Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy All Saints Day!!!

A cartoon to brighten your evening!

The Need for Breaks From This Field

by Mike Chapman

A friend of mine phoned me yesterday and we had an interesting conversation. It centered around the idea of the need to take occasional breaks from paranormal investigating and in his and my case, demonology. Occasionally, those of us who are extremely busy with cases and handling clients who are disturbed by activity (and sometimes that activity is due to demonic, evil spirits) get so caught up in the flow of the case that we become what pilots often call "target focused." Combat pilots have become so fixated on their targets that they have sometimes flown right into the target rather than releasing their bombs and moving away to safety after the release. They don't release the bomb and take evasive action. It has happened enough in the past that aviators have a term for it: target fixation. Those of us in this field, especially leaders, can get like that sometimes, over-focused and over-fixated on "the work" (as it is often called)...on cases, the team, the people, the needs, the wants, etc. Make no mistake, there is always someone asking for help, another family who is having problems, another phone call or trip that you need to make. Then too, is the fact that we have other priorities in our lives that we may be neglecting, such as our own spouses, our children, friends, Church, or our work - which provides our income and support for our families.

So what do you do? It isn't easy to make a client wait or tell someone I can't help you right now, but sometimes it has to be done. My friend who phoned me is close to exhaustion, and I have been there too. It is an exhaustion on several levels: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, relational, and volitional. The tank - or cup - is empty. I remember when I was a missionary in Russia, in Moscow, just after the fall of communism. When I traveled through the subway tunnels, the poor and destitute would stand in long lines with their hands out begging for money. One had to walk this gauntlet every day just to get on and off the subway trains. It was tough, but there was simply no way to put money in every hand. It wasn't as if I had an abundance of money myself. This was 1993 and 1994, and my salary was a whopping three hundred dollars a month. The sad truth is, you can't meet the need by yourself.

This is why it is critical to understand the principal of giving out of the overflow.

We human beings are receptacles of God's grace and mercy as He works in our lives. He fills up our lives, our cups if you will, with His presence and His grace. That presence and grace, and its attendant mercies, is what gives us the "stuff" with which to give to others. We pass that on much like a conduit or mirror, by and through which God is reflected and poured out to and onto others. The important thing to understand is that we are not static, fixed individuals but live dynamically in an ever-changing world with ever-changing circumstances. We are always changing in our conditions and states of existence. Our emotional flow, mood, attitude, strength, physical well being, relationship health with people in our families, our workmates, our extended family, our friends, our spiritual always shifting and changing. I could go on and on about how we are in a constant state of flux in both our inner and outer being. So it is with God's grace and presence within us. As we receive, we are to give out of that flow. The analogy would be that as God fills up our cup (our life) we are most effective when we minister and give to others out of the overflow.

When we give and give at a rate that is faster than what we take in or allow God to give to us, we empty out. Soon we are simply giving out of ourselves and frustration, burnout and depression can set in. That is when we must realize we have gone too far, and we must pause the giving and get back to receiving. Notice I didn't say stop the giving, just pause it. We must take the time necessary (and sometimes that can be quite a while) to fill the cup up to where it is overflowing and we can start giving again. Christ Himself often went away to the wilderness to get away from the crowds and the people and yes, to get away from meeting the needs. Why? Because He needed to be refilled by the Father. Any careful reading of the Gospels will reveal that He did this often and regularly. If Christ was God, then how much more do we need such a practice in our own lives? As team members and teammates, we need to give permission and encouragement to one another as this arises, as we "withdraw for a season" to take breaks away from the team and away from giving. Many good things happen when we do that...we get refilled, and others have the opportunity to step up - including the clients themselves. My good and very giving friend said on the phone to me yesterday that he was going to "take a break" from all of his investigating and demonology efforts for a bit.

With the above in mind, I think his is a very wise choice.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Horror Film Festival A Success and a Blast!

Photo at Left: Team Leaders from three of Mississippi's Paranormal Investigation Teams at the Horror Film Fest in Jackson on Saturday, left to right: Mike Chapman of NAPS of Natchez; Shelly Beard of MSSPI of Batesville, and David Childers of Truth Seekers Paranormal of Vicksburg.

What a blast! It was good to see familiar faces and some new ones at the Mississippi International Film Festival - Horror Genre, on Saturday. NAPS members Mike Chapman, Kim Frith, and Mike and Kimberly DeLorenze manned the booth for the NAPS Team. Lauren S helped out also during the afternoon and evening. These members spent the day interacting with the public, showing them EVP, photo and video evidence from cases, explaining and answering questions about the paranormal, and how our team helps people and families in need.

To Select Team Members:
I (Mike) want to thank Team Members Kim Frith, Kimberly & Michael DeLorenze and Lauren S for their hard work and dedication to make this show and our booth such a tremendous success. People, even those on our own Team, have no idea of all the hours and hours of extremely hard work, time, sweat and money that ya'll put into making our presentation and booth so professional, informative, and visually appealing. All that hard work pays off in offering the public a really well done presentation. Your efforts also help the paranormal field at large, because in presenting our field to the public in such a creative and professional way, they take us much more seriously. Even those associated with the paranormal who saw us yesterday often commented, "Ya'll are truly the real deal!!!" One of our primary goals as a Team is to change the way Mississippians and Louisianians think about the paranormal and those of us who investigate it. Due to your extremely hard work, sacrifice and dedication, you are changing minds and paradigms inside of people about how they think of us and the field. Yes, it is also difficult and hard work to haul all that equipment and gear around, pack it, load it, carry it in and out, pack it back up and unload it again, but it is worth it! (We are also getting that process down too!) Thank you! 

Photo at Left: NAPS Team Leader Mike Chapman demonstrates the MEL REM ATDD Meter to other paranormal investigators.

Challenge to NAPS Team:
To our other team members: I challenge each of you to take part in these shows, because it will deepen your understanding of the field, and how you fit into it. When you work all day at explaining and talking to real people about what we do, it changes you and expand your horizons. It's hard to explain that feeling, but it will happen! You need to take part in this at some point - not every show, but some of them. It will make you feel really good at what you do with NAPS and help you see that paranormal investigating is not just investigations and outings, but is about identity as a person and educating the general public. So, please get involved in the future - take the time out of your schedule to take part in these occasionally. We don't do these shows that often, and I'm not asking you to do every one of them, just take part every once in awhile on one. I certainly realize you have other interests and families. I guarantee you, you will come away truly blessed, so it's for your own growth and benefit that I ask you to get involved. Trust me on this.

A Bit About Our Presentation Booth:
From left to Right, our booth displayed the following: We had a large 42" high-definition TV showing a looping Power-Point presentation about NAPS. Lauren S was responsible for this presentation, and she did an amazing job - thanks Lauren! It had sections on Who we are and What we do, our Methodology; our Team; the recent investigation at Magnolia Hall; our Equipment; and samples of our Evidence. We plan to continue to improve this slide show by adding additional evidence, especially short video clips! We also plan to expand our Power Point library of presentations designed for various audiences and purposes. This, our first one, was designed for shows like this one.

Photo at Left: Kim Frith prays at the left-hand portion of our booth during the Saturday show in Jackson, Mississippi.

We next had one of our High-Def infrared cameras on a tripod with a TV monitor pointed at passers-by, so they could see themselves and see what they look like on infrared camera. This was a big hit, and offered an interactive treat with those who came by our booth. It drew lots of laughs and smiles. They could see themselves in the familiar look of what they see on Paranormal TV shows, of the eerie way a person looks in infrared. [One thing we decided we would do in the future is to record this, as some of the interaction and responses were priceless - things we could show clips of in the future to draw laughs and help people have a good time!] In front of these TV's was a sign-up sheet for our monthly newsletter The Guardian, and a cover of the newsletter itself in an attractive plastic stand-up display. We had over 16 people sign-up for this by using this sign-up form. Kim Frith manned this portion of the booth for most of the day.

Next in line was a large spread of some of our equipment that we use on investigations, including EMF detectors and meters, photographic cameras and camcorders, ITC and EVP recorders; atmospheric instruments and static pods, samples of trigger objects, and our communications equipment. Items like the FLIR i7 camera made a big hit during the show as people got to look at each other through the thermal imaging system. Mike Chapman manned this section of the booth. People were very impressed with our equipment and were amazed at what all goes into an investigation.

Photo at Left:
NAPS Lead Tech Michael DeLorenze plays EVP evidence for a couple of ladies at our booth.

Next was our EVP and audio evidence portal, which was a dedicated laptop showing Wavepad audio software. Michael DeLorenze would play select EVP that we had collected for people to listen to. He had a splitter with two sets of headphones on it so two people could listen at the same time. It was a big hit, and peoples' eyes would grow large as they listened to spirit voices. Then, on another dedicated laptop, Kimberly DeLorenze had video and photo evidence that people could see of us in action with anomalies such as true orbs and ghost photos. This also was a big hit.

Finally, there was a very impressive large display board on an easel with much of our printed evidence photos and information from select investigations. This display was put together by Kim Frith and caught a lot of attention. The booth overall was professionally presented with black floor-length table cloths, signage, colorful images, TV and computer screens, and friendly, helpful and informative people manning each section. We also had a portion of one table with items for sale, such as bumper stickers, shirts, and hats. This is something we came away with yesterday as wanting to put more effort into in the future, to raise more money for the team, as we are a non-profit organization that needs donations and sales in order to operate. Yesterday we brought in $42. Not great, but a start in the right direction, as every dollar counts.

A lot of detailed thought and planning went into our booth, and even more work to execute it. We come away from shows like this (and the Fright Fest last February) with a written list of new ideas and improvements to incorporate into our booth going forward. We compiled a list yesterday of how we can get even better, but I must say it was very impressive and I was very proud of NAPS! We also were approached about participating in three upcoming venues in the future. Good work guys!!! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

SuperTalk Radio: Scraps of Additional Info

Here is some information left over from my notes in preparing for the Paul Gallo SuperTalk Radio Interview from a couple of weeks ago:

Gallo had asked me to give my opinion on top haunted sites in the entire State of Mississippi.

My take:

The Top Haunted City: Natchez (prove me wrong!)

Next Most Haunted City: Vicksburg

This only makes sense because they are the oldest. For the following, keep in mind that I am naming only PUBLIC sites and not private homes and people...

Top Haunted Locations Around the State:
(The most commonly known):

Natchez - King's Tavern, Old Adams County Jail, Magnolia Hall, Glenburnie (the Goat Castle Murder), Longwood, Linden, The Towers, Stanton Hall, the Natchez Trace, City Cemetery, Springfield Plantation, The Cedars, Monmouth, Devil's Punchbowl area, Natchez-Under-the-Hill, Dunleith, etc.

Vicksburg: McCraven House, Cedar Grove (owned by friends of mine in Natchez), Duf Greene, the Military Park and associated properties, Adolf Rose Building on Clay Street, Old Kuhn Memorial State Hospital

Others Around the State:
Merrehope in Meridian, Rock n Roll Graveyard in Ocean Springs, Old Capitol in Jackson, Old Regional Hospital in Biloxi, the Old Hospital in Batesville.

Other Miscellaneous but Interesting scraps about Natchez that weren't mentioned on the Show and most people don't know about:

The Native American Indian presence in the Natchez Area goes back many, many hundreds of years. By the time the French arrived in the late 1690's - for example - the Emerald Mound site (2nd largest mound in U.S.) had already been abandoned. The mound builders were actually the predecessors of the Natchez Indians.

White Man's History in Natchez:

1542 - Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto comes through the area and makes contact with Indians

1682 - Spanish explorer La Salle comes through the area

1698 - French missionaries settle with Natchez Indians

1700 - French settle area with Fort Panmure (later Fort Rosalie)

1725 - The Natchez Chief dies, known as the "Sun" - he goes by the name "Tattooed Serpent." Upon his death as recorded by the French, many in his entourage commit ritual suicide in order to accompany him into the after life, including his wives, and several chief assistants. Many Indian mothers in the tribe also sacrifice their infant babies during this mourning time. This is a very dark side of the Natchez that many don't speak about, but provides a very ominous spiritual history over the site that is demonic.

1729 - Indian rebellion results in a massacre of French forces, French counter attack and end the Natchez Indians being in Natchez

May 7, 1840  The Great Natchez Tornado strikes, second worst tornado in US history, killing 317 people and injuring countless more. Many people do not know this about Natchez.

April 23, 1940, almost exactly 100 years later, a fire breaks out at a black club called the Rhythm Night Club. 207 African Americans died.

Betcha didn't know all that about Natchez!!!  Also, if you have ideas about other very commonly well known sites around the State - post them in the comments section! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NAPS TEAM Notice: Upcoming Dates!

Notice of Important Dates.
All team members are strong asked and encouraged to attend any and all of these!

Saturday, October 22  Paranormal Team Booth
International Film Festival: Horror Genre Segment 
NAPS Public Information Project
Jackson, MS
11:00am - Evening

Tuesday, October 25  Natchez History 
Natchez Historical Society Monthly Meeting
NAPS Support of Natchez History Opportunity
108 Commerce Street in downtown Natchez
Natchez, MS
6:30pm Social time & refreshments
Speaker: H. Clark Burkett

Thursday, October 27  NAPS Paranormal Presentation
Adams County Nursing Home
NAPS Paranormal Education Seminar
Natchez, MS
3:00pm - 4:00pm

Thursday, October 27  Ghost Tales Talk
Historic Jefferson College
Kay McNeil, Historian
NAPS Public Relations & Support Effort
Washington, MS
6:30pm start

Friday, November 4    Team Meeting
Civil Defense Offices (basement of Sheriff's Office)
Natchez, MS
6:30pm start

Sunday, November 6  Meadvilla Cemetery Clean-Up
NAPS Community Service Project
Washington, MS
Please - We need everybody on this one!!!!

Two Team Demonologists Join Paranormal S.W.A.T.

Two  of our leading demonologists, Mike Chapman and Kim Frith, were recently invited to join Paranormal S.W.A.T. (Spiritual Warfare Assistance Team) based out of Memphis, Tennessee, and led by demonologist Angela Ashton. This national group of professional and mature Christian demonologists and clergy members are working demonic cases as well as suspected demonic cases all over the nation. It is made up of the finest, most professional Christian demonologists and clergy members available who are trained and have experience in dealing first-hand with demonic cases. To be accepted into the Team one has to be proven in the field of demonology with background training and experience. It is open to only Christian demonologists who adhere to a strict set of guidelines and protocols.

Mike was contacted first by Ashton, and was asked to join. "After seeing the quality of people involved and their thoroughness and very like-minded approach to our own demonology unit's methods and protocols, I readily accepted. Their rules, guidelines, protocols, strategies...all were exactly the same as ours. It is a perfect fit, and I'm excited to know there are other like-minded, passionate individuals out there. I've been busy ever since...I just thought my case load was high before!," Mike explained. "I am very impressed with many of the other team members and in Angela. She is the real deal."

Mike was then instrumental in getting Kim Frith involved, as his case load is very high. Kim has become a strong demonologist in her own right, and specializes in working directly with clients, establishing a strong relationship with them and doing follow-up work and long-term care, which is crucial. When a possible demonic case came up in Gulfport, with Mike already involved in a case in Biloxi, Ashton expanded the P-SWAT rules to take two members from one paranormal team into Paranormal S.W.A.T. Due to P-SWAT's case load being very high in this region, the fact we are sorely needed and our Team has quality people who are well trained and experienced, Kim was readily accepted. Mike explained, "Our N.A.P.S. demonologists in our Spiritual & Occult Research Unit are first of all accepted into our own Unit on the basis of their humility and mindset to do this work. I want them focused first on being, then the doing comes later. Apparently, that's what Angela is looking for also. Humility, being a team player, and understanding one's role as a follower of Christ are all keys in demonology work. We are aids to the clergy when a case is bad. We have our role, and the clergy has theirs. We suppliment and compliment one another."  

As Mike and Kim work with P-SWAT cases, the entire SOR Unit of Natchez Area Paranormal will be involved, and these individuals are well on their way to becoming strong, well-trained and experienced demonologists. They are Michael and Kimberly DeLorenze, and L. Smith, one of our investigators located in the Jackson, Mississippi area. These Unit members have worked demonic cases while in N.A.P.S., and are learning the calling. Mike emphasized, "This work will change you. It will increase your faith. I'm sure I speak for Kim when I say we are proud and honored to be associated with this group as Team Members."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Paranormal Historical Research: Cuz Edna Told Me!

This post is a re-post from a year ago. It is posted to remind all paranormal investigators of how quickly people will believe (and repeat) folktales stories that are very much untrue. It is a reminder to seek out primary and reliable sources rather than take for the gospel truth what people have heard other people say! Enjoy...

Four words heard recently by myself and another N.A.P.S. investigator are likely to go down in infamy - at least for us. They were spoken to me and co-founder Kim Frith during a conversation we were having with a couple of people who stopped us while we were doing historic research into King's Tavern at the George Armstrong library. One of the nice ladies was eagerly explaining to us about another friend who had described to her some experiences she had while at King's Tavern. Then, she uttered the words I'm almost weary of hearing, "You know, a long time ago they discovered the mummified remains of three people, a female and two males, hidden in a fire place wall with a dagger sticking in the chest of the female." Upon hearing this and unable to contain myself, I immediately slipped into law officer mode and (probably rudely) interrupted her and in a very flat tone with direct eye contact queried, "And on what basis of fact do you have to know that this ever actually happened?" Stunned that I would ask that, her body language said it all. She reacted like a child caught with her hand in the cookie jar.  The gig was up.  Trapped and knowing what she was about to have to say, her eyes went to the floor, her chin dropped slightly and she uttered the now infamous words, "Cuz Edna told me."

Kim and I exchanged a knowing look, with a twinkle in our eye.

You see, those iconoclastic four words sum up what paranormal historical researchers into ghost stories have come to know. People, especially us southerners, love our stories...especially our ghost stories. It is almost considered rude to stop the story-teller and question whether the story is actually true! Rather than ask the question themselves, they've passed the story on from one generation to the next, embellishing a little more in each succeeding generation, to where all semblance of fact fades and we're left with a mixture of truth and fable. I don't need to tell you which is more weighted than the other. Entertaining though it may be, this hardly provides a basis on which to factually investigate a site. Asked to provide a little epistemology (how do you know the truth), and they are busted. They don't refer to court documents, a historical book, or to a police or coroner's report. What do they always mutter: Cuz Edna told me.

It's enough to make a paranormal researcher shake his head and smile.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Demonology: Wearing a Collar to Provoke Not Wise

It has come to my attention recently that some people, even demonologists, attempt to provoke demons by wearing a clerical collar. I'd like to address that subject and provide my insight into that "practice." As far as using provocation itself, I do think that it is sometimes necessary in order to unmask a demonic presence or presences who are hiding and/or "masking" behind the scenes or even passing themselves off as a human spirit. It is standard operating procedure for demons to remain covert as long as possible, and some will go to great lengths to remain hidden. In fact, the Romanum Ritual was designed to do just that, draw out the demonic and force it out into the open. I do not subscribe to the view that says simply, "If it's demonic you won't have to provoke it." That belies common sense as well as experience that shows that demons strongly prefer to remain covert rather than overt. Simply showing up as a person deeply committed to God is not going to cause them necessarily to manifest or "uncover." This is especially true with powerful demons, whom it can sometimes take hours and even days of reciting scripture, going through the Rite, and prayer before it begins to manifest. So, religious provocation is indeed sometimes necessary, in my experience and in my opinion. However, there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. A better way to put it is to say there is the correct method and technique, there is the correct person, there is the correct moral approach, and the correct time. Thus, we arrive at the practice in question, using a clerical collar by a person who is not a clergy member in order to provoke the demon or demons into manifesting and making their presence known.

Simply put, I think the use of a clerical collar as stated in the sentence above is a very foolish and unwise gesture. To me, it is an issue of both identity and humility. Using a clerical collar when one is not a cleric or a priest is, on the face of it, dishonest. It is simply not who you are. To those who use a collar in order to do this I would ask, "Why are you pretending to be someone you are not? Do you not think the demon knows who you really are and that you are not an ordained priest or clergy?" How foolish, unprofessional and immoral. It's also quite dangerous. That is tantamount to going to a gunfight with a water pistol. In doing such a thing, you are guilty of impersonating something that you are not. That is, of course, not a very righteous or moral position to be in when confronting a demon, to be lying about who you are to something as unholy as a demon. Properly ordained priests and clergy have been called by God and gone through years of training and organizational processes of vetting, including sacred Rites of Ordination, in order to earn that distinction.

People who simply purchase a collar and put it on are therefore impostors of the worst kind, just as one would be if he or she were just a citizen but donned a police uniform and pinned on a badge and went around attempting to arrest bad guys! Such people never went through the vetting process of applying to be an officer with all the background, psychological testing and criminal checks, and then going through physical and medical exams, an interview process, and then the brutal law enforcement academy. Then, they raise their right hand and swear an oath and literally become held by law to a higher standard than the average citizen! The analogy is the same for ordained clergy and priests who wear the collar, and then someone comes along and just purchases the thing and straps it on? No. That is morally abhorrent and is as wrong as wrong can be. Those who do this should be exposed as the frauds and unprofessionals they are.

In both instances, it is the man or woman wearing the uniform, or in this case the collar, not the collar itself, that is relevant. A demon is going to be focused on the person and his character and spiritual vitality and how tied in they are with Jesus Christ, as to how they fear and respect who they are dealing with, not a simple piece of stiff fabric around one's neck, no matter how white. It is the "whiteness" of one's soul, not the whiteness and presence of a collar that is important. This whiteness is not the person's own righteousness, but how much they allow the Holy Spirit in and through Christ to operate in their life. The righteous person's identity is firmly rooted and based in Christ and therefore they have an identity that is powerful because of Christ in them (John 15). They are honest and humble before God in who they are as a human - recognizing God's place and worshipping Him, and knowing who they are within God's created order. So, this is what I call the identity problem with such a practice. The identity is being borrowed, even stolen - it is not their own. It is not genuine. For scriptural support I cite Acts 19:13-16 as what can happen if you assume to be who you are not: 

Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

The second problem I have with this, is the lack of humility, in that the person doing this is focused upon himself rather than in the power and strength of the Lord. It is closely related to the problem of identity, but involves, I believe, a bit too much pride and self-focus on behalf of the demonologist. By putting on a collar and attempting to provoke, a person is basically saying, "I am a man of God and I want you to come out from hiding and show yourself to me." In contrast to this, look at what even the Archangel Michael said to Satan in Jude 1:9-11:

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

Scripture seems to very clearly condemn those who take authority in their own hands and not give it to the proper Beings who have real authority. The passage above also seems to clearly condemn those who slander what they do not understand - in this case with foolish demonologists who don't respect the power of fallen angels, but angels nevertheless (they still retain their nature and power as angels). Being humble and knowing one's proper position and giving proper respect to those who are over you, is the heart attitude that God is looking very closely at. The prideful position of wearing a collar that you have not earned and attempting to take upon yourself a position of authority that you do not have is prideful, arrogant, and extremely foolish and dangerous.

It would seem to me the wise thing would be to use sacramentals, such as holy water, blessed oil, the sign of the cross, crucifixes, scripture, prayer, and the Rites as means of drawing out and exposing the demons - all done in the Name of Jesus Christ and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - rather than putting on a collar that one has not properly earned, and being focused on the "me" rather than Almighty God as the source of authority that makes the demons eventually expose themselves. Certainly, priests and clergy who have earned the collar may wear them, that is their right and even duty. Those of us who are truly Christian demonologists must remember our proper role, that of humbly aiding and supporting the Church as a whole and just doing our part in the ongoing spiritual war that is raging all around us. Our role and mission is diagnostic in nature - we are there to find out what is there, and if something paranormal, or preternatural is there, then do our best to find out who, but it must be done properly, and with a full, cogent understanding of our true identity and done in true humility, not in false identity and with overblown sense of self.

Yes, sometimes (in minor cases) we can deal with the demonic properly, but my own position is to not be a lone ranger, and to call in a priest or clergy and together, deal with a solution to clearing, exorcising, and binding the demon. To my way of thinking, it is the Church calling upon Jesus Christ that must deal with the dark powers...not lone rangers posing as clergy. The Church, properly understood, is those followers of Christ who are individually gifted with specific roles to play within the mission of God, who come together to accomplish and advance His kingdom. Indeed, 1 Peter 5:5 reads, "In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Meeting with Lorraine Warren & Tony Spera

On November 18-20, NAPS Team Leader Mike Chapman and Case Manager Kim Frith will be traveling to Monroe, Connecticutt, to meet Lorraine Warren and her son-in-law Tony Spera at her home. Lorraine hosts occasional events out of her home and speaks on her experiences as a paranormal investigator. Lorraine, along with her deceased husband Ed Warren, are two of the most widely known demonologists ever. Ed and Lorraine were involved in such famous cases as the Amityville Horror and the Smurl Haunting. Sadly, Ed passed away in 2006. Part of the evening consists of going with Lorraine to the cemetery to Ed's grave site to honor him. The evening provides direct time spent with Lorraine and asking questions and of course, taking pictures with her.

As a demonologist, I (Mike) have always wanted to meet Lorraine and get to speak with her. I set it aside this year, 2011, to make some conferences and trips and it hasn't worked out. I missed the AGS Conference and Midsouth Conference in Louisville. However, this trip will make the year a very successful one in that regard. Meeting Lorraine will more than make up for it, as I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for her and Ed's pioneering work. I respect them as religious, even Christian, demonologists. I can't wait!

After a dinner together, Lorraine will also be showing a video of an actual exorcism of a farmer from Monroe, Massachusetts, and her collection of artifacts from their famous cases. She will be sharing advice and tales from her experiences. It should be an amazing evening that will provide an opportunity to learn from one of the masters in the field.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Terrell Apparition Photograph

The Terrell Apparition Photo:
Taken by Sandra Terrell of Natchez, Mississippi, in late 2006, the rightmost yellow arrow points to an apparition of a lady in a cloak. Many people, when viewing this photograph, also note the face of a man to the left of her, indicated by the leftmost arrow. Some see even more faces, but clearly, the lady in the center is a full apparition and is very clearly seen. This particular photo at left is a cropped area of the original photo of the apparition itself, which is in the center of the original along a wooded grass strewn path or roadway. The scene was captured in the Potter's Field area of the Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez, Mississippi.

This amazing apparition photograph, which we are calling The Terrell Photograph, was taken in 2006 by amateur photographer Sandra Terrell in the Potter's Field area of the Natchez City Cemetery in Natchez, Mississippi. We have interviewed Sandra and her husband Allen, and enjoyed them telling us about the entire experience, including paranormal experiences regarding this photo since the original photograph was taken. We have documented the amazing story of when and where the photograph was taken, and have their interview recorded on both audio and video. The Terrell's have signed disclosure and truth statement documents authenticating that the photo is real and has not been altered or added to in any way. N.A.P.S. crop-enlarged the photo above so we could show you a close-up of the apparition itself.

At the time the shot was taken, none of the family members including Sandra, saw anything unusual. Sandra stated that she simply took a shot of the scenery, because she thought the path was particularly beautiful and striking. It was only later, when the photograph turned up at their home being printed off all by itself, that Allen noticed the apparition in the center. We plan to write much more on this photo in the coming weeks, once the busy months of October and early November are behind us. However, we wanted all of you to get an early view of this startling and amazing photograph of a woman in a hooded cloak. Both Sandra and Allen feel that this woman perhaps is reaching out to them and in effect saying, "Don't forget about us back here in the back of the cemetery like everyone else has." Potter's Fields are where paupers and indigents were buried, almost always without even a headstone to mark their passing. Remember that these were human beings just like you and me who had hopes and dreams, mothers and fathers, and lived and breathed here on this good earth. They lived their lives and then passed on and were buried without any seeming dignity, respect or memorial that they ever lived and died. We here at Natchez Paranormal believe that this woman made herself known to the Terrell family for a reason, and that her appearing to Sandra and entering the lives of her and her husband Allen was no coincidence.

Team Leader Mike Chapman and Case Manager Kim Frith were particular impressed with the Terrells as very quality people and are extremely credible. Their story is real.

More details on the Terrells and this photograph in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Myrtles Plantation: Explain This!

Natchez Area Paranormal conducts regular outings on the grounds of The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, LA in order to conduct training for current and new investigators, as well as trying out new pieces of equipment. We are only located about 45 minutes away, so it's an easy drive down to train on a site that we are extremely familiar with and have ample evidence from.

Last night, the Team held a Team Meeting in the restaurant while also having supper, and then proceeded into training. While outside, this FLIR i7 photograph was taken of the roof of the Myrtles. The ambient air temperature was 69 degrees. Attics during this time of year in our climate are usually much hotter than the outside air due to the heat build-up during the hot part of the day. So, how would you explain the temperature of the roof being BELOW freezing?

That's paranormal!

Note: When investigators arrived last night, the place was flooded with vehicles and people. The Myrtles is currently conducting Ghost Tours at night because it is October, the month of Halloween. NAPS believes in a phenomena called "Shadow Ruling" in which attention and focus given to the dark world results in giving it more power and influence. Hence, dark forces "shadow rule" through the naive, even unintentional credit and attention given to it (the Law of Attraction and the Law of Attention are in play here). We believe all of this attention and "celebration" last night of ghouls and ghosts "powered up" the negative preturnatural entities we know from experience are present on this site. For more on this concept, see George Otis, Jr's helpful book The Twilight Labyrinth: Why Does Spiritual Darkness Linger Where It Does? Chapter 7 is entitled: The Art of Shadow-Ruling. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Natchez Area Paranormal Society is Growing

Our Team currently has eleven very active and passionate investigators who are contributing. These individuals pay their dues regularly, come to the meetings, participate in all or most phases of our investigations, and subject themselves to regular, ongoing training. These are people who submit their time, financial resources, and effort into helping people and working hard to fulfill the stated purpose and goals of this volunteer, non-profit organization. To each of these eleven we have a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for. Yes, unfortunately we have had to dismiss people and/or put people on the inactive list for failure to maintain the high standards of the Natchez Area Paranormal Society.

Due to the collective efforts and hard work of these eleven individuals, we are growing! Your hard work is paying off! We are expanding both horizontally and vertically. The vertical growth is exciting to us as leaders because we are all learning new techniques, the equipment, and improving our skills. The horizontal growth is important for numbers of people involved, because it simply takes numbers to divide the work-load. The eleven active investigators we have is a great base for a Team to work from, and I'm proud of each of you. Yes, there is much more work to be done as far as mastering the equipment and improving our skills, but we are well on our way. I'm especially proud of our Team Leaders, such as Kim F, Kim D, Michael D, and Benjie S. I can't say enough about your very, very hard work, dedication, and contributions on all levels. Special thanks to Lauren S for her work on the S.O.R. Unit this year and especially this summer and for her research into Longwood; to Cheryl F for her research into The Myrtles Plantation and for her constant steadiness and consistency on the Team! 

Also, more help may be on the way, as four individuals are currently in the process of applying for membership. These individuals could be a great asset to the Team with their combined particular areas of gifts and skill sets, including areas of spiritual knowledge (including occult knowledge), research and writing, general investigative knowledge, passion and enthusiasm, character and hard work ethic, as well as information technology, including software, video & photo editing, website and computer knowledge. 

We expect and trust that each will be successful in their application attempts and settle in to the long process and training road to become a full-fledged paranormal investigator! To the four of you, thanks for applying and for the display of interest and enthusiasm for this field of work! Your energy and interest is a shot in the arm for those of us who've been doing this for awhile. As for the long road ahead of you, just think, a year from now when you welcome new applicants in, how much you will have learned and grown as an investigator and as a person! Good luck and God bless each of you as you set about this new endeavor.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Magnolia Hall Investigation on TV Starting Tonite

Starting this evening at 8:00pm on local CableOne Channel 9, Natchez TV will begin airing the first of fifteen showings this month of our paranormal investigation into Magnolia Hall.

The episode at Magnolia Hall was directed and produced by Eric Glatzer. We are looking forward to seeing the show, and getting the additional exposure in our home region. Thanks to Eric and all the ladies at Magnolia Hall and The Natchez Garden Club...thank you so much for inviting us and for being so receptive!

Thanks also to the builder of Magnolia Hall, Thomas Henderson, for showing up the other night...

Natchez TV airs in the following time slots on CableOne Channel 9: Tuesdays and Thursdays at  8:00pm; Saturdays at 5:30pm, and Sundays at 8:30pm for the entire month of October.

Supertalk Radio next Wednesday at 8:00am
N.A.P.S. Team Leader Mike Chapman will be live on Supertalk Radio next Wednesday morning at 8:00am. He will be discussing the investigation into Magnolia Hall last month and other aspects of paranormal investigating. Supertalk radio is a Statewide commercial talk radio program than has at least 8 stations across Mississippi that carry the show. Go to for more information.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Natchez Democrat Article and The Bigger Picture

The Natchez Democrat front page article and the Natchez TV filming of us at Magnolia Hall is sure to give us great exposure and helps people to know we exist. That is important because people who need help, first have to know there is help available. We are looking forward to seeing the show that Eric Glatzer is editing as we speak and is set to begin airing Thursday, the first of at least fifteen in the month of October. As for The Democrat article, admittedly it was a bit disappointing to see all the misspelled words and mistakes. It just shows the lack of understanding of most people regarding the paranormal, and for that matter, life-after-death. This should serve to remind our Team and heighten our awareness of the sheer ignorance and lack of knowledge that most people in our culture have regarding these subjects. We perform Christian rites in homes, not rituals. Our S.O.R. Unit goes in to help families with demonic activity, not SOAR. She couldn't get my name spelled correctly, even after visiting our site to get my phone number and seeing my name right there in black and white. Additionally, the word is spirit, not sprit, which she misspelled twice...and so on. This is a ministry, not a child's game. Know this very, very clearly: some get it, but most do not. But also keep this in mind: despite all of that, we are getting many very positive responses and feedback. 

Perhaps the lesson in this is for US...that we should clearly note and understand that far too many people have only a cliche type of understanding with their faith. Theirs seems to not be a faith based upon their own deep knowledge and prayerful study of scripture; but is, all too often, a borrowed "religion" of what they've heard some preacher scream from a pulpit. I read the comments on the article and frankly, found them not the least bit credible, but very typical of people who would go so far as to actually register (and pay the fee) to comment on Natchez Democrat articles to begin with. Truly! What I'm responding to below is for the team members who are a bit hurt or angered by the comments. So I see this as our Team's opportunity to get educated about the unlevel playing field we are playing on: you've got to understand what we're up against. The field is tilted against you, in two directions! So, I'll throw my team some red meat and speak to what I think is going on with those sorts of things. (Again, I found the comments a bit childish, not serious, and even a bit laughable...but in the coming months and years, our team should be educated about what to expect.)

I've stressed over and over again, and I'll repeat it here, that N.A.P.S. will draw fire and attacks from BOTH sides of the debate: from the radical, closed-minded empiricists who are steeped in scientism and refuse to believe in anything beyond this life. They claim that there is no such thing as a hell.  No amount of evidence you show these close-minded bigots will convince them. They are hypocrites of the highest order, and demand a standard from you that they don't adhere to themselves. They are as non-scientific as can be, and will accuse you of advancing your own pre-held notions, when it is they who are truly blind and close-minded, and cling to their biases despite all evidence to the contrary. We unashamedly admit we approach this subject from a Christian perspective. They act as if they are "scientific" and without bias. No. Everyone has a bias, they are dishonest in trying to pose as if they don't. We admit ours and stand ready to debate our position. They hide behind lies and blanket criticisms and make absurd claims without even knowing us, examining our evidence, going to one of our investigations or talking to our clients. I ask: who then is truly narrow-minded and "slow"?! We'll be happy to let reasonable and fair-minded folk answer that.

To my team: No, they are guilty of what they accuse you of. If their philosophical "ancestors" witnessed the miracles of Jesus Christ himself and those of Paul and still refused to believe, why would you ever think they will believe you?! Don't let fools like this dissuade you. Ignore them.  Period. They are misguided individuals who have been deceived by the evil one and whom you actually should pity. You should regard them as an adult regards a child: that the day will come (in this case the afterlife) when they will know the truth. I shudder at the shame as well as the possible judgment they may experience when they pass from this life and discover that their soul lives on. I abhor their dishonesty, ignorance and lies, but I pity them as people who one day will face the Almighty God. Terrifying thought! You should too and so pray for them.

On the other side of the coin, you will also always be attacked by a select group of Christians, especially fundamentalists, who are known to be extremely quick to judge and condemn but who are also known for their lack of deep biblical/scriptural exegesis. To be sure, millions upon millions of Christians, mainly in the Catholic traditions of Roman Catholicism, the Anglican and Episcopal Churches, and the Orthodox traditions, do believe that some humans go to a temporary state called purgatory. Many also understand that deceased souls can and regularly do make contact with the living. But these, mostly fundamentalists Christians, criticize us because we know that human spirits can make contact with living humans. It drives some of them absolutely crazy when we claim this and also claim to be Christians. Ignore them also, and their wrong-headed dogmatism. Know your scripture, because they don't. They are merely regurgitating the lines they have been programmed to speak. They don't think for themselves or dig into the Bible. Know that there is ample support of our views in the Bible and NOTHING in the Bible precludes them. Nothing. Let them rant and rail, condemn, and scream that we are dabbling in evil and the occult. They know not of what they speak, and you must forgive them and remain humble. They are the Pharisees of our time. They sit in pews and listen to others preach and talk, while you are out through all hours of the day and night in the homes of the terrified and frightened who are under attack. They passively sit and listen to their own leaders, while you go and minister to the downtrodden and advance God's kingdom. They talk, you act. Don't you dare let their condescending "Pharisee talk" get you discouraged or angry. Here again is a group who will criticise you without knowing you, seeing any evidence, going on an investigation, or talking to our clients. Remember this: sticks and stones... 

Instead, concentrate on who you are, the mission you have, and the clients that we help! Never ever do I need to see team members angered or deeply affected and hurt because of what the ignorant say. That is the enemy using those people to throw you off of your game. It isn't about them, it is about you staying on mission to help advance Christ's kingdom and rescue people from the dark kingdom. It's about soul rescue of those trapped in the beyond or praying them out of purgatory into God's presence. It's about loosing God's Spirit and binding the strong man and sending demons and devils to where Christ commands them go, and out of the lives and homes of the tormented who are our clients. Remember Melanie...Maddie...the Kents...the lady in Pomona, New York, and so on. Be aware of the enemy's strategy and how he uses biting criticism to discourage you and cause emotional upset. We will always be attacked from both sides, but remember as Christ said, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."

The bigger picture? Public exposure of N.A.P.S. and what we do is indeed painful sometimes, but is also very good. Call it growing pains! As I already mentioned, it helps people who are in need of the help that only we provide (not the atheistic, the blind, and those in denial of the afterlife nor the religious bigots who think they alone have a corner on truth but don't know their own Bibles) realize that we are available. Remember how many have told us they could never go to their pastor because he wouldn't understand or the people in their church would think they were crazy? Indeed, the first email I received after the Democrat article ran, began with, "Hi, I didn't even know you existed!" It was an email fully in support of what we do and implored us to ignore all of the ignorant criticism. Also, it isn't as if we don't have accountability - we do. We are constantly seeking to keep ourself in line with Christian orthodoxy (truth) and sound, scientific method. We are true to both. Another thing this publicity brings us is that it forces us to sharpen our focus and so be able to better articulate who we are and what it is we do. Our apologia (defense) is made better as we gain experience breaking down the arguments of those criticisms made against us and exposing their weaknesses. It also helps us to explain our own positions better. So, while all of this is in some ways painful, the bigger picture is that it makes us better able to help people (both alive and deceased) and advance God's kingdom. I salute and appreciate each and every one of you for your time, your hard work, your financial support and your fierce heart that you pour into this volunteer non-profit organization. Continue to fight the good fight! In the end, I guarantee you it will be worth it.