Anoka Paranormal Investigations

By Steve Lind
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Since humans emerged from the plains of Africa,  communication with the dead has been part of the human experience. It was part of either an esoteric, secret privilege of priests or shaman, or it was a hidden ritual performed behind closed doors by witches and sorcerers.  Everyone knew about it, but people rarely were willing to talk about it nor did they know how it was done.  That is until the Fox sisters, Kate and Margaret (perhaps Margarreta) emerged from Hydesville, NY in 1848.

                Kate, 12, and Margaret “Maggie” ,15, and their family began to hear rappings and strange noises in their old home which was reputed to be haunted.  An entity the girls called “Mr. Splitfoot”, which was a nickname for the Devil, could repeat snaps of their fingers and rap the ages of the girls.  Neighbors heard the rappings as well and they even developed a code of rappings for yes and no.

Communication with the dead in various ways was not unheard of however.  As early as 1760 a book called “Communication with the Other Side” was published by George, First Baron Lyttelton.  Emanuel Swendenborg was Swedish inventor and scientist who had a ‘spiritual awakening’ in 1741 at age 53 and claimed in numerous writings that he was able to communicate with angels, demons and other spirits. Many people continue to believe that his writings were divinely inspired.  While these books and many others were part of the public discussion, it was still primarily a private and very personal experience.

                What changed with the Fox sisters, now assisted by their sister Leah, was that it became a public experience.  On November 14, 1849 the Fox sisters demonstrated their spiritualist rapping at the Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY for a paying public.  They became famous and their séances were attended by many of the famous people of the day.  Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became a dedicated spiritualist.  The Fox sisters were soon imitated by hundreds of other people who claimed to be able to communicate with the dead.  Spiritualism became part of the fabric of the Victorian Age and is still practiced today.

                The story of the Fox sisters did not end well.  For all the adherents to the ideas, there were just as many skeptics. In 1851, one of their relatives, Mrs. Norman Culver claimed that the sisters had shown her how they made their rapping noises. Then finally on October 21, 1888 Margaret demonstrated before an audience of 2000, in the presence of her sister Kate, how she could produce, at will, the raps by cracking her toe joints.  She wrote a long confession about how first Katie, then she had learned to produce a variety of noises with their toe and knee joints and how people imagined being touched when they heard the noises.      Under pressure from others in the Spiritualist movement she recanted her confession in 1889, but it was too little, too late.  Within a few years both sisters died in poverty and were buried in paupers graves.

                The confession, though it destroyed the reputation of the Fox sisters, did nothing to dim belief in the movement they had such a hand in starting.  Even today some people believe that the Fox sisters were in communication with the dead.  But it was not the fraud that was their lasting legacy, it was taking communication with the dead and the idea of ghosts and spirits out of the realm of secret, hidden powers and into the public arena.   While many of the mediums of the day were revealed or confessed to fraud, many were not.  There continue to be numerous examples of people that possess information that is unexplainable. It is those people that fascinate and attract us.  Because of the Fox sisters we do not have to read and discuss their revelations in hushed tones in dark basements, but can examine and evaluate their claims and information in public and make an informed choice about whether they can peer behind the veil of death and communicate with those that have departed.  

By Carrie Mitchell
Monday, December 18, 2017

I get a lot of inquiries and requests on cleansing and blessing homes, objects, and people. First of all, what is smudging you might ask? Well it's not cleansing in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense. Smudging is based on ancient rituals and ceremonies calling upon the spirit and powers of specified herbs to help promote peace love and harmony, and banish all that is negative and bad. It's a way of neutralizing and improving the natural flow of the energies(Chi) in and around us as well as our environment. The practice was originated and still widely used by Native Americans, yet the basic theology behind this practice has caught on throughout many western religions -and it works!

I'm also asked how one knows when and how often they should smudge? The reasons can vary from physical and emotional Illness, anger or conflict, basic to major life changes, Hauntings, attachments, and more. And the timing? As often as you need to. In most cases, when I'm approached on the subject of smudging, most people ask me if I can just do it for them -which I have no problem with. I guess the reason being is that most people are unsure of how to do it, or are afraid that they might mess up the ritual. But here's the thing, you can't mess up something when your intent is pure! One thing I like to tell people is that there is no right or wrong way, there is only what works for you and what does not. Which is why I would like to help educate people on the basics.

You can make it as simple or elaborate as you wish. But I do recommend setting the stage as a spiritual experience. Creating the sense of ceremony assists you in building your own personal power and sets your intent to help you focus on the ultimate outcome. I also begin by physically cleaning the home or object.  Dirt, filth, clutter and debris attracts negative stagnant energy, so it's always good to begin with a clean fresh slate on the surface to make it easier to go deeper. Smudging is also a great follow-up to a deep spring cleanout of our homes and inner beings. One way that I can tell if my home needs smudging is I pay close attention to my plants. If they start losing leaves, the leaves become yellowed or brown, or if a perfectly healthy plant suddenly take a turn for the worst and actually dies, then I know it's time to take care of business. Being a hyper sensitive person to energies, I can also just feel when it's time.

After you have physically cleaned, now take a moment to ground yourself. This is something I on a fairly regular basis actually, due to the fact that today, I'm a practicing Pagan. But you don't have to be any particular religion to do this, in fact I know many Christians who do this as well. Toxic energies need to be flushed from our bodies, minds, and spirits in order to focus properly, and it only takes a few moments. Here is a basic way to doing this. Remember this is only one way to do it. feel free to experiment...

Begin grounding by sitting in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Take deep cleansing breaths. Clear your mind, and think only of your breath. Imagine that you are a tree, and begin to feel roots burrowing deep into the earth. Keep breathing. Feel the earthen vibration invade your body mind and soul. Feel the rush of mother earth in your spirit. Purge yourself of negative thoughts. Imagine that bad energy as a murky muddy color, and flush it from your body to be received and purified once again by the earth. Take a few more deep breaths, envisioning a healing white light fill your body. When you feel ready, open your eyes. You will feel re-energized, and ready to take on the next task; gathering your materials.

You will need these basic fairly easy to find items:

                Sage smudge stick (found in most Online and Brick & Mortar Metaphysical stores)

                Heat safe container (most commonly used vessel is an Abalone Shell)

                Smudge feather or fan (optional, your hand works perfectly fine too)

                White tealite or votive candle in a holder


First, open a door or window (even if it's cold and wintery outside).  The spirits or negative energy need an exit point/escape route, or you will just be chasing them around the house, or pushing them into a corner.  Next light the white candle and place holder in the center most point of your house. Light your smudge stick using the candle flame, until it starts to smoke. Be mindful of smoke detectors and run a fan if necessary. Working in a counterclockwise motion, begin fanning the smoke over and around all furniture, walls and especially in each and every corner. Work slowly with positive purpose through each room. Ask the universe to please clear away any negative and unwanted energy. Make sure to seal each room as you exit with an equal armed cross.

Visualize that negative energy exiting the home. Feel the atmosphere around you become lighter and brighter as the smoke swirls through the rooms. When you have circled every single room -leaving the room with the open window or door until last- it's time to seal your intent. Now you have the otion to seal all windows and doors with saltwater. Salt will help keep the negativity at bay; it creates a barrier of sorts and also prevents ghosts and spirits from moving back in. You can wet your fingers and cover thresholds and window sills to help seal your home, and prevent them from re-entering. Make sure to close your exit window or door at this point.

Finally, sit and contemplate your candle still burning in the center most point of your home. Visualize a divine white light coming from the flame, enveloping your entire home, filling every nook and cranny. Feel the lightness of the positive energy return. Extiguish your candle for safety, and so it is done!

The entire process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. It depends on the energy in your home, and the size of your home. Feel free to repeat as necessary.  Smudging is also effective on land, objects, and people too I might add -not just buildings.

See you next time...

By Carrie Mitchell
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Gone are the days where psychics and mediums emitted this crazy substance when coming in contact with ghosts and spirits during a séance. We all know now that many of these famous photographs were faked. This has been proven time and again. Its physical existence has been disproven by science to contain non-paranormal substances.  Once such case is Helen Duncan. She was a famously known and a highly photographed medium who continuously utilized props as her "ectoplasm". Paranormal Researcher, Harry Price tested many substances said to come from Helen Duncan as well as from other mediums, and found them to contain non-supernatural materials such as cheesecloth, gauze, paper cutouts, organic materials, dolls, rubber gloves, and more. Harry Price eventually helped to expose fraudulent mediums of the day by co-writing a book called Revelations of a Spirit Medium (1922).

Just because these photographs turned out to be false doesn't mean however that ectoplasm does not exist. Nor does it mean that these mediums did not actually come into contact with the spirit realm. It just means the pictures themselves were an elaborate hoax to help gain publicity. But before we look into what ectoplasm is in the real world today lets define what it is...

The term ectoplasm is derived from the Greek language and its true meaning is something formed or molded outside of something or someone. Webster describes it as;a substance known as spirit materialization. The terms first known usage was back in 1883.

Today ectoplasm still does exist, only not as the archaic photographs once depicted. Today ectoplasm is more accurately described as spirit mists or vapor. In essence it is the residual spirit energy of a person once living -often referred to as the soul, and just one of the ways for them to manifest in some type of physical form.

It's the condensing of that energy which causes a form of plasma -an ionized state of matter- to manifest. Plasma can be created by strong electromagnetic fields. This energized field decreases or increases the number of electrons, creating positive or negative charged particles called ions. When under the influence of an electromagnetic field, these ions begin to form into a structure or shape.

The higher the number of charged particles, or concentration of energy ions, the brighter or more defined the plasma. For example: Lightning is a form of plasma. When the protons and neutrons combine and clash, the air around them becomes electrified, the ending result is a flash of light.  I'm sure at some point in your life you've seen or even touched a Plasma Ball? A Plasma ball is a perfect example of how our polarized conductive energy can affect the environmental conditions around us. and visa versa. Static electricity anyone?

The next time you head out on a ghost hunt, snap some pictures and take some video. You may happen to capture unexplained images. Is it a ghost? Perhaps. But before calling out paranormal however, use precaution. Take note of your environmental factors. Is it foggy, humid, raining, cold? And whatever you do, don't smoke! Many of novice have caught what they thought was an ectoplasm mist, only to be disappointed when they learned that it was someone carelessly blowing smoke near the camera or even someone breathing too close to the lens on a cold night causing it to fog up. Knowing these factors, you will be more equipped and educated to say that you may or may not have experienced some kind of ectoplasmic phenomenon in your paranormal travels.

Until next time...Happy haunting!

By Carl Friedrich
Friday, November 10, 2017

Are paranormal experiences and the existence of spirits worthy of research? Why would a person with a “rational” mind study these phenomena, which often consist of nothing more than stories? Consider the case of science catching up to the experience of hearing meteors.

Reports of hearing sounds at the same moment as the appearance of a light in the sky date back to ancient times. An account from China, in 817 A.D., records that a fireball in the sky “made a noise like a flock of cranes in flight”. An Arab record from 1026 recounts lights in the sky with “a loud sound and intense light”.

In 1714, after years of observation, sir Edmund Halley (the astronomer whose name was given to the comet that he discovered – Halley’s Comet) approximated the height of a meteor as it burns up in the atmosphere. The results of his calculations, several tens of miles, suggested that it is not possible that an observer would hear a meteor at the same time as seeing it. After all, as anyone who’s experienced a thunderstorm knows, the sound of the lightening reaches your ears long after the light reaches your eyes.  Halley doubled-down on his theory in 1719, when a meteor passed over England; He declared “Of several accidents that were reported to have attended its passage, many were the effect of pure fantasy, such as the hearing it hiss as it went along as if it had been near at hand.”

And so, despite continuing eyewitness reports of hearing meteors for the next 260 years, astronomers dismissed these claims as “fantasy”.  Finally, in 1978, when a large meteor passed over New South Wales, Australia, claims flooded in from hundreds of people that they heard the meteor at the same time they saw it in the sky. Colin Keay, a physicist at the University of Newcastle, became curious and started doing some research.

Keay realized that meteors had been extensively studied, and had been observed in all frequencies of the electro-magnetic spectrum (i.e. visible light, radio waves, infrared…) except for very low frequencies (VLF). Back at the lab, Keay created some VLFs and discovered that they made certain objects (aluminum foil, blades of grass, pine needles, thin wires and even dry hair) vibrate, resulting in rustling sounds. Keay theorized that meteors sometimes, under certain conditions, produce VLFs. Because these VLFs travel at the speed of light (not the much slower speed of sound), an observer on the ground standing in a field of grass might hear the grass create a rustling or hissing sound at the same time the meteor lights up.

Today, though the exact mechanism by which meteors create VLFs is still a mystery, the existence of VLFs and their effects on everyday objects, like blades of grass and thin-framed eyeglasses, is accepted among astronomers and scientists. Those who hear meteors are no longer considered to be fantasizing. Perhaps a time will come when people’s claims of paranormal activity will no longer be dismissed by the scientific community.

By Anoka Paranormal Investigations
Friday, October 13, 2017

We returned to ParaCon and thought we would share all the fun!

See our ParaCon 2017 Album on our Facebook site

By Anoka Paranormal Investigations
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ben, Dana and Giselle’s replay: 10/26/16 - Begins @ 35:00

By Anoka Paranormal Investigations
Monday, October 24, 2016

Press coverage of API's Investigation of Billy's Bar in Anoka - via WJON

By Anoka Paranormal Investigations
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Citipages article featuring API's Ross Beard

By Anoka Paranormal Investigations
Friday, October 7, 2016

We made our first appearance this year as a vendor. Thought we would share all the fun!

See our ParaCon 2016 Album on our Facebook site

By Anoka Paranormal Investigations
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Listen to "TCHS-Ep166-BatLady and the Haunted Theatre" on Spreaker.