From Part One: There were also moments where Connor and Karl were completing each other’s sentences. We also experienced the light sensors lighting up in the hallway (set up to detect movement outside of the room), lights being blocked out, and a light behind me that kept turning on randomly, until it was unplugged and removed from the area. I am impressed that Connor and Karl are interested in trying many different ways of testing this method, as it has truly been groundbreaking in the area of paranormal communication.
Third Stop: Third Floor – The Future
The first thing that greeted us when we arrived on the third floor was an enormous tent – the new home of the Traveling Museum’s paranormal objects when traveling. It was absolutely stunning, it truly provides a unique experience in experiencing the objects, you feel as though you are entering a different world – with deep red and gold lined walls, slightly golden light from the light bulbs descending from the top, and flickering lights showcasing the objects on display. The biggest difference with this museum is the opportunity to interact with the objects – picking them up, carrying them around, using them in investigations and even wearing them. Being able to experience these objects “up close and personal” truly makes all the difference. After we had a chance to thoroughly check out this wonderful new addition, we were lead to a smaller room, set up with chairs in rows, and a single chair in the center of the room. There were lights, and gadgets, and a really unusual looking contraption on a mannequin head. Greg and Dana then began discussing what they feel is truly the future of paranormal communication – the God Helmet. Briefly, and by no means completely, a God Helmet was originally named a Koren helmet, named after its inventor, Stanley Koren. It was developed by Koren and neuroscientist Michael Persinger to study creativity, religious experience and the effects of subtle stimulation of the temporal lobes. However, most “reports from Persinger’s lab consist of people sensing “presences”; people often interpreted these to be that of angels, a deceased being known to the subject, or a group of beings of some kind. There have also been reports in which the participant has experienced what they perceive as God. Persinger reports that “at least” 80 percent of his participants experience a presence beside them in the room, and others report less evocative experiences of “another consciousness or sentient being”. (from Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_helmet).
Dana spoke to us about her experience using the helmet, and described it as feeling “euphoric, connected and floaty, super conscious of everything around her”, and said that the feeling lasted upwards of seven days. It created a sense of calm, and a “knowing”. Sondra was asked if she would like to try using it, and she gladly obliged. Greg carefully hooked up the helmet to Sondra, and we watched her, and the screen set up in the room to watch. The screen showed the magnets engaging with her brain waves, and them reaching a certain Mhz, to simulate the mhz created by the earth’s movement. Sondra described her experience- first feeling a heat in her esophagus area (not unpleasant, just warm), seeing a very bright light that she reached out for (about three inches in front of her face), seeing Billy (again about 3 inches from her face) and feeling like her hands were tingly. We noticed that she was pulling on her jeans slightly, near her hips, and she said that she felt like she could pull her skin away from her body, and at one point felt like she was riding a comet. She said she had a slight headache on one side, but more like pressure. The experiment went on for about 10 minutes, with the helmet cycling through its process. Greg and Dana alluded to their ongoing project, coined “The Initiative”, and this God Helmet is going to be a large part of it. At about quarter after midnight, the groups reconvened on the second floor for the last part of the night. A group seance with the Newkirks and John Tenney.
Special Event – Group Seance
The group seance began with everyone opening their special golden envelope- they held Psychical Adjustment cards – Yes and No cards – for use during the seance. The seance project has been an ongoing experiment with John Tenney and the Newkirks – I first was involved in a group seance with this project during a paranormal investigation on the Queen Mary. That was a group seance but on a much smaller scale. We have not been given much information on who we are supposed to be attempting to contact, other than a picture. No name, time frame, circumstance of death, geographical area – nothing. John let us listen to an EVP recording from the group seance at the Queen Mary – a very clear (and seemingly “above” the recording) HELLO was heard in a male’s voice – it had a questioning tone, and it very much sounded like someone had entered the chapel (where the seance was held), saw all of these people sitting in half darkness, and asked “HELLO?” like a question, sort of a “What the heck are you people doing?” Also, the Newkirks and John discussed how during the seance at the Queen Mary, on an EVP, the spirit could clearly be heard saying his name. When they listened back to the EVP privately, they hurriedly ended the seance on the Queen Mary. Having experienced that firsthand, I knew something pretty momentous had happened.
At Ashmore, the room had been split into two sides, with half of the guests seated on one side and half of the guests seated on the other side. We then closed our eyes – the room became quite still – and we were told a series of statements. We were asked to hold up our cards (“Yes” in the right hand, “No” in the left hand) based on our responses to those statements. After a few statements that sounded strange (“Day is better than afternoon”, “Green is better than blue”, “Night is better than sky” are examples), we opened our eyes, and John moved a few people from one side to another. We then closed our eyes again, and responded to more of the same type of questions. Once John was satisfied that the people on each side were somewhat in sync, we closed our eyes again, and single words were then spoken. “1850”. “1910”. “Uncomfortable”. “East”. “Happy”. “Three”. “Two”. and so on for about 20 minutes.
We were then asked to open our eyes and discuss general feelings about the experience. It was odd that certain words evoked emotion from some of us. I personally felt very strongly towards one of the choices out of the years given (1880) and felt irritated or amused by some of the words spoken. People stated that just by hearing the number “three” they felt that the gentleman had either been married three times, or had three kids – differing opinions in the group, all based on the single word “three”. Theories were tossed around – some felt that the man had died from disease, some from a fight, some from an accident. It was very unique and thought-provoking to hear everyone’s passionate responses to single words! It remained eerily quiet during the experiment, some felt like they were in a trance-like state, some felt like they were in another place – all very unusual and exciting to be a part of.
It was a very unique experiment – Greg, Dana and John stated that it was the largest group that they had ever used with the seance experiment, and they seemed satisfied with the results. Our understanding is that the results of these series of seances and the final experiments will be revealed soon, but those of us in attendance still know nothing about the person that we were trying to contact, or how “successful” we were in communicating.
After the seance, we discussed some of the other group’s experiences on the various floors. For example, one group caught an EVP of someone asking the control question on the first floor “Do you want to speak to us?” – The spirit chimed in, asking the question, in between two of the people at the table. I have had a similar experience at the Palmer House (we were introducing ourselves, and between my friend and I, a spirit said “I’m Mike” in between my friend saying “I’m Tyson” and me saying “I’m Debi”.) For me, I have always had the best experiences when behaving normally, having conversations, being friendly. The spirits are just people, after all, and it’s normal for them to introduce themselves when the entire room is introducing themselves as well. The spirit on the first floor at Ashmore probably had an excellent sense of humor – how many people have been through there asking “What’s your name? Can you give us a sign? How did you die?”. I’m sure the spirit was just joining in on the activity that was going on. (By the way, I have found that the quickest way to stop all communication is to ask “How did you die?” or “Do you know you are dead?” – I have been on many many investigations, where we are getting responses, and someone asks that question, and all the energy in the room just dissipates, so my advice is to NOT ask those types of questions.)
There were reports of motion sensors going off, EMF detectors being touched, and footsteps on stairs and in hallways. The three people who wore the God’s Helmet described how they were feeling at the end of the night – they described it as being hyper-aware, and floaty, almost euphoric. Dana said at one point in the evening that it was hard for her to talk to people because she kept hearing the trees moving in the wind outside of the building. Smells were described – a strong orange scent in one room, scent of evergreen or vanilla in another. We joked about the “ghost cats” (which actually aren’t ghosts at all) – Ashmore Estates has five living cats, a few of them look quite alike- John Tenney thought there was only one. He described how he had gently carried one outside, closed the doors, and then turned around and found himself staring at what he thought was the same cat, and his description of this moment had us all laughing. The cats also are notorious for jumping into cars when the doors are open.
Ashmore Estates has been on my paranormal bucket list for quite some time. I was ready for a night filled with activity, friends, experiments, and breakthroughs. I was not disappointed. Trust me when I tell you that the future of paranormal investigation changed forever at Ashmore Estates with this group of people – but that story is not my story to tell.