Welcome to Ghost Rider Investigations Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 05:53 am UTC

GRI Teardrop Trailer Project

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Articles It doesn't look like much now, but in about two months, the GRI Teardrop Trailer will be a huge addition to our group's capabilities!

I got interested in these unique trailers when I saw one while returning from Oregon back in 2007 and decided that one day I would have to build one.

June Update
: The wheels are on and we're going to start the woodworking up next weekend! I'm doing the last bits of metal work and getting the frame finalized, but it's coming along. A photograph will be posted shortly to document our progress!

Continuing on...

Since then, GRI has come into existence and it just makes sense to combine the trailer as both a recreational vehicle and also to use it for mobile investigation work at remote locations.

The photo at right is a preview of the form the trailer will take. It will be a "Benroy" style, which affords maximum use of the overall trailer length and will give us extra room for stowing gear. The trailer will have enhanced power capabilities to support a built-in flat screen monitor and will have a side panel for connection of video/audio/power to all control and monitoring of an investigation right from the trailer. A rear hatch will allow for basic food and drink to be prepared  and we'll be able to put two people up in the unit for overnighters should this be needed..

Broadcasting using Skype over BlogTalkRadio - The GRI solution

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Broadcasting on BlogtalkRadio is a blessing, until you want to start doing professional-level things like mixing content and adding other inputs to the broadcast, as well as to improve the voice component to get rid of that "telephone voice" from your broadcast. As such, we've been putting considerable effort into building a truly effective broadcast method by coupling a dedicated Skype desktop phone to a mixer-board and to begin broadcasting using this method.

Our research was helped considerably by looking at the following video link. Because of this, we opted to use Skype for the transmission medium for our show, but with a twist... We decided to use the Belkin Skype phone to handle the audio input and output to the mixer-board via a coupler device and to avoid the problems of using a dedicated computer with the attendant difficulties this presents. See:


This link is a very informative link about how to optimize your system using Skype and a USB phone connected and how to tune your network for the best connection. It's not for the faint of heart and it discusses a whole range of options you may want to examine to improve quality. It is really a great resource and hopefully more people will pass the link around.

I studied the problem of broadcasting using Skype and decided to go with a Belkin Desktop Skype phone and integrate an Excalibur HC-1 handset coupler to tie into my mixer board. It made the most sense and my first test broadcast of my own paranormal radio show with just the Skype phone worked nicely, though the PIN number was a challenge for reasons as yet unknown. I'm backing up the Skype phone with a land-line to be safe. (changed as of March 2009!)

The advantage is that the desktop Skype phone suffers none of the maladies of the PC variety, namely it's dedicated and no other process tries to compete for it's bandwidth or memory resources. Next, the audio tie-in is just so much easier and I can bypass having a phone stuck to my ear and focus on traditional studio layouts to do my show. Yep, it costs a little extra, but for $79 on Amazon, I didn't get a bad deal. Latest price is around $100 on the Belkin site.

http://www.bswusa.com/proditem.asp?item=HC-1 for the handset coupler. Our first tests are now underway with this device and it's proving to be a trick to integrate since the default cable couplings need to be customized due to hum in the audio. I found that the tips of the connectors need to be rewired to handle a slightly different arrangement, based on advice in the handi-coupler instructions. A trip to Radio-shack this weekend garnered the parts needed to build the necessary custom cable and it should be up and running this weekend. (As of March 2009, this is still a tough little problem for us - the connectors are jury rigged and we're still trying things out - plan to use the patch only for conventional phone dial-ins straight to the studio).

Update as of April 11'th 2009

The studio continues to evolve. We made a few operational changes.  Primary in the change list is that the broadcast computer is now broadcasting the show via Skype  using our wireless connection to our access point. The support computers are either wireless and we have one dedicated CAT-5 line that handles a secondary computer that is hooked into our audio mixer. We dial in using the old method with the land line to start the show and  then just place it on mute. If we lose the network for whatever reason, we can be back on in a few seconds with the telephone running things to continue the show.

We are also adding a  directed antenna to improve gain for the wireless card so we get better bandwidth for the broadcast computer. We have a Cantenna and will also be building a mast-mounted antenna to get the most db for our $$$.

We are going to examine using the Skype dedicated phone to dial in over the dedicated CAT-5 line next and to keep our long-distance costs down by doing things that way. The big issue is to see how the overhead of two Skype connections impacts the show. A test show will be done to evaluate this and we think it should become the new and final method.

Updated as of March 17'th, 2009

We tried a broadcast with the first setup with the phone patch system and noted that the show would fade in and out as some sort of mysterious audio issue plagued our "Ad-Hoc" show.

So, I went back to the drawing board and decided to do the following:
  1. The Skype Desktop phone is now used to call into the show and then is put on hold. It is the emergency backup in case we lose the other phone line that calls in (the broadcast computer).
  2. A PC with Skype loaded is used to dial into the show through another SkypeOut line and thus we always have two callers minimum on the show. This computer has the input via the USB connection to our conventional sound board and inputs from the sound card and other external inputs to drive the show audio and special effects.
Our first test, using a simple desktop microphone, went quite well and left us convinced that our action to take the show into the next step will be successful. So we're going to rig the sound board to tie in, temporarily, into the line-in with audio inputs to run the studio microphone and a seperate computer with sound effects and EVPs in so we can gain total control of our audio setup.

The Singapore Theory

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Articles In paranormal investigations, it has been noted that sometimes music or speaking the right words will elicit a reaction from a ghost on occasion. This happens often enough to be used as a strategic tool by savvy investigators who plan ahead when entering into the field to hunt spiritual entities.

This theory, often called the "Singapore Theory", "Theory of Familiarization" or "Paranormal Stimuli"  is used in investigation work to create a reaction by the spirits of a particular era by doing something that evokes action on their part. This is usually because of sentimental or emotional reactions to the stimulus.

One thing I tried recently was to use very good Whiskey to give to some spirits that my EVPs were picking up regularly in a couple of areas close to my home and it turned out to be a huge hit with them, so gifts may fall into that definition of a reaction.

Similarly, my visitation of graveyards and wishing the locals a Merry Christmas and bringing gifts to them to thank them for a wonderful year of EVPs seems to have been the ticket to hearing some very gratifying responses. Despite my being an investigator, I also was very touched at some of the kind responses and the Singapore Method can clearly benefit the living in more ways than simple collection of evidence. It does come down to being sensitive to the emotions of our unseen friends while seeking evidence of the paranormal at the same time. A balancing act indeed, but it can be done.

The technique can be used with music, visual stimuli or perhaps even reading passages of a book or poetry that the spirit might be familiar with. The use of meaningful names of personalities can also do this.

Being armed with a foreknowledge of the area being investigated is helpful and carrying a small MP3 player with music from many eras is not a bad idea (as well as portable speakers to broadcast the sound) as a part of the paranormal investigator toolkit.

The desire is to elicit a reaction, visually, instrumentally (EMF) or with EVP results being the payoff. Either that or a potential manifestation. Clearly, the investigator needs to be ready for anything when using the Singapore Theory in their investigations.

Inside of Bayley House

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Articles On January 4'th, 2009, myself and Christine B. of El Dorado Paranormal did a quick-strike drive through of the Pioneer Cemetery and Marshall Monument. When we left, we decided to do a quick check of the Bayley House and to run a few test EVPs to see if we were still getting a few readings there as in past encounters.

UPDATE: Check the Gallery for 2009 cases for EVPs and photos from the site. We caught a large number of EVPs and some interesting orb shots.

We arrived right around 2:30pm and decided to just walk around and noted a truck there in the rear of the house. A very cordial man approached us and we found that he was one of the caretakers doing restoration work on the Bayley House. After talking with him for a few minutes, he offered to give us  tour inside the facility. We found out that some groups do not respect the no-trespassing signs and a measure of gratitude from him that we had respected those boundaries and had asked nicely to see inside.

We didn't think it would be a full tour and perhaps just a peek inside. Instead, we didn't just get the first floor, but the entire building! It was stunnning to see how beautifully the Bailey House restoration was progressing and how much the stablization effort has been coming along to keep the building safe and structurally sound.

Three Haunts

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When discussing ghosts and investigations, one needs to address three areas

  1. Is it the property, house,
  2. Are the individuals that live there haunted?
  3. Does it matter?

Yes it does and I will tell you why. Though its easy to say " The property is haunted, so the house is. " Not so! The LAND is haunted. Case in point, I was working on a case in Tennessee, and a group I work with down there had phoned me and asked about this particular property they were standing on.  Using my remote viewing skills I told them there was a tree on the property that a black woman was hung from..she was thought to be a witch and was, in fact, into Voodoo. I was right..

But the thing to know about this is that she inhabited the PROPERTY, not the house.  She never appeared in the house, but the home owners said they could feel a presence not only on the land, but peering into the windows as well. Her energy only resonated outside. They never felt her inside and I told them they wouldn't..This woman vowed before she was hung to haunt the LAND..not the house. Though the house that stands is the original..She doesn't go inside. This is also called RESIDUAL haunting..we will discuss that later though.

What does it take?

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Being a paranormal investigator, I regularly interact with a variety of individuals in both the living and dead who may or may not be human (and that are saying the least!). Some living people believe in ghosts and some do not. Some would rather just not talk about it and chose to fiddle with their food when pressed to talk about the subject. I wish to focus on those that don’t believe. Why? Well because those that don't believe are the most fascinating to me.

There are REASONS why they don't believe and this does fascinate me. It always comes down to PROOF! Proof, proof and proof!

What KIND of proof? In my case, I have captured pictures, videos, EVPs. Among other things. I am also a sensitive, and can usually tell you something about yourself, family, and situations.

You get the picture. I wouldn’t know what its like to NOT see ghosts, as I’ve been doing it all my life. Good, bad, ugly. Whatever I can see it. I get used to talking to people that think they have seen something that they can’t explain.


Ancient Ghost Hunter

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Articles Recently, I began to wonder exactly *when* people began hunting ghosts and a search on Google revealed a brief writing about the Roman poet Lucretius, who was an early writer about the paranormal and who seems to have sought out ghosts

Historical records clearly demonstrate that the Roman Poet Lucretius was a passionate believer in ghosts who devoted a great deal of time to investigating and researching claims of apparitions.

He eventually gathered enough material together to propose the theory, commonly known as Lucretius's shell, which ghosts were a kind of shell, which diffused or splintered from the body of a dying person and lingered in the atmosphere after death, moving at will.
This theory is considered the forerunner of theories regarding the possible existence of the astral body, which may separate from the body of a living being under altered states of consciousness, such as trance or deep sleep.

Lucretius is thought to have died raving mad from the effects of a love potion administered to him by his wife.

Lucretius is thought to have not been so much as believing in ghosts as having attempted to explain the non-existence of the person after death. This seeming disconnection with the prior writing does have some explanation however.

His death and dates of birth and death are also generalized and not specific, hinting at a more complicated existence and that the writings of him may be much more confused. Care must be taken in stating these things with certainty. His death was probably not a potion induced death and there are some indications it may have been something more sinister that claimed his life.

There does seem to be consensus that he only put forth the theory in public while privately espousing the belief in life-after-death and the existence of apparitions.

Journey Paranormal in 2009

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Having hunted with the good folks at Journey Paranormal in October 2008, I received an email from them this evening with the great events that they plan for 2009. We want to share this for those in the Northern California area who may wish to attend these events in the coming year.

Visit this link to view the great events this Southern California-based team will be planning for 2009!

I'll hunt with this team any time! They worry about each investigator's safety, operate as professionals and are friends of GRI. Anytime they wish to investigate jointly, we're more than glad to work with them!

-- Jon Almada - Founder - Ghost-Rider-Investigations