Written by Alex Cayas
Just in time for the festive season shopping needs! The Annual Blessed Pathways Markets are taking place this Saturday the 3rd of December at Granville Town from 12NOON to 4PM with entry only $5.
The markets have a wide variety of stall holders featuring everything from candles and crystals to Paranormal equipment and tours as well as some great stalls with gifts for all your festive shopping lists.
Megan Stone, the owner of Blessed Pathways, is excited to bring the markets to life for the third year running now in the beautiful and historic Granville Town Hall. This year the markets also feature a Mediumship Demonstration with Medium Kerrie Wearing and a Think Yourself Positive Workshop with Jill Cowlishaw. Both of these are an extra cost but well worth the experience.
Also available on the day will be psychic readings, kids activities, a free meditation session and plenty of time and opportunity to meet like minded people.
Ghosts of Oz will have a stall at the markets too where we will be promoting Aussie events, selling some great products and ready for a chat. If you can't find us at our stall or anywhere in the hall just follow the smell of garlic sauce to El Jannah, We'll be there.
Written by Alex Cayas
If you haven't gotten into a wild debate with Jax aka The Ghost Writer Oz then we aren't sure you've completed experienced the Sydney Paranormal Scene. Jax can be easily spotted by her healthy dose of skepticism, her thirst for knowledge, her hands on approach to investigating and her colourful hair (mostly). While the The Ghost Writer Oz blog is sometimes is a little quiet. However, this in no way suggests that The Ghost Writer herself is not keeping busy. Regularly introducing newbies to Investigation with APPI ghost hunts and tours and cooking up talks about various topics at events across Sydney is where Jacquie can be found.
All media outlets have a unique energy or character. How would you describe The Ghost Writer Oz?
I’ve always tried to be ‘the person who tries all the things’. I’m not an expert, and most of the time I have next to no idea what I’m doing when I’m trying new things… so it keeps me humble… mostly :P
I’m very big on self-discovery and I try to keep the mind of the eternal beginner. Nothing will ever be as mysterious and as filled with wonder as when you’re experiencing it for the first time… so I try and make every time like my first time.
What do you think your great achievement or contribution with The Ghost Writer Oz to the Aussie paranormal field as been?
At the moment I’m literally just another blog, posting another piece on some niche market in the dark corners of the internet. I have so many ideas that the best is yet to come.
Who has influenced your work in the Paranormal the most? and How?
The teams I have had the chance to work with, the people that I’ve spent hours with roaming around in the dark… you get to the point where you’re dying so much for new ideas to try that you start to cannibalise others ideas together. I’m seeing it more in the Australian Paranormal community too now; we’re not defining ourselves solely by the stereotype that is shown to us on tv; people are trying new things and blending the team roles.
From a theoretical standpoint the great thinkers of old have always managed to keep me questioning. Socrates and Plato had some pretty damn interesting ideas as to how the universe fit together, and these ideas translate to the Paranormal field very easily.
Written by Amanda Moloney
As the title suggests "Living Life in Full Spectrum" is a personal blog all about living, playing and working in the Aussie Paranormal Community. Sarah's voice is honest and curious as explores paranormal trends, the latest news, new ideas, interviews and reviews. Amanda took this opportunity to not only dive into getting ton know the women behind the blog but also to celebrate Paranormal X Files, the team Sarah co-founded, and chat about their recent success and happenings.
You are the co-founder of Paranormal X-Files, tell us a bit about your group
Paranormal X Files started as a bit of fun. I would investigate with my brother Glenn on a weekly basis and I met my best friends Martin and Rie at a paranormal investigation. We became instant lifelong friends and the 4 of us would investigate together every weekend. During the week we would spend our nights on skype chatting, researching, swapping theories and evidence. One day in the middle of an investigation, Martin asked me if I would like to run a facebook page with him as a place that we could put up some evidence for people to try to debunk and they could submit their evidence as well. We wanted to create a friendly environment where people could get an honest opinion on their evidence and what natural explanation could be given. Explaining the unexplained as we called it. Somewhere along the line, we started to gain a massive online following and people wanted more so we decided to branch out and become a proper paranormal group. Myself, Martin, Glenn and Rie would do investigations and put up our evidence for everyone to see. We somehow ended up in Woman’s Day magazine with them inviting us to investigate a house for them, Martin started public speaking at paranormal events on paranormal photography and fast-forward to earlier this year, we founded Black Rock House Paranormal Tours. We noticed a big gap in the paranormal community here in Victoria in that there is nowhere in the South Eastern Suburbs to investigate, so we went and found a place we saw potential in and convinced them to open it up to the public. We now run monthly investigations there and offer people the kind of paranormal investigation we ourselves would love to attend. What also makes us different as we volunteer 100% of our time to the investigation tours. Every single dollar from the tickets goes straight to the Friends of Black Rock House which goes towards the maintenance and the restoration of the house. I can’t tell you how satisfying that feels when you walk in and see new improvements they have been able to make. I just love the team to bits (even my brother I guess). We speak every day and night and we really are a little family. We think alike and we are always on the same page and I think our closeness and energy is one of the things people love about our group.
Does your group only cover the spirits or are you happy to investigate all aspects like cryptids and UFO’s etc?
We generally focus on the spirits. We are very much open minded to all other aspects of the paranormal and we always talk about that we love to do a sky watch one day, but our passion really does lie with the spirit world as that is the side we have all had the most personal experiences with. I guess we stick to what we know!
Who is someone that inspires you in the paranormal scene worldwide?
I would have to say Brad Klinge. I met him a couple of years ago when he came out for the Klinge Brothers tour of Australia. I attended their all day seminar and investigation at night. I follow Brad closely on social media and all of his projects (No I am not a stalker lol). I love how genuine he is and his passion for the cause. He does what he wants to do the way he wants to do it and the way he believes it should be done. He will make time for anyone and answer your questions. He is very scientifically minded and some of his theories are really well thought out but also have a lot of merit. Our group uses a lot of his theories and experiments and I must say we do get a lot of results. He is a very smart man but also a really nice human being. What probably meant the most to me was that when I first launched my blog, I had written an article about his seminar that I attended. He is a friend on facebook and I had not advertised this article or told him I had written about him, I merely posted a link on my profile to my blog. He had taken the time not knowing he would be in it to check it out and have a read. I woke up the next morning to a lovely message from him thanking me for writing such kind words and he then proceeded to share my blog to his followers all over the world. While this may seem like a little thing to him, it meant the world to me. I will never forget that.
Whats been the best piece of evidence or experience you’ve had while investigating?
Luckily for me both the best evidence and experience I have had happened at the same time. We were doing an investigation at Milanos Tavern in Brighton where there were reports that it was haunted by a spirit called Tilly. The legend was that she murdered in the 1920’s by a landlord and dragged through the mysterious underground tunnels and left at sea. The staff said she was quite aggressive and they didn’t like being on the third floor and were often told to leave or growled at. There were 5 of us there are the time 2 girls 3 boys. The boys went to the other end of the building so it was just myself and another female investigator as the claims were Tilly was nice to females but mean to the males. We were on the staircase on the third floor looking toward the attic doing an EVP session. I asked Tilly if she was upset that we had allowed 3 men into the building. I suddenly heard the words whispered very loudly in my right ear ‘GET OUTTTT’ by an angry male voice. It was so loud and close it was like I felt the breath and the vibration of the voice in my ear. It took me a couple of seconds to comprehend what had happened because the boys were at the other end of the building and the other investigator was at the bottom of the stairs. I did what any respectable investigator would do and I got the hell out of there and hightailed it down the stairs screaming OMG no no no! I was really embarrassed I reacted that way and I do wish I could replay that moment in time and react differently. What made it worse is that it was all caught on film and everyone could see how I reacted. When I gathered myself we realised having it on video and audio was not the worst thing it could potentially be the best thing ever IF the voice was captured on tape. We eagerly went back to hub to review the video and the audio. The voice was captured on both the audio and the video. Needless to say I don’t think that was Tilly! I did go back up there to face my fear but people never get to see that part. I will forever be known as the girl who ran out of an investigation but I don’t care. To this day no experience has compared to that moment and I don’t think anything ever will.
Tell us the inspiration behind creating a blog of your adventures?
I was honestly sitting at home one day and all in the same day I had quite a few people ask me how my investigation went on the weekend. I thought to myself ‘gee people are actually interested in what I do, maybe I should start a blog!’. I had wanted to do a blog for years but didn’t have a topic I was passionate about. I literally rang my husband who is a web developer, came up with a name, bought the domain and 2 weeks later the site was live. I am very impulsive like that and when I set my mind to something there is no stopping me I have to do it.
What do you hope that people will get out of it?
In the early days it was really to keep people informed on what was going on in the my world and the paranormal world and also to touch on social subjects within the community that other investigators could relate to. I wanted people to have a bit of a laugh and also show everyone what it was really like to be an investigator. We all have personal lives we juggle and it is not like it is on tv and that is the side I wanted to show. It has sort of evolved now and while I still want it to resonate with fellow investigators and make them fist pump the air and say yes I agree, I also want to inspire the new investigators to come out of their shell and put themselves out there. 3 years ago I would attend events and seminars and see people running the show or acting as guides on tours and I wanted to be them. I managed to achieve stuff I never thought I would be doing through my journey. It is not something that just happened, I and Paranormal X Files made it happen. I feel amazing when I have people contact me telling me how much they enjoyed an article and that I have inspired them to go do their first investigation or to take a leap and do something a bit different. I want to inspire them to become the best investigators the can be and achieve great things because ultimately we as a community will benefit.
Written by Alex Cayas
Moonlark Media is one of Australia's best known producer of Paranormal content. Their documentaries and web-series have explored everything from UFO phenomena to Paranormal Mediumship. The series PI Uncut takes viewers into the heart of the Paranormal community and explores the Paranormal through the eyes and experiences of those most passionate about it and those working on the ground. Moonlark Media is a "family business" in every sense of the phrase and we often wonder what life at the Kaldy household is really like. Speaking with the family Patriarch , Attila Kaldy, about PI Uncut and our Paranormal community is about a thoughtful and engaging experience.
PI uncut is very different to other Paranormal TV series. Can you explain the concept and inspiration?
We wanted to do something that was journalistic, that actually focused on the people in the paranormal. That is basically the concept of PI UnCut – video journalism. As a good friend of mine said: you basically caught a snapshot of the Australian paranormal community, the way it was in 2015 and 2016.
Take us through the process of creating content for PI Uncut. Where do the ideas come from and how do you fan the flame?
Being in the paranormal arena for quite a while, we knew exactly what stories we wanted to focus on. Then again, there are those that just come at you from left field – just like any idea that gets inspired by a good story. The great thing about PI UnCut is that we can continuously add stories to it. In fact we currently have a new episode in post production.
Let’s face it: there is almost an endless supply of variables that covers the subject of ‘paranormal’.
Do you recall an interview you've conducted that was a real "ah ha" or "lights switched on" moment?
One of the recent reports we did on chemtrails was a real eye opener. It certainly made me think that there could be more to this than just a bunch of paranoid people pointing at the skies.
What do you think your great achievement or contribution to the Aussie paranormal field as been?
Awareness and promotion of the Australian paranormal community to a global audience is something we have focused a lot on. I think people from abroad can see how level headed the community is down-under and hard working.
Paranormal TV shows often get a bad wrap from the community. Is it possible to capture the work of a Paranormal Investigator and still have it be entertaining and fit into an hour of Television?
I’m still brewing that one but there can be a number of different and interesting angles
What does the Australian Paranormal Community need more of?
Research wise: The complete removal of repetitiveness, especially methods that have not yielded results, and
the focus on education and implementing what we have learnt. We need to be more objective and engage in experiments that will allow us to collect quality data. I also believe that we must adopt the process of elimination, a method that could lead us to more answers rather than more questions.
Media wise: I guess more of a human story behind the investigations. Finding that right balance.
You come across an injured Yowie while out filming. You have PROOF of its existence. What is your next move?
I would treat it like a human being that reaches out for help and return it to its natural habitat. Would I document it? Well that would depend on the circumstances.
Written by Peet Banks
The History and Haunts of the Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome
In August 2016 I was fortunate enough to visit Europe – with Italy being on the agenda. Accompanied by my sister, there were so many places on our ‘to do’ list, Pompeii, Naples, the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica, and of course the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
Our journey through Italy is a whole other story – one fraught with laughs and near misses (for those who have been – you know what I mean when I say ‘Italian Drivers’), and I loved every second of my time there, and especially when I discovered ‘the surprise’.
During our whole time in Rome (about five days), I kept seeing this magnificent, round castle, sitting in a prominent position on the skyline. I had no idea what it was, and didn’t even know that there was an old castle in the middle of Rome. I had heard of all the other tourist destinations of course, except this!
The building, with its round edges, and its striking statue of an angel sitting right on the very top of it, kept calling to me.
One night my sister and went on the Dark Rome Ghost Tour. I say ‘night’, because it was 8pm, but in all honesty it was still daylight, which was a little disconcerting for a ghost tour. We met on the steps of an ancient church, not far from the Pantheon, and began our walking tour of the streets of Rome, the night sky obliging by darkening as we went.
The tour was amazing! A little too theatrical for my taste, but incredibly informative and full of some great stories! It ended at the Castel Sant’Angelo – the amazing castle I had been seeing in the days prior.
“Finally” I thought. “Finally I get to find out about this place and go inside!”
Alas it was not to be. The tour concluded on the bridge, with a ghost story of a girl who had been tortured in the Castle, walking across the bridge, holding her head in her hands. The story goes that only men of bad character can see her, so if you are able to see her, go and rethink your morals!
As the people on the ghost tour dispersed, my sister and I made our way to the entrance. It was after 11pm by this stage, and the gates were still open. We spoke to a lovely attendee on the gate, who advised us that the castle closed at midnight. Looking at the size of it we reluctantly decided that it wasn’t to be, and headed back to our hotel.
A few nights later, our last evening in Rome in fact, we discovered that our plans had changed. We were hoping to do the Underground Crypts, but they were booked out (always prebook where possible in Rome), so we had nothing to do. And then it came to us…. LET’S GO TO CASTEL SANT’ANGELO.
I have to say that in all of my 41 years I have wanted to visit Italy. In my mind, I have always wanted to walk around the Colosseum, visit the ruins at Pompeii, marvel at the Sistine Chapel and talk behind my hand about the wealth of the Vatican – but of all the places I visited in Rome, the Castel Sant’Angelo was BY FAR the best. This place is an investigator’s DREAM.
A bit of history about the castle…
Castel Sant’Angelo was initially built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian (he of the famed Hadrian’s Wall in the UK). So to begin with, like so much in Rome, it is old. Really old. It is estimated to have been built around 123AD.
In its long life it has been a funeral castle, a prison, a papal residence in renaissance times and a museum. It was Rome’s most fortified area, and believed that those who held it had the whole town at their mercy.
Legend says that when the plague ravaged Rome in 590, St Michael appeared on the top of the fortification, heralding the end of the plague. This encouraged artist Raffaello da Montelup, in 1536, to create a marble statue of St Michael, brandishing his sword after the plague. Raffaello’s statue was replaced with a similar one in 1753, and that is the statue that calls out to you as you slowly wind your way up to the roof of the castle.
Pope Nicholas III was responsible for building the Passetto di Borgo (or Roman corridor). It is a wall with a passage inside it up the top, which leads from the Vatican Walls to the Castel Sant’Angelo. It was built so the head of the Church could take refuge in the castle in times of need. It happened! Pope Alexander VI (or Rodrigo Borgia as he was also known) used the passage to lock himself into the Castle when Rome was invaded by Charles VIII of France in 1494.
Pope Clement VII (Giulio de Medici) also used the passage in 1527 during the ‘sacking of Rome’ which was carried out by mercenaries.
The building holds the National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo, which is fascinating! There are rooms recreated to look as they would’ve in days gone by. There are statues and hidden doorways all throughout the building. We spent hours there, and I’m sure we really only just scratched the surface.
The night we explored the castle, it was virtually empty. I would guess that perhaps there were about 15 people wandering around its vast hallways and staircases. The structure is massive, and you have complete freedom of access to much of it. It only cost us 10 euro to enter, and we could have stayed for hours and hours. In summer months it is open until Midnight, so all those who are visiting Rome – get yourself there! You can’t miss it! On the upper levels there is also a café/restaurant with tables seated along the battlements, facing St Peter’s Basilica.
As we were virtually alone we did conduct a few vigils. I was so adrenaline pumped at being there, surprised by the fact that I had never heard of it, and amazed at how wonderful it was that I didn’t fully concentrate on the investigation side of things. I was too busy staring around me in starry eyed wonder. My sister though… she was petrified! She did not want me to leave her alone. She wanted to walk up the stairways ahead of me because she felt like there was someone behind her, and she was absolutely on edge and kept expecting to see people walking through doorways that were firmly shut and calling out to her. I had never seen her quite that on edge, so I take that to be a good sign of spirit activity!
It would be a dream come true to return to the Castel Sant’Angelo with my full case of equipment, lock me in for the night and investigate! I know that there are so many stories those walls want to tell, and I look forward to the day I return.
Some more photos from Peet's visit to Castel Sant'Angelo
Written by Danni Remaili
Black Rock; a suburb south-east of Melbourne CBD and an affluent and gorgeous part of Victoria, Australia. It’s Saturday evening, October 29 approximately 6:30pm, and located only minutes from the water front, I pull up in a suburban street, greeted by a gorgeous sunset and perfect warm weather (17 degrees is very warm down here). Perfect weather for a late night investigation methinks! I arrive with my partner Alyce and Becky, a friend from theatre. For a moment, I thought we had the wrong place, but, you know, the sign that indicated “Black Rock House” kind of gave it away. The property is exceptionally unique and, back in 1856 when the house was built by Charles Ebden, would have had phenomenal views over the water. Now however, only a small walk way through the trees and other neighbouring properties pave the way to the water. When you walk around the back of the main house, you are met with an imposing yet gorgeous stone wall and timber gate leading to a stone courtyard and stables. This was where I met Paranormal XFiles crew Sarah, Martin, Rie and Glenn, and because I arrived fashionably early, I had a chance to sit down and chat with Sarah and Martin.
Danni: Hi Gooey peeps, I’m at the Black Rock House, here in Black Rock Melbourne with your hosts Paranormal XFiles. I’m with Martin at the moment, and we are 15 minutes out from our 7:30pm start of the Basic Fundamentals of Paranormal Investigating Seminar and Investigation. Everyone is pouring in as we speak, I remember you saying, Martin, that every night is a full house.
Martin: Yes, it is. Every tour is selling quite quickly, and within a week of it being advertised we are selling right out.
Danni: So it’s been about 3 or 4 months you’ve been hosting tours here at the Black Rock House, but you’ve all been well acquainted with the house many months prior to these tours. I’ve got my partner Alyce here and this is her first investigation ever, along with Becky my friend from theatre who has only ever been on one. So Sarah I’ll ask you, what do you do that’s different in hopes of making it accessible to people new to investigating?
Sarah: Well, for the investigation side, what we pride ourselves on is that we have a lot of equipment that other people don’t have; we teach people how to use it, and we actually allow them to hold and use it themselves. Some say, ‘oh this is too expensive, don’t touch it’, but we like to give them the full experience and we also explain how it works. So if something that we see is happening, and we don’t think it’s paranormal, we’ll tell the truth, and say, ‘looks it’s quite possible it may not be paranormal and these are the reasons why, etc’. We want them to walk out with a genuine experience so that they can go forward with their investigating, and say ‘well I know a bit more, and I know what to use and how to make a well informed decision.’
Danni: So in essence, you’re breaking down that barrier and saying no, you all can be an investigator, you all have the ability. Everyone is a part of this process.
Sarah: Yes, exactly!
Danni: So Martin, tonight, what’s the structure? What are we in for?
Martin: Tonight we will demonstrate the basic fundamentals of investigating the paranormal in a short seminar, so pretty much, you don’t have to go out there and buy all this flash and fancy, really expensive gear, you don’t need that. You can use basic equipment, and it’s pretty much how we found we received some quality evidence. We will then go on to utilise the equipment going from room to room, and then separate into smaller groups. Our main focus is to make everybody feel at ease and comfortable enough to experiment with our equipment and educate.
Danni: Awesome! I’m so excited, ok well let’s head on inside and get started, thanks Sarah and Martin.
Sarah continued with very hands on advice also. She spoke of breaking down barriers between ‘investigator’ and ‘guest’, and how it is important to share the knowledge and pass on experiences. I love how they’ve made it so accessible for newbies too! Alyce and Becky were listening intently and said that the seminar was so easy to grasp. Sarah went on to give examples of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena), and this particularly had everyone sitting on the edge of their seats.
We then had a break for a spot of dinner, and a chat with those around us. Great food (catering for vegetarians also) and great company. I got talking to Jo and Jesse, who have travelled from a town not far from me actually. We spoke about how Jo had come along to support Jesse who was very much interested in the paranormal and how they both share an interest in the unknown. After 10 minutes of nibbles and drinks, we were given pamphlets by the team with their contact details, where to find out more information with a list of learning websites and places to buy equipment. Handy tips for anybody beginning the journey of paranormal investigating. What a great idea! We then re-grouped, and Glenn led a more in depth talk on the individual pieces of equipment, especially the ones we were going to use later on that evening. I had never heard of an Ovilus. Forgive me, I’m not too in tune with paranormal equipment, but after that seminar I walked out feeling like a GOD! Ok, maybe not a god but you get the idea. I learnt a lot! Apparently, the Ovilus is also a controversial piece of equipment. Designed and created by Bill Chappel it is used to translate a spirit’s communication into words on a screen. I was naturally sceptical but keen to try this out and see how it works. Regardless of what you think about the various types of equipment, it’s important to give it a go yourself before you make up your mind about it.
The house has been done beautifully, in keeping with everything the way it was back then and also historically accurate. I was told even the wall paper was a replica and some parts original; just aesthetically eerie. I won’t go into too much detail of the evening, as I need to leave some bits as a surprise, but I can reveal this; Becky had some unusually accurate and uncanny messages come through in most eerie room of the house. We all felt it, the second we entered. Mind you, we hadn’t had any previous knowledge of the room until we sat down and Sarah gave us a brief history of the room. I had an interesting occurrence in the kitchen and also in the nursery so don’t forget to spend some quality time in those two rooms when you attend. As for Alyce? Well she was jittery from the get go, but as I said (and she deliberately went against what I suggested; ‘don’t go wandering on your own if you don’t want to be scared’). Then came the high pitched squeal, fast footsteps, and a wide eyed Alyce enters the room to join the rest of the group. Oh dear.
Written by Alex Cayas
Richard Saunders is no stranger to the Australian Paranormal Community. Richard is known as The former President of the Australian Skeptics and judge of on the TV show "The One". Most recently speaking at Paracon Australia, Richard is known for this rigorous skeptical debate. While Richard and I often find ourselves in heated online banter. However, I feel there is a mutual respect and lots we can learn from each other and this reason is why I felt is was important to celebrate The Skeptic Zone as part of our media and interview Richard.
Tell us about your trusted sidekick Maynard. How did you first connect? and if you had to describe him to someone how would you do it?
Maynard was a guest on the show many years ago and offered to help if he could. I jumped at the chance to have him be part of the show. Maynard is a first class radio presenter and gifted interviewer. His quick wit and knowledge means all the interviews he conducts flow well and are often punctuated with humour. His 'live' interviews, in crowds for example, are a highlight. He is also not really into being a skeptic, so he brings a differnt angel to many stories.
It is common for Paranormal Investigators to first get involved in the paranormal because an experience they can't explain. How did you first get involved in the Skeptical community and discussion?
I was a kid in the 1970's, on the tail end of Uri Gellar, shows like "In Search Of..." and the start of a UFO craze around the time of the movie Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. The skeptical movement was in its infancy and so rarely got a mention on TV or radio. As a result many so-called paranormal events were reported uncritically. I bought it all, hook line and sinker. I thought I was somehow being part of something exciting and mysterious. Some years later I saw the documentary "James Randi in Australia (1980)" where he and Dick Smith tested a group of water diviners. When they all failed, despite agreeing the test was fair, a penny dropped for me. From then on I began to seek out the real evidence for paranormal claims and was somewhat surprised to find it was, in the words of Carl Sagan, "Crummy". Many years have passed since the 1970s and there is still no good evidence for any paranormal claim. By now there really should be. Every test conducted by skeptics and agree to by those with paranormal claims have failed. But, as a true skeptic, while I doubt with very good reason the existence of the paranormal, I keep an open mind hence our $100,000 prize.
Do you see any parallels in the two communities? and/or What can we learn from each other?
Both communities are looking for the 'truth' and both start with preconceptions. Skeptics with doubt in the paranormal, Paranormal Investigators with belief in it. Paranormal Investigator groups can learn much from using a skeptical approach and some do. There is no use chasing a wild goose. If the ghost is just known photo effect like a so-called 'orb' then so be it and no one would be better off in continuing to investigate. If a ghost is ever found for real, then skeptics will learn volumes from the Paranormal Investigators.
Written by Danni Remaili
Danni from Ghosts of Oz chats with Sharon Ann Rowland, published author and Editor of Oddities e-Club Magazine on what life was like growing up, her magazine as a media platform and how her experiences have influenced her writing today.
Hello you GOOey followers, today I have the privilege of speaking with one of the most esteemed paranormal media outlets, Sharon Ann Rowland of the Oddities e-Club Magazine. Sharon, it’s been since May this year, (Paracon Australia to be specific) since we’ve spoken. I had the honour of introducing you at your ET and Spirit Contact Panel! How are you?
Well, very busy at the moment Danni, preparing for our bumper Xmas Issue going out December 1st, as well as the release of our first three-(3) Oddities e-Club Magazine books, namely:
1. Oddities e-Club Magazine Interviews Issues 01-12
2. Oddities e-Club Magazine Ufology Paranormal Conspiracy Issues 01-12
3. Oddities e-Club Magazine Metaphysical Musings Issues 01-12
And preparing to host a stall at the popular Conscious Life Festival on the Sunshine Coast in mid-November, and UFO Conference at Byron Bay in January 2017.
Whoa! Ok a lot going on that is amazing. Well, I’d like to begin by asking you for a very brief overview of what Oddities e-Club Magazine is and what we can expect from your latest issue. Just something for our newbies who haven’t yet had the pleasure of having a flick through your magazine.
The Oddities e-Club Magazine (or OeC) hit both the Apple and Google play Newsstands just over three years ago, our mission was (and still is) to help and educate people in the mainstream who have a genuine (sometimes pressing) interest in more spiritual and supernatural fodder, to take their first step into our world. The magazine is divided into many eclectic sections, namely:
• Interview Me (two thought-provoking interviews per issue with real people working in fields not recognised by the mainstream)
• Columnist Articles (first person reports from recent events and experiences)
• Conspiracy Theory + Fact (a selection of the latest + greatest conspiracies known across the globe)
• Ufology (any unexplained moving object observed in the sky, thought to be of extraterrestrial origin)
• Paranormal (the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, or other supernatural phenomena)
• Metaphysical Musings (branch of philosophy that studies the ultimate structure + constitution of reality)
• Fringe Science (scientific inquiry in an established field of study which departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories)
• Natural Living (folk remedies based on the use of plants, plant extracts, flora, fauna, food + crystals)
• Artisan Collective (art forms that stimulate the ventral straiatum + activate the hypothalamus)
• Book + DVD + APP + Product + Service Reviews
Perfect! Let’s just go a few years back to when you were living in England, though. You were born there and then made the transition over to Australia. When and where did this writing journey begin for you, and what prompted your interest in the paranormal and all things unknown?
I view my life as a puzzle without a guiding picture at times Danni. I know that one day I’ll be able to look down at my life as a seamless image, but at this time I still have a lot of pieces scattered around the border. I have always written stories - in my childhood the subject material revolved around my imaginary friends, and in later life, stories from my dreaming (and a series of dream journals I have kept since turning 13). I spent most of my childhood in a pleasant haze, stumbling through school and other activities (especially sport), craving to get back to my room and to feel the texture of a crisp new notebook page.
It really wasn’t until later life that I realised the supernatural world had surrounded me since the age of 5. I had a series of imaginary friends, which now in hindsight I have correctly identified as encounters with various supernatural entities.
Also, I have found my path littered with alternate teachers, mentors and friends. Beginning with my grandmother who used to make potions in her London kitchen and sell them to the surrounding community – she was more popular than the local Doctor.
I can definitely relate to you in regards to keeping dream journals and writing. As a writer you know yourself the internet is full of trash and treasure. How do you sift through the tonnes of information and evidence out there and decide on what goes into your magazine? How do you make sure you’re getting honest and truthful information? What’s Sharon’s process?
Contact. I always reach out and sample a potential interviewee’s energy before requesting an interview. If the energy is positive a request is made. With Columnists I usually meet them in person, and spend time with them prior to asking them to join the OeC family.
Well, I already knew your energy was positive from our encounter at Paracon (laughs) which is why I wanted interview you. So what has been your greatest achievement yet, and why would you consider it your greatest?
I achieve something every day – each time a new reader downloads the magazine and their world opens up to other possibilities. I don’t really think along the lines of greatest / weakest – I just manifest what needs to be achieved, and with the magazine that is getting the amazing words, protocols and thoughts of my columnists to our society where they can do the most good.
What a positive approach! I’ve noticed you take yourself to many conferences, most recently the Paradigm Shift Summit in Queensland. Did you discover many new things or even learn something new about yourself and your process?
I do attend a number of conferences within the various alternate communities. Why, well a number of reasons:
• To support the event and its creators (a lot of hard work goes into running an event).
• To learn and to educate myself further (always the student).
• To meet new people and socialise with old friends (best part about any conference).
• Sometimes to host or present a topic myself (always good to challenge oneself).
• To keep in touch with the most topical subject matter for the magazine (vital research).
• To hear potential new columnists/interviewees speak (and assess their energy and truth).
You dabble with varying topics across the paranormal board; some might even say extremely controversial topics too. As a media outlet highly active online, how do you combat people who may “troll” your blogs or messages? I myself find it difficult to hold back, but as media outlets, we must remain fair and unbiased; it’s a difficult task isn’t it?
Fortunately most social media forums allow you to remove or delete (or report) any offensive posts, so if this is possible they are simply removed. In the early days of the blog I would interact with trolls, but it never ended well. Now, I take down the post, and reinstate it a day later – I’ve found trolls don’t like to retype their own words.
I remember you saying during your panel chat at Paracon this year, that you’ve experienced some unusual online activity, whereby articles and messages have been deleted, sometimes even hacked. Can you elaborate on your thoughts behind this? Could this be more than just a random lone wolf behind his/her computer against all things paranormal? Could it be something a little more political?
This is a constant battle, and I’m sad to say I’m fully expecting it to continue whilst the magazine is in operation. I have a good friend who is ex-Telstra, who regularly sweeps both my house and PC electronics for bugs – during our first year of publication he found multiple tapping mechanisms on my landline, and spyware on my main PC. In the past three years I have retired six-(6) PC/laptops (most only 1-2 years old) due to various hacking and malware attacks. I now work predominantly offline, and upload only when required and usually in external wi-fi settings. Our main server has three forms of backup due to the severity of our issues, and a fourth backup is taken off-site monthly. Fortunately my mainstream role was as an IT Consultant and a Disaster Recovery Analyst so when this all started to appear targeted I called in a few favours and was given a host of software to stop the attacks in their tracks.
Is this politically driven? Not sure, I do know that my magazine educates people in areas outside the normal mainstream system – we teach people how to cure themselves of disease, how to question authority and protect themselves, we put people in contact with their tribes - you decide if that’s enough to make us a problem that needs fixing.
It has been an absolute pleasure chatting with you, Ghosts of Oz are a huge fan of your work. Thank you so much for taking time out to speak with me, Sharon.
My pleasure Danni, and I’d just like to thank all of our readers (our Oddologists!) for keeping us in print for the past three years, and of course, to my columnists for their various articles that change our world for the better, cheers!
Written by Alex Cayas
Beth Luscombe is the mastermind behind the monster machine Access Paranormal. Beth's passion for research, learning and the Australian Paranormal Community is by far the most blazing I've seen. Access Paranormal is constantly evolving as our community does and Beth is positioned as one of our strongest voices and leaders. Ghosts of Oz has a long friendship with Access Paranormal as Beth was one of our very first interviews in our very first broadcast and it was a thrill to be able to catch up with Beth formally these some years on.
What is your process of finding content for the Podcast?
I travel a lot and its often for investigating other locations and meeting other investigators, so I often look at my calander and think of who I can approach to interview.
I often record the sounds of the area as well, particularly if I'm interviewing people about a paranormal investigation. Just sometimes hearing the crickets on a balmy night in Lousiana can really set the scene.
Once the location and people are chosen, I then research the location of where the interview will take place and also about the people if I can - this helps with the line of questioning.
I also keep my “ear to the ground” about other topics paranormal investigators are interested in or ask about and try to at least have one segment which helps answers questions or sheds light on certain topics.
What do you think your great achievement with Access Paranormal has been?
Greatest achievement with Access Paranormal? Mmm… I don’t think I could say just one. There has been a multitude of achievements for different reasons over the years. Being the “go to” website for paranormal investigators would have to be the main one. That there is a neutral place for information and now more recently somewhere where people can learn more about investigating. It’s providing that “batman” signal in the sky to investigators everywhere saying “hey! There’s a place for you to find relevant info!”.
Individual achievements would be bringing the Klinge Brothers over with the Australian Paranormal Society as well as speaking at Las Vegas Paracon, being on a panel discussion at Scarefest and co-hosting “In Tenebris” by Moonlark Media with Andrea Kaldy. And most recently being chosen as the narrator for the Klinge Brothers new show GL Revolution.
But achievements or contributions to me can also mean having 20 people jump in on a live Facebook session, or having 50 people sign up for a webinar. It’s getting the message out and letting investigators know that learning more doesn’t mean you have to be a part of some exclusive club. Learning is for everyone.
Your advice to others in field is never stop learning and you yourself have a healthy thirst for it. Whose work, words or perspective has influenced you the most and how?
Firstly I would have to say Attila and Andrea Kaldy from Validate Paranormal/Moonlark Media.
Since meeting them and their family, their intelligence, level headed approach and passion for investigating really rubbed off on me. I’m continually exposed to another way of investigating whenever I spend time with them, where it’s beyond just using an EMF detector. It’s the logic, it’s interviewing people, it’s the decades of knowledge Attila and Andrea have that has really opened my eyes. They are such a wealth of information and I have and continue to be grateful for it.
Close second would be Dr Ciaran O’Keefe. Again, I love his approach and logic mixed in with his academic background. I love his way of guiding you to think of situations differently without trying to tell you “it should be this way”. He’s one of the most approachable people I know and his balanced view of investigating while holding true to parapsychology is a dance not many can do.
If you could get 3 Paranormal people (Death or Alive) for a podcast panel who would they be and why?
Oh man! Mmmm, I’d say Houdini, Harry Price and Arthur Conan Doyle. Why? Having them in the same room alone would be a “sit back with the popcorn” session. The conflicting views and history between them all would be fascinating to listen to considering today’s age of social media and reporting.
What do you think Australia's biggest claim to Paranormal fame is?
The Yowie! Every time I go overseas and I’m at a paranormal convention, when it comes to asking about the paranormal in Australia the Yowie almost always gets a mention.
I love letting people know that our Yowie is apparently more aggressive than the Sasquatch or Bigfoot in the USA.
Aliens have landed and asked to be taken to our leader....paranormal or not....who would you take them too and why?
Moulder and Scully from the X-Files.
Why? I would explain, “this is what the paranormal field is like… there is the dude that is gun hoe about the paranormal and will do and risk anything to get there regardless of rational thought, and then there is the logical, patient science orientated person who wants evidence before concluding everything…. Good with negotiations pal!”.
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/).