Mad and the amazingly cool AshNay, whose mom drove several hours to get to Cleveland for the expo signing... Someone definitely deserves an award!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Having been relegated to bedrest a month ago due to back issues, I've been catching up on a lot of paranormal shows that I've missed or don't have access to, all thanks to the wonders of YouTube. In watching such a broad sampling of shows that come out of the US, the UK, and Canada, I've discovered something -- a difference in approach that helped to solidify in my mind what has been bothering me about a lot of the ghosthunting programs I've seen.
So many participants on the paranormal shows we see on TV here in America willingly--almost eagerly--bait the spirits they are investigating in order to gain a response. I have seen this time and again on a variety of programs. They goad, they curse, they insult, they demand, they annoy. They are all-too-often completely and utterly disrespectful, and it makes me uncomfortable to watch. In fact, the groups often comment proudly on the differences between their "American" techniques as opposed to the softer-toned inquiries made by their counterparts in the UK. In my opinion, bad behavior is bad behavior, and is certainly nothing to be proud of.
Let's say you are a visitor at a place that belongs to someone else. Would you go into their house, guns blazing and mouth running, and disparage those who live there? It would be the height of arrogance and bad manners, and will probably get you booted right the heck out. I can't help but compare this to what the ghosthunters do when they bait the resident spirits, hoping to get a response on camera. It is rude, it is unmannerly, and it's liable to get them more than they bargained for.
In sharp contrast, a month ago I attended a paranormal event at the Riders Inn, a bed and breakfast in Painesville, Ohio that just so happens to be haunted. I was excited to go. Not only was I attending with two of my best friends -- Kristy Robinett, an amazingly gifted psychic medium who could give John Edward a run for his money, and Jen H, a super-talented glasswork bead artisan whose artistry makes me drool -- but also because I was able to take part in a spirit contact group meditation lead by Kristy. This group approach is rare for me. I don't trust just anyone with the Other Side. Unfortunately I feel that a lot of people don't know what they're doing, even when they think they do.
Kristy's approach is a kinder, gentler approach that mirrors my own. Not only that, but she has the ability to communicate directly with the spirits and her Guides in a way that is fascinating to witness. I am sensitive to energies--living, residual and Spirit--but if I were to compare my abilities with Kristy's, mine would be a teensy pocket flashlight shining dimly into the abyss, whereas Kristy's would be blinding, casting the kind of light that obliterates darkness.
We did have spirits around us that night. Everyone at the table felt it, and for some it was a new experience, an awe-inspiring one. Unfortunately the inn also holds at least one portal, so when a negative energy crouched in the corner of the room, watching us, Kristy closed the link down, unwilling to give it the slightest reason to stick around. She didn't try to annoy or insult it. She didn't give it any attention at all. She merely closed the line of communication and quietly told us why. To me, this demonstrated Kristy's inner strength, a quality that I greatly admire and find so much more inspiring than the brash false bravado people see in the shows on TV.
I had a more personal experience the next morning, but I'll save that story for another time. ;>
Of course I'll still watch all of the paranormal TV, but I have found a couple of new favorites:
Psychic Kids on A&E -- This program is all about teaching gifted children how to handle their abilities. Not only does it help them to understand themselves, but it empowers them, letting them know being different is not something to be ashamed of. Many of us have had to come to that realization on our own, so being allowed to witness the transformation of these wonderful kids coming into their own is so positive and life-affirming. I highly recommend it.
Ghostly Encounters on Bio -- I just happened to catch this show on a Bio Preview, and was instantly captivated. It is put out by our Canadian neighbors, and it, too, seems to have that kinder, gentler, more thoughtful approach to the world of Spirit. Instead of sending in teams of ghosthunters, this show has a distinct storyteller/interview format that allows the individuals who have been witness to ghostly phenomenon to tell what they experienced in their own voice. Being quite a fan of storytelling myself ;>, I was instantly captivated. We don't have access to the Bio Channel here, so I am only able to watch this on YouTube. If you aren't able to find it, try this YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ParanormRUs and search for Ghostly Encounters.
Sharing time: What about you? What are your favorite paranormal shows, and why? And does the antagonistic approach bother you, or is just one of my pet peeves? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Love to all,