Phasmophobia: A Ghostly Fear

Do you have a fear of ghosts, anything ghoulish that goes bump in the night and causes fright? Well, if you do, then don’t worry because millions of others do, too. It’s a very common fear known as “phasmophobia”. The word “phasmos” derives from the Greek language referring to “phantom” or “supernatural being”. It’s also known as “spectrophobia”. “Spectrum” is Latin referring to a specter, or an image of a thing, or an apparition.

Symptoms of phasmobia can typically be found in most disorders that lead to anxiety. A sufferer can go through feelings of dread, rapid heartbeat, panic attacks, also nausea and severe vomiting. It’s even been reported that a person suffering from phasmosphobia can develop OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) in order to conduct rituals to negate any kind of ghostly presence.

However, one can find treatment for such a fear. Self help methods can be extremely successful by reaching out to someone to openly talk about it to help eradicate the phobia by facing it. Another way is to contact professional help so that the phobia of ghosts can be removed. I always suggest to anyone who believes they’re experiencing any kind of ghostly activity to contact their local paranormal investigative team. It’s been from my own experiences that I’ve found these teams are compiled of members who are intelligent, non-judgmental and extremely open-minded, and are very willing to help to the best of their ability. Many of my friends are paranormal investigators and I always feel comfortable and at ease when working with them.

Also, the relaxation method of meditation (which I highly recommend) can help calm one’s inner turmoil, creating more focus, therefore a sense of confidence to bring forth a well-balanced mental state of mind. And…. having a close relationship with one’s spirit guide is something else I recommend. I work very closely with mine and by doing so, I have absolutely no fear.

There’s even a “specific phobia” involving a ghastly fear of mirrors. This macabre phobia is referred to as “catoptrophobia” which derives from the Greek language for the word “mirror”. Now I mentioned “specific phobia”, which simply refers to any type of anxiety disorder that signifies an illogical fear of the exposure of a specific item and/or situation which can eventually lead to the distressed individual avoiding all contact with the item and/or situation. The fear can actually be so paralyzing to the individual’s mental state that it literally disrupts their life.

 

Here are a few more phobias that I found to be rather interesting.

Achluphobia: which is the fear of darkness.

Eisoptrophobia: which is the fear of one’s own reflection.

Samhainphobia: which is the fear of Halloween.

And…. Wiccaphobia: which is the fear of witches and/or witchcraft.

The last phobia I had to include. Why? Because of my own personal beliefs and spiritual journey. I am Wiccan, a solitary one who practices the use of white magic, and there’s definitely no reason to fear anything I do. I only believe in promoting love and light. I am well aware of those who practice dark magic, and I also stay away from them. But that doesn’t mean that I fear them.

It’s easy to fear that which one doesn’t understand. It takes strength, courage and faith to overcome adversity.

“…I am perfectly aware that the fear of ghosts is contrary to science, reason and religion. If I were sentenced to spend a night alone in a graveyard, … I should already know that twigs would snap and the wind moan and that there would be half-seen movements in the darkness. And yet, after I had been frog-marched into the graveyard, I should feel a thrill of fear every time one of these things happened…” ~  Philosopher, Peter van Inwagen

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Interview with Gary Galka

Today I’m welcoming Gary Galka. He’s a paranormal researcher and inventor of some impressive devices that are used by paranormal enthusiasts and investigators worldwide. Gary is the owner of DAS, and has investigated and worked alongside Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin of Ghost Adventures.Thank you, Gary for stopping by!

 

Sheila ~ Can you tell us a little about your background and how you got started with the paranormal?

Gary ~ I grew up as a middle child surrounded by two sisters in a small rural town in central Connecticut. By all standards, we were the traditional and typical blue collar family. My Mom was the curriculum manager for the town school system and my Dad worked construction. They each worked 50-60hrs. / Week to support and provide the basic and essential needs for our family. I have acquired a broad range of experience working with automation & control and process measurement in industrial and commercial applications. My company (DAS) has been developing, and working with automation equipment, test & measurement instrumentation (including EMF meters) in the industrial, commercial and Industrial market place for over 30yrs. It’s wasn’t until 2006-2008 that I started creating devices exclusively for Paranormal applications. Looking back through my childhood, I had a few interesting and unexplained experiences growing up. But, in all honesty I always believed that there was a logical & rational explanation for everything that happened in my life. There really wasn’t a reason for me to be interested in Ghosts, Spirits or any other type of unexplained phenomenon. The word Paranormal wasn’t part of my vocabulary until much later in my life. At the age of 36, something did happen that I would consider “unexplainable”. I was in the middle of building a new house that was remotely located on the Metacomet trail mountain ridge in West Suffield, CT. After the delivery of appliances, I had decided to stay and spend the night in the house until the home was completely secured with doors, etc. I slept fine through the night, and woke up at 6am. It was a clear fall morning. I opened my eyes hearing a very clear conversation between two men. Thinking they were construction workers that arrived an hour early, I got out of bed, got dressed and walked to the foyer where I could still hear them talking in the kitchen. It sounded like they were having a casual chat over coffee. The strange part was that I could not discern the subject matter from the conversation. When I asked “why are you guys here so early” the kitchen area suddenly became perfectly silent, no one answered me. I then peered into the kitchen, and it was empty. I had just heard a conversation for 2-3 minutes. And despite everything that just happened to me, I still shrugged it off and tried to rationalize it as “me” not being completely awake.  

 

Sheila ~ What prompted you to invent paranormal investigative equipment? 

Gary ~ In 2004 our daughter Melissa was involved in an automobile accident. And after four days on life support, she transitioned to Spirit. Our family began to experience numerous After Death Communications (ADC’s) from Mel which started the moment we returned back from the hospital. The ADC’s and other experiences have continued on to this very day. In 2005 I began forming support groups & meetings in the evenings for bereaved parents at my business. And while I would like to believe that these group meetings helped us to heal in some small way, I really felt the need to reach out to help others who were not as fortunate to receive messages from their loved ones. The idea to create the Mel Meter came after watching a few “Paranormal” television shows in which people were utilizing improvised and / or modified instruments and devices for their investigations. It was then that I realized that I might be able to validate some of my own personal experiences using some of the very same technology that I had been using in commercial and industrial applications. A $$ percentage of everything we sell goes to bereavement support groups. We have also donated over 400 Mel meters and other devices to paranormal organizations over the last several years.

 
Sheila ~ What was the first device that you invented and was it as successful as you wanted it to be?

Gary ~ Growing up, I was always coming up with gadgets and ideas that were “fun” things. When I was 9, I can remember building an EMF generator from a motor that I took out of one of my electronic toys. I used to frustrate the heck out of my Dad by scrambling our black and white television picture from the safety of my bedroom. He never caught on to my mischief. My very first idea was a tooth brush with a toothpaste reservoir built into the handle. I think I was 11 or 12 years old when I built an actual working prototype. It was simple, just squeeze the handle and toothpaste would ooze from some drilled holes in the bristles. In the 70’s, my friends and I would play football with a Frisbee flying disk for hours. As dusk and darkness approached it became hard to see. So I created a clip on LED that would create a bead of light around the rim as it flew. The LED light switch was activated through the centrifugal Force created from the spinning action of the disk. Later on when I started DAS, I designed and built consumer electronic temperature devices that would monitor the temperature of your freezer and refrigerator. Inductive, Ultrasonic and PIR wireless security devices to monitor automobiles parking and entering / exiting your driveway. These devices were sold through gift catalogs long before internet e-commerce came about.

Sheila ~ Where did you get your education to learn how to create such inventions?

Gary ~ Went to College and earned my degree in Electronics & Electrical Engineering. I then worked for Weston Electrical Instruments. Dr. Weston’s innovations included the Weston standard cell, the first accurate portable voltmeters and ammeters, the first portable light meter, and many other electrical developments. From there I worked for Analogic Corp. Analogic specialized in Medical Imaging, Ultrasound and process measurement. I learned all of my expertise working with Temperature, Strain Gauges, Pressure Transducers, Accelerometers and other process measurement & transducers from these two companies prior to starting DAS in 1982. It just seemed logical to take everything I learned over the years and redirected it toward my new found interest in the paranormal.

 
Sheila ~  While doing an investigation, do you also approach it with a skeptical point of view?

Gary ~ To be honest, I have not done an investigation in several years. I like to pride myself in thinking that I take a rational and logical approach with everything that I do. Sometimes I go as far as visualizing multiple logical scenarios with respect to the outcome of an event before it happens. I also have a tendency to over analyze situations. I am not a skeptic as it pertains to the afterlife. I KNOW with 100% certainty that there is an afterlife that is completely separated and secured from our plane of existence. I have seen it. There are also many influencial “things” (Good & Bad) happening around us that we can’t see or hear. I can say this with confidence because of the many profound personal experiences that I have had.

Sheila ~ What was the most intense paranormal investigation that you’ve ever done?

Gary ~ I would say that it was Probably Sloss Furnace in Alabama. I would consider it intense only because it was my very first opportunity to experience something in a more unpredictable, and unfamiliar environment.
I remember pushing myself well outside of my comfort zone in order to invoke some type of personal experience. And toward the end of the long evening, I did have my first unexplained experience. It started with a cold chill that envelope me, and then I felt a very gentle hand stroke from the top of my head and down my cheek two or three times. I had no idea who it was, but I do believe that they were aware of my reason and circumstances, for being there. And, in many ways, I believe that there was an empathetic connection that they were attracted and responding to.

 

Sheila ~ What was it like working with Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin and Nick Groff of Ghost Adventures?

Gary ~ I’ve had the pleasure of working with Zak, Nick and Aaron on three separate occasions for GA. I was also invited to participate in a Paranormal Challenge episode as a judge. From my own personal observation, their personalities blend really well together, which I believe is a big part of the show’s popularity and success. They are sincere and dedicated in what they do. When I was working with them, the guys and staff were very attentive to make sure that my needs were attended to, and that I had a good time. The evidence, events and experiences that occurred while working with them were accurately portrayed on television. I was always under the impression that there would be a bunch of production people around when they were doing an investigation, but, there are no outside interruptions, influences or interferences from production people on site. In fact, there were none on the premises. The filming of our family episode was done with respect and sensitivity, and the show was accurately portrayed in every respect from beginning to end.

 
Sheila ~  Aside from the MEL Meter, what other devices have you invented and are you currently working on any new projects?

Gary ~ The Mel Meter was the first multipurpose test and measurement device which measured EMF, Temperature with built-in flashlight. I then created the Mel meter with REM field which proved to be very successful. We now have 19 different Mel meter models all of which are distinctly different and designed to suit paranormal enthusiast’s individual needs. I like to equate the different Mel meter models to a Golf bag full of clubs. There is a time and place for each meter, it just depends on the location, circumstances surrounding the application and the users comfort level with the device.
After the Mel meter, I developed the RT-EVP with built in Spirit Box. The RT-EVP is the world’s first Real Time digital Recorder ITC device. It can Record, and Play your recorded file simultaneously. This allowed the user to hear a recorded EVP instantaneously. It also has a built-in Spirit box with microphone input. The P-SB7 and P-SB11 Spirit Box’s were also created as ITC devices. In all, over 30 devices dedicated for paranormal use including REM-Pods, Vibe-Pods and others have been developed. My next project is called the “Thermal Interceptor” this device will change the way we acquire analyze and validate thermal temperature variations within an environment during an investigation.

 

Sheila ~ What’s your favorite part about investigating the paranormal?

Gary ~ Meeting and working with different people, and testing new devices. Sensing and feeling things that exceed well beyond our physical comprehension.

 
Sheila ~ Any advice for those who’d like to follow in your footsteps?

Gary ~ Always strive for your personal best in whatever you decide to do in life. As far as the paranormal goes, I’ve learned that there are many irrational and illogical variables that we’ll never truly understand…at least not in our lifetime. So, always proceed with caution when pursuing and using ITC, and other research communication devices. And, never allow yourself or your friends to become consumed or addicted to ITC research or investigative activities.

 

Follow Gary Galka on Twitter @GaryGalka

Gary Galka

 

 

The Afterlife ~ A Corporeal’s Transition

Crossing over into the afterlife isn’t an easy subject for many to talk about simply because it involves the thought of losing a loved one who is very dear to them.

Unfortunately, next week will be four years since my father’s passing. His death was extremely untimely and a total shock to me and my family. I’ll never forget that call I received in the wee hours of the morning of the heartbreaking news. It was a moment that had changed my life forever. There were so many questions left unanswered and so many raw emotions revealed. I was angry for months on end and wanted to know why he was taken from us so abruptly without warning.

And then, one random night while in my sleep, my father appeared in a dream. He didn’t say a word. His face was solemn and guarded, yet caring and warm. In the dream he was observing me like he was making sure that I was ok. The morning after I awoke, I was saddened because of the lack of communication, but also grateful for his visit.

It wasn’t a dream like any other. It felt very real with vivid imagery that still resides in my memory to this day. That was actually the first of several dreams where my father made his presence known. Over the course of a few months, each dream my father would become more interactive. The most recent time he visited me, he hugged me and we said “I love you” to each other. That was the last time that I saw him. It was a good visit, something needed as in a sense of closure for us both.

My father is always with me in my heart. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him…. missing him. Our relationship as father and daughter wasn’t an easy one, but nevertheless, there were some really good times that still make me smile.

The deceased visiting their loved ones in dreams is actually a common phenomena experienced by many. When people die, sometimes there are some who may hang around for whatever reason they have. Sadly, some spirits may not even realize that they’ve passed on and they’re trying to continue living their lives just as they did before. Others may stick around to complete unfinished business that they believe only they can accomplish. Then, there are the ones that I believe are like my father, that hang around long enough to make sure that we’re ok after they’ve died.

Spirits and the living are very similar. The living possess a myriad of personality traits that cause some people to be good while others to be bad. It’s the same with spirits, some are good and some aren’t. However, a lot of spirits may become angry after their passing due to the fact that they might feel cheated out of life for whatever reason they died. Although, several spirits are more accepting and are ready to move on.

Our loved ones have many ways of making their presence known to us. Some, like my father, appear to us in dreams because it’s when our minds are most relaxed. Many may appear as simple signs recognized only by the surviving loved ones like butterflies fluttering nearby while the living is thinking of them. Often, people have reported hearing their deceased loved ones call out their names when no one else is around. Or a random odor or fragrance will faintly be noticed by the living, reminding them of the deceased ones when there is no plausible explanation for the smell to exist. For example, I occasionally smell my father’s cigarettes out of the blue (I don’t smoke) and there are no visible signs of smoke either. Only the faint odor wafting by for a brief second.

It has also been reported that many spirits have been seen at their own funerals. Why? Some people believe it’s because the spirits know that a gathering of their loved ones will be there and it could possibly be the easiest way for them (the spirits) to have closure before crossing over, saying their final good-byes.

Can everyone see spirits? No. But I do believe that spirits make their presence known to those who will be more receptive to seeing them. The key is to be open minded. There’s a huge world of the unknown out there. Don’t fear it, accept that it does exist…

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter @sheilarparker.

The Spirit Within by Sheila Parker

The Spirit Within is an intoxicating story of a battered love with a unique supernatural twist.

College student, Cassandra Blakemore may seem to have the perfect life on the outside with her loving family and friends, but on the inside she harbors a terror created by her abusive boyfriend, Raleigh Nichols, who quickly sinks his way deep into the bottom of the bottle. Cassandra’s emotional strength suddenly emerges but at a price as she’s faced with her worst fear.

Battered and betrayed, she soon discovers hidden abilities while her own secrets unfold. As if levitation, telekinesis and premonitions weren’t enough, what else is Cassandra Blakemore hiding?

 

*Reviewed by Andrea Staunton.*

“When I volunteered to do this month’s book review, the editor told me, “ok, you can review your favorite book.” After some consideration, I chose the one that I had just proofread for Spero Publishing. It replaces a number of older novels as one that I will read over and over at bedtime.

The Spirit Within is Ms. Parker’s first book. This fact is not evident in her writing, which is more sophisticated than one would expect from a first time author. This enhances the experience, and makes the book file hard to close at bedtime. It is written in the first person, a convention that I sometimes dislike, but I was able to easily overlook this due to the quality of the writing. The structure and wording is engaging; it is neither preachy nor overly talkative, and is ideal for teen and adult readers who read for the sheer joy of reading.

The familiar enough story is that of Cassandra Blakemore, a young adult who experiences college, an abusive alcoholic boyfriend, and self-destructiveness in the form of dropping out of college and getting a menial job, followed by returning to the abuser. When the worthless boyfriend, (Raleigh Nichols) finds her, she returns to him with such readiness that one wonders if the book isn’t at least a little autobiographical. If it is not, then the author has cared deeply for a young woman who did endure the well-known cycle of abuse and apology.

For a familiar story, The Spirit Within has a few entertaining plot twists. Pay careful attention to Cassandra’s uncle and to the new friends that she makes after fleeing college and Raleigh. There is more than meets the eye there; the developments are well executed and they make the ever-necessary suspension of disbelief enjoyable and easy.

The novel is, of course, replete with romance, girl talk, and hashing out of emotions. This in no way detracts from its quality or value; in fact, I wondered several times if the conversations were ones that the author had had in real life and then committed to electronic memory. Of course, there is a romance and some talk of feelings; the author is a woman and was not trying to create the latest action yarn for teen age boys and middle aged male accountants. Men who read it might understand their wives a little better.

The Spirit Within will be a positive addition to the collection of any avid reader. I value my copy highly, and I give the work 4.4 of 5 stars.”

 

For more wonderful reviews, please visit Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17342422-the-spirit-within

 

Find THE SPIRIT WITHIN on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Spirit-Within-Sheila-Parker/dp/130027056X