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Because of my past involvement in various exorcisms, I was approached a few months ago by Its Pretty Green, a public relations and branding agency in London, to see if I would take part in filming promotional material for the new American TV series, The Exorcist, to be broadcast on the SYFY Channel.
It was explained that I would be working alongside my friend, UK parapsychologist Dr Ciaran O’Keeffe, and that we would be filmed talking about our experiences with exorcisms.
Although the majority of exorcisms are nothing at all like those depicted by Hollywood, there have been occasions over my 35 years of working as a professional medium, when I have witnessed some grotesque and very frightening exorcisms.
Some years ago, I was contacted by Fr Julian Calendro, an American who started his life in the Church as a missionary priest, specialising in exorcisms, but whose knowledge of metaphysical subjects was quite extensive. Because of my history and background where exorcisms and possession are concerned, someone I had met during the course of my work in New York had recommended me to him.
He needed my mediumistic opinion about certain places to which he had been invited, and warned me, in no uncertain terms, that even he did not know what to expect. I must say I did feel safe accompanying Julian, as not only was he a veritable giant of a man, with a height of approximately 6 foot 5 inches, but his knowledge of such matters was also extremely extensive.
I wondered why he needed anyone to accompany him, let alone me.
The first so-called “case” was the home of a middle-aged and very attractive business woman in Paris, in an extremely luxurious apartment with a clear view of the Eiffel Tower. She had lived there for only 12 months and almost immediately after she had moved in she began to experience a lot of different types of paranormal phenomena.
She explained that the heavy coffee table in the centre of the room would move aggressively and unaided across the room. She said all the room would vibrate as though in the grip of an earthquake, doors would open and close by themselves, and all the lights throughout the apartment would turn on and off by themselves, as though the switches had been flicked by some disembodied hand.
Julian and I both agreed that the anecdotal accounts of another person’s experiences can be extremely unreliable, and so we politely suspected that the phenomena had most probably been slightly embellished. However, all our expenses had been met by the lady, and so we had nothing whatsoever to lose by investigating further.
We stayed in a nearby hotel and spent three days in all at the woman’s apartment, just chatting about the very eerie goings on, but as yet we had not witnessed anything but the sudden chiming of an old clock in the hallway, and the occasional rumble of the central heating system.
The woman was beginning to appear a little embarrassed and apologised profusely for wasting our time, almost as though she felt it was all her fault. Suddenly, without any prior warning, things began to occur. As is normal with poltergeist activity, the phenomena were all preceded by an overwhelming pungent smell, like burning rags or compost, with an accompanying smell like a filthy urinal.
Just as she had described, the entire apartment seemed to come alive and began to vibrate, and in the order she had claimed, the heavy coffee table in the centre of the room suddenly moved aggressively across the floor.
Simultaneously, ornaments flew from the polished sideboard, the mantelpiece and the window ledge, each piece landing gently on the carpeted floor, as though meticulously choreographed by some unseen force.
Whilst Julian was intrigued, I felt a flash of terror pass through my whole body as we all stood up. Lights flashed on and off, and the rumble in the apartment reached a terrifying crescendo, before releasing a cacophony of guttural, deafening sounds.
All this was followed by a peaceful silence. The entire place was now still and we watched, amazed, as the woman collected a vase and other decorative pieces from different parts the floor, to return them calmly to their respective resting places; something she had obviously become so accustomed to doing on a regular basis.
The woman explained that, as far as she could ascertain, for some reason no other tenant had complained about similar activity, and this left Julian thinking. He asked me if I had seen or heard anything during the commotion. However, all that I had seen was a dark swirling mass moving menacingly around the room.
I then watched Julian as he went through his ritual, using the Church’s method of the Bell, the Book and the Candle, and after reciting a few significant passages from the Romana Ritual, we all sat down to discuss what we should do next.
Julian suggested that she should wait and see if the exorcism had resolved the problem, promising that we would return the following day before making our way home.
The next morning, I wondered why Julian wanted to take me to the main library in Paris. I watched as he meticulously searched through records about the city’s history, particularly about Paris under German occupation in the Second World War.
He discovered that the building in which the woman’s apartment was located had been a Gestapo headquarters, a place where many people had been interrogated, and most probably tortured and killed. This, we both concluded, was the problem, and one Julian believed may never be resolved.
Such cases as these are few and far between, and even these must be experienced at first hand rather than have the anecdotal account of it passed on to you.
Even when a paranormally-disturbed building is demolished and reduced to rubble, whatever is built in its place will most certainly continue to experience the same paranormal activity. Emotionally traumatic occurrences are impregnated into the subtle fabric of a building, becoming a blueprint and record of all that has taken place there.
The majority of cases where apparitions have been seen tend to be no more than photographic images in the atmosphere, a subtle replay of things that have occurred through the passage of time.
The same is said of audible phenomena, such as disembodied moans echoing through the darkness, or many other sounds that cannot be explained. The energy that causes these phenomena to occur can be so powerful as to manifest as a telekinetic force, affecting the movement of objects, from ornaments to heavy pieces of furniture.
Stone Tape Theory is the scientific suggestion that powerful emotionally-charged visual and audible occurrences are recorded by the bricks and mortar of a building, to then be periodically replayed. As water tends to be a conduit for these sorts of phenomena, they mostly, but not always, occur in damp structures.
These paranormal phenomena occur as a result of interaction with the electromagnetic atmosphere. In the same way that both audio and video tapes are coated with an electromagnetic substance, allowing them to record sounds and images, so too are we surrounded with electromagnetic currents, thus allowing the same phenomenon to occur.
Although the phenomena Julian and I experienced in Paris were both audible and visual, the occurrences were probably not produced by the disembodied souls of those who had suffered there, as much as they were by the victims’ combined emotional forces released during their individual traumas.
The human form itself is an electromagnetic unit of incredible power, assimilating, modifying and discharging energy, and is also contained within its own spectrum of colour and light. When subjected to any traumatic experience, an interruption of our internal power occurs, causing an incredible release of our personal resources of electromagnetic energy.
This phenomenon causes an imprint to occur in the psychic space, and this is what becomes apparent as an apparition or some other paranormal phenomenon, and in some cases manifests as a telekinetic display.
One thing is certain, when pondering over what we believe causes paranormal phenomena to occur, we can really only speculate. But I’m sure the secrets of the invisible universe will one day be revealed to the scientists of the future, lifting forever that veil of mystery that has from time immemorial separated this world from the next.