That Which Goes Bump In The Night

One of America’s most terrifying—said to be true—accounts of paranormal activity; The Amityville Horror has once again been in the limelight when after thirty-five years of silence, Daniel Lutz—who was only ten at the time of the haunting—has come forward and was interviewed in a documentary titled My Amityville Horror.

In an entry on Wikipedia—the free online encyclopedia—we find the following statement regarding the Amityville case;

The debate about the accuracy of The Amityville Horror continues and, despite the lack of evidence to corroborate much of the story, it remains one of the most popular haunting accounts in American folklore. The various owners of the house since the Lutz family left in 1976 have reported no problems while living there. James Cromarty, who bought the house in 1977 and lived there with his wife Barbara for ten years, commented: “Nothing weird ever happened, except for people coming by because of the book and the movie.”

Of course Mr. Cromarty leaves out one glaring fact when he makes his claim, “Nothing weird ever happened…” he fails to mention the real horror that occurred in the house, the murders of the DeFeo family a year before the Lutz family moved in.

In our discussion—in this missive—we attempt to explore the phenomenon often cited by skeptical researchers who fail to find evidence of paranormal activity in a given locale, those researchers who often cite that “Nothing was ever reported before or after the claimant supposedly experienced the paranormal activity.”  This observation serves to question and cast doubt on the credibility of the claimant, and in many cases causes undue psychological damage to an already injured psyche who has undergone—in some cases—extreme emotional stress after being terrified and nearly driven insane by unseen forces lurking in a home or other building.

In the Amityville case, Daniel Lutz now testifies that his stepfather George was obsessed with the paranormal, spending an exorbitant amount of time reading and researching the supernatural.  In an interview conducted by Dr. Stephen Kaplan—the founder of the Parapsychology Institute of America and a well-respected Long Island parapsychologist, who spent many years trying to expose fraud in regard to the Amityville Horror—the Doctor reports that George Lutz claimed if he mentioned the name of one of the entities that appeared in the house, the spirit would appear.  When Dr. Kaplan asked Lutz who told him that, George replied; “I read it in a book.”  Dr. Kaplan writes; “I ask him for the title, but he can’t remember — he’s read so many books since they bought the house. Books on demonology, witchcraft, Satanism, ghosts, psychic phenomena — the list went on and on. And all in just a few short weeks, or so George claims.”  The contents of this interview by a renown researcher tends to support Daniel Lutz’s assertion that his stepfather may have been obsessed with the paranormal.

Many ministers and some psychologists claim that such an obsession can be unhealthy and lead to problems.  Mental health providers claim that psychopathologies can manifest themselves due to an extreme interest in the paranormal; while some ministers suggest that such an obsession can open doorways and allow demonic entities into our lives that are certainly unwanted guests.

While an obsession with the paranormal can be one possible explanation for activity to manifest itself before a single person or a group and not outsiders such as trained researchers, another possibility is one made by some parapsychologists as well as experienced lay people and clergy.  The person or persons reporting the incident might be sensitive or even psychic and therefore the better enabled to see what others can not.

***

While atheists, skeptics, and other debunkers insist that nothing exists that science cannot measure, quantify, recreate in a petri dish or explain with theoretical mathematics, others claim—to varying degrees—that an entire universe of possibilities exist that our friends who worship at the altar of science choose to remain ignorant of and therefore are oblivious to such activity that cannot be explained by currently known scientific processes.  It is as if they maintain the position that; “If my science cannot explain it, and I personally haven’t witnessed it, then it obviously doesn’t exist!”  At least they seem to maintain this position until they have been terrified by something that goes bump in the night and defies rational explanation.

Unfortunately, those that have not experienced the paranormal, all too often demonize those that have been plagued by terrifying experiences, these so called authorities often insisting that the victim is only being victimized by his own neurosis.  Admittedly, in some cases the haunting is nothing more than a product of an overly active imagination, the activity can be explained, and in some cases it is psychologically related, however this does not explain the cases in which the victims are experiencing something that is not of this world.

Not wanting to be attacked by the public media, made to look foolish or incompetent and further victimized; some people remain silent and continue to suffer at the hands of the unseen forces terrorizing them.  In some cases they flee their home—as the Lutz’s did—never to return, in an attempt to escape the haunting only to find out after arriving in their new home that it has followed them.  In this extreme there are two possible explanations suggested by researchers and parapsychologists.  [1] The victim(s) is/are psychic and have the ability to see what is all around all of us but only the gifted can see, or [2] the entities are attracted to the individual (s) for another reason (or reasons).

These other reasons are as some suggest—especially the clergy or religiously affiliated—that the victim has done something, or his/her ancestors have done something to bring this activity on or they are the victims of a curse directed at them by another person.  In the case of the former, clergy cite what is referred to as legal right by the entity to harass or even in very extreme and rare cases, possess the victim.  Legal right comes from the victim having committed some activity that is religiously forbidden, a sin if you will, extreme enough to allow demonic forces to enter this world and oppress the victim(s).  In which case—according to religious traditions—repentance and dedication to religious teachings and dogma usually helps cure the problem.  But what does one do when there has been no religious infraction, no legal right extended to the entity, and the victim is still under attack?

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            Regarding the process of finding relief from paranormal attack—in all due honesty—what we are ostensibly looking at is therapeutic solutions such as [a] professional psychiatric therapy or even [b] medically related solutions,  [c] religiously related solutions, or what might be termed as [d] New Age therapies in which the victim explores his/her possible psychic abilities and latent spiritualism.

Obviously in solution “c” religiously related solutions; Faith becomes a major aspect of the therapy; faith and belief in God that he will shelter you from the entity.  But in my opinion, as you have faith, you must also learn to ignore the entity.  Ignoring the entity also plays a great part in the other therapies, as to continue to intentionally or unintentionally Look for it or try to make contact with it  only serves to give it more power.  If you spend time looking for it or the tell-tale signs that these things often leave behind, it will continue to harass you and anyone who associated with you who is in tuned to the experience.

In my own personal experience—on several occasions over the last fifty plus years—I have been witness to what some classify as a night terror; commonly described as a threatening preternatural (non-human) entity that appears in one’s bedroom at night.  Typically the victim is awakened for some reason in the middle of the night, often (but not always) on or near 3:00 A.M.  and finds a shadow like entity which appears to have humanoid shape but is faceless nor has any other physical attributes to identity it as a human being.  This is a very common occurrence—which is an entirely different phenomenon to atypical sleep paralysis although similar—privately admitted or reported by a surprisingly large number of people.  In my case—after the initial encounter when I spent what seemed like hours watching the thing terrified out of my mind—I learned to say a prayer of protection, have faith in God that he would protect me, and go back to sleep.  Eventually I learned to ignore such presences, even when they manifested at times of the day other than three in the morning.

Apports, or finding that something in your home or surroundings has been mysteriously and unexplainably moved or completely gone, are another typical form of harassment from the spiritual realm.  These events can be extremely frustrating and irritating, but are also commonly reported.

As a young boy growing up around older people who were born in a time before electricity, television, or the Internet, some of these friends and relatives even having passed away due to old age before the coming of the internet, I quickly learned that topics such as we have discussed in this article as well as related concepts, were things that the old people just wouldn’t talk about.  When asked about ghosts and such many would place a forefinger in front of pursed lips signaling you to hush, give you warning looks from furrowed eyebrows, and shake their heads side to side in the negative to indicate their reluctance to talk about such.  You see they believed that by simply talking about haints—as the rural people often referred to them—would in fact conjure one up just to harass the one foolish enough to talk about it.  Perhaps there was a certain degree of logic to their seemingly superstitious and childish beliefs.

In my opinion, most of us with any degree of acceptable or otherwise normal mental hygiene, can discuss the paranormal without surreptitiously, unintentionally or immediately opening a doorway to the paranormal realm and causing to come forth some ghost or demon setting it loose upon the world.  Actually when one is harassed by these things, to compare notes with others in the household, might be beneficial, as they too might be experiencing the same phenomenon.  But just don’t become obsessed with it, especially if you are having any sort of night terrors or visitations.

Don’t do as George Lutz did and delve into an obsessive and potentially harmful course of study exploring paranormal and spiritual fields.  It should be obvious that by reading something previously unknown to the victim, he or she can allow the suggestion to enter into their mind that they are susceptible to whatever condition they have read about, sort of a spiritual hypochondria.  Just as a hypochondriac becomes obsessed with their physical health and wellbeing, a spiritual hypochondriac  can become obsessed with attacks from the spiritual realm, OR IN FACT subconsciously open a doorway allowing further actual attacks—not imagined but actual physical attacks—from unseen forces.

Many people can learn to live with, then eventually ignore the supernatural realm that lies just beyond our vision or normal comprehension.  They can learn to ignore or through faith find protection from attacks by spiritual forces.

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