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The Paranormal Hangover

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Paranormal Hangover

The topic of paranormal hangovers is relatively new, and it keeps popping up in conversations all around the paranormal community. I have definitely had my fair share of them too. I began my paranormal journey in the ’90s, and I can guarantee you that I took investigations in stride in those days. It was nothing to stay up all night wandering around in the dark with a flashlight and a camera, then getting up and going to school or work and turning around and doing it again.

I don’t think the concept of a paranormal hangover hit me until I was much older, and even then, I just assumed that it was something everyone experienced. If you break down the anatomy of an investigation, it’s pretty clear why paranormal hangovers are a real thing, even if you’ve never experienced one.

Most investigations may include but are not limited to planning, excitement, travel, both mental and physical stress, loss of sleep, an abundance of caffeine, adrenaline, and even sometimes, sheer boredom and regret. Every person responds to these and other factors differently, which is why I think a paranormal hangover is best described as an adjustment period following an investigation.

There have been times for us when it starts as soon as you get in the car to drive home. Before I know it, we’ve driven 5 hours in silence, just trying to wrap our brain around the experiences we just had. Emerging from the dark recesses of a haunted location into the unyielding daylight of morning or the aggressive fluorescent lighting of a Denny’s at 3 am can be disorienting as well, especially if you just departed an intense investigation. It’s only natural to feel fatigued and a bit ‘off’ after an investigation.

Some people feel an investigation more intensely than others, especially if you are an empath or connect deeply with the environment around you. Some people are more susceptible to an investigation’s physical demands, particularly those of us with chronic pain and conditions that make the constant walking, never-ending trips up and down the stairs, sitting, and standing a task in itself.

A paranormal hangover is unique to a person as their fingerprint and only experience can teach you how to prepare for one. Only you know what is best for you. Only you know the steps that it will take to help you shake off an investigation. I can’t give you a magical paranormal hangover cure, but I can share some of the things I have learned throughout my decade of investigating.

  1. The ‘walk-in-the-door shower’ is crucial. Not only will it wash the fresh scent of mildew and earthworm off of you but also the energy of the investigation, location, and spirits.
  2. If you’re anything like us, get ready to spend the next few months trying to figure out where you put all the things you unpacked upon return. You may have no memory of it.
  3. Hydrate… then hydrate some more.
  4. And the last but probably most important step is to make sure you have at least one person you can turn to if the weight of an investigation is too much to work through on your own. Reach out if you don’t currently have that person. There are always people out there that understand. You are not alone.

The paranormal community is just that, a community. If we are not there for each other, then what’s the point. Have fun and ghost hunt on!

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Ghost Hunting

How To Perform The Estes Method

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The Estes Method Balsam: A Paranormal Investigation Paranormal13

Have you ever wondered how to perform the Estes Method? A few years ago, I was browsing through Prime and came across the series Hellier. I’m a sucker for a good paranormal documentary, and I immediately got sucked in. I mean, who doesn’t like stories of Kentucky Goblins and high strangeness. However, one of the things that stuck out to me the most was the utilization of the Estes Method during their paranormal investigations.

The Estes method was created by Karl Pfeiffer, Connor Randall, and Michelle Tate, the resident paranormal team at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. They started playing with the idea of this method in 2011, but it wasn’t until 2016 when Connor Randall first utilized this method in the basement of the Stanley Hotel with just a pair of regular headphones. They tweaked the method by adding a blindfold and noise cancelling headphones to take away any outside influences and rule out any attempts at trickery. You can watch the earliest uses of the Estes Method in Karl Pfeiffer’s documentary Spirits of the Stanley and see the teams growing excitement as they realize what they’ve created.

The Estes Method is the first groundbreaking experiment to change spirit communication within the paranormal field since Wolfgang Metzger introduced the Ganzfeld Experiment to the world of experimental psychology in the ’70s. If you have never heard of or attempted the Ganzfeld Experiment, I strongly suggest giving it a try. One of the more memorable times that I have done the experiment was during an investigation in the Jennie Wade House in Gettysburg. It was a personal experience I won’t forget. While the experiences with the Ganzfeld are more neurological than paranormal in nature, it still produces personal experiences that I would recommend for anyone.

I’ve been a paranormal investigator for a long time. While the market is bounding with new ghost hunting gadgets, the basic function for all of this equipment remains roughly the same. While the results can be intriguing, the overuse of the equipment can make an investigation stagnant. The Estes Method takes traditional spirit box communication and cleans it up a bit. I often use a spirit box in the investigations, but I’m not a huge fan. It’s easy to hear what you want to hear and feed off of what other people believe they are hearing. The Estes Method takes away the outside stimulus and allows for more direct communication. We use the method in our investigations, and while it doesn’t always produce undeniable results, we’ve definitely had our fair share of intense and sometimes mind-blowing interactions.

If you’re interested in trying the Estes Method during your next investigation, Greg Newkirk (from the Hellier documentary) lays out the process:

HOW TO ACCURATELY PERFORM THE ESTES METHOD

With its use on shows and movies like Kindred Spirits, Hellier, and Balsam: A Paranormal Investigation the wider public will inevitably begin experimenting with the Estes Method, so I asked Pfeiffer and Randall for advice. Here’s what you need for an effective Estes Method session, straight from the creators of the experiment.

  1. A willing Receiver and a willing Operator. In other words, someone to perform the Estes Method and someone to ask questions.
  2. A solid, tight blindfold. This particular type of mask, affectionately referred to as an “eye-bra” by Randall, works best.
  3. An SB7 Spirit Box, preferably the latest model. They’re much louder, which helps rule out fraud by unscrupulous Receivers.
  4. A pair of Vic Firth S1H1 or S1H2 Stereo Isolation Headphones. These are vastly important. If you aren’t using these headphones or an equivalent, throw out all of your evidence. These cans were made for studio drummers and block external noise up to 25 decibels, ruling out unintentionally hearing the Operator’s questions or outright fraud. If you see an investigator using off-the-rack headphones or earbuds, they’re performing the experiment incorrectly and might be trying to pull a fast one on you and the viewer. Anything less than 20 decibels of sound isolation won’t cut it. Stick to the Vic Firths. A general rule of EVP playback applies here as well: beware of sound-cancelling headphones. These types of headphones work by playing a tone that deafens the ears to outside sounds; you don’t want your headphones accidentally muting a spirit voice that might whisper through your feed.

Greg points out that the Receiver should make themselves as comfortable as possible. The Operator should direct questions at the entity or entities in the room and not specifically at the Receiver. Connor Randall’s additional advice is to say everything that you hear. No matter how weird it might seem at first and don’t try to be an interpreter, but rather a megaphone for the sounds. Read more from Greg about this method at The Estes Method: How the Groundbreaking SB7 Spirit Box Experiment is Changing Paranormal Investigation (weekinweird.com).

The Estes is quickly becoming a staple in paranormal investigations, and we would love to hear about your experiences with this method. Feel free to send us an email or leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

 

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