Written by Dan McMath
2 years with GOO!!! Well, not full time.....casual......very, very casual. When you dip your corn chips into many bowls, you start to find it hard to recognize the diffference bettween sour cream and salsa! And I'm not really one to be a skilled juggler. From promotios and bar work at my local club, presenting The Haunting Hours every week on Triple U FM, trying to do something with paranormal themed clothing, investigating occurences of the paranormal, getting sick, getting laid,getting ripped off, underpaid (....sorry. AC/DC just popped into my head). But there is one thing that always takes the number 1 spot, and that's family.
Over the past 7 years, my involvement with the world of the paranormal increased every year. Residential cases became quite regular. Add to that habitual travel to check out famous haunted sites and attend paranormal events, the search for answers started to take it's toll. Wandering around work sleep deprived and trying to motivate myself around the house started to become commonplace. Not that my family were concerned, it was more a "moment of clarity" thing that happened to me on an investigation a couple of months ago.
It was around 1 in the morning. I was sitting in the corner of a small bedroom in a house located in Eden on the far south coast. The occupier of the home had contacted me only a week prior to investigate strange noises being heard coming through the walls. The main sound being that of a crying baby. I know right!!!! Probably the creepiest sound you can hear in the dead of night in your own house is the cry of a baby.....especially when you don't have kids! Apparantly these sounds had gone on for around 2 weeks and the occupants were understandably shaken. Anyway, the couple had decided that they would travel up the coast for the weekend to attend a local race meet, so that meant I had the house completely to myself. Gotta love country hospitality. "Help yourself to anything in the fridge and cupboards." Yup. I obliged. Now, back to sitting in that corner.
As I mentioned, It was 1am and I had positioned myself in a room doing random evp sessions and waiting to hear the cry of a baby. Then. As clear as a bell. I heard it! Shivers ran up my spine as I said out loud to myself "Bullshit???" This can't be happening. It was way too clear and way too cliche. I jumped up waiting to hear it again. And I DID! Louder this time. This phanton baby's cries had become more frantic and pronounced. Like a baby screaming for a bottle. Wait a minute. FUCK!!!! For fucks sake Dan. It's a crying baby next door. My heart slowly returned to it's normal rythm as I slunk down onto the floor in a steaming pile of relief and disappontment. Was this what has been going on for the last 2 weeks next door? Do the occupiers know that next door has (by the sounds of it) a new born baby? I threw the digital recorder i was clutching across the room and proceeded to go outside for a smoke. 10 mins and 3 smokes later, I was back in the house packing up my gear, loading up the car and heading back 5 hours north. What a fucking waste of time and energy. It wasn't the first time I have been asked to investigate a house only to find a perfectly logical explanation. In fact, 37 out of 41 cases turned up nothing but mice, rats, refridgeration condensors, faulty televisons etc. But it was the first time I had stopped and thought to myself "Nothing new here". Exactly. No different data collected to any other 'evidence' I had logged over the years. And more poignantly, no closer to answers for myself. It was there and then I decided that if I were to make any headway to questions I had about the paranormal, It was in the data I had already attained. I needed to take a break from active investigating and review what I had already experienced over the last years.
So no more investigating, paranormal events, paranormal streetwear or GOO...well, no more for 12 months. I need to take a year off to not only concentrate part time on my paranormal research, but most importantly get back to what's important. Time with my family and fixing up the house we bought 18 months ago ( I think I can only keep saying "next week dear" so often).
Am I going to miss GOO and everything that came along with it? Of course! As I said earlier, I wasn't exactly a massive contributor. But it's surrounding myself with GOOd people that makes it all worth while. Alex, Danni, Ellie, Peet, Megan and Amanda. A crazy mix of peeps that wouldn't hesitate reaching out to you if you needed a helping hand. "Shirt off their backs" kinda stuff. And this is basis of the Aussie paranormal community. Good people. Good friends. Don't take the word 'good' for granted! When I say good, I mean amazing! Since discovering that a paranormal community actually existed out there (throuh the magic that is social media), I can only say good things (There's that word again). Now, words like para-unity have been bandied about over the years and subsequently quashed by nay sayers. I hear all the time about paranormal teams and how they don't get along, and that information should be shared, and this guy's a twat and that chick's up herself, and that team doesn't know the difference between ectoplasm and cheesecloth. So what! None of the above affects what I do. And from what I hear, it hasn't directly affected anyone I know in the field. Pointing fingers and hurling words isn't really constructive. I'll admit, I've been guilty of it. Hell, I awarded Gary Mannion a "Paranormal Knob Jockey of the year" award on The Haunting Hours just 2 nights ago! But there is a difference between fun, and being negative.
The Australian Paranormal Community ( or The APC, because we just love anagrams ) is predominately filled with good people. Nay. The best people! And I just wanted to say to each and every one of you.....thank you. You are a credit not just to all things spooky, but to humanity in general. Kind, positive, big hearted and friendly people who are not afraid to stand up for what is right, which is exactly what the world needs at the moment.
So, until 2018 ( or if I see you at Paracon 2017 ), I bid the all farewell. Thank you to Alex and crew once again, a big welcome to Tina and Johnathon and thank you to everyone for being who you are. Stay positive, stay safe and most importantly......stay spooky! Happy New Year!
Written by Peet Banks
If you live in NSW, if you know anything about the Paranormal Scene, you’d know of Dan McMath – a paranormal legend in the field. Dan lives on the south coast of NSW with his awesome wife and 2 kids. He wears many hats – he is a Paranormal Investigator with G.H.O.S.T, a presenter with GOO and instigator of mayhem at the local club. Plus Dan is a huge Cronulla Sharks fan, in other words, patience is his biggest virtue! I asked Dan a few questions, just so those who don’t know him can see what a charming, funny man he is.
What is the most interesting piece of paranormal evidence out there, in your opinion, either historical or recent?
Hmmm. To be honest, I think places like Nazca in Peru and Puma Punku in the highlands of Bolivia defy rational thought. The ancient peoples from those areas built structures and created monoliths that were designed to be seen from the sky. Considering man could not fly back then, it's very intriguing. Many ancient civilisations believed in 'sky people' and 'sky gods', so it's not too much of a stretch to think that these ancient people were trying to communicate or signal extra terrestrial beings. I believe those structures are evidence of something many don't want to entertain.
What is your favourite venue to investigate?
My favourite location. That would have to be Berrima courthouse in the southern highlands of NSW. It holds a special place in my heart as it was the very first location i conducted my first real investigation. It's also the place where I got what I believe were a few class A evp's. My wife Kate was mentioned by name on an evp and was told to "Go home". On our second visit, Kate's name again appeared as an evp. We also engaged in 'knock once for yes' communication with a resident ghost. Yeah, it's definitely still my fav!
Now on to The Haunting Hours... this is the perfect medium for those who love the Paranormal. Not only are you a serious investigator, but you also play music to die for. What was your inspiration for The Haunting Hours?
I've always wanted to be on radio. I've always had a passion for music. Combine that with my love of the paranormal and experience of investigating, and you get The Haunting Hours. It all really came about by chance. I run promotions at my local club and was dealing with the local community radio station. One afternoon I spoke to one of the head honcho's of the station and expressed that I wanted to do a show on the station, possibly a late night time slot. I had my answer within seconds! And what more could I want? I get to talk about my experiences as a paranormal investigator, hear what others have witnessed, joke about a bit and also get to play the music I love! Quite simply, it's a radio show that I would listen too.
Do you find you receive some great feedback? The Paranormal is such an interesting topic.
Always great feedback from the listeners, or “deadites” as they’re referred to on the show. People with the same passion for the weird and same tastes in music.......mostly! They are loyal and best of all, a big part of the show. Their comments on the fb page during the broadcast are great to relay, and we always have a lot of fun.
Now to finish with some silly questions...
If you were a biscuit, which would you be? If I was biscuit?
Wow, that's quite a complex question. Hmm, let me see. Probably a scotch finger. I snap easily and fall apart when its hot.
If you could take one celebrity ghost hunting with you, who would you take?
I'd love to investigate with Scarlett Johansson. There shouldn't be a need to ask why.
You can listen to Dan on The Haunting Hours every Wednesday from 9:30pm to Midnight on Triple U FM. Tune in live online here (http://www.shoalhavenfm.org.au/).
Written by Dan McMath
As a paranormal investigator that has encountered his fair share of 'turn your shit white' moments, and a barman who regularly deals with intoxicated 40 somethings acting like clowns at the local club, I feel I am qualified enough to 'honk' the big red noses and call into question the balloon animal making skills of you clowns out there who are currently wandering around the quiet streets of Aussie suburbia in the dead of night.
Believe it or not, this whole thing started back in the good 'ol U S of A in 2013. One man dressed as a clown similar to Pennywise from Stephen King's IT, would run around town and scare the local residents just for a bit of fun. It wasn't long after that in 2014, another man dressed as a clown started to appear on social media. He became known as 'The Wasco Clown', and he was actually taking part in a year long photography project in California. Since then, the evil clown phenomena spread like a pair of pantalooms on a circus Ringmasters bed to other parts of the world. And now, in October of 2016, it seems like you have rolled the circus back into town. And one we don't have to pay to see!!!
Yey!!! This is great news right? THE CIRCUS IS IN TOWN!!!! Awesome. Peanuts and popcorn. The sights and smells of the Big Top. And you crazy clowns and your antics. The water squirting trick flowers! The big red nose that sqweeks! The floppy big ass shoes and the sound of your little brass horn. "Eeore...eeore"!
But alas. From what I have seen on the news and social media, not one of you bozo's (see what I did there) is entertaining in the slightest. What do you do? Carry an axe, even if its a plastic one? You yell and scream and jump up and down at passing motorists? You jump out of bushes and terrify everyday people who are just trying to get on with an event free and non stressful walk home? How is that entertaining? I know. It's entertaining for you right. The thrill and giggle you get from frightening complete strangers then post the reactions on youtube. And of course the chance to dress up and role play a little. Have a bit of fun.
But I'm sorry clowns of Australia. I'm just not feeling it. If you are going to put yourself out there on the suburban streets of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and everywhere else, I want to see commitment to the role. If you are carrying real or plastic weapons, by crikey you better be juggling them. I don't want to see you and two of your clown mates driving to a location in your WRX. You are clowns! I wanna see you and 15 of your colourful clown friends squeezed tightly into a red Mini, then one by one pop out at your destination, tooting your horns and tripping over each other! Want to really impress us? Then why not pull out the tried and trusted unicycle. Not only is it fun to watch a clown try to peddle awkwardly around in a circle on one wheel, but it's a display of your skills as a performer. You may even make some money if you take off your clown hat and place it upside down in front of you so your audience can fill it with coins. It's a win win! Your devoted followers will be delightfully entertained and you'll be earning some dollars that you won't have to declare to Centrelink!
Every investigator of the paranormal remembers acquiring their first piece of equipment that would aid in either detecting ghostly goings on, debunking it or both! For some it may have been as simple as a camera, digital recorder or digital thermometer. For me, it was my trusty Panasonic micro-cassette recorder. Setting out many years ago with nothing but a torch and that recorder to a reputedly haunted abandoned structure, I felt I was ready to track down any entity that may cross my path.
Today, there is one spook seeking tool that is on top of the ‘must haves’ for many budding ghost hunters. And that is the now famous KII (K2) meter or safe range EMF reader. There are many reasons why it’s popular among those who chase the supernatural. It’s simple and easy to use, it fits in your pocket and more to the point, it’s very affordable. The KII is also a star in its own right, featuring in a plethora of mainstream paranormal shows, which adds to the attraction. But is the KII really an essential addition to your paranormal kit?
Let’s take a look at how the device works, what it was originally intended for and why it is now so popular with para-peeps.
Origins and how the KII works
The KII meter is a single axis electromagnetic field meter. Now to many, them there’s some mighty big words, but it really just means that this device is designed to locate the radiation of electric and magnetic fields and also radio frequencies and microwaves within a certain area. These EM fields are produced by anything with an electric charge. Tradespeople, such as electricians, can use this tool to find wires within walls, track down electricity leaks and also determine if an appliance or power supply is safe as prolonged exposure to higher than normal EM fields can affect ones health. Opening up and taking a look at ‘the guts’ of a KII meter reveals a very simple construction. Encased in a plastic housing is a 9 volt battery which connects to a small circuit board that in turn powers 5 little LED lights of different colours situated at the top of the tool. Within that circuit board is a small metal coil. When the device detects an EM field or RF (radio frequency), the tiny coil vibrates and, depending on the fields strength and proximity, will light up the corresponding LEDs at the top. The weaker the field, the lower the light response. The stronger the field is, those lights will light up like its Mardi Gras time! I could ramble on about how EM fields are measured, but that’s just plain boring.
So how does it manage to alert you to the presence of a ghost? So glad you asked.
The most popular theory suggests that a ghostly presence is actually an electromagnetic field, or manipulates the natural EM field by entering or interacting with our plane of existence. This is pure speculation of course, as the existence of ghosts is YET to be scientifically proven. However, it’s a theory many in the paranormal world tend to agree with as we have little else to go on. Couple that the fact that many researchers and investigators report EM fluctuations that coincide with unexplainable activity within a given location, and you can see why it’s a widely accepted theory.
Pros and Cons
Every doo-hickey and gadget has its redeeming and not so redeeming features. The KII is no different. Let’s take a look at the pros of the device.
• It’s easy to use
• It fits in your pocket
• It’s lightweight
• It’s relatively cheap ( around $60 au )
• It’s a great companion piece to other bits of equipment (getting a ‘hit’ on your KII at the same time you get an EVP on your recorder along with a motion sensor going off is good stuff!)
• It’s great for spirit communication. ‘Hits’ can be used as yes/no responses (“ Can you make the lights blink once for ‘yes’ “……or……” Can you stand next to the device” )
• It lights up!!!!!!
Now to the downside of the KII.
• It’s only a single axis device. Meaning that it will only detect fields from left to right. In order to pinpoint where a field is being emitted, you must constantly raise, lower and turn the KII from side to side.
• It’s extremely sensitive. Mobile/cell phones (TURN YOUR PHONE OFF!!!), radio transmissions, electrical appliances cutting in and out and even your own body emits its own weak EM field, so hold it at arms length. All these and more can produce false positives. You may think you are talking to a ghost, when in actual fact it could be Rubber Ducky conversing with a trucker mate. 10-4 good buddy!
• It’s definitely NOT a stand alone toy. Don’t go looking for ghosts with nothing more than a KII.
So, is the KII a worthwhile device to have in your kit?
All sceptics will tell you that equipment designed to track down ghosts and record haunting phenomena are a load of hocus pocus, but most investigators of the paranormal are not total sceptics. We have witnessed and experienced too much to simply agree with mainstream science that ghosts don’t exist. The KII meter, for all its shortcomings is a very handy tool to have at your disposal. It may be overly sensitive and at times give you false readings, but it is a great device for debunking possible activity and can also be a tool of validation when used in conjunction with other equipment. I’m a big believer in having ‘backup’ for your ‘backup’. Hearing a motion sensor alarm trigger at the same time someone has a personal experience in that exact location is great data, though it’s not enough to be anything conclusive. Having a KII meter register a strong hit while all this is going on may not be absolute validation of paranormal activity, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Think of the KII meter as a paranormal hammer. If you only carry a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
Dan McMath is a paranormal investigator, radio program host, promotions manager and barman with a flair for cocktails designed to make you see more than just the floor!
We all love the idea of heading out for a night to some creepy abandoned building, a reputedly haunted prison, mental facility or even the local cemetery in order to come across a ghostly apparition or hear disembodied voices coming from the great beyond. But, as TV offerings like Ghost Adventures, Ghost Lab, Ghost Hunters and of course the original paranormal spookfest Most Haunted have shown us, high tech gadgets with colourful blinking lights that beep and whir are a must have for investigating the paranormal.......or are they?
I've been actively investigating for many years now, seeking the truth behind ghostly phenomena and helping others understand what may be the cause of activity if a ghost is found not to be the culprit. This is where the use of electronic based devices can come in handy. They're not JUST a ghost detecting tool, but an invaluable apparatus to have at your disposal when looking for a logical explanation. It's important to remember, these gizmos are not made to actually 'sniff out' ghosts, but to detect activity that theoretically occurs when a ghost is present such as changes in electric or magnetic fields, movement, temperature anomalies and shadows, all of which can occur naturally without the aid of Slimer from Ghostbusters jizzing ectoplasm all over you!
Over the coming months I'll be taking you on a weird and informative journey through the world of the 'paranormal arsenal' that is commonly used here and across the globe that theoretically aid (or hinder) in detecting ghosts.
In this blog, I'll cover the conception of some of these tools, how they originated, how they work, prices and value for money, and most importantly discuss if these pieces of equipment are reliable and required.
Dan McMath is a paranormal investigator, radio program host, promotions manager and barman with a flair for cocktails designed to make you see more than just the floor!