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Features Archive:

2011 Archive:
 Paranormal Peeps and Holiday Traditions
December 29, 2011

Littlest Mummy (A Christmas Story) By Richard Senate
December 21, 2011

Wartime UFOs with Mack Maloney
December 20, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) with Mike Markowicz
December 13, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Ghostly Lowdown on American Horror Story By Deonna Kelli Sayed
December 7, 2011

The Curse of H.H. Holmes with Jeff Mudgett
November 29, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Paranormal Roundtable with David Rountree and Paul Browning By Deonna Kelli Sayed
November 17, 2011

Legends Are Born in October By Christopher Balzano
October 17, 2011

Halloween Nation with Lesley Pratt Bannatyne
October 11, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Haunting of Major Graham Mansion by Deonna Kelli Sayed
October 5, 2011

The Hunt for Ohio's River Styx Ghost Train by Ken Summers
September 29, 2011

Evidence of Ancient Aliens with Peter Robbins
September 27, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Southern New England Haunts with Andrew Lake
September 20, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Pop Paranormal Culture and Middle Eastern Legends with Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 13, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Legend Tripping with AdventureMyths by Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 12, 2011

Out of Place in Time and Space with Lamont Wood
September 6, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

TAPS Academy Comes to Town by Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 1, 2011

The Amityville House with Christopher Quaratino (Lutz)
August 30, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Springfield, Missouri’s 150th by Debra Prosser
August 26, 2011

Column - regular feature

Paranormal Pastoring by Rev. Sherrie James
August 22, 2011

Live-ish From the Haunted Fearing Tavern
August 16, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

In Defense of Paranormal Reality TV by Deonna Kelli Sayed
August 8, 2011

Gone From Sight by Debra Prosser
August 3, 2011

Column - regular feature

The Psychology of Being Watched By Wayne Harris-Wyrick
August 2, 2011

The Paranormal Pastor Robin Swope
July 26, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Living Voices: Dr. Dave Oester By Deonna Kelli Sayed
July 20, 2011

Living Voices: Richard Senate By Bobby Garcia
July 13, 2011

What's in a Name? Let's Try "Paranormalogy!" By Rev. Sherrie James
July 6, 2011

Caged and Staged by Katie Mullaly
June 23, 2011

The Haunted Dibbuk Box with Jason Haxton
June 14, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Ghost Hunter's Grant Wilson
June 13, 2011

The Haunted Book by Lee Prosser
June 10, 2011

Column - regular feature

Raymond Cass - EVP Pioneer by Bobby Garcia
June 9, 2011

Illinois Haunts with Michael Kleen
June 7, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Artist Paulina Cassidy
June 2, 2011

Alien/Human Hybrids with Barbara Lamb
May 31, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Author Marley Harbuck Gibson
May 26, 2011

Biblical Apocalypse Prophecies with Dr. Robert M. Price
May 24, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

America's Strangest House by Deonna Kelli Sayed
May 23, 2011

Two-Year Anniversary Special
May 17, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Artist Jackie Williams
May 13, 2011

Wiliford by Lee Prosser
May 12, 2011

Column - regular feature

The Spirit Box with Psychic Chris Fleming
May 10, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Violating the 13th Amendment Paranormal Style by Reverend Sherrie James
May 6, 2011

Inside the Church of Satan with Joshua P. Warren
May 3, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Terri J. Garofalo, creator of Entities-R-Us
April 28, 2011

Haunted San Francisco with Loyd Auerbach
April 26, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Future Predictions with Dr. Louis Turi
April 12, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - H.C. Noel, Creator of Tara Normal
April 7, 2011

Pennsylvania Bigfoot with Eric Altman
April 5, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spontaneous Human Combustion with Larry Arnold
March 29, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Japanese Earthquake Ghosts, 2011 by Lee Prosser
March 28, 2011

Column - regular feature

UFOs with Stanton Friedman
February 8, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Ophiuchus with Astrologer Christopher Renstrom
February 1, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Crashing the Ghost Adventures Shoot
January 11, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Marjorie Myrene Hart by Lee Prosser
January 3, 2011

Column - regular feature

August 22, 2011

Paranormal Pastoring

By Rev. Sherrie James

When the editor of, Deonnna Kelli Sayed, asked me to write an article about how I came to be an exorcist and one of the few mainline Christian pastors who speaks at conferences and ministers within the paranormal community, I was delighted -- momentarily. The reality was this abbreviated version of my spiritual journey was longer than expected and called for much more reflective thought than I ever anticipated. It also proved to be unexpectedly cathartic. This is Part I of my story.

PART 1 OF 2:

When I was turning 13 years old, three significant things dovetailed in my life. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I realized that I loved to write. Lastly, I discovered my interest in the supernatural.

As a teenager, I began my process of understanding the supernatural as simply another aspect of our world that falls under God's ultimate domain. I continually devoured anything that I could find about the supernatural and ESP. I saw no opposition between believing in Christianity and believing in the existence of the supernatural, especially in terms of parapsychology. The Bible told stories of demons, angels and even ghosts as well as of people who predicted the future. I believed that the negative and darker aspects of the supernatural were nothing that God could not handle. Those early and simple spiritual understandings would remain as life-long keystones for exorcisms and for my ministry within the para-community.

Two other relevant things happened during my teenage years. One was that our family visited the USS North Carolina. When I was down in the ship, I felt my first cold, sort of electric tingle sensation that some people experience when a ghost is present. I was so frightened by what I felt, but had no idea why. When I finally felt that sensation again years later, I immediately knew what it was. (I eventually started to call this particular sensation a Spiritual Energy Tingle or SET because I felt that unique para-sensation needed a name.)

Sensing Evil

The second thing that I actually "felt" for the first time was the presence of tangible evil.

My friend and I had left my house one night and were walking around the neighborhood. Talking about boys and teenage things, we turned down this neighborhood street that I traversed regularly. We had walked a little ways when our conversation suddenly paused without reason. Without ever saying a word to each other, our steps slowed until we stopped. I just 'knew' if we walked any further that something horrific would happen. I then sensed something absolutely EVIL. Still without speaking, we both turned at the same moment and we ran as fast as we could back to my house. When we finally were safely inside, I turned to her and cried, "What WAS that?!" She responded, "I don't know!"

Skip ahead to my 20s. I joined the Episcopal Church and the next major step toward becoming a minister in the paranormal community occurred. Whenever possible, I heard an Episcopal priest by the name of Father Al Durance speak. He taught about healing and I learned about 'deliverance' ministries, where a person is delivered from demons. In a most dignified and non-dramatic way, I watched him call forth demons out of people who desired it or to pray for the healing of those who were sick, including mentally and emotionally.

Still, I was skeptical. Often, a noticeable physical response occurred with the person being delivered, but seldom in a scary or extremely vocal way. Was this all just in the person's mind? Were these exorcisms/deliverances perhaps purely psychosomatic? My conclusion was, "Probably!" Then I pondered if that really mattered. I reasoned that these people were being helped and were being delivered of what possessed them, if only from the imagined demons of his or her own mind, which potentially could be as harmful as actual demons.

With that said, I also am convinced that in other instances, a demonic entity - an individual and living life force -- was truly present. Some exorcisms or deliverances that I witnessed had a different 'feel' to them. Without really realizing what was happening, I was beginning to learn to discern the presence of actual demons.

I also was being highly influenced by Father Al's particular way of dealing with the negative. I heard him speak about his more intense exorcisms. Still, he made it seem like it was no big thing because it was viewed simply as something God called one to do and then empowered the person for that ministry. Being an exorcist was no more impressive to God than doing any other form of ministry.

More keystones

I became a member of St. Luke, the Physician, a group of clergy and non-clergy who felt called to serve God using their charismatic gifts of healing and discernment. I did not stay a member long, but what I was required to do to become a member aided my future ministry greatly. I had to study each of Jesus' interactions in the Bible that had to do with healings and demonic encounters. I had to answer a series of detail-oriented questions that made one truly think about and dissect those Scriptures to fully comprehend the encounter.

After years of doing inner-healings, occasional exorcisms and youth ministries, I felt called to full-time ministry and discovered all that entailed. I went back to college and obtained my undergrad degree with a double major in Religion and in Writing. I attended seminary at Duke, where I was good-naturedly teased and called a mystic by some of my fellow seminarians. I remember my surprise and confusion when I first began to realize that most seminarians had no experience with the more spiritually actualized side of Christianity. Discovering that my charismatic experiences apparently were not the norm inspired me to be more tolerant of where others were on their faith journeys. The other major realization for me during seminary was discovering that my theology was more Methodist than Episcopalian, and I eventually switched denominations.

After I graduated from Duke, I spent a year doing a Clinical Pastoral Education/CPE residency at a Wilmington hospital, where I explored my desire to become a psychiatric chaplain. I had to learn how to be religiously politically correct to patients of all faiths or to those who held no beliefs. That training and those diverse religious interactions would help me in the future to better relate to those of differing beliefs, especially within the para-community.

Instead of becoming a full-time chaplain, however, I became a full0time parish minister. I continued to read about the supernatural and parapsychology, and to express my more charismatic gifts on the rare occasion with people I trusted, but I mostly focused on other pastoral duties and mandates. During my seven years of parish ministry, I learned that being a 'mystic' type of minister still was not encouraged any more than it had been in seminary. I tried to play by their rules and live by their expectations but I now realize they seldom resonated with whom I truly was or was called to be. I eventually became so disillusioned with the United Methodist Church's leadership and their actions that I voluntarily giving up my ministerial standing.

The Shows

About three months after leaving the Methodist Church, I saw my first episode of Ghost Hunters. I was aghast. I thought it was spiritually dangerous to try to interact with ghosts and that these ghost hunters were potentially influencing people to go explore things that people had no business becoming involved with without knowing what they were doing. I mean, did those idiots just not understand how dangerous the supernatural -- they called it the paranormal --- could be?!

And yet...

I kept watching each week. I was spiritually a mess. I was depressed and so angry at my former denomination. I was so spiritually broken and so disillusioned with organized religion. I never left God or questioned Jesus' love, but I felt like I did not belong anywhere. I never felt 'uncalled' to ministry. I even still considered myself to be a pastor because that was who God had called me to be. I was just without a congregation and without a denomination. I was religiously adrift and I needed time to heal. Something about the show drew me despite my misgivings.

In a strange twist, Ghost Hunters helped to remind me of who I had been spiritually. Somehow, watching Ghost Hunters reminded me of my happier spiritual days when I was involved with the more charismatic and intentionally metaphysically interactive side of ministry. The show reminded me of Father Al, of praying with people for healing, and the feeling of God working through me. It reminded me that people still were experiencing the demonic and that there still were those who needed help in dealing with the supernatural, ah, make that the paranormal.

Without telling anyone my past history as a minister, I began attending a Christian /Disciples of Christ Church in New Bern, North Carolina. I loved the fact that this church had Holy Communion every Sunday, which reminded me of my days as an Episcopalian. Mostly though, each Sunday that church offered me a place of solace and anonymity for my broken soul to heal.

I went on a few 'ghost hunts' by myself, which I know better than to do now. I bought my first piece of ghost hunting equipment. I had a demonic encounter, and that was an interesting reminder of the potential danger of what I was doing, but it also made me feel spiritually alive because I had to count on God for my protection. Strangely, I still felt more 'safe' encountering the demonic than I did attending church, but I was beginning to spiritually heal.

I moved back to my hometown. Eventually, I found work, not in ministry but in another helping field. I continued to watch Ghost Hunters. I also found another Christian Church/Disciples of Christ to attend.

Still unsure if it was a good idea, I joined my first ghost hunting group. It was strange situation. I was probably more experienced and better educated than almost anyone else about the demonic, spirituality and parapsychology, but I was a novice when it came to investigating. The members of that team were a mixed bunch. Eventually, the group split and five of us formed a new group.

I gathered my courage and told the church where I was attending that I was a former pastor. I was beginning to understand a bit about the denomination's general history of tolerance for allowing varying spiritual beliefs, which was refreshing. The church members accepted me for who I was. While our church was looking for a new minister, I preached some and led worship during much of Advent. That helped confirm to me that I still felt called to be a pastor in the pulpit. Many months later and after much prayer, I became a full member of the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ denomination.

I attended my first paranormal conference, PSI:CON, at Lake Lure, NC, in 2009. (Still remains the best con I have ever attended! Joe Wright, it is time to put on another one!) There I met and drooled over Barrry FitzGerald, who I would later interview for two articles and who I still consider to be one of the nicest celebrities in the paranormal. I also met and investigated with some wonderful people who would become good friends, the members of NCHAGS. That con also was where I first felt a real ministerial call toward becoming a pastor to the paranormal community.

In Part II, Rev. Sherrie will continue to share her personal story about exorcisms and about how she came to minister and speak in the paranormal community.

The Rev. Sherrie James works in the paranormal and religious communities to help bridge the gap between religion and the paranormal. She writes and she speaks at conferences and on the radio to help educate about the spiritual and ethical aspects of paranormalogy and about negative hauntings. As part of her ministry, Rev. Sherrie acts as a paranormal crisis intervention specialist, and occasionally as an exorcist, as she assists clients and their families who are experiencing especially challenging or negative haunts. For more information, please go to her website, or write to her at

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