Saturday, July 20, 2013
Book Review: Fractured Spirits By Sylvia Shults
I recently went out to the Peoria State Hospital with Haunted History of the Paranormal show and had the privilege of meeting and investigating with this amazing author. I bought the book from her and began reading away. To say I couldn’t put the book down is an understatement. Finished in a few short hours. It is very well written and an easy read. I could hear Sylvia’s personality coming through as I read. Lets get into the book…..
The foreword was written by another well known paranormal author Troy Taylor. He talks about some of the history of the hospital and the amazing Dr. Zeller. He also talked about his experience in the hospital. (p3) “I have been writing about ghosts, haunting, crime, and the unexplained in Illinois for more than twenty years and while there are a numbers of places that I can say are truly hunted - there are few that have had the effect on me that the old asylum has had.” I have to agree wholeheartedly with him there. There is something about “the old asylum” that just drew me in and keeps pulling me back. I can not wait to get back in there.
In her introduction, I love how se says she is ok if you are a skeptic. (p10) “Enjoy the stories for what they are: just interesting stories. I hope I entertain you.” She is not out to change your views or beliefs on the paranormal, just wanted to get the stories out.
“The little ghostie” What is that you say. This is one of the features I love about this book. She has a little ghost picture throughout the book that will tell you when she has a picture or EVP you can look at on her book’s facebook page. I feel it really gives the book an edge. Anyone can just type out the spirits said go home, but to actually be able to listen to it, gives you a look into what she heard as she wrote this book.
What author would tell you in their book to go buy books from other authors about the same subject. Mrs. Shults does! You can tell by that act right there how passionate she is about the hospital. She is not just out to sell sell sell. She wants you to get as much information and stories as you can get.
When I was at the hospital, I was listening to the history and all about the amazing Dr. Zeller. In her book she explains about he was a one of a kind doctor. He believed in humane treatment of his patients. He kept the patients active by having them grow their own food, make their own clothes, take care of other patients that had the same illnesses, etc. He found it helped them. He was also way beyond his years, there are stories of him recognizing Post Partum Depression and Post Traumatic Stress, he didn’t just say “oh well, they are crazy” he worked on helping you get through your issues and actually healed people.
Sylvia Shults includes a chapter on the rumors surrounding the hospital and its buildings. And boy are their a ton of them. I like that she dedicated a chapter to set the story straight.
One of the best things that I believe have happened to that hospital is the addition of Chris Morris. She has so much passion for that old building. She talks about it as if it were one of her children. Sylvia talks about her in the history section of the book. As I read, I can hear Chirs enthusiastically telling the story of the history of the building. When she starts talking you almost get sucked back in time and you can see everything as shares the stories as she was there back in its opening hours.
After the history she gets into her paranormal investigations she conducted through the process of collecting information for the book. She tells stories about Christopher, a spirit that has taken a liking to her the story of a jerk in the basement who doesn’t like a person she was investigating with. That is a fun story to read!! Not nice language from that particular spirit.
She moves the stories along from the Pollak Building to the Bowen Building. There are numerous stories about that place that has me itching to get in there. She tells about when the building held a fundraiser and had previous employees there. (p129) “According to Richard Weiss, that four hour tape contains around seven hundred distinct EVPs.” ummmm I’m not calling him a liar, but that is extremely hard to believe. Guess it is something I would have to hear with my own ears to believe. So many factors to consider there. If it is a fundraiser, then there were a lot of people in the building. I don’t know.
She goes back to the Pollok hospital stories, and starts talking about a little girl evp that was captured. We were standing in the same spot, trying to recreate the same results and what do you know? We audibly heard a little girl. Amazing!
A few times when I was in the building I would feel like I was being touched on my back or on my arm. I called it out several times, and Chris explained about the nurses. Sylvia also explains this in her book. When the nurses thought you (the patients) were in a place you shouldn’t have been they would gently guide you back to the correct area first by putting their hand on your shoulder, then by guiding you by your elbow. Guess I should have stayed with the group! Naughty me.
She explains another scenario that me and the group of people I was with experienced as well. She explains how you can hear footsteps in the basement after you have come upstairs. We all waited at the top of the stairs with our video cameras and voice recorders pointed down the stairs and all of the sudden we hear footsteps. We all got wide eyed and mouthing to each other.. “You hear that??????” You would think she wrote the book about our experience, but apparently these things happen often. There were other things she talks about in her book that we experienced as well.
(P201) “People ask, “Well, if there wasn’t any abuse, why is the asylum so haunted?” The answer is simple: this was home.” This is something I completely agree with. Why stay somewhere you hate, I would pick somewhere that I felt happy and loved and taken care of.
When talking about talking to people about the hospital she said people were enthusiastic to share, (p202) “But it is the women that are most vocal about their passion for the Peoria State Hospital.” Maybe there is something to that. I am a woman, and I am in love with that old building. I can honestly say, even after only spending a few hours there, if I could only pick one place to go back to investigate for the rest of my life, I would pick the Pollok Building. It is something you have to experience yourself. There is a little cemetery I believe it is named Cemetery 2, just outside the building. I could sit there for hours and just relax. It has such a peaceful feeling in it. After being in the building I do feel I had the advantage reading this book. I could picture the places she talks about and relate with my own experiences. I suggest everyone takes a trip up to Peoria, IL to check out this amazing place.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
In the introduction he states growing up in Illinois, Lincoln was big in his life. Also being from Illinois, I can relate. We are taught an abundance of Lincoln. Although the spiritual side was never covered. He states "Most people don't realize that Lincoln was a great believer in signs and portents or that he believed in the spirit world."(5)
Chapter 1 the early life of Lincoln. Goes over his life. It goes over the death that he dealt with as a child. It says "With his own hands, Abraham helped to fashion his mother's coffin and then helped place her in the ground."(7) Seriously?? He was 9 years old. Wow. After reading this short but packed chapter I have learned several new things about the young Abraham Lincoln.
As we continue on through the book It is packed with tons of information about Abraham Lincoln. It is a quick read, and mostly packed with historical information. I understand not much would be publicized about the "paranormal" aspects of a person's life in that time, but I found the smaller bits of info extremely interesting. On page 37, Mr. Taylor writes about how Lincoln would have a "vision" or "premonition." He would see himself in the mirror with two faces. One of him "normal" and one after he becomes president.
Page 48 Lincoln had a premonition in his dreams about the confederate soldiers overtaking union forces. He ran to the telegraph office to find this dream to be true.
The book goes on to state that Lincoln contacted mediums and clairvoyants to obtain information about the future events of the war.(57)
He attended séances, held them in the white house, and had some interesting experiences.
In chapter 7 it talks about the several different ways that Lincoln's death was predicted. I guess he was ready to die. He knew from his previous premonitions, that this one was going to be true as well. So why did he really go to the theater?
Towards the end of the book, it goes into the people that surrounded Lincoln and paranormal things that happened to them. Also goes into the important places that are now haunted. Great read. Very informative, historical and paranormal wise.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
The next book on the list to do is Paranormal Phenomena Opposing Viewpoints. It does not hava an author listed. That's strange. It was published in 1997. "The difficulty lies in deciding which opinion to agree with and which "experts" seem the most credible." "Opposing Viewpoints books address this problem directly by presenting stimulating debates that can be used to ebhance and teach these skills." (9)
The introduction starts off talking about opposing viewpoints and how we all have them.
Chapter 1 is titled Is Belief in Paranormal Phenomena Unscientific? It gives a few examples of each viewpoint. Explains what happend on that perticular situtation, and what the person felt and thought was happening.
Chapter 2 is all about UFO's. The again give the opposing viewpoints on wether they are real or not. "They argue that because most UFO's can be explained as having natural causes, scientists should remain skeptical about the existence of alien spacecraft." (65) They even have 2 point of views if the Government is covering up UFO's.
Chapter 3 is about ESP. (Extrasensory perception) "While some scientist assert that ESP has definitely been proven to exist, others object that there is still no incontrovertible evidence to support such a claim." (119) Like the other chapters it gives both sides of the story.
Chapter 4 Does life after death exist? "What are we to imply from today's millions who have admittedly had a near-death experience in comparison with the less well documented thousands who had themin earlier centruies?" (161) There are stories of people who have had NDE (near death experiences) and share their stories and how they believe, then there are of course other people who have a logical explination for what these people have experienced.
At the end of the book they give key points for each chapter for further discussion. Then they have a list of organizations that deal with all of the issues mentioned in the book.
WOW, this was the dryest boring book I have ever read. I can see how it would be good for a person writing a college paper or something, but not just a normal everyday read. It does have a lot of information in it but it just seems to drag on.
Friday, October 12, 2012
I figured I would start doing book overviews/reviews. The paranormal book that I am starting with is "We Are Their Heaven" By Allison DuBois. This book was published in 2006. It is written by a medium. She was the inspiration of the TV show Medium. I have always been kinda sceptical of mediums and psychics. I just couldnt fathom how they could see and talk to the dead. After reading this book, I am a true believer. I have even contacted a local medium to do a reading for me. If she is ok with it, I will do a post about it later.
The foreward is written by the authors husband, Joe DuBois. He says, "Allison's mediumship abliity is a natural talent, a gift, some would say." (xi)(page numbers in perenthesis) He goes on talking about his wife and paying her compliments.
In the Introduction she explains what the purpose of the book is. She explains how she believes in Heaven, but thinks that our passed loved ones' heaven is with us. Watching over and guiding us. We would be their favorite things and place to be. She says, "Parents who die still want to be there for their kids on the days they're needed most. Children who die want to see their parents, siblings, and friends laugh again and , most important, "feel" their presence and continuing love. So, yes, they have a beautiful sanctuary where everything is as it should be, but never forget that we are their heaven." (xix)
Chapter 1 is all about the loss of a child. She shares stories of a few parents who have sought out her help as well as her side of the reading as well. It is really eye opening. The things that she told these parents helped them tremendously. One of her clients said it best, "those you've lost are not gone, and you will never be alone." (45)
Chapter 2 is all about spouses. She has a few stories of people who have lost their husband or wife. She has learned a valuable lesson from these instances. "I try to remember the lessons I've learned through those who've died and those who live and miss them. When Joe rides my nerves, I take a very deep breath and I thank God for the times I've had with him and for my extraordinary daughters" (56-57) I believe this is a good lesson for us all. How many times a day do you get annoyed with someone you love? We need to remember to be thankful that they are still here with us to annoy us or get on our nerves.
Chapter 3 is all about the TV show Medium. The show is baised on the author. She says not all of the plot lines are completely true, but most are baised on her experiences. Her daughters in real life and on the show are pretty spot on. As well as her husband. She goes over some of the episodes that are based on true stories of her life. "One of the most important facets of Medium is how it shows a family learning to deal with what comes their way and how they become closer and stronger for it." (104)
Chapter 4 starts like this. "All people with intuitive gifts must learn how to comprehend signs" (121) It is all about how she deals with the gift she has and how to recognize signs all around you. Even if you aren't a medium, you can be open to seeing things around you. She talks about overwelming feelings, premonitions, and many signs that point to one thing. I have experienced some of these. I had overwelming feeling that my brother in law and a friend should not drive the night they both wrecked their vehicles on two different times. I have had dreams that play out exactly the next day. Being a paranormal investigator, I have had the feeling that someone is watching me, or following me. Just depends on how open you are to these signs.
Chapter 5 "This chapter is dedicated to all the children who miss their mom or dad" (135) It is about the loss of a parent. My husband just lost his dad to a tragic accident last week and this chapter hit home to me. This is one thing that I hope I will get answers to when I meet with the medium soon. She talks about how after her dad passed she could not see him or talk to him. She was agervated the one she wanted to see the most, she couldnt. She was on the phone with a medium friend several months later and her father passed as well and she was having the same issue. Each of their fathers went to the other medium. It was just what she needed to help move on. She now, after years later, can see and talk to her dad. He helps her when she has a perticularly hard or trying day. She again shared stories of other people she has helped.
Chapter is titled "The Hard Questions" She tells her views, opinions, and experiences with murder and suicide. She talks about how she meet with a Catholic Priest who is also a medium. Asking him about being a medium and things the Bible says. "He explained to me that there is interpertation in reading the Bible and he finds that his beliefs line up most of the time with what is written in the Bible" (196)
Chapter 8 is the final chapter in the book. It is just summing up her views and thoughts. "Although I feel very stongly about what I believe, I'm not trying to convert anyone. I share my experiences and hope they strike a chord with the people who feel that this example might be right for them. For those who haven't had my experiences, I try to be understanding. For those who condemn what I do, I try to be tolerant, knowing that I feel sorry for them in many ways." (206) "There will always be people who share my beliefs and other who will criticize both who I am and what I do. Guess what? It's okay. It's all a part of life." (209)
Wow, what a book. I loved this book. I wasn't a huge believer in mediums before but after talking to a friend who is a close friend with a medium and hearing their stories and reading this book, I can now say I am a believer. I hope everyone picks up this book and reads it yourself. It is not a long book, quick easy read. You can tell how much she cares about others and helping people deal with the loss of their loved ones.
Have any good paranormal books you think I should check out? Post it in the comments or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is link to buy her book on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0743291123/ref=redir_mdp_mobile
And a link to the author's website
Monday, June 4, 2012
The James J. Eldred House is beautiful stone building in Eldred, IL. It has an interesting story and history. I only hope with all the recent and upcoming exposure show that great things are to come to this house. Lets take a little look into the history of the James J. Eldred House.
The Eldred Family had several kings in the eighth and ninth centuries. All the way to 1600’s. The Eldred family made a name for themselves in England. There was even a monument to the memory of John Eldred erected by his son Revett which includes a bust with a mural tablet.
It is not known why the Eldreds moved to North America, but their sacrifice helped shape the heritage and history of the East coast, Greene county Illinois, and beyond. In 1861 this iconic house was finished being built. It was an amazing 23 room house. Shortly after, tragedy hit his family. All three Eldred daughters died at home: Alma at age 4 in 1861, Alice at 17 in 1870, and Eva at 17 in 1876 all from tuberculosis. In 1883 a 38 year-old cousin named Albon E. Wilson purchased the house due to debts the Eldred family had occurred after the tragedy of their children’s deaths. It was then sold to Robert H. Levis of Godfrey, IL in 1936.
After three years of negotiations, a non profit organization, The Illinois Valley Cultural Heritage Association (IVCHA), was granted custodianship of the house in June, 1995. IVCHA hoped to restore the house and use it for a visitor’s center for the area. By the time Bluffdale Farms (Levis family) donated the property, the building was in disrepair but the structure itself was sound.
To read more in detail about the Eldred family please visit their website. This short history was summarized from their history page.
I was also told that a traveling saleman stopped to see the Eldreds and was not feeling well. The Eldreds allowed him to spend the night at the home and was found dead the next morning. He is thought to be be buried in the back of the lot of the home.
Shows that have featured the house
On April 14th, 2012 the Alton, IL paranormal show "Voices From Beyond" featured the Eldred House. You can see the show HERE. In the show you will be able to hear Kelly Davis talk about the history of the house and her experiences. Also get a little look around the house.
On June 2nd, 2012 My Ghost Story on the BIO channel did a show featuring the Eldred House. You can watch it here. HERE. It is episode 35. You will get to see a few pieces of evidence caught in the house.
It has also been featured on Illinois stories tv show with Mark McDonald. Website, and in a 2010 edition of Haunted Times magazine. Website.
Check back the last week of June for an Exciting announcement about a special event that will be going on at the Eldred House!! I will have all the details for you. You are in for a special treat!!
They are going "Mainstreets" this year for Greene County Day's Sept 8th -10th. Part of this will be an at the James J Eldred House. This will be your chance to walk through the house and surrounding properties. You can click HERE for more informaton. Of course the IVCHA (Illinois Valley Cultural Heritage Association) is always taking donations to help the renovation of the house as well as volunteers and new members. You may contact them at their website or on their facebook page. Any and all donations of your time or monetary kinds are greatly appreciated and put to good use.
Paranormal The house has claims from being touched, footsteps, knAocking, rocks being thrown, apparitions, audible voices, and also claims of hearing Native American drumming, and apparitions. Certinly a treat to the paranormal community.
Our team investigated here last week and we were not disappointed. Below is a video of our investigation.
Impressions on the House
I have been to Eldred House numerous times, both on private and public investigations. There have been many personal experiences in the home and on the grounds. I do believe the place is very active for haunted investigations and would suggest people check it out. On a recent trip to Eldred I was able to capture a couple of interesting shots on thermal camera. Many people experience rocks being thrown at them, touched or pushed, doors open and close, and much more.
The house is always warm and inviting. I truly think the spirts there are happy there not being ignored any longer and Are eager to interact
I think it's an very cool old house and after being there twice I think there is paranormal activity there. There were rocks being thrown. In an upstairs bedroom Bobbi asked something to throw a rock at me. Right after that, a rock actually landed in the middle of all of us, close to me. Bobbi said she saw the rock come off of the ground and fly in my direction. In the kitchen, rocks were also being thrown, I'm not sure from where but they would land in the center of the room near a bucket. I also experianced cold spots, more like a low swirling breeze in an upstairs bedroom. I also thought I saw shadows near the edge of the yard when I was sitting outside.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us and we can get you in contact with the correct person or you can contact them directly. I also wanted to post this picture I found on flickr. The sign says "This Place Matters" We often forget that the founding houses and buildings do matter in our future. They are often found decrepit and worn. It is the great giving people who take interest in them and fix them up that are keeping some history in our future.
Voices From Beyond Show http://www.riverbender.com/video/details.cfm?id=1315
My Ghost Story Show http://www.biography.com/tv/my-ghost-story/videos
"Mainstreets" Information http://www.eldredhouse.com/index_files/GreeneCountyMainstreet.htm