In recent weeks it has come
to my attention that certain parties are using my ghost stories and those of my
contributors as references for their own commercial enterprises. If you or
someone you know is writing a book on ghosts in the Pacific Northwest, PLEASE
DO NOT!!! copy or use the following stories or any other materials within
this website as references.
Jefferson Davis (25 April
Here are some buttons which will take you
to an archive copy of the last years of the "What's New"
section I began in 2001.
Archive of What Was New, at the
Bottom of This Page
Events for 2017:
Informal Paranormal Pub: Monthly Event
Paranormal Pub: Monthly Event
Arts Evening at the Commodore Hotel - 17 February 2017
Ghost Conference: 31 March - 2 April 2017
Gamble Ghost Conference: 27 - 29 October 2017
News, Articles, and Opinions
Encounter with an Ovilus, at the Edgefield posted
26 March 2017
Haunted Commodore Hotel in Astoria 10
Ghost Conference &
my schedule Posted 6 February 2017
Haunted Commodore Hotel in Astoria
Posted 24 January 2017
2017, Vancouver Informal Paranormal Pub Discussion on Group Etiquette
Posted 22 Jan 2017
Want To Be On A Ghost Hunter TV Show?
Posted 5 January 2017
Encounter with an Ovilus, at the Edgefield posted
26 March 2017
16 March 2017, I met with Andrea Stenger at the Edgefield, in Troutdale,
Oregon. The Edgefield is locally
famous for many reasons. For
several decades in the 20th century, it was the Multnomah County
Poorhouse. In those years,
hundreds of society’s poor, indigent, incapable, and abandoned were sent
to the poorhouse to live out the rest of their lives.
The correct term for them in those days was inmate, and the person in
charge of the poorhouse was the Overseer of the Poor.
In the later 1900s, newer social welfare programs
caused Multnomah County to close the poorhouse, which had become a geriatric
facility. It sat vacant for many
years, until the McMenamins Brothers purchased the vast brick building and
its grounds. The McMenamins are
entrepreneurs who led the vanguard of the brewpub-hotel movement that has
captured the Pacific Northwest. Over
a period of decades, they converted the Edgefield into a successful hotel,
with a brewery, winery, movie theater, and golf course.
Even in winter, it is very difficult to get a weekend room at the
Edgefield, without booking well in advance.
As people visiting my website might expect, the decades
spent as a poorhouse seems to have left many unhappy memories within the
brick walls of the Edgefield. Memories
that may manifest themselves in a paranormal way, perceived by the many
guests who stay there today. The
staff keep a log book at the front desk, where guests share their
observations. These experiences
have taken place from the attic to the basement and the three floors in
between. I wanted to talk
briefly about an odd occurrence that took place as Andrea and I toured the
Today, the basement is taken up with general storage,
as well as an area with large beer brewing tanks, and stack upon stack of
barrels of aging wines. This
makes an excellent backdrop for the popular wine tasting bar.
However, in the past, as the Edgefield’s inmates grew older, the
staff brought them down to this basement at night.
This was not some form of torture.
It was an economical way for the nursing staff to monitor the inmates
en masse as they slept, rather than making nightly bed checks on each
inmate. Some of the inmates died
in their sleep down there, and may have left some spiritual remnant behind.
While we were in the basement, NOT sampling the wine
menu, Andrea and I talked about the many ghost stories surrounding the
building. As we had walked
around, she activated her Ovilus IV device.
I am somewhat of an old school paranormalist.
Over the years, I have watched many people employ scientific devices
which have ordinary uses, to look for evidence that when we die, we leave
something behind. Because these
devices were not designed specifically to find the paranormal, I am
sometimes skeptical of paranormal investigation usage.
I prefer to learn the scientific principles of how the devices work,
and whether their paranormal uses are in line with the original design parameters.
Ovilus IV is one of a long line of electronic devices manufactured
specifically to find evidence of the paranormal.
Below are excerpts of a description of the devices from the website
for Digital Dousing, who manufactured and sold the OVILUS
. There is along list of its features, which I have not included.
Ovilus 4 is a major step forward in ITC Devices designed for paranormal
“Instrumental Trans Communication” is a term used to describe
devices that use an electronic or mechanical means to allow spirit
the first time with Real Human Voices.
Color Touch Screen.
with 4 different voice options:
Male English Voice
Female English Voice
Male Spanish Voice
Female Spanish Voice
Ovilus IV converts environmental readings into voice.
Ovilus IV does not employ any random generation or algorithm to create
speech in any sequence or structured form. When energy changes are detected,
the magnitude of the change is used to select 1 of 2048 predefined words.
During normal operation the Ovilus IV will voice many words. This is
the environment changes around the Ovilus triggering the voice.
Based on the description, it is clear that the Ovilus
IV can speak with different gender voices in different languages.
It has a dictionary, as well as a phonetic function, where the voices
will ‘sound out’ individual syllables.
Users can also shut down the audio output and have words appear and
be recorded on an LED screen on the device.
There are many other functions available on the Ovilus IV, which I
will not explain. Despite all
these technical details, one thing not explained to my satisfaction is, how
does it really work.
I am paraphrasing what I think is the makers
explanation. They suggest changes to the electromagnetic environment
cause the Ovilus to generate the words.
However, it is not clear what kind of changes make up which specific
words, and whether this is a constant effect. That is, will the same
electromagnetic field readings, temperature changes, motion, and who knows
what else, will cause the same word to be generated, or not.
I admit that the website is quite large and I may have missed
theoretical details, but if I do not have diagrams and a detailed
explanation, I find any ghost hunting gear suspect.
Having said that, in the interest of being open minded,
I will not dismiss the Ovilus and similar gizmos out of hand.
This category of devices should be put to rigorous scientific
testing. Which Andrea and I did
not do at this time. However, we
did have an interesting experience that might have been causation or
of the stories I told Andrea centered on the stack of barrels in the
basement, stored behind glass walls. Many
years ago, some of the vintners were shifting barrels of wine from one part
of the complex to the basement. Each
barrel weighs several hundred pounds, and takes two to three strong people
to move, lift and stack. The
workers were doing their job in the middle of the night, and were the only
ones in the basement. They
brought a load of barrels down to the basement and stacked them carefully,
before leaving to get another load. They
locked the basement door behind themselves, to keep out intruders.
When they returned with more barrels, the workers found one of the
barrels turned sideways on the wooden crib, on the top stack of barrels.
It would have taken great precision and strength to get
the barrel turned and balanced, to sit sideways on top of the stack.
The vintners did not believe this was the work of a lone prankster.
It would have taken at least two men. Knowing
the history of the basement, they finished their work, and left quickly.
As I told Andrea of this occurrence, she had her Ovilus
pointed toward the barrels of wine. A
few seconds later she showed me the screen, which read, “barrel”.
This could have been a coincidence, but what a coincidence.
Out of over 2,000 words, it selected the one word that could have
described my tale. Is this a
case of some spirit reaching out to us, which is causation? Or is it a
highly interesting instance of random chance generating a word, to which our
own minds make a correlation between the Ovilus readout and my story?
Andrea has many paranormal interests. She and her
friends work at Paranormal
Portland Society of Associated Services. You can also find them on
I borrowed many of Andrea's photographs for this article. Thank you
Haunted Commodore Hotel in Astoria
Posted 24 January 2017
mid-January, I visited the Commodore
Hotel, in Astoria, Oregon. The
Commodore has an interesting history, and as you might expect on this
website, it is haunted. The
Commodore was a traveler’s hotel and saw many guests from the early to
latter 20th century. In
those years, the only way to cross the Columbia River from Washington to
Oregon was by ferry. The ferry
service was limited, especially during storms.
It they arrived too late in the evening and missed the ferry,
travelers needed to spend the night somewhere, and the Commodore was an
inexpensive option. However, on
27 August 1966, the Astoria-Megler bridge joining Washington and Oregon
opened, which spelled the doom of many of Astoria’s traveler hotels.
The Commodore soon shut its doors for lack of
clientele, and remained sealed up for decades.
With the recent increase of overnight tourism in Astoria, a group of
entrepreneurs purchased the Commodore and renovated it, as one of
Astoria’s affordable hotels. Soon
after opening the hotel, many staff members noticed strange things in
different places. The staff
often find the room to one room on the second floor open, even if there are
no guests staying there. Several
of the staff have felt strange things in the basement, near their break
Olsen owns a local business, Chariot
Spirit & Home. She also
has an interest in the supernatural, and asked me to visit the Commodore
with her. While I noticed
nothing overtly supernatural, we did have some interesting experiences that
warrant a future visit. When we
walked down to the basement with one of the employees who spoke about a
disappearing slice of pizza, I heard a loud metallic clank from a set of
metal dishes stacked against a wall. The
sound was quite loud, and there was no one standing near them to make the
sound. However, it could have
been the result of vibrations on the room.
We went to the far corner of the basement, where Suzy
and most of the employees reported uneasy feelings.
We sat at a table in that corner, with a Tri-field electromagnetic
radiation detector, and a digital audio recorder.
We had gone throughout the basement and identified several areas
where the EMR was relatively high because of power lines, outlets, or
magnetized metal. Near this
corner, the EMR was relatively high, at around 3 milligauss, but there were
no obvious reasons for the reading. We
made four attempts to make contact with any entities through Electronic
In each attempt, we each asked a series of questions
that needed short answers to respond. After
each question, we waited several seconds for the digital audio recorder to
pick up any response that was not obvious to us in real time.
We sat very still while asking our questions, which lasted about two
minutes with each attempt. After
each attempt, we immediately listened to the recording, hoping to hear a
the audio, while I think there were a few anomalies, there were no obvious
voice-answers. There was a lot
of background noise from a refrigeration unit humming and rhythmically
clanging, which could account for any anomalies.
However, we did have a different kind of response.
Upon replay, we monitored the needle of the EMF detector, and when
the recording reached the silent period after some questions, the needle
spiked several times, rising as high as 6 milligauss.
When that happened, we noted it in Suzy’s notes, and redirected our
questions along new lines in the next EVP attempt.
I have included the four sound files for you to review.
On 17 February, Suzy will host an event called The
Dark Arts Eve at the Commodore Hotel. Part of that event will be a
visit to the basement! I think
attendees will find it interesting. Even
if you cannot make it to the Dark Arts Eve, you can visit the Commodore
later. The rooms are nice, the
lobby was comfortable, and some of the staff were willing to talk about
Arts Eve at the Commodore Hotel, Updated 10 March 2017
Sorry it has taken me a while to write about the Dark Arts
Night. It very interesting! I recommend people read the results
of this interesting event, and maybe take part in another one in the future.
Suzy asked me to attend to provide some historic information
to her guests, but she did not need my help organizing the event, or her
experiments. Although she tried limiting attendance to 20 people, closer to 30
people showed up. We were a bit short on chairs though.
Suzy's approach was very traditional. While I brought my
own electromagnetic field detector, Suzy relied on a swinging pendulum, candle
flame, and spirit board, which some people call a ouija board. In this
case, Suzy's board was custom made, and about twice the size of ones made by
High tech paranormal investigators may not use the pendulum
and candle flame methods of spirit communication. These methods date
back to the 19th century. In the case of the pendulum, the medium, or
clairvoyant raises their hand or arm, holding some kind of weight on a
string. They ask a question of the spirits, and after a few seconds,
the bob at the end of the string moves. If it moves on one direction,
the answer is yes, if it moves in the other direction, the answer is
no. Some people have even placed pieces of paper under the pendulum
with letters on them. The pendulum will swing over letters or words,
like a ouija board.
In the case of the candle method, it is very simple.
When someone asks a question, they look at the candle flame. If the
flame erratically grows or shrinks, the watchers can interpret that as a yes
or no answer to questions, or some evidence of paranormal
I do not think I need to explain how the spirit board
works. These are all very old, low technology methods of communicating
with any spirits present. Like all methods, there is no technical
proof that they are totally effective in spirit communication. There
are many skeptics who point out that all three of the methods can be
influenced at the subconscious level by the people practicing them. In
the case of the pendulum and spirit board, the participant's inner desires,
fears, and theories can be manifested in the results. In the case of
the candle flame method, the fear or excitement of the flame watchers can
affect their perception of the candle flame. I must also point
out that using high tech electronic devices suffer from these weaknesses, as
well as weaknesses inherent in using energy based tools, such as battery
failure, ordinary energy conduits creating EMF fields, etc. Having
pointed out the valid skepticism, that does not mean these methods are all
invalid. Oftentimes, the results are verified later, by independent
As a group we identified many possible trends or answers to
the questions asked. Oftentimes the results of the various devices or
experiments coincided. For instance, at the same time as Suzy asked a
question, several times the needle in my electromagnetic field detector
raised, or spiked, AND the candle flame jumped, or flickered. When two
or more of these anomalous results happen, I think there is a greater chance
that the experiments are valid.
Suzy managed to contact two separate entities. The
first entity was that of a child, who had remained behind in the
hotel. It may or may not have died there. It wanted to leave but
was somehow trapped in place. It may have been the one who played
pranks on the guests and staff. At first this entity seemed to be very
strong, and responded to the pendulum. However, it faded abruptly, as
if it ran out of energy. It was soon replaced by the spirit of an
Asian man, who may have come to Astoria in the mid-1800s as a Coolie.
His spirit predated the construction of the Commodore Hotel. Coolies
were people who were sold (by themselves or their families) into slave
labor. Theoretically this was a form of indentured servitude, where
the person would serve for a certain number of years in return for money, or
One of the reasons the Coolies came to the United States was
to become rich. The stories of the wealth of the California gold and
silver fields spread worldwide in many languages. In reality,Asians
were not allowed to own and work their own mining claims in most
areas. Many of the Coolies who came to the United States from Asia
never lived to the end of their contract. Some died from labor
conditions, overwork, diseases, or were murdered. Along with
becoming rich, the other ambition of the Asian laborers was to return
home. If they could not do this in life, they hoped to send their
bones home to their families. Through the length of the séance, it
seemed that the unquiet spirit of an Asian laborer was not buried properly,
and his bones were not sent home. Lost, he wandered the vicinity of
the Commodore, which has been a familiar space, when he was alive.
The skeptics may be right, and these spirits might be the
product of the collective imaginations of Dark Arts Night
patrons. However, some of the answers would have needed a lot of
historic information to make sense. I did not provide that kind of
background before the event, and to the best of my knowledge, none of them
had a great amount of knowledge about this part of Astoria's past. I
think other paranormal investigators would be interested in visiting the
Commodore in the future. Maybe they should try to contact Suzy?
2017, Vancouver Informal Paranormal Pub Discussion on Group Etiquette
Posted 22 Jan 2017
As some visitors to this website know, (and many do
not,) once a month I host what I call the Vancouver,
Informal Paranormal Pub. This
is a Facebook centric event where people interested in the paranormal meet
once a month at a location in Vancouver, Washington.
We do not have any paranormal group orientation, or fixed set of
discussion topics. We meet, eat,
and talk about current paranormal events, and our life experiences.
Some people talk about recent investigations and trips.
Others talk about equipment and techniques, and so on.
I find it a great way to connect with people near me
who share an interest. The group
has about 30 members who are invited to the pub, but there is no requirement
to attend every get together. There
are some regulars, and other people just drift in and out, which is fine.
I know they come to the pub when they want to, not when they MUST.
22 January, we had our first pub of 2017.
In 2016, we had our pubs at a place called the Tip Top Tavern.
This year, for various reasons, we met at the Uptown
Barrel Room, on 21st and Main Street, in Vancouver.
I liked the half-pound Angus
hamburger. We talked about a variety of subjects; probably the
most important was what I and others called Group Etiquette.
This related to the dilemma faced by many paranormal investigation
groups who begin small, and gradually get too big for their own good.
Or do they?
I do not head my own paranormal investigation group,
but over the past 20+ years I have seen them come and go.
Generally, what happens is, one person is interested in the
paranormal, and they recruit group members from the people around them.
This means the group usually begins with a membership of friends,
family members, and co-workers. Because
of this group intimacy, these groups integrate quickly, and have early major
However, over time the groups grow to include friends
of friends, or complete strangers. The
newcomers are often attracted by the theoretical approach of the group, or
their geographic area of interest. As
the paranormal group grows, I have seen many of them reach some kind of
crisis point, where they become so adversarial that they break up, and the
original members either form their own new group, or leave paranormal
investigating entirely because of the negative memories.
In some cases, group members have sued each other in court, or
harassed each other for months or years.
On the surface, these differences can be theoretical.
For instance, a group may start with both clairvoyants and technical
(gizmo) approaches to paranormal investigation.
Over time, individual members may want to go one way or the other.
In other cases, the division of labor is an issue.
Oftentimes, one person, or a small number in the group core do most
of the tedious work of scheduling investigations, updating websites, writing
reports, etc. Some members spend
a lot of money on equipment used by the group, while others pay very little,
and sometimes damage the equipment. Some
people seem to take more credit for the group accomplishments than others.
This includes some leaders seemingly not listening to the input of
the group. If unresolved, these
inequalities can lead to deep resentment.
Some or all of these divisions can factor into the
implosion of a paranormal group. However,
in my opinion, these are only surface factors, while the real reasons for
conflict are rooted in the dynamic of the group itself.
Because most paranormal groups begin as an extended family or social
group, the members tend to behave or act like they are at home.
That is mostly good, but what if the extended family paranormal group
is dysfunctional. If someone is
the leader in their family, they might think they should act that way with
the group, who should obey. If
someone is the ‘baby’ of the family, they tend to bring that to the
paranormal group as well. If
people are not aware that they are acting out, as if they are in their
family, the end result will always be disaster.
In my opinion, one way to lower the risk of the
paranormal group dissolving into chaos is to appeal to the member’s sense
of business professionalism, not their sense of family unity.
Many paranormal groups begin, or later add a series of documents to
codify group behavior. These can
include a mission statement of why the group exists.
The best groups also have a code of conduct, which spells out how
group members are supposed to treat each other.
Most successful groups also have some kind of leadership board, which
oversees the group’s progress, and whether they are meeting the letter and
spirit of the founding documents. There
are many different subjects and dynamics a specific code or business model
Group meetings should always have some kind of business
component that looks at past performance and the future.
If people do not follow the rules, the group has the right to remove
members, and individual members have the right to leave, without harassment.
I hate to say this, but successful paranormal investigation involves
more than running around, looking for evidence of the spirit world.
I encourage anyone thinking of starting a paranormal group, or who
are members of one that is struggling to think about my suggestions, before
it is too late.
Ghost Conference 2017 Updated on 6
For many people from Oregon and Southwest Washington, the Oregon Ghost
Conference has become an important part of our year. For the past five
years, the conference has been on the first weekend in April, and has kicked
off the spring and summer season for people conducting paranormal
investigations and planning haunted holidays across the Pacific Northwest.
It has attracted speakers from as far away as Southern California, and the
Canadian border. Last year, the conference included talks and workshops
on a variety of subjects, ranging from past life regression and hypnosis, to
finding your own psychic voice, to the latest equipment used in paranormal
I met last year with the conference organizer,
Rocky Smith who along with a dedicated circle of volunteers, have made the
conference an interesting and pleasant experience. He told me that he
wanted to keep the conference fresh, and have new speakers, and new topics for
classes and discussion groups. He and his staff sent out requests for
new topics and events last year, and now he has a formal schedule of events.
Here is a link to the 2017
This conference I will be very busy. I will be giving
ghost walks around Seaside, as well as participating in two panel, and putting
on one educational class. Here is a link to the entire conference
schedule. I am unsure which days I will be giving ghost walks around
Seaside, since they are scheduled both Friday and Saturday nights. I
recommend you make your reservations as soon as you can. Last year the
walks sold out within hours of the conference opening.
Saturday I will be participating in two different events. Between 2 - 3
pm, I will be on an author's panel on the main state. Between 6 - 7 pm, I
will be the moderator for a panel discussion entitled, So
you want to be on a Paranormal TV Show. Then I will probably eat a quick
dinner and give an evening ghost walk.
Sunday, between 1 - 2 pm, I will be in the Haystack Room, teaching a class on
self-publishing for authors. I am kind of old school, so I will focus on
paper publishing. I hope lots of budding author-publishers attend.
You Want To Be On A Ghost Hunter TV Show? Posted
5 January 2017
you ever heard the expression, "always a bridesmaid, never a
bride"? In the last couple of decades, I have been on several
stand-alone paranormal videos, as well as on different television series. I was on
Haunted History (Pacific Northwest episode), Oregon Ghost [Coast] Explorer, and
in 2017, I will make my fourth appearance on the Dead Files. In
addition to these shows which have aired, I have appeared in one or two
television pilots which were never completed or aired, and I have been a
contributor to television shows that did not reward me with a television
appearance. I cannot tell you how many local television station Halloween
segments I have done. I have also done online auditions for some television
producers, looking to staff a new show. I think I fit the expression
as a perpetual bridesmaid, which has given me an unique perspective.
also think almost everyone who has had a paranormal experience would like the chance
to share their experiences with a television audience. And everyone who has become a paranormal investigator would not only like to appear
on someone else's show, they want to host their own show as well. Of
course most of the time, people get their own television shows after appearing
as a guest on someone else's show. Even if some people complain
about some shows, most will still agree to appear on these shows, for the
chance of their own future show. If people deny this, or a
desire to be on television, it is because they have been turned down, and are
suffering from a case of sour grapes. Sort of.
I have been
to enough conferences and paranormal meetings to hear many criticisms of the
various shows currently on the air, or those that have been cancelled.
Complaints usually range from critique of ghost hunting techniques; to creative
editing to make a boring story more interesting and thereby false; to
out-and-out fraud on the part of the entire television cast. That is where
there is a bit of genuine concern on the part of would-be television stars, as
well as sour grapes. I have heard many people claim they would never
appear on this or that television show. Some critics have been true to
their words and turned down appearance, while others have dampened down their objections long enough to stand
in front of the camera. Which makes all of us human beings. That is
why I recommend thinking of the people on television, and the staff behind the
scenes as human beings as well.
Because I am
probably in the top ten of Northwest ghost hunters to not appear on his own show, sometimes I talk
to other ghost hunters; ones who want to be on television, or have been contacted
by producers of existing television shows. The best advice I give
them is, if you are turned down, it is nothing personal on the part of the
production staff. They are putting together a television show, and they
have to please the viewers, the on-air stars, and an inverted pyramid of people
at the television station. Their bosses include television station
producers, their lawyers and bankers, as well as the producers, bankers, and
lawyers of their own production company. It is not an easy job. They
have to be flexible, and that means if you want to be on their show, you have to
be flexible as well.
I will give you a for instance.
Several years ago, an international travel show was coming to Portland and
wanted to film a spooky episode to aire on Halloween of that year. They
contacted me, and I contacted other paranormal groups, and the managers of
several haunted locales. We had everything set up to allow them to attend
a paranormal investigation, and tour several historic, haunted locales around
Portland. I traded emails with the show runner up to the day they flew out
from their home base. Then nothing.
About a week later, the
show runner sent me an email apologizing for not letting me know, the
producer/star of the show changed his mind in mid-flight, and they went with a
second production idea. I was furious at the time. I had put myself
and a lot of people out, preparing for this television show. It was a
learning experience. I spoke with my friend Joshua, who has produced MANY
television shows on the paranormal and other very serious subjects. He
reminded me about the perspective of the television producers. They answer to
many bosses, and have to be flexible, otherwise they will lose their jobs.
The fact that it was not personal on their part took away some of the sting,
after about a year.
want to speak a bit about most of the people in the television business who I
have worked with. They are professionals, and they have good ethics, if
you bear in mind, how complex their jobs are. Most of these shows are
billed as 'reality television'. As a whole, reality television is real, and yet it is not. In the course of recording a one
hour (44 minutes of show, with 16 minutes of commercials) television show, the
director may shoot 30 or 40 hours of footage. This has to be edited down
to its 44 minutes, with some kind of act break and fade in around
commercials. Along with this, what happened during the shoot? Who
was it, what did they do, and what was the resolution of the
episode/incident/visit? Someone has to take all this footage and fit it
into the 44 minutes, while convey everything through editing.
Sometimes they get it wrong, according to some of the participants.
Sometimes the television audience does not get it. There are dangers of
bad editing and deliberate deceptive editing. Most of the time, I have
found it has been accidental.
I have high praise for
most of the television staff I have worked with. I single out Joshua Alper
for everything I have seen of his work. He was ethical and cared about
everyone I saw him work with. Joshua was a long time producer - writer for
Haunted History and many seasons of Unsolved Mysteries. He always told me
the truth, even if it meant telling me my television ideas sucked! He took the time
to educate me on some film techniques, and the culture behind it.
have also enjoyed working with the producers, directors, and cast and crew of
the Dead Files. From what I have seen over the years, the show is pretty
much as they portray it on the air. I have never met Amy, who is not
supposed to meet or be influenced by anybody on site. Steve really is a
former Marine, and a retired cop. He is both funny and serious at the same
time. You cannot stand nose to nose talking with someone for two hours,
(waiting on camera set ups) without learning something about them. He and
the production staff are very serious about getting the facts right, because of
criticism of other television shows.
I appeared as a historian, a
job which I have done for several years. It just so happens, I write books
on historical haunts. Although they have their own historical staff, part
of the reason I believe the Dead Files has me return is because I have always
been able to dig out more historical facts and perspective on the haunted
locale. They have listened to me, and let me talk about the history in my
spoken with people who have been guests on different shows over the
years. Some have good experiences, some have very bad experiences.
Word gets out, and shows that screw over their guest experts and ghost hunters
develop a reputation. I advise people who might appear on a television show
to do their due diligence.
Watch a few episodes of the show. Understand the show concept, and whether
its premise and episodes fall within your sense of good or bad technique. Go online, and contact former
guests. Ask these guests if they were treated fairly. If the former
guest complains, evaluate whether the guest is disgruntled for some non-factual
reason. What did the producers promise you, versus what do you hope they
will do for you? Make your own judgment, and if things go wrong, be prepared for
the consequences. Above all, remember you are on the show to help them
get-it-right in some way. The show does not exist to make you
famous. Understand this, and you and the television show staff will both
Informal Paranormal Pub
I really enjoy going to ghost hunter/paranormal
conferences. One bad thing is, most conferences are only once a
year. Although we share and interest in almost anything paranormal, we are
also people. Oftentimes, I enjoy the talk at meals, or in the
hallways between classes more than the discussion or classes themselves.
There are some paranormal groups, mostly in Portland who hold monthly
meetings. However, as a Vancouverite, I am reluctant to attend some
meetings. Show of hands please, who hates driving in and around downtown
Portland, even on a weekend? While I cannot see all the hands, I suspect
that there are many of them in the air right now. I also wanted something in my home
town of Vancouver, Washington.
In 2016, I decided to
start an informal discussion group in Vancouver, where people could just hang
out and talk ghosts, ghost hunting, and related topics. I
picked a location in downtown Vancouver, the Uptown
Barrel Room. They are nice
enough to let us set up in their back room, which accommodates about a dozen
people. We eat, we chat, and just hang out.
for pictures of my gatherings!
is no formal schedule of who will talk, and about what. Some people have
shared pictures of their recent paranormal vacations, or investigations.
Oftentimes in sharing experiences, though informal discussion, people have
learned different strategies for their ghost hunting investigations.
Although there are over 30 people on the Facebook members list for the Vancouver
Informal Paranormal Pub, there is no requirement to attend all meetings. Click
this link to visit the page, and send us a request to join. I
recommend people try out this arrangement in their own home town, or come
visit us some time. We meet once a month, on a Sunday at 5 PM. You
can drop in, or send me an email to let me know you are interested in
McMenamins Paranormal Pub
time ago, the McMenamins Mission Theater in downtown Portland began their Paranormal
Pub, with the local chapter of MUFON. Their meetings are generally the
last Sunday afternoon of the month, beginning at 6:00 pm (doors open) followed
by a two or so hour talk beginning at 7:00 pm. The Mission theater is
located at 1624 N W Glisan, Portland, OR. Parking can be a bit of a bear
though, even for a Sunday. You will have to go through their
website to find out the paranormal talks each month.
Arts Evening at the Commodore Hotel, Astoria, Oregon
On 18 February, Astoria's Fort George Brewery will be
releasing a new line of beers. The release event is called the
Festival of Dark Arts The evening before, on 17
February, Suzy Olsen will be at the haunted Commodore Hotel, hosting her own
dark arts celebration. She calls this event The
Dark Arts Eve at the Commodore Hotel. For a nominal fee, guests will
be treated to local ghost stories from Astoria and invited to share their
own. There will be many other happenings, I am sure.
Ghost Conference 2017 Updated
6 February 2017
2017, the Oregon Ghost Conference will be in its fifth year. By 2016, it
grew so large, its organizer, Rocky Smith moved the conference to Seaside,
Oregon. The conference was a supernatural success, attended by many
paranormal experts from as far away as Southern California. It included
panels, seminars, readings, and discussion groups. On one evening, I and
other paranormalists gave ghost walks around Seaside, and conducted
investigations in one of Seaside's more haunted locales.
year, the conference will have as many as four ghost walks per evening,
depending on demand. While many people (like me) return year after
year to give talks, panel discussions, or conduct teaching seminars, our
presentations have changed from last year to this. That way, it will be
fresh for you, and everyone else. This year there are a lot of how-to
seminars and classes, ranging from beginning ghost hunting, to equipment, to
producing videos. There will also be guided ghost hunts, and many social
events to mix and mingle with people who share a similar interest. Here is a link to the 2017
Gamble Ghost Conference 27 - 29 October 2017
to some, the paramount paranormal conference of the Puget Sound is the
Port Gamble Paranormal Conference, over the Halloween weekend. The
organizers of the event are based out of Port Gamble, one of
Washington's most ghost hunter friendly towns. Many of the Pacific Northwest's
most talented and accomplished ghost hunters and clairvoyants go to this
conference to teach classes, give readings, and learn more about the
paranormal themselves. If you live close, and maybe far away, I
recommend you attend.
Registration opens 1 May
2017 and here is a link to their
website. You can follow links there to take you to the conference
Personal Appearance Schedule for 2017
February 2017, I will be at the Brookwood
Branch of the Hillsboro, OR library at 6:30 pm.
February 2017, I will be in Astoria at the The
Dark Arts Eve at the Commodore Hotel at 9 pm.
February 2017, I will be at the Whatcom County Library, talking about
31 - 2 April 2017, I will be in Seaside, OR for the Oregon Ghost
31, 2017, I will be at the Stevenson, WA public library at 6:30
pm. I will be talking about Weird Washington.
5, 2017, I will be at the Battle Ground, WA public library at 6:30
pm. I will be talking about Weird Washington.
2017, I will be at the Goldendale, WA public library at 5:00
pm. I will be talking about Weird Washington.
16, 2017, I will be at the Hillsboro Library Writer's Fair.
28 October 2017, I will be emceeing a Halloween fundraiser for the Vancouver
Barracks Military Association.
November 2017, I will be selling books at the
Bazaar at Battle Ground High School.
November 2017, I will be selling books at the Mountain
View High School Christmas Bazaar.
17 and 19 November 2017, I
will be at Orycon, on various panels
November 2017, I will be selling books at the Prairie High School
Christmas Bazaar. The school is located at 11311 NE 119th St, Vancouver, WA.
2 December 2017, I
will be at the Hockinson High School Bazaar selling books.
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