Paranormal Activity

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I have had numerous conversations these last couple of months on paranormal activity with members and non members alike. It has been like that old saying of “ask 100 people a question and you will get 100 different answers”. Some people say there is no such thing, it’s the result of too vivid of an imagination (Who me?? Never!), too much time on my hands (snort), work of the devil, I must be doing something spiritually wrong to have those kind of experiences, I read too much, I watch too much TV, I need to have an exorcism and so on and so on. I have been told to read my scriptures more, say my prayers more, confess to my Bishop more (of what I’m not sure, although probably from watching too many of Kim’s YouTube videos hehe)), etc.

I have had paranormal experiences since I have been a very young girl. mostly good ones, a couple of very evil ones, mostly I feel are my ancestors, some are just “hanging around”. But for the most part I have felt like a “freak of nature” for lack of a better term. This past weekend I unexpectedly went home for a family funeral. One of my brothers picked me up from the city where I landed and then we drove another few hours out to where we were going. Out of the blue I decided to ask him if he had ever had these kind of experiences. I knew from a conversation of a couple of decades ago that he had had one and it had been the purest kind of evil (how’s that for an oxymoron) but then I moved to BC and we never spoke of it again.

Well much to my surprise he has. We spent the next couple of hours talking about it. A few days later I am spending the day with 2 of my other brothers and lo and behold one of them has at well, but only at the cabin which he now owns that my father had built many many years ago. In fact he even had a couple of pictures showing “ghostly hands” holding a rod of some sort. Both the hands and the rod in the hands are a very vivid white almost neon fluorescent. He really feels it is my dad being there. When I went back into the city to wait for my flight I happen to show my brother (the one that had picked me up earlier that week) and he thought it might have been a shovel, I thought it might have been a piece of driftwood as my dad used to collect them and I remember him having a couple of that size and shape in the cabin. When I showed Kim the pictures today he said it looked like a cane and did my dad ever have one. Through our conversation it came out that instead of a cane it could very well be a walking stick that he had made which Kim inherited when he died. These pictures were very very recently taken. Odd that the pictures are taken so near the time that I have the feeling to ask my brothers about this kind of activity.

I just finished reading the book “When Ghosts Speak” that I found VERY interesting. A lot of what the author says I already knew or had/have experienced but there were a couple of points that made me think hmmmm. She had a couple of pages of pictures and when I looked at them the hairs on my arms and back of my neck stood up. I don’t know how many pictures like those I have thrown away over the years thinking that the photo developers had screwed up or I had something on my lens etc.

What my question is, what do you think of paranormal activity? Does it exist? If you feel they do, do you think they are from people that died but for whatever reason never crossed through the light or do you think they are spirits that never gained a body? Do you think that once someone has died does that spirit now have the capability to go back and forth? What do you base your answers on?

Inquiring minds want to know.

41 thoughts on “Paranormal Activity

  1. Mum

    As you know, I do believe it exists, or rather that our loved ones aren’t very far from us. The spirit world is around us. For example, although I wasn’t there, when my grandma died, I knew my grandpa was there the night before she passed away, waiting to take her. And I had that confirmed by someone who was there, that they felt this too.

    Another thing, I always feel my babies to come, their presence, a good long time before I even become pregnant. That’s the pre-existence of course, so I don’t know how that works, but I always know they are somewhere letting me know they are coming. But I don’t feel them when I am pregnant, I guess they don’t need to bug me by then (of course they never NEED to bug me, they just do).
    I saw those pictures today… yes does look like a walking stick but then of course maybe I am saying that because Kim suggested it to me?? lol. But it’s a stick of some type!

  2. Many Mormons do report experiencing paranormal activity. They expect spirits of the dead to visit the temple to watch ordinances being performed and often testify of their presence. They report visitations of ancestors in their dreams and in their bedrooms.

    As long as you package it in appropriate Mormon-speak, talk in hushed tones, leave the story hazy except for a clear gospel compatible message and call it sacred you can probably share with about half of the active members of your ward.

    Anything else results in eye rolling and even accusations of spiritualism. Odd isn’t it given JS’s story, the early history of the church and our belief of the importance of redeeming our dead?

    Yes, like you I am aware that the dead visit the living and as Mary says that the spirit world is around us.

    But as a serious amateur photographer I am very skeptical of “paranormal” images in photos, there are just too many natural explanations for how those strange looking images got there.

  3. Howard, I started having these experiences when I was 4 or 5, long before I became a Latter Day Saint. The replies I get when I do venture out and speak about them are from members and non-members alike.

    I would be interested in your reasons for natural explanations for images in pictures.

  4. Smilesonly,
    While photos look very realistic to our eyes, any photo is just a 2 dimensional approximation of a 3 dimensional scene. This brings into play many technical issues such as; lens resolution, lens distortion, reflections of lens aperture blades and depth of field, etc. which can account for out of focus or strange looking images and even “images” of spots, globes and polygons that do not exist. Flying insects in front of the camera can at the right distance produce strange out of focus shapes. There are also camera malfunctions such as light leaks and double exposures.

    Example: I used a telephoto lens to shoot an out of focus image of someone standing far away on a beach. From that distance the lens could not resolve the finer facial features like nose, eyes and mouth but partially resolved their head and body. When I enlarged the image it looked convincing like a faceless ghost.

  5. FWIW:

    “Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes, they do. Do they both inhabit one kingdom? Yes, they do. Do they go to the sun? No. Do they go beyond the boundaries of the organized earth? No, they do not. . . . Can you see it with your natural eyes? No. Can you see spirits in this room? No. Suppose the Lord should touch your eyes that you might see, could you then see the spirits? Yes, as plainly as you now see bodies” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 3:362).

  6. Kim so are you saying all of the spirits I have seen or sensed around me for say 45 years is a figment of my imagination?

    Howard how would you explain using 1 roll of film about the same exact spot and some show the item in question and yet nothing was moved. Same camera same film same photographer?

  7. Sally,
    It would help to see the photos. Was the camera solidly mounted, say on a tripod? Was a remote shutter release used? Were the photos taken indoors? If the answers to any of these questions is “no” it is unlikely that nothing moved between frames.

  8. The BY quote teaches us much about the spirit world.

    When he says; “Can you see it with your natural eyes? No. Can you see spirits in this room? No.” Does this mean that no mortal can see spirits? No! I think he is simply taking into consideration the general capabilities of his audience. Many Profits, GAs and members testify that they have seen spirits.

  9. On my mission I was on exchanges. In the middle of the night I woke up with the distinct impression that someone was in the room. Almost immediately I got a very strong feeling they were not there to see me and I went right back to sleep. The next morning the missionary I was with got a call from home; his father had died during the night.
    Now I didn’t see or hear anything, and I am not comfortable offering up any definitive statements on what did or did not happen, or about “spirits” on the whole. I am just sharing and you can make of it what you will.

  10. Camera was not on a tripod, all shots were outside and there is nothing in the vicinity (like a branch from a tree etc) that would account for the rod being there. I am pretty sure there was no shutter release used as it was just a regular camera. The people in the picture moved as they were walking towards the cabin but he “objects” are on the side of them closer to the person taking the picture. I would have to get permission from my brother to release the pictures as they are his.

    Kim I would have to disagree with Brigham Young when he says “can you see it with your natural eyes.. no” I can and do.. he goes on to say “…in this room”.. maybe he just means those in that room at that moment could not see anything.

  11. Sally,
    Well, many things move around when you are outside without a tripod including the camera, the Sun or Moon and the even people in your pictures.

    It’s hard to guess at what might have been going on without seeing all the prints and negatives.

    “Ghostly” images often means out-of-focus. Could someone have been carrying something that looks like a rod near the camera lens? Do the ghostly hands and rod also appear in the negatives on only the prints?

  12. “Both the hands and the rod in the hands are a very vivid white almost neon fluorescent.”

    This sounds like a description of over exposure as if the hands and rod were in stronger light and nearer the camera than the people.

    It also sounds like a description of double exposure possibly caused by; a film winding malfunction, exposing the film while loading or while developing. “Pin hole” cameras are fun toys for children. They make images without a lens, just a box with film inside attached to the back wall and a pin hole in the front wall.

  13. Howard

    I have seen the pictures, and it is a definite object. I would say out of focus too.

  14. I don’t believe in paranormal activity at all.
    I have yet to see and evidence for it in any convincing controlled environments. Most of what I’ve seen discussed is non-repeatable personal anecdotes like the ones here.

    I’d explain most of it by instances of hallucination or mental illness. Mental illness is also known to have a genetic factor, so it’s not uncommon to see whole families who share certain delusional experiences.

  15. Rick,
    I have yet to see any evidence for a testimony of the gospel in any convincing controlled environments.

  16. Rick,
    Yes, we’re discussing the paranormal.

    Joseph Smith encountered some paranormal activity. Do you assume that mental illness accounts for his experiences?

  17. Howard,

    Rick doesn’t believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, so this argument won’t work with him. He probably does think mental illness accounted for it…or hallucinations.

  18. B/Y says natural not spiritual Kim.. or do you figure they are one and the same?

    Rick… WHOOHOOO.. All this time I thought our family was dysfunctional.. now I find out we have gotten upgraded to delusional! :-D ..doing the happy dance!

  19. I’m not sure it’s an upgrade, Sally.

    Dysfunction implies that there’s something you can do about it, while delusional people often can not.

    Which form of clinical psychology are you qualified in, Mary?

    I honestly believe that some people embrace irrational behaviours – they may be programmed to do so by their genes.

  20. Rick, didn’t realise I was making a clinical analysis. But I can promise you that my mother doesn’t suffer from mental illness.

    if you are referring to what I was saying to Howard, I was just letting him know you don’t believe he was a prophet so since you already said you believe it would either be hallucinations or mental illness you would believe it was either or for Joseph Smith (which you are of course entirely entitled to believe in). I don’t think he is aware that you aren’t a member of the church.

    Where did you get the idea I was claiming to be trained in clinical psychology? You know, one of these days you should actually try to talk to me on a personal level rather than just assume you know all about me strictly from my comments here. You don’t.

  21. While no longer a therapist, I did play one for several years. I still say I am nutrageous. Rational behaviour is only determined by the majority, not by reality.

  22. Mum,

    “Suppose the Lord should touch your eyes that you might see, could you then see the spirits? Yes, as plainly as you now see bodies”.

  23. “Rational behaviour is only determined by the majority, not by reality.”

    This is not true – that is populist behaviour, which is quite different.

    I am using ‘rational’ in the sense that the act must be logically sound, which for the stories of paranormal experiences I’ve seen, it is not the case.

    Mary, I just wanted to know if your statements regarding Sally were just a testimony or if they were a diagnosis.

  24. Something is only logically sound because it is generall accepted that most people in a given situation would do it in that way. This alludes to the problem of judging history by today’s standards or vice-versa. Rational behoviour is organic and changes over time.

  25. Ah I see. I saw it as sarcasm, sorry, my mistake. No, I am just saying that knowing my mother in law very well she is not mentally ill and I am quite sure she isn’t hallucinating. I also believe she is very close to the Spirit (I know she is). Now, I do know that you are skeptical of that and respect that opinion, but knowing my mother in law (and also knowing experiences I have personally have) I believe her experiences are real. Not that I can explain them, however. I just believe what she says about them.

  26. “Something is only logically sound because it is generally accepted that most people in a given situation would do it in that way”

    Logically sound has nothing to do with how many people would do it what way. It has to do with moving forward in justifiable logical steps.

  27. Logical steps has everything to do with how you see the world. If a person assume from the start that paranormal activity is not true, any assumptions based on the premice that the paranormal exists would then be judged illogical. Unless you have a handle on ultimate truth, then every argument is based on something. That something is a persons way of engaging the world, or their paradigm so to speak.

  28. so then Kim are you saying that I can only see spirits if the Lord touched my eyes? How does one differentiate between His touching one’s eyes and one just being able to?

    Rick.. there are some things you can not explain or understand but that you can not deny.

    My husband does not believe in the paranormal. Period. Even experiencing the examples I first mentioned above. He says that he believes that I believe and that others believe but that he does not. We will be in the same room at the same time and he will jump when something happens and I’ll say “See?? Did you see that?” and he will just say no I jumped cause you startled the crap out of me… even though we would be sitting a few inches apart.

    He has woken up just seconds after I have woken up in the middle of the night, not because he has heard the same thing that has woken me up but because he is so in tuned with me he senses I have woken up and something is wrong.

    Go figure

  29. “Logical steps has everything to do with how you see the world”

    If that’s how you define logic, you and I must agree to disagree. I see logic as a much more reliable and universal notion than you do, apparently.

  30. I am okay with agreeing to disagree. Good fun though.

    My universal premise that I like to make all my steps from is the possibility that I do not know everything. So from there it is pretty easy to accept some things might be happening in this world that I do not understand.

  31. We’ve all had paranormal experiences at one point in our lives. I used to think that i could “see” things when i was a child, but you never know they couldve been real..

  32. My sister used to hear my nephew talking away in his bedroom when he was 2 or 3. Never anyone else in the room. She just thought he had an “imaginary friend”. One day they were unpacking a box, she found a picture of his paternal grandfather, who had died many years before my nephew’s birth. She put it in a frame and put it on the mantle. My nephew came home from pre-school and said, “Oh, there’s Grampa!”. My sister was surprised as he had never seen a picture of his grandfather before, although of course they had talked about him. My sister asked how he knew that it was his Grampa and my nephew said, “Well, he comes and visits me sometimes”. The next time she heard my nephew talking away in his room she went and stood in the doorway and when he finished talking she said, “Who are you talking to?” and he said, “Oh Grampa and I are just visiting”. The “visits” lasted until he was about six and then slowly stopped. My nephew still remembers his “talks” with his Grampa. I’ve had several experiences – not as dramatic as this – with ancestors. To this day, every time we have a family get together my mother (who loved Stellars Jays) makes her presence known by sending a Jay to join the party.

  33. VERY interesting read here. I had several instances as a boy that scared the “jesus” out of me, one was actually in a Church service.

    Why is it that so much of the paranormal activity seems to happen in 3rd world countries vs the U.S.?

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