My Paranormal Statement:
Where do I stand?
"There is nothing quite like peeling back the layers of something we cannot see, to unveil further elements of reality that exist alongside us in our own bubble."
Hello! Welcome to Lost Voices.
I've been putting together this website for a couple of years, having been investigating the weird world of EVP for over a decade. I had a group on Facebook by the same name, dedicated mainly to my top location, HMP Shepton Mallet where I've investigated since day 1 of its opening to the public in 2017, and where until recently I worked as a night supervisor. I've investigated all over the UK and in some incredible locations in Europe, which has enabled me to draw comparisons and ask many questions about this phenomena, and not just marvel at what comes at me through the headphones, but at what it actually means. Quite simply, studying this phenomenon is life-changing.
I'm currently in the process of wrapping up writing a book about 'all of this', which has been a work of mixed emotions and difficulty. I'm not exactly a disciplined writer, and squeezing out a book is not easy. It's been a little like being pregnant with a non-human baby for the past three years!
So, before we begin, just a little about me. I live in Somerset with my husband Jack. I half loan a beautiful piebald pony named Rodney, and I'm a Grecophile of extraordinary proportions! I visit Kefalonia every year, and am trying very hard and yet failing miserably, to learn Greek.
Now just a bit about the momentously strange field in which we find ourselves as investigators or interested parties:
Firstly I think I should come clean and say that personally, the terms paranormal and supernatural sort of misrepresent what 'all this' is or may actually be about. Everything's natural whether or not we understand or believe it!
I wanted to get that off my chest early on! That said it's easier to use them than the overly tongue-twisting alternative. I feel, and maybe this is just me, but that they are words that have become synonymous with largely inaccurate perceptions of 'weird stuff' - what I prefer to call anomalous phenomena. But you can't go around saying that all the time because, so for the sake of this website and for its visitors, I will stick with paranormal. But it's an icky one.
There's a few other iffy members in the terminology stable too. Take for example...
GHOST. The cliched use (that many now take to be the gospel definition of all things strange) of the word ghost is so vastly and probably inappropriately used for something that is but one tiny light in an immense sky of stars. It is like referring to the entirety of the world's fauna by referencing an ant. Sure, this is one example amidst a million others, all different, all inexplicably intricate. Ghost to most folk just means the shade of a dead human. Where to begin?!
Personally, and this is just my opinion so it matters not in the grand scheme of things, but I think that a true ghost is an apparition, just a physical imprint with maybe a basic form of intelligence. The towering plume of blacker than black 'smoke' that accompanied my friend up a set of stairs, now this I would term a ghost I think. This 'thing' was seen twice more in the same area that week - once by a young boy and his sceptic father who said it was a "tower of black". I also would categorise my latest photo from a blacked-out B Wing at Shepton Mallet Prison as a ghost. (See gallery).
As for the fading monk that my Mother saw sat on the end of her bed in Spain up in the mountains, who remained there after she switched on the light, smiling at her... now that, he would be a what, intelligent ghost rather than an apparition maybe? Why does anything have to be any one denomination of entity?
THE 'D' WORD!
And whilst I'm on about personal griping bugbears, I think that if I hear the word 'demon' one more time on the TV ghost shows, I'll combust! In the sense that most people proffer the 'D' word they mean it to be a sort of inhuman devil, something with fangs and red eyes intent on causing harm to its human hosts. I think that the Victorians and Hollywood have much to do with this. If demon ultimately means something non-human then I reckon that the majority of anomalously phenomenal activity is demonic. But that very word, the 'D' word, for me simply conjurs up Hollywood-style religious over-the-top cliches that have zero bearing on the majority of activity. It's absurd. No wonder the sceptics think us believers all insane.
There are probably multitudes of variants within the field of non-human/inhuman entities, not everything has hooves, horns and big old gnashers!
I had a non-human entity causing havoc in my 80's semi recently. Do I think this has anything to do with Satan, do I think the scratches I received had anything to do with the holy trinity (as a certain TV investigator is so fond of telling us that it most certainly is?!) No, I do not. What I feel may be the case is that (a) I live on the site of a medieval friary, which was in turn built on a Roman dump and burial ground. The 1600s prison lay 200m away by the river that runs through the village. This equates to a lot of compounded life! (b) I dabble in strange things (c) I think there is possibly an ex-resident still here. The EVPs I still capture let me know I'm not alone in the house, and I think it's a blend of all elements that go towards producing activity.
I and many other investigators are not religious. I will point out here that I was raised a practising Christian, was baptised and confirmed somewhat against my will. I felt as if I'd been forced to join a club I wasn't sure I wanted to be in.
I still held my morals though, and feel that this is what religion is really about - getting people to treat others in a certain way, but bound together by intricate rituals from times past. When I was 16 I stopped going to church. Please don't misunderstand me - I'm not anti-religion, I'm just not religious myself.
I respect religion and people who do abide by it. I get emotional at services. There's a binding reverence in churches and other religious buildings, and I utterly understand this. To stand in an empty church and to listen, to feel... The care and love of those who have passed through the building is tangible. I love very much many family and friends who atttend church, and this is a special things. I enjoy hymns, love carols... who doesn't? Religion fluffs off on all of us, many from our school years, and therefore it's always going to have that special sanctity. I love Gregorian chant. What was Christmas as a child without Christmas Eve' in bed waiting for you know who, with Mum and Nana out at the midnight service, Dad cooking mince pies and sausage rolls, with the chant playing loud...? Magic! Goosebumps just thinking about it.
It is a spiritual thing, not necessarily religious I think. Perhaps THAT is the difference?
I do wonder why we use inappropriate wording so much. Perhaps it is because these misnomers have become a sort of one-size-fits-all for any haunt-type phenomena. It doesn't necessarily mean that it is the result of dead people getting cheeky.
I have been asked if I "believe in the paranormal?" You mean, things we can't explain? Well...yes! All paranormal/supernatural refer to are things beyond our understanding. And why should a 'paranormal' experience be spooky? Why should it all be about darkness, death, decay and morbidity? Probably it's because physical death freaks us all out, and that this is the most graspable strand of weirdness that we as mortals, can dabble in and achieve evidential results.
So it begs the question, if you can't actually define ghosts, that can you really hunt them?
As an investigator in any parapsychological field you must be more like a counsellor, scientist, theorist, judge, sceptic, mediator, experimenter, be an emotional sponge, psychiatrist, friend, shepherd, or perhaps even a minder! But the term Ghost Hunting has become the norm for many, and that's not going to change any time soon. Those working within the field, the commercial one too, understand the true meaning - but trying to convey this to the masses who think that every bump in the night is a spook, is difficult.
I'd say that much phenomena experienced has just a little to do with death, we're just not as exposed to this idea and it's harder to investigate and come to terms with. There's SO much more going on than we know, and as I already said above, just because the death aspect is easier for our mortal minds to get a grip on and explore the possibilities, it is not the be-all and end-all. Yes it does come into a facet of parapsychological activity, of course - but not everything does.
Consider the idea that all BBQs are about meat. Not so! But that's what the instant majority will think. Not all 'paranormal' experiences are death-related either.
A ghost is not a spirit,
poltergeist is not a ghost,
an apparition is not a spirit.
Sometimes an entity is one of these, sometimes all, and sometimes none...
There are so many variables that ultimately will produce 'a result' = activity.
Intermixing, interchanging variables mean that a 'paranormal' experience is not replicable or explicable.
We are not dealing with the physical here. We are talking about something that has gone beyond the physical on a level with which we are unfamiliar.
Time is not linear, although we have been conditioned to see it as such - what if it bends, loops, overlays and lies above and below 'our' timeline, our current 'reality' or dimension? Peeks into what we deem to be The Past (apparitions etc) may not be 'ghosts' at all but actual slithers of that particular reality poking through into our own.
The different sorts of phenomena are far too numerous and various in type to define.
Many of today's 'ghost hunters ' seem primed by the TV shows since starting out, so the idea that it's not all about dead people is as alien to them as a non-believer suddenly being told that ghosts exist! It's the easiest option after all. Why go out with a detector and spade when you can pick up surface goodies? Perhaps there are deeper, harder to understand treasures just waiting for us - if only we learned how to dig.
But for the time being, the easy most obvious route to go is to contact the deceased, and for most of us, myself included, this is where we get the best haul of ghostly bullion. And it's so exciting.
Although much of my investigating is conducted at locations that tick all the haunted boxes (prisons, old forts, mortuary, war sites, houses of recently deceased etc..) I know that phenomena is accessible everywhere and at any time. I frequently record both male and female voices in my own house whilst sat the armchair, and also at the homes of friends and loved ones. A place does not have to be haunted to be...haunted! Activity can happen anywhere at anytime and for a number of reasons. I hope that this makes sense?
From my own point of view it is the audio side to investigation that I find the most compelling and fascinating. Although of course I dabble in the other more traditional (and indeed modern) aspects of paranormal investigation, it is EVP study that really grabs me.
There is nothing quite like peeling back the layers of something we cannot see, to unveil further elements of reality that exist alongside us in our own bubble.
The kick is incredible, powerful, and addictive. It’s a veritable smack around the face every single time I plug into my work, and it’s as rewarding and incredible as anything else I’ve ever experienced.
Of course all of this is just my opinion. I may be totally wrong, but I had to get it out there.