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Features Archive:

2006 Archive:
The Winchester Mystery House - Ghost Chronicles
December 28, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Investigating Jane Doherty - Ghost Chronicles
December 20, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Shadow People - by Lee Prosser
December 16, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Westford Knight - Ghost Chronicles
December 15, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Haunted Real Estate by Richard Senate
December 13, 2006


Traditions Behind Christmas By Vince Wilson
December 8, 2006


The Haunted Dibbuk Box - Ghost Chronicles
December 6, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Have Ghosts? Will Travel: A Ghostgeek's Guide to the RMS Queen Mary By Jen Brown
December 4, 2006


Thanksgiving: A Day of Forgiveness - by Lee Prosser
December 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

America's Stonehenge - Ghost Chronicles
November 29, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC) - by Jeff Belanger
November 16, 2006


Ghost Hunt Seminar - Ghost Chronicles
November 15, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghost Photography: Orbs by Robbin Van Pelt
November 9, 2006


Pet Ghosts - Ghost Chronicles
November 6, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghosts Haunt the Inn by Richard Senate
November 3, 2006


Japanese Woman Artist - by Lee Prosser
November 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Ghosts of the Windham Restaurant - Ghost Chronicles
October 30, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

The Salem Witches - Ghost Chronicles
October 23, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Homan House, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: A Preliminary Report by John Sabol
October 20, 2006


What Does Halloween/Samhain Mean to You? - Compiled by Jeff Belanger
October 16, 2006


That is the Way of It - by Lee Prosser
October 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Fooling the Ghost Hunter by Richard Senate
October 11, 2006


Jack Kerouac - by Lee Prosser
October 2, 2006

Column - regular feature

Civil War Re-enactors and the Ghost Experience - by Jeff Belanger
September 15, 2006


Who Goes There in the Shadows? - by Lee Prosser
September 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Engagement and Data Analysis in Symmetrical Field Investigations by John Sabol
September 11, 2006


Occult Warfare by Richard Senate
September 6, 2006


Cats and Other Critters From Beyond the Grave - by Lee Prosser
September 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

Chicago's Strange Angles and Haunted Architecture by Ursula Bielski
August 25, 2006


I Have a Hunch: A Look at Psychics, Mediums, and Clairvoyants - by Jeff Belanger
August 16, 2006


Geof Gray-Cobb - by Lee Prosser
August 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Orbs: Have They Become that Boring? by Tuesday Miles
August 14, 2006


A Night on Char-Man Bridge by Richard Senate
August 7, 2006


Five Union Soldier Ghosts - by Lee Prosser
August 2, 2006

Column - regular feature

A Visit With Author and Witch Kala Trobe - Interview by Lee Prosser
July 26, 2006


Perceptual Stratigraphy: Making Sense of Ghostly Manifestations by John Sabol
July 24, 2006


The Trouble With Witches - by Lee Prosser
July 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

A Look at Our Haunted Lives - by Jeff Belanger
July 13, 2006


An Active Ghost Hunt at a Haunted Bed and Breakfast by Richard Senate
July 7, 2006


Lee Prosser, 1969 - by Lee Prosser
July 4, 2006

Column - regular feature

My Theory on Spirits by Edward L. Shanahan
June 28, 2006


Ethnoarchaeoghostology: A Humanistic-Scientific Approach to the Study of Haunt Phenomena by John Sabol
June 19, 2006


Christopher Isherwood & Lee Prosser in 1969 - by Lee Prosser
June 16, 2006

Column - regular feature

ESP, M&Ms, and Reality - by Jeff Belanger
June 15, 2006


A Duel on the Airwaves by Richard Senate
June 5, 2006


Marjorie Firestone and Her Dream Predictions - by Lee Prosser
June 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

Until Death Do Us Part? by Rick Hayes
May 31, 2006


Part Four: the Conclusion: Primrose Road - Adams St. Cemetery - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
May 22, 2006

Column - regular feature

Folklore, Folklore, Folklore with Dr. Michael Bell - interview by Jeff Belanger
May 16, 2006


Swami Chetanananda and Lee Prosser - by Lee Prosser
May 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Theatre, Sance, and the Ghost Script: Performances at Haunted Locations by John Sabol
May 5, 2006


Willard David Firestone and the River Ghost - by Lee Prosser
May 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

When the Spirits Held Sway at the White House by Richard Senate
April 25, 2006


Part Three: Investigation: Primrose Road - Adams St. Cemetery - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
April 20, 2006

Column - regular feature

Talking Reincarnation with Dr. John Gilbert - interview by Lee Prosser
April 17, 2006


Billy Bob Firestone and the Ghosts of Pythian Castle - by Lee Prosser
April 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Cryptobotany: the Search for Lost Plants by Richard Senate
April 7, 2006


The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 4 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
April 6, 2006


Vedanta and Durga - by Lee Prosser
April 2, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 3 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
March 30, 2006


Ritual, Resonance, and Ghost Research: The Play in the Fields by John Sabol
March 27, 2006


The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 2 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
March 23, 2006


Celtic This, Druid That, Saint Patrick Hit Me With a Wiffle-Ball Bat - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
March 21, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 1 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
March 16, 2006


Christopher Isherwood, Time Loops, and Ghosts - by Lee Prosser
March 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Druids - by Lee Prosser
March 3, 2006

Column - regular feature

Natural Selection and the Involution of the Gettysburg Ghosts by John Sabol
February 28, 2006


Part Two: Investigation: Primrose Road - Adams St. Cemetery - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
February 20, 2006

Column - regular feature

Lights, Camera... Action! by Brian Leffler
February 16, 2006


Divination and Geomancy - by Lee Prosser
February 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Spirit Messages from a Murderer by Richard Senate
February 8, 2006


The Ghosts of Springfield, Missouri - by Lee Prosser
February 3, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Ghost Storyteller: A Dinosaur Among Lemmings? by Charles J. Adams III
January 23, 2006


The Fools Journey: A Magickal Roadmap to Life - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
January 20, 2006

Column - regular feature

Tarot and Spiritual Alchemy - by Lee Prosser
January 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Demons from the Dark by Chip Coffey
January 9, 2006


Spooky - by Lee Prosser
January 3, 2006

Column - regular feature



November 16, 2006
Ghostvillage.com's ITC theme is sponsored by Jeff Belanger's book, Communicating With the Dead: Reach Beyond the Grave

Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC)

By Jeff Belanger

Im definitely a technology buff. As a child, when I was given mechanical and electronic toys, one of my first priorities was to take them apart. I remember sitting in my friend Stevens basement in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. We were dismantling a remote control car of his, and as we tinkered with moving the wires around the circuit board, we heard a mans voice say a few words. I dont recall what the words were, but it was clearly a mans voice. The funny thing is that the car didnt have a speaker in it. But I know the sounds came out of those circuits, wires, and plastic because we both heard it. 

Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC) is the practice of using technology to make contact with the spirit world. The birth of ITC coincides with the birth of modern technology and with the Spiritualist movement. As weve seen in previous chapters, just a few years after the camera was invented, people began using it for spirit contact. Thomas Edison as well as many other noted scientists were trying to study supernatural phenomena they took the position: If this is for real, then it can be measured. We simply need to develop the tools and systems to be able to touch it.

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) is a subset or kind of precursor to ITC. In fact, you could say EVP was what started it all. As soon as recording equipment became accessible to the masses, people began to explore its esoteric uses. Devices used in ITC today include radios, tape recorders, televisions, telephones, fax machines, answering machines, video cameras, and even computers to capture audio, images, and text from beyond.

As the now-famous story goes, the first telephone call took place March 6, 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell used his new device to call to his assistant in another room. Come here, Watson, I want you were the first words uttered through the telephone. About a half-century later, Bells invention was adapted to communicate even further than across states, countries, or oceans some people were claiming to use the phone to reach the afterlife. In 1925, Oscar dArgonell wrote Voices from Beyond by Telephone, an account of his telephone conversations with spirit friends. Allegedly, the voices gave the Brazilian author many facts that he was later able to verify that proved he was indeed talking with someone who had passed on. 

Can you imagine receiving a long distance phone call from a friend who died years ago? DArgonell isnt the only person to make the claim. Even today some say they experience these calls.

Like all branches of scientific study, ITC evolved over many years of successes and failures. Weve already covered much of ITCs earliest history in regards to Edison and then EVP. In this chapter, I want to focus on more recent history.
ITC as we know it today got its start in the late 1970s. Not surprisingly, this was when ownership of film and video cameras, home computers, and other recording devices were becoming more accessible to regular people.

One of the early pioneers of ITC was George W. Meek, who conducted extensive testing and development of spirit communication devices intended to enable a simple, two-way dialogue between a spirit and a living person. Meek postulated that spirit energy is not a part of the electromagnetic spectrum as we know it. To detect or interact with spirits, it was essential to create a way to couple spirit energies with our technology, and he believed something like a transducer was necessary to be the technical interface between their energies and ours. 

In 1979, Meeks Spiricom device was built to be a sort of walkie-talkie to beyond. The machine was comprised of tone and frequency generators that emitted 13 tones in the range of an adult mans voice. When Meek spoke to the spirit world through his machine, the spirit world spoke back by interacting with the tone generators to make recognizable speech. Meek was astounded at his breakthrough.

The spirit voice coming through Spiricom identified itself as that of Dr. George Jeffries Mueller, a former NASA scientist and university professor who had died in 1967. The spirit of Dr. Mueller said he had come close to Earth to communicate with Meek, but not only communicate to help him further develop the machine. He would be Meeks spirit colleague.

Meek recorded over 20 hours of audio communication with Dr. Mueller through the Spiricom device. On the World ITC Association Web site (www.worlditc.org), there is an audio file where you can hear a piece of the conversation in which Mueller offers specific technical direction on how to improve the machine. I think that can be corrected by introducing a 150-ohm, half-watt resistor in parallel you can hear the voice say if you listen very closely. In the audio clip, Meeks voice is clear, and the mechanized spirit voice sounds similar to the speech system used by Stephen Hawking, only Muellers is significantly closer to a monotone voice and has no inflection. Meek claimed that his spirit colleagues feedback and suggestions were a critical part of development. 

After December 1981, Meek was no longer able to receive any communications through Spiricom. One explanation offered was that his main contact on the other side, Doc Mueller, had gone on to a higher plane and no longer wished to make contact through the machine. But Meek claimed to have had contact with other people besides Mueller during the two years of Spiricoms operation, and those people could no longer be reached either. This created some obvious controversy in the spring of 1982, when word of Meeks machine spread. The results couldnt be reproduced. According to J.G. Fullers book, The Ghost on 29 Megacycles, Meek sent out Spiricoms schematics to several hundred technicians around the world. No one has been able to reproduce the results. The original Spiricom machine was allegedly dismantled and its parts now reside with multiple colleagues of Meeks.

Considering the length, specificity, and nature of his conversations through Spiricom, Meek believed with certainty that he was successful in making controlled and regular contact. In 1988, he penned the book After We Die, What Then?, a work that greatly furthered the spirit communication discussion. He wrote, For the first time in 8,000 years of recorded history, it can now be said with certainty that our mind, memory, personality and soul will survive physical death.

George Meek died in 1999, though many still continue the work in ITC that he helped pioneer.

In 1984, spirit messages apparently began appearing on computer screens. Ken Websters 1990 book, The Vertical Plane, details some of the hundreds of messages he received on his computer between 1984 and 1985 from Thomas Harden a sixteenth-century Englishman who once owned Websters house in Dodleston, England. The computer was an old word processor with 32 kilobytes of memory and no hard drive, meaning files had to be saved on 5.25-inch floppy disks. What was first dismissed as a prank evolved into Websters belief that there was truly something supernatural going on. Webster would come home to find messages on the monitor or light box, as the spirit of Harden referred to the machine. In these communications, Harden wrote in an old English dialect and stated that Webster was living in his house. 

Around this time, other ITC explorers were experimenting with ideas such as filming feedback loops on televisions. This is done by taking a video camera, plugging it into a television so the television is showing what the camera sees, and then pointing the camera at the television, which causes video feedback a series of jumping frames, static that fades in and out, and seemingly random patterns that form the visual noise. This feedback is then recorded. During playback, especially at slow speeds or when viewing the images frame-by-frame, some researchers have found that the patterns become recognizable sometimes human shapes form, and in the most profound cases, the human is instantly recognizable as someone the researcher knew in life.

Our technology is developing so quickly today that the scope of ITC is limited only by our imaginations. But considering the amount of technology we now have, we also have to be twice as vigilant in ruling out false positives. AM, FM, satellite transmissions, cellular, short wave, CB, and a host of other electromagnetic signals are circling all around us, and software and computer operating systems are rushed to market with bugs that can cause anomalies in performance. To judge the validity of the message, we must examine the content.

If a computer spits out some random numbers, that may very well be a computer hiccup (or even a virus). To see a message with significant meaning to its reader that references memories, situations, and anecdotes from our lives or the lives of our deceased loved ones, well, that deserves a closer look.
In my first book, The Worlds Most Haunted Places, I interviewed Sharon Helfrich, the director of the Andrew Bayne Memorial Library in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The ghost of Amanda Bayne Balph has been seen on occasion around the library for several years. One of the phenomena the staff has reported include anomalies with the librarys computer system. Numbers have occasionally popped up on the screen for no apparent reason. I would be standing at the charge desk computer and then a number would scan on the computer behind me, and no one was anywhere near that computer, Helfrich said. Id hear beep, and a number would come up. Weve tried to play some of the numbers shes flashed onto the computer in the lottery, and it never really hits. We love her [Amanda] dearly, but shes not real lucky.

A random computer glitch or attempted spirit contact through ITC? 

For a better understanding of ITC, I spoke with Mark Macy, author of Miracles in the Storm: Talking to the Other Side With the New Technology of Spiritual Contact, co-founder of the World ITC Association, and a founding member of the now dormant International Network for Instrumental Transcommunication (INIT). According to its mission statement, the objective of the World ITC Association is to promote decency in human relationships, to sustain resonance among ITC researchers, and to forge a link with the light, ethereal realms of existence.

Macy and I spoke from his home outside of Boulder, Colorado. The 55-year-old former atheist began exploring ITC around 1988 after he was diagnosed with colon cancer. I began to search for spiritual understanding, which I never cared about before, he said. I wanted some kind of evidential information, not just something based on faith and belief.

One of the biggest draws of spirit communication devices is the tangible evidence of contact thats so difficult to find in many organized religions. Macys motivation for seeking spirit communication is similar to many others: to know theres an afterlife.

What happened next? I asked.

I ran into George Meek, and he introduced me to the experts in Europe such as the Harsch-Fischbach couple. Jules Harsch and Maggy Harsch-Fischbach were Luxembourg-based ITC experimenters who got their start making spirit contact through radio systems in 1985.

I went to meet with them a couple of times, Macy said. We had some amazing contacts through radio, and we established an international group called INIT. From that association, I began to get some amazing contacts of my own. These contacts quickly dissolved Macys atheism.

ITC involves teams and equipment on both sides of the veil operating on a higher state of consciousness. What separates ITC from other forms of spirit communication such as EVP is the two-way dialogue with a higher realm. Macy explained how EVP involves spirits who are either close to the earth already, meaning they exist in a lower astral plane, or spirits from a higher plane who venture close to the earth to somehow imprint their voices onto the recording device. But consistent dialogue requires an advanced frame of mind and ITC. 
ITC is about communicating with spirits we would not normally have the opportunity to communicate with. According to modern understanding within the ITC community, spirits we refer to as ghosts are the earthbound variety. These are the kinds of entities that may respond to communication methods such as talking boards, EVP, spirit photography, and the like. Thats not to say only the lower earthbound spirits make contact via these methods, just that theyre more likely to.

Macy also explained how only beings on the higher planes are capable of organizing into groups and creating an apparatus to work with devices in our world to facilitate communication. There are teams of specific spirits on the other side working with teams of people on this side, and through that ongoing interaction, a contact field develops between our world and their world, he said. The contact field is what allows these more enhanced contacts through telephone, computer, radio, and that kind of thing. And its usually assisted by ethereal beings who have tremendous power to manifest all sorts of things between dimensions.

This was the first Id ever heard of physical mechanisms in the spirit world. Macy explained how the team on the other side has some kind of spirit apparatus that interfaces directly with our devices. Imagine an ethereal machine that fits on top of our radios, telephones, or computers to bridge the gap between the two worlds.

I consider myself to have a better-than-average understanding of computers and how they work. I know how viruses, severely fragmented hard drives, and corrupted software can cause strange goings-on within your computer. But having files appear on the hard drive with images of deceased people whom you or your colleagues knew in life is definitely beyond the reach of random chance. Macy said, A couple had left their home to go to work. They made sure everything was turned off. The spirit team from the other side would come into their apartment, somehow turn on the computer, and plant new files on the disk. The files contained actual pictures of life on the other side. Those were by far the most astounding pictures Ive ever seen from the other side when we were getting them. But that finished up around the year 2000 when personalities got involved and ruined the contact field.

One of the pictures Macy described is available on the World ITC Web site and depicts George Meeks late wife, Jeannette, standing in front a beautiful landscape with rolling hills in the background, a calm body of water, and lush flora in the foreground.

To reach these spirits who are in the higher astral levels the place that we may refer to as heaven or Summerland, or the higher realm takes support on many levels.

How do you get the cooperation with the other side? I asked.

Through meditation and purity of thought, Macy said. One thing theyve [the spirits] talked about is that they are always in a joyous state of mind. On Earth, we kind of go up and down and have a roller-coaster ride every day throughout our lives. We get angry, we get delighted about things its easier for them [the spirits] to align with us if we can maximize that joy within us. 

You mean on a personal level? I asked.

On an interpersonal level, especially. If youve got a group of people who are working together, if theyre mostly trusting and loving and friendly with each other, it becomes very natural for the types of people we need on the other side to come in close and work with us through ITC.

If there are doubts, fears, jealousies, and animosities among the people, then it becomes easier for the darker, more troubled spirits that are closer to the earth to kind of move in, and they have no organization, no ability to create the ITC contacts. We want the people who are in this joyous state, who have the organization and the collaboration with each other the warm feelings with each other already working with other people on Earth who also have those warm feelings that keep us close. Thats the key to ITC in a nutshell, thats it.

Macy has made his own contribution to ITC with Polaroid photography and a
Luminator a mechanism developed by Patrick Richards. The device stands about four feet tall and looks kind of like a speaker tower. Inside the Luminator are two fans that move air over several liquid-filled rings. The machine's inventor claims the air molecule movement over the rings causes the electrons to spin in reverse the area in a 100-foot radius of the operating device is altered. Macy uses the Luminator in conjunction with a Polaroid camera he takes photographs of people, and when the image develops on the instant paper, many times the subjects face may appear as a blur. Within the blur, another face may make an appearance. The face of a spirit.




In 2000, Macy took a series of Polaroid photographs of his then-14-year-old son, Aaron, in the presence of the Luminator. The first picture has no anomalies, while the second photo and especially the third show a new face that Aaron didnt recognize, but his mother immediately did. Thats my father! his mom said. Aarons grandfather had died three years before he was born. The fourth photo shows Aarons mother and grandfather in 1953. Macy claims these ITC images have given his son a closer bond with the grandfather he never knew in life. Photos courtesy of Mark Macy.

Since 2000, INIT has been inactive and the communication they were receiving has ceased because the dynamic of the group had shifted. Today, Macy is involved with a small group within the World ITC Association called the Resonance Working Group (RWG). He and about a dozen other colleagues from around the world are trying to create the contact field needed to open up dialogue with a group on the other side again. Today, theyre using message boards on the Internet to share information significantly streamlining their cooperation compared with the physical meetings, faxes, phone calls, and postal correspondence that used to make holding a multi-continental group together like that necessary. I asked if they had achieved any spirit contact through their Web-based message boards. Not yet, Macy told me.

I ask because on Ghostvillage.com, we had an interesting experience with a person who posted on our message boards and claimed to be a spirit. I have very little doubt that this was an actual living person pulling a prank, but a few of our members played along and asked some questions about what it was like on the other side.

The way I understand it, Macy said, it would be difficult for spirits to come through on a larger public forum because of the different attitudes and beliefs that would cause a very cloudy contact field.

Timestream Spirit Group is one such team in the spirit world with whom Macy and his INIT colleagues made contact. Timestream made contact through radio, video, fax, computer, and telephone. Macy says he received several spirit phone calls during the peak of the INIT group. 

How does it work? I asked. The phone rings and you answer it? (I know, great question, Jeff. Am I a journalist or what?)

Exactly. It happens just like a regular telephone call, except the voice sounds a little bit more artificial. Timestream, the spirit team we worked with, they set up proofs.

You mean like a way to validate that the connection with a spirit was real? I asked.

Right. Phone calls can easily be faked from this side because its through a public network. We find that with the spirit phone calls, they cant be traced. Theres no record from the phone company that these phone calls ever happened. Its like they [the spirit team] establish their equipment right over ours and they dont go through the public network to make these contacts.
What happened with the phone calls you received?

I would get a phone call on one day, he said. And then the next day, a fellow in Germany whom I had never met, but who was also an ITC researcher and involved in this work, would get a computer contact saying We herewith confirm our contact with Macy in the States. This is Konstantin Raudive. That cross-contact is very helpful in verifying the legitimacy of the contact.
Did you recognize the voice on the phone as someone you knew in life?
Not through the telephone. The telephone calls I got were all from Konstantin Raudive he was a pioneer in this work before he died, and he became a key player in Timestream on the other side after he died. I guess it was difficult for them [the spirits] to create apparatuses for each person to convey their information. So apparently they used him a lot for contacts with a lot of people.

Where theres a phone, many times theres also an answering machine. In April of 1999, Margaret Houck of Knoxville, Iowa had an unintentional encounter with ITC. She first contacted me about her experience in June 2004. I received a message on my answering machine a few months after my father passed, Houck said. The night the message was left, I needed to pick up someone by 5:15 PM, so I left at 5:00 PM. The recording occurred at 5:15. If I had been home, I would have probably hung up the phone and it wouldnt have been recorded.

Houck described how she was in such deep mourning after her father passed away that she sobbed at night until her back would arch up off the bed. Houck is a registered nurse, so dealing with death is not something new to her, but she admits when it was her father, it was different. 

When I listened to the message several times, I could smell his distinct body scent, she said. Sometime later, my door chime began playing the Westminster chimes, which it is incapable of doing. My dad was a jokester! He had my husband and I running all over the house trying to figure it out. My husband kept pushing the doorbell to try and make it do it again, but it only happened when dad wanted to have some fun.

The audio starts with the answering machine announcing, You have one message followed by 35 seconds of strange sounds. Theres some hissing, muted tones, and beeps that almost sound like theyre underwater, and the sounds repeatedly fade in and fade out. It sounds nothing like when a cellular phone cuts in and out, and its not like anything Ive personally ever heard through a phone before. I could not make out any voices in the segment. Houck, though, believes she hears something, I hear many words, she said. He [my dad] starts off trying to say my name Ma Ma Margaret, I love you, Margie. Im with Grandpa and Grandma. Do not call Lene [Darlene, her younger sister] or anyone else Try not to worry about anyone else dying try!

The proof, especially for Houck, is her feeling when she heard the message. Maybe this message was only meant for her, and thats why she can hear it. She said, I know I hear his voice under the wet sounds, but others are dumbfounded by the recording they cant hear a voice. I believe that my father had to use a lot of energy just so he could call and comfort me that he is still around. Of course I miss him still, but I talk to him as if he is right next to me. He proved to me that he does still exist.

Since April of 1999, Houck moved to Van Buren, Arkansas and claims her family is still receiving the occasional phone call from her father. My grandson, Skylar, was talking on the phone with a classmate, Houck said. He began hearing the same squooshy sounds that I had on my recording. He started listening and heard a man say in a monotone voice, Ive been trying to call I love you. My daughter and I told him it was Grandpa Wallace.

In Margaret Houcks case, she wasnt trying to create contact she simply feels her father reached out to her because she needed to hear from him. Or maybe her father felt he needed to reach out to his family. The end result was the same: Houck was comforted knowing her father was still around based on these telephone experiences.

For steady spirit contact, I gathered from my discussion with Mark Macy that the more serious and committed the individual or team is on this side, the more resources will be committed on the other side. 

ITC also requires a faith that needs to run a little deeper than with some of the other devices and methods weve discussed in this book. With tarot cards, for example, you may get a message through the cards, and whether that message came from the spirit world or random luck may not matter. The message itself is whats important. With ITC, you need to believe that there are beings on the other side waiting to make the connection with you through these cooperative systems. 

For my own ITC experimentation, Macy suggested I use the equipment I have whether that be a radio and recording device, video, or computer. Just keep working for the voices and contact, he said. Be aware of your friends on the other side, even though you dont know who they are exactly in the beginning. Just be aware of their presence, and eventually a rapport develops.
Video ITC has intrigued me since I first learned about it from a television program years ago. I have a JVC digital video camera that I dont use nearly enough, so I took an unused videotape and set up my tripod about three feet in front of my television. I checked the reflection on the TV screen and turned off a lamp that was casting a glare onto the screen. Once the room was set, I connected the camera to the television and saw that everything was working. 
At this point, I put the lens cap back on and just listened. The house was perfectly quiet. Im trying to establish contact, I announced. Im going to film for 45 seconds. If anyone wants to come through, now is the time. Popping the lens cap off, I focused on the television set, which revealed many pictures within pictures of the TV. I zoomed in past the frame of the television the image was like moving through a tunnel to a bright light waiting on the other side. Once the camera was focused on only the screen and its own image, the screen went blue for a moment before the feedback started. The screen flashed white, then went through a series of various waves, jumps, skips, blue flashes, and more white flashes. At certain points, the screen looked like something out of the movie The Matrix, when all of the visual images turn into data streams. I heard feedback through the speakers of the television so I lowered the volume to zero. In this experiment, I wanted video feedback only.

I filmed and watched the screen, intently looking for some kind of sign that a higher being was reaching out to me. The jumping patterns were mesmerizing. They changed, steadied, popped, and rolled with no regularity. Once the feedback started, I expected to see a consistent pattern, but I didnt. After 45 seconds, I stopped the recording, rewound the tape, and watched the feedback all the way through again without stopping. Again, nothing popped out at me as a potential contact, so I rewound again, but this time I used a feature that allowed me to advance the video one frame at a time. 


A sample of what the screen looked like during frame-by-frame playback.


At various points, patterns and shapes did stand out from the seemingly random pattern. Photos by Jeff Belanger

I did see a few patterns and shapes that were different than most of the other patterns, but nothing even remotely conclusive. 

My friend and colleague, Dennis Lytle of PhantomsInTheDark.com, has also done some experiments with video feedback ITC. I spoke to him from his office in Saginaw, Michigan about the results he got in his basement in the early fall of 2004. 

The basement of his home has a history of paranormal activity. He told me how lights would turn on and off by themselves while he was down there. On one occasion he even gave a lecture to this presence in his basement he explained how rude it is to turn the lights out on him when he is in the basement. Lytles lecture was answered with the lights turning out again.

Lytle, a former science teacher, was spurned to try his first ITC experiment when he sensed a strong presence in his basement one day. He set up his video camera in front of the television screen and began to record. Once I started the recording process, I turned the lights out, Lytle said. And by doing that, youre taking the light thats actually on the TV screen and you end up with a pulsing effect where that actual light is captured and recycled over and over without any extraneous interference from other light. So there is nothing there except for this light thats pulsing on it. And then theres what I would call this super amplification of that same light you can hold it for maybe 10 to 15 seconds and then you lose it.

So theres a diminishing return on the amount of light and the size of the pulsing effect? I asked.

Right. Just a few seconds is all you get. And when youre reviewing the footage frame-by-frame, a few seconds is all you really want to look at anyway.
In reviewing each frame of his footage, thats when Lytle made his discovery. I captured something strange there, he said.


Dennis Lytles video ITC results. The cameras infrared emitters were turned off the image only shows recycled light in total darkness. Photo by Dennis Lytle.

I know its open to interpretation, he said, but what I saw on the picture was like you are laying in a field surrounded by trees and looking up at three figures. And there also seems to be a wolf in one of the amplified pictures. The results and the presence I felt was overpowering so strong so I just backed off.

So you havent pursued any further ITC experiments since? I asked.

No. Youre not much of a researcher when you back off, I know. I backed off to think about it a little bit.

I asked Mark Macy if he had ever tried the video feedback method of ITC. I tried that once or twice, but its not something that resonated with me personally, he said.

The concept of resonance is a common theme with Macy. There are many definitions of resonance some relate to acoustics and involve prolonged tones produced by sympathetic vibrations. The physics definition involves detecting subatomic particles that exist for too short of a time period to be observed directly. In regards to ITC, its the vibration or echo we humans give of in response to an otherworldly stimulus. Its almost a clich in psychic circles to discuss sensing the vibrations, but thats the same thing ITC attempts to detect and turn into images, audio, and/or text.

Macy and I spoke about our human tendency toward pattern recognition finding human features and faces in patterns, as was discussed in the spirit photography chapter. And skeptics of this practice have a host of valid arguments: How do you know your equipment isnt picking up stray signals? Do you have an old television that may have images slightly burned into the screen from prolonged use? Was your tape completely blank when you started recording? And many others. 

How do you know if you have a genuine video contact? I asked Macy.
If the image on the TV screen develops over a period of many frames into something thats very obvious like a human face and it lasts for many frames before it disappears, thats pretty evidential to me, he said. But if its just one or two frames that happen to show a pattern that could be just random noise thats just coincidence, I think.

Paranormal research groups are increasingly adding techniques like ITC to the tools they use in haunted location investigations. Considering how many paranormal research groups are popping up all over the world all of the time, I asked Macy if he had any advice for these groups to help improve the evidence and quality of results they may be getting.

Rather than go to haunted places where you have maybe one or two troubled spirits hanging out over a period of many years kind of trapped near the earth, he said, establish a place in your own home where you bring the good kind of spirits who you want to have a connection with. Start developing a team effort from both sides of the veil with that spirit group thats how you establish ITC rapport.

Technology continues to improve in speed and efficiency, decrease in cost, and become more engrained in our culture and lives. But ITC doesnt offer the promise of an instant connection with the spirit world just because technology is involved. And the latest and greatest technology isnt required either. But like all other spirit communication techniques, ITC requires time, dedication, and patience. But the reward is significant: ITC offers proof, even if only for the person who made the capture. A video, photograph, or sound recording is something you can experience again and again in the future. ITC offers more than a fleeting moment with the spirit world; the practice can potentially open up a two-way dialogue. The very best minds from the past may just be waiting for us to try and tune in to them. 


Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from Communicating With the Dead 2005 Jeff Belanger. Published by New Page Books a division of Career Press, Franklin Lakes, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved. 

Jeff Belanger founded Ghostvillage.com on October 31, 1999. Since then, Jeff has gone on to become an author and lecturer on all things supernatural.


2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!


Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014