Archive for Paranormal Activity

“Moving Cup – Poltergeist?” Follow-Up

This is the follow-up on the Moving Cup – Poltergeist? article I did a few days ago.

"Real" or "Fake"?

Many of you already suspected that it was staged or faked in some way. In fact, you probably half-expected it from me.

The video was, indeed, staged, but let me stress that the purpose of the video was certainly NOT to try and defraud or misguide people, but to demonstrate how easy it is to fool the mind by manipulating objects. This is especially important with the fact that there are so many fakes around today. That’s not to say that ALL recordings of paranormal activity are faked. Far from it! I’ve had my share of paranormal activity, things I can’t explain.

I’ve caught a "light anomaly", which has yet to be satisfactorily explained, during the time that I was away for a weekend. The page with that video has been updated, with the audio enhanced.

Also, during the recording of the "Video Light Anomalies Demonstration" tutorial, I captured what I believe is an EVP, which sounds like "rosting" (a dialectal word for "roasting").

What People Thought

Anyway, the majority of you thought that it was water on the windowsill (because of what appears to be a reflection) and that the surface tension was moving the cup. I can see why because in my window is a shiny crystal pendant that refracts the light onto the windowsill’s surface when the sun hits it at a certain angle. The windowsill itself is plastic and rough to the touch. There’s actually NO water and no condensation on it.

Only two people saw how it was done (one came close and the other nailed it): one suggested something rectangular on the bottom with a string attached and the other a fishing line with sellotape on the bottom of the cup.

How Was It Done?

I used an ordinary cup, the same kind you buy from Starbucks. I bought mine from my local café, where I usually buy my once-per-week morning coffee, as a special treat.

I then sellotaped ordinary 0.15mm fishing wire to the bottom of the cup. The wire is almost invisible to the naked eye, except at certain angles in the light.

When it’s placed on the windowsill, it looks like a lonely upside-down cup with nothing special about it. Then, with the webcam fixed onto the back of the chair, keeping both hands free, I was able to hold the reel in my hand and pull it off camera so that the cup starts moving. At the very end, when the cup flips onto the floor (a give-away sign would have been that I picked up the webcam right before, which was also addressed by a well-informed viewer), a quick off-camera yank does it and the fishing wire is worked loose from the sellotape. And you still can’t really see the fishing wire.

I sincerely apologise if you do feel deceived. That wasn’t my intention at all. As I said, it was purely a scientific and subjective experiment to demonstrate if it could be done and how it could be done. Remember that the golden rule of paranormal investigation is to eliminate the normal before claiming the paranormal.

Personal Note

I’m a paranormal investigator myself, although I’ve retired from the field for now. I’m presently what I’ve coined a "paranormalorist", someone who studies paranormal lore. In the past, I’ve conducted research into paranormal phenomena, including ESP, psychokinesis, psychic abilities and apparitions, for private or independent research teams, and I’ve investigated several haunted locations in the UK, Canada and America.

I don’t believe in faking evidence for the sake of it, only occasionally for demonstration or debunking purposes. You’re not guaranteed to capture something every time you’re on an investigation. You can visit a location and have nothing to show, but you can visit the same location later and have some really compelling evidence. That’s just the way it is. If evidence is staged for kudos or recognition, or just because it can be staged, or even to show that a location IS haunted because nothing’s been captured, then those might be the wrong reasons to investigate. Foremost in an investigator’s mind must be to capture (and possibly prove the existence of) paranormal phenomena, in whatever form that takes, however small and insignificant it seems.

Just because something has been captured, and can possibly be debunked or explained rationally, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a naturally occurring phenomenon or that it’s been faked somehow. Only the investigators themselves know the circumstances surrounding the capture and what occurred at the time the anomaly was captured, even if it wasn’t immediately noticeable at precisely the moment the photo or video or EVP was recorded.

There’s absolutely no point in faking evidence because it completely defeats the objectivity and purpose of investigating the paranormal in the first place. Most of the paranormal teams we follow have captured some awesome photos, video footage and EVPs during their investigations, and that’s always rewarding and is what makes it all worthwhile in the end. Even if it ends up potentially being natural causes.

It seems that most of the paranormal activity in my apartment, at least from its initial high activity with "my own poltergeist experiences" has died down. If I do capture anything, it’s now down to pure luck, although I will be attempting a few EVP sessions and recordings when I go away for a weekend again.

I’m also aiming to buy a new cellphone with a camera and sound recorder built in, but I’m looking for something very specific for those purposes. If I then capture anything significant I’ll be posting it.

In Conclusion

I know that it can be discouraging if there’s no tangible evidence after an investigation, or if the paranormal community as a whole shoots it down, or if something that appears to be real is faked, but at this point no one can really know for certain what’s going on. We often have to go on blind faith alone.

I’d like to actively encourage all paranormal teams to continue because without the evidence – natural or paranormal – there can be no serious study on the subject. In the end, we’re all aiming towards the same goal and "para-unity" is what matters, to be able to share our findings and determine or communicate with the spirit worlds.

Thank you to all those who participated and commented. Hopefully, it gave you guys something to really thinking about it.

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The Conjuring Movie Trailer

The Conjuring is being dubbed the "scariest new ghost film" and is already set to be a big box office hit. Critics are comparing the movie to The Exorcist and Poltergeist.

The movie centers around real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), the same couple who investigated the "Amityville Horror" case. It was released in Canada and the US on 18 and 19 July, 2013, respectively, and will be in UK cinemas 2 August, 2013.

Personal Notes

This is one of the very few paranormal movies I’ve been looking forward to seeing. Those who have seen it, either by special preview or in the movie theaters, have given positive feedback for the most part. The Exorcist and Poltergeist are my two all-time favourite paranormal movies, so when you combine them into a single movie, you would expect something quite spectacular.

It’s an added bonus that The Conjuring centralizes around the Warrens, providing an insight into one of their more traumatizing personal experiences, which took place in the dream home of the Perron family. While I’m not particularly fond of the concept of demons or the Warrens’ perceptions and methodology, I have a lot of respect for the demonologist and clairvoyant couple.

Although I might not be able to see it on its release date – no doubt there will be incredible queues – I will watch it at some point and perhaps I’ll be able to review it in more detail on Paranormal Footprints.

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Signs of Poltergeist Activity

How To Recognize Signs of Poltergeist Activity

Poltergeist Activity (Levitation)

Poltergeist Activity (Levitation)
Borrowed from Google Images (original source unknown)

There is a fine line between a poltergeist and a regular haunting, but there are certain signs of poltergeist activity to be aware of. First, however, it’s important to note that not all of these signs are automatically an indication of poltergeists.

So how do you know if there might be a poltergeist in your home? Most often, there will be several obvious telltale signs: sounds, movements and odors of unknown origin. Below are some signs of poltergeist activity, but always be aware enough to rule out the more mundane, everyday causes. For example, flickering lights can indicate faulty wiring; unknown smells could be wafting in from somewhere else, perhaps from an open window; sound does travel, so loud knocks and bangs could be coming from somewhere outside. Once these have been ruled out, if you’re not confident enough to investigate on your own, a professional parapsychologist or paranormal investigator will help.

7 Signs of Poltergeist Activity

Common signs associated with poltergeist disturbances start out as seemingly harmless, often entertaining, anomalies, such as chairs moving by themselves or doors opening and closing. As time goes by, however, the activity becomes increasingly more severe, eventually resulting in more violent outbursts, where the targets’ lives are threatened. Some kind of physical injury or mental trauma usually also occurs as a result.

That said, experiencing some or all of these anomalies does not necessarily indicate an active poltergeist. Spirits are capable of manifesting these signs as a means of communication and usually occur irregularly. It can be said that if all of these signs occur regularly over a long period of time, especially when they become violent, then a poltergeist is at work.

These are among the commonest, most reported signs of poltergeist activity (in no particular order). Where applicable, I’ve provided examples of personal experiences; hover over the image to read the "tooltip".

  1. Appearing/Disappearing Objects (Apport/Asport):

    Objects mysteriously disappear only to reappear later – sometimes days later – either in the same location or somewhere different. Occasionally, the object will appear again in odd places, such as on a top shelf or in a container, with no recollection as to how it got there. Small (and sometimes larger objects) materialize seemingly out of thin air.

  2. Thrown or Levitating Objects:

    Objects move on their own across flat surfaces (tables or countertops); furniture slides across the floor; books fall off shelves; stacks of things (such as boxes) fall over for no apparent reason; or objects float in mid-air, usually dropping and breaking when noticed. Small objects used as projectiles fly across the room. Larger objects (such as pots and pans, knives or rocks) have also been reported thrown across the room as well. Levitated objects can be anything from a few inches in the air to several feet.

  3. Anomalous Smells, Scents and Odors: In most cases, bad smells – anything from acrid smoke to rotting food to sulfur – are often associated with poltergeists. The odors will usually be strongest in certain areas of your home or they can follow you around wherever you are. Foreign odors, however, can also indicate the presence of a spirit or as a result of a residual haunting.
  4. Electrical Interference/Disturbances: Poltergeists can influence our electricity, resulting in lights or lamps flickering on and off; appliances turning on and off on their own; stereos or TVs increasing in volume (without physical cause); or batteries from cameras and video recorders suddenly being drained of power or turned off completely. Computers can also behave strangely; messages have appeared in chat IMs, usually making no sense; or words have been typed on-screen in word processors without physical interaction.
  5. No Physical Power:

    Another sign of poltergeist activity is where appliances turn on by themselves without them being plugged in or battery-operated toys move on their own without there being batteries in the compartments. Phone calls or texts can appear from an "unknown" caller with no record of any call or text in the courier’s records.

  6. Anomalous Sounds: The most common sign of poltergeist manifestation is loud banging or knocking sounds, sometimes causing tremendous vibrations. Knocks, bangs, taps, rappings, and other noises are also indicators, but these can be attributed to "regular" hauntings as well. As a general rule, the more violent these noises are, the more likely it is they are associated with an active poltergeist.
  7. Physical Attacks: A frightening and dangerous sign of poltergeists is physical harm. Attacks can range from pinches to slaps, from being struck by flying objects to actual bodily harm. Scratches are most commonly reported, sometimes deep gashes from unseen claws, as well as bite marks. Additionally, in extremer cases, there have been a few reported cases of broken bones (fractured ribs) resulting from a physical attack from a poltergeist force.

How To Identify A Poltergeist Case

If in doubt, ask an experienced parapsychologist or paranormal investigator. They will be able to determine if the activity in your home is a poltergeist or a haunting (which can have similar characteristics) or whether there is a logical, more mundane, non-paranormal explanation.

Poltergeist Scratch

Image borrowed from The Mackenzie Poltergeist

The investigator will usually take into consideration all of the reported signs, including several other factors, before making an analysis. One of the main areas is determining whether the activity is more physical or spirit-based in nature and whether or not the activity is focused around a single person, who may unconsciously be generating the manifestations through psychokinesis.

Poltergeist activity is usually short-lived and can last for up to several weeks. It’s actually quite rare for persistent poltergeist activity to occur, spanning a period of months or even years. In the majority of cases where it’s longer term, there is an agent around whom the activity seems more focused.

Even with short-term poltergeists, it can cause all kinds of stress-related issues, including physical, emotional, psychological, and even hormonal imbalances, so investigators should also try to examine personal and family dynamics, particularly related to how often parents argue, if the focal agent is bullied at school or if there’s some deep-seated, underlying problem going on. A therapist or counselor may well be needed to help identify this.

Another important consideration is the history of the location and its previous inhabitants. Persistent poltergeist activity can sometimes indicate a trapped or earthbound spirit who cannot move on, so becomes angry, or the location is the scene of a grisly, violent crime where the criminal remains behind to continue tormenting his victims.

Additional Notes on Poltergeists

It’s generally believed that around 90% of all reports of poltergeists are the result of "recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis" (or RSPK), which is the result of psychic or mental energy produced and manifested (usually unconsciously) by a person, referred to as the "agent", or sometimes a group of people. Most cases of poltergeist activity fall under this category, with the remaining 10% being attributed to some kind of external spiritual or paranormal force.

Poltergeists are often regarded as "demons" or "evil spirits", but in all of the research I’ve done over the years, by definition of the words I don’t believe they are. After doing research into the histories of locations where poltergeist activity has been reported, my conclusions are that the base emotions of a person when they were alive are a key factor in almost all cases. This usually revolves around some deep-seated resentment or anger, jealousy, and other similar emotions, which carries over long after their deaths. I’d say that a very small percentage – around 1%-2% of cases – can actually be described as truly evil or demonic in nature, again by definition of the words themselves. So this is always something to be aware of before claiming a demon, rather than a poltergeist, is the cause of the activity.

Most of the time, however, the activity will fade away on its own. Long-term poltergeist activity, where there is no identifiable agent, may need to be exorcised. An exorcism, if performed properly and impartially, can be very effective, otherwise the poltergeist will simply return later.

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While staying overnight at my Mother’s, her car keys went missing. We searched high and low, but couldn’t find them. I busied myself with some of the things that needed to be done and eventually took a coffee break. I glanced on the table and there were the keys, right where Mother normally places them. I assumed she’d found them before heading out. When she came back, I asked her where she’d found the keys. She said she hadn’t. I indicated the keys on the table and we were both stumped as to where they’d come from when they were NOT there moments before.
In my recent spate of poltergeist activity, bottles have fallen off flat surfaces; a coffee pot was lifted and dropped onto the floor (before my eyes); salt/pepper and herbs have found their way onto the countertop during cooking; boxes have been flung across the room; and objects have been thrown at me.”
Shortly after I acquired my third cellphone, I started receiving numerous phone calls and texts from an ‘unknown number’, which started increasing. Occasionally, when I would answer the call, a raspy voice, seemingly coming from a long way would speak but I couldn’t make out the words. Thinking that it was a prankster, I logged the times and dates of each call and text, then contacted my courier to see if they could block the originator. However, they had no records whatsoever of any of these calls or texts, only the ones I’d received from friends and family.”

Poltergeists – Part 3.3: My Own Poltergeist Experience (Part 3)

Screaming Poltergeist Photography by Nick-Mathieu
This is the conclusion to My Own Poltergeist Experience, which started with Part 1 and continued in Part 2.

Following the persistent whispering voice from Part 2, I made my way to the bathroom. The few short steps there seemed to take forever, as though everything had slowed down. My footsteps on the wooden floor were like dull echoic thuds and the surroundings blurred slightly, reminiscent of a lingering, heavy mist.

Through A Poltergeist’s Eyes

As I stepped into the bathroom, at first I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, but as I stood at the doorway the temperature plummeted to the point that my breath was visible. The bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel on the windowsill rattled, a toilet roll jumped onto the floor and the towel was ripped off the radiator and flew across the room.

Steamy Mirror

Image taken from

I heard the sound of running water, yet neither the shower nor the sink faucets were turned on. A thin mist formed near the shower on the far side of the bathroom, gradually becoming denser and coalescing. The thick mist expanded and soon the entire bathroom was filled with steamy, pea-soup fog. I couldn’t see anything beyond a few inches in front of me. I don’t scare easily but on this occasion I felt fear knot my stomach. My heart pounded in my chest and I started backing out of the bathroom slowly, but the doorway was blocked. I started panicking, feeling around for the door handle, thinking at the time that somehow the door had closed. The door was still open, yet when I tried to step through the aperture it was solid, as though there was an invisible wall there.

With my back against this barrier, I said quaveringly, "What do you want? Show me, damn it!"

I heard my other half’s voice frantically calling my name on the phone, which I realised was still clutched in my hand, and eventually it faded. In fact, all of the usual external sounds muted.

The fog began to thin, slowly dissipating, and when it had cleared the scene had changed. The bathroom seemed larger; it was still the same layout, however. The only difference was that there was a bathtub in place of the shower cubicle, one of those old white-enamelled cast iron tubs with legs resembling a lion’s paws. I rubbed my eyes in an attempt to dissolve the hallucination I was clearly seeing, which at the time I considered a by-product of the fear I felt.

"Help…me!" the whispery voice said again, this time louder and more distinctly female. "Please…help! My…son!"

For the first time since noticing the bathtub, I saw that it was overflowing. Water sloshed over the sides and onto the floor. The piping above the faucets was leaking; a geyser of pressurised water gushed into the tub. Without thinking, I was galvanised into action. I dropped the phone onto the floor mat and grabbed a towel and rushed over to the bathtub, turned off the faucets and quickly attempted to wrap the towel around the pipe to stymie the gushing water. (At the time, it didn’t register that my socks and clothing were not wet.)

Ghost Hand

Image taken from

No sooner had I done that than the water levels dropped and the tub emptied, making a bubbling, gurgling sound. I looked down and saw the pallid form of a ten- or twelve-year old boy lying in the tub. His eyes were closed, half-covered by long, sodden hair, and water spewed from his mouth. Again, without thinking, I reached down to pull him out when suddenly the boy sat up. I was taken aback and gasped; I sat on my haunches, staring at the boy with a mixture of incredulity and a little fear. I realised with a start that the figure in the bathtub was the same one I’d seen as vague impressions around the apartment. It was Raniel!

The scene shifted and returned to normal. I sat for a long time, reviewing what had happened and playing the events in my mind, but I had no answers nor could I find any rational explanations. Afterwards, however, all subsequent poltergeist and paranormal activity stopped. There are now no footsteps, no moving objects, no shadows in the corners, no cold spots and no other another anomalies. At least, none that can’t be explained by normal means.

In Conclusion

You can believe this story or not, but this is how it happened. Nothing has been added or embellished. I’m the first person to dismiss most things paranormal; I’m not prone to hallucinations. I don’t possess any intrinsic mediumistic abilities. Usually, I’m sceptical of things I can’t explain until no other possibility exists.

As soon as the bathroom incident was over with, life has returned to normal. I believe now that sometime in the building’s history a tragic drowning occurred. The spirits were unable to find peace, so they remained earthbound. Once the story had been told, however, they were able to pass over and leave the earthly plane on which they had been trapped all this time.

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Poltergeists – Part 3.2: My Own Poltergeist Experience (Part 2)

Poltergeist Activity [dc]A[/dc]fter the poltergeist events in Part 1 died down, life returned to normal and I thought no more about them or about poltergeists.

A few months went by without so much as a creaking floorboard, but then, without warning, the paranormal activity started again.

The Poltergeist Returns

Poltergeist Activity

Image borrowed from
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Wiki

One night, when it was completely quiet, I heard an almighty crash-bang sound. It took me totally by surprise and I literally jumped.

I decided to investigate the source of the noise, adrenaline pumping through my body, and slowly started going through the apartment to see if anything had fallen over.

In the bedroom, which I use primarily as a storage area (I sleep on a futon in the living room), I didn’t notice anything amiss at first. The bedroom is usually almost perpetually cold, but on this particular night it was freezing; my breath was visible, as though I’d stepped outside on a cold, crisp winter’s morning.

And then I noticed that one of the boxes I’d had stacked against the wall had been flipped over and flung against the far wall, with its contents strewn across the floor. I suddenly felt a flash of anger. "What the f*** did you do that for?" I shouted. "Don’t you dare mess with my stuff or there’ll be trouble!"

I sensed something still in the bedroom and had a brief impression of a small boy, between ten and twelve years old, cowering in one of its corners, as though he had been scolded and was now fearful of reprimand. Could he be the actual poltergeist? I thought. Or is he my imagination?

I don’t consider myself psychic at all, but every so often I’ll see, hear and sense things quite clearly. Images will flash through my mind and I’ll know instantly what happened at certain times or locations (most of which are later verified). It becomes overwhelming at times and is often difficult to deal with, but I’ve learned over the years not to question these rare psychic impressions when they come.

After I’d restored the contents to the box, I went to sleep and remember dreaming, but the details are now faded. What I do remember is a small boy – the same one I’d "seen" in the bedroom – standing at the foot of my bed, just staring at me. Startled, I woke up several times only to find that there was no one there, and I went back to sleep.

Shadows and Voices

When I awoke the next morning, I could still remember the images of the boy, which I thought of as nothing more than a dream and thrust it out of my mind. I wondered why I’d dreamed of him in particular and I was reminded of the previous poltergeist activity. I reasoned that if he was trying to grab my attention, what better way of doing it than to express anger since he couldn’t communicate normally?

As the weeks progressed, I started seeing things out of the corners of my eyes. At first they were vague shadow forms on the edges of my vision, but they started becoming more defined.

The poltergeist activity renewed. Objects would move around, sometimes so violently that they would smash or break. A plastic clasp holding one of the pipes suddenly broke and fell onto the kitchen floor. I investigated, of course, and discovered that there was no way it could have come off naturally. It would take a considerable amount of force to pry off and be flicked onto the kitchen floor. I even did extensive tests to determine if I could recreate the circumstances and the landing point of the clasp. After an hour, I couldn’t. Not even close.

poltergeist (1982)

Image taken from

A few months of this, including small objects flying past me throughout the apartment at frequent intervals, I started feeling afraid, and for the first time in a long time admitted that this was becoming serious. In all the years I’ve studied poltergeists, this was one of those rare occasions where the paranormal activity could not be anything else.

The final straw for me was when my coffee pot smashed. I had this combo cappuchino/cafe mocha machine, which was my pride and joy. I’d only used it a few times since I bought it, but it made an awesome cappuchino.

In the centre of the countertop behind me I placed the coffee pot, where it usually resided, ready for the after-meal cappucchino. I was preparing supper at the time and, as I turned around, I saw the glass coffee pot hovering in midair for a few seconds before it dropped, a foot away from the countertop, and smashed into smithereens on the kitchen floor.

At first, I couldn’t believe what I’d seen. My natural instincts were to test whether it could have fallen or rolled off, whether vibrations could have caused it to fall. However, the way it had landed, in relation to the distance from the counter, I couldn’t find anything that would suggest it could have.

I stared at the shards of glass for a long time, then became infused with a kind of bubbling anger I don’t often feel. Shock transformed into fury.

"That’s it!" I shouted. "I don’t care that you’re here, but you start breaking my things, that royally pisses me off!"

I took a few deep breaths to calm myself and cleaned the shattered remains of the coffee pot away. I replayed what I’d witnessed in my mind and there was no escaping it. The coffee pot was suspended in midair before dropping to the floor.

"Now that you’ve grabbed my attention," I said angrily, "why don’t you show me what the hell you want. I can hear and see you sometimes, you know," As an afterthought, I added, "Unless you’re too spineless to even do that! But you will NOT break any more of my things."

It seemed that at that point time stood still. The air was heavy and there was complete silence.

Whispers and Voices

I decided to watch a movie in an attempt to completely calm down after the incident. I’ve been told I’m a slow-burning fuse, so when I anger it takes a long time to build. And it’s quite explosive when it does erupt, taking a long time to dissipate.

It so happened that the movie was Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2. A quarter of the way through, I felt a tugging on my sleeve; I turned and there was a vague boy-shaped figure standing next to me. It was more an impression than a visual. I asked what his name was and heard very clearly, "Raniel!" I had to laugh when I realised that on screen was a closeup image of Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter).

So, from that point my "friend" was named Raniel the Friendly Poltergeist.

Raniel continued visiting on and off over the next few days. Sometimes he was distinct, yet still only a vague semi-solid shape, sometimes he wasn’t. I must point out here that I have no intrinsic mediumistic abilities and can’t ordinarily see spirits. In fact, I usually discount them completely, relying more on my natural scepticism than anything else. Actually seeing something, even if it was only an impression, did have a deep impact on me, especially with the previous poltergeist activity going on.

One night, when I was doing some writing, I heard a feint whisper asking for help. Looking around, there was no one there so I carried on, annoyed that my writing channel was broken. I don’t like being disturbed when I’m in "Write Mode". A few nights later, when I was talking to my other half, I heard the whisper again, louder this time. And it became more persistent, sounding as though it was right in my ear, as though someone was physically whispering next to me.

"Help! Help! Bathroom!"

The whisper continued over and over, becoming louder, sounding like an MP3 playing in an endless loop, until I slammed my fist onto the table, making my other half baulk in alarm and fright, andI relented and made my way to the bathroom.

What happened next took me completely by surprise. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, and I’ve analysed it mentally dozens of times, but the events and images are still vivid in my mind. I have no doubt that something happened that day. And it gave me a fresh perspective on the supernatural and events cumulative to this point would open my eyes wider.

My Own Poltergeist Experiences (Part 3)

This finale of this encounter will continue in Part 3.

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