DPRG serving central & lower Delaware and surrounding areas
DPRG's mission is two-fold: to advance research in the area of the paranormal, and to help the surrounding community in dealing with hauntings. We can help get to the bottom of strange phenomenon, whether that be finding a natural explanation or helping you deal with the unknown. DPRG can help. (See Full mission statement on Contact Us page)
"The ocean is vast, deep and dangerous with her mysteries hidden under her raiment of waves. Death like the ocean hides her secrets, and we who stand on the shore, catch only an occasional glimpse."
The Shore is a product of the Delaware Paranormal Research Group, a small group of individuals dedicated to advancing the field of paranormal research, and sharing that research with the rest of the community. You may access these articles and others in full by clicking on the link to the right.
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by Robin M. Strom-Mackey
In this article the author describes a haunting in her own home and what she did to finally achieve some piece of mind.
...My son awoke three mornings and reported a strange man standing in the hallway. He thought the form he saw was more than merely the shadow thrown against the wall as he sat up in bed. On the first sighting he described the figure as wearing a striped shirt. On two occasions he described the being as standing in the hallway and looking around the corner into my bedroom. On the third occasion he described the dark form as bobbing up and down in a strange way, and then dissipating as he called to me.
With the plasticity of youth, my son first interpreted the dark man as being his grandfather who had recently passed away. On subsequent viewings he wasn’t so sure, however. And, after sensing my own uneasiness, he became increasingly disconcerted. It goes without saying that children feed off their parent’s reactions. My son became increasingly uncomfortable being alone in his room, and if I came in unannounced he reacted violently, often with a, “why didn’t you say you were coming?"
I must admit, that I have never caught sight of the dark man. But I did find myself looking over my shoulder while dressing, and waking up several times a night to look out in the hall. I wasn’t getting much sleep. I was edgy. During the day I was tired, distracted and cranky. Worst of all, I didn’t know to whom I should turn. Now I admit all this rather sheepishly. I’ve been researching the paranormal field for a number of years, and I’ve willingly walked into situations just to experience paranormal phenomenon. It is vastly different however, to seek out the paranormal in someone else’s domicile or building, than to have an unknown quantity in your own home....
Part III - A Spirited Debate: What are Ghosts Anyway?
By Robin M. Strom-Mackey
This is an excerpt from the 4-part series. In the series the author compares the opinions of experts (both pro and con) that attempt to answer the question, "what are ghosts? "
...Brad Steiger, author and co-author of some 150 books on the subject of the paranormal, says, “After researching the paranormal for more than 50 years, I spend little time these days theorizing about what ghosts may be. I accept the reality that within each of us there is a spiritual essence that is imperishable and eternal. I completely accept the existence of spirit phenomena, and I contend that it is extremely multifaceted. While I believe it may be difficult to separate ghostly manifestations into definitions of type and purpose that are truly distinct from one another, I submit that real ghosts and restless spirits often fit into the following categories: spirit residue, spirits of the dead, poltergeists, spirit parasites and spirit masqueraders (Steiger, 2003).”
What They Are
However, Steiger presents a theory for ghostly activity that he borrows from his colleague Brian A. Schill of the American Society for Paranormal Research and investigation and author of the book entitled The DNA of Ghosts. Schill attempts to explain the existence of ghosts in scientific terms. The body, Schill explains, has a “bioelectric cycle” functioning at 60 Hz. This cycle allows our nervous system, brain, heart and organ to both function and communicate with each other within the organism itself. If one considers the first law of thermodynamics which states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed, “we are able to recognize that two-thirds of our total existence is in the form of intangible energy (Steiger, 2003).” What then happens to this energy (which cannot be destroyed but only transformed) when we die?
Schill says that when we die the bioelectric energy is released out of the body into the environment, where one of two things happens. This “unconscious energy” may disperse freely into the environment and cause no manifestation thereafter. Or the energy may, “through covalent bonding” attach itself to an object or building to which the person was attached and remain in the environment. This covalent bonding can occur anywhere, according to Schill, that has an “electron deficit” which Steiger contends is the reason for repeat hauntings. This is likely to occur when the energy is quickly released (as in an accidental or tragic death). The energy “coagulates” within, “’the local environment over a short period of time, maybe only a couple of minutes or so, and amass to such a degree that the greater portion that was originally in the body has now become self-aware outside of the body.’ Psychological forces of conscious will may also trigger this type of reaction. When self-awareness occurs, there is generally a degree of confusion because of the new form that the person is in, one of pure energy rather than a physically manifested body (Schill, Steiger, 2003).”
Steiger suggests that there are three striking similarities that paranormal investigators have documented over the years that rather verify Schill’s theory. First, most haunting phenomena involve low-level electromagnetic field disruptions, generally falling within 3 to 100 mill gauss (Mg). The low-level disturbances are caused, according to Steiger, by the “intangible bio-magnetic field that makes up the ghost (Steiger, 2003).” He also contends that this bio-magnetic field causes hiccups and malfunctioning of electric devices within the environment.
A second similarity is the occurrence of “cold spots.” Steiger suggests that air temperature drops somewhere between 10 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit during paranormal activity. These drops are thought to be due to the “unintentional attraction and condensation of free electrons in an environment. The condensing of an energy field leaves a momentary void of heat in the area (Steiger, 2003).”
And the third similarity is that many ghostly phenomena is caught using devices that measure in the infrared spectrum a lower level energy spectrum – which lies just below the visible spectrum of energy and light which we can see with the naked eye. This lower level of electromagnetic energy seems to be the area of the spectrum, “where the greatest number of manifestations take place (Steiger, 2003).” Because this lower spectrum borders the lower portion of the visible spectrum where we see red, orange and yellow, he feels that is might explain why entities are often caught only with our peripheral vision versus our “direct line of sight.” “Manifestations seen with peripheral vision also attract the attention of our unburdened subconscious rather than our conscious mind, which bears the fears of social restriction and repression when we experience something that is out of the ordinary (Steiger, 2003)"....
Below are excerpts from The Shore, DPRG's official paranormal blog.
Excerpt from "History and Theory Behind Divining Rods"
By Robin Strom-Mackey
It is indisputable that the rods have a long and interesting history. What is disputable is whether there is anything to this ancient art. It is interesting that in the age of modern science a device as crude and mysterious as the diving rod is still in use. But then even science as been divided on the rods.
The Society of Psychical Research did some study on the rods, thinking to discount their use, and found instead that there appeared to be something to the ancient tools. Albert Einstein apparently did some analysis of the devices and concluded, “I know very well that many scientists consider dowsing as they do astrology, as a type of ancient superstition. According to my conviction this is, however, unjustified. The dowsing rod is a simple instrument which shows the reaction of the human nervous system to certain factors which are unknown to us at this time”.
Author Christopher Balzano in the book Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting, grouped dowsing rods with pendulums, postulating that the actual power of the rods lay not with the rods themselves, but suggesting that they acted as a tool that helped direct the psi ability of the user. (Psi is the more modern, umbrella ,term for abilities such as ESP or telepathy)
Other literature has suggested a similar conclusion, which is perhaps why the rods have come under such attack over the years. Held in the hands of a skeptic it becomes fathomable that that the rods can be a method for cheating. A quick and hardly perceptible twist of the wrist can set a rod to spinning making the devices appear to be working when they are not, which fuels the fire for skeptics. Another reason skeptics might remain skeptical is the “Sheep-Goat Effect” suggested by Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler.
Basically put, Dr. Schmeidler found a difference in scoring between those who believed in psi (sheep) and those who did not (goats). Basically put, when goats were tested, they not only did not demonstrate an ability in psi, but they often scored below chance. Sheep on the other hand, those who either believed in psi or were at least open to the idea of the existence of psi (ESP), did much better on the tests, scoring at the chance level, if not above. It seems that subjects who discount the very possibility of psi somehow or another act as a barrier to having a psi experience - which Loyd Auerbach believes is an innate ability of some magnitude in all of us.
Those who have studied dowsing rods seem to believe, like Einstein suggests, that the power to move the rods lie not with the rods but within the user herself. According to the article, Dowsing: Subconscious and the Paranormal; How Does Dowsing Work? Stephen Wagner interviewed the Director of the Western New Rock Paranormal [Group] of Rochester, Dwayne Claud, who suggested, “It’s not psychic ability, its biomechanics. The rods move through unconscious micro-muscular movements. The subconscious is in control of the responses the dowsing instrument provides.” Claud seems to affirm Einstein’s reaction that the rods react to the user, and the user to his/her subconscious. But if that is true then are the rods merely picking up information from the mind of the person holding them? If one believes the subconscious houses only the thoughts, history, memory and imagination of the user than it would seem true that the rods act from the direction of the user and could go no further in divining information than that which was stored in the mind of the user.
However, there has been a debate for some time as to the possible vastness of the human subconscious. The famous Swiss Psychiatrist, Carl Jung suggested that the human subconscious encompassed more, much more, than just the memories of a single human brain, but the collective memories of the entire species. In the book, Messages and Miracles: Extraordinary Experiences of the Bereaved, Dr. Louis LaGrand explains, that if we go “one step further into the collective unconscious, where Jung suggested we are all connected, then we have to entertain the belief there are non-local characteristics as well. Or as Jungians are wont to say, ‘in the collective unconscious there is no space or time.’ [And] if there is no space or time, then whatever occurs in it can occur everywhere and at the same time.” It’s as if the subconscious were a giant river, to the banks of which we all come occasionally. This river holds all species memories, emotions, dreams and creativity, and is not barred by time or space restrictions. Those that can tap into the river of the subconscious then are able to glean whatever happens to be floating by at the time. And like a river, it’s vastness makes it impossible to see anything but a small portion at any one time. Think of a river going around a bend....