I valued the messages I received from them.  It was here that the Devil appeared to me to teach me about fear, and to show me the many facets of good and evil, and how they were in truth hopelessly blurred.


   I saw a great virus taking shape, one that had been uncovered during construction somewhere on the planet.  Little rivulets of blood spread out on dirty tiles and I followed its pattern of infection to a cordoned off section of an empty building.  I was being given the knowledge that there is such a thing as emotional viruses and it is possible to bring something back from my dream world.  Pushing against a padlocked entrance I squeezed my way through a doorway and found myself in a familiar setting.  I was standing near a neighborhood pizza parlor when I realized I was in fact dreaming.  In "reality", I had never before eaten at this establishment, so I entered the pizzeria looking for evidence I could write down after I woke up.  One of the employees had eyes which were set far apart.  His co-worker had blonde hair shaved into a buzzcut and was laughing to himself.  I left the establishment and looked back on the empty building from which I had exited.  If I had stepped through a portal from one plane to this, was it also possible to go back?  With this realization I awoke.  I immediately scribbled down this dream, wondering if there truly was a doorway to another realm waiting for me near the pizzeria.

   That evening, driving through a snow resembling the ash from the underground coal fire of Silent Hill, I pulled up to the pizza parlor.  Directly across from it lied an abandoned building.  I rushed over with my camcorder in hand, but the door was locked.  There was no way to force my way inside.  I peered through dirty windows and noticed an empty room at the far end of the building.  Its walls were tiled and grimy with a dark red, rusty substance making bizarre patterns in the lines of grout.  I went inside the pizza parlor and looked around for clues as to why I had been instructed here.  On the menu above the counter I saw the name "James", my spiritchasing partner ( and also the name of Silent Hill 2's protagonist ).  Directly under his name was that of his grandmother.  A bit of synchronicity, but I still didn't know what to do with it.  Just then a young man with shaved blonde hair burst in amidst a flurry of snowflakes, laughing to himself.  I was momentarily startled by another employee shouting from behind the counter, "Order up!"  His eyes were set far apart.  I ordered a pizza for James and I, still unsure of what to do.  The young man with the buzzcut eyes me as if he recognizes me but has to leave for his next delivery.  Eventually I leave with my pizza, the abandoned building still beckoning me like James' doppelganger wife.  I look up at the heavy snowfall in disappointment when two automobiles on the busy road to my left slide out of control and violently collide, instantly jarring me back to attention.  A sudden fear courses through my veins like an emotional virus and I remember the key.  I need a key.


   Later that week, a special key was given to me, one which happened to be illness.  There was a great flu outbreak in 2008 which, despite my precautions, I succumbed to.  And despite a healthy immune system I began having the chills, always a sure sign my body was unable to stop a virus.  That first night I lied under several blankets feeling completely displaced.  The virus had taken away my concept of time and linear thought.  Observing my face in a nearby mirror, I looked no more than a series of eyes, hair and teeth slapped together without meaning, unable to make sense of my reflection.  My head thrummed with an odd vibration, as if I were very drunk, and I wondered if I was receiving some kind of signal, some sort of transmission.  I surrendered to it, feeling completely rearranged, a burned-out hunk of carbon drifting through space.

   Sometime during the night I cast off my blankets as the first of a series of fever dreams began to fire through my cortex.  I floated in and out of what felt like an undulating organic mass as I tossed and turned on the layers of microfiber beneath me.  Waves of nausea rose and fell as I shouted out for it all to stop.  Suddenly, a sentence was projected before me.

   THE DISCOMFORT WILL BE MOMENTARY

   I couldn't tell if this was my own wishful thinking or if something was in fact attempting to communicate with me.  The blankets became moist with sweat and I still couldn't shake the feeling that I was surrounded by organic walls waving with sentience.  I felt like a sort of "astralnaut", recalling Tibetan masters who projected their consciousness outside of their bodies, astral voyagers who returned from dreamtime frontiers with new insights.  Do we make such journeys every night, returning with amnesia, with information too complex for our three-dimensional minds to process, that we break our nocturnal excursions down into symbolic pieces of wisdom?  I look upon the organic mass, trying to focus on specific features.  I saw odd little balls with many arms forming like tiny self-portraits of the larger mass.  My mind, my thoughts, my memories began bleeding out, carried away with the odd little balls in undercurrents I grasped at.  

   "What are you?"  I remember asking, then laughed to myself after realizing I was attempting communication with a cold.  And yet I felt it responding.  I was inside the mother virus, and my infection had created a vehicle with which to enter its realm.  Disjointed thoughts swirling about me, I saw the lyrics to a Christmas song I had been listening to a couple months prior flash past.

   "What Child Is This?"

   And yet with my heavy fever making a hash of the lyrics they became, "What Strain Is This?"

   The virus responded immediately.

   MILITARY

   Why would my subconscious choose that word above all others?  

  Again I saw the odd little balls cartwheeling by and then as if I were tapping into an astral ethernet an explanation was downloaded into my system.  This particular strain was a test strain created in a laboratory for the purposes of biological research.  It would be weaponized, eventually, once it mutated into something stronger.  The military was testing our resistance to it over periods of time, recording any environmental factors, and was quite pleased with the results.

   I awoke in shock.  Was this really happening?  I thought of my hitchhiking devil.  I thought of the pizzeria.  It most likely had occurred.  Whole schools were being closed due to this influenza virus, entire floors of company buildings shut down, postmasters were missing and a week after my infection I was still struggling to feel human again.  I thought of Aboriginal tales of shamans being devoured and spit back up, of having their bodies disassembled and reassembled during vision quests.  What was a vision quest except the search for spirit, for soul?  In another dream I stumbled through an "employees only" type of door and bumped into two "construction workers" who hastily shooed me back out.  I knew they were dream architects and I wasn't supposed to see what they were helping to shape for me next, one of them still whistling as he locked the door behind me.

   After recovering from this flu, my body and my resistance felt stronger.  After the bizarre dreamtime architecture I was able to glimpse, my spirit, my soul felt more resistant to darkness.  And when our postmaster recovered, cheerily walking past my bedroom window, I was startled to find him whistling a very familiar tune.

   These dark dreams concluded with a nocturnal visit to the stark concrete apartment complex near the highway I had grown up in.  I was shown a series of incidents in my childhood which had caused me great pain, events where my mother passed an emotional virus on to me.  I was assured that if I went back to our old apartment, and visited my old room, went into the closet I used to hide in, and pulled back the carpet, I would discover the blood stains from an old injury I had sustained which were still rich with the virus.  I was shown a lock of hair which had been pulled from my scalp, a tooth which had been knocked out, and I was instructed to bury them.  A week later I had the opportunity to take a one and a half hour trip back to my old neighborhood, and to visit my old apartment complex.  I climbed the hard concrete stairwell I used to as a child and discovered a bag of dirty clothes waiting for me.  Once more, I had no idea what I was supposed to do.  Was I supposed to put them on?  Perhaps someone had simply dropped them there on their way to the laundry and I was over-analyzing it.  Then I thought of the symbology behind my wearing something that needed to be cleansed, and my instructions to bury that which no longer fit or served me.  I smiled at the insight, and felt a terrific burden being released from me.  On the way back to my car, from my old bedroom window, I heard the refrains to a song I used to listen to the same year I received my Indian name,

   "The more you ignore me, the closer I get."


   I never saw the devil again but I am very sensitive to his various darknesses emanating from others, like the radios in Silent Hill that begin to pick up static when one of the creatures are near.  After a ghost hunt earlier this year at "Devil's Bridge", The SpiritChasers were caught in a game of cat-and-mouse with an enitity we could not see but toyed with us all the same.  It was something heavy, walking on two legs, snapping branches as it paced back and forth below us.  It was the only investigation were I ever felt in physical danger.  It was the site of several accidents, murders and disappearances.  I couldn't afford to allow fear to contaminate my experience, unlocking doorways of perception with different keys, I was then once more instructed to visit another location for more clues.  So, camcorder in hand, this week I will once again set off in search of "that which is hidden"...


   ( While writing this lengthly blog, my television turned itself to Channel 4 for some unknown reason.  And while we were in the radio station talking about all of this, a fan shut itself off, among some other odd occurences.  I was also given the impression to run one of our radio interviews through an EVP filter to scan for a message we may have missed.  )

   James and I will return to "After Dark With Dr. Mike" this Wednesday, September 12th from 9-11PM MST.  We will also be appearing at the "Spirits Of Victor Paranormal Festival" on October 13th, as well as premiering our latest film, SpiritChasers 6, at the haunted Lon Chaney Theatre sometime in late October.

   For the latest updates, please visit facebook.com/thespiritchasers

   Thank you for reading.

   - Christopher Allen Brewer, September, 2012



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

White Noise 2





Our Radio Interview from last Wednesday is now up @:

http://youtu.be/Dz5ZM3rg6Ek

Please copy and paste to your browser.

I also be joining Lu from Independent Paranormal Consulting on After Dark With Dr. Mike ( 93.9 FM, i25talk.co ) this Tuesday, September 4th @ 9pm MST.

The SpiritChasers will also be featured on their own After Dark radio broadcast Wednesday, September 12th @ 9pm MST, in addition to another fun, informative and spooky radio show in October.

In addition to these publicity tours, The SpiritChasers are currently back in the field and filming material for SpiritChasers 6.

Catch us on the airwaves in the meantime for more adventures in the unknown.