Seeking Spirits: The Lost Cases of The Atlantic Paranormal Society

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9781439101155: Seeking Spirits: The Lost Cases of The Atlantic Paranormal Society

TV's popular Ghost Hunters reveal all-new, never-before-told stories from their spooky early investigations!

For the first time ever, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, founders of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.), share their most memorable and spine-tingling early cases -- none of which has ever appeared on television. Beginning with the previously untold experiences that sparked their passion for ghost hunting, Jason and Grant's bone-chilling investigations uncover:

· A Connecticut woman who seems to exist in two places at once
· A little girl whose invisible playmate retaliates against her father's punishments
· A man overcome by an evil entity as Jason and Grant survey his home
· A distraught woman who dreams of paranormal events before she experiences them...and much more!

Jason and Grant didn't always have the fancy scientific equipment and experienced team that fans now watch on their smash-hit television show. As they share their hair-raising first experiences, they offer essential tips for budding paranormal investigators -- including how to use an electromagnetic field (EMF) meter and an infrared camera, determine if a supernatural phenomenon is good or evil, and deal with spirits. Whether you're a skeptic or a believer, these fascinating and frightening true stories will keep you up at night!

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About the Author:

Jason Hawes, along with Grant Wilson, heads up TAPS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society. Plumbers by trade, Hawes and Grant are interested in getting to the bottom of everyday, paranormal occurrences. It has been more than a decade since Jason and Grant first met, and since then TAPS has grown in size and scope to become one of the most respected paranormal-investigation groups in America.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:




From the beginning of our careers as ghost hunters, Grant and I saw plenty of cases in which a child was influenced by a supernatural entity who had assumed the guise of an invisible friend. But we wondered if the opposite could be true. Could an entity be influenced to some extent by a child?

In the summer of 1994, we were contacted by Alex and Leslie Creighton, a young couple with a four-year-old daughter named Mandy. For the last six months, the family had been living in a rural part of Leominster, Massachusetts. For most of that time, Alex had been victimized by an unseen force.

He would feel blows to his body and painful scratching sensations, as if he were being raked by a sharp set of claws. His wife said she hadn't been attacked at all, nor had she been present during the assaults on her husband. Their biggest fear, of course, wasn't for themselves but for their daughter.

Both parents had seen and heard Mandy talking to someone who wasn't there. At such times, Mandy's voice was calm and steady, and there was no sign of fear in her expression. She was no more anxious at those times than if she were playing with the kid next door.

At first, the Creightons hadn't thought anything of their daughter's invisible companion. But as the attacks on Alex continued, they grew more and more wary. Finally, they decided to engage the services of T.A.P.S.

Grant and I investigated the house for three days straight. We deployed video cameras, audio recorders, and the rest of the equipment we used on a regular basis. Much to the chagrin of the homeowners, we weren'table to catch anything we could even remotely call evidence. However, we did witness an incident while we were there.

At nine-twenty on Saturday morning, while Grant and I were in the kitchen talking with Leslie, Alex emerged from the shower in the upstairs bathroom and started to get dressed. Suddenly, he called out. We charged upstairs as quickly as we could, only to see Alex point to the lower part of his back.

He had four long, angry red marks leading down toward his waist. Just as he was showing us the marks, he was attacked again on the back of his left arm. As we watched, four scratch marks appeared, each one breaking the surface of the skin and squeezing out tiny drops of blood.

Clearly, Alex's complaints had some credibility. Since Mandy's invisible friend was the only other activity reported by the Creightons, we decided to see if we could find a link between the two. To accomplish that, we had to speak with Mandy.

She was a shy child, not especially comfortable conversing with adults. Grant and I had to earn her trust first, playing dolls with her and offering her some ice cream. Finally, she opened up enough to talk about her unseen companion.

We got her to tell us that she had a friend named Tara who would get mad at Alex sometimes. "When does Tara get mad?" I asked her. "When my dad punishes me," said the little girl.

In other words, whenever Alex disciplined Mandy, Tara would retaliate. In the gentlest terms possible, we explained to Mandy that Tara's response was hurting Alex. "And we don't want your dad to get hurt," I said, "do we?"

Once Mandy realized what was happening to her father, she got upset -- more so, in fact, than we had anticipated. She told us with a lump in her throat that she didn't want Tara to hurt her father anymore. Though she didn't say so, it seemed clear to us that she would speak to her friend about it.

From that time on, Alex suffered no more attacks. But when we last spoke with the family, which was just a few years ago, Mandy was still talking with her invisible friend. What did she say to Tara, back in 1994, to make her stop hurting Alex? We still don't know. But we learned that, in at least some cases, children can influence the spirits who communicate with them.

Copyright © 2009 by Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, and Michael Jan Friedman


Empty Nest


We've all heard of black cats and the superstitions involving them. For example, if a black cat crosses your path, you're supposed to be in for a run of bad luck. But what about a white cat?

We ran into just that question in Norfolk, Virginia, at the home of Robert and Louise Platt. The couple, whose two children were both away at college, were true empty-nesters. They didn't even have a goldfish.

Yet their three-bedroom ranch, from what they told us, was full of activity. At least once a week, they woke up in the morning to find that their living room furniture had been rearranged. They were at a loss to say how or by whom, considering their doors were locked and they hadn't heard any noise.

Sometimes they opened their eyes in the middle of the night to see vaguely human figures floating over their bed. When they made a noise or a sudden movement, the apparition disappeared. But it left them unable to go back to sleep.

At other times, they heard footsteps approaching their bedroom from elsewhere in the house. But no one ever entered. And when Robert got up to search the house for intruders, he never found any.

They weren't even spared during the day. Both of them heard voices in other rooms. Yet when they went to investigate they found no one there, and no television or radio activity that might explain what they had heard.

Robert had doors slammed in his face on several occasions. What's more, it was never the same door twice, so he couldn't avoid it. It had gotten to the point where he hesitated every time he walked through a doorway.

Louise had always done the laundry in the basement without incident. But lately she had started hearing voices down there telling her to get out of the house. As a result, she was avoiding going down to the basement, and had begun visiting a local laundromat.

Jason and I took Ed Gaines and Brittney Selden, a couple of our most trusted investigators, along with us on this case. It was gray and overcast when we arrived, but not at all cold out. In fact, it was shirtsleeves weather, unusual for late fall.

From the moment we entered the house, all four of us felt a strange heaviness in the air. It was even difficult to breathe. While Ed and Brittney positioned audio and video recording devices in strategic spots, Jason and I sat down and talked with the homeowners.

They were rattled by everything that had gone on, and desperately wanted a respite from what they believed were supernatural events. We explained to them that we would do everything in our power to help them. However, before we could do so, we had to determine if their experiences were in fact supernatural in origin.

Sometimes, as a paranormal investigator, you want so much to help your clients that you buy into their theories hook, line, and sinker. We had to be careful to avoid that. If we were going to help these people, we had to base our recommendations on scientifically obtained evidence, not just on our personal feelings.

We set up our equipment and waited to see what would happen. Hours later, Jason and I were walking around upstairs when we caught a glimpse of something dark -- like a shadow. But it wasn't attached to an object, the way a real shadow would be. It was moving into one of the bedrooms of its own accord.

Giving chase, we swung into the room and looked around. And there it was, next to the bed, almost as if it were hiding. For just a second, we got a good look at it. It was a few feet in height, hovering just above the floor. If it had any distinguishable features we couldn't see them. It was too dark and dense-looking.

Then, just as we were thinking we might have cornered it, it backed up in the direction of the wall -- and disappeared. We felt cheated. It's not often you get a chance to chase down a visible manifestation of the supernatural, but we had done just that. And now it had vanished on us.

Still, we now had a reason to believe the Platts' accounts. It was a start. As Jason and I were jotting down our observations, intending to add them to whatever audio or video evidence we could record, we caught a glimpse of something out in the hallway.

It wasn't the dark mass -- far from it. It looked like an animal, even though the Platts had said they didn't keep pets in the house. And not just any animal -- Jason and I agreed on that right off the bat.

As far as we could tell, it was a white cat.

Of course, we didn't just stand there as we arrived at that conclusion. We did it on the run, darting out of the Platts' bedroom. We emerged into the hallway just in time to see the small, white figure slip into one of the other rooms, the one that belonged to the Platts' elder son, Nicholas.

For the second time in the last few minutes, we believed we had cornered our prey. But there was no sign of the cat, if that's what it was, in the bedroom. We looked pretty thoroughly, too, before we decided that it had given us the slip.

We left the bedroom and were barely out in the hall when, to our surprise, we caught sight of the cat again. This time it was scampering into the other son's bedroom.

Again, we gave chase. And again, it eluded us. But having seen the white cat twice, we were even more certain of what it was we had been chasing.

Neither the Platts nor our team had any more experiences that night. In the morning, we collected our equipment, thanked the homeowners for their hospitality, and said that we would be in touch with them as soon as we had a chance to review the data. Jason and I hoped that we had collected some hard evidence, because we had eyeballed some pretty impressive phenomena.

Back in Rhode Island, our team spent hours poring over audio-and videotapes, paying special attention to the times when Jason and I had encountered the dark mass and then the white cat. Sometimes we come back from an investigation chock full of personal experiences and, sadly...

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