Posts Tagged ‘life after death’

img_6109I was

at work, hiding out in the ladies’ room. I have this strange habit when I really want to be alone in a restroom: I look out from under the stall and make sure that nobody is there. This was a relatively small restroom with only a few stalls, so it was easy to peek out and see that nobody was there. Another odd thing about me is that sometimes I decompress in bathrooms without actually making use of said bathroom. This was one of those times. I sat on top of the toilet seat and enjoyed the silence. Until, that is, I heard the sound of high heels walking across the linoleum floor and heard the adjacent stall door open. Funny, I thought, I never heard the door open. I also didn’t hear the toilet seat open or anything else: total silence after the mystery woman entered the stall next to me. I wondered what she was doing there without making a sound, and I started to worry.

I peeked under the stall to see if she was actually there or not. No feet. I opened the stall door to see if anyone was there–but nobody was. The high heels had clicked their way into the bathroom and into the stall but never left. I realized that I had heard something that had not “happened” in a typical sense. For a moment, I realized yet again how extraordinary life can be, how odd and inexplicable. There are so many mysteries that happen to us daily, but how often do we really make the effort to understand them and study them?

I left the bathroom and decided that I had to tell someone about this. I found my colleague, pulled her aside, and told her what had just happened. “Oh my, this building has its very own ghost!” she laughed. I attempted to impress upon her how odd the incident truly was, and she laughed again before changing the subject. For the umpteenth time, I was shut down and the story forgotten soon after it was told. Why do people do this? Why do we assume that anyone who has a serious, anomalous ‘incident report’ to share is not worth our time or attention?

I have noticed at work that my interest in the paranormal is common knowledge to my colleagues and our administration. People ask me about my most ‘interesting’ or ‘terrifying’ ghost experience, yet completely dismiss my recounting of the incident as soon as they hear it. I have come to believe that there is real fear around the topic of the paranormal. I am not sure why. There are so many fascinating mysteries embedded in reality, yet most people need absolute clarity in their lives to feel comfortable, and the presence of the paranormal destabilizes our world, making it unfamiliar and strange. One either celebrates that oddness and mystery, or one runs from it, preferring the daily certainties.

When we refuse to take these reports (and note, I prefer ‘reports’ to ‘stories,’ because our culture does not accord stories the seriousness of truth) at face value and actually consider the truths they may hold for us, we diminish our collective experience in an essentially incomprehensible world. I do believe that we can make tremendous progress in understanding the realms of spirit and consciousness if only we were able to put aside the notion that it’s somehow laughable or crazy to wander outside the material world of our five senses.

I think we all see ghosts on a regular basis, but decide to code them out of our experience. We reject the strange, we turn our backs on the world of spirit, and we refuse to alter our world view to accommodate parapsychological phenomena. Of course, there are exceptions to this general rule, such as Marsha (pictured above), Erin, Jennifer and Kimberly. We have created this community where it is safe to explore all the implications of paranormal phenomena and what they might mean for our existence, not just in the here and now, but in the past and in the distant future, beyond the horizon of death. We don’t much care if the general public thinks we’re crazy or deluded: we know that we are not. We are, along with others in our field, pioneers of a new reality.

Who in your life believes you, no matter how much your paranormal ‘incident report’ seems to stretch the boundaries of the possible? Who will always listen with an open mind and an unending curiosity? Those people, my dear readers, are your true friends.

Keep filing those reports. You may be unfairly judged by small minded materialists, but one day, your version of reality might change everyone else’s world. We can only hope.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW


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




Dr. Sam Parnia

The Holy Grail for paranormal researchers is a study that will “prove” life after death, or survival of consciousness. For cultural reasons, the only ‘proof’ that the general public will accept must come from studies carried out under strict, scientific protocols. If hard science can’t resolve the issue, the assumption defaults to “there is no survival of death.” That in itself is a questionable and illogical assertion, yet we are all yoked to materialism even in cases where that stance may not help us find an answer and be an inappropriate tool for what we seek to discover; something akin to staring at test tube reactions in order to discover the nature of God.

In any case, Dr. Sam Parnia–author of What Happens When We Die–appeared to believe in the genuine possibilities for survival of consciousness, and with that in mind, developed the AWARE study whose results were supposed to be published this year. That does not seem likely, as evidenced by his web page report from a few months back. When I first heard about this project, the red flags went up. I watched the videos where Dr. Parnia discussed the study and the results he expected. He clearly expected this study to fail (see Skeptico’s blog for a thorough discussion of this topic: The study seemed far too simple and. actually, simplistic for a topic of such importance. Somewhere between 10-20% of resuscitated cardiac arrest patients report conscious experiences during the time that they were clinically ‘dead’. Of those, Dr. Parnia figured at least a few should be able to report target pictures placed in the room from the perspective of someone floating on the ceiling.

We are waiting to see if anyone who reported a conscious experience after clinical death is able to accurately report the content of those targets placed below them. There is much speculation that no one was able to complete this task, with the consequent assertion that life after death has magically been ‘disproven,’ with no regard for the fact that this subject has 25 some years of solid research behind it already. Worse, for me, is the idea that Dr. Parnia might have intentionally designed a flawed study with the goal of discrediting the entire field of consciousness research.

The second red flag for me (before I read any formal critiques of his study) in addition to Dr. Parnia’s expectation of failure, was how poorly designed this experiment is and the odd expectations behind it. The targets placed in the room assume that everyone’s perspective during an OBE will allow them to see the pictures. As the Skeptico site states, there are multiple reports of OBEs during NDEs where patients are NOT looking down in the wide arc that these targets require to be seen. Objects interfere with one’s OB vision; patients do not always float to the ceiling, or float to the same spots on the ceiling; but more importantly, WHY would ANYONE be searching out target pictures and memorizing their content when they have just separated from their physical body and are watching the drama of resuscitation play out near them (assuming, of course, that they are even ‘around’ when the resuscitation takes place)?

This study does not look at people as people, but as subjects in an experiment who know what they are ‘supposed’ to do in order to prove that what is happening to them is real. There is no reason to assume that during the most traumatic and confusing moments of our existence, our attention would be focused on pictures placed about the room. You would, in a disembodied state, be looking at the action surrounding your dead body. Anything that the medical team was doing to your dead body would be your main interest. Why is a detailed description of surgical instruments, dialogue among the medical team and other details regarding their clothing or appearance ignored as valid evidence of conscious experience? Why does this one, poorly conceived study claim to decide the issue of survival once and for all?

That makes me doubly suspicious. As Alex Tsakiris notes on the Skeptico site, there appears to be a set up here, an experiment designed to ‘debunk’ all notions of life after death. I fear that there is, indeed, an agenda. I can’t prove that, and no one can at this point, but Dr. Parnia’s own lectures point in that direction by the very attitude he displays towards the topic and his word choice when discussing the design and intent of the AWARE study. I can imagine all the true sceptics rejoicing when the negative results of this study ‘prove’ that we are all slaves to the materialist paradigm.

So much careful work has been carried out in the consciousness field by so many respected researchers, and yet that work will be ignored, as usual, when the AWARE study finally states that no one correctly identified Dr. Parnia’s targets. We’ll all be back to square one: you either “believe in this stuff” or you don’t. There will be no middle ground, no shades of gray, no wait and see, no suspension of disbelief and no intelligent and reasonable conclusions arrived at by a “preponderance of evidence.” We have had a preponderance of evidence for a long time, certainly more than a sufficient amount to reasonably accept that the mind outlives the brain. Any thinking person could not be faulted for arriving at that conclusion.

As long as we have studies like the AWARE project, however, we will have the same two camps staring at each other from across the abyss and we will go nowhere in our understanding of the biggest mystery in the universe. We may be eternally conscious beings, but we are, as well, profoundly unconscious on so many levels.

Kirsten A. Thorne, Ph.D/PHW

Things haven’t been terribly smooth at the new job. I must be deliberately vague; all I can really say on this matter is that Insecurity and a need for power and control can be a toxic combination, one that darkens the halls at the brightest of universities. Not that this university was so bright to begin with . . .

Week Eight at Cam has been darker than normal, and not simply due to my previously stated experiences. I attribute this to the gradual desertion of the students, allowing Cam’s previous energies to resurface and reclaim their territory. Observe the picture below this post.

The hallways are much darker today than normal, even accounting for weather and outdoor lighting conditions. However, I’m not simply referring to the literal sense of dark, but more to the heaviness in the atmosphere here.  It’s freezing cold in all the rooms and halls, in spite of the fact that it’s a pleasant 70 degrees outside. The students freeze in our classroom, even though there is no air conditioning and our room faces a sunny courtyard. It’s as if the warmth simply cannot penetrate these walls. I am always wearing jackets indoors, my hands stiff as I attempt to type.

No one is ever going to change the nature of this place. Maybe it’s the Bell Tower in particular, which housed the criminally insane on the East Side (where I enter the building) with the worst psychiatric illnesses, or the fact that the unruly adolescent boys were incarcerated on the West Side of the Bell Tower; these two groups were, unbelievably enough, mixed together in “Recreation Rooms” and group therapy rooms right in the area where I teach. In fact, from the configuration of my downstairs classroom, it looks to be one of those “common area” rooms where patients mingled and were frequently unsupervised. This toxic comingling of boys and insane men is a fact I gleaned from someone I know who spent a year or so in this very building for “anti-social” behavior.

I think I’ve realized something important. You can’t spend hours in a place with dreary energy from a traumatic past and hope to leave with a smile on your face and a sunny disposition. I should know this, of all people, yet I was seduced into thinking I would find this a mysterious and educational experience; it IS that, and will continue to be, but I find myself needing to conserve my energy. I used to spend much time fine-tuning my sensitivity, opening myself up to the energies around me, consciously seeking contact. Now, I find myself doing the exact opposite just to get through the day at Cam. I work on protection, I attempt to ignore my surroundings, and I even pretend that the place was never a hospital for the so-called ‘insane’.

What also assists me in this work of “tuning out” is the fact that Cam is never the same day to day. You can walk all over the buildings one day with no particular feeling one way or the other, and then the next day, or even later in the evening, the air is thick with mystery and menace. Even though one might object that this is pure emotional projection, I have had my experience of this validated so many times by those with whom I work and investigate that I no longer doubt my impressions.

That is probably the greatest gift of Cam: I no longer doubt my instincts and my sensitivity to my surroundings. After several years of investigations and explorations, no one can tell me that what I sense isn’t real. Anyone who tells me that I am “projecting,” “inventing” or fulfilling some fantasy or wish no longer upsets my confidence or causes me to question my abilities. I have become, for wont of a better work, “sensitive” or “a sensitive,” and that is a very real transformation. I have a certain limited and rudimentary ability to see into the past and peer into the future. With time, I expect that skill will increase in power and precision. I only hope that I will find some mentors and guides along the way, so that darkness does not infect me at the deepest level.

The mental hospital wants to grab onto anyone that can feel it. It affects even those who deny its reality as a living memory. I started out wishing for nothing more that to be a witness to the paranormal. Now, I have to protect myself from it.

The Bell Tower