IS A "SPONTANEOUS CASE" INVESTIGATION?
By LAUREN FORCELLA
The Office of Paranormal Investigations is dedicated to the scientific investigation and understanding of spontaneous occurrences of psi phenomena. OPI studies experiences that people might consider "psychic," "paranormal," "extrasensory," "spiritual," etc. Though OPI primarily investigates cases of apparitions, hauntings and poltergeists, other forms of psi, such as extrasensory perception (precognition, clairvoyance and telepathy), psychokinesis (mind over matter), reincarnation, near death experiences, psychic healing, out of body experiences, trance channeling, and other psychic practices are also of interest, especially where they occur in daily life (spontaneously).
OPI is also very interested in potential applications of such experiences in business, media, law, and law enforcement. Referrals to experts are provided for experiences related to other anomalistic fields not considered to be part of parapsychology (i.e. UFOs, Bigfoot, New Age practices, etc.).
OPI uses currently acceptable scientific methods of investigation to study spontaneous cases of psi. Psi is defined as any communication or interaction with the environment (and that includes other human beings) that occurs beyond the use of what's considered normal sensory processes or the use of the muscles and technology. Psi phenomena are considered paranormal in that they are natural occurrences that will eventually be explained scientifically, but have thus far escaped such explanation.
Parapsychologists study psi both in the laboratory and as it occurs (usually spontaneously) in everyday life. OPI's focus is on the "everyday," spontaneous experiences of psi.
The spontaneous cases of particular interest to OPI involve sightings of apparitions or ghosts, unusual happenings in homes, offices, or other locations that people have felt are "haunted," and poltergeist situations, where unusual effects or movements of objects are reported. In cases such as these, one or a combination of the phenomena described below may be occurring.
SPONTANEOUS CASES: A Brief Introduction to "The Big Three" by Lauren Forcella:
Apparitions commonly referred to as "ghosts," seem to be a "consciousness" without a body. This "consciousness" acts with intelligence, has a "human" personality, and often has very personal reasons for its visits. The most common apparitions reported are those of the near-dead or recently dead (generally around the time of death up to about 48 hours after). They communicate telepathically, since they are not physical in the sense we are, and occasionally appear to affect the environment psychokinetically.
Hauntings involve locations that somehow contain a memory or record of a psychological intense (often highly emotionally charged or even traumatic) event. It is unknown how the event is recorded into the environment, though OPI and other investigators have come up with some correlations to unusual magnetic field features of the locations. It would appear that certain circumstances (usually periodic and environmental in nature) cause the event to be replayed for those sensitive enough to perceive it. The encore performance of a haunting can continue for decades or longer. The apparitions involved in a haunting do not seem to involve intelligence or consciousness, but are simply part of the recording.
Poltergeist activity is also known as RSPK:
recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis. It is typified by movement of objects,
rappings, or other unusual physical effects that center around a certain person
(the agent) in a certain location. The physical effects of poltergeist
phenomena are believed to be the result of involuntary use of psychokinesis by
The agent is typically experiencing repressed stress and/or emotions and RSPK seems to be a rare form of stress reaction or relief. In some cases, RSPK situations are known to occur when the agent has an epileptic-like neurology. Poltergeist phenomena can also on rare occasion involve apparition-like figures, though these figures seem to be mental projections created by the psyche of the agent and have no inherent intelligence of their own.
Poltergeist situations usually last two weeks to two months, and generally end when the stress is removed or rechanneled, or when the agent becomes aware that s/he is causing the phenomena. RSPK is also effective at a micro-level and may sometimes be the cause of malfunctions of computers and other electronic equipment and appliances.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
The psychological stress experienced by people involved with apparitions, hauntings r poltergeists runs the gamut from intense fear and anxiety, to self-doubt, to annoyance, to foundation-shaking intrigue. Most of the stress is caused by a lack of understanding of the phenomena, along with feelings of powerlessness and isolation and an inability to explain the experience to others.
OPI provides a valuable service to people by investigating reported paranormal cases. If the phenomenon is current, investigations are performed in the home or workplace where it is occurring. The dominant aspect of an investigation consists of on-site interviewing of witnesses and involved participants in order to assess what is perceived to be occurring, what may really be going on, and to understand any group dynamics involved. Further investigation may involve historical study of the location, use of detection equipment, overnight or extended visits by the investigators, or a look into family medical records. Outside experts such as medical practitioners, psychologists, and counselors are called on to provide professional services when needed. In addition, psychic practitioners are sometimes utilized as part of the "detection" protocol. All personal aspects are kept completely confidential.
In all investigated cases, "normal" explanations are sought before a paranormal explanation is accepted. Though fraudulent cases are rare, OPI's staff is trained in the detection of illusion, and professional magicians are called on as outside experts (this in addition to the fact that our Director, Loyd Auerbach, is a professional mentalist and magician).
Though OPI has an academic interest in studying paranormal phenomena, our main concern during an investigation is the well being of the clients.
Once an investigation is underway, we focus on educating the client as to the current understanding of the phenomena. Often, this educational process alone causes the phenomena to stop or the anxiety to cease. Beyond this, there are specific techniques that can be successfully used to stop the phenomena, if that is what the client desires.
However, no one can guarantee the removal of the phenomena, given our current understanding of the situations.
OPI always suggests counseling to those involved in poltergeist, apparition, or haunting situations. Counseling ensures a healthy integration of these very intense experiences. OPI can refer to licensed psychological counselors who include in their practice working with people who have had similar experiences.