Dear Brunhilda

“Oh my God! Where have you been? Don’t tell me you’ve stopped writing in The Voices Blog!” No,
Brunhilda (a fan, no doubt) I’ve just been very busy. “Busy? Surely there’s time to scribble a few lines once in awhile.” Alas, no! Since my last entry here, I’ve been on vacation, increased the time with my 96 year-old mother, entered into a numbingly rigorous physical therapy regime, and been saddled with an entire renovation of the second floor. Of course, there have been quite a few investigations as well, which means endless hours of boring black and white infrared video to watch. Plus, I’m old now – very very old, so be gentle, whippersnapper!

There just hasn’t been very much of a paranormal nature to write about, but as I settled in for today’s 4-minute nap, I realized I’ve actually had a lot to say – I just haven’t said it. I might have forgotten there even was a blog; it may have escaped my addled mind completely for some awful reason. Can’t blame it on the heat. We conveyed the grass-cutting duties to someone named Buzz. War hasn’t devastated the community. There’s been no alien abductions in the family, and I’m fairly certain I still possess the necessary faculties to actually make a blog entry.

Then perhaps my brain has gone soggy watching all that mindless video. Even though I’ve been spreading it out to avoid the creation of a permanent blank stare, there could be other effects I’m unaware of – colorless eyes, black and white nightmares, attempting to pause and rewind life itself… Viewing investigation footage is more of a commitment than most people realize, and more demanding than a family ever is. I mean, you can’t imagine how many tons of dust I’ve watched fly through the air, or the insane amount of bugs that live in people’s homes. Infrared cameras don’t miss much, and after awhile, I just wanna clean stuff. I can’t see all the nastiness with my eyes, but I know it’s there.

Of course, even though watching investigation footage is like waiting for bark to dance, there’s always the spectacular possibility that you’ll see something unimaginable along the way. Some other-worldly event; an apparition, perhaps – something totally unexplainable and completely not relatable to anything human. And it’s like a drug, kinda, because once you’ve witnessed something, the possibility is always there with each new investigation. I’ve been blessed to have seen something a few times, so I’m irreparably hooked.

So, what have the infrared gods shown me this summer? What have I discovered that was worth the sacrifice of all my free time, sleep time, 4-minute nap time, and quality time with my long-suffering family? Well, nothing really. “Oh come on. Surely you’ve seen something – some anomalous blob or maybe just a little mist. An orb!” Nope. I’ve got something really “cool” on the thermal imager and loads of EVP, but nothing on infrared, full spectrum, or visible light video. It’s been rather unrewarding but also quite exciting in a bizarre sort of way. The Law of Averages being what it is, I’m due to see something again soon, and the suspense is killing me.

I mean, that’s how it goes, right? Results just pop out of nowhere. You’ve been staring at the same ugly carpet and antiquated furniture for hours and all of a sudden, there it is – the holy grail of paranormal evidence. A few, brief seconds of something no one could ever explain, and then it’s gone forever – you’re back to staring at the same atrocious carpet and furniture. But, for those few moments of glory… God forgive me if I ever look away and miss it. 

So, sorry Brunhilda. I meant to tell you all about it, but trust me – my number is due and I can just feel it. I’ll have something to write about real soon, assuming I can stay awake. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to throw some Prussian Blue at a wall.

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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon

There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.

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Ah, Christmas

Ah, Christmas – a time traditionally associated with beginnings, salvation, and joy. But lately, I’ve been spending much of every day at the hospital, and with that comes a constant reminder of death – the anti-Christmas, and small doses of sadness. Death is a subject all paranormal researchers must deal with as we attempt to communicate with deceased human spirits. However, the deeper concept of death, with all its ramifications, is never too far away from any of us, and spending an appreciable amount of time at a hospital underscores the inevitability of it all.

But I have been finding myself more drawn to pre-death – those last few days or hours before the unavoidable sinks in and changes the subject forever. Fortunately, my own situation hasn’t reached that point, but my mother, the reason for my visits, might disagree. She told me yesterday that every time she settles in to sleep, she wonders if she’ll wake up again, and that sometimes, doing so confuses her – she isn’t always certain of where it is she awakes. I find that fascinating and can’t even imagine what it must be like, but it’s easy to recognize her courage. Facing that possibility with such accepting dignity is truly enviable, as she replaces fear and the disturbing prospect of non-existence with elegance and grace.

It is doubtful I’ll live to be 96 as she has. I’m beginning to contemplate my own demise even now, but almost as soon as the thought enters my mind, it is sidetracked by every day life and the immediacy of now. For her, what she sees as an inescapable passing is her now, and in some way, it consumes the majority of her thoughts. It’s difficult to ignore that two-ton elephant in the room, so I attempt to distract her with conversation and trips down Memory Lane, but all avenues return there sooner or later. The strange thing is, the medical powers-that-be are not predicting her demise at all. She, on the other hand, is certain of it.

This will be her first “no show” at the annual family festivities, and we’ll all miss her greatly, but I’ll visit her, so I guess there’s only so much complaining I can do. For some folks, the veil of death will not pass them by – their loved ones will be gone this year. For some, the hospital monitors will be silent; the strange beeping glow will go dark. Death will win this season, as it always does, and for some there will be no holiday celebrations – joyous spirits will forever be irreparably vandalized. I mourn their loss, and having come close, I also relate.

But now it’s Christmas, and I have only things for which to be thankful! Even just one more day is a blessing, and all indications suggest there will be many. So out with the “bah humbugs” and the “woe is me” attitude – this year I receive a gift of life. Death has decided to visit elsewhere.

Author Peg Bracken is reported to have said that “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” I think that must be right, because this year I have them both – what I do with them is up to me. In spite of death and the possibilities it provides; irrespective of the uncertainty of watching loved ones suffer; regardless of potential outcomes and probable certainties, this year the reaper passes us over, and all the stereotypes of the season seem real. I can’t be anything but overjoyed because I have my Christmas miracle. I truly hope each of you find your own. It’s out there, you know – just waiting to happen. When you least expect it. Ah, Christmas. Peace.
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.

Complicated Creatures

Here’s a dream. I walk down the stairs to my mother’s basement, and there are two cots neatly made up. Each with brilliant white sheets and pillow cases; each with a bright red blanket – one is turned down. To the right and at the foot of the cots, my father sits in a brown leather chair. He is wearing a starched white shirt and an expensive-looking black suit. He is beaming at me and questions, “you don’t like me anymore?” Based on his expression, I take it as some kind of joke that I don’t understand, but I am also confused by his presence and the scene. Since my wife has entered the room, I answer, “Of course. We love you!”

He continues to smile, but my wife is looking for something and does not acknowledge either of us. I go to sit on the cot closest to him and notice two packs of cigarettes (my brand) and a white lighter on the small end table. When I look back at him, he laughs loudly and then we sit in silence – staring at each other for what feels like quite awhile. Eventually, I am distracted as my wife goes up the steps, but when I turn back around, he is gone. I am then alone in a very dark space – still sensing his presence even though I fear he is no longer there. “Dad, are you here?” There is no answer, and I awake.

I can remember every detail because it was one of those hyper-real dreams; the kind some folks say are actually visitations from the spirit of the person you dreamed about. I went over and over the events before I ultimately drifted back asleep – finally convincing myself that it was his way of saying that cigarettes were going to be the death of me; that I had made my bed and would lie in it – the other bed belonging to my deceased sister, a victim of lung cancer. I was certain my wife ignored us because she was unaware we were there – as if the deed was already done; a fete accompli, if you will.

I never pay very much attention to dreams even though they seem like the perfect vehicle through which to deliver important messages. Considering the immense difficulty we have in communicating with the other side, thought to thought through dreams seems like such a flawless method. In theory. However, I am reluctant to put too much stock in them – they seem such fragile nonsense. We jumble them, combine them, and remember them wrong, but once in awhile, a specific dream does stand out – it’s perceived message lingers.

So, did my father use this vague whimsy to visit me? I don’t know. Probably not. More than likely, something within me decided that smoking would do me in – that’s a sensible determination. Besides, I desperately want to quit and have tried almost every cure to no avail. I could have easily expressed my concern through a dream, and one’s deceased father is, after all, a memorable spokesperson. Predictably, the message stayed with me so much longer – indelibly.

On a personal level, I don’t actually need to know where dreams come from, nor do I actually care, if truth be known. I tend to accept things like this on whatever level they’re presented to me, but I enjoy the notion that my father’s spirit might have visited to provide potentially life-saving insight, so I’ll go with that. But every concept we have of spirit is collectively lacking, and since we really haven’t a clue, to think we do can only increase our ignorance and lessen our chance of ever truly understanding. I know enough to be satisfied with wondering.

But I ask again – do I think my father actually visited me in a dream? Well why not? It doesn’t matter if I really know the correct answer. It was just nice to see him again, and very comforting to think he is still able to care. And let me add, he was rocking that suit, but even better, he looked really healthy. That’s encouraging, you know. We are such complicated creatures.
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.

Video Addendum – “It’s Been Emotional.”

For those of you (dear readers) who do not follow The Voices Podcast, this entry will hold little meaning. It is, in fact, a video addendum to episode 88 of the podcast, which was entitled “It’s Been Emotional.” During the broadcast, mention was made of this footage and it will definitely mean something to podcast listeners. However, I invite you all you watch anyway, and I encourage everyone to have an opinion.

Let me say at the outset, that the phenomenon recorded here is not a reflection, a shadow, or some light anomaly created by investigators, whether by accident or otherwise. It is not a malfunction of the camera or lens, and there has been no fakery. I am the only person who has handled, edited, or enhanced the video, so if you believe any of it has been manufactured, you’ll be accusing me directly. Rather, this video depicts something for which I have no explanation – nor can I conceive of any natural occurrence that could have caused it. It is therefore, something paranormal, because it is outside the realm of sensible explanation.

I do not claim this to be a spirit or ghost captured on video, although that does seem like a possibility based on the events that preceded it. I don’t know what it is, and I’ve never personally seen anything quite like it ever before. No EVP were captured during this small window of time, and there were no physical manifestations noticeable by anyone’s naked eye. For some reason, this showed up on camera without benefit of credentials. So, I ask you – what do you think it is?

Feel free to let me know your thoughts, and if you’re new to The Voices Podcast, I would encourage you to at least catch up on the backstory of this video before passing judgement.

http://goo.gl/1TFjCf
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.

Full Of It

Lately, I’ve noticed some unusual events – small, barely recognizable paranormal incidents that seem to be increasing in frequency. Now this immediately presents a credibility issue for me because I’m a researcher – a self-proclaimed title that carries with it the mandate for supposed objectivity. Plus, I’ve always been suspicious of those whose involvement with the other side increases proportional to their activity in the field. To put it nicely, I think they probably benefit from an overly active imagination. Another way to say that is, they’re full of it.

I don’t want an overly active imagination, and I certainly don’t want to be full of anything – especially “it.” But I know what I’ve seen and heard! And lately, some strange stuff has been going on all around me. I almost don’t want to admit to it, because It makes me feel like one of those cops who chases the UFO down Main Street only to watch it dart away at incredible speeds. “What’d you see out there, Bill?” Uh… nothing. And I understand, because no one wants to feel everything he says or does will be suspect because of it. People frequently assume that you’re no longer able to be objective, and that sucks.

Well, a few nights ago I heard a deep throated woman giggle while I was smoking at the back door. I turned right away, but no one was there, so I chalked it up to something natural that my distracted mind misinterpreted. A day later, I heard it again in the bedroom – louder and more prolonged. My wife didn’t hear it, so again, I ignored it, but this morning while frying bacon, the same giggle. I decided something had to be going on.

Last month it was a mist in my mothers living room – twice, and the month before that a voice saying “hello,” and before that there was something else, and then something else… Frankly, I’m a little annoyed by all this other worldly attention. Assuming, of course, that’s what it is. I probably am too immersed in the subject; I could somehow be creating everything in my mind – for reasons unknown even to me. I could be making it up! Except, I’m not.

So it leads me to wonder whether or not personal experiences increase as one’s paranormal involvement grows deeper. In other words, are spirits choosing to communicate more frequently and in different ways – as in “the more you seek, the more you find?” Does that even make sense? I never would have thought so before – I truly would have argued against it, because I’ve seen too many non-sensitive people proclaim a new found sensitivity almost overnight. I don’t want to join that club.

I’m sure we all know someone who began to develop mediumship after only a few weeks in the field. Turned out she was always able to feel and see spirits; understood exactly what they wanted – she just never knew it before. It’s hard to investigate with someone like that – they already know everything, so I don’t even need to be there. But am I joining her ranks now? God I hope not, but other people aren’t hearing what I’m hearing, or seeing what I’m seeing, and that means either something has changed in my relationship with the spirit world, or I’m one psycho dude. I don’t want to be psycho, but I also don’t want to be “one of those” either. I’m perfectly happy searching blindly for my results – I don’t need the fast track, instant gratification of an “I already know” attitude.

Well, at least these spirits have stopped at merely making themselves known – so far. I shudder at the possibilities. Hopefully, they realize what a rotten conduit I would be, and are unwilling to take it any farther. I can only hope my spirit guide is fending them off for me. Maybe it’s cyclical and all of this will go away and return to normal, or maybe it’s just my turn, ya know? Wait! Did I just say something about a spirit guide? Oh no! Too late – it’s already started. Drat!
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.

Vincent Price “Incurably Insane”

Having spent the past week in the hospital with my mother, a few things about “life” there on the geriatric floor seem worth noting. Sounds like a list coming up, doesn’t it? Well before I get into that, let me just say that few careers deserve more appreciation than the medical profession. They’re amazing geniuses with a dedication that’s off the charts – especially nurses. Without them, everyone in the place would be dead by morning. They do it all, and they do it well, and we should raise our glasses in high praise of those who answer this calling.

I think most of the problems in hospitals originate with the business part of things. Like any giant system, there are difficulties built into every process, but the public seems somehow induced to increase the drama. I was quite entertained by a lady who, apparently driven by a compulsion of Biblical proportions, verbally assaulted a cafeteria worker. You know, if the Eggs Benedict are below your personal standards, stick to some cornflakes or a bran muffin, and let the rest of us eat in peace. You’re an obvious foodie, Myrtle, but it’s only a cafeteria.

Our social worker laid out a great exit strategy, with tons of dotted i’s and crossed t’s, but she doesn’t work 24/7 and her Sunday replacement couldn’t find the notes, so it became confusing instead. And the old horn dog in room 346, who slithered through the halls and peeked into everyone’s room, came very close to restraints several times. I also wonder why some of the medical staff acted as if my mother couldn’t make her own decisions. She definitely can, and she doesn’t like jello. Asking me won’t change that.

But enough. Here’s the list. I’ll refer to it as “Ten Things About Hospitals That Make Me Sick.”

1. I don’t know who decides the room temperature, but they are clearly manic/depressive.
2. I’ve noticed that in this hospital, the specialists with the worst bedside manner refuse to wear the lab coat. Ah, the rebellious spirit. I get that, but rude behavior toward old ladies is trifling no matter how many letters follow your name.
3. Not all old people have dementia. Be clear, and talk loud – they’ll get it.
4. Someone should invent a push cart with quiet wheels – we could call it “the stealth cart.” They could zoom up and down the halls 1,000 times a day and no one would ever know.
5. Are the chairs in patient rooms designed to make you leave? And itch? (Is that something else?)
6. Why are there six full boxes of blue latex gloves in every room, but not a single wash cloth?
7. The creepy, sixty-ish male nurse who looks like Vincent Price and sounds like Liberace should not be touching my mother’s boob while giggling and requesting she breathe deeply. Just sayin…
8. There are three different books about the afterlife available at the gift shop. I swear!
9. In order to smoke, we had to walk 500 feet away to a glass hut in the woods, which is why we hid around corners and cheated. It felt like Reefer Madness and we were “incurably insane.”
10. Geriatrics deserve something less compromising than the traditional hospital gown.

Well, no matter – we’re home now. It felt a lot like a prison break though – the fresh air was exhilarating; the hounds were hot on our trail… All in all, my mother owes her life to this multitude in scrubs, and we won’t soon forget it, but the experience itself could benefit from some improvement. I’m just glad my mother didn’t behave like some of those others. Discipline and upbringing, I guess – I was proud of her. Older people wear dignity so well sometimes.
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.

Contact High

I think it’s fairly common to wax poetic this time of year. Before the new year begins, some of us love to reflect, and once it arrives, we begin making plans. I’ve had the time to repercus this season, but I don’t think there’s been more than a few minutes of quiet. Sadly, my only alone time has been in the bathroom, and that wasn’t very conducive to evaluation or scheming, but that may all be for the best. Oh sure, it definitely inhibited my paranormal life – there’s no way one can review footage or focus on EVP when children are running everywhere and grown-ups want to socialize, but where’s the upside to being buried alive in chaos? Easy! Now I’ve lost any interest in reviewing the past year, and my future plans don’t go much beyond Tuesday.

However, just because I’ve been robbed of participating in this natural rite of sappy recollection and mindless prognostication, doesn’t mean I can’t muster a few inconsequential pontifications (if you will). So here are some thoughts I have surrounding all the seasonal hoopla.

1. The world is a better place than it was before because now I have 21 pairs of brand new socks.
2. People are still griping about the ACA. Good grief, you turn off the news for one week and nothing has changed. Just stop already! And I thought my life was boring. Take up bungi jumping or something to distract your minds. At least now you can go to the ER when the chord breaks.
3. I honestly never even thought about Santa’s racial identity. Now I realize there are other questions to consider. What is Santa’s political affiliation? He’s American, right? The Claus’ have no children, so they must practice birth control. Who’s paying for that, I wonder?
4. Why does peppermint taste better in cane form?
5. Receiving a loaf of amazing cranberry walnut bread from your neighbors at Christmas is a true holiday miracle. Other than new socks, it doesn’t get any better than that.
6. It really is possible to live in close quarters with 6 or more adults for an extended period of time without killing someone.
7. I’ve never taken a selfie on purpose. Just sayin’.
8. TV shows with Christmas episodes need to air them closer to the actual holiday, doncha think? And how come there are never Easter episodes? Or Quanza specials?
9. Was the entire state of Colorado stoned on January 1st? A contact high?
10. I still don’t understand the term “booty poppin” and I think I might actually be the only one.

Just some thoughts. Listen, I wish I had a clue as to what 2014 will bring, or could reveal some great wisdom I received from 2013. I can’t. I’m just one of those people who never met a New Years Resolution he could keep, so I’m content to count myself lucky to still be alive and kicking, and that’s enough for me. I’m gonna try my best to keep my eyes and ears open though, in the hope that when something really cool comes up, I’ll be ready for it. I expect all kinds of cool stuff will happen too – usually does. Don’t want to be too highly focused on a long list of life-altering things-to-do when something spectacular occurs.

So here’s to taking 2014 by the horns and riding that sucker till it drops! May we all grow as much as we need, learn as much as we can, and love as much as possible. May it always be that today was just so fine, and that tomorrow can’t get here soon enough. Peace.
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.