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Hauntings & Apparitions

Date Sunday - February 11, 2018
Host Dave Schrader
Guests Brandon MassulloRichard Estep

Clinical therapist and parapsychologist Brandon Massullo joined Dave Schrader (email) to discuss cutting-edge research and theories that might explain apparitions, hauntings, and communications from the dead, along with the latest research on the role of the witness in hauntings. Massullo recalled that his interest in the subject began with a high school friend who had a terrifying ghost encounter during a sleep-over. Soon after, Massullo began reading all the parapsychology and ghost hunting books he could get his hands on. He said one of the best books on apparitions is Phantasms of the Living, published in 1886. Massullo attended the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, one of the only institutions which has a parapsychology department. He remains fascinated with the subject, because he says that encounters with the paranormal "are life changing events" for the witnesses.

Massullo urges caution when researching Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) because "our brains fill in spots and fill in sounds to make our lives little bit easier," which makes us want to see patterns and hear words that are not there. He also believes that there is no real scientific way to study paranormal events, because "paranormal phenomena are…everything that the scientific method hates," since most of the effects are not reproducible on demand. Because of this problem, Massullo offered the opinion that the best way to study these occurrences is to talk to the witnesses in detail. Although he does not think that we can reliably produce these events, one of the keys to progress may lie with a calm state of mind and the sort of people who are generally more sensitive to things in their environment.

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In the latter half, author and paranormal expert Richard Estep talked about his intensive research into haunted Gettysburg, and his tour of the battlefield where ghosts of long-dead Civil War soldiers are said to still march. Estep has conducted field work at the site and is convinced that it is one of the most haunted places in the nation, if not the world. He believes that the suffering and the deaths associated with the area have contributed to its supercharged atmosphere, which he says is "deeply spiritual, especially at sunrise and sunset." He has recorded the sounds of voices and cannon fire at various locations in the area, particularly where decisive and deadly fighting took place, although nothing was heard at the time of the recording.

Estep and his colleagues have also spent time at the Fairfield Inn, located a few miles from Gettysburg. He thinks that the building, which has existed in the site since the late 1700s, and was used as a battlefield hospital where thousands of amputations and deaths took place is a good candidate for haunting activity. A wide variety of paranormal phenomena has occurred here, which Estep believes can be "stimluated" at the location, with the right techniques. He is not a fan of using overt amounts of technical equipment to survey and research haunted sites, and says that he has become less of a "tech head" as his investigations continue. The best way to experience anomalous activity, he says, is to use your own senses. He concluded that no matter what your beliefs, listeners should "visit the site yourself and walk the ground yourself."

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Bumper music from Sunday February 11, 2018

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