Friday, March 25, 2011

Shadow People

BY: Shelly Beard

What are shadow people? This question has been asked time and time again by people that have experienced them and those that research them.

Some researchers believe that they are extraterrestrials or beings from other dimensions as well as ghost or disincarnate spirits. Stories and experiences in regards to shadow people have been around for years. Those who experience them describe them as "Watchers" that seem to observe the person while he or she is in bed. They are also described as very tall beings usually six-and-a-half feet tall sometimes wearing a hat, coat or nothing at all.

One person I have talked to about their experience calls him "The Hat Man".

The Hat Man is the most common shadow person reportedly witnessed by numerous people during the night. Who or what is The Hat Man? Maybe we will never know. That is why there is still ongoing research into this phenomenon. Two people who have shared their experiences with me say that they have had encounters with the hat man since they were small children and still continue to see him. Another person I spoke with has only had an encounter once as a child and once as an adult. One case I worked on here recently, reported they had only experienced the shadow man while living in the home. One question I have, is why do certain people encounter him more often when some do not? Are the ones who experience him more often more sensitive perhaps to this phenomenon?

Another commonly reported shadow sighting is the hooded shadow, which has the same watching characteristics as the Hat Man, only wearing a hood.

Shadow people fall into different categories.

RoseMary Ellen Guiley has classified the different categories in her Encyclopedia of Ghost and Spirits. Pages 444-445 See below.

Bedroom Watchers: These figures are discovered standing by a bedside or in a corner of the room when a person awakens in the night. They seem to stare at people in bed, even though they have no visible eyes or facial features. Most do not behave in a threatening manner, though their presence is often terrifying. They can remain for long periods of time and when observed, disappear suddenly or melt through walls and ceilings. Some act aggressively toward people, causing choking sensations similar to the "old hag".

Shadows on walls: These figures appear suddenly as dark human outlines on walls, which detach from walls and move about rooms.

Moving Shadows: These figures appear abruptly and move quickly through a room, as thought on a mission. They come through walls and melt into walls. They may seem to pay no attention to people present or else watch them intensely. They may be seen out of the corners of the eyes or in full view.

Background Visitors: These figures usually are not seen, but are captured in photographs. They appear in backgrounds, their forms noticeable on walls, doors, and so forth.

Haunting presences: These figures appear in places known or thought to be haunted. They move about, act with intelligence, and appear and disappear suddenly They may follow people. In some cases, shadow people are associated with bad luck.

Some expierencers that I have interviewed, feel very uneasy when they encounter them, Though they have never been harmed by them they often feel like they are malevolent or negative. Some people even feel as if they are demonic in nature. However, shadow people rarely interact with the eyewitness and claims of harm or injury from them appear to be rare.

Another theory suggests that shadow people are time travelers or visitors from another world/universe. Do they come here to check on us for some reason? Are they simply curious about us? They apparently do spend a lot of time here. Why? Maybe they’re not even here at all. Is it possible that they’re simply “people” that live on another plane of existence? Could we be getting a glimpse into that parallel dimension? Perhaps we also appear as shadow people to them.

As to whether they are interdiminsional beings or ghost I can not say, since I am still collecting stories on them, but if they are ghost I believe the reason they show themselves as shadows is maybe that is the only way they can manifest themselves, like that is all the energy they can collect at that time and show themselves in that form. The reason I say this, is on one occasion my team and I were doing a preliminary of an old abandoned hospital. I was taking random pictures and upon review of my pictures I had photographed a shadow person that looked like a nurse, I did not see this shadow person she only showed up in my picture. Was it a former nurse who could only manifest as a shadow? In my personal opinion I would say yes, I believe that was all the energy she could gather at that time and that is how she appeared in my picture.

Other articles I have read mention seeing shadow people in the woods. One such place is Zombie Road (pictured right )where numerous shadow people or kids have been photographed. You can view this strange incident in the Children of The Grave Documentary. Also shadow people figures have been seen at various alleged haunted locations such as Waverly Hills and Ohio State Reformatory.

So the research into what shadow people are continue to this day and I encourage all researchers to share their theories, findings, and resources about these beings so that we may all have a better understanding as to what they are and what the phenomenon is.


The Encyclopedia of Ghost and Spirits pages 444-445 By: Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Rosemary Ellen Guiley's website

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Schizophrenia and Mental Disorders- What you should know.

Schizophrenia and Mental Disorders

What you should know.

by Angela L Burke

In the study of the paranormal, one common explaination for ghost sightings and paranormal experiences, that I have heard frequently suggested, is that maybe the person has schizophrenia or some other mental form of delusional disorder.

Because this has been a common and frequently misunderstood assumption for those who have never had a paranormal or suggested haunting experience, many people have kept their experiences a secret, out of the fear of being labeled as psychotic, crazy or schizophrenic.

I think that those who are going to research claims of hauntings and paranormal experiences need to at least have a basic knowledge of what those type diseases are and their symptoms. I think that the majority of people that paranormal researchers interview, are not suffering from mental disorders or schizophrenia. However, the possibility that you could encounter someone with these type claims who does suffer from a mental disorder, is always a possibility. Especially, now that television has saturated the airways with TV shows related to everything from sea monsters, to aliens, to ghost stories and demon possessions. So it is possible that you could encounter someone who truely suffers from these disorders, and may have these fears intertwined within their behaviors. Remember that when you research the paranormal, there are many aspects that have to be considered and understood in order to rule them out. If you are not aware of the true symptoms and behaviors of persons with these disorders, how can you properly evaluate claims of paranormal experiences?

This is a brief overview of common mental diseases and disorders that have been suggested as possible causes, related to paranormal experiences. This should be something that paranormal researchers make themselves familiar with.

Having been in the nursing field for twenty years, I have cared for many patients with mental and schizophrenic type disorders and diagnosis. I have seen many bizzare behaviors and heard many claims of hearing voices or having visual hallucinations, however, not one of them ever claimed to see ghosts or told tales of being haunted. In fact, most of their claims were way more bizarre than that.

The most common symptom I have encountered, has been of a more paranoid nature. One particular example would be a patient that I cared for who was convinced that there was a government conspiracy against him and that he could hear coded messages about terroist acts thru his am radio. He also believed that he had a million dollars in the local bank and that all the nurses were trying to poison him. He frequently would sneak into the nurses station and telephone the bank, demanding his money be brought to him by armed guards. On one occasion, he even called the local police to report a hostage crisis at the nursing facility, which resulted in the SWAT team being deployed and the facility being put on lock down for several hours. He had extreme mood swings, poor personal hygiene. He had difficulty with trusting anyone and had very poor socializing skills. His behaviors were often times erradic, explosive and full of anxiety. Other times, he could be seen in a sureal mood, mumbling or talking to himself, or sitting quietly in almost a trance like state. This type behavior , to me, in my own experience, has been the type behavior and symptoms I have seen the most, with people diagnosed as Schizophrenic.

Another example was a woman who had bizarre hallucinations. On one occasion while having a rather normal conversation with me about her lunch menu, she began to scream histerically because she was convinced that I my back was crawling with black spiders. This same lady also tore her room apart because she claimed that her TV set was sending radiation waves into her brain with subliminal messages in order to control her mind. These behaviors could occur anywhere from a few days or a few moments of each other. These behaviors could occur anywhere at anytime. Unlike typical claims of paranormal experiences which might only occur once in a persons otherwise normal lifetime. Just because a person has an experience or even several unexplained experiences, that they cannot explain, does not make them crazy. To label someone as such without trying to understanding their experience, is shameful in my opinion.

Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. People with schizophrenia -- the most chronic and disabling of the major mental illnesses -- often have problems functioning in society, at work, at school, and in relationships. Schizophrenia can leave its sufferer frightened and withdrawn. It is a life-long disease that cannot be cured, but usually can be controlled with proper treatment.

Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a split personality. Schizophrenia is a psychosis, a type of mental illness in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined. At times, people with psychotic disorders lose touch with reality. The world may seem like a jumble of confusing thoughts, images, and sounds. The behavior of people with schizophrenia may be very strange and even shocking. A sudden change in personality and behavior, which occurs when people lose touch with reality, is called a psychotic episode.

Schizophrenia varies in severity from person to person. Some people have only one psychotic episode while others have many episodes during a lifetime but lead relatively normal lives between episodes. Schizophrenia symptoms seem to worsen and improve in cycles known as relapses and remissions.

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects some 2.2 million American adults, most often before the age of 30. It interferes with the way a person acts, thinks, and feels and frequently causes difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary. This, in turn makes patients prone to delusional beliefs about themselves or others. Schizophrenia also affects ordered thinking, making it difficult to concentrate, maintain attention span, or develop normal motivation. It can also affect the ability to experience normal emotions in social situations, often causing a person to become unusually unresponsive or withdrawn.Often times leading to severe bouts of depression and even suicidal tendencies.

Helpful definitions in understanding schizophrenia include the following:

Psychosis: Psychosis is defined as being out of touch with reality. During this phase, one can experience delusions or prominent hallucinations. People with psychoses are not aware that what they are experiencing or some of the things that they believe are not real. Psychosis is a prominent feature of schizophrenia but is not unique to this illness.

Schizoid: This term is often used to describe a personality disorder characterized by almost complete lack of interest in social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings, making a person with this disorder appear cold and aloof.

Schizotypal: This term defines a more severe personality disorder characterized by acute discomfort with close relationships as well as disturbances of perception and bizarre behaviors, making people with schizophrenia seem odd and eccentric because of unusual mannerisms.

Hallucinations: A person with schizophrenia may have strong sensations of objects or events that are real only to him or her. These may be in the form of things that they believe strongly that they see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Hallucinations have no outside source, and are sometimes described as "the person's mind playing tricks" on him or her.

Illusion: An illusion is a mistaken perception for which there is an actual external stimulus. For example, a visual illusion might be seeing a shadow and misinterpreting it as a person. The words "illusion" and "hallucination" are sometimes confused with each other.

Delusion: A person with a delusion has a strong belief about something despite evidence that the belief is false. For instance, a person may listen to a radio and believe the radio is giving a coded message about an impending alien invasion. All of the other people who listen to the same radio program would hear, for example, a feature story about road repair work taking place in the area.

People with schizophrenia vary widely in their behavior as they struggle with an illness beyond their control. In active stages, those affected may ramble in illogical sentences or react with uncontrolled anger or violence to a perceived threat. People with schizophrenia may also experience relatively passive phases of the illness in which they seem to lack personality, movement, and emotion (also called a flat affect). People with schizophrenia may alternate in these extremes. Their behavior may or may not be predictable.

In order to better understand schizophrenia, the concept of clusters of symptoms is often used. Thus, people with schizophrenia can experience symptoms that may be grouped under the following categories:

Positive symptoms -- Hearing voices, suspiciousness, feeling under constant surveillance, delusions, or making up words without a meaning (neologisms).

Negative (or deficit) symptoms -- Social withdrawal, difficulty in expressing emotions (in extreme cases called blunted affect), difficulty in taking care of themselves or perform basic daily tasks, such as hygiene and dressing themselves, inability to feel pleasure (These symptoms cause severe impairment and are often mistaken for laziness.)

Cognitive symptoms -- Difficulties attending to and processing of information, in understanding the environment, and in remembering simple tasks

Affective (or mood) symptoms -- Most notably depression, accounting for a very high rate of attempted suicide in people suffering from schizophrenia

Types of schizophrenia are as follows:

Paranoid-type schizophrenia is characterized by delusions and auditory hallucinations but relatively normal intellectual functioning and expression of affect. The delusions can often be about being persecuted unfairly or being some other person who is famous. People with paranoid-type schizophrenia can exhibit anger, aloofness, anxiety, and argumentativeness.

Disorganized-type schizophrenia is characterized by speech and behavior that are disorganized or difficult to understand, and flattening or inappropriate emotions. People with disorganized-type schizophrenia may laugh at the changing color of a traffic light or at something not closely related to what they are saying or doing. Their disorganized behavior may disrupt normal activities, such as showering, dressing, and preparing meals.
I found this video to be a very good example of a disorganized type schizophrenia.

Catatonic-type schizophrenia is characterized by disturbances of movement. People with catatonic-type schizophrenia may keep themselves completely immobile or move all over the place. They may not say anything for hours, or they may repeat anything you say or do senselessly. Either way, the behavior is putting these people at high risk because it impairs their ability to take care of themselves.

Undifferentiated-type schizophrenia is characterized by some symptoms seen in all of the above types but not enough of any one of them to define it as another particular type of schizophrenia.

Residual-type schizophrenia is characterized by a past history of at least one episode of schizophrenia, but the person currently has no positive symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior). It may represent a transition between a full-blown episode and complete remission, or it may continue for years without any further psychotic episodes.

Mental Health and Delusional Disorder

Delusional disorder, previously called paranoid disorder, is a type of serious mental illness called a "psychosis" in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined. The main feature of this disorder is the presence of delusions, which are unshakable beliefs in something untrue. People with delusional disorder experience non-bizarre delusions, which involve situations that could occur in real life, such as being followed, poisoned, deceived, conspired against, or loved from a distance. These delusions usually involve the misinterpretation of perceptions or experiences. In reality, however, the situations are either not true at all or highly exaggerated.

People with delusional disorder often can continue to socialize and function normally, apart from the subject of their delusion, and generally do not behave in an obviously odd or bizarre manner. This is unlike people with other psychotic disorders, who also might have delusions as a symptom of their disorder. In some cases, however, people with delusional disorder might become so preoccupied with their delusions that their lives are disrupted.

Some studies have indicated that delusions may be generated by abnormalities in the limbic system, the portion of the brain on the inner edge of the cerebral cortex that is believed to regulate emotions. The exact source of delusions has not been conclusively found, but potential causes include genetics, neurological abnormalities, and changes in brain chemistry. Delusions are also a known possible side effect of drug use and abuse. As well as alcohol abuse.

Types of Delusional Disorder

There are different types of delusional disorder based on the main theme of the delusions experienced. The types of delusional disorder include:

Erotomanic: Someone with this type of delusional disorder believes that another person, often someone important or famous, is in love with him or her. The person might attempt to contact the object of the delusion, and stalking behavior is not uncommon.

Grandiose: A person with this type of delusional disorder has an over-inflated sense of worth, power, knowledge, or identity. The person might believe he or she has a great talent or has made an important discovery that either has or has not been properly recognized Or they may believe that they have some sort of social status or are someone famous or of high religious or governmental status .

Jealous: A person with this type of delusional disorder believes that his or her spouse or sexual partner is unfaithful.

Persecutory or Paranoid: People with this type of delusional disorder believe that they (or someone close to them) are being mistreated, or that someone is spying on them or planning to harm them or is out to get them. They frequently believe that they are being cheated, stolen from, stalked and or harrassed. It is not uncommon for people with this type of delusional disorder to make repeated complaints to legal authorities and make numerous court appeals in civil suits.

Somatic: A person with this type of delusional disorder believes that he or she has a physical defect or medical problem.

Referencial: The belief that everyday things in the normal environment, such as advertisements, newscasts, song lyrics, book passages and trade signs are directly addressed to him or have some secret coded meaning.

Mixed: People with this type of delusional disorder have two or more of the types of delusions listed above.

What Are the Symptoms of Delusional Disorder?

The presence of non-bizarre delusions is the most obvious symptom of this disorder. Other symptoms that might appear include:

An irritable, angry, or low mood

Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there) that are related to the delusion (For example, a person who believes he or she has an odor problem may smell a bad odor.)

Want to dig deeper? Below is an interesting website I stumbled upon which list 176 different diseases and possible causes of delusions.

176 causes of delusions:

Dissociative Identity or Multiple Personality Disorder

Dissociative identity disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities (known as alter egos or alters), each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment. The diagnosis requires that at least two personalities routinely take control of the individual's behavior with an associated memory loss that goes beyond normal forgetfulness; in addition, symptoms cannot be the temporary effects of drug use or a general medical condition

Individuals diagnosed with DID demonstrate a variety of symptoms with wide fluctuations across time; functioning can vary from severe impairment in daily functioning to normal or high abilities. Symptoms can include:

Multiple mannerisms, attitudes and beliefs which are not similar to each other

Unexplainable headaches and other body pains

Distortion or loss of subjective time




Severe memory loss


Flashbacks of abuse/trauma

Sudden anger without a justified cause

Frequent panic/anxiety attacks

Unexplainable phobias

Auditory of the personalities inside their mind


Patients may experience an extremely broad array of other symptoms that may appear to resemble epilepsy, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, and eating disorders.

It has been theorized that severe sexual, physical, or psychological trauma in childhood predisposes an individual to the development of DID. Most of us have experienced mild dissociation, which is like daydreaming or getting lost in the moment while working on a project. However, dissociative identity disorder is a severe form of dissociation, a mental process, which produces a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity. Dissociative identity disorder is thought to stem from trauma experienced by the person with the disorder. The dissociative aspect is thought to be a coping mechanism -- the person literally dissociates himself from a situation or experience that's too violent, traumatic, or painful to assimilate with his conscious self.

Other symptoms of dissociative identity disorder may include headache, amnesia, time loss, trances, and "out of body experiences." Some people with dissociative disorders have a tendency toward self-persecution, self-sabotage, and even violence (both self-inflicted and outwardly directed). As an example, someone with dissociative identity disorder may find themselves doing things they wouldn't normally do such as speeding, reckless driving, or stealing money from their employer or friend, yet they feel they are being compelled to do it. Some describe this feeling as being a passenger in their body rather than the driver. In other words, they truly believe they have no choice.

Bi Polar or Manic Depressive Disorder

People with bipolar disorder experience unusually intense emotional states that occur in distinct periods called "mood episodes." An overly joyful or overexcited state is called a manic episode, and an extremely sad or hopeless state is called a depressive episode. Sometimes, a mood episode includes symptoms of both mania and depression. This is called a mixed state. People with bipolar disorder also may be explosive and irritable during a mood episode.

Extreme changes in energy, activity, sleep, and behavior go along with these changes in mood. It is possible for someone with bipolar disorder to experience a long-lasting period of unstable moods rather than discrete episodes of depression or mania.

A person may be having an episode of bipolar disorder if he or she has a number of manic or depressive symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least one or two weeks. Sometimes symptoms are so severe that the person cannot function normally at work, school, or home.

One side of the scale includes severe depression, moderate depression, and mild low mood. Moderate depression may cause less extreme symptoms, and mild low mood is called dysthymia when it is chronic or long-term. In the middle of the scale is normal or balanced mood.

At the other end of the scale are hypomania and severe mania. Some people with bipolar disorder experience hypomania. During hypomanic episodes, a person may have increased energy and activity levels that are not as severe as typical mania, or he or she may have episodes that last less than a week and do not require emergency care. A person having a hypomanic episode may feel very good, be highly productive, and function well. This person may not feel that anything is wrong even as family and friends recognize the mood swings as possible bipolar disorder. Without proper treatment, however, people with hypomania may develop severe mania or depression.

During a mixed state, symptoms often include agitation, trouble sleeping, major changes in appetite, and suicidal thinking. People in a mixed state may feel very sad or hopeless while feeling extremely energized.

Sometimes, a person with severe episodes of mania or depression has psychotic symptoms too, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to reflect the person's extreme mood. For example, psychotic symptoms for a person having a manic episode may include believing he or she is famous, has a lot of money, or has special powers. In the same way, a person having a depressive episode may believe he or she is ruined and penniless, or has committed a crime. As a result, people with bipolar disorder who have psychotic symptoms are sometimes wrongly diagnosed as having schizophrenia.

Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, so researchers are looking for genes that may increase a person's chance of developing the illness.

Other common Mental Illnesses

Anxiety disorders are mental disorders characterized by extreme, unpleasant, and unwanted feelings of apprehension or fear, sometimes accompanied by physical symptoms.

Delirium is a mental state in which a person suddenly becomes confused and disoriented, perhaps not knowing what day it is or not recognizing a friend. It often accompanies a physical illness and usually goes away when the illness gets better.

Dementia is a gradually worsening loss of mental abilities, including memory, judgment, and abstract thinking. It is more common in older people.

Depressive disorders are mental disorders associated with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of self-esteem and enjoyment. Significant levels of depression impair a person's feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Eating disorders are mental disorders that lead people to starve themselves or to eat huge amounts of food.

Mental retardation is a condition present since childhood in which the person has significantly below-average intelligence. These individuals may be limited in their ability to learn, work, communicate with others, care for themselves, and live independently.

Neurosis (noo-RO-sis) is a broad term covering many mental disorders that are long-lasting or recurring. People who have a neurosis remain in touch with reality, unlike those who have a psychosis. But the anxiety, depression, and distress common to neurosis can interfere with the quality of life.

Obsessive-compulsive disorderis a mental disorder that causes people to feel trapped by distressing or senseless thoughts and to feel as if they have to repeat actions.

Phobias are mental disorders that lead to a lasting, intense, irrational fear of a particular object, activity, or situation.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder that interferes with everyday living and occurs in people who survive a life-threatening event, such as school violence, car accidents, natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, floods), or military combat.

Separation anxiety is a mental disorder in which children worry excessively about leaving their homes, parents, or caregivers.

Sleep disorders are long-lasting disturbances of sleep. Some sleep disorders have mainly psychological causes, while others have mainly physical causes.

* psychotherapy is treatment for a mental disorder that usually involves talking with a trained therapist to undercover the roots of a person's behavior or to learn new ways of thinking or behaving.

I hope that this post will help clear up any misconceptions you may have had about mental disorders and schizophrenia. I believe that it is imperative that people understand the truth of what these disorders are and how those who are afflicted with them, behave. Below you will find a list of resources that you can refer to if you have any questions related to mental health issues or should you encounter or know someone that you believe might benefit from the information. There are also many interesting case files and examples of persons with these disorders that you can search on YouTube. I found several related to DID to be most interesting.
Mental Health Resources

U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 8184, MSC 9663, Bethesda, MD 20892-9663. NIMH is the government institute that oversees research on mental disorders and provides information for professionals and the public.

American Psychological Asssociation, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. The American Psychological Association publishes books, brochures, and fact sheets about mental health, mental disorders, and psychotherapy. It provides referrals to local psychologists, and its website includes a KidsPsych feature.

Telephone 202-336-5500

American Psychiatric Association, 1400 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. The American Psychiatric Association publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for doctors, and the Let's Talk Facts About pamphlet series for the public. Its website also posts a Psychiatric Medications fact sheet.

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 200 North Glebe Road, Suite 1015, Arlington, VA 22203-3754. A self-help organization for people with serious mental illness, their families, and their friends.

Telephone 800-950-NAMI

National Mental Health Association, 1021 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2971. A national organization that offers information to the public about various mental disorders and mental health.

Telephone 800-969-NMHA


John Hopkins Family Health Book, First Edition. 1999 John Hopkins University

National Institute of Mental Health:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Amulets and Talismans

Amulets and Talismans

research compiled by Angela L - MSSPI

The purpose of this post is not to dispute, condone or convince anyone that amulets and talismans work or should be used. The purpose of this post is to provide historical and educational information concerning the history, cultural and religious uses of amulets and talismans. It is up to each individual to determine what he or she believes to be true and whether to choose to use an amulet or talisman. There are many religious followers who disaprove of the use of amulets and talismans and many who use them and believe in their powers. It is not our intention to promote, encourage or discourage their use, mearly to provide information related to them for learning purposes. Your doctrinal or religious beliefs and choices are your business.

Amulets have been around since Antiquity began. Ancient cultures as well as present day cultures use a varitey of different amulets and talismans for a varity of reasons. The most common being protection. It is believed by many religions and cultures that amulets ward off evil spirits and influences. Ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Arab and Hebrew cultures placed great importance on amulets. Modern religions and cultures continue to use them and believe in their powers of protection.

There are many different forms, designs and types of amulets, so many that I could never list them all in a blog post. However , the most common types are natural stones and crystals. Metals such as silver and iron are also widely used and believed to have protective powers. Most are used to repel evil spirits, demons, negative energies, witches, sorcerers and anything harmful, especially related to the supernatural. Many amulets are made by the wearer and hold significant meaning to the individual.

Amulets are also found in the form of stones, bells, chants, songs, herbs and many others.

In the Christian traditions, amulets include the cross, crucifix, rosary beads, chants, Saint medals such as the St Benadict and St Christopher medals.

The cross predates Christianity by many centuries and is one of the oldest amulets in the world. The sign of the cross was used by early Christians for protection and as a means of identification to each other. It's most common form being four arms of equal length rather that a T shape. According to legend, the original cross of Christ was excavated in Jerusalem by Emperess Helena, mother of Constantine I. Helena is said to have tested 3 crosses found at the site, on the corpse of a man. Only one of them brought him back to life. Helena concluded that this was the cross of Christ. She is said to have sent a portion of the cross to Constantine, who sent a portion to the Vatican in Rome where it is still preserved. Helena reburied the remainder of the cross. Small bits of the cross were made into amulets and were highly prized. According to most Christian belief, nothing can stand up to the power of the cross. The cross was and still is used to help excorcise demons and devils, to prevent bewitchment and possesion. And used by some to repel vampires and witches. During the Middle Ages, inquisitors often wore the cross or made the sign of the cross when in the presence of accused witches in order to ward off any evil spells they might try and cast on them. The cross in hot cross buns is said to be a remnant of the medevil practice of making a cross in the bread dough to protect against evil. Victims of demonic possession are said to recoil at the cross and the practice of holding a cross behind the head is done to determine if a person is possessed by a demon. In the Catholoc rite of excorcism, numerous signs of the cross are placed on the victims forehead during excorcism rites.

St Benadict medals, also known as The Medal Cross of St. Benadict has always been associated with the cross. No one knows the exact date of its original casting, but at some point in time the inscription V R S N S M V - S M Q L I V B was placed on the reverse side of the medal. A manuscript dating to 1415 was found in 1647 at the Abbey of Metten in Bovaria. It explained the Latin excorcism prayer for which the initals stood for as follows:

Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala libas. Ipse venena bibas!

Translated in English to mean:

Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!
Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology
Rosemary Ellen Guily

a similar translation for :Vade Retro Satana being "Step Back Satan"

Ancient Jews wore amulets around their necks that contained slips of parchment on which the laws of God were written. The Torah, comprising five books of the Old Testament of the Bible, is among the copies of holy books including the Bible (Christians), Vedas (Hindu), the Koran (Muslims), and the Avestar (Zoroastrians) believed by the faithful to bring good luck and to ward off evil. According to the Kabbalah, a person’s soul is created from twenty-two letters. Thus, each Jewish amulet and each attempt to help man through acceptance is accomplished with the help of letters. Using a version of Hebrew that is over 2,900 years old, the artists at Genesis Creations of Israel reference symbols used by Kings David and Solomon to create this amulet at right. They share that this amulet "against the evil eye" strengthens all kinds of will powers, so strong that all outside (stranger's) wills and influences (evil eye) cannot make any changes or cause damage in life. It creates spiritual independence.

A favorite contemporary Muslim amulet consists of a square-inch miniature of the Koran enclosed in metal and worn around the neck. Muslims also believe they gain power by wearing amulets inscribed with a form of the name of Allah. The names of God and magical words and numbers have generally been thought to provide protection and fashioned into amulets. These methods of gaining protection extend back to antiquity and were extremely popular during the Renaissance to the early 19th century. Accompanying these were the grimoires, books of magical instruction written for and by magicians. In magic, using the name of a deity is the same as drawing down divine power. This is the reason why portions of grimoires resemble prayer books. The Tetragrammation, the Hebrew personal name for God- -YHWH and pronounced Yahweh"- - , is believed to be very powerful in magic operations and has been fashioned into amulets by different spellings. It is believed to help magicians in conjuring up as well as expelling demons and give him protections from negative spirits.

Amulets are frequently mentioned in Talmudic literature where they are called kemiya and often consist of a written parchment or root of herbs worn on a small chain, a ring, or a tube. Many such amulets had healing purposes: they were considered legitimate only after having worked successfully in healing on three different occasions. Another kind of parchment amulet was the mezuzah, a Hebrew word for door post. Moses (14th–13th century b.c.e.) commanded Israelites to inscribe the words "Hear O Israel, the Lord Our God Is One God" on the doorposts of their homes. An amulet with those words continues to be attached to doors in many modern Jewish households, or worn as a gold chain around the neck for good luck.

By the time the Roman Empire was established in the first centuries b.c.e., amulets had a long history of being worn for luck and protection. Egyptians considered amulets necessary for protection of the living and the dead. An amulet with a heart on it was often placed with the dead to help represent them in judgment about their fate in the afterlife. Likenesses of scarabs (a kind of beetle) were also prominent.

Egytian Scarab Beetle - To ancient Egyptians the Scarab was a powerful amulet of the Sun god, emboding the force that pushed the sun through the sky and therefore represented the power of the life force and the mystical cycle of rebirth. It symbolizes the power to create and is worn to draw courage and protection A scarab encloses an egg in mud or dung and rolls it along to a spot where it can be warm and safe. Egyptians considered this a metaphor for the journey of the sun each day. The scarab amulet became a common emblem for regeneration and was placed with the dead.

Sumerians, who inhabited Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and were contemporaries of the Egyptians, had amulets inscribed with images of animals and gods. They also inscribed such images on seals for everything from pottery to vaults to doors: the emblem on the seal represented a guardian spirit that would bring bad luck to those who opened the sealed compartment without permission of the owner.

The treasures of King Tutankhamen of Egypt (c. 1370–1352 b.c.e.) abound with crystals in the form of gems and jewels. They were intended for personal adornment, but they also had symbolic meaning: they were believed to possess mystical and religious powers. Today, crystals are still worn for decorative purposes in the form of gems and jewels; those who believe in the mystical powers of crystals wear them as amulets. The frog protected fertility; ankhs symbolized everlasting life and generation; the udjat, or eye, was for good health, comfort, and protection against evil; the scarab beetle was for resurrection after death and protection against evil magic. One of the most notable amulets of ancient Egypt is the Eye of Horus.

Historically the two most universal symbols of amulets have been the eye and the phallic symbols. Eyes are thought to protect against evil spirits and are found on tombs, walls, utensils, and jewelry. The phallic symbol, represented by horns and hands, is protection against the evil eye. The Arabians, too, had amulets protecting them against evil. Small sacks containing dust from tombs were worn. They also wore pieces of paper on which were written prayers, spells, magical names or the powerful attributes of God such as "the compassionate" and "the forgiver."

Prehistoric amulets representing fertility and animals have been found near some of the oldest known human remains. Archaeologists have also unearthed shells, claws, teeth, and crystalline solids dating to 25,000 b.c.e.; engraved with symbols and sporting small holes, the objects were probably worn as necklaces.

Animals have been used as symbols in amulets since the earliest times. Modern amulets include a rabbit's foot; when rubbed it is activated to bring luck. The wishbone from the breast of a bird is believed to make wishes come true to the person lucky enough to hold the larger half when the bone is broken with a partner, a common practice at Thanksgiving Day dinners in the United States. Metal representations of wishbones and rabbit's feet have become popular amulets in contemporary times.

Early Christians inscribed the word ichthys (Greek for "fish") on their amulets because the word contained in Greek the initials for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. The fish symbol has been important to Christians ever since.

In many societies, religious objects serve as amulets, e.g. deriving from the ancient Celts, the clover, if it has four leaves, symbolizes good luck (not the Irish shamrock, which symbolizes the Christian Trinity).

Some forms of Buddhism have a deep and ancient talismanic tradition. In the earliest days of Buddhism, just after the Buddha's death circa 485 BC, amulets bearing the symbols of Buddhism were common. Symbols such as conch shells, the footprints of the Buddha, and others were commonly worn. After about the 2nd century BC, Greeks began carving actual images of the Buddha. These were hungrily acquired by native Buddhists in India, and the tradition spread.

In Bolivia and Argentina, the god Ekeko furnishes a standard amulet, to whom one should offer at least one banknote or a cigarette to obtain fortune and welfare. In certain areas of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, it is traditionally believed that the Jackal's Horn can grant wishes and reappear to its owner at its own accord when lost. Some Sinhalese believe that the horn can grant the holder invulnerability in any lawsuit.


Bells have been associated with mystical occurrences and the spirit world since ancient times. Goddess images were frequently cast in the shape of bells. Ancient Jews wore bells tied to their clothing to ward off evil. Photo on right depicts both Budda images and bells. Thai amulet from B.C.2495

The ringing of bells or death knells for the deceased is an old custom. Some authorities believe that the ringing of bells at times of death originated in the practice of seeking to frighten away the evil spirits that lurk beside a corpse, waiting the opportunity to seize the newly released soul. In ancient times bells were rung only when important people died, but with the advent of Christianity it became the custom to ring death during burial services for all church members.

In medieval times, church bells were rung during epidemics with the hopes of clearing the air of disease. It was generally believed that church bells had special magical or spiritual powers, especially because of their position, suspended between heaven and Earth, guarding the passageway between the material and non-material worlds, frightening away demons. The sacred bell of the Buddhists, the ghanta, serves that spiritual expression in a similar manner, driving away the negative entities and encouraging the positive spirits to manifest. The very sound of a bell is a symbol of creative power.

People along the west coast of Africa used to tie a bell to the foot of an ill child to ward off evil, and food was placed nearby to lure those spirits away. In contemporary times, bells above the door of a shop alert the shopkeeper that customers have entered. That practical function is predated by the use of bells over doors to keep evil spirits from entering into a home or shop.

The usage of amulets seems universal stemming from the human desire for protection. The existence seems to extend from the cave dwellers to the present. As objects they come and go with fashion, taking on different designs and shapes, but their purpose remains the same. No matter how civilized a culture may be,  amulets are present. whether believed to hold magical powers or powers of protection and luck or used as just an adornment. The individual history of each form of amulet is a very interesting subject that was fun to research. While their are some who do not believe in the power of amulets, many people take their talismans and amulets very seriously and hold strong beliefs in their powers.

Want to dig deeper?
Try these sources
Bracken, Thomas. Good Luck Symbols and Talismans: People, Places, and Customs. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1997.

Budge, E. A. Wallis. Amulets and Talismans. New York: Collier Books, 1970.
Mintz, Ruth Finer. Auguries, Charms, Amulets. Middle Village, N.Y.: Jonathan David Publishers, 1983.
Nelson, Felicitas H. Talismans & Amulets of the World. New York: Sterling Publishers, 2000.
Gaskell, G. A. Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths. Avenel, N.J.: Gramercy Books, 1981.

Walker, Barbara G. The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects. Edison, N.J.: Castle Books, 1988.

Pavitt, William Thomas. The Book of Talismans, Amulets, and Zodiacal Gems. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1970.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Basic Science Behind Electromagnetic Fields

Basic Science Behind Electromagnetic Fields
Research compiled by Angela L MSSPI

What Exactly is EMF and Where does it come from?

This has been a question I have wanted to explore in more detail ever since I first heard of EMF. It is commonly mentioned among paranormal investigators and EMF detectors are frequently used as part of investigations involving paranormal activity. But why? And what did I miss in Science class? The following article is just a scratch on the surface as to what EMF is and how it affects us as humans on this planet.

The Earth's magnetic field is similar to that of a bar magnet tilted 11 degrees from the spin axis of the Earth. The problem with that picture is that the Curie temperature of iron is about 770 C . The Earth's core is hotter than that and therefore not magnetic. So how did the Earth get its magnetic field?

The intensity and structure of the Earth's magnetic field are always changing, slowly but erratically, reflecting the influence of the flow of thermal currents within the iron core. This variation is reflected in part by the wandering of the North and South Geomagnetic Poles. Magnetic fields surround electric currents, so we surmise that circulating electic currents in the Earth's molten metalic core are the origin of the magnetic field. A current loop gives a field similar to that of the earth. The magnetic field magnitude measured at the surface of the Earth is about half a Gauss and dips toward the Earth in the northern hemisphere. The magnitude varies over the surface of the Earth in the range 0.3 to 0.6 Gauss.

The Earth's magnetic field is attributed to a dynamo effect of circulating electric current, but it is not constant in direction. Rock specimens of different age in similar locations have different directions of permanent magnetization. Evidence for 171 magnetic field reversals during the past 71 million years has been reported.

The Dynamo Effect

The simple question "how does the Earth get its magnetic field?" does not have a simple answer. It does seem clear that the generation of the magnetic field is linked to the rotation of the earth, since Venus with a similar iron-core composition but a 243 Earth-day rotation period does not have a measurable magnetic field. It certainly seems plausible that it depends upon the rotation of the fluid metallic iron which makes up a large portion of the interior, and the rotating conductor model leads to the term "dynamo effect" or "geodynamo", evoking the image of an electric generator.

Convection drives the outer-core fluid and it circulates relative to the earth. This means the electrically conducting material moves relative to the earth's magnetic field. If it can obtain a charge by some interaction like friction between layers, an effective current loop could be produced. The magnetic field of a current loop could sustain the magnetic dipole type magnetic field of the earth. Large-scale computer models are approaching a realistic simulation of such a geodynamo.

Interaction of the terrestrial magnetic field with particles from the solar wind sets up the conditions for the aurora phenomena near the poles.

Van Allen Radiation Belts

A fundamental property of magnetic fields is that they exert forces on moving electrical charges. Thus, a magnetic field can trap charged particles such as electrons and protons as they are forced to execute a spiraling motion back and forth along the field lines.

As illustrated in the adjacent figure, the charged particles are reflected at "mirror points" where the field lines come close together and the spirals tighten. One of the first fruits of early space exploration was the discovery in the late 1950s that the Earth is surrounded by two regions of particularly high concentration of charged particles called the Van Allen radiation belts.

The inner and outer Van Allen belts are illustrated in the top figure. The primary source of these charged particles is the stream of particles emanating from the Sun that we call the solar wind. The charged particles trapped in the Earth's magnetic field are responsible for the aurora (Northern and Southern Lights).

Influence of the Sun Electrical particles streaming from the sun cause the "solar wind" which warps Earth's geomagnetic field lines, flattening them on the sun-ward side and stretching them out on the downstream side. The influence of this distortion of the geomagnetic field is quite small near Earth's surface (except during solar eruptions associated with sunspots) and becomes larger with increasing distance from Earth. The Sun spews out a constant stream of X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation. This energy, along with that from cosmic rays, affects the Earth’s ionosphere, starting some 60 km above us. When solar energy or cosmic rays strike the ionosphere, electrons are stripped from their nuclei. This process is called ionizing, hence the name ionosphere. It is the free electrons in the ionosphere that have a strong influence on the propagation of radio signals. Radio frequencies of very long wavelength (very low frequency or “VLF”) “bounce” or reflect off these free electrons in the ionosphere thus, conveniently for us, allowing radio communication over the horizon and around our curved Earth. The strength of the received radio signal changes according to how much ionization has occurred and from which level of the ionosphere the VLF wave has “bounced.”

The ionosphere has several layers created at different altitudes and made up of different densities of ionization. Each layer has its own properties, and the existence and number of layers change daily under the influence of the Sun. During the day, the ionosphere is heavily ionized by the Sun. During the night hours the cosmic rays dominate because there is no ionization caused by the Sun (which has set below the horizon). Thus there is a daily cycle associated with the ionizations.

In addition to the daily fluctuations, activity on the Sun can cause dramatic sudden changes to the ionosphere. The Sun can unexpectedly erupt with a solar flare, a violent explosion in the Sun's atmosphere caused by huge magnetic activity. These sudden flares produce large amounts of X-rays and EUV energy, which travel to the Earth (and other planets) at the speed of light.

Extra solar activity in the form of solar flares affects the earth's geomagnetic field. Some great paranormal evidence has been collected during times when there is solar activity such as mega flares and geomagnetic storms. It is unknown why this happens. Paranormal Investigators will watch for high-level periods of solar activity and try to plan investigations during those times or at least document them in order to find patterns of increases in activity. Conditions where either an M Class flare, X Class flare or a Mega Flare has occurred are considered by some to be ripe for paranormal investigations. When the geomagnetic field either indicates an unsettled or storm condition that is another good time for paranormal investigations.

A flare is defined as a sudden, rapid, and intense variation in brightness. A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released. Radiation is emitted across virtually the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves at the long wavelength end, through optical emission to x-rays and gamma rays at the short wavelength end. The amount of energy released is the equivalent of millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time! The first solar flare recorded in astronomical literature was on September 1, 1859. Two scientists, Richard C. Carrington and Richard Hodgson, were independently observing sunspots at the time, when they viewed a large flare in white light.

As the magnetic energy is being released, particles, including electrons, protons, and heavy nuclei, are heated and accelerated in the solar atmosphere. The energy released during a flare is typically on the order of 1027 ergs per second. Large flares can emit up to 1032 ergs of energy. This energy is ten million times greater than the energy released from a volcanic explosion. On the other hand, it is less than one-tenth of the total energy emitted by the Sun every second.

Solar flares extend out to the layer of the Sun called the corona. The corona is the outermost atmosphere of the Sun, consisting of highly rarefied gas. This gas normally has a temperature of a few million degrees Kelvin. Inside a flare, the temperature typically reaches 10 or 20 million degrees Kelvin, and can be as high as 100 million degrees Kelvin. The corona is visible in soft x-rays, as in the above image. Notice that the corona is not uniformly bright, but is concentrated around the solar equator in loop-shaped features. These bright loops are located within and connect areas of strong magnetic field called active regions. Sunspots are located within these active regions. Solar flares occur in active regions.

The frequency of flares coincides with the Sun's eleven year cycle. When the solar cycle is at a minimum, active regions are small and rare and few solar flares are detected. These increase in number as the Sun approaches the maximum part of its cycle. The Sun will reach its next maximum in the year 2011, give or take one year.

A person cannot view a solar flare by simply staring at the Sun. (NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN! EYE DAMAGE CAN RESULT.) Flares are in fact difficult to see against the bright emission from the photosphere. Instead, specialized scientific instruments are used to detect the radiation signatures emitted during a flare. The radio and optical emissions from flares can be observed with telescopes on the Earth. Energetic emissions such as x-rays and gamma rays require telescopes located in space, since these emissions do not penetrate the Earth's atmosphere.

Earth's Magnetic Field

The solar wind mentioned above is a stream of ionized gases that blows outward from the Sun at about 400 km/second and that varies in intensity with the amount of surface activity on the Sun. The Earth's magnetic field shields it from much of the solar wind. When the solar wind encounters Earth's magnetic field it is deflected like water around the bow of a ship.
The imaginary surface at which the solar wind is first deflected is called the bow shock. The corresponding region of space sitting behind the bow shock and surrounding the Earth is termed the magnetosphere; it represents a region of space dominated by the Earth's magnetic field in the sense that it largely prevents the solar wind from entering. However, some high energy charged particles from the solar wind leak into the magnetosphere and are the source of the charged particles trapped in the Van Allen belts.

An electromagnetic field (also EMF or EM field) is a physical field produced by electrically charged objects. It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction. It is one of the four fundamental forces of nature (the others are gravitation, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction).

The field can be viewed as the combination of an electric field and a magnetic field. The electric field is produced by stationary charges, and the magnetic field by moving charges (currents); these two are often described as the sources of the field. The way in which charges and currents interact with the electromagnetic field is described by Maxwell's equations and the Lorentz force law.

From a classical perspective, the electromagnetic field can be regarded as a smooth, continuous field, propagated in a wavelike manner; whereas from the perspective of quantum field theory, the field is seen as quantized, being composed of individual particles.

In the past, electrically charged objects were thought to produce two types of field associated with their charge property. An electric field is produced when the charge is stationary with respect to an observer measuring the properties of the charge, and a magnetic field (as well as an electric field) is produced when the charge moves (creating an electric current) with respect to this observer. Over time, it was realized that the electric and magnetic fields are better thought of as two parts of a greater whole — the electromagnetic field.

Once this electromagnetic field has been produced from a given charge distribution, other charged objects in this field will experience a force (in a similar way that planets experience a force in the gravitational field of the Sun). If these other charges and currents are comparable in size to the sources producing the above electromagnetic field, then a new net electromagnetic field will be produced. Thus, the electromagnetic field may be viewed as a dynamic entity that causes other charges and currents to move, and which is also affected by them. These interactions are described by Maxwell's equations and the Lorentz force law.

Light from the sun is the main source of energy on earth, whether directly or indirectly. Electromagnetic radiation covers basically all aspects of life.

Properties of the electromagnetic field are exploited in many areas of industry. The use of electromagnetic radiation is seen in various disciplines. For example, X-rays are high frequency electromagnetic radiation and are used in radiography in medicine. Other forms of electromagnetic radiation are used in radio astronomy and radiometry in telecommunications. Other medical applications include laser therapy, which is an example of photomedicine. Applications of lasers are found in military devices such as laser-guided bombs, as well as more down to earth devices such as barcode readers and CD players. Something as simple as a relay in any electrical device uses an electromagnetic field to engage or to disengage the two different states of output (i.e., when electricity is not applied, the metal strip will connect output A and B, but if electricity is applied, an electromagnetic field will be created and the metal strip will connect output A and C).

The potential health effects of the very low frequency EMFs surrounding power lines and electrical devices are the subject of on-going research and a significant amount of public debate. In workplace environments, where EMF exposures can be up to 10,000 times greater than the average, the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has issued some cautionary advisories but stresses that the data is currently too limited to draw good conclusions.

What happens when you are exposed to electromagnetic fields?

Exposure to electromagnetic fields is not a new phenomenon. However, during the 20th century, environmental exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields has been steadily increasing as growing electricity demand, ever-advancing technologies and changes in social behaviour have created more and more artificial sources. Everyone is exposed to a complex mix of weak electric and magnetic fields, both at home and at work, from the generation and transmission of electricity, domestic appliances and industrial equipment, to telecommunications and broadcasting. Man made electromagnetic fields have increased significantly in the past 50 yrs, with the introduction of new technologies. Cell phones are currently the hot topic related to health risks and the effect of electromagnetic fields. There is an ongoing debate among researchers and scientist as to whether their use increases the risks for cancer and other health problems. The use of computers and artificial light are another debate in themselves. The graph above shows the increase in power use from1945 to 2000. Light pollution is 1 to 1 correlated with electromagnetic energy leaking into the environment. Where there is artificial light there is electromagnetic interferences.

I found this next photo to be very interesting. This is a photograph of 1,301 florescent light tubes arrayed in a field beneath standard high power electrical lines. The energy causing them to glow is the magnetic field leaked by those high power electrical lines into the environment

Electromagnetic fields at home

Electricity is transmitted over long distances via high voltage power lines. Transformers reduce these high voltages for local distribution to homes and businesses. Electricity transmission and distribution facilities and residential wiring and appliances account for the background level of power frequency electric and magnetic fields in the home. In homes not located near power lines this background field may be up to about 0.2 µT. Directly beneath power lines the fields are much stronger. Magnetic flux densities at ground level can range up to several µT. Electric field levels underneath power lines can be as high as 10 kV/m. However, the fields (both electric and magnetic) drop off with distance from the lines. At 50 m to 100 m distance the fields are normally at levels that are found in areas away from high voltage power lines. In addition, house walls substantially reduce the electric field levels from those found at similar locations outside the house.

Electric appliances in the household

The strongest power frequency electric fields that are ordinarily encountered in the environment exist beneath high voltage transmission lines. In contrast, the strongest magnetic fields at power frequency are normally found very close to motors and other electrical appliances, as well as in specialized equipment such as magnetic resonance scanners used for medical imaging.

Typical electric field strengths measured near household appliances (at a distance of 30 cm)

(From: Federal Office for Radiation Safety, Germany 1999)

Electric appliance- Electric field strength (V/m)

Stereo receiver -180

Iron -120

Refrigerator -120

Mixer -100

Toaster- 80

Hair dryer- 80

Colour TV -60

Coffee machine -60

Vacuum cleaner- 50

Electric oven- 8

Light bulb- 5

Many people are surprised when they become aware of the variety of magnetic field levels found near various appliances. The field strength does not depend on how large, complex, powerful or noisy the device is. Furthermore, even between apparently similar devices, the strength of the magnetic field may vary a lot. For example, while some hair dryers are surrounded by a very strong field, others hardly produce any magnetic field at all. These differences in magnetic field strength are related to product design. The measurements above were taken in Germany and all of the appliances operate on electricity at a frequency of 50 Hz. It should be noted that the actual exposure levels vary considerably depending on the model of appliance and distance from it.

The Federal Office for Radiation Safety in Germany recently measured the daily exposure to magnetic fields of about 2000 individuals across a range of occupations and public exposures. All of them were equipped with personal dosimeters for 24 hours. The measured exposure varied widely but gave an average daily exposure of 0.10 µT. This value is a thousand times lower that the standard limit of 100 µT for the public and 200 times lower than the 500 µT exposure limit for workers. Furthermore, the exposure of people living in the centers of cities showed that there are no drastic differences in exposure between life in rural areas and life in the city. Even the exposure of people living in the vicinity of high voltage power lines differs very little from the average exposure in the population.

Tiny electrical currents exist in the human body due to the chemical reactions that occur as part of the normal bodily functions, even in the absence of external electric fields. For example, nerves relay signals by transmitting electric impulses. Most biochemical reactions from digestion to brain activities go along with the rearrangement of charged particles. Even the heart is electrically active - an activity that your doctor can trace with the help of an electrocardiogram.

Low-frequency electric fields influence the human body just as they influence any other material made up of charged particles. When electric fields act on conductive materials, they influence the distribution of electric charges at their surface. They cause current to flow through the body to the ground.

Low-frequency magnetic fields induce circulating currents within the human body. The strength of these currents depends on the intensity of the outside magnetic field. If sufficiently large, these currents could cause stimulation of nerves and muscles or affect other biological processes.

Both electric and magnetic fields induce voltages and currents in the body but even directly beneath a high voltage transmission line, the induced currents are very small compared to thresholds for producing shock and other electrical effects.

Heating is the main biological effect of the electromagnetic fields of radiofrequency fields. In microwave ovens this fact is employed to warm up food. The levels of radiofrequency fields to which people are normally exposed are very much lower than those needed to produce significant heating. The heating effect of radiowaves forms the underlying basis for current guidelines. Scientists are also investigating the possibility that effects below the threshold level for body heating occur as a result of long-term exposure. To date, no adverse health effects from low level, long-term exposure to radio frequency or power frequency fields have been confirmed, but scientists are actively continuing to research this area.

I read this excerpt from an article at:  which I tend to agree with based on personal experiences with working with body chakra and my experiences in the nursing field.  I wanted to include it in this piece as I believe that the study of paranormal phenomena should include learning about how the human body and the brain function. I personally noticed a huge improvement in how I felt physically while experimenting with body energy. I hope that you will take the time to read this article in it's entirety.

We are energetic beings with largely unseen electromagnetic fields. Molecular behavior is greatly influenced by the energetic field that surrounds each of us. The state of that field influences the function and/or dysfunction of our body. It also influences our perception, bringing creative clarity or repressive distortion.

Restoring balance will eliminate cancer, stroke, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, or any of the many other chronic conditions that billions and trillions are being spent on each year. But the solutions that most funded medical research is focused on, and are being run through clinical trials at the cost of millions each year to the “watch dog” agencies for certification, generally don’t take the body toward balance. They do even less for the mind and spirit. Major evidence of this truth is that the numbers of people entering into chronic conditions continues to rise, with onset occurring earlier than ever.

It was a pleasure to learn recently about a procedure that helps bring about a fundamental form of balance, simply and without medication. It is called Alphabiotics. Developed by Dr. Virgil Chrane, out of Dallas, TX, it is a series of movements that can be likened to rebooting the brain which, when placed constantly in a low grade stressed state, assumes a “fight or flight,”or “freeze or faint” position, wherein one hemisphere or the other is dominant. This condition not only affects perception, it affects physiology, beginning with the alignment of the spine. If the spine is not in alignment, information pathways to various parts of the body will be affected, as will energy. When energy flow is disrupted, then life is affected.

Biological effects or health effects? What is a health hazard?

Biological effects are measurable responses to a stimulus or to a change in the environment. These changes are not necessarily harmful to your health. For example, listening to music, reading a book, eating an apple or playing tennis will produce a range of biological effects. Nevertheless, none of these activities is expected to cause health effects. The body has sophisticated mechanisms to adjust to the many and varied influences we encounter in our environment. Ongoing change forms a normal part of our lives. But, of course, the body does not possess adequate compensation mechanisms for all biological effects. Changes that are irreversible and stress the system for long periods of time may constitute a health hazard.

An adverse health effect causes detectable impairment of the health of the exposed individual or of his or her offspring; a biological effect, on the other hand, may or may not result in an adverse health effect.

It is not disputed that electromagnetic fields above certain levels can trigger biological effects. Experiments with healthy volunteers indicate that short-term exposure at the levels present in the environment or in the home do not cause any apparent detrimental effects. Exposures to higher levels that might be harmful are restricted by national and international guidelines. The current debate is centred on whether long-term low level exposure can evoke biological responses and influence people's well being.

A look at the news headlines of recent years allows some insight into the various areas of public concern. Over the course of the past decade, numerous electromagnetic field sources have become the focus of health concerns, including power lines, microwave ovens, computer and TV screens, security devices, radars and most recently mobile phones and their base stations.

The International EMF Project

In response to growing public health concerns over possible health effects from exposure to an ever increasing number and diversity of electromagnetic field sources, in 1996 the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a large, multidisciplinary research effort. The International EMF Project brings together current knowledge and available resources of key international and national agencies and scientific institutions.

Conclusions from scientific research

In the area of biological effects and medical applications of non-ionizing radiation approximately 25,000 articles have been published over the past 30 years. Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the World Health Organization concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields. However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research. There are many Physicians and Scientist that will dispute the WHO conclusions.

Effects on general health

Some members of the public have attributed a diffuse collection of symptoms to low levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields at home. Reported symptoms include headaches, anxiety, suicide and depression, nausea, fatigue and loss of libido. To date, scientific evidence does not support a link between these symptoms and exposure to electromagnetic fields. At least some of these health problems may be caused by noise or other factors in the environment, or by anxiety related to the presence of new technologies.

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity and depression

Some individuals report "hypersensitivity" to electric or magnetic fields. They ask whether aches and pains, headaches, depression, lethargy, sleeping disorders, and even convulsions and epileptic seizures could be associated with electromagnetic field exposure. I personally believe that long term exposure to EMF does play a part somehow. I personally experience headaches, nausea, dizzyness and insomnia related to what I believe are EMF related exposure to long hours of sitting in front of my computer screen. I have also experienced some of these symptoms on paranormal investigations and when exposed to overhead power line generators. However, I am not a scientist and I have never been personally involved in a scientific study to prove it.

There is little scientific evidence to support the idea of electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Recent Scandinavian studies found that individuals do not show consistent reactions under properly controlled conditions of electromagnetic field exposure. Nor is there any accepted biological mechanism to explain hypersensitivity. Research on this subject is difficult because many other subjective responses may be involved, apart from direct effects of fields themselves. More studies are continuing on the subject.

But, According to  Dr. Nagi Hatoum, M.D., M.S.E.E.

A study of suicide rates in 138,905 male electric utility workers, published in the Western Journal of Medicine, showed a correlation between estimated exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic interferences and a significant increase in the risk of suicide. Even stronger associations, up to a 3.5-fold increase, were found in men younger than 50. A separate report by Pacific NW Laboratory postulates that exposure to ELF is a potential contributing factor in depression. ELF fields may interfere with hormonal secretions which may exacerbate existing depression, or contribute to an onset of depression.

In another study, Dr. Wolpaw examined the brain functions of monkeys exposed to 60 Hz magnetic fields. He measured the levels of neurohormones in the spinal fluid of monkeys thus exposed for three weeks. It was found that the levels of serotonin and dopamine were significantly depressed immediately following exposure, and that only the dopamine returned to normal levels several months after. Changes in serotonin levels are known to be associated with depression. For example, lowered levels of this chemical in the brain have been linked to an increase in suicide frequency.

Baboon exposed to 60 Hz powerlines expressed different behaviors according to Dr. Easley. The 60-Hz electric field had significant effects on the social behavior of baboons because it triggered a stress response.
Electromagnetic interferences on the nervous system should get more attention and research.

Prior to the recent post industrial revolution, human exposure to electromagnetic energies was restricted to natural occurring radiation. In the last 50 years, man made electromagnetic energy leaking into the environment has grown exponentially. This leaked electromagnetic energy is not intentional and causes interferences with the environment and human body. And so the debate over health issues related to exposure to electromagnetic interference continues.

Electromagnetic Fields and Hallucinations.

I hear the "Ghost Hunters" on TV tell their clients all the time that High EMF can cause hallucinations. But I have never heard them say how they know this or where this information came from or what experiments have been done to prove it. So I decided to do a little digging for myself to find out. I visited the World Health Organization website, Several government control websites, NASA websites, Numerous online physician and medical university websites, and did an extensive EMF and hallucination google and bing search. The majority of sites that I found claiming that EMF causes hallucinations, were paranormal websites discussing high EMF and most mentioned the theory but none provided any scientific sources or proof. I also found one reference to a DR Michael Persinger, who has been involved in unusual forms of brain/EMF interaction research for quite some time. Probably best known for claiming he could reproduce an alien abduction experience using EMF exposure alone! There were numerous articles related to Dr. Persinger regarding a so called " God Helmet". This has opened up a whole new set of articles for me to explore that I wont go into on this particular post and I look forward to reading about his experiments and claims. However, I also found numerous medical websites that actually use pulsing EMF exposures and electromagnetic therapy to treat hallucinations and epilepsy. So I am going to do some more digging and reading before I accept or refute the theory that exposure to EMF causes hallucinations.  At this point in my research I have found no evidence that exposure to EMF causes hallucinations at all and was actually left more confused than enlightened. However I will save this subject for a future post when I have had more time to research it. I would recommend though that if high levels of EMF are detected in an area where a paranormal experience has occurred. That this not be ruled out as a possible cause. It is possible that these high level exposures could be having an effect on perception as there are suggestions that high levels of EMF have an effect on dopamine, seratonin and melatonin levels in the brain. That high levels of EMF over long exposure times, do affect sleep patterns, chemical imbalances in the brain and immune system and nervous system functions. So the possiblility that they could produce hallucinations is possible.

Reduction of Electromagnetic Interferences

There are several method to reduce exposure to electromagnetic interference. The most frequent method is shielding and the use of ground wire. Some building codes require installing powerline inside steel pipes.
There are also many websites which advertise sheilding devices for cell phones and computer usage. I even found one website that sells a crystal that you wear around your neck that supposedly nutralizes harmful magnetic fields. But, the number of new patented ideas and gadgets were far too numerous to list in this article. What we suggest for starters is to have your electrical outlets and or your home tested. Paranormal Investigators do this with their EMF meters to get baseline readings when they investigate your home. EMF meters will detect sources of high EMF emmisions from electrical appliances, outlets, power and fuse boxes, etc. If a location gives off a high reading, then long term exposure to these areas should be avoided. If a power outlet next to your bed gives off a high reading next to your head every night, then rearrange your furniture, have your electrical wiring checked by a professional electrician and limit your exposure to these areas as much as possible. One of the most common sources we find as investigators is beside alarm clocks and radios. But don't panic! Remember :WE ARE ALL ELECTROMAGNETIC BEINGS.

The human body grounds electromagnetic radiation in the environment because of the electrical conductivity of our body. It is attracted to us. All living systems are based on electromagnetic energy. Every cell in your body is generating an electromagnetic field, every plant, every rock, the planet itself, the whole universe is made up of energy. It is true that man-made electromagnetic radiation is not the only source of random photons in the environment, but the problem is these frequencies which we have never encountered before are a whole different spectrum of frequencies than the living system uses. We have to use common sense to protect ourself whether science has proven a health risk or not. Why take the chance?

Lunar phases also affect the earth's geomagnetic field. The earth's electromagnetic field is affected when the moon is closer, such as when it is full. People and paranormal activity are both influenced when the gravitational force is affected during a full moon. Many health care and emergency medical and law enforcement personel agree that full moon phases affect mental health and increases in crime and erradic behaviors. Having 20 yrs of nursing under my belt, I consider myself one of the many, who believe that the full moon in some way , has an effect on human behaviors.

It has been a common joke among nurses that when odd behaviors increase, that it's because of the full moon.

More paranormal activity seems to happen with the full moon and is reported by some paranormal investigators while other investigators do not notice this fluctuation.

Thunderstorms and lightning are also thought to be good for having success with a paranormal investigation. It is believed that during a thunderstorm a higher vibration frequency is reached by both the living and the not so living, which can make the odds a bit better for somebody to experience paranormal activity.

It is also believed that the solstice and equinoxes that occur every year present more opportune times for paranormal investigation. This is not based on science; it is because cultures from around the world believe that the solstice and equinoxes are a supernaturally important time.

I hope that this gathering of information will help our team and others understand the basic concepts behind Electromagnetic Fields and their origins. There is an abundance of information as well as theories out there that are yet to be explored.

Source Links

Solar flares imaged by the TRACE satellite. Photo courtesy NASA.

The Earth’s ionosphere and reflecting of VLF radio waves.

Image courtesy of Morris Cohen, Stanford University

Federal Office for Radiation Safety, Germany 1999

HyperPhysics***** Electricity and Magnetism R Nave