; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, October 24, 2016

Actualizing Apparitions

In August 2012, a thriller film titled The Apparition opened in theaters. Here's a quick synopsis:

When frightening events start to occur in their home, young couple Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) discover they are being haunted by a presence that was accidentally conjured during a university parapsychology experiment. The horrifying apparition feeds on their fear and torments them no matter where they try to run. Their last hope is an expert in the supernatural, Patrick (Tom Felton), but even with his help they may already be too late to save themselves from this terrifying force of death. - The Apparition

The film is loosely based on an ambitious project that started in 1972 named 'The Philip Experiment'.

Many researchers of the paranormal (including myself) believe that some manifestations and poltergeist phenomena (objects flying through the air, doors slamming, etc.) are products of the human mind (tulpas or thought-form manifestation). To test that idea, a fascinating experiment was conducted in the early 1970s by the Toronto Society for Psychical Research (TSPR) to see if they could create a ghost. The idea was to assemble a group of people who would make up a completely fictional character and then, through séances, see if they could contact him, receive messages and other physical phenomena - perhaps even an apparition.

Dr. A.R.G. Owen lead a group of eight people from the Toronto Society for Psychical Research. None of these people were known to have any particular abilities in ESP, psychic, channeling, or other physical or mental specialties. They proceeded to create a person on paper, giving the person the name Philip Aylesford. The group created Philip’s entire life story: He lived in 17th century England, was married, had a love affair, and ultimately died by his own hand in 1654. Someone from the group even traveled to England to photograph the area it was said Philip had lived. Another group member sketched a drawing of Mr. Aylesford. The experiment began with the entire group meeting frequently to discuss the life and times of Philip as they would any interesting real person. Much time was spent in deep concentration, meditation and séances as a group about Philip.

After a year of continued experimentation, Philip began to make "his" presence known. Beginning with simple taps and raps the quickly becoming yes/no answers. He even gave factual answers to known historic events of his time. Soon after Philip manifested physical abilities. He was able to shake and move a table the group used.

Actual Video - The Philip Experiment

Dr. Owen repeated his experiment several times with different groups of people and was able to create other manifestations including: Lilith, an 18th century French Canadian spy; Sebastian, a medieval alchemist; and very curiously Axel, a man from the future! All manifested very quickly after the experiment started and also communicated via raps and taps. At the beginning of the experiment, the stated goal was to eventually create an
apparition. Though toward the end of 1977 they felt they were close to reaching that goal, interest in the experiment waned and activities were discontinued. - The Philip Experiment

Inspired by these experiments a group from Australia conducted The Skippy Experiment in which they created the persona of Skippy Cartman, a 14-year-old Australian girl.

Because of the results of these experiments, some would conclude that this proves that ghosts don't exist, that such things are in our minds only. Others may say that our unconscious could be responsible for this kind of the phenomena some of the time. Regardless there is no way to prove that ghosts don't exist. Philip was completely fictional...the spirit world was never contacted. This was simply a psychokinetic anomaly manufactured by the collective human conscious. The only certain conclusion is that there is much to our existence and beyond that is still unexplained.

In an interesting side note, after these experiments were started, the 'religion' of Spiritualism increased dramatically in popularity, especially in the United States, Canada, England and Wales. Spiritualists believe in communicating with the spirits of discarnate humans. They believe that spirit mediums are humans gifted to do this, often through seances and that anyone may become a medium through study and practice. They believe that spirits are capable of growth and perfection, progressing through higher spheres or planes. The afterlife is not a static place, but one in which spirits evolve. The two beliefs - that contact with spirits is possible, and that spirits may lie on a higher plane - lead to a third belief, that spirits can provide knowledge about moral and ethical issues, as well as about God and the afterlife. Thus many members speak of spirit guides - specific spirits, often contacted, relied upon for worldly and spiritual guidance. - Spiritualism in Antebellum America (Religion in North America)

I personally believe in some of these tenets...but defined a bit differently. True mediumship, in my opinion, is an instilled gift. I don't think that it can be learned or taught. I do believe that spirits are remnant energy that do have the ability to communicate as well as pass through portals (worm holes) between this world and other locations in our universe and possibly others. I feel that the afterlife is like a 'way station', where these life energies remain after they leave their earthbound environment. Some of these former earthbound energies evolve into 'helpers' for living beings...while other are integrated and merged with other living spirits. There is nothing religious or dogmatic with my theories...it's just what I have hypothesized after being subjected to the supernatural. Lon

The Apparition

The Unidentified & Creatures of the Outer Edge

Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America

Earth Mind, Earth Memories: How Ghosts, Tulpas, Strange Lights and UFOs' Exist Inside the Mind and Memories of the Living Earth

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