Dimmick library to host paranormal discussion
Curious about what goes bump in the night? Ever wonder about the afterlife, maybe just curious about that strange sound coming from the basement? Is it a ghost or just a dirty furnace? Well, bring those questions to the Dimmick Memorial Library in Jim Thorpe Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. for a discussion on the paranormal with Mark Keyes, former detective and director of the Pennsylvania Paranormal Association, and local intuitive medium Michelle Gallagher.
“I chose Jim Thorpe because it is a very historic town and people think there’s some hauntings there, and being Halloween is coming I thought it would be fun to do something a little different,” said Keyes.
Keyes said he will bring audio and visual evidence his team has gathered over the past few year and take questions from participants following the talk.
“I’ll discuss various reasons that hauntings might occur,” he said.
“My background is in finding the cause of why the ghost stays or goes somewhere. And we will talk about some of the things to ‘cure’ the hauntings,” Keyes said.
He said his interest in the paranormal has been “a lifelong fascination. I call myself an optimistic skeptic. I wanted to find out for myself and then found people who were really scared and just wanted the activity to stop, so I started gathering resources to ‘cure’ the hauntings, and 10 years later here we are.”
The Scranton-based organization director said the most common problem with ghost sightings are what he dubbed “the ghost effect.”
“It’s when there are valid experiences or misperceived experiences, where something may have happened, but after that every little thing that occurs is jumbled into one ball of haunting. But people’s mindsets going into a location can have a big impact on their experiences,” he said.
Keyes offers a little advice to those who may suspect an unexplained energy around their homes.
“Sometimes just communicate to the ghost, what your thoughts and feelings are, let them know, put your intentions out there,” he said.
If that doesn’t work, Keyes recommend contacting a medium or someone with experience in the paranormal.
“We’ve always had best results working with mediums. They can directly connect with them and find out why the ghosts are there. Really haunting has nothing to do with religion. A Native American or Jewish ghost isn’t going to care about a priest.”
While Keyes will speak about the facts, Gallagher’s talk will focus on her own personal experiences with the paranormal.
“I want to educate people that it’s not what you see on TV. TV is just for entertainment.”
Gallagher said during the event she will give tips to any would-be ghost hunters who might scour the cemeteries on Halloween looking for orbs or sounds of the unexplained.
“I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m just giving them a flashlight for it,” she said.
Gallagher says her “awakening” happened after a near-death experience in 2002.
“I had an out-of-body experience while I was on the recovery table and I had to learn what was happening to me. I thought I was broken,” she said.
The medium eventually embraced her gift after meeting a fellow medium.
“I had to learn to keep my sense of humor, but it’s all learning by fire,” she said.
“Working with a paranormal team gave me my sanity back because the pictures and (electronic voice phenomena) that gave me proof of what I was seeing and hearing was real. But people need to know you’re not just messing with ghosts, there are layers and layers, it’s all energy,” she said.
“I’m adamant about educating people and not letting them have a blind eye when they go out thrill seeking for Halloween.”
She offers amateur seekers three pieces of advice when venturing out: be respectful, arm yourself with your faith and do not provoke the spirits.
“Don’t intrude on a sacred space and start yelling. Be a polite hunter,” she said.
Keyes agrees and reminds people that ghosts were once living people.
“They were alive with their own personalities, problems and feelings. Whoever they were when they died, that’s who their ghost is with some kind of unresolved issue or trauma they are dealing with. That’s why people have had negative experiences. The ghosts are dealing with trauma and holding on,” he said.
Both authors will have copies of their books to sign at the library during the event.
The paranormal event is a free and open to the public at the 54 Broadway Dimmick Memorial Library of Jim Thorpe.