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Movie poster for ParaNorman

Movie poster for ParaNorman

As someone who communicates on a daily basis with those in spirit, I was very excited to be sitting down recently with my family to watch a new DVD release, ParaNorman which was in the theaters this past summer.

ParaNorman is about a kid with the ability to see ghosts and spirits, not only can he see them, he can also communicate with them.

He is the only one in his family with these abilities and at school he is teased and given a hard time for his unique abilities.

The movie centers on a curse that a “witch” had placed upon the town many years ago during a very dark chapter in the towns history, similar to the Salem witch trials.

A group of spirits/ghosts are awoken and pretty soon things in town get really weird and Norman is the towns only hope for dealing with the angry ghosts.

The movie gets a little wild and crazy here and plays very loosely with reality as the ghosts become zombies and go on the attack.

Filmed in stop motion animation by the same folks who do Flushed Away and Coraline, the movie is very well done.

A good way to describe the movie is take one part the Sixth Sense, one part Scooby Doo and one part Diary of a Wimpy Kid and roll them all together into one movie – it works.

Both adults and kids will find this movie entertaining, and the ending is fantastic! I found myself teared up and I was not the only one.

I highly recommend this movie and give it 4.75 stars out of 5 – the only thing that kept it from being a solid five star review was the inclusion of zombies in what was otherwise a fairly realistic take on the paranormal.

Go out and buy it and add it to your movie collection today, you will not be disappointed.

For more about myself and what I do, visit; http://www.charlespeden.com.

-Charles

Long Island Medium Theresa

Long Island Medium Theresa

The other night I was watching TV and was “aimlessly” flipping channels looking for something decent to watch. Frankly I as a psychic medium and animal communicator find that many of the shows about the “paranormal” are all about the “fear” factor and or are hopelessly lost and are a pain to watch. “Psychic Kids” on A&E has it’s moments but it too seems to focus on the darker aspects of the other side, ghosts and so forth.

With regard to my work, I spend a lot of time chatting with animals telepathically for their human companions (owners). Most of what I deal with is fairly entertaining and a lot of fun. On occasion I will become involved in a readings that are much heavier in nature, such as today when I channeled a girl who had been murdered by her mother. I take my work very seriously and greatly enjoy being able to bring peace and closure to those whom I read for, so seeing TLC’s new show “Long Island Medium” on the air was a “breath of fresh air.”

I caught the last three quarters of the show and while at first I had my BS meter on high alert, I was very pleasantly surprised to see and feel that Theresa is indeed the genuine article, a real medium and a terrific psychic.

One of the things I dislike about the “psychic industry” is this perception that a psychic is either a gypsy like character or all “new age’y woo woo” complete with general feel good platitudes and readings that either must be done with “props” or that involve really far out and esoteric concepts and material which frankly makes to real sense and seems to apply to just about anyone, if it applies at all.

Myself, I am a regular guy, I do not try to be someone who is perfect, I do not consider myself superior to others. I just happen to be an individual who talks to animals and the dead telepathically, other then that I am perfectly normal. I enjoy spending time with my wife and family, playing with our dog and our other animals, cooking, tending to the gardens and the orchard, kayaking, beach combing, movies, good TV shows, video games and drawing.

In short I don’t fit the classic view of a psychic and neither does Theresa which I find very refreshing. She has a big personality, a caring spirit and an “off the cuff” delivery and approach. No sugar coated feel good-isms, rather a sometimes blunt, to the point and confident approach. She deals directly with the spirits of those both earthbound, (ghosts) and those on the “other side” and has the ability to “see” them.

Long Island Medium is the only show on at present that I feel does a halfway decent job of portraying what it is that I do. The “ghost busting” shows and the other shows out there instead spend inordinate amounts of time studying grainy video and film clips, poking around in the dark, playing with their “gear” and mixing it up with each other all in an attempt to entertain us and to ultimately prove that their is another dimension out there and that ghosts are real.

Well some of us due to personal experiences or due to our open minds already believe that such contact is possible and that we are way past trying to prove it exists. It is time to stop trying to prove that the supernatural exists, rather it is time to communicate and work directly with those in spirit, with individuals such as Theresa and others blazing a trail for the rest of us to follow.

At one point during the premier episode, a person who was at a group reading at a loved one come through whom had died a violent tragic death. When the spirit of that individual came through to Theresa, they were holding a pair of doves in their hands. Theresa then explained that she had different “symbols” that she utilized to aid communicating specific things.

After hearing Theresa explain how the pair of doves thing worked, I thought to myself that I would like to use the same technique with regard to the spirits that I communicate with. The very next day I had a woman come through who had been murdered. When she appeared to me, she was holding a pair of doves, with no prior information being providing to me regarding her passing and no obvious reason to suspect murder … I saw the symbol and remarked to my client that I was seeing the symbol for a tragic and violent passing, she immediately confirm that the individual who she was looking to connect with was stabbed to death. I was spared from experiencing such a horrific passing and the spirit was able to avoid having to relive the ugly details of their passing.

Long Island Medium was picked up for 8 1/2 hour episodes. Lets hope that it becomes a hit and gets picked up for several seasons. It is the real thing and is at present the only show on TV that I can point out to someone and say, “This is similar to what I do.” and feel good about it. I give it 4.75 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend it, while not required viewing, highly advised.

After reading some of the comments my posting has generated I have decided to respond to the critics of the show, specifically those who believe it is fake and a set up.

As a psychic medium myself I can attest to the way that she delivers her information as being genuine. While watching the show I too feel the connections with the spirits that she connects with, just last night while watching two episodes I repeatedly broke out in goosebumps when she was connecting with spirits.

To the skeptics who think that all of the people featured on the show are “paid” to go along with some grand scheme to produce a fake show, I can assure you that they are not actors nor coached in anyway. Tell me how she knew about the gentleman at the auto mechanics and how his father was deceased and his mother was still living along with other details. How about the two tough guys who came to get closure regarding their friend who had died? You think she faked that too?? Do you think these people would really go on national TV and risk their reputations just for a quick sound bite, I do not think so. Let me tell you, it is all genuine – this is a very similar portrayal of what my life is like.

Now, I will cut the skeptics some slack … as prior to having my own experiences and discovering my own abilities as a psychic medium and animal communicator – I too was a complete skeptic. However if you have an open mind and watch the show you will see that what she does changes lives for the better and that she brings peace and closure to those whom she reads for, just as I do.

I love the way that she reads people “off the cuff” while out in public, running errands and so forth. I too have those experiences. Once while walking through a farmers market I came over to the gentleman who was advertising that he could help you stop smoking through hypnosis. Being the consummate skeptic that I am, I had to see how he did it and if he could do other things. While chatting with him I felt my liver being removed and or operated on. I asked him if he knew a female who had passed with liver issues. He then told me that he was the recipient of an organ donor who was female – he had her liver. She was coming through in spirit to thank him for honoring the pact he had made with his doctor to change his lifestyle and to take good care of his new liver. She appreciated how he was caring for her liver – afterwards the gentleman was a bit in shock and had to take some time away from his booth to compose himself. I have been in checkout lines at the grocery store and while my purchases are being rung up have commented on the fact that the checkers deceased boyfriend is standing beside her with a message for her. These are not things you just make up! I find that if I do not bring forward their messages, that the spirits will pester me until I do so. I have an obligation to honor both those here in person as well as those in spirit, I live my life with one foot in this world and the other on the other side – as does Theresa. Every medium has their own style, and yes there are many frauds out there, but she is not one of them, she is the real deal.

To learn more about Charles Peden and the work that he does as a psychic medium and animal communicator, visit www.charlespeden.com or call 925-360-7469.

To learn more about Theresa the Long Island Medium on TLC, visit http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/long-island-medium

Dear Charles –

My heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude for all the wonderful, accurate and VERY insightful help you gave me today!!
It is such a relief to know that my beloved dogs Greta and Beo will be happier (as will I) if I can move past the sobbing/emotional wreck phase of my grief over losing Greta and focus instead on the joyful life Greta, Beo and I shared — and the many joyous times that are still to come for Beo and me.  And hearing from Stella — what an incredible, unexpected treat! She was a breathtakingly beautiful long-haired golden girl (and she knew it), prone to greeting people by clamping her large soft mouth around their wrists. Of course a simple lift of her noise always released her from the target’s arm, but usually not before causing a fair amount of consternation on behalf of the “clampee.”
Thanks too for your generous and wise guidance re my daughter and also for the AMAZING insight re the “pine-like” scent that has dogged me for so long — your “tip” finally allowed me to put a “Swedish great-grandfather” connection on that perplexing smell and the very logical (at least once you know where to look) reason behind it!
You are indeed as wonderful as all the lovely press I’ve read about you — and clearly as caring as you are talented. Thank you thank you thank you for your help in bringing me some deeply longed-for peace as I walk through the difficult loss of my sweet little Greta. I do know one day all my animals and I will again be together, but having someone who can actually talk with and understand them confirm that fact — and confirm that all my past companions are now together, even beyond the grave — makes the losses of this short life on earth so very much easier to bear ….
With Great Gratitude,
Blaine

Peaches waiting on the ball being thrown.

Recently I was chatting with some dogs and they gave me a great idea. They were discussing a topic and the fact that they had little to no input regarding the matter came up. It was then that the idea of providing a voice for the animals in their own magazine came up.

It would work something like this:

First I would have to interview dogs (and or other animals) and hold auditions to see who has the aptitude for it and the desire to contribute to the publication. The interviews would be set up through their people and those animals that were interested in the project and who had the best communication abilities would be considered for the job.

I would have several positions that I would be interviewing animals for. We would want to have a column all about dogs, one dedicated to cats and perhaps one for rabbits, hamsters and horses, of course reptiles and birds would want to get in on it at some point.

The easiest approach would be to model the magazine after an existing magazine in the field, with subtle changes here and there so that it is still it’s own format and of course the vast majority of the content would be generated by animal contributors.

I think that having a column that addresses senior pets and their special needs would be nice, as would be a fashion column by a fashion savvy dog. Other columns that would be fun would be one dedicated to the traveling pet, a health corner and of course reviews of current movies and TV shows that involve animals as well as product reviews, including snacks, treats and toys.

It could start out as an online magazine or simply launch alongside an established magazine that is already in the field.

The key is to have all of the articles produced by animals. Using either myself or some other previously vetted animal communicators, we would bring forward the content and be responsible for taking the information from the animals and translating it into english. This is an area where a good copy editor (human) would be helpful.

The magazine could include contests, photo galleries and much more … there could be one general magazine, or based upon it’s success, additional titles could be brought forth, such as for the birds by the birds.

The magazine would be a very straight forward communication from the animal world with as little spin being put on it by humans as possible. The target audience would be anyone who cares about animals and most importantly it should be viewed as a publication for the animals, by the animals. One that you can sit down with your dog and read to them, with the knowledge that the material in the articles was put forth by one of your animals peers.

There could be a question and answer column, similar to Dear Abbey or something of that nature.

I have heard of music CD’s where the music chosen for the CD was selected by dogs, for dogs. This is taking that concept to the next level.

I would be very interested in hearing back from others who wish to be involved in such a project, or who have thoughts and ideas regarding such a publication. Your comments are most welcome.

Movie Poster for the Lovely Bones

Poster for th Lovely Bones

Four years ago I read “the Lovely Bones” and found that while the book had some serious issues regarding the actual way things are once you die, (from my experience) that overall it was a good read. So … it was with much anticipation that I waited to see the movie once I heard a film was going to be created based upon the book. Soon after the movie came out I tried to see it in the theater, but for one reason or another it never happened. Recently I finally got a chance to see the movie and no disrespect to the actors, but it was not that great.

First of all there is the issue with taking a book that deals with sensitive subject material regarding a juvenile who is abducted, raped and murdered. That alone does not translate well from book to screen, it’s easier to read about than to watch … like a fly on the wall. Granted the film skips over the sexual assault, but still it’s uncomfortable to watch the killer going about planning to abduct the girl and then following through on it.

The elements of the story which I enjoyed, the transparency of our lives to the dead … the fact that there is an afterlife, the fact that some here can see the dead and communicate with them is still there, however I feel too much time was spent on emphasizing something that I do not believe exists the way as portrayed in the movie. When someone is “in-between” worlds, it does not appear as a gazebo in the middle of the cornfield that you may have been murdered in or as an odd place with a lighthouse. Instead, the world appears as it is, except there is little ability to interact with it, at least in the fashion that one was accustomed to.

Some of the story was edited and integral parts of the tale were left out, making the story less compelling. The relationship that the girls mother has with the detective who is working her case is skipped over as are a few additional components of the story.

I hesitate to recommend this movie though I do suggest the book. I thought that while the characters in the film were played well by the actors involved, the subject material does not make a good transition to the screen. So in closing, skip the movie and enjoy the book and remember that it is a work of fiction with just enough genuine elements of the interactions between the departed and those present to make it interesting and compelling. Heaven is of course nothing like what is portrayed in either the book or the film.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The other night my wife and I picked up a copy of “Paranormal Activity” at the local video store and popped it in the DVD player for a relaxing and entertaining evening. We had heard some good things about the film and with several of our friends asking our opinion of it, we figured that we should check it out.

At first we chuckled as a somewhat familiar series of events began to unfold. As in … sensing a presence around the home and being freaked out at the littlest noise or creak in the night. However, once the “psychic” was introduced I was severely dismayed. The person who played the role of the psychic did an abysmal job at best of portraying a genuine psychic, he was a complete hack. Not once when called into investigate a ghost issue have I peppered the homeowner with questions in an effort to learn more about the situation. I prefer instead to describe what I am being told has happened and to bring forward details concerning what has led them to call me in to assist them. Frequently the place is simply old … needs new wiring or windows and there is nothing otherworldly going on, other times it is “haunted” but not by anything scarier than a loving relative who is popping in from the other side to say hello.

A real psychic does not need to ask all the questions that were shown in the movie and a real psychic would not simply throw his hands up and walk out on the situation.

With the movie telling you that the spirit presence is actually demonic and not simply the soul of another human or animal and with the movie portraying the psychic as a hack … it becomes evident very quickly that this is a complete work of fiction and in no way comes even close to revealing the truth about such matters.

In my experience, demons as they are commonly portrayed simply do not exist. Oh sure there are angry spirits and souls of tortured human souls out there, but I am yet to see any real evidence that demons exist. In many ways the movie “Paranormal State” works as a Christian “plant” in that it discredits psychics, exposes spirits as demons and never offers up any solutions allowing “the Church” the ability to point at the movie as a cautionary tale for messing with attempts to communicate with spirits.

The bottom line is that this movie is one great big stinking pile of dung and is a great disservice to those who have had to live with real ghosts and who have need of the use of a genuine psychic who can actually offer real world solutions, advice and most importantly is able to effectively communicate with those in spirit.

If you feel that you have a visitor from beyond the grave … check out www.charlespeden.com to book a reading or to learn more about psychic medium and animal communicator, Charles Peden.

The night before last I sat down and with some anticipation watched a new show about “ghost hunters” on the Discovery Channel, the show is called “Ghost Lab” and appears to be very similar to several other shows on other networks, but because it was on the Discovery channel I thought that perhaps it would be a more respectful and serious approach to the subject, combined with some hard science of course. As a psychic medium myself who has encountered and worked with several ghosts, I really wanted to see what would happen and how they were going to work with the subject.

It opened up looking promising enough, they had selected an interesting location to shoot the episode I watched, Tombstone, Arizona … pretty much guaranteeing some sort of connection, plenty of violent deaths in the past – coupled with offering up the locations of shootout and graveyards as tourist attractions. First they introduced us to the team and I was a bit disappointed that they did not have even one “sensitive” or psychic with them. They have plenty of gadgetry, but nothing that I had not seen before … your standard EMF readers, infrared, camcorders, and still cameras as well as audio recorders and motion sensors. The use of the hand held camcorder footage gave the show a bit of the “Blair Witch Project” feel from time to time, with the HD cameras they were running, it was strictly for effect, for the viewer. When viewing the footage of the individual holding the camcorder I was surprised to see that the lens cap was hanging and not tucked away, straps showing up in shots has happened before where people have confused the close-up of a finger or a strap as an other worldly energy burst … etc.

After introducing the crew, and the location that they were investigating, they showed us clips from interviews with residents of the town who claimed to have witnessed paranormal events themselves, including actually seeing ghosts and more. I must say though, that if there was one place in the country where you might find people who believe in ghosts, it would be Tombstone, after all it’s probably good for business.

After sharing some ghost stories from the townspeople, the crew went about setting up for the investigation. They focused on a few locations within the town. The Bird Cage Theater was the first location and they set up all of the gear mentioned earlier. One of the things that was mentioned as possibly being a paranormal experience was an old speaker that though it had “no electricity” running to it, the woman who worked there claimed it would make noises.

During the course of the evening while investigating the room they picked up a very load static/feedback like noise coming from the speaker after they mentioned how quiet it was in there. I was a bit surprised when the employee came out from the back room, why was she permitted to “go to sleep” during the investigation … and stay on the premises, not a very thorough investigation if you want to rule out another human as being responsible for the claims of paranormal investigation.

They ended up climbing a ladder and looking at the speaker a bit closer, the whole time it’s going off, and bear in mind of course that they all have cell phones, radios and cannot determine if the speaker had power going to it or not. They did seem to pick up an EVP in the location which in my opinion sounded a heck more like “you dick” than “right quick”. After all the manner in which the crew was addressing any spirits that may be present was confrontational, rude, in your face and not too friendly.

Later while in the silver mines, some more of the rude, insensitive and at the very least illogical questions were asked prior to an attempt to capture EVPs. The crew was asking if the minors were still down there mining for silver. And the crew was shouting or raising their voices, as if that could help those who read minds “ghosts and spirits” to hear you any better. I did appreciate them commenting on how hard the miners must have worked in order to chisel out the passageways in the mines, that was nice.

During or after the silver mines visit, the sky around the town lit up with lighting as a thunder storm rolled through. This got them onto a tangent about how if you supercharged an area with electricity, it may enable the ghosts or other paranormal events to materialize much easier than in other locations where there is not such a conductive material underneath the ground, possibly holding a residual charge. Nice theory, perhaps there is something to it, but I am not convinced. Think of all the metal in buildings, pipes, buried cables and other conductive materials that exist in other towns and cities around the country and they are much larger than Tombstone, granted they may not get as much lightening, but many place I know do and as far as I know that does not increase paranormal activity.

There was this weird thing they did with a Tesla Coil, and trying to supercharge the energy in the room and they also checked out the Boot Hill Cemetery where a “famous” photo of a supposed ghost was taken several years prior. They set motion sensors up all over the cemetery and then sent the only girl on the team into the middle of the cemetery at night time to sit on a folding chair by herself and take pictures/see what she saw or felt. After a bit one of the motion sensors went off and the team started running around like crazy trying to capture whatever it was.

Later they got back to the “lab” and examined their footage, they had one photo of a “shadow person” but to me, it just looked like a shadow, however I did feel a presence and I must say that if anything they were being laughed at.

Frankly I give the show a D- for the following reasons.

They are rude and aggressive in attempts to make contact.

They are loud and unprofessional.

They do not have anyone on their team who is a sensitive or psychic, how thorough can you be if you do not use every “tool” available to you?

The way the show is edited adds more to the atmosphere, almost more than their “findings”.

This show gives a bad name to genuine paranormal researchers and is simply more entertainment that is cashing in on the popularity of all things paranormal. The only positive side that I see is that it will perhaps start a dialogue among more people, a discussion about these subjects and the nature of life and death it’s self. You got to start somewhere, sure there are some other shows similar to this, but not that I have bothered to watch with a critical eye, I only am paying more attention to this one because someone who I respect, Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs”, ended up narrating it, much to my now disappointment and of course because it is on a channel that tends to be more analytical and scientific minded.

To learn more about myself and my work within the paranormal field, visit my web site at www.charlespeden.com.

PS

A quick look at the message boards for the show on the Discovery channels web site shows that I am far from being alone in my critique. This show is horrible!

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