The Crypt of Peel Castle. Photography by Graham Richards.
I began tutoring my first parapsychology student today. He wants to know how to see ghosts. Therefore my first goal is to teach him to be invisible to ghosts. Lesson one: breathing. Extra Sensory Perception requires a steady mind. The exercise of breathing for eight – in for 8, hold for 8, exhale for 8 – effectively balances the surge of adrenaline customary to paranormal encounters. Breathing is the most effective way to keep your composure (and consciousness) in potentially frightening situations.
What is the most important part of seeing ghosts? he asked.
Breathing, I repeated. Imagine a bright white light.
I guided him through a simple meditation of breath and white light. After the session, I lent him my copy of Loyd Auerbach’s Ghosthunting. It took me years to reach a point where I am comfortable openly discussing ESP. I am humbled to now mentor kids who see ghosts. In so doing, I feel like I am helping my 10-year-old self. That busy, pointy-legged creature blinking at the ghosts in the window. Three cheers for education.
If you are interested in parapsychology tutoring sessions via Skype ($20/hour), contact me at CrismanRichards[at]Gmail[dot]com.
Love and Light,
Slipping beyond the veil is as subtle as turning a page.
Like any girl curious about the disembodied faces ever watching her from the window, I thought one day I’d make a fine Ghostbuster. As a child, my spectacles and frizzy flop of hair resembled Dr Egon Spengler, psychologically confirming my be-coveralled destiny. The Ghostbusters instilled within me an analytical, if hilarious, basis for my intuitive research. The beloved characters were inspired by the great Doctor Hans Holzer, because Dan Akroyd is all about paranormal academia. As am I, good sir. As am I.
Naturally, when I heard that Ghostbusters 3 will be an accurate all-female crew (fancy that: women make excellent intuitive investigators), my first thought was: How do I get in on that? Followed immediately by: there is no way I have time to play a Ghostbuster, I have actual ghosts to contend with on the regular.
It was the first time I realized that I grew up and became a Ghostbuster all on my own.
Well, I can’t really say “on my own,” as the spirit world rarely leaves me alone for a moment. My research has been focused sharply on understanding my intuitive abilities. In so doing, I seem to have opened Pandora’s Box. Whoopsy Daisy. When I was a girl I always asked Them not to appear before me. “I startle easy,” I said into the darkness. They kindly obliged.
Want to hear my ghost stories?
Can you see her? Photo by Graham Richards using a setting that only shows the color green.
I have been on a long and winding road to my ancestral home of Muncaster Castle for nearly 13 years. After dozens of journals, archives, and ghost stories we arrived in Cumbria on 21 August. Husband took this picture while we were ambling up the footpath between Ravenglass and Muncaster. These woods are believed to be inhabited by the ghost of Mary Bragg, a heartbroken 19th century maid murdered nearby. The poor dear was in love with a footman at our castle, but so was one of the castle maids. It did not end well. Love triangles are always sticky, you know.
I will be further exploring the story of Mary Bragg in my book, The Baroness and Fool. It was not until last night that we noticed an extra face in the photograph above. I was having great fun terrorizing my editor, Doctor Bethany, with photos catching only the green (thus my appearance), when my roommate asked the see the picture up close and instantly zoomed to investigate an inconsistent shadow beneath the tree. Upon examination, I have determined to analyze this picture closely. I’ve been studying Hans Holzer, Lloyd Auerbach, and Ghostbusters for such a time as this.
So tell me, do you see her?
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The Richards. Photography by Tiffany Black, Blackbirdphoto.com.
This week, I made a dispassionate decision to put the podcast on sabbatical in order to devote my life to telling ghost stories of my ancestors, the Penningtons of Muncaster Castle. This is a project I have been researching for 10 years — 30, if you count the endless hours of Blackadder I watched as a child or my own personal paranormal experiences, 800 if you count my genetic memory imprinted across the castle grounds.
The Baroness & the Fool began in earnest two years ago at Cicily Janus‘ Writing Away mountaintop retreat. There at a cozy oak table in the company of literary lovelies, I realized my responsibility as “the Pennington with the pen.” Incidentally, that is the very same moment I realized I am in love with Graham. I called him up and said, “I need you to go with me to my family’s castle, and also I am in love with you.”
Since then, we uprooted our entire lives in order to be together and bring you these stories. Please enjoy this construction paper tale introducing the adventure at hand.
Follow along on our journey from the modern comforts of electronic mail.
Blackout podcasting ghost stories by candlelight.
Lights out! Tonight we broadcast from a conveniently-timed rolling blackout (thanks, Apogee). Grab a cuppa tea and some s’mores and have a listen to our candlelit ghost stories from my ancestral home of Muncaster Castle in Tom Fool and the Ill-Fated Lovers; then stay tuned for Public Dick: The Rootin’ Tootin’ Adventures of Rick Perry.
Sexy musical interludes by G Koop and O-man, featuring Sayknowledge.
Come on out and see us sometime:
Graham Richards Live | Tuesdays at Double Barrel Wine Bar (Livermore)
Crisman’s Comedy Soundcheck | Thursdays (Livermore)
G Koop & O-man Live | First Fridays at The Legionnaire Saloon (Oakland)
The Crisman Show Live with Graham Richards & Dan Duval | Friday, May 10 at Mynah Music (Oakland)
Special thanks to Dr Bethany Poston, Sayknowledge, Elisabeth Johnson, and Anthony Caruso.