Real-Life Halloween Horrors Explained by Paranormal Expert Jack Rourke

The following accounts are as-told by world-renowned psychic and best-selling author Jack Rourke.

Psychic Jack Rourke

PR Star Media Group recently sat down with world-renowned psychic and best-selling author Jack Rourke for a spooky chat about Halloween, ghosts and demonic possession. Rourke is a paranormal expert who has consulted on such frightening Hollywood films as The Haunting in Connecticut and Insidious 2. He also has an intriguing history collaborating with academic parapsychologists while investigating real-life hauntings. The conversation with Jack began with the story of a young woman who through no fault of her own, terrified her family, her friends and the local priest.

A small group of paranormal researchers observed a 15-year-old girl called “Ann.” Her heartbroken mother, Julia, stood nearby. She was convinced Ann was possessed by a demon.

From a spiritual perspective, Rourke says, possession is not a fixed condition. Instead, it is best viewed as a fluid state of ongoing and deepening enmeshment with an identity that obscures and later replaces the experience and expression of your authentic self...

It was after nine in the evening and outside the temperature hovered near 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Inside, with everyone standing shoulder to shoulder waiting for the devil to appear, the tiny house felt hotter than hell. Surely, if Satan himself visited that night he would have felt right at home.

For the better part of a year, Julia and her family were haunted. They saw shadow figures out of the corner of their eyes, felt strange presences and they heard footsteps in their unfinished attic. Now Julia was at her wit’s end.

Shortly after the investigators focused their attention on Ann, Julia reported feeling the demon’s presence. As if on cue, Ann slouched backward in her chair. Then, without anyone touching her, strange red lines began appearing as zig-zag patterns across Ann’s previously unblemished legs and back. It looked like the child was being whipped. Ultimately, these lines turned to welts and broke open forming superficial scratches in the shape of anarchy symbols. In a fit of hysteria, Julia grabbed hold of her daughter, twisting and turning her body searching for additional striations. Ann listlessly complied until one of the researchers, renowned Los Angeles Psychic Jack Rourke intervened.

Jack Rourke is a man many turn to for dealing with spiritual hardship. He is the best-selling author of the book The Rational Psychic who serves clients from across the English-speaking world. Rourke co-wrote a 2007 psi-survey with the American Institute of Parapsychology and has contributed to major Hollywood films dealing with the paranormal. According to neurophysiologist Dr. Barry E. Taff Ph.D. with whom Jack conducted parapsychological field research with from 2006-2016, “Jack is the most talented psychic I have ever encountered. He speaks not of himself, as is the norm among sensitives, but of the work and research, he is a part of. While others seek to resolve personal inner demons, Jack is a conscientious seeker of truth, knowledge, and understanding for the improvement of the human condition.”

According to Mr. Rourke, Ann’s symptoms did not indicate demonic possession. The classic evidence for diabolical influence consists of four primary elements: speaking in tongues or a foreign language, telepathy – mind-reading or knowledge of hidden facts or distant events, superhuman strength, and most importantly, the presence of an alien intelligence. The bar is rather high for possession. And, since Ann was an otherwise ordinary girl leading an ordinary life when not subject to unnecessary pressure, it was surmised Ann’s scratches were adolescent RSPK (Random Spontaneous Psychokinesis) - an outpouring of her subconscious in response to family stresses undisclosed here.

Since preliterate times through the Victorian era and into the present day, spirits have been blamed for all manner of misfortune. Believing in things that go bump in the night may seem foolish. But, according to a June 2009 Harris poll, 42 percent of Americans surveyed said they believe in ghosts. Likewise, a similar poll in the United Kingdom found 52 percent of Britons agree that spirits in one form or another exist. Of greater concern, however, is that possession seems to be on the rise.

Shortly after meeting Ann, in the weeks prior to Halloween 2005, Rourke and a second team of investigators visited a Southern California man who hereafter will only be referred to by the pseudonym “Robert”. Robert was renting a modest room in a stranger’s house while in recovery from cocaine addiction and compulsive self-gratification. These problems had cost him his family, his job, his home and possibly his soul.

Many months into his sobriety Robert began hearing insidious voices mocking him. He suffered losses of time and noticed objects moving by themselves. Even Robert’s Labrador had been hurled against a wall during one particularly egregious paranormal assault. The troubles escalated when Robert himself was pushed to the ground as if by unseen hands. It was this event that Robert tearfully described as the onset of a demon trying to possess him.

According to Rourke, “Feeling haunted is not the same as being possessed. Most hauntings can be explained. They may result from suggestion or an over-active imagination. Haunt sensations can also be triggered by an electromagnetically toxic environment. And, as was the case with Ann and Julia, spooky events can result from psychological distress. Especially when associated with substance abuse, a neurological disorder, grief or trauma."

Like Ann, Robert also suffered scratches of unknown origin. Likewise, one might assume what Robert was dealing with had nothing to do with demons. One could argue an invisible demon is a convenient scapegoat for someone living with emotional pain and tremendous regret. After all, a demon is something that takes all the blame with little evidence of its actual existence. But scapegoating doesn’t mean Robert’s paranormal claims are fabricated. Robert may have suffered mental illness from his cocaine use. Rourke points out hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions as common symptoms accompanying sustained and severe cocaine abuse. One study noted that 68 percent to 84 percent of cocaine abusers suffered from paranoia

Heavy cocaine abusers may very well hear or see things that do not exist. But there was more to Robert’s demonic complaint than odd feelings and perhaps, religious rationalizations. In Rourke’s bestselling book The Rational Psychic, he recalls his interview with Robert. “…the mood in the room changed, Robert was holding something back. After all, he had shared, could there be something else he was afraid to talk about? ... Slowly Robert lifted his shirt to reveal what looked like human bite marks and random scratches on his back and the sides of his torso. ‘Look what they did to me,’ he said. Two out of a team of six investigators walked out of the house right then and there, never to be seen again.”

“From a spiritual perspective, Rourke says, possession is not a fixed condition. Instead, it is best viewed as a fluid state of ongoing and deepening enmeshment with an identity that obscures and later replaces the experience and expression of your authentic self. Possession then, is a process through which your will is compromised causing you to collaborate with what seems to be a force acting upon you. More to the point, the experience of possession can sometimes be akin to a parasite satisfying itself by first conditioning you to believe its needs are yours. The question though, is whether that parasite is an invader or an unacknowledged aspect of one’s subconscious acting out?”

In spiritualist literature, chemical addiction, changes in sexual orientation, compulsions, xenoglossy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis and inexplicable personality shifts are commonly explained as spirit attachment. Spirit attachment is when a ghost links with your mind and satisfies its needs by living vicariously through you. For example, Spiritualists commonly speculate that a deceased smoker’s spirit may be drawn to a living person who is a smoker. The ghost links with the living nicotine addict. It then covertly indulges nicotine stimulation by tapping into the living host's nervous system to satiate its cravings. In Robert’s case, could earthbound spirits craving cocaine have linked to him?

Before jumping to the conclusion demons as separate self-driven invisible beings exist, it’s worth noting psychology views mental disorder as the root of possession. Even using the word ‘possession’ as a term to indicate a composite of symptoms in the company of academicians can earn you side-eye.

Scientists faced with symptoms of possession might instead perceive, anxiety, disorientation, hyper-agitation, dissociative identity disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, paranoia, hysteria or perhaps schizophrenia or epilepsy. In truth, if actual possession exists, then it very well may show as these diagnosable conditions. And historically, it is likely possession has been blamed when mental disorder was the true culprit. But some scientists’ opinions are evolving on demonic possession. “There is a growing belief among health professionals that a patient’s spiritual dimension should be accounted for in treatment, whether their provider agrees with those beliefs or not. Some psychiatrists have even talked of adding a "trance and possession disorder" diagnosis to the DSM, the premier diagnostic manual of disorders used by mental health professionals in the U.S.”

The commonsense hallmark of a possessed person is revulsion to religious truths and icons. But intolerance for godly things is not always an issue for those diabolically afflicted. What is true for the possessed is that they’re typically at the epicenter of slamming doors, disembodied voices and the mischievous moving or smashing of physical objects.

Parapsychologists propose psychokinetic phenomena are expressions of a living person’s subconscious rather than the handiwork of spooks. Called poltergeist agents, these people usually believe they are tormented by demons when, like Ann, they are paranormally processing and projecting stress. So, what one needs to look for when identifying the truly possessed are haunt phenomena that coexist with disconcerting telepathic or clairvoyant powers and alarming physical abnormalities.

Specific physical symptoms that fall within the classic prerequisites for possession can be fleeting and easy to rationalize or overlook. Over time though, physical symptoms of possession will become acute and increasingly difficult to ignore. For example, the eyes of the afflicted might change color, bulge or appear dull, dark, hollow and vacant. The texture of the skin among the diabolically distressed may also appear unusually smooth or stretched creating a mask-like appearance. And, the tenor of the voice will be emotionally flat, uncharacteristically deep, or in some way inhuman.

Another physical aspect of possession is an inexplicable stench surrounding the afflicted. In addition, the possessed seem to affect gravity - either by being disproportionately heavy in relation to their body mass, or somehow weightless. During the 2012 haunting of a family in Gary, Indiana USA, a male child walked backward up a wall. And, on a separate occasion, his sister levitated. These activities may sound like horror movie magic but their evil antics are part of the official public record since social workers, police and clergy all witnessed these hellish acrobatics.

Concerning afflicted children and those suffering mental illness, it’s worth considering whether “demons” are the chicken or the egg according to Rourke. If possession by discarnate intelligence is a fact, Rourke believes one’s mind becomes hospitable to influence because of mental imbalance unseating a healthy ego. As for children, in the absence of mental illness, physiological issues or environmental stimulation triggering haunt phenomena, Rourke indicates the critical role parenting plays in installing a healthy stable identity within a child. “Nature abhors a vacuum,” Jack speculates. “Without attentive mirroring and direct appreciation for the child’s uniqueness, some children may be at risk for creating a paranormal persona by disproportionately securing their practical and psychological needs via their imagination. Perhaps, like adults, such obsessive self-concern and distrust for the outside world puts innocent children at risk for occult influences through no fault of their own?”

Unlike the possessed children from Indiana, most of Robert’s demonic claims were initially subjective. He heard evil voices no one else could. He suffered losses of time no one else experienced. Bite marks and scratches were visible and submitted as evidence of paranormal activity. But, Rourke easily admits that unlike Ann’s abrasions he didn’t observe Robert’s wounds appear spontaneously. So, the initial assumption was there was nothing especially demonic happening with Robert.

Later that evening Jack and his researchers monitored Robert as he attempted sleeping. Shortly after lights-out, however, Robert heard an evil voice threatening him again. Over the next ninety minutes, Robert verbalized a vicious, dehumanizing and vulgar inner monologue he took no responsibility for. What was noteworthy, about Robert’s narration was each time his invisible attacker threatened assault a nearby AC magnetometer flashed red and emitted an eerie high-pitched screech.

AC magnetometers are devices used to detect man-made electrical currents. They are not sensitive to the natural electromagnetic fields produced by human beings. So, there was no ordinary reason why the device would repeatedly signal an alarm when the “demons” threatened Robert.

One explanation for the AC magnetometer reacting each time Robert heard voices could be if any appliance or nearby wiring were bleeding off electromagnetic radiation. Maybe Robert sensed this current and interpreted it paranormally while the AC magnetometer simultaneously detected it? This theory was dismissed because the entire home was scanned for electromagnetic anomalies prior to Robert laying down.

A poltergeist event is the projection of psychokinetic energy from and directed by, the subconscious mind of a living person. Perhaps the AC magnetometer was psychokinetically affected by Robert to convince the investigators of his alleged demonic assault? If so, could Robert’s ability to covertly affect the device also signify psychological instability?

After an hours-long interview and nearly two hours of supposedly demonic voices keeping Robert awake, neither Jack nor any of his team had collected any objective evidence of actual demonic possession. Consequently, Rourke surmised that if there was any possession occurring that potentially the worst of Robert’s situation had yet to come. To understand why Jack concluded Robert could be in spiritual jeopardy, one must understand how possession begins and progresses.

The Catholic Church speaks of a phenomenon called Vexation. Vexation is a streak of bad luck that Rourke says can foster rationalizations one is powerless and deserves harm. Vexation is spiritually dangerous because it conditions victims to define themselves using their suffering. What the haunted don’t realize, is once they believe themselves a victim and deserving misfortune, they provoke negativity to unconsciously affirm their dysfunctional identity. And it’s this participation with, and dependence on negative excitement that can intensify vexation until it sparks infestation.

Paranormalists consider infestation an attempt by ghouls(s) to accomplish two things. Gain attention, and break the resolve of the human(s) they wish to corrupt. Infestation is experienced in part as visceral nightmares, abrasions, disembodied voices, footsteps, slamming doors, banging walls, apports and the sense of being watched. These haunt phenomena, and more, are signs infestation is occurring. And while it’s terrifying feeling as if an invisible intruder is lurking in your home, like vexation, what’s most problematic is when the haunted reinforce a special identity using their paranormal conditions. According to Rourke, “The haunted often feel trapped between benefiting from the significance their paranormal crisis provides and opening to a seemingly normal life in obscurity. They focus on their sorrowful personal story that through its retelling desensitizes them to victimhood. What predictably follows, by avoiding fear this way rather than confronting it, is powerlessness, depression and without intervention, oppression.”

Catholic Priest Father Gary Thomas is a Vatican trained exorcist. He states, “ oppression would really refer to a kind of depression, where the person is filled with anxiety and very often there’s a sense of despair or despondency. The other word is obsession, where the person is overcome with or obsessed with the idea of Satan being in their life. But in both those cases, a person can function to where you wouldn’t necessarily be able to detect anything demonic going on unless they disclose certain things to you.”

Sigmund Freud was the first to use the term obsession to describe the oppressed state more religious and unscientific people view as evidence for possession. Freud’s use of the word obsession was only meant to name a psychological malady. Jack Rourke, as a professional psychic in Los Angeles California also uses the term obsession. Although he defines obsession as an “infatuation with a false-self derived from an inability to accurately feel one’s innate spiritual value.” Rourke clarifies by saying, “Obsession is an aversion to reality where the mind focuses on whatever fosters isolating feelings of being utterly unique.”

Symptoms of obsession include an inflated or conversely deflated self-image that are coupled with a constant need for distraction. As a result, the obsessed are prone to emotional drama meaning they indicate feelings without truly embodying and processing their felt meaning. The obsessed also have difficulty controlling impulses and usually fall into destructive habits.

Robert’s foremost destructive habit was cocaine addiction. But even more heavenly forms of escapism can indicate obsession. Metaphysics, divination and serving invisible powers can also be signs of obsession. What Jack Rourke strongly underscores is, “No matter how charming and helpful, or seemingly innocent or evil the obsessed are, they’re never transparent and they do not relate as equals. Their only intention is to hide their basic humanity out of fear that if it were seen, the shadows animating their persona, enabling them to bypass empirical truth and emotional reality would be exposed.”

The first two phases of possession – vexation and infestation, are distinct whereas obsession and oppression overlap. So, the progression toward possession looks like this: feeling cursed (vexation), transitions to sensing a haunting (infestation), to rationalizing one deserves suffering while simultaneously craving distraction (obsession), to feeling physically and emotionally doomed (oppressed).

At the outset of oppression, infestation may vacillate between members of a household until a single individual becomes the sole recipient of ghoulish onslaught. Here is when it becomes clear exactly who’s spiritually in danger. Quite often though, before the haunting is recognized for what it is, the victim may conclude no one believes or understands the horror they’re going through (isolating obsession). Consequently, oppressed people tend to become increasingly anxious until all hope that someone will save them is lost. Then, as if by some miracle, the paranormal activity suddenly ceases and life appears to return to normal. This is the calm before the storm. The quiet is a sign the victim’s resolve was broken and that they’ve possibly found relief by surrendering to corrupting forces.

At the beginning of full possession, victims can live a seemingly normal life. But over time their behavior will appear harmful and out of character. In the worst cases, victims might act spiritually superior. They may even be charming. Yet for certain, they will be deceitful, manipulative and ultimately self-harming, possibly sadistic, self-absorbed and antagonistic.

Robert exhibited signs of vexation and infestation. And without knowing, he had begun merging with a deflated identity based on his status as a haunted individual. Was he resisting his haunting by reaching out for help? Yes. But, between moments of positive assertiveness, he would become apathetic and seamlessly disappear into his role as demonic hostage. This ebb and flow, resisting and then giving into his haunting, only to resist again, mimicked what demonologists consider the mounting process.

The term mounting indicates the method through which an individual’s mind and body adapt to the attachment of a foreign intelligence. For possession to take hold, says Rourke says, “The mind, how a person internalizes knowledge, and the will, how one chooses to act, needs to be compromised. So, mounting isn’t an external struggle between man and ghost. Instead, it is an internal struggle between two choices - asserting individual will or giving in to possession by releasing control to something else.”

Robert was depressed. He had long endured misfortune and he believed he deserved every pain life delivered. Whether the source of his haunting was psychological or paranormal, whatever was holding Robert in its grip finally revealed itself when Robert asked Jack to pray with him.  

Jack arranged two dining room chairs so Robert and he could sit facing one another. Rourke turned his focus inward and relaxed his breathing. He claims he never once uttered a single word aloud. Nor were his prayers an inner dialogue with a far-off heavenly being. Instead, Jack claims his prayer was simply an acknowledgment and acquiescence to divine presence.

According to Rourke, the precise moment he felt alignment with inner peace Robert made an unusual guttural sound as if an animal was clearing its throat. Jack opened his eyes and saw Robert drooping forward with his chin touching his chest. He was staring upward over his brow at Jack with an eerie serpentine smile spread across his oddly vacant face. It was clear something unusual was occurring.

Jack ignored Robert. He closed his eyes and again calmly focused inward. He made no effort to resist fear or evil. His only prayer was an effort to let go of resistance and embody the unifying goodness underlying all life. It was then that the demonic voices in Robert’s head returned full force.

Robert began cursing Jack telling him the demons were now threatening him. But without so much as a nod of recognition to the filth coming out of his mouth, Jack continued his prayer by focusing purely on the truth that underneath it all Robert was spiritually whole and psychologically balanced. The intent was never to fight any demons. The intention was only to create an atmosphere of unconditional love that would support Robert’s soul identity. Without warning, Robert suddenly broke from prayer and ran to the kitchen and began vomiting uncontrollably into the sink.

In the weeks that followed, Robert began psychotherapy. The ability to speak freely about his concerns had returned. He was no-longer isolating. He got a job and even began a new romantic relationship. Did Jack’s prayers make Robert inhospitable to invisible demons? Or was it the compassion expressed to Robert that finally made him feel safe enough to heave all his pent-up anxiety?

“So long as we believe mental events define who we are, we cannot control them, says Rourke. Our natural state is pure unblemished goodness. All people have this pristine consciousness within. Our innate goodness is the living universe. It heals. It goes before us to make the crooked places straight. By creating ourselves in relation to this truth, all demons, no matter their source, disappear – not because we have power over negative forces but because such evil as a power is an illusion.”

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Source: PR Star Media Group

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