Seeing Ghosts – Psychic or Psycho

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Psychic Development, Seeing Ghosts & the Psychic Persona

Seeing ghosts is thought to be a natural indicator of psychic ability. But there are a variety of phenomena that fall into the category of ghosts and you needn’t be psychic to sense these things. The brain can be inspired to see and sense a variety of seemingly spooky things. Sometimes these inspirations take the form of environmental stimuli. Sometimes emotional triggers can cause paranormal sensing. And then there are are those things one just cannot explain. Nevertheless, seeing ghosts does not require that an individual be reliably psychic.

Psychic development is a process of condtioning one’s mind toward extrasensory perception. But too frequently psychic development is confused with rationalizing paranormal experiences such as seeing ghosts for the purposes of creating a meatphysical identity. A persona that insulates one from reality by distancing one from of their true feelings. So for psychic people, it is especially important to explore the relationship between paranormal beliefs, actual ESP and spiritual truth so that as a seer you have the ability to genuine help those in times of existential crisis.

Excerpt from The Rational Psychic

I’d been standing in the dark for nearly two hours, shifting my weight from one foot to the other. Finally, I crouched down, assuming a more comfortable position as I faced the fact I was in for a long night. Then, with my palms flat together as if in prayer, and my lips pressed against my index fingers, I focused my full attention on the man laying on the mattress just an arm’s length away. It was a balmy Southern California evening and my colleagues and I were investigating a man who believed he was possessed by an evil spirit. With any luck, the “demon” would show itself. But from the outset, it appeared the alleged ghoul was content offering only threats and the occasional insult through its supposed hostseeing ghosts

The request for help came from a local priest who described “Robert” as “needing assistance I cannot give.” I admit my first instinct was to wonder if the good Father had first called his appropriate superior to request the rite of exorcism. After all, if he actually believed Robert was afflicted with an evil spirit, surely there were resources within the Church. Nevertheless, his appeal for aid was very real; therefore we agreed to do whatever we could.

The question of why the priest contacted the organization I was working with rather than his superiors lingered with me. I decided to look into the matter. I discovered that in 1999, the rite of exorcism was revised by the Roman Catholic Church. The Church was now officially adamant that exorcism only be granted after supervising physicians had established that candidates for exorcism were neither physically nor mentally ill. Robert, apparently, would not submit to evaluation by a licensed medical professional. In such a case, the priest’s hands were tied. All he could do was offer prayers and a blessing for Robert’s home. Yet despite multiple blessings, Robert’s paranormal problem persisted.

For most people autumn is a welcome reprieve from summer heat. It signals a return to routine that is made easier by the romance of wood burning fireplaces, fall fashions and the mosaic of red and golden leaves carpeting our streets. There’s deep beauty in watching leaves fall in autumn. For me, it’s as if Mother Nature is throwing confetti, celebrating the arrival of Halloween. But for some, the imaginary ghosts, goblins and mysteries that many of us enjoy during the Halloween season can feel like a source of real-life terror.

Upon further inquiry, it appeared demonic possession was not Robert’s problem. If one is inclined to believe in demons and devils, perhaps it would have been more accurate to characterize Robert’s issues as diabolical obsession. The difference between obsession and possession is simple. Obsession is evil acting upon an individual from the outside via torment and temptation while possession is evil inhabiting and then working through an individual by overtaking their mind, their will, and then their body. Rationally speaking however, once has to wonder whether blaming evil spirits for one’s problems is just a way to avoid personal accountability?

Obvious symptoms of possession include, changes in vocal projection, inexplicably speaking in foreign tongues, disdain for religious icons, as well as a stench and freezing temperatures immediately surrounding the afflicted. In addition, possessed individuals reportedly wield religious and morality themed telepathic powers. They’re believed to have unusually taught skin, distorted faces and unnatural physicality. Possessed people undergo behavioral changes. They experiences psychokinetic events (objects moving as if thrown or smashed by an unseen hand) and finally, “demonically” afflicted people allegedly can levitate or make themselves immobile by becoming inexplicably heavy at will.

Superficially speaking, more often than not, it has been my experience that paranormally afflicted people suffer, or are survivors of, psychological, physical and/or emotional distress. Paranormal complainants are also frequently affected by issues of substance abuse and live in less than hygienic conditions. By any standard however, Robert and his living conditions were clean and tidy. Moreover, he did not exhibit any obvious symptoms of possession. Robert did claim psychokinetic events took place around him but these allegations could not be verified. Nevertheless, Robert insisted he was the object of an inhuman evil influence. When questioned why he believed this to be so, Robert detailed for me how a demon repeatedly tempted and tormented his mind and sexually assaulted his body. When questioned about the latter he lifted his shirt revealing scratches on his torso and what he claimed was a spontaneous human bite mark on the middle of his back.

Among uncommon phenomena, I have come to learn there may be nothing more common than claims spirits sexually molest unsuspecting humans. Since 2005 I have investigated fifteen hauntings with sexual themes. Robert was an extreme case. He was also particularly interesting since he was a man. The other claims of spectral sexual assault I investigated were all made by women. This does not mean spectrophilia- (sexual relations with spirits) is a phenomenon mostly experienced by women. I suspect men are just, first and foremost, less likely to assign paranormal causes to distress, and second, men may be less likely to reach out for help.

As I reported on the Travel Channel program Ghostly Lovers, every culture in the world throughout history, has a mythology that describes sexual relations between human beings and spirits. The oldest written text in human history, the epic of Gilgamesh (2400 BC) tells the story of Gilgamesh’s father, who after death, returns to seduce and have sex with living women.

A masculine spirit/demon is called an incubus while feminine supernatural beings who seduce men are referred to as succubae. Historically, theologians have argued that the demons who allegedly seduce people in their sleep are actually genderless, and that they change form to suit the desires of those they prey upon. That being said, looking at the root word for incubus may give us a clue that could unravel the mystery of spectrophilia and incubi regardless of their persuasion.

The word incubus was created from the Latin verb incubo which means “to lie upon”. People who suffersleep paralysis (SP) cannot move. They feel a pressure weighing down on their chest making it difficult to breath, and if this wasn’t frightening enough, sleep paralysis also includes sensing an invisible presence. Sleep paralysis is a neuro-physiological condition first described scientifically by Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell in 1876. Taking the symptoms of SP into consideration, it is easy to see why uneducated people might assume that sensing an invisible presence and feeling set upon, means a spirit is trying to violate you against your will.

Sensing a presence before it is physically seen is a powerful mechanism of self preservation that is part of our fight or flight response. If human beings did not develop such acute situational awareness over the millennia, one could argue we would not have survived as a species. Everyone knows what it feels like to be watched. Maybe you have felt stared at when in line at the grocery store? Or perhaps when sitting in traffic you’ve instinctively turned your head only to discover the person in the next car looking at you? When people feel stared at or otherwise threatened but cannot determine why, the mind often relies on paranormal myths to fill in the blanks.

Although feeling watched or preyed upon is a valuable part of the fight or flight response that should be paid attention to, it is important to understand there are normal reasons why such sensations can arise. This is especially true when one is sleeping. The feeling of being watched can result from seizure activity within the brain. Such activity can inspire one to hear voices and experience visual hallucinations. Sensing a presence, hearing disembodied voices and having strange visual experiences can also occur when the brain is artificially stimulated by electromagnetic (EM) radiation. I once had a case where a woman swore spirits were visiting her in her dreams. She insinuated she was psychic. The unsubstantiated evidence of her ability was a claim spirits appeared at the foot at her bed at night. She said she could see them as she drifted in and out of sleep. These hypnopompic hallucinations were cured when we removed the antiquated alarm clock from her nightstand. This clock was bleeding high levels of EM radiation less than a foot from her temporal lobe.

In addition, people who have been conditioned by stress might also have midbrains stuck in a state of hyper arousal. Such an anxious state keeps the brain on red alert, instigating all kinds of problems from night terrors to sleep paralysis. The role sleep dysfunction plays in paranormal experiences cannot be ignored. However, this does not mean all paranormal claims have strictly biological causes. It is just that any rational discussion or extrasensory perception and the paranormal must recognize how perception is influenced by unconscious neuropsychological processes, and the body’s interaction with the environment.

In 2006 I participated in a paranormal investigation of a ten acre compound north of Los Angeles. The woman who owned the property, we’ll call her “Hilary”, contacted a colleague of mine looking for help with a particular concern. Per protocol, I was not informed of the actual complaint in advance so my psychic assessment would not be prejudiced. Upon arrival at the estate, I toured the property with an assistant and a friend of the property owner. When I entered the main sleeping quarters I psychically encountered three naked forms; two women and one man, who appeared to react to my presence. This was one of the most startling things I have ever witnessed as a psychic. From my point of view, it was as if they were physically there, frolicking on the floor in front of the fireplace when I walked in on them. Honestly, if someone told me they had this experience I would not believe them. The only thing more startling then this “vision” however, was when an hour later during my interview with Hillary she confessed without any provocation that the real reason she asked me to her home was because she was haunted by two women and a man who forced her to have sex with them in her dreams.

According to Hillary, her spectral assaults began with gentle, passionate, one on one love making with the invisible man. It was psychically determined, and later confirmed, her estate had been the location of several pornographic films, orgies and general debauchery in the 1970’s. With this in mind, the obsession and subsequent escalation of Hillary’s “sexual activities” with her ghostly lover did not surprise me.

After the first few months of erotic dreams Hillary’s spectral lover slowly introduced first one, and then another female into their love making. Hillary soon found herself doing things in her dreams she never considered in life. It was not until Hillary eventually found herself losing control in her dreams that she felt demeaned, and eventually victimized. Hillary’s personal boundaries had become so porous in fact, that she could no longer sleep without feeling forced into spectral sex. She developed insomnia and relied on naps during the day to cope. But even in the middle of the day she was haunted by her ghostly lover. Hillary’s life was unraveling and her health was in jeopardy.

Robert and Hillary’s situations are similar in that they both experienced a seeming lack of control over their nocturnal perceptions that spilled over into their waking life. Interestingly enough, neither complained of the two primary symptoms of sleep paralysis, (actual paralysis or difficulty breathing) although each did characterize the presences they felt as evil despite an inability to independently corroborate their “demons” as anything more than personal projections. I confess, however, that the fact Hillary’s description of her attackers matched mine to a tee was indeed curious; while Robert’s response to our intervention resulted in a surprising and rather frightening scenario.

Estranged emotions use  exotic beliefs to surface in Parnormal ways

How we deal with, and process our emotions, directly affects our relationship with ourselves. Our sexuality is a powerful expression of and entry way to the most intimate aspects of our being. Is this why paranormal complaints frequently contain sexual themes? The aforementioned case work is discussed in depth in my new book, The Rational Psychic™, A Skeptic’s Guide to Extraordinary Perception. Whether you are curious about paranormal phenomena or identify as psychic, The Rational Psychic will help you better understand paranormal and psychic experiences like no book ever written.

John Holland, world renowned psychic, bestselling author, and star of the Biography Channel’s unXplained says, “The Rational Psychic™ is an educational, scientific, and fascinating new look into the world of psychic phenomenon! A must read for everyone in all walks of life.” Dr. Andrew Nichols, Director of the American Institute of Parapsychology, calls The Rational Psychic™, “Comprehensive, provocative, and up-to-date, quite simply the best available introduction to psychic phenomena.

This Halloween season enjoy all the spooky fun; just remember that for some people ghosts are no laughing matter.

For more information about The Rational Psychic™, A Skeptic’s Guide to Extraordinary Perception, please visit:,, or find Jack Rourke on Facebook.