This has brought a new type of expert to the fore, to deal with inherent problems in this new arena, the paranormal counsellor.
For years each Spiritualist church would have someone who had studied what are know in the trade as “difficult cases” these can be unresolved hauntings, children with night terrors, haunted houses or just people in need of advice or a friendly chat, but unfortunately, more and more we are hearing of the rising tide of complaints against fraudulent practitioners, scam artists and rip-off cold readers,
Even some churches and experts have been fooled.
Some years ago during a bitter winter, our little Spiritualist centre had to open its doors each night for the large numbers of local O.A.P’s who wanted to come in, we thought this is so good to have so much interest,
But we learnt some while after, that it was cheaper for the O.A.P’s to come meet and chat in our little church, than pay for lighting and heating at home, !
But every church must be welcome for all to come and be part of the whole.
We had every religion and belief system present, the only proviso was an open mind about life after death,
A recent study by the big advertising companies who are always keen to find new gimmicks to sell products, suggest the craze for the next decade will be using spirituality to sell new produce in the way that sex was used in the past.
For many years I like many others would beaver away anonymously behind the scenes as a guidance counsellor for paranormal situations, when the meteoric rise in current interest in these topics has meant, that new life has been breathed into many a spooky problem, making many paranormal counsellors celebrities.
With the internet now people the world over can reach out and touch you, And from strange places, I cannot believe how many contacted me from India and Pakistan, in reaction to a couple of Indian magazine articles on the subject .
People often want an arbiter in family disputes.
One old couple were distressed to still see the shape of their old family dog asleep on the rug, when it died last year.
Our vicar says yoga is devil worship, and my mum goes regularly ?
A young child talks at night to a friend in his room, that no one else can see, but through the baby mike downstairs, he was heard having long conversations with this invisible friend, or, my sons friend claims he was abducted by a U.F.O.?
And from yesterdays mail, my daughter reads the tarot cards is this dangerous, ?
But the strangest tale for some years was that of a recent haunting.
An old couple from the North of England had turned their large rear garden into an allotment, where they grew some good varied produce, one day a tramp called and asked to do any odd jobs in exchange for a meal, and the lady of the house asked him to work on the allotment.
The tramp had had a fine military career, but never had a family, and now retired from service, wandered the county and over time he stayed on in the potting shed, his sleeping bag under the main workshelf, and a little paraffin stove to cook his meals.
The seasons ticked by and the tramp became a permanent fixture, growing prize winning produce from the little allotment.
Some 7 years after he arrived he was taken unwell and died in hospital that night.
Now, some 2 weeks later the wife happened to look out of the window before retiring to bed and saw a candle burning in the window of the potting shed.
The husband took up his walking stick and went to investigate, the padlock was intact and nothing was disturbed inside.
Over the next few weeks many nights from their window a candle could be seen as when the tramp had been there, but it was when they noticed the spade and fork oiled and put away in the corner for the winter that they became afraid.
My reply to this was that assuming this was no prank, then the soul of Trevor the tramp, for whatever reason did not want to go on and had stayed where he was most happy, tending the allotment and living in the potting shed.
The man of the house would tease Trevor, that although a tramp with a beard and often very scruffy and unclean, his boots would be scrubbed and polished brightly as he turned in for the night.
The many years of army life had ingrained this into him, and the man who owned the house swore he could hear a brush on leather at 8-30 each evening, regular as clockwork, and it frightened him.
So this old couple were half out of their mind with worry over something so simple, not realising how easy it is to say to the soul of the man:
“that he was dead and to please stop worrying them,”
This morning I had an invitation to a psychology workshop for “people addicted to fixing” advertised for those who are too able and willing to help others, the workshop went on to say "do you interfere in the lives of others?" "do you try to control or boss other people?"
Which planet are these psychologists from?
When old couples like this phone you ten times a day for help, how should you react ?
Many experts are waiting for psychology to catch up with the recent advances in the popularity of the paranormal,
Until then I will leave my psychology certificates in the drawer to gather dust, and get on with what I do best.
T Stokes - Lecturer in Paranormal Studies