Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


(Read the above carefully: it’s NOT anti-Christian; it’s saying, we have to walk the walk.)

I, Kirsten, am a Christian. I’m not proud of what some Christians say about paranormal investigators. I don’t read the Bible as a text that condemns ‘alternate’ understandings and expressions of spirituality–in fact, I believe the Bible supports those understandings; but that is not the topic of this post–I wanted to offer you all an update on that extraordinary meeting I had with Pastor C. and the exorcist. Before I can do that, I need to give you all some background information and then . . . onward.

The PHW have been exceptionally busy this month, with a home investigation in Ventura, an important meeting with producers for a scripted show based on our lives and investigations together, and another investigation at the Lincoln Heights Jail in downtown Los Angeles. Since the two investigations were back-to-back, Erin stayed with me overnight and attended church services with me (even agreeing to help me with an art project for the “Souper Bowl of Caring” which involved coloring at Starbucks).

We arrived at the church, and I showed Erin around and introduced her to the pastor. He made some cryptic remark about our meeting with the exorcist showing up in the sermon, but I figured he might include a passing reference to it, at the most. I was about to be seriously shocked.

The topic was Jonah and Nineveh. I wasn’t terribly familiar with that story, but it concerns God’s command that Jonah go there and convert the masses. Nobody, apparently, wanted to go to Nineveh. The metaphor was coming together—Pastor C. drew the comparison with himself not wanting to “go there” when it came to certain areas under his pastoral care; and then he said it: Paranormal phenomena always seemed to him explainable by science, and if science didn’t have an answer now, certainly someone would explain all the weirdness in the future; however, his world view had been ‘seriously challenged’ by that meeting with the exorcist and me, and since then he has re-thought his position on supernatural events (as a side note, it seems odd to me that anyone who preaches the Bible would find supernatural events in this world to be odd, impossible, or easily explained by the gods of Science; but that’s a topic for another post).You could have knocked over Erin and me over with a feather. He looked directly at us as he stated that he was no longer going to ‘run away’ from things he did not understand.

In order to fully grasp the significance of the pastor’s message for me, (and I think for Erin, too) you have to understand what most of our society thinks about paranormal investigators. In spite of the television shows and the general interest in the paranormal, a group of women who go out and look for evidence that the physically dead are still communicating with us are considered eccentric at best, laughable and gullible at worst. There is no better way to marginalize someone than to suggest that she is nuts or deluded. My version of reality doesn’t fit with materialism, which is the dominant secular religion of American culture. We worship Science without truly understanding what real science is. In our paranormal groups, we feel compelled to say that everything we do is ‘scientific’ because we are so afraid to say it’s an art, as well. Science is the ultimate arbiter of truth in our culture; if ‘science’ says it’s real, we all accept it. Never mind the fact that ‘science’ has changed its mind multiple times on basic issues concerning what food we should eat and what medications we should take. Science is a product of culture and history just like every other field of inquiry, and changing paradigms in science upend the entire enterprise on a regular basis. Yet, we deify what happens in labs and vilify other ways of knowing, other areas of expertise.

It’s frightening to me that materialism has taken over our minds to such an extent that we have to meet in secret and find shadow communities to share our most basic, human experiences that fall outside the confines of what is acceptable to discuss in public. The price for me has been high: I have lost job offers and credibility at work due to my openness about the paranormal. I have endured jokes and sarcastic remarks from family and even some friends (ex friends, I should clarify). When I meet someone, I hide a big chunk of my life from then until I am sure that they won’t treat me as if I were a gullible fool or an oddball to be dismissed.

Therefore, when Pastor C. declared that he wasn’t running away from these very real experiences that don’t fit with his worldview, it was a revolutionary act. When he dared to question his own worldview, it was an even more subversive act. Pastor C. has turned out to be the rarest of all individuals: someone who is committed to live what he preaches.

Erin and I stayed for a few minutes after the service feeling vindicated in a way that we hadn’t thought possible. True, nobody knew to whom the pastor was directing his remarks; but that changed last night. During a small group meeting, one of the ladies finally came out with it: “just what were you referring to that made you change your mind about the paranormal? You’re like a whole different person now!” Pastor C. waffled a bit, not wanting to give me away or make it personal. It was right then and there that I decided that I had had enough.

“It was partly about me,” I said, “I’m coming out of the paranormal closet. It takes more energy to keep this secret than it does to simply explain it.” After the initial weirdness of that confession and some awkward silence, everyone seemed relieved. After the meeting ended, one of the ladies came up to me and said, “I just love you!” and hugged me. Soon thereafter, there was a little circle of people around me who wanted my phone number and email address. I have a feeling that leaving the closet at this particular church is going to open the floodgates for all people who share extraordinary experiences and have no one to talk to about it.

Now they have Pastor C. and me. From there, I’m thinking that the revolution will catch fire. What is it, exactly, that is changing here? First of all, there is an exhilaration one feels when you are honest about your life and experiences, and the reaction isn’t one of polite dismissal or open and rude skepticism (I love skeptics as long as they are polite and open minded). For me, the revolution is about accepting the possibility that we don’t understand the whole of reality, and that science can only go so far in explaining the non-material aspects of ourselves and our universe. This is changing at the cutting edge of physics, however, as more and more scientists are beginning to see the implications of their work at the quantum level. I am not a physicist working in this field, only a layperson who has read extensively on the topic in books designed for the non-expert, but I can affirm that physicists are (and have, for decades in some cases) observing phenomena that do not support a materialist vision/version of the universe (or multiple, interacting universes, but that is another story).

It is not only in the realm of the Humanities that the human spirit is emerging as eternal and non-material. Reincarnation has been studied and thoroughly investigated by scientists and academics of sterling reputation. Let’s not forget the caliber of the men and women of the original Society for Psychical Research in London, who thoroughly and persuasively made the case for human survival of death in the late 1800s! Anyone who cares to put in the time will find abundant ‘evidence’ for what Marsha, Erin, Jennifer and I experience on a fairly regular basis. The human personality, intelligence, soul and spirit do not end at death. Why is that not cause for celebration? And, isn’t that what Christianity has been saying all along?

Maybe we are much more terrified that we, these imperfect beings, might be around for the very, very long haul. For Erin and me, however, the fact that Religion—in a small and local way—just validated us and what we do is worth more than words can say. So I leave it here, and I thank you for reading.

Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW

My Meeting With the Exorcist

Posted: January 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


This has been a difficult entry to write. I don’t know how to begin or how to explain what happened in that meeting, because much of it was more felt and sensed than directly communicated. I will start with some background and hope that the rest will make sense.

I had met with my pastor prior to him setting up this meeting with Father P. During our meeting, I spilled it all: my life as a paranormal investigator, my run-ins with negative and possibly demonic forces, the strange stuff that follows me around from time to time, (what I call “spirit manifestations”) and my philosophies on life and death and the afterlife. I am, usually, quite good at gauging the reactions and intentions of the people to whom I choose to confess the oddities and curiosities of my life; however, on this occasion, I wasn’t paying enough attention to the effect that my words had on my pastor. That day, I needed to tell all my stories without filters or careful editing. It might have been just a little too much to process for a pastor who barely knows me and has had no experience with the paranormal. That might explain why he hastily arranged a meeting between a Catholic exorcist and me.

My first impression of Father P. was contradictory. He seemed to be an extraordinary gentle soul, but had an aura of darkness about him. He was thin, tall, hollowed and very quiet. I felt slightly afraid of him. After an opening prayer, I launched into my history with the Paranormal Housewives and explained what we do, how we do it, why we do it, and so on: the usual introduction to a weird situation. Father P. was not responding, but listening, and observing me very closely. Pastor C. seemed dissatisfied with the approach I was taking and encouraged me to talk about the unidentified spirits following me home. His focus seemed to be about the times I had felt out of control or confused by the spirit world rather than my abilities as an investigator or my skill at discerning what is positive and what is negative on the other side of the veil.

Pastor C. was unsuccessful in his attempts to coax me to discuss my fear, confusion and ignorance of the energies that occupied three of my houses over the last fifteen years. I was reluctant to reveal such intimate feelings to Father P., because I didn’t want to be judged by a representative of the Catholic Church, I didn’t know him very well (and he still hadn’t said a word) and mostly because I don’t wish to emphasize the difficult aspect of my contact with spirit to the exclusion of the amazing doors of knowledge and perception that this contact has opened and facilitated. Much of what I have learned has changed my life for the better; concentrating on my own moments of doubt and fear does not seem productive.

Finally, Pastor C. revealed that he was concerned about me, and felt that I wasn’t spiritually prepared for what comes up during paranormal investigations. He was saying, in effect, that I was messing around with forces greater than myself, and I might be incapable of handling the ugliness that could arise from those situations. Although Pastor C. is emphatically NOT fundamentalist in his beliefs, he may be still harbor some genuine concern regarding paranormal manifestations. The belief that contact with the dead cannot happen (unless these are souls in Purgatory needing one’s prayers for release—but that reflects Catholic doctrine) is a common interpretation of Scripture for Christian pastors and churches. The general consensus among the various denominations of Christian churches is that there is no bona-fide contact with the spirits or souls of once-living people, since you are either in Heaven, Hell or Purgatory (although Purgatory is a Catholic concept). Anything that contacts you while you are on Earth is demonic in nature and only desires your ultimate spiritual destruction.

It is at this point in the meeting where Pastor C. seeks Father P.’s opinion and validation of his concerns about me. Father P. says something like this: “If you concentrate on Jesus’ infinite love for you and everyone and everything, you will be fine.” He elaborates on the intense and all-consuming power of God’s love. Nothing can destroy that love, and nothing evil can conquer it under any circumstances. He spoke of meditating on that love and simply being with it and in it, not hysterically invoking Jesus’ name in an anxiety-producing effort to repel demons. He placed great emphasis on the peacefulness and timelessness of absolute love. That is all the protection that one needs.

I told Father P. that I and we (the PHW) pray before every investigation and afterwards. I tell him that I ask for protection from the Holy Spirit and don’t wish to communicate with anyone in spirit unless that communication is sanctioned by God. That statement pleased him; in fact, he smiled for the first time. Everything from that point forward changed from stiff and odd to comfortable and illuminating. I asked if he thought that the spirit of those who have passed from this earth could be bound or tied to people who won’t allow them to move to the light out of grief, trauma or unresolved emotion. He agreed completely with that statement. He also agreed that homes or buildings can be places a spirit would hide out in fear of judgment or persecution. This was a revelation to me, because he was contradicting the Christian fundamentalist viewpoint (which, I need to clarify, Pastor C. does NOT share; his is a liberal and progressive church) that all spirit contact is from demonic entities. He was agreeing with the vast majority of paranormal investigators that there is something of the human spirit that can stay behind and play out traumas of the past, either because someone living cannot or will not let them go, or because they are reluctant to abandon old routines, habits, ideas, preconceptions or beliefs.

I expressed my absolute and total relief that he was not of the mind that I was a pawn of the devil. When he told me that I (and my team) am the “first line of defense” for him, I cried. I am not, out of ignorance, talking to demons, but I am actually performing a service for the Church and him by weeding out cases of psychological disturbance, true contact with the dead, and poltergeist phenomena created by extreme duress or conflict in the living. There are multiple categories of paranormal experience, and only in exceedingly rare cases are we dealing with demonic manifestations. In those rare cases, our team has figured it out very quickly. We know when we walk into a room that the demonic is influencing a person’s behavior and creating an atmosphere of confusion, dread, depression and depravity. I have faced this direct assault on three occasions: twice during a home investigation and once in an abandoned ward in a state hospital.

How did we know then that these were not spirits of the dead, a time warp where the past was playing on or physical effects of trauma in the living? That would require too many pages, but let me offer a brief distinction between paranormal phenomena involving the spirit and manifestations of the demonic: during one home investigation, the client had drug and alcohol addictions and had, I believe, interacted with forces he thought he might control, but which instead were controlling him. The feeling in the house was one of darkness and confusion. All my photographic and audio data was destroyed (black images and a buzzing interference on audio) by some force which did not want to be revealed. I knew that I needed to leave that house from the moment I walked in; however, I did not have the strength yet to make that proclamation to the other ladies. I have that strength now.

The second time also concerned a home investigation where one of the clients confessed to practicing witchcraft and then claimed to see something evil crouching in the corner of the ceiling. Why she was surprised that darkness and depression had invaded her house is something of a mystery; she herself was using the dark arts to contact her dead husband. When you seek contact with the dead through occult practices designed to give YOU the power of contact with the other side, you will run into the demonic very quickly. That is an open invitation. “Ego” and “Evil” (as Pastor C. stated) are very closely related. If you seek contact with spirit through the power of God and not through your own power via the occult, you may be granted the opportunity of true spirit contact.

The third time, in my opinion only (I don’t want to interpret this experience for the other ladies, who may or may not see it the way I do), had something to do with an evil force that had used the mental and emotional illnesses of the patients in the ward of the old State Hospital as fodder for his own personal desire for power and control. I think that this “thing”—which shall remain nameless—took advantage of the patients’ lack of self control and their emotional pain to manifest itself. Once it had the sufficient emotional fuel to wreak havoc, that’s exactly what it did. It made a sad situation much worse and more desperate. It also, I believe, prevented the genuine and positive spiritual interaction from occurring for more than a fleeting moment.

The rest of our and my investigations concerned psychological, spiritual and residual manifestations that could have negative emotional content, but were not in and of themselves ‘evil’ or demonic. Most responsible, spiritually or religiously grounded investigators DO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between the spirits of ‘transitioned’ souls, stone-tape residual effects, poltergeist activity and demonic manifestations. I think Pastor C. is afraid that I (or anyone who does what I do) can be ‘tricked’ into thinking that something is innocent when in fact, it is evil. How do I know if something is genuine or faked by the devil?

I know it in its positive effects. If I leave an investigation invigorated, excited and intrigued, I know; if over the next few days, reviewing evidence is revealing and thrilling, I know; if I feel happy, loving and entirely myself for the next week, I know. If, on the other hand, I am sick for days afterwards, have nightmares, experience unsettling manifestations in my house that continue for weeks, or if the investigation itself was heavy, draining, confusing, depressing and emotionally difficult, then I know that I am in dangerous territory and action is required. Even the negative investigations have tremendous value, however. The scary confrontations with the unknown (and perhaps unholy) sent me straight to church—two churches, in fact, count me among their members—and allowed me a closer relationship to God (or whatever you may wish to call the Universal Good). If it weren’t for those frightening encounters with the dark side, I would not have been sitting next to Father P. and Pastor C. experiencing the spiritual power of their blessings and love for me.

What meant the most to me during that meeting was the unconditional acceptance of who I am and what I do from a respected and powerful member of the Catholic Church. Not only did he not judge, reproof or criticize me, he actually sanctioned my work—our work—and thanked me for doing it. He agreed to be a resource for our team in the event that we need his services. When he recounted some of his experiences battling the devil, it was so terrifying that I almost begged him to stop. I do have to know, however, what kind of damage evil can do, so that when I am confronted with it again, I will recognize it quickly and make some important decisions. I do not know how Pastor C. feels about that meeting. He may still harbor the fear that I am in over my head, and perhaps doesn’t agree with Father P. regarding contact with spirits of the dead. It may have been unnerving for him to hear such unwavering and unquestioning support for me, if he feels that I am, in any way, in spiritual danger.

As I stated before, Father P., for the first twenty minutes of our meeting, did not talk but only watched me. Now I know why. He was reading me on a spiritual level, checking me for any signs or symptoms of demonic influence or oppression. He did not find anything that worried him or required further intervention. I wonder if Pastor C. thought that I might have been harboring something dark of which I was entirely unaware. In any case, this is conjecture and speculation; but it makes sense.
Father P. saw right through me and believes that I am a child of the Light, as we all are; there is nothing he needs to cure, expel or expiate. I am whole, I am capable, I am strong and I am good. The meeting with them both changed my life on many levels. Father P. knew me by the end and had a message for me that I will never, ever forget. He could not have given me this message without—somehow—knowing my entire life and psyche. It has to do with releasing my anxiety, fear and insecurity and knowing that I am on the right path. Anxiety is my number one challenge in life. He revealed to me how it had affected everything I do and blocked me from everything I could do. He told me how to dispel it and said other things which I prefer to keep to myself.

By the end, both Pastor C. and Father P. engulfed me in pure love. It was amazing, to say the least. Our closing prayer ignited such spiritual power that the overhead light started blinking, turning off and on at random intervals. It was yet another affirmation that the world is so much more complex and fascinating than we can possibly imagine; and that the power of love can change every, single detail of our life and our world, it we would only let it.

—-Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW

Jim Tucker

You know that a book is important to me when I still have 15 pages left and I can’t wait to write about what I have read so far. I am a big fan of Dr. Ian Stevenson’s research and Jim Tucker’s work as well (see: Life Before Life). The late Dr. Stevenson worked out of the University of Virginia in the Division of Perceptual Studies where Jim Tucker continues his work on reincarnation. Drs. Stevenson and Tucker are the world’s leading authorities on children’s past-life memories along with Carol Bowman, who is a non-scientist studying the phenomena in depth.

Return to Life picks up on Dr. Tucker’s American reincarnation cases and offers several examples of apparent past lives lingering well into a current life. Typically, children start forgetting these memories at around age 5, but some remember key features of a past life well into adulthood. One of the stories recounted is quite well known already—the case of young James who remembered a life as a WWII pilot shot down over Iwo Jima—and is well documented in Soul Survivor, a book his parents wrote after documenting his case for many years.

One of the chapters is particularly interesting to me: those cases where there is little hard, objective evidence that connects one person to a previous personality but where the child (or adult) continues to exhibit behaviors, phobias and emotional reactions that are not easily explained by current life situations or childhood traumas. I fall into that category myself, and to this day struggle with emotions and reactions that don’t appear to originate in this life.

I have discussed this elsewhere in this blog, but I still have more to talk about when it comes to the topic of past lives. In my case, my childhood was remarkable for the ‘weird’ remarks I would make and the odd behavior I would display, for no apparent reason. Lately, I have been reinterpreting stories and memories from the past and wondering if my experiences had something to do with breakthrough memories from the past. All of this, of course, leads me to wonder what the ‘self’ really is, and what part of Kirsten has come back this time around. One of the children in the book explains it as having a different personality, but a same self. That might take me hundreds of pages of writing to unravel (sorry, PHW readers, but sometimes I just have to write it out!).

When I was around five years old, I remember feelings of terror regarding drug use (illegal drug use). Anytime someone tried to make me take a pill or give me a shot, I would lose my mind. This was especially difficult for me, since I underwent two major surgeries at age five for unrelated issues and was often forced to deal with prescription drugs. I also had asthma and spent a fair amount of my childhood attached to an inhaler and prescriptions for steroids. However, I did know that there were medicines that one had to take for illness and drugs that people took for fun or to alter their consciousness. The idea of taking or being forced to take a drug to alter my consciousness terrified me to the point of trauma.
When I discovered joints hidden at the bottom of a drawer (I was seven or eight at the time), I lectured my parents about drug use even though they had never discussed the topic with me and were shocked that I knew what a joint was. I was obsessed with marijuana plants, hating them intensely and trying to keep my parents away from them (they did have one on the deck of one of our many apartment buildings, and no matter how much they lied to me about what it really was, I KNEW it was a ‘bad plant’). The 1960s psychedelic culture created total panic in me, even though I was not directly exposed to it. My parents listened to Cream and The Beatles, and even though there were psychedelic elements to some of the music, it was not their interest and there is no good way to explain my trauma around a certain aspect of 1960s hippy culture.

My fear of psychedelic music, images or lyrics had to do with the fear of losing consciousness. I associated that kind of experience with death. I know that the 1960s were obsessed with alterations in consciousness, but as a four and five year-old, it was odd that I was in full panic mode over any alterations of my consciousness produced by certain music, sights or sounds. To this day, I suffer from severe anxiety over anything I ingest that I don’t feel is 100% tested and safe for me. I am terrified of any kind of drug; I don’t even take Tylenol without extensive soul searching and fear. In high school and college, I would drink alcohol to excess—there was no panic over that unless I started to feel like I was seriously altering my consciousness—but I would not touch any pill or illegal drug even though everybody around me had no such qualms.

Even now, falling asleep is scary because it involves alterations in consciousness. A threat to my conscious awareness can come in almost any form, but I struggle attempting to remain in control of my faculties and not drift off, never to return. I remember an incident at 15 that triggered a very old memory. I was watching “Major Tom,” performed by David Bowie, on our old television in the living room. It was 1980. As I watched him and listened to the song, I had an out of body experience and a profound alteration of consciousness that so terrified me that to this day, I cannot watch Bowie perform the song without profound feelings of fear. I felt that this music would, somehow, kill me or take me so far out of my normal, rational experience of life that I would be mad or drugged and not be able to return.
The fear of drugs seriously affected my friendships. I would cry if a friend smoked a joint. I would lecture fellow college students on the dangers of drugs and make myself an unwelcome guest at many school parties. Anything, even an aspirin, seemed to contain the horrendous possibility of a slow, downward spiral into unconsciousness. As I have written about before, I ‘knew’ the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco not from a tourist point of view, but from the standpoint of a drug addicted, teen-aged prostitute.

That, of course, is speculation. However, it fits with certain behaviors, automatic reactions and responses, emotional trauma and general life perspective that doesn’t make much sense unless I lived a certain kind of life in my distant, previous-personality past. There are other aspects to my life as a young adult that point strongly in the direction of the past life that I mention above, but the details are so personal and painful that I don’t wish to relive them in a blog post. The most I am willing to say is simply this: I knew what it felt like to prostitute myself for money and drugs without ever actually doing it. I would talk to myself about my life as a prostitute, the narratives rich with detail, yet I should not have known or understood the content of those narratives. I have repeated those stories for years, for decades, even.

As weird as that sounds, I know that my instinctual reaction of nausea, sadness and depression simply writing about it validates that it did happen, and not in my current lifetime. Psychologists are the enemy of reincarnation theories, since they would always say that the roots of this narrative are in my childhood, and that I repressed the memories that would lead me to understand myself a certain way. Of course, when an entire profession bases its authority on key evidence that the individual cannot, by definition, access—repressed memories resulting in unconscious behaviors—there is no way for me to claim my life as within my understanding. The mental health profession cannot prove their theory nor can I prove mine; but how many key aspects of our lives can we not prove yet know to be true? Most, I think.
My strongest evidence comes from the memories that I do indeed have access to, and no ‘logical’ explanation for. My highly precocious childhood and my abnormal understanding and knowledge of a world I never lived in is proof enough for me. In many ways, I am still struggling to overcome the legacy of that past life. I believe that it continues to traumatize me to this day, but since I can’t find a mental health professional who treats past life trauma (wait—I’m in L.A.—they are probably everywhere), I will continue to work on the details of this life the best way I know how: bringing these issues into the light.

Back to Jim Tucker’s book; I DID finish it as of this writing, and I have to say that I am slightly disappointed with the theories he proposes that explain reincarnation. It is common in the last several years to use quantum theory as a tool to understand everything anomalous, but dare I say we lay people might not understand quantum theory well enough to make such sweeping connections to phenomena such as reincarnation? Yes, it’s true that particles behave strangely in quantum physics, so much so that an observer is required to bring a result into reality; it is also true that particles can exhibit backwards causality, where an observer can determine in the present the outcome of something that supposedly already happened.

It’s fun to go in circles with quantum mechanics and speculate on what it means for consciousness, but until there is some definitive proof that consciousness is required in the observation process in order for a present reality to coalesce, I have to take all this as interesting but not necessarily compelling. OK, so Dr. Tucker does say that important figures in the field of quantum physics have stated that the conscious observer is necessary for the outcome of present reality, but I need to read the original sources in order to accept that. My fear, of course, is that I will not be able to comprehend the original sources at the depth necessary to be able to make any true statements.

Dr. Tucker admits that he is speculating based on some commonplace tropes in quantum physics (I am really tired of the double-slit experiment and Schrödinger’s stupid cat), but I keep coming back to a basic problem with the idea that the universe and everything in it does not exist without my conscious observation (or someone’s conscious observation). It sounds too much like solipsism, the notion that the individual creates his own reality with every act of observation, and therefore the moon is not there if I do not look at it. Dr. Tucker does address that briefly, but doesn’t satisfy my objections.
Maybe this sounds stupid and reduces my credibility, but this little story doesn’t seem to have a good answer for me: the other day, I was looking up at the balcony and I tripped over a clump of grass that I had no idea was there. I fell and was injured. I did not observe that clump of grass, but it was there nonetheless. This sounds a lot like the disagreement between Bishop Berkeley and Samuel Johnson, which goes like this:

“Refutation of Bishop Berkeley
After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it — “I refute it thus.” ”
Boswell: Life

It appears that quantum physics is being used to prove the validity of what I see as sophistry: matter only appears to exist because we perceive it to exist. I don’t want to start walking down this long road of philosophical debate, because, frankly, it exhausts me. If the universe is a great thought, and our lives are successions of dreams, then there really is something pointless about existence itself, since it is not REAL (and here, drum roll please, is where I am supposed to ask ‘what is real,’ but let’s hold off for a moment on that one). Dr. Tucker disturbs me when he compares lives we live to dreams. He finds that metaphor most apt to understand our multiple incarnations, but for me the metaphor falls flat. Most dreams have very little in common with what it feels like to be alive in the world. He quotes a communicator through the famous medium Leonor Piper who, when asked what the afterlife is like, states that she was most shocked at how REAL it was, how everything had substance and weight. Reports on the afterlife via reputable mediums coincide on this observation; there is nothing vaporous, illogical, bizarre or contradictory in the afterlife. It seems just like a natural extension of this life.
Therefore, the extended comparisons to dreams don’t make much sense to me. If incarnations are us dreaming new existences, then it sounds like our lives are rather inconsequential. We are working out our spiritual development, but to what end? In which world? With what consequences? Dreams are experiments in reality that are not, in the end, real; dreams are psychological in nature when not precognitive, lucid or visionary or facilitating contact with the spirits of the deceased. Most dreams, probably 99% of them, are not indicative of a new reality but are rehashing our current one. No one can argue that most dreams feel like dreams, and that wandering around in the world of the awake is very, very different—very predictable, for one thing.

So while the dream analogy falls flat for me, I do understand why Dr. Tucker has to follow that route. If you accept that reality is created by the observer, you take away an external, objective world that forces people to interact and engage with challenging situations. If you believe that the world only exists as your projection of consciousness, then you run the risk of believing that you have no obligation to change it for the better, unless it’s to work on your personal, spiritual evolution. There is no suffering ‘other’ that needs you, just endless projections of you, everywhere you look. Take away the suffering other, all that which is NOT you, and you are left with a world saturated with your consciousness alone, your giant ego in search of self expression. It makes you God. And that makes me very, very uncomfortable.

I suppose that is the crux of the problem. These “we create the universe” theories turn the self into the Creator. Whether or not you believe in a Creator separate from you is not the issue; do you believe in anything that is not an extension of you? If you don’t, you’re probably two years old or a certain kind of scientist. I might have misinterpreted Dr. Tucker’s intentions or analyses here, and if I have, I hope he or someone who knows his work better than I do will set me straight.

We may not ever be able to “prove” reincarnation as scientific fact. I am dismayed by the fact that science is considered the ONLY way to prove an assertion. The statement “we live more than one life” can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt through other venues besides hard science. It can be proven using legal definitions of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.” Once you have accumulated enough anecdotal and circumstantial evidence that it becomes preposterous to reasonably believe anything else, you can declare your case proven for the vast majority of the population. Why is it that we are so obsessed—especially in the study of the so-called ‘paranormal’—with proving via the scientific method something which hard science CANNOT EVER ACCEPT AS PROVEN?

The blessings of neuroscience or psychiatry will not be forthcoming. We can use their language and their methods to explore issues of continuation of consciousness, but we are not going to be invited to their awards ceremonies or ever find a place at their table.

That does not change the fact that reincarnation is the closest theory that fits the truth of so many people’s experiences. It does not change the truth of my life or the truth of the lives that I lived before, or the reality of the lives I have yet to live.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW
Kirsten with glasses


Dr. Tucker DOES mention “the mind of God” at the very end of the book, and wonders if we’re all just playing a part in a larger, creative consciousness. I don’t think my previous remarks are invalidated by the last three pages of the book, however; what’s missing here is the link between human and cosmic or God consciousness. Nothing is more ‘real’ than God or the cosmic mind; so our ‘dreams’ must be vitally important to the evolving, emerging universe. We are either vitally important to the creation of reality, or we are sleep walking through multiple existences with no discernible purpose or point. Clearly, I would prefer that we are awake and actively involved in creation. This doesn’t, however, ease my misgivings over the idea that much of reality is horrific, unchangeable, incomprehensible and beyond our ability to re-imagine or re-conceptualize. These ‘dreams’ of realities are, I think, not dreams at all, but a very cold, hard external world that demands our active participation to save the Other. The whole ‘co-created reality’ theory seems to ignore the fact that most of the planet is in a struggle to simply survive. These considerations regarding quantum theories and consciousness are simple mind games for someone hungry and homeless. Where’s the call to action in this very real world?


One of the questions that people ask me the most is this: Are you a sensitive? Or: Are you psychic?

You all know me pretty well if you’ve been reading this blog. You probably already know how I’m going to answer this question. I usually like to look at the question itself, examine its underlying assumptions, and figure out what the person actually means when asking such a question.


“A sensitive” assumes that there exists a category of people who pick up spirit activity and receive impressions (via visions, emotions, and auditory channels or occasionally via smell or touch). There are people who do this very well; Erin receives ‘pictures’ in her mind that provide her with clues and symbols about who is communicating and/or why. Jennifer has often said that she ‘feels’ people and is guided by her emotions. Marsha tends to base her impressions on both emotions and images, combined with data gathered from audio and devices designed to measure changes in the environment. I began this journey relying only on audio, photo evidence and whatever our devices were pointing to; however, I changed over time. Now, it seems that all manner of impressions come pouring in, mixed and confusing, but mostly affecting my emotions in ways I still do not understand.


We are ALL sensitive, but not all of us in the general public are good at it. Most people ignore or downplay their impressions, thinking that others will judge them as ‘crazy’ or weird if they describe something that they couldn’t know via ‘normal’ means. The Paranormal Housewives have become very adept at picking up activity from the conscious and unconscious entities that have passed into another state of being. We have different strengths, but when we walk into a house now, it takes only a few minutes for the pictures, the sensations and the emotions to come flooding into our conscious minds.


When outsiders criticize paranormal investigators, it’s because they’ve lumped us in with cheating mediums, storefront psychics, crystal-gazers, and all manner of New Age weirdness. The negative reactions have followed me at work and in other areas of my life, but those reactions are based on faulty logic and negative associations. So, I thought I might take a moment to explain what paranormal investigators do, why we do it, and our understanding of what we’ve found.


  • We don’t assume that every time a device registers a change in the environment, we’ve ‘found a ghost’. Alterations in temperature and the electromagnetic field are noted as possible indicators that something anomalous is happening in the environment. We will later check to see if those changes correspond to personal experiences, odd voices on the audio or anomalies in photographs or video.
  • We take our impressions seriously, all of them, whether they are emotional, visual or auditory in nature. We write these impressions down to see if they can be corroborated later or if they correspond to changes in the environment that we recorded before, or if they back up voices caught on audio.
  • We don’t declare a site “haunted”, but rather “active.”
  • We don’t pretend to know with certainty who might be creating the energies, impressions, or data. We can make educated guesses, but we will not certify the identity of an energy—or consciousness–that is usually only capable of limited communication.
  • We combine all techniques and don’t define ourselves as “scientists” or “psychics”. What we do is more of an art than a science. Our work requires creativity as well as careful analysis of data. We don’t pigeonhole ourselves as specialists in only one area of paranormal investigation.
  • We’re not terribly fond of tons of gadgets, preferring to focus our attention—in an almost meditative way—on the spiritual manifestations of the site. However, we are open to any gadgets that might assist us in understanding the nature of the activity.
  • We don’t investigate sites with intense negative energy. We don’t perform exorcisms, explore anything demonic or open ourselves up to anything that seeks to harm others. If we encounter something evil or harmful, we protect ourselves and our families from exposure to it and find a team that specializes in that area of paranormal investigation.
  • We always seek the light of understanding in all that we do. If we are able to help a distressed spirit, we will do all in our power to do so. If there is lingering trauma in the environment, we pray or find other ways of clearing the negativity, sadness, or fear that remains there.
  • We can’t always help. We don’t pretend to be able to send anyone to the Light who does not wish to go there. We don’t have the power to send someone away. People possess free will, both here and in the afterlife. An individual’s decision—either a person in the flesh or in the spirit—is more binding than anything we can do as a team.

We don’t profit from investigations. If someone needs help, we will find a way to help that person. That will always be free.

However, if you want to feed us dinner or make us cookies, that would be just fine.

Jennifer Storey

One last thought: you, reading this, are ‘sensitive’, too. Have you ever felt the hairs rise on the back of your neck when you enter a certain building or home? Have you ever known that you were in danger before you were actually in danger? Have you ever been thinking of someone only to have that person immediately call you? Have you ever sensed that something was wrong in the environment and you decided to move away? Have you heard of police officers who develop a sixth sense or “gut instinct” regarding a case? You can call it intuition, sensitivity, instinct or sixth sense, but it is all the same thing. We can pick up information that goes far beyond what the material world provides us. We can either honor that knowledge and information and use it to protect, help, guide or learn, or we can ignore it and make our worlds smaller and much less interesting.

Whatever it is you do to find the Light is alright. If you need us, you know how to find us.

With love and respect,

Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW

possibly paranormal marsha at jail

The Spirits at the Estate Sales

Posted: August 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

estate sale 4

My husband and I are rather obsessed with estate sales. They offer bits and pieces of one’s personal history that we interact with at a very material level. For me, there is that desire to know someone through their personal belongings and the ambiance of their house. It’s a bit voyeuristic, to be sure; but I also feel that it gives me the opportunity to know someone who is no longer physically present in his or her home. These glimpses into someone’s life broaden my understanding of who we are and what defines us; for some, their possessions and decor create a personality. For others, the stuff that accumulates in their house has little to do with their identity. As a paranormal investigator, these estate sales provide me with a wealth of information on life after death, or simply on life: what it was, what it is now, what it might be in the future.

Estate Sale 3

A week or so ago, Ty and I saw the sign at the same time: Estate Sale on Ruston!!! I almost killed us getting there, because we didn’t want to miss that treasure, that unknown item that was waiting for us under a pile of old Playboys. Ty was out of the car before it stopped moving, and I jogged to the front door. That’s when my intuition and “sixth sense” went into overdrive. The emotions in the house—not of the living, this was a professional estate sale run by people unrelated to the former occupants—were very heavy, a mixture of sad, shocked and angry. As usual, I attempted to brush this off as a typical reaction to an estate sale. The feelings intensified as I walked upstairs.

I didn’t like how I felt. I started to creep around like an uninvited guest. When I arrived at a small bedroom, I found Ty looking through the male decedent’s clothing. I had a weird moment of dissociation and time slip, and then felt the full blast of emotion that investigators experience on active investigations. The male in the room (the invisible one, not Ty) did NOT want us rummaging through his clothing. He was angry about the whole situation, but he especially did not want us touching his personal things. I felt that he was particularly upset with me, didn’t like women much, and had much more sympathy for and interest in Ty. He had something downstairs that Ty would like, but he didn’t give a crap about what I might like.

I told Ty about all of this. The other odd area was the little bar downstairs. I made a note of that, as well. We left that bedroom, headed into the garage, and Ty found some treasure that he hadn’t seen before. He purchased various and sundry office items, and we left. The encounter upstairs left me exhausted and drained, but we soldiered on to the next estate sale.

estate sale 2

As soon as we walked in to the next house, it was obvious that this was a warm and happy place. Everything seemed to glow with a soft, white light. In spite of the fact that this was an estate sale, I was sure that the lady of the house was still alive. Turned out, she was; she had moved to assisted living. Her son had passed away before her, and her husband; yet, she remained in the house as a loving and happy presence. I sat down on the master bed and started to talk to the estate lady about my previous experience. A lady and her daughter listened in. The conversation went like this:

Me: “I just went to an estate sale that really creeped me out.”
Lady with daughter: “Do you mean the one on Ruston?”
Me: “Yes, that’s the one!”
Lady: “Oh my God, I hated that place. The upstairs bedroom had such bad energy! And the bar area was really bad!”

This declaration sparked a long conversation with the estate seller, her daughter, and the lady with the kid. Turns out, we had ALL experienced the same thing at the same house; this led to a fascinating story about the estate lady’s experience at a sale in Camarillo, where she watched boxes move around of their own accord, and was physically attacked by the spirit of the bipolar and violently angry lady that had died there. She left the place with a black eye and no profits. No one wanted to spend any time in the house, so she sold nothing.

I talked all about the Paranormal Housewives and what we do, and this led to a small crowd of people all sharing their stories about living in haunted houses and seeing ghosts. The daughter of the estate lady said that she had recently lost her father, and at that moment their song—the one he dedicated to her–came on the radio. She felt him in the room, and so did I. She wanted to know if I could contact him for her, and the lady with the daughter wanted something similar; I explained that the PHW don’t really do that, because I believe that each individual can do that for themselves. But that’s another topic for another post . . .

What was supposed to be just another Saturday shopping for treasures from the past turned into an intense and profound discussion on the afterlife, spirits, energies in homes, and the love of a father for his daughter from beyond this world.
This is why I investigate the “Other Side”—it is right next to the world of things, but teaches us that the real hidden treasures are not in a box that someone left behind, but in the hearts of the people that they loved, and will love forever.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW

Estate Sale 1

SCARE FEST 2014!!!!!

Posted: August 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

photo (20)

I walked into Scare Fest last Saturday (August 8th, 2014) at The Reef in Downtown Los Angeles and lost my mind. I was so excited, that I literally started shaking, like a two-year-old that had consumed far too much sugar and hadn’t taken my nap.

photo (13)

photo (16)

Scare Fest showcases vendors selling everything from Steam Punk jewelry to movie-quality props and masks, bakeries that sell zombie cakes, production companies specializing in horror movies, comics, odd antiques, Gothic art, sculptures, vintage Halloween items, creepy clothing, and pretty much anything else dark or scary that you can imagine. All of this is punctuated by scary monsters, vampires and walking corpses who attack you from behind while you shop, making for a very ‘interactive’ experience.

photo (17)

photo (24)

photo (27)

photo (29)

photo (28)

In addition to all of this merriment, there is an entire floor dedicated to seminars, talks and theater performances by Zombie Joe’s Urban Death troupe. This is theater in the “Grand Guinol” style, and it deserves another post. It was highly disturbing. Yes . . . highly disturbing.

photo (32)

Yes, my husband loves me a lot. He stayed all day, even though he wasn’t feeling terribly well. We are planning our tenth wedding anniversary (we were married on Halloween, of course) and this was the perfect venue. Why do I love Halloween so much? I suppose because there is a spirit of unbridled creativity with no rules, boundaries or limits. You can be whatever you wish to be, and you can explore the dark side of your nature. In the process, there is a kind of purification of your fears. It’s liberating and exciting. Christmas forces us all into happy land, and we don’t always feel that we belong there.

But we ALL belong to Halloween; you can indulge every human emotion and nobody looks askance.

Make sure to go next year, everyone! ALL the Paranormal Housewives will be there in 2015, probably with our very own booth!!

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW

Jennifer Storey

Kimberly Demmary

CampingSantaBarbara2014 239

CampingSantaBarbara2014 246

We (Jennifer Storey, Kirsten Thorne and Kimberly Demmary) have visited King Camp Gillette before, usually invited by our very generous and dear friend Rob Wlodarski. What I find interesting about this site is the element of the unexpected. Mr. Gillette’s main office is almost always active, setting off various devices and allowing us to collect some wonderful EVP; however, on this last visit, it was–pardon the pun–dead quiet. I’m pleased when this happens, because it means that our expectations and desires are not controlling or even influencing the outcome of the investigation. When what we want to happen is contradicted by what actually happens, it validates the notion that paranormal phenomena are independent of us, even if at times there is interaction.

Mr. Gillette’s bedroom is an unusual area with mixed feelings. Since he passed away there, one would expect lingering activity or impressions, and that is indeed what we sense–however, on this particular occasion, it appeared that we had picked up on family secrets, as suggested by various ‘ghost hunting’ applications that were all pointing in the same direction. I don’t take these applications terribly seriously unless they are consistent in their message or general theme; this time, they were indicating that dark events played themselves out in that room. I don’t wish to be more specific, since we did not receive any corroborating EVP or psychic impressions.

And then . . . there’s the basement. The basement contains strange rooms used for storage, heating and cooling equipment, rooms with cement floors and giant drains, and entrances/exits that seem to lead nowhere. The effect is disorienting and disquieting for me. The very long, very dark hallway intensifies the sensation that someone is following you or just ahead of you. This is usually the area where we collect the most data. We were hearing whispers, footsteps and odd noises which we assumed must be coming from other investigators. I searched the basement and the upstairs rooms, and nobody was above us. The other teams were outside when we captured the following audio:

In the above clip (Jennifer’s), ‘someone’ is joining our conversation. At four seconds and at fourteen seconds, a whispered voice is chiming in as we discuss our interest in another site. Notice that I pick up on this voice a few seconds after we capture it on audio.

Kimberly caught this audio. This is a male voice in an area where there were no men at all. Remember, I had already ‘cleared’ the area when Kimberly caught this. It’s difficult to make out what he is saying, and of course, why he is saying it.

Also during this time, we are hearing walking up and down the hallway. This was an active area, it appears, in the past; I don’t know who would have been using the area besides kitchen or cleaning staff. We are probably picking up on the typical sounds of a busy day back when the Ranch was home to many parties and events. In that case, we are most likely hearing a ‘stone tape’ replay of the past.

As always, these investigations into the life an old building remind me that everything we do, everything we think, everything we are, remains in the world we leave behind. It also makes me think that perhaps we never leave anything behind, we simply move to the dimension next door, where perhaps we have no idea why three women are asking probing questions in the dark with strange, little devices.

Thank you to Rob and Jerry for allowing such experiences to occur, and for supporting the PHW–and so many other teams–in our quest to unravel life’s biggest mysteries.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PHW/PhD

Suicide Bridge Marsha May 2014

Photo credits: Jennifer Storey for Colorado Bridge, Erin Hayes-Potter for JAWS

The PHW planned a couple of events this last May: an investigation with Gerald Reynolds at the Colorado Street Bridge (known colloquially as the ‘suicide bridge’ in Pasadena) and a screening of “JAWS” at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

The investigation at the Colorado Street Bridge was fascinating. Gerald used a promising application for paranormal investigations, the “Echovox”, which I have subsequently downloaded. It seems to imitate the function of the classic “ghost box” or “Frank’s Box” with the very clipped, quick fragments of words (or phonemes, for those of you into linguistics, like yours truly) picked up from across the AM radio frequency spectrum.

We had some information on a death that occurred at the bridge, someone that Jennifer knows. The story is too sensitive to discuss in public, as there is a private investigation ongoing. Suffice to say that we heard relevant information from the Echovox quite clearly, and it was compelling evidence that someone was attempting to tell a story or correct a story. I have a great deal of audio to review from that site!

It is interesting to note that of the four investigators that night (Kirsten, Jennifer, Marsha and Gerald), three of us suffered some degree of uncharacteristic anxiety over the next several days. The intense emotions imprinted upon the surroundings and the possible need to communicate with the living regarding the circumstances of one’s death affected almost all of us. One of us felt as if someone had followed her home, impressing her mind with images of people jumping or falling off the bridge.

Suicide Bridge Jen and Kirsten May 2014

This has become something of an occupational hazard for the PHW. We regularly visit sites that leave us feeling drained, anxious or dealing with emotions/thoughts that do not always seem to belong to us (if you’re interested in this topic, I wrote a post on this pseudo-channeling issue on This is quite serious business, so please don’t be offended by our “fun” photos–we try to keep the mood light in between EVP sessions so that we don’t have to deal with depression later; this is one way we protect ourselves from the energy of these traumatized areas. We certainly mean no disrespect!

Suicide Bridge Marsha 2 May 2014

Jennifer arranged a ‘just for fun’ outing with Marsha and Erin (I was sick) at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where they were treated to “Jaws” and lots of merriment.

Jaws PHW May 2014

JAWS movie PHW May 2014

Here’s a super pretty picture of Jennifer, just because!

Jen New Photo

Yours truly in the paranormal and the normal and the abnormal,
–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW

Angels In Our Midst

Posted: May 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

Editor’s Note: The Paranormal Housewives were asked to audition for a show about angels. As part of the process, we were each asked to write something about our experiences with angels or angelic encounters. Marsha wrote this beautiful and very moving piece in response to the request. She wanted to share it with everyone who follows us, and I am honored to reproduce it here. –Kirsten

MARSHA for blog post

Hello there; my name is Marsha Covert and I am a co-founder of the Paranormal Housewives.

I feel so honored to be a part of this project, so thank you in advance for taking the time to hear my story. I have always been a believer in angels and spirits. I have a pretty religious background. I was raised Mormon and baptized by my grandfather.I’d like to add that I’ve always felt a spiritual connection with my late grandfather. He was the only man living–or deceased, for that matter–that has ever made me feel safe. This may sound crazy to some people, but I continue to have a relationship with my grandfather even though he’s been dead for 15 years. I believe that my grandpa is my guardian angel.

I’d like to share a story with you. It’s the story of my daughter Samantha Rose. I don’t mind sharing this story with you, because in doing so her memory continues to live on. Samantha Rose was my daughter; I fought so hard for her. When I was pregnant with Samantha, she was diagnosed with Turner’s Syndrome. I was 5 months pregnant when she was diagnosed, and it was devastating. The doctors told me there wasn’t much that they could do to help her. She had swollen limbs and fluid around her heart. The doctors told me I could have an abortion, but there was no way I could do that. You see, I already loved her. I had already connected with her. She was my baby. And she was sick.

I made up my mind to do everything in my power to help her live. The pregnancy was very difficult. Samantha didn’t move too much in utero. I asked the doctors if my baby was in any pain, and they told me they couldn’t know for sure… that was the most difficult part: Not being able to comfort her. When I was 8 months pregnant, I was lying in bed and I started to feel erratic kicking and convulsing coming from my stomach. I called my doctor and she asked me to go immediately to the hospital; that was a very long ride. When I got there, they performed an ultrasound and that’s when I got the horrible news: my daughter was dead. They could not find a heartbeat.

I felt my heart fall through my chest. It was surreal. It was the most devastating moment of my entire life. I had prayed to God to please keep her safe. I had prayed to God to please let her be born healthy. I had begged for a miracle, and now she’s dead? So, in that moment when the doctors told me they couldn’t find Samantha’s heartbeat, I put my hands over my face. I closed my eyes and felt the world fall away.

When I opened my eyes, my grandfather was standing in the middle of my hospital room holding my daughter in a pink blanket. He didn’t say anything to me. He just looked at me and gave me his crooked smile. And I knew, I just knew, that he was there to greet my daughter on the other side. The entire experience lasted for about 20 seconds. The most miraculous thing happened: instead of feeling completely hysterical and full of sorrow, I was given the miraculous gift of comfort, knowing that my baby was safe with my grandpa in heaven. My grandfather’s appearance gave me the strength to get through the rest of that day; and when Samantha was silently born into this world, I had the strength to hold her, to dress her.

Holding a baby in your arms that doesn’t move is gut wrenching. The doctors were very respectful, and I think they were mildly surprised at how calm I was during and after the delivery process. That was all thanks to my grandpa. My angel.

I hope that by hearing my story you too can believe in angels. They say that everything in life happens for a reason. In the Mormon religion, we were taught that the whole purpose of life here on Earth is to make choices. God sent us here to make choices. Some of us make good choices, some people make bad choices. Based on those decisions we make it to heaven or not. I was taught that God’s most beloved spirits on Earth are often born with physical or emotional handicaps, rendering them unable to make bad choices and run the risk of not making it back to heaven. Maybe Samantha was just really special….

I hope that by hearing my story, you will think of Samantha. Part of the reason I feel so compelled to learn the truth about those who have passed from this world is because I am able to learn about who they were. I get to honor their memory.

–Marsha Covert-Garcia


I start this post with an audio clip that demonstrates just how responsive this Orange County haunted house truly is. The three knocks make it clear that this is an intelligent entity or entities.

But first, a little history on the Howe-Waffle house:

“Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle was one of Orange County’s first woman doctors, delivering over 1000 babies during her 38 years of practice. She was known for her kindness and devotion to her patients.

She and her husband, Dr. Alvin Howe came to Orange County in 1878, settling in the Westminster area . She taught at the old Bolsa School in Santa Ana to earn enough to complete her medical education. When she was ready to do so, she took her baby daughter with her to Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago. She graduated in 1886, returned to Santa Ana and began her practice that same year.” (from

Here are, in order, Marsha’s, Erin’s, and Kirsten’s impressions of that night’s investigation:


I had a great time investigating the Waffle House. As soon as I walked inside the front door I was immediately aware of the warm, welcoming energy. The house is beautiful and has been so well preserved over the years; it was a real honor to be able to investigate there.

I would have to say the attic was the most active for me. I can remember feeling as though someone were right there with us wanting to communicate. As a matter of fact, the best EVP clips we recorded were in the attic. It seemed like the activity heightened when we spoke of a little boy. We asked if there were any children present, and we got a tap in response. I almost got the feeling he was playing with us! But I have to ask myself… would God really let a child linger in an empty attic for all eternity? If I’m honest with myself, I don’t think God would allow that. So how or why does this energy remain? Are we beckoning them from the other side when we ask for a spirit to communicate with us? Is it possible the little boy passed away there and that a piece of him will always just BE there?

There are theories that suggest when we pass away we split into two. Our soul goes to heaven and our spirits stay here. I have to say that rings very true to me. I can’t prove that this is what happens, but it makes sense. I’m looking forward to investigating the Waffle House again. I think it’s going to take more than just one session to really figure what is going on there.

Parawife Marsha


The Dr. Howe-Waffle house was a very interesting place to investigate. The
house is fantastically restored. As soon as I walked in, I wanted to live there! I
felt several spirits immediately upon entering. It was like there was a
hustle and bustle in there! Our first stop was the attic. In the attic, I was
very aware of two spirits: A man and a boy. They were associated with each other but not
closely related. I was amazed by the amount of physical I experienced. I
was touched on the feet and ankles, my butt, and I was pushed…not
forcefully, but gently over a longer period of time. I caught several EVP on audio
while up in the attic.

Next, we went to the maids’ room. Although we were only in this room for a
short while, I felt a lot of spiritual energy right at the beginning…then
(of course) it moved out of the room we were in. I heard several things out
in the hall and caught a voice that sounded like it came from the hallway as

We went into the bathroom next, because as we were walking out of the maids’
room, I heard something in the bathroom. We were only in there for a few
moments because again….the energy shifted out of the room. It was like we
were chasing it.

Dr. Waffle’s bedroom and the main hallway was next. We spread out and
set up our equipment. Unfortunately, I caught nothing on audio
even though I was anticipating this area to be very active…and it was for
other people….just not on audio. There were several people that had
personal experiences in this area, but I was not one of them. This was the
least active area for me.

The last area was downstairs in the dining room. This was very active with
audible voices, sounds, thumps, dishes and footsteps. I smelled different
smells and felt moods shift. The man that was in this portion of the house
definitely did not want us there, but we weren’t going to back down. We came
for some answers!

I cannot wait to go back to this wonderful house. It’s very active and I
know that whenever we go back we will catch something else!

Parawife Erin


What I found most interesting about the Howe-Waffle house concerned the shift in mood in the main parlor. I experienced odd noises and impressions in the attic, but nothing I haven’t encountered in other haunted houses. The dining room/parlor was en entirely different reality for me.

We all noticed that the energy in the room was male, and we also felt–about the same time the temperature dropped dramatically–that this male presence was not happy about a loud group of women expressing themselves freely and dressed in a scandalous manner. This was rather amusing, and we were teasing him about it, when suddenly it became serious.

I started to feel very, very sick. I was dizzy, nauseous, faint and having some trouble catching my breath. This occasionally happens on investigations when a spirit is angry or upset, but this was an unusually strong reaction on my part. Right around the time that we were asking Mr. Howe why he left his wife in Santa Ana, in addition to bringing up the sensitive abortion issue, we started noticing dark shadows, cold spots and noises from the parlor and kitchen. On one of our audio clips, you can hear a male voice say a very nasty word in response to our prodding.

There were several EVP clips from that area. We caught a woman’s voice, isolated words, breaths, and one odd sound we can’t identify at all. This was quite an experience for me, since during the time we were recording the EVP, I was physically experiencing the emotions that those voices were conveying to us all. I find it amazing, shocking almost, to what extent all of us were on the same page concerning the spirit activity in the house. To have that activity and those impressions validated on the audio clips proves that what is happening at the Willella Howe-Waffle house is very real, and can be very disturbing.

—-Parawife Kirsten


Not to overwhelm our readers, but there were quite a few EVP in most areas of the house. I will post them a few at a time in separate posts in the hope that we will hear more feedback that way.

Here is the infamous “dirty word” clip that I mentioned earlier. It’s quite clear, but if you aren’t sure what this angry man is saying, I’m happy to tell you what all of the Para Wives heard!

The “surprise” is clear in this clip:

Here the woman’s voice is clear:

In this clip, we were noticing the odd smell of vomit. During this session, I catch an extremely odd noise. Do any of you know what this could be?

Here is talking all around Erin:

OK, my dear Readers, there will be more audio clips to follow. I hope you have some comments and/or questions for us.

Is the Howe-Waffle house haunted? Hmmmm . . . let me see . . . that would be a definite YES!

–Kirsten A. Thorne, Ph.D./PHW