What Are Ghosts?
"There are two tendencies of parasitical entities
that my audiences find very frightening, and I don't blame them. One is
that some parasites tend to be what I can only describe as 'pack
hunters.' They work together to prey upon certain people or families,
sometimes following them for generations. Other parasites are quieter,
actually cultivating individuals or groups of people for their 'food'
We as a species are quite literally being 'farmed.'"
-Paul F. Eno
(Most of this interview dates to 2005, before Paul & Ben went on the air.)
Q. Your background as a professional journalist implies that you ought to be hard-headed, not one to believe in things without proof. Do you really believe in ghosts?
Eno: Yes, I do, but they aren't the ghosts of the Victorian séance room that most "believers" accept. I have a very different opinion about what ghosts are, but they are very real nonetheless. As a matter of fact, I believe that ghost experiences have crucial lessons to teach us about ourselves, the nature of the universe and our own futures.
Q. All right, then, what are ghosts?
Eno: Certainly many "ghosts" -- even the most frightening ones -- can have very unexciting causes. For one thing, it's recently been discovered that very low frequency sound waves, or "standing waves," trapped in a building can cause many of the phenomena associated with ghosts. These are inaudible to humans but not to many animals. In humans, they can cause feelings of cold, nervousness, "hair standing up on the back of the neck," minor poltergeist activity and even your basic apparition.
I can easily imagine that some or all of these phenomena can take place
outside as well, given the right environmental circumstances.
If this and all other explanations fail, however, my experience has been that there are three basic phenomena that can be called "real" ghosts: time displacements, parasitic entities and what are traditionally known as "visitation apparitions."
In my opinion, ghosts are not "spirits of the dead" because I don't believe in death. Nor are they video-like recordings on the environment as many parapsychologists suggest for lack of any better explanation.
I'm absolutely convinced that to understand ghosts, we must accept what has come to be known as "quantum reality." To make a very long story very short, the universe we experience with our five senses is not only illusory to a great degree, it seems one of an infinite number of universes that make up a vast, timeless "multiverse." As Einstein theorized, time and space are one and the same, and time itself has no objective reality: It's a function of our consciousness.
Physicists who accept this view (and more and more do) describe reality as a space-time "foam," with infinite numbers of "bubbles," each of which is a universe. Together, they contain all possibilities. There is no "past" or "future" as we understand them, and the only difference between two given universes is that in one you may exist and in the other you don't. However, I believe that each of us exists in hundreds, thousands or even millions of these universes, and that all these "facets" of ourselves help make up the totality of what we are.
It's in this bizarre context that we can find the key to what ghosts are. That's because, unlike in the Hollywood version ("Sliders," etc.), these space-time bubbles can impinge upon one another and pass through one another at certain points -- and we can cause them to do so.
I believe that it's out of this framework that we experience ghosts. If we're in the right place at the right time, as it were, and if our own consciousness is "tuned" properly, we can see, hear and even interact with people from other "times."
These people aren't dead because there is no death, only life. But the apparent fact that these space-time "membranes" can be so "thin" explains not only the vast majority of ghost experiences, but also the fact that people sometimes experience ghosts of people who haven't yet "died," ghostly animals, objects, buildings and even whole towns and cities. People even see "ghosts" of themselves.
I also encounter what I can describe only as "parasitic entities." These seem to be life forms that use electromagnetic fields, including the bioelectric fields around our own bodies, to gain access to where we are so they can feed off our energy, usually negative energy. Among other phenomena, I believe these entities include poltergeists. They demonstrate intelligence and have a remarkable ability to learn. In "Footsteps in the Attic," I describe various techniques to fight these entities.
There are two tendencies of parasitical entities that my audiences find very frightening, and I don't blame them. One is that some parasites tend to be what I can only describe as "pack hunters." They work together to prey upon certain people or families, sometimes following them for generations. Other parasites are quieter, actually cultivating individuals or groups of people for their "food" value.
We as a species are quite literally being "farmed."
I include "tulpas" in my list of these parasites. Known in many cultures and prominent among the darker spiritual concepts of the Tibetan Buddhists, the tulpa is believed to be a spirit deliberately created by concentration. Many tulpas are well documented, and I have cases in my files about groups of parapsychology students who actually have created tulpas. These entities often take on lives of their own and can be very difficult to "put away." Some have even been photographed. Personally, I believe that tulpas are parasites that already exist and just use the opportunity to take form and gain strength through all the human concentration.
Finally, I believe that there are legitimate "visitation apparitions" often from loved ones who have "moved on." There seem to be some universes or states of awareness that are clearer or more enlightened than ours. Those whose condition puts them in one of these universes after their "deaths" seem to be able to aid loved ones and others who remain.
I emphasize the physical nature of all this. In most cases, I don't believe these are "spirits" in any sense that the popular mind undersands this. If there were, why would they be wearing clothes and doing everyday things? They sometimes appear to have bodies because they do -- in the more aware parallel universe.
So, in fact, any entity that we think of as a "ghost" is a life form of some kind.
Q. You've come to some unusual conclusions about ghosts and where they fit in the scheme of reality. What qualifies you to do this?
Eno: First of all, I never try to pass myself off as a scientist. I'm a professional journalist with a background in theology, philosophy and psychology who investigates, catalogs experiences and writes about this scientific subject.
Of course, in most cases I go beyond just writing, and I take action to try to help people if they need it. I feel qualified to do this because I have more experience with this subject than most people, and I studied under some of the mid-20th century greats.
It would be difficult to be involved with this for as long as I have and not notice the characteristics, patterns and commonalities among these phenomena. Presumably, my years as a journalist give me credibility as a trained observer. My philosophy degree should mean that I have some training as a thinker who can analyze the evidence and arrive at some tenable conclusions.
Besides, I'm not the first one to suggest many of these ideas. Nor will I be the last, because more and more people are realizing that the traditional scientific method (observation-theory-experiment-law), based on scientific materialism, is being hopelessly outdated by this new vision of reality. We can't hope to understand a multi-dimensional universe with a three-dimensional method.
So in my work in this field, I try to involve bolder experts from many different professions. There is a dire need for serious research into the paranormal, and not by people who work only to make the paranormal fit the traditional model of a science. That can't work. There is a spiritual dimension to everything, and the "new science" finally is beginning to admit that.
Q. Who are these "bolder experts"?
Eno: Currently, I work on-site (not necessarily all at once) with a soil engineer, an electrical engineer, a professional photography expert, an expert on "death and dying" and a Blackfoot medicine man. We also have advisors to help with the people who are victims of negative phenomena, including a psychotherapist and a few clergy. And I'm very much on the lookout for an open-minded physicist. Seems like a motley crew, but each of these fields is very relevant.
Q. You didn't mention psychics.
Eno: I seldom if ever work with psychics. With a few rare exceptions, I find them completely ridiculous. In my experience at least, and with apologies to the few good ones I've met over the years, most psychics seem to be on an ego trip, with little understanding of what their often legitimate sensitivities really mean. And virtually all of them seem fixated on what I refer to as the 19th century, Victorian séance-room vision of what this is all about.
Q. How do you find cases to investigate?
Eno: They find me. People will read something I've written, or perhaps see an article about me, and they'll call, e-mail or write New River Press, my publisher, which will put them in touch with me. Often, people will attend one of my book signings or lecture programs and talk with me afterward about their situations.
Q. How do you carry on a typical investigation?
Eno: I ask people to tell me as little as possible about what's happening, then I'll visit the site on my own to see what impressions I pick up. Of course, now that I've bad-mouthed psychics, it sounds as though I'm being one! But what I'm really doing is looking for electrical fields, cold spots and other clues that I've learned about from experience.
Naturally, I make every effort to determine at the outset, and throughout the case, if people's psychological states or other mundane causes are responsible or partially responsible for the situation.
If the people who've experienced the phenomena relate experiences that correspond with my findings thus far, I listen to the whole story and begin calling in other members of my "team." We rely a great deal on the soil science of the site and on photographing anomalies there.
If there is no immediate threat to the people, as from a nasty poltergeist outbreak, we will take time to study the phenomena in detail. If there is more urgency, we will begin helping people heal the situation. Sometimes, we will call in clergy from whatever religion the people belong to.
Situations are often difficult, and I make no guarantees.
Q. Now your son, Ben, has joined you!
Eno: Yes! After years of asking to come on my cases, my wife and I believe he's old enough to help. I have been very careful in the past to keep him out of contact with the really "scary stuff." But he has demonstrated a remarkable maturity, grasp of the subject, and an ability to pick up psychic stimuli. His personal charm helps reassure nervous families, and he's great with the camera. What better lesson for a young person than to realize there's something challenging in life that he doesn't have to fear, and that he can help others learn the same lesson! I'm very proud of Ben, and I'd have him by my side anytime!
Q. What do you charge for your services?
Eno: As a rule, nothing. If somebody wants me to come a great distance, I'll probably have to ask for mileage and expenses, but I never charge for services as such. I recover later when I write or lecture about the case. To that end, I ask people to sign a paper waiving their rights to photographs or videos taken in the case and, at the same time, guaranteeing their anonymity when I do write or lecture, unless they specifically direct otherwise.
And after my experience in the Bridgeport poltergeist case of 1974 (see
"Faces at the Window"), people can be sure that I make every effort to
keep the press out of it!