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Psychic Reflections
Probably the scariest part of the paranormal is not knowing what is going to happen next!
From Spiritualism to Parapsychology

Stories about communications with the dead are as old as history itself. This was the
hidden realm of oracles, shamans, and witches. Only those with special powers
could use secret rituals to consult the Gods or the ancestors.

The late 1700s became a time of enlightenment. Slowly the belief in witchcraft
faded and men sought out other reasons for disease and misfortune. Although an
ancient belief, the idea of the existence of a magnetic like fluid that linked heaven
and earth came into vogue. The young physician Franz Mesmer used this idea to
form his theory of “Animal Magnetism.” By 1789, Mesmer (the father of Hypnosis)
had fallen from favor and labeled a fraud.
Beliefs changed again with the rise of the Spiritualist movement in the United
States and later Britain. Spiritualists believed evidence for life after death could be
manifested through mediums that conversed with spirits and performed
paranormal feats.
The hauntings in the small town of Hydesville, New York March 1st, 1848 may
have started the movement. The Fox sisters claimed to have conversations with
ghosts and spirits. They told their parents spirits would send messages in the form
of taps, rapping, or writing on slates. Sometimes arms or hands would materialize.
Their reputation spread, and P.T. Barnum brought the sisters to New York, where
they performed and scrutinized by skeptics. Their fans included James Fenimore
Cooper, George Ripley, Horace Greeley, Arthur Conan Doyle, and other famous
personalities of the day.
The success of the Fox sisters inspired many mediums; who would fall into a
trance state to channel messages from the dead, thus providing proof of life after
death. Less than ten years after the Fox sisters, a catholic council estimated there
were over three million Spiritualists nationwide.
A common belief of Spiritism is that many illnesses such as epilepsy,
schizophrenia, and multiple personality disorders have spiritual causes, or were the
result of suffering in past lives.
During the heyday of the Spiritualist movement, independent mediums began to
appear all over the U.S. holding séances and charging for their services. Mental
mediums provided information (not accessible by normal means) such as fortune
telling, describing distant events, locating lost objects, and communication with the
deceased. Physical mediums have the same abilities but also could influence
physical matter. These feats included levitation, table tipping, apports, automatic
writing, materialization of spirit hands, and movement of furniture.
One very popular method of spirit communication required several persons (sitters)
to sit around a table. With hands, resting on the table the sitters called on spirits. In
successful sessions, the table would rise and spin rapidly. Sometimes sitters recited
the alphabet, the table would tilt when the correct letter was called (Table Tipping
is a forerunner of the Ouija Board.) Spiritualists believe spirits produce the
movement, but scientific investigators of the mid-1800s conducted experiments and
concluded the movements were due to a physical force by the sitters (ectenic force.)
Modern day parapsychologists suggest the cause of movement is unconscious
muscular action of the sitters (ideomotor effect) or outright trickery by the medium.
By wedging a toe under one leg of the table, a medium can easily accomplish this
simple fraud.
In an 1853 attempt to prove mediums as frauds, scientist Robert Hare invented the
Spiritoscope. The device allowed the living to speak with the dead without a
medium present. Hare later invented the Psychograph which closely resembled a
carnival wheel of chance. Although he began as a skeptic, Hare later became a
devout Spiritualist.
Physical mediums produce Ectoplasm when in a trance state. The material
emanates from various orifices of the medium's body to represent the spirit’s
nonphysical body, enabling them to interact with the living. Some accounts claim
that ectoplasm begins as a mist, but darkens and develops a bad odor as the psychic
energy becomes stronger. According to some mediums, the ectoplasm cannot occur
in anything but a darkened room, as the ectoplasmic substance would disintegrate
in light. Science does not accept the physical existence of ectoplasm. Samples of
ectoplasm were identified to be various non-paranormal substances such as
cheesecloth, gause or other natural materials. Mediums hid the ectoplasm in vaginal
or anal cavities, which was the most likely source of the odor!
An Apport is the alleged paranormal transference of an article from one place to
another or an appearance of an article from an unknown source. Apports are a
staple of  séances. A famous apport fraud is attributed to the famous Australian
medium Charles Bailey (1870–1947). During a séance, Bailey produced two live
birds out of thin air but was undone when the dealer who sold him the birds
appeared in the crowd. Common objects produced are stones, flowers, jewelry, and
small animals.
Spirit trumpets and materializations of musical instruments were a frequent addition
to Victorian séances. Supposedly, the trumpets announced the arrival of spirit
guides. In reality, an accomplice would perpetrate the fraud using strings or wires.
Unscrupulous mediums used this same technique to produce ghosts and other
mysterious “apparitions.” Many times, mediums stashed prop “apports” in the folds
of their clothing, producing them on cue by sleight of hand.

Spiritualism had far more influence on the emergence of parapsychology than did
mesmerism. Victorian scientists were both curious but skeptical about the existence
of paranormal phenomena.
Some scientists like the chemist Wm. Crookes were more open minded and
carried out full experiments to test the phenomena. Crookes studied the medium
D.D. Home, and published his findings stating that D.D.Home was able to
produce paranormal phenomena under controlled conditions. Unfortunately, this
almost ruined Crookes academic career. Crookes delayed publishing additional
papers until Edmund Rogers (a spiritualist) proposed forming the Society for
Psychical Research in England in 1882. Their goal was to perform scientific and
objective investigations of reported paranormal phenomena.
Although Spiritualism still exists today, its decline began with the SPR and similar
societies in Europe. America being the home of spiritualism was slow to take to
psychical research.
Spiritualism made enjoyed a revival during WWI as thousands attempted to contact
those killed in action.
 In the 1920s, the famous illusionist Harry Houdini began debunking phony
psychics and mediums. Houdini's training in magic allowed him to expose frauds
that had successfully fooled many scientists. Houdini was a member of a Scientific
American committee that offered a cash prize to any medium who could
successfully demonstrate supernatural abilities.(The prize was never collected.)
Houdini attended many séances in disguise, accompanied by a reporter and police
officer. Modern day magicians such as the Great Randi have followed Houdini’s
example of offering prize money for demonstrations of paranormal powers.


Guiley, R.E,
Harpers Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience,
Castle Books, Edison, New Jersey (1991)
Irwin, H. and Watt C,  
Introduction to Parapsychology (5Th Ed.)
McFarland & Company Inc. Publishers Jefferson, North Carolina (2007)
Hoover, Stephanie,
Philadelphia Spiritualism & the Curious Case of Katie King.
The History Press, Charleston South Carolina (2013)
Watt, C.
One World Publications London England (2016)
Wolman, B, Editor   
Handbook of Parapsychology.
McFarland & Company, Inc. Jefferson North Carolina (1977)

Two Feet,  Four Feet,  Scales or Hide,
May our minds stay open  
and Our Wing Span Wide

Most cultures agree that humans have spirits or souls that continue to exist long after
mortal death. Not everyone that dies comes back to haunt the living, but as we
know, many, many do…
So what about our pets? Not everyone believes that animals have souls, but as living
thinking beings, who is to say their consciousness does not survive beyond death.
What makes a spirit stay on after death?  Most believe it is due to a strong
attachment to family or location. Many human spirits stay to haunt the scene of
extreme emotional energy similar to a soldier killed in action or a murder in some
back alley. Spirit entities haunt the place of terrific auto accidents trying to find their
way home. Is it somehow different for animals?  We think not.
Rupert Sheldrake wrote a fascinating book titled “Dogs That Know When Their
Owners Are Coming Home” In it he discusses this and other unexplained powers
of animals.
Sheldrake states that in today’s Mechanistic society, the dominate belief is “living
organisms are nothing more than a complex genetically controlled machines.” At
least now scientists are questioning that theory as quantum physics “points the way
to a broader vision of nature.” In addition, a taboo that exists that dismisses any talk
about psychic connection between our pets and us.

Here is a look at a few stories about paranormal abilities of animals.
These stories are familiar to animal trainers, search and rescue handlers, the blind
and their guide dogs, veterinarians, Farmers, shepherds, zookeepers, reptile
breeders and pet owners.
When the phone rings at a California professor’s home, his wife knows when he is
on the line. She knows it because her cat will run to the phone and paw the
receiver. Sometimes the cat will knock the receiver it from its cradle greeting the
professor with meows and purrs. The cat never pays attention to other phone calls,
just his.
A Swedish midwife works at all hours, but no matter the time her husband, holding
a hot cup of tea, always greets her at the door. What accounts for his perfect timing?
The husband knows she is on her way when the family terrier rushes to the window
and stands in the still.
Frequent cases of extraordinary perception involve animals with an uncanny sense
of direction. Homing over long distances is usually associated with pigeons, but
there are many  accounts of pets finding their way across  hundreds of miles of
unfamiliar. Such a case is Bobby the wonder dog who crossed over two thousand
miles of mountains and desert to rejoin his family six months later territory for a
joyful reunion
One woman in the UK moved to a larger farm about ten miles down the road.
One evening the horses found the gate open. The next morning found them
waiting at the gate of their old stable. Their passing could be seen by the hoof prints
left on the roadside, gardens  and through flowerbeds between the two farms.

An ability to tell time seems to run in our pack. Where ever I may be, every day
close to 5 pm our dogs get restless, and begin boisterous play. If this doesn’t do the
trick they start jumping up and down, launching themselves from sofa to chair and
eventually on to me. The activity increases to a fever pitch and only stops when I
walk toward the kitchen. Interestingly for a short period when we set our clocks
forward one hour for daylight savings time, the ritual was interrupted, but they
adjusted to the change within a week (just about the same time I did).
Not only are animals aware of future events, pets have been known to react when
someone they have a close bond with has died or is seriously injured in a distant

Stories of the magical relationship between humans and animals are endless. These
tales are examples of Telepathy, Sense of direction and Premonition, normally only
associated with humans.

Do animals love?

 Although not linked with ESP, evidence of empathy and sympathy are observed
throughout the animal kingdom. It is widely accepted these traits are part of the
human soul, but the evidence for altruistic behavior in animals is usually swept aside.
Sheep, birds, rodents and other species alert their groups to danger by sounding
alarms even though the one who sounds the alarm may place the individual in even
more danger.
Elephants often stay with an injured or dying family member, holding vigil and
giving comfort until death. They may remain with the body long afterward as if
mourning their passing, and return to visit the site for years afterwards.
Hospitals have turned to therapy pets to help with the healing process.
Rupert Sheldrake named his cat “Remedy” as they realized she was just that.
Somehow in times of sickness or sorrow, our pets sense they are needed, unselfishly
offering emotional security, warmth, and unconditional love.

  Often we hear stories of pets refusing to leave their owners side during sickness
and even after death. Can an animal die of a broken heart?
Pilgrims still visit the monument where Tip stayed by the body of her master for 15
weeks. Tip’s master was an eighty-one year old grounds keeper who set out one day
for a walk with his dog. Rescue parties searched in vain for Mr. Tagg and eventually
presumed to be dead. Three and a half months later some shepherds discovered
the body out on the far moors with Tip barely alive curled beside side him.   
A similar story is told about a man who was lost in the remote part of the Lake
District where his remains were only located months later when a Shepard noticed
an emaciated dog hovering about the corpse.

Another story is of “Hachi-Ko” a Japanese Akita.
Rescued by Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor at the University of Tokyo, Hachi-ko
would greet his owner at Shibuya Train Station at the end of each day.
On May of 1925, the professor died of a cerebral hemorrhage at work.
For nine years, the Hachi-ko returned every day to Shibuya Station at the time that
his owner’s train should have arrived, faithfully waiting for his owner to return.
Hachi-ko died in 1935.  A statue now stands at the site.
From 1858, Edinburgh Scotland, comes the famous tale of a Skye terrier by the
name of Bobby. Preceded in death by his owner,  no one knows how the grief
stricken dog  made his way to Greyfriers Abbey Cemetery, but he was found
sleeping on his master’s grave. With the kindness of locals who provided Bobby
with food and water, “Old Jock’s” faithful dog guarded on the grave for 14 years,
both summer and winter never leaving his masters side. The ghost of “Greyfrier’s
Bobby” continues to haunt the abbey cemetery and his ghost is occasionally seen
lying on his master’s grave.

Animal Ghosts
Investigators frequently encounter animal spirits. One such residential case was a
puzzle. The client reported strange growling noises, unusual smells, doors opening,
small dark shadows, and a cold wet sensation on his hand as it dangled over the bed
at night. The homeowner felt as if he was being stalked by a demon and was scared
to be in the house. He thought an exorcism was in order until he considered a less
terrifying explanation. The haunting may have simply been the spirit of his recently
deceased family dog who had a habit of rubbing his nose on his master’s hand as
they settled in to bed.
 There is a legendary animal ghost that haunts the Capital Building in Washington
D.C. The "Demon Cat” appears in the basement during times of political strife,
natural disasters, or the unexpected death of a president. Always elusive and always
black, this cat has defied security services for decades.

Do Animals Have Souls?
 The ancients strongly believed that animals had souls, and therefore a place in the
afterlife. In Egyptian art, the soul is depicted as a bird, a cat, or some other non-
human figure. Native Americans have a strong belief in animal spirits. To them,
everything has a soul; the people, plants, and even the wind. On the other hand,
Christian religions teach that God gave man dominion over the earth and animals,
but only man has a soul. The soul is our spiritual center and our connection to
heaven. Without a soul, one could not enter the kingdom of God.
Who says the creator did not give souls to all living things? Animals have emotions,
and experience many of the same feelings we do. Some scientists disagree, but they
would be unable to convince pet owners. In my readings I have even run across
stories of Near Death experients who have been met by their  deceased pets!
If love is the bond that ties, why wouldn't’t the spirits of animals be connected as
It seems animals do live on in spirit form after death. I look forward to meeting My
old friends when I pass over the rainbow bridge.
I surely would not want to spend eternity without them.

1. Krans, Kim. (2016)  
Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Guide
2. Sheldrake, Rupert. (1999)  Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming
Home, and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals.
Crown Publishers 201 East
50th St, N.Y, N.Y.
3. Masson, Jeffery M. (1997)
Dogs Never Lie About Love. Crown Publishers

Also worth watching is the 2017 movie:
 "A Dogs Purpose"
Animal Spirits
Copyright Port City Paranormal ®