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Venturing Into The Dark: Edmonton Paranormal Society Prepares For Halloween
An interview with founder Ehren Ackerman that offers some insight into the field of paranormal investigation.
“We receive dozens of emails, phone calls, and messages each week from everyday people who are frightened in their own homes. It’s astounding at how many cases we accept where the clients are completely normal people who are able to hide their fear when spending time outside the home. They live in a silent fear with nobody to turn to or speak with regarding ghosts or other paranormal occurrences. Often these people are even afraid to mention their concerns to family members or religious consultants out of fear of being judged or disassociated.”
According to modern-day investigators a ghost or “entity” may act in many ways, often in an attempt to gain recognition or attention. They may be the cause for missing or moved items, bad dreams, disassociated voices, or you may be one of the few people who have caught the glimpse of something or someone who no longer is amongst the living.
“Some cases are simple; they include the typical haunted house type phenomenon,”
The field of paranormal research can be difficult to partake in due to the large volume of groups and teams that have popped up over the past decades. Each group often takes a different stance and always have unique beliefs in regards to paranormal exploration. So what makes Edmonton Paranormal Society stand out in the crowd?
“We operate in a completely non-judgmental and open minded way. We specialize in residential cases and are there to support the family one hundred percent. We don’t bring our personal beliefs into a case without the consent of our clients; we work with their beliefs or their religion in order to reach the goals that we have encouraged them to set. We like to work both sides of the fence as believers in our own experiences and as skeptics of the footage we collect.”
Many groups take on a case and if they do not find anything or experience anything they will move on to a new one. With modern media coverage many groups seek the fame and fortune of a new and exploding industry. Who could blame them with popular shows such as Paranormal State, The Ghost Hunters franchise, Fact or Faked: The Paranormal Files, among others?
Ehren comments,” What people fail to realize is that television shows are developed by networks. Major networks like A&E and SPACE are money making business’. Groups who gain popularity through these channels may do some really great work that is only appreciated by the team and their clients. What makes it to air is not necessarily the true story nor did it take a couple hours to film. Paranormal State is a prime example of a show that is very entertaining and can be quite educational, but they conduct three day investigations and out of dozens of hours of film 23 minutes makes it to air. Editing is a wonderful and horrible thing which can mislead aspiring paranormal enthusiasts into believing an investigation is an open and shut case. Investigating is very time consuming and often lacks excitement, but it is really the clients that make it all worthwhile. It’s fantastic that the entertainment industry has picked up on such a unique field of exploration and like most people I would gladly take an offer to be on a show, but it isn’t the really important thing. Helping people and gaining knowledge are the only real reasons to be involved and I’m glad that there are several groups out there with the same mentality.”
So what should one do if they feel they may have their own haunting? Here are some suggestions provided by the Edmonton Paranormal Society as to steps you can take to ease the fear of the unknown.
1) Begin to keep a journal of events. Any investigative team will find it quite useful and you may even be able to determine a pattern. This may even help you determine exactly what their intentions are.
2) If you are afraid in your home, contact a local paranormal society or group. Ask as many questions as you wish and remember that you are in charge of your case. You are trusting the group to be in your home, respect your rules, and only conduct experiments that you are comfortable with. Be wary of those who charge for their services; there are several groups in Canada who provide their services for free and if you feel that they have done a good job then you may choose to offer a donation towards their cause however the experience alone is payment.
3) Make your house a home. Decorations, live plants, a fresh coat of paint, and some fun family activities can change the outlook on a bleak situation. By spending time in your home and having a positive attitude it can psychologically change a place. The way you view your home is the way that you view your life, so it is important to remember that it is your home so take ownership.
4) In some cases you may choose to conduct a smudge. This is used by pagan religions, native culture, and plays a minor role in Catholicism. It is the action of using a sage or sweet-grass incense or bundle to “cleanse” your home. Simply light the bundle until it contains embers, extinguish the flames, and lightly blow the smoke into all rooms of the house while thinking happy thoughts or giving prayer. If you do not wish for smoke to be around for personal reasons you may choose to boil the sage or sweet-grass into a tea. You can then use the steam or pour it into a spray bottle and conduct the same ceremony. Sage or sweet-grass bundles can be purchased from many stores around Edmonton such as Where Faeries Live for a low price.
5) When in doubt, ask for help. Edmonton Paranormal Society encourages you to speak with your doctor in regards to nightmares, sleep deprivation, physical ailments, or medication concerns. There are several low cost support networks and psychology clinics that are open to paranormal experiences and base their charges off of annual income. Hourly rates can vary, but for low-income households help can be as cheap as $10-$15 a session. There is never any shame in asking for help from time to time and anything you say to a doctor, psychologist, or Edmonton Paranormal Society is kept completely confidential.
6) Keep tabs on your personal emotions and stress level. Often claims of activity tend to increase during stressful times in your work and personal life. Whether you know it or not, stress can play a dramatic role in your interpretation of the paranormal. This is not to say that no paranormal activity occurs, but the severity may be misinterpreted depending on your emotions.
After three years and 58 investigations Edmonton Paranormal Society has reached astounding new heights in the field. It is host to two social clubs, an investigative team, and has more equipment than most other groups in the country. With their 10 investigators and several other volunteers, it operates in a completely non-profit manner in a way that a society should be run. Volunteers spend their time, resources, and often their own money to provide a service for the community. Each member and attendee plays a vital role in supporting those who need it while at the same time exploring their own beliefs, abilities, and spend time with people who enjoy all that the supernatural has to offer. They really are friends helping friends; even if it is in an off-beat and unspoken way.
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Non-Profit organization dedicated to providing low cost events and no charge investigations in Alberta, Canada.