Join us at this year's Spirits Of Colorado Paranormal
Convention in Cripple Creek on Saturday, September 19th! We'll be holding a special media presentation “I
WANT TO BELIEVE” from 4:20 to 5:15, ghost hunts at Maggie's starting at 10 (
Maggie being the most well-known haunt in Cripple Creek ), and staying the
night in the Imperial Hotel's most haunted room. Check out our official, personalized bottles
from Coca-Cola! These will serve as
limited-edition giveaways, including glossy stickers and a ghost box, so click
below for more info and registration. We
hope to scare you there!
About our "team": People often express surprise
that we're not members of a TAPS or Ghost Adventures Crew. Apparently many
self-started paranormal teams automatically join one or the other. It's
believed this lends a team credibility. We do not believe this to be the case.
Speaking energetically, which many debunkers forget is what
this entire business is about, joining a tribe of any kind means consciously
donating all of your energy into said organization. Plugging in this way means
you adopt their beliefs, and you are subject to the same pace at which they
acquire information and disseminate it with their members. You come to their
defense and spread their word. In an instant. Everyone has to believe in
One must also remember that these are scripted shows for
entertainment purposes and there is a fair amount of manipulation which occurs
to snare ratings. We have been on the Biography Channel twice and will confirm
there was some very creative editing to the episodes we filmed. We wouldn't
trade those experiences for anything and are forever grateful for those
opportunities, but those events created an air of celebrity, which is far
different from credibility. People really need to know the difference.
Christopher was heavily influenced by Ed & Lorraine
Warren in the early 80's, he was born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and his
early exposure to the spirit world came from those in his tribe, the Oglala
Sioux. There was no cable out there in the 70's, no paranormal media fixtures,
and what Christopher could learn came from good old-fashioned books. His heroes
were his grandfather and those family members who took time to teach him about
his relationship with spirit.
His first official ghost hunt occurred at age 12, and he
didn't claim alliance with anyone but the Creator. He still doesn't. He created
The SpiritChasers in 2007 in direct response to the over-saturation of sideshow
paranormal programs dominating television at that time.
From Christopher's 2012 interview with After Dark With Dr.
Mike: "I learned early on that spirit existed in everything, so in a way
one could say that everything was already haunted. The paranormal was normal,
there was no element of phenomena to it, though it was indeed fascinating. It
was a natural occurrence, but that doesn't mean it wasn't scary. Though grandma
had crossed over some years ago, she still came back to visit during weddings.
We just knew to expect her, though to see doorknobs turning around the house at
night was terrifying.
So, this wasn't something we had to prove to anyone, our
ancestors had already known of the existence of spirits and other life forms
for ages. Most of them were actually seen as bothersome. I understand debunking
helps people feel smart, an instant Professor Holmes, like their paranormal
friends on TV. It's again supposed to generate credibility and has become quite
a trend, but we don't come from that.
The Ghost Hunters began all this debunkery with their 'orbs
are trash' decree in our present age of spiritualism, much like those in the
1800's who were fed up with paper mâché ectoplasm and early photoshop fails.
TAPS admitted they were looking for a little attention with this proclamation,
and they got some, but it's gone too far the other end. We don't even like to
consider ourselves a paranormal team. We certainly don't consider our pictures
and EVPs as 'evidence'.
We have a rotating roster of people we have known for years,
friends and family members, who join James and I on investigations. This is
because we know they will have respect, we know these people and share the same
views. Well, most of us. We're not even all believers and we don't want to be,
we want to have fresh perspectives. We like the idea of something more
intimate, so we don't recruit people like everyone else. We have never fallen
in line with popular belief and originally wanted to be the antithesis of
everything we saw on TV.
By 2007 we saw people beating their chests, cursing at
spirits, setting themselves on fire or bloodletting to generate activity. Even
people ghost hunting underwater! And last year that group trying to trap a
spirit with solar panels?! Every year it became more outrageous and more vanity
and fear-based. Don't even get us started on the demons.
I guess debunking was also an eventual response to this
craziness, but we would never take an experience away from someone or tell them
how an event actually went down if we weren't even there. We actually started a
campaign known as 'Save The Orbs!' My ancestors saw these things and they weren't
dust, they were 'peteuhala'. Cold spots used to be a thing, then it became hot
spots. We used to run around with dowsing rods - and still do- but now people
use obnoxious ghost boxes and blinking tricorder thingies.
We got a reputation early on for being anti-tool, for
accusing flashlight fanatics of being taken for no more than Victorian novelty.
We're not anti-tool because we have all of these tools, but we don't let
ourselves rely on these things and I think that's why we have the body of 'evidence'
we do. When I started out it was a ghetto blaster for recording EVPs and a
Polaroid camera, no more. When James came on board he was also disenchanted
with the shows and just wanted to go out with a camera and voice recorder, no
more. And who could blame him?
He lived down the street from a park where a tragic plane
crash occurred. We had a nightly opportunity for experimenting with different
methods of contact over the years and I can honestly tell you that the best
tool was our intuition and the best method was meditation beforehand. Just like
my ancestors held ceremony before any contact with the spirit world, so would
we. Otherwise where is your focus, your intent, your energy? It has to be more
than just copying what you see on TV. It has to be more than just watching
In high school I had the mohawk, the ankh, the boots, smoked
cloves. At their dances I hung with a new wave crowd and we'd cover our ears
and shriek when they played top 40. There's still a bit of that attitude with
me, with James. We've always done our own thing. It doesn't make us better than
anyone else, but you do need a vision of your own. A little style never hurts.
We don't look like typical heavy metal ghost hunters or People Of Walmart with
EMF detectors. It's important we're far removed from the obvious and that helps
us to see things from a different perspective.
We no longer care if we're seen as credible or not. We don't
provide "services" or have the giant logo magnets on the side of our
cars. We're explorers and philosophers. Because I have been involved in the
metaphysical community since 2002, we come from esoteric ground. Because I am
Sioux, I will always expect activity and I will always know that world is
accessible and I don't need a flashlight or box for that. I never did. I know
there will always be advances in technology from fires to phones and nothing
against anyone else - I mean that - but I will always tap into spirit first,
without some overflowing toybox of battery-operated things."
To hear more, join The SpiritChasers at the 4th Annual
Spirits Of Colorado Paranormal Convention in Cripple Creek on Saturday,
September 19th. The SC will be holding a special media presentation as well as
hosting a ghost hunt at one of the most haunted buildings there ( and staying
in the most haunted room at The Imperial ). Go to Coloradoghosttours.com to
We didn’t know what to expect while driving to Pueblo, on our way to spend some time with an ancient crystal skull. We did know some mosquitos there had recently tested positive for West Nile Virus, so traipsing through the wet cemetery afterward was definitely off. We’d seen several programs over the years which documented many of the unique properties of these legendary skulls, but we each wanted to go in without projecting any assumptions about the particular one we were going to see.
Max was believed to be thousands of years old and one of the most ancient artifacts ever discovered on this planet. "He" was discovered in Guatemala and had been used by Mayan priests for healing rituals and ceremonies. Lama Norbu, a man training to become a healer with a Tibetan sect of Red Hat lamas, worked with the Mayans and eventually Max found a home on his altar. In time, a woman named JoAnn Parks sought his help for her 12-year-old daughter who was battling cancer. Before his death, Norbu gifted the skull to JoAnn, who stored it in her closet for 10 years. After the death of her daughter, she began travelling with Max to assist with healings, consciousness and peace-raising ceremonies.
Max has been researched by the British Museum and was the focus of a BBC documentary as well as appearances on A&E, the Discovery and Travel Channels. The previous evening James and I had been watching an episode of Ancient Aliens concerning the crystal skulls. It was a little too glossy and obnoxious for me, for I found the visuals distracting and thought the researchers were obviously reading scripted material. I found an old episode of Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World far more balanced. Perhaps Max did have off-planet origins, or ties to Atlantis. Either way, quartz contained no carbon and was therefore impossible to date. Still, he was constructed with five different pieces of quartz. It was an impossibility, something a British scientist said should not exist. I simply tried to find a quiet moment beforehand to meditate. This was not easy during a busy high-traffic payday Friday. I eventually found inspiration with an Indiana Jones soundtrack.
The moment we entered the room Max was in, I knew we were in the presence of something significant. I paid careful attention to my thoughts, my feelings, my body. I paid close attention to the temperature of the room and the ambient sounds surrounding me. Many people had over the years taken photos of Max which featured bizarre anomalies. In addition to a regular digital camera, I also brought a GoPro which could capture several shots within a second, as well as a full-spectrum camera capable of "seeing" beyond the infrared. On my wrist I wore an EVP recorder, in hopes of picking up ancient voices or mysterious sounds. I so wanted to find something anomalous, but I had nothing to offer the skull. I simply sat before it and projected love, peaceful thoughts, humility. I closed my eyes and Instantly the image of a Mayan temple sprung to mind. I thought of ancient technology, saw the skull being used during psychic surgery, saw it present during astronomical events. Was I really seeing these things or were these simply residual thoughts from the programs I had watched the night before?
I used to work with a woman who seemed to delight in playing corporate games. Anything she could do to get further up the ladder, stepping over others through carefully manipulated betrayals. She quickly became my employer’s pet. When she began to cross me, whenever I thought of her, I thought of her dressed very provocatively. I wasn’t attracted to her in the least, but this image always sprung to mind. I found it very distracting and unsettling, seeing her out of the corner of my mind smoking a cigarette, a bra strap having fallen off her shoulder, one of her high heel shoes about to fall of the end of a toe. This was before I completely understood archetypes and archetypal language. Eventually I would learn that she was appearing as a prostitute because she truly was selling her soul to get ahead. After that I began to pay more attention to these impressions and why I was seeing them. This was more than ten years ago. My abilities have since improved.
Myself, James and two honorary members of The SpiritChasers, Rebecca and Shawn, each took turns sitting with Max, asking questions and taking photos. I shone high-powered flashlights through him. I shot lasers through every side. I took close-up high-resolution pictures in micro mode in hopes of capturing the odd pyramids, faces and UFOs that others were known to. I took photos with my full-spectrum camera but out of all of these, I only noticed one anomaly. Any photos featuring light reflection or glare were very clearly discernable with the full-spectrum camera, though one image did feature an odd trail of light when Max was asked to show an energetic display.
When playing back the EVPs we had recorded, we kept hearing what sounded like wind blowing, or the rushing of air caused by passing cars on a busy highway. There was no such highway nearby, the window was closed, there were no fans or cause for this aural anomaly. James, who is usually quite skeptical, received the impression that our questions would be answered at a later time in different ways. This ancient record-keeper operated within a time differential. I looked forward to my dreamtime but the first of them did not include any skulls or ancient technology I so wanted to see. One of my impressions concerned Max being present during human sacrifices. I saw fountains of blood cascading down the steps of a stone temple, almost sparkling in the humid moonlit air. It was simply an embarrassing period in human history, but it happened nonetheless, and one evening later I woke up screaming, having dreamt of my right hand being attacked by a jaguar.
We each left Pueblo with one crystal skull, Rebecca and mine were made out of quartz and James and Shawn's were made of opalite. All of them had been charged by Max's energy and James and I marvelled at how his skull could pick up even the dimmest ambient light, intensifying it and displaying sunset colors on its lower jaw. I carried mine with me all the next day in my left pocket, reminding me of ancient power and ancient mysteries, grounding and assuring me in a way no other charm has. JoAnn was absolutely delightful, a true elder, who suggested we name our crystal skulls. Mine felt like Rex, and he rests at my bedside, perhaps holding something of Max's encoded knowledge as he looks upon me throughout the night. When first encountering Max, I told him I was an explorer, an adventurer, a soul on a quest for hidden knowledge. Somehow I felt that he already knew this. I felt observed the entire time we spent with him. I felt that I wasn't good enough to be in the presence of something so great, just a trivial human seeking out some sideshow attraction. The next day, however, I awoke feeling completely refreshed and absolutely blessed. I felt great hope and great reassurance, like I had been granted a new power, something at the cellular level brimming with a new energy. I don't even know what happened, I was in such a trance, but the following morning, on my way to work, I was happy to see myself smiling in the rearview mirror.
Last night James and I watched Contact together. James often forgets about movies which makes him so fun to watch movies with, it's almost like seeing it for the first time. In the scene where Jodie Foster's character is verbally fencing with Matthew Mcconaughey's character about faith and God, he asks her if she loved her father. Surprised, she replies that she does. He then asks her to prove it. This is how I felt about this experience, much like Ellie Arroway's frustration in Contact where she has an almost spiritual experience but is unable to share this wonder with or prove it to anyone else. I hadn't seen Contact in years but felt so compelled to view it after seeing Max. I am a believer, but I don't believe that things have to happen as I believe they might. I will take the Divine any way it wishes to appear to me. I hope my faith will be rewarded, projecting these wishes onto Rex as if he might somehow relay this signal to a greater power. Touching Max, feeling how my hands fit into his cheekbone depressions and wondering how the ancients accessed his information while I held my nose to the hollow of his, was like holding a telephone to God and not knowing the number.
I only know that I did have a very special experience that changed me, that breathes within me, that remembers me, that perhaps sees me not as a trivial human but as an explorer climbing the stone steps of a Mayan temple with an Indiana Jones soundtrack playing in the background. Perhaps one of these nights my dreamtime mind will have decrypted the subconscious download of my encounter with Max and I will have realized that the jaguar, ancient animal totem of the Maya, was simply trying to place a reward in my receiving hand. The evening air will be humid, the moonlight will cascade all throughout the hills and valleys of my body. While I unravel more nighttime mysteries, Rex will catch me smiling in my sleep.
For your consideration, here is a YouTube clip ( http://youtu.be/nT-vEPKWexg ) from a 1996
movie which has become a guilty pleasure of ours.So many great things going on in this scene,
from Jo's obsession, to Bill's confession, to Melissa's impression, all
enhanced by Mark Mancina's musical score "Futility".I played this particular track often during a
road trip with James to the San Luis Valley a couple years back.We had just met Ed Kramer from Industrial
Light & Magic, who had created the computer-generated twisters in the
movie, and I was wearing the promotional Twister pin he autographed for
me.Sometimes James would make us his
"Twister Dinner" ( steak & eggs plus mashed potatoes and gravy ),
from the scene in which the storm chasers crash Aunt Meg's.
We had this meal just before our trip, though we weren't
looking for tornados, but something equally fascinating.The San Luis Valley is believed by many to be
Colorado's primary paranormal hot spot.I had been there many times, always investigating claims of UFO,
cryptozoological, spirit activity, even buried treasure.I went there for the first time on my
honeymoon and stayed at the Great Sand Dunes Oasis in a little log cabin.Fueled by Christopher O'Brien's books about
the strange phenomena reported here, James went as Fox Mulder and I as Dana
Scully, the X-Files soundtracks blaring the entire way.On our next visit, after a summer peppered
with severe storms and another viewing of Twister, I found that I identified
with Jo and James with Bill.We were
SpiritChasers, and we met Christopher on this trip, my obsession with this area
at an all-time high.
During a UFO skywatch near Zapata Falls, we and our friend
Brett stepped away from the group of O'Brien's devotees to have our own
experience outside of the collective tribal expectation.I had seen an odd red spark shooting up out
the top of a mountain, which others were soon claiming they could see.Were we really seeing this or sharing a
collective vision based on the reports of others who witnessed similar
phenomena?Always trying to think
outside of the norm, I was granted the perception that what we were basically
doing was taking.As ghosthunters we are
often guilty of this, accessing a scene and taking photos and sound
recordings.Though we leave the
environment the same way we entered it and leave our blessings and prayers, we
have taken so many fantastic peeks behind that infamous veil separating this
world from the other.
I felt myself dissolving from the commotion of the
skywatchers, from iPhones and GoPros, to a place in which I could enter the
"house of spirit".It's an
exercise I do before any investigation, exiting from the distractions of the
known world and tapping into the spirit, focusing our intention.I observed that we weren't leaving or
offering anything in return for this glimpse behind the veil.At other investigations we have smudged the
area, brought flowers for spirits who had crossed over, left holy water or
gemstones.I felt the same tinge of
guilt after attending concerts, where, after being treated to an amazing performance,
we dashed to the stage door for pictures and autographs with Erasure, Holy
Ghost!, Laurie Anderson.Taking without
offering, a severe breach of etiquette for any Native Sioux.
I wondered what in this case I could possibly offer to the
great unknown, playing such a tantalizing game of hide and seek with us in the
middle of the night.Standing in pitch
blackness, I began to notice the sensation of fear descending upon me like a
cloud.It was so dark and we were moving
so far away from the safety of the group, their warmth and their humor and
their noises and the missing out should something drastic happen in the skies
above them.Surely there were bears
around, creatures foraging for tourist discards.We heard coyotes howling earlier, bouncing
off the mountainsides, duplicating their already numerous hungry calls.A collage of images flipped through my mind,
from redneck serial killers to aliens to simply the black enveloping darkness
of the unknown, a separate entity of its own.I focused hard at the mountain from which hundreds of hovering orbs had
been seen by locals.Its silhouette
imposing and regal, a true king of mystery.In that "house of spirit", I put forth a request, asking it
what it would like from me.It stared
down at me through crags and rugged edges and I was certain it replied,
"I'll take your fear".
I realized that more than anything in that moment I was
clinging to my fear the tightest, so perhaps it's what this imagined mountain
king thought my most cherished, valuable possession.I held tightly to the fear of getting lost,
of being eaten, killed or simply plucked from something out of the sky to be
mutilated like the cows frequently found bloodless and missing organs in this
area since the 70's.How could I offer
my fear, to project it, walk through it, release it?I would have to approach this king with this
intense feeling of dread, and by the time I was close enough to touch its
jagged face I would be expected to let go of all I clung to, all the feeling
the noises in the inky dark were intensifying.I was not to expect or ask for anything in return.No paranormal fireworks, no ghostly orbs, no
infrared pictures of the otherworldly.I
was to give.
The path that James, Brett and I were on ended a half-mile
away at the base of a 25-foot waterfall.No one knew we had slipped away and no one knew where we were
going.My Spidey-senses tingled at the
danger of such an excursion but my companions knew to trust my intuition and
agreed to join me.Brett lit the way for
us and with each worrisome step into the unknown I reflected on possible
scenarios should we encounter something much bigger and hungrier than us.Wind howled, gravel crunched, branches
snapped, leaves rustled and odd animal calls were all made by things we
couldn't see as we made our way to the end of the path.
By the time we reached the river, the only way to the end
was to wade in the icy waters, climb a slippery rock shelf and follow a
cavernous route which very much resembled the Canyon Of The Crescent Moon from
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade.There
would be no lost temple of Petra at the end of this route, only a deafening
waterfall, an angry giant which bellowed louder and louder the closer we
approached.Brett was forced to hold
back, unable to negotiate such an aggressive torrent.He waited by the water's edge as James and I
continued onward, the beam from his flashlight quickly lost around a bend.
Bats clung to the rocks above us as we passed through the
layers of mist shed by the falls.The
roar of the waterfall was tremendous and it was scary only being able to hear
it, to feel its concussiveness, our feeble light unable to illuminate any of
its magnificent, fearsome glory.We had
gone where I promised we would go, and in the presence of such a powerful force
of nature, we could only kneel in a state of surrender to a larger power.Sheets of invisible water cascaded around us
like the gigantic robes of the rock king, the rocks cutting into our knees, and
I had never felt so tiny, so without kinetics, so without influence.
I was expected now to offer up the fear I had been
carrying.The water was so cleansing
after such an arduous hike, so purifying.I let its moving walls claim my uncertainty and doubt, my worrisome,
pessimistic nature, all of my taking and self-sabotage.Waves of moisture and exhilaration moved
about me as the thunder of the falls vibrated at my feet like a giant engine of
respect and humility.I realized then
that I was smiling.Half a mile away I
had thought of the scariest thing I could do in that moment to prove my
devotion, my worthiness, and now James and I stood under the rumbling
conclusion of an invisible giant.To
enter the unknown is to enter fear, and fear a primal raft to the other side.
James and I looked at each other triumphantly, breathless
and wet, both understanding what the greater and ultimate meaning of a
spontaneous, spooky night hike proved to ourselves and to that which observes
us while we are observing it.As we
walked back through the crescent cavern, the dark mouth that had swallowed our
small forms, I was no longer able to distinguish the roaring and rumbling I
felt outside from the pyroclastic feeling of empowerment I felt inside.Although it was still pitch black I felt
completely luminous, as if we had discovered a new way of seeing, an intuitive
echolocation mirrored by the bats which swooped above us.
Stepping off the last rock ledge, Brett's flashlight beam
once again visible, I held onto the side of the mountain for support, leaving
my hand on its cold edge for as long as I could, transmitting my gratitude, my
water for its water.The following day
we sat down near the Oasis for a private discussion with Christopher O'Brien,
trading secrets like baseball cards, finding out about other places we might
visit for more of the baffling and the bizarre.I knew that wherever we went next, we could use a new sight because we
had earned it, because we were willing.
There are invisible acts of power you engage in when you
think no one is watching.Whether you
give something when no one is looking, say something to someone when you think
no one else can hear, or stealthily lift something you have claimed as your
own, there is in fact an observance taking place.You might call it God, we might call it the
Creator, some have simply understood it as the Great Unknown.We engaged in something no one saw, into the
realm of the unseen, an offering for Pele at the rim of Kilauea.I always remember this night, during
investigations where I am stepping into the darkness alone and find that I am
generating my own light.I think of a
great night king I once visited whenever I enter the "house of
spirit" and look at what I am clinging to the most, hoping for an audience
with more staggering glory, reminding myself that I am not here to take.I am here to kneel.