Seeking Spirits: The Lost Cases of The Atlantic Paranormal Societyby Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Michael Jan Friedman
For the first time ever, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, founders of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.), share their most memorable and spine-tingling early cases -- none of which has ever appeared on television. Beginning with the/i>
TV's popular Ghost Hunters reveal all-new, never-before-told stories from their spooky early investigations!
For the first time ever, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, founders of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.), share their most memorable and spine-tingling early cases -- none of which has ever appeared on television. Beginning with the previously untold experiences that sparked their passion for ghost hunting, Jason and Grant's bone-chilling investigations uncover:
• A Connecticut woman who seems to exist in two places at once
• A little girl whose invisible playmate retaliates against her father's punishments
• A man overcome by an evil entity as Jason and Grant survey his home
• A distraught woman who dreams of paranormal events before she experiences them...and much more!
Jason and Grant didn't always have the fancy scientific equipment and experienced team that fans now watch on their smash-hit television show. As they share their hair-raising first experiences, they offer essential tips for budding paranormal investigators -- including how to use an electromagnetic field (EMF) meter and an infrared camera, determine if a supernatural phenomenon is good or evil, and deal with spirits. Whether you're a skeptic or a believer, these fascinating and frightening true stories will keep you up at night!
- Pocket Books
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- SIMON & SCHUSTER
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 3 MB
Read an Excerpt
From the beginning of our careers as ghost hunters, Grant and I saw plenty of cases in which a child was influenced by a supernatural entity who had assumed the guise of an invisible friend. But we wondered if the opposite could be true. Could an entity be influenced to some extent by a child?
In the summer of 1994, we were contacted by Alex and Leslie Creighton, a young couple with a four-year-old daughter named Mandy. For the last six months, the family had been living in a rural part of Leominster, Massachusetts. For most of that time, Alex had been victimized by an unseen force.
He would feel blows to his body and painful scratching sensations, as if he were being raked by a sharp set of claws. His wife said she hadn't been attacked at all, nor had she been present during the assaults on her husband. Their biggest fear, of course, wasn't for themselves but for their daughter.
Both parents had seen and heard Mandy talking to someone who wasn't there. At such times, Mandy's voice was calm and steady, and there was no sign of fear in her expression. She was no more anxious at those times than if she were playing with the kid next door.
At first, the Creightons hadn't thought anything of their daughter's invisible companion. But as the attacks on Alex continued, they grew more and more wary. Finally, they decided to engage the services of T.A.P.S.
Grant and I investigated the house for three days straight. We deployed video cameras, audio recorders, and the rest of the equipment we used on a regular basis. Much to the chagrin of the homeowners, we weren'table to catch anything we could even remotely call evidence. However, we did witness an incident while we were there.
At nine-twenty on Saturday morning, while Grant and I were in the kitchen talking with Leslie, Alex emerged from the shower in the upstairs bathroom and started to get dressed. Suddenly, he called out. We charged upstairs as quickly as we could, only to see Alex point to the lower part of his back.
He had four long, angry red marks leading down toward his waist. Just as he was showing us the marks, he was attacked again on the back of his left arm. As we watched, four scratch marks appeared, each one breaking the surface of the skin and squeezing out tiny drops of blood.
Clearly, Alex's complaints had some credibility. Since Mandy's invisible friend was the only other activity reported by the Creightons, we decided to see if we could find a link between the two. To accomplish that, we had to speak with Mandy.
She was a shy child, not especially comfortable conversing with adults. Grant and I had to earn her trust first, playing dolls with her and offering her some ice cream. Finally, she opened up enough to talk about her unseen companion.
We got her to tell us that she had a friend named Tara who would get mad at Alex sometimes. "When does Tara get mad?" I asked her. "When my dad punishes me," said the little girl.
In other words, whenever Alex disciplined Mandy, Tara would retaliate. In the gentlest terms possible, we explained to Mandy that Tara's response was hurting Alex. "And we don't want your dad to get hurt," I said, "do we?"
Once Mandy realized what was happening to her father, she got upset more so, in fact, than we had anticipated. She told us with a lump in her throat that she didn't want Tara to hurt her father anymore. Though she didn't say so, it seemed clear to us that she would speak to her friend about it.
From that time on, Alex suffered no more attacks. But when we last spoke with the family, which was just a few years ago, Mandy was still talking with her invisible friend. What did she say to Tara, back in 1994, to make her stop hurting Alex? We still don't know. But we learned that, in at least some cases, children can influence the spirits who communicate with them.
Copyright © 2009 by Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, and Michael Jan Friedman
We've all heard of black cats and the superstitions involving them. For example, if a black cat crosses your path, you're supposed to be in for a run of bad luck. But what about a white cat?
We ran into just that question in Norfolk, Virginia, at the home of Robert and Louise Platt. The couple, whose two children were both away at college, were true empty-nesters. They didn't even have a goldfish.
Yet their three-bedroom ranch, from what they told us, was full of activity. At least once a week, they woke up in the morning to find that their living room furniture had been rearranged. They were at a loss to say how or by whom, considering their doors were locked and they hadn't heard any noise.
Sometimes they opened their eyes in the middle of the night to see vaguely human figures floating over their bed. When they made a noise or a sudden movement, the apparition disappeared. But it left them unable to go back to sleep.
At other times, they heard footsteps approaching their bedroom from elsewhere in the house. But no one ever entered. And when Robert got up to search the house for intruders, he never found any.
They weren't even spared during the day. Both of them heard voices in other rooms. Yet when they went to investigate they found no one there, and no television or radio activity that might explain what they had heard.
Robert had doors slammed in his face on several occasions. What's more, it was never the same door twice, so he couldn't avoid it. It had gotten to the point where he hesitated every time he walked through a doorway.
Louise had always done the laundry in the basement without incident. But lately she had started hearing voices down there telling her to get out of the house. As a result, she was avoiding going down to the basement, and had begun visiting a local laundromat.
Jason and I took Ed Gaines and Brittney Selden, a couple of our most trusted investigators, along with us on this case. It was gray and overcast when we arrived, but not at all cold out. In fact, it was shirtsleeves weather, unusual for late fall.
From the moment we entered the house, all four of us felt a strange heaviness in the air. It was even difficult to breathe. While Ed and Brittney positioned audio and video recording devices in strategic spots, Jason and I sat down and talked with the homeowners.
They were rattled by everything that had gone on, and desperately wanted a respite from what they believed were supernatural events. We explained to them that we would do everything in our power to help them. However, before we could do so, we had to determine if their experiences were in fact supernatural in origin.
Sometimes, as a paranormal investigator, you want so much to help your clients that you buy into their theories hook, line, and sinker. We had to be careful to avoid that. If we were going to help these people, we had to base our recommendations on scientifically obtained evidence, not just on our personal feelings.
We set up our equipment and waited to see what would happen. Hours later, Jason and I were walking around upstairs when we caught a glimpse of something dark like a shadow. But it wasn't attached to an object, the way a real shadow would be. It was moving into one of the bedrooms of its own accord.
Giving chase, we swung into the room and looked around. And there it was, next to the bed, almost as if it were hiding. For just a second, we got a good look at it. It was a few feet in height, hovering just above the floor. If it had any distinguishable features we couldn't see them. It was too dark and dense-looking.
Then, just as we were thinking we might have cornered it, it backed up in the direction of the wall and disappeared. We felt cheated. It's not often you get a chance to chase down a visible manifestation of the supernatural, but we had done just that. And now it had vanished on us.
Still, we now had a reason to believe the Platts' accounts. It was a start. As Jason and I were jotting down our observations, intending to add them to whatever audio or video evidence we could record, we caught a glimpse of something out in the hallway.
It wasn't the dark mass far from it. It looked like an animal, even though the Platts had said they didn't keep pets in the house. And not just any animal Jason and I agreed on that right off the bat.
As far as we could tell, it was a white cat.
Of course, we didn't just stand there as we arrived at that conclusion. We did it on the run, darting out of the Platts' bedroom. We emerged into the hallway just in time to see the small, white figure slip into one of the other rooms, the one that belonged to the Platts' elder son, Nicholas.
For the second time in the last few minutes, we believed we had cornered our prey. But there was no sign of the cat, if that's what it was, in the bedroom. We looked pretty thoroughly, too, before we decided that it had given us the slip.
We left the bedroom and were barely out in the hall when, to our surprise, we caught sight of the cat again. This time it was scampering into the other son's bedroom.
Again, we gave chase. And again, it eluded us. But having seen the white cat twice, we were even more certain of what it was we had been chasing.
Neither the Platts nor our team had any more experiences that night. In the morning, we collected our equipment, thanked the homeowners for their hospitality, and said that we would be in touch with them as soon as we had a chance to review the data. Jason and I hoped that we had collected some hard evidence, because we had eyeballed some pretty impressive phenomena.
Back in Rhode Island, our team spent hours poring over audio-and videotapes, paying special attention to the times when Jason and I had encountered the dark mass and then the white cat. Sometimes we come back from an investigation chock full of personal experiences and, sadly, find nothing in our data to confirm them. This time we were more fortunate.
Our video recordings showed us a great deal of globule activity in the home in other words, the presence of balls of light that seemed unrelated to any other source of illumination. It was particularly noticeable in the bedrooms, the hallway, and the basement, where the Platts had reported seeing or hearing ghostly events.
Even more important, we managed to record several discernible EVPs at the Platt house, some of them echoing what Louise had heard down in the basement. EVPs are electronic voice phenomena, or words and phrases that can be picked up only by an electronic recording device and not by the human ear. Sometimes, EVPs can be made more understandable through the use of a sophisticated editing system, which we used in this instance. Unfortunately, it wasn't as helpful as we had hoped. In the end, we had what we had, which was still sufficient for us to say that we had indeed encountered paranormal activity.
We called the Platts and informed them of our findings. Despite the doors that had slammed in Robert's face and the aggressive tone of the voices that addressed Louise in the basement, we concluded that the spirit behind all the activity was a human one the disembodied remnant of what had once been a human being, and not a demonic entity. More than likely, this spirit was a previous resident. And it was just trying to scare them out of the house, not do them any real harm.
Relieved that there was evidence to support their claims, the Platts asked us how they might take their house back from the spirit. We recommended the services of a respected, local sensitive, who could help them make contact with the entity and negotiate an acceptable resolution.
Two weeks later, the sensitive came to their home and established a dialogue with the spirit. Shortly thereafter, the Platts' problems stopped. To this day, the house appears to be cleansed of paranormal activity.
When we researched the subject of white cats, we learned that they, too, have come to be associated with luck, both the good kind and the bad kind. As for why a human spirit chose to take the form of a white cat that autumn night in Norfolk, Virginia...your guess is as good as ours.
GHOST HUNTER'S MANUAL:
THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH
The scientific method has been around for a thousand years, maybe more, depending on how you define it. It's been used to prove the existence of bacteria, DNA, and black holes in the fabric of space. So why not supernatural phenomena?
If the public at large is ever going to understand the spirit realm and its relationship to the world we know, it's going to require proof of that realm's existence. And why shouldn't it? We're a civilization of skeptics. Before we accept something, we want to be certain that it's real.
The first step in obtaining that proof is making observations. These may come in the form of personal experiences, but we can't verify personal experiences. So wherever possible, we try to capture our observations in video recordings, audio recordings, and digital meter readings of temperature changes and electromagnetic energy levels. In addition, we make extensive notes about when and where the data was collected, and under what circumstances.
Once we have this information, we come up with hypotheses. For example, we may say that spirits prefer to draw on a certain kind of energy when they're trying to manifest. The next step in the process is to test that hypothesis.
We can't do that in a laboratory, the way a research scientist would do it. Ghosts tend to appear in the places where people live and work, such as houses and hotels and theaters, which seldom offer the paranormal investigator the luxury of controlled conditions. So we do the best we can.
With the help of other investigators who we know we can trust, we try to duplicate as closely as possible the conditions under which we collected our first round of data. If we get the same results, we know that we're on to something. If we don't, we're back to square one.
But even if the results are the same, we still have a lot of work to do. Because we're not operating in a lab, we have to observe the phenomenon in different types of settings and under different conditions. And we have to capture the kind of data that will allow other observers to draw the same conclusions we did.
If it sounds like a lot of work, it is. But how else are we going to prove that ghosts and other supernatural entities exist in our world? Or that death isn't the barrier many of us believe it is?
Copyright © 2009 by Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, and Michael Jan Friedman
Meet the Author
Jason Hawes, along with Grant Wilson, heads up TAPS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society. Plumbers by trade, Hawes and Grant are interested in getting to the bottom of everyday, paranormal occurrences. It has been more than a decade since Jason and Grant first met, and since then TAPS has grown in size and scope to become one of the most respected paranormal-investigation groups in America.
Grant Wilson, along with Jason Hawes, heads up TAPS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society. Plumbers by trade, Hawes and Grant are interested in getting to the bottom of everyday, paranormal occurrences. It has been more than a decade since Jason and Grant first met, and since then TAPS has grown in size and scope to become one of the most respected paranormal-investigation groups in America.
Michael Jan Friedman is the author of nearly sixty books of fiction and nonfiction, more than half of which bear the name Star Trek or some variation thereof. Ten of his titles have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. He has also written for network and cable television, radio, and comic books, the Star Trek: Voyager® episode “Resistance” prominent among his credits. On those rare occasions when he visits the real world, Friedman lives on Long Island with his wife and two sons.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
Found this to be an interesting behind-the-scenes view even without reading their other books. Various types of cases are discussed and a how-to of their methods. There are even a few regular team-members mentioned. Not a seeker myself, but I am a fan of T.A.P.S. and GHI. There are definitely things we cannot explain conventionally and Jason, Grant, and colleagues are there to help whether to debunk, explain, or assist.
Get a little more insight on some of the cases TAPS went on. Great for the Ghost Hunter fans.
I am the founder of Kissimmee Parnormal Investigations and I have to say that this book gives me alot of insight into the paranormal field it has great information and I love the experiences that Grant and Jason share with us . And yes they are down to earth just like everyone else. If you love the paranormal are in the field of paranormal research or just love Ghost Hunters this is the book to read. Thank you for opening the door !
I have been a fan of the show for many seasons and this was a great look at how they started. I wish we could have seen some of these cases on tv or even pictures here in the book, but it was fun using my imagination. A fun read!
I love ghost hunters and this book
Following up their original book Ghost Hunting which were write ups of their cases mostly covered on their show. Seeking Spirits is a look of some of their earlier cases and those that didn't make the show for various reasons. Also they cover techniques and devices used in paranormal investigations. The book gives a wonderful behind the scenes look at what makes up their show and some of their personal lives. There is still one unanswered question for me that hasn't been answered, Has there ever been a case that has scared the snot out of them? This book would be prized by fans of the show, but anyone just finding Ghost Hunters should read the first book.
Really interesting. My family is blessed to live in a haunted house. Actually, the type of haunting is called a "visitation". Because, our ghost isn't always here. They only visit.
I enjoyed this book. It was a nice mix of stories from the years before the TV show (both de-bunked and not), and information on the tools and techniques used in paranormal investigations.
Headline says it all
If you enjoy watching TAPS in action on Syfy, you will enjoy the written documentation of Jay and Grant. For those of you who have not watched Ghost Hunters, you will enjoy (even if you are not a believer) the experiences these men have while they look into the paranormal.
Just like the first book, I really enjoyed it. I think both Grant and Jason are very likeable and informative in this area. I like the feel of the book. It reads like they are sitting there and recounting their experiences face to face. I would recommend this book to people who have an interest in this area but also to people who want to enjoy a good book.
I just can't put the book down. I've had to buy their first book so I can read that one as soon as I finish this one. I love the format of the book which is broken into show stories about actual cases they have been on. A++ I hope they make another one when they have enough new cases to write about!!
Reading Seeking Spirits was like having all your favorite foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was a smorgasboard of delights for anybody interested in the paranormal. Believers and skeptics alike, will rip through the chapters, just to see what happens next! As a member of a TAPS Family team in California, it was so touching to read the story that spurred the creation of the TAPS FAMILY. I was a proud member before, even more so now. Read this book, folks!!! You will look forward to ever chapter and will want to recount each case with friends. It was such a bonus to have them share their wealth of knowledge on various subjects at the end of each chapter. You are getting your money's worth here folks, trust me! Thanks Jay and Grant for another wild ride! Can't wait for the next installment!
If you have seen the show, this book totally enhances the experience. I could barely tear myself away from it. I love the format they used to write this. Flows nicely.
Eerie creaks and groans, quiet whispers, chilling details! I loved every spine tingling word! This is an awesome read for anyone that loves to hear about things going bump in the night!
If you like to read about ghosts this book is for you. This is a wonderful book about stories that have never been on the show.
Seeking Spirits was a fascinating follow up to the book Ghost Hunters. It was not a let down after the brilliant first book.
Seeking Spiritis - The Lost Cases of The Atlantic Paranormal Society is a must read for any fan of Ghost Hunters or anyone who is interested in the paranormal. Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson talk about cases that they investigated, before the show Ghost Hunters was on T.V. There are stories in the book that have never been aired on the show. The stories are interesting, educational, entertaining and heartwarming. I went on a paranormal retreat with the T.A.P.S. team in New Hampshire and brought the book to read and have it autographed. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading the book!!!
I love these guys they know what they are doing. This is just one of their books i own, i have all but one
good if your a fan