Many Lives in One

Kitty with SkullOne of the intense realizations post 50 is that, in many ways, you have died to one stage of your life and started another. Turning 50 is shocking on so many levels, but not for the reasons I thought. I assumed that I would be ‘old’, whatever that means. I assumed I would be unattractive. I believed that I would be ‘settled’ and ‘rooted’, firmly down life’s path towards some expected destination. My life, by this time, was going to be predictable. I figured I would be struggling with the physical infirmities of what I imagined to be ‘older people’s issues’.

My life is utterly unpredictable. I am not settled. I started a new job (without leaving the main one), will be moving soon to the wilderness, and am no longer raising a child (I’m raising an adult at the moment). My physical issues are much improved from when I was 30. I was sicker as a child and as a young adult than I am now. I don’t look young but I don’t look old; it’s still the 30 year old’s face plus a little gravity. There have been many surface changes, like waves that pass over the ocean, but the deep water remains unchanged.

I’m no different from who I was at 30. My circumstances have changed many times over. I can list all the stuff that ‘happened’, such as divorce, multiple moves and job changes, loved ones that passed on, serious illnesses, assorted disappointments and traumas, but I realized yesterday (while on a spiritual trek in the hills) that those lists we make that are supposed to mark the difference between ‘youth’ and ‘age’ are meaningless. Even the changes in my face and body that signal the passage of time are meaningless. I am the same, essential personality that I was 20, even 30 years ago.

The fact that my personality and identity remain unchanged leads me to believe that who we are is not subject to time at all. I expect at 80, I will have this same realization. Time wears away the physical body but does nothing to one’s spirit (unless disease has taken hold of the brain), and ultimately, we identify ourselves with that core personality, that soul or spirit that is ‘us’, and not with the texture of our skin or the speed of our gait. My perspective on this issue is, perhaps, different from most people’s. I was a sick kid. I couldn’t run without asthma or play outside without severe allergies. I’ve had multiple surgeries for various issues that have left me without the illusion that youth equates health and energy.

Since youth was pretty much wasted on me–and I spent so much of it trying to survive physically and emotionally–I feel that it’s only now that I am experiencing what most people consider ‘youth’. It’s an odd feeling. The culture tells me that I’m ‘over the hill’ and old, but my mind, body and heart tell me that I’m young for the very first time. Youth involved tremendous suffering: the chronic fears and insecurity, the anxiety about relationships, the trauma over not following the timeline for maturity, the incessant lack of confidence, the struggles and drama with friendships and family . . . the list goes on and on. While I am not free of all of that yet, I can see freedom just ahead; and I have moments of liberation now that were impossible then.

There is something about us that simply does not age. We are both material and spiritual, and even though I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the spiritual does not age or die. It is not subject to the forces that work on our material bodies. My memories of past lives are so strong, and have so decisively affected my identity in this life, that I know I’ll be back around. I have so much work to do still; I am still not fully ‘conscious,’ in the sense that I have tremendous amounts of personal growth to do and can’t imaging being ‘done’ by the time I die. That is the liberation, though: I don’t have to have attained enlightenment in this life. I will have more. As many as it takes.

That knowledge takes off the pressure. I can enjoy this youth that I’m experiencing without thinking that I need to ‘move on’ or ‘progress’ or be more adult. I don’t know how long this weird back to the future feeling will last. One serious illness and it’s over, I know all too well. But for now, God has allowed me to be a young adult again. I’ve lived my life in reverse. I started so old, so very old, and now I’m growing backwards into my 30s and 20s, which makes no sense. Actually, it makes perfect sense, but it’s hard to explain.

Time is truly a human construct. We need to measure time, but we are measuring something that has no independent existence. We define it by association: I have loose skin under my neck, therefore time has passed. My right hip hurts, therefore it has been 30 years since I was young. We associate various physical transformations with time passing in a straight line, and so we divide up our experiences by years and decades. This is truly arbitrary, however. The ‘thing’ we’re measuring DOES NOT EXIST. It shows up in certain formulas in physics, but it can travel either direction and the formulas still work (e.g., relativity).

Associating life events with time passing in one particular direction is simply a convenience that allows us to live lives that seem ordered and organized according to a simple principle. However, we assign damaging values and beliefs to these events that happen: I “AM” 50 or 60 or 70 is such a strange way to identify yourself. You are stating that your identity is somehow defined by a measurement of a quality that has no objective reality. It’s like saying, I AM 360 seconds; I AM 14 calendars; I AM this intersection of space-time. Why do we take such a vital verb–to be–and tie it to a system of measurement?

There is no objective meaning to a number that measures existence as ‘you’. ‘YOU’ have always existed somehow, and will always exist somehow. There is no effective measurement for infinity or eternity. We are a deeply materialist culture. We are prisoners to appearances. We fear death because we refuse to look beyond death. If we did, we would see existence stretching out before and beyond us: we are still who we always have been. This might terrify someone who hasn’t learned to love life or love who she is; but there is time to learn this, too.

I started this post thinking that I was in my second half of life. But I think that I already lived the second half. Welcome to the first half, Kirsten.



Ghost children

Marsha and I heard the voice again. It sounded like a child singing a tuneless melody somewhere in the vast, dark hallways of the old hospital. We recorded it and played it back later, many, many times. That night, as we strained to hear the child’s voice, Marsha became very, very sad and asked, “why would God allow a child to be alone in a place like this?” I came up with some theory of consciousness, reassuring her it was just a fragment of a mind, lost in time and space, not a whole personality, not a person as we understand people to be. She didn’t respond. We continued to listen for the oddly terrifying sounds echoing in dark. Why was I so frightened, if this was a ‘child’ spirit, or even a fragment of one?

In other lost places we heard ‘her’. The same, sing-song voice, sometimes attempting to speak, sometimes singing that same, wandering tune. We had many recordings of that voice before we started to ask ourselves who this might be. This child seemed to be traveling with us from one site to another. She started showing up even in our homes. I have recordings of her in the living room of our old house. Had she followed me home? I have recordings of her at Marsha’s house, too. It was always the same pitch, the same tone, the same vocal pattern. I asked many questions of myself, but they were always the wrong questions. “Who is this poor, lost soul?” “What can I do to help her?” “How can I ‘send her to the light’?”

My life during this time period was falling apart at a dizzying pace. There was financial distress, physical illnesses, mental illness, job loss and painful ruptures in my closest relationships. I continued recording voices and communicating with the spirits until, gradually, I realized that I was probably not communicating with spirits only. The answer hit me fairly recently: God would most certainly not condemn a child to eternity in a dark vacuum of empty space in a mental hospital or a jail.

ghost children 5

This plaintive voice was produced by something with evil intent. I won’t debate the existence of evil or even that entity we call the ‘devil’, because I’ve done that before in previous posts. Evil has certain characteristics that are now quite clear to me. It disguises itself as the one thing you can’t resist, whatever it is that involves you emotionally; it then confuses you, causing you to doubt the existence of an all-loving God; after that, it chips away at your life relentlessly until you are at your breaking point. When you reach that soul-crushing moment, the decision is yours: you either humble yourself completely and give yourself–heart and soul–to who you understand God to be, OR, you continue to pursue those practices, beliefs and values that led you to self destruct.

There was no little girl, crying in the dark. The devil found an ingenious way to draw us all in, to make us doubt and question everything good and holy in the world. I went back to these accursed spaces and places without giving myself completely to God first. I made myself available to the confusion and manipulation of evil. I allowed evil to lead me further and further down the dark hallways of my soul until I was in communication with something that wanted to kill my spirit. Don’t talk to me about ‘coincidences’; during this time, evil tried to hurt my own child. That’s when I drew the line. No one and nothing hurts my child.

The result of my brush with ultimate darkness was illumination. I understood how evil operates in the world: it pretends always to be something else, something attractive, something you really, really want. It often seems logical, understandable and promising. It justifies its existence. It makes people rally around it. It loves the violence, hatred, misery and suffering that it produces. Most people don’t see it for what it really is; they think its presence is natural, necessary and inevitable. Evil appears to everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any other identifying characteristics. It worms its way into politics, culture, social media, news media, institutions; it’s everywhere.

You can recognize it by its effects on you and your loved ones. If you feel crazy, disoriented, confused, aggressive, even violent: it owns you . . . or it’s starting to. Be very, very careful before you give in to hatred and anger. It may feel righteous. It may feel really, really good on a basic, instinctual level; but trust me. It lies. It will find a way to destroy you, and you may not see how it works on you, changing you, hurting you, creating divisions and dissent.

ghost children 6

God does not condemn child spirits to the dank misery of the worst places on Earth. God does not play with your emotions or hurt your family and friends. God waits for us to fall on our knees and ask for love, for help, for light, for hope. We can spin forever in a web of insanity, or we can break free and admit that we don’t know what we think we know. Love someone today who you have not dared to love before, and you will see evil twist and scream in pain. Love like you have never loved before, and your spirit will forever be in the Light, blessed for all eternity.

In peace,

Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW


BOOKS to read

The above photograph was taken in my office. There are several things I could point out here: I am bordering on official hoarder status; at least half of these books are on the general subject of the ‘paranormal’; I have a morbid fascination with death; and maybe it’s time to buy another bookcase.

The reason I include this photograph has to do with some recent Facebook (ugh) fights among minor celebrities in the paranormal, and how we might avoid them in the future. These fights are typically about the same general issues, namely:

  • Who is and is not an ‘impostor’ (translation: who does and does not have the academic credentials, experience and training to make any definitive statements on the existence of psi effects) in the general field of paranormal investigations;
  • Who is a celebrity-seeking, arrogant, self-serving megalomaniac and who is a genuine person/researcher/investigator;
  • Who is flaky and New Age and who is a real scientist (in other words: who functions as a medium/psychic or anyone who uses their intuition as a tool for divining information from the non-material realm).

I have a unique position in all of this infighting. I have academic credentials, but not in the sciences (Humanities, Literature and Languages); I was courted along with the other PHW by Hollywood for a brief time, and I did not refuse the attention. I could be accused of chasing celebrity for a couple of years, but that was a difficult time fraught with self doubt and the general feeling that I was betraying myself. I have been criticized for abandoning the Scientific Method in favor of New Age chicanery, because I discovered some intuitive abilities that allowed me to garner verifiable information from non-local, non-material sources (read: ghosts). However, to my knowledge, nobody has labeled me an egomaniac, a narcissist, or an arrogant twit.

Why all of this ugliness in the paranormal? It comes down to one word: EPISTEMOLOGY. Roughly speaking, the term refers to “ways of knowing.” How do we know what we think we know, and how to we communicate it? With what authority do we make statements such as “I have contacted the dead, and this is what they had to say”? Do we pretend to speak for everyone, or simply for ourselves? Is our “knowing” the truth about life after death based on our training in the hard and/or soft sciences? Is there any academic grounding to what we are claiming? Are we our own scientists? How do we prove that we are using a universally accepted methodology for collecting our EVP and other anomalous information? How do we interpret that information? Why should anybody else believe that our interpretations are correct? Why should we believe that someone is incapable of fraud, exaggeration, misrepresentation or simple self delusion?

Ways of knowing:  What seems so clear cut is anything but. Why do people NEVER, and I mean NEVER, listen to my damn audio clips where I state, breathlessly, that I have caught paranormal voices of great import? The answer is simple: other investigators weren’t there, they didn’t record it, they may not trust my methods, they don’t believe that there aren’t one hundred alternate explanations for what I think I’ve caught. My anomalous information is PERSONAL. The audio clips did not enjoy the blessing of any institutional controls. In the end, the general field of the paranormal seems almost unknowable in any absolute sense, even with the backing of academia. That makes it all the more imperative to read and study what others have to say on the subject.

All you can do is read. Then, read more. You can start with the books below, but there are hundreds to choose from. Before we can blithely expect others to ‘believe’ us and take our ‘evidence’ as truth, we have to have a very solid grounding in the work that others have done before us. Education is the only route out of the maze we are caught in as investigators. The insults, mud-slinging and ugly accusations will continue as long as we ask each other to ‘trust’ us, to ‘respect our authority’ and to believe that we really, truly know what we are doing; what we should be doing is engaging in conversations on the previous and ongoing research that scientists/academics/professional mediums and others are engaged in, UNDER and VIA the controls that academic institutions impose. Failing that, we should at least be talking to one another. We aren’t speaking to each other; we aren’t learning from each other. In general, we stake our territories and defend them as if our work were under attack.

But our ‘work’ means nothing if it is carried out in isolation.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW

Books to read 2

kirsten with skulls

Kirsten 51

As I scroll through Facebook, I notice yet another paranormal investigator suffering through difficult circumstances; not in and of itself unusual, but the comments indicate concern that the nature of spiritual work elicits too much pain and creates the necessary conditions for tragedy. We always wonder: is what we do ripping apart our lives?

There is no way to prove causality here; I can only speculate based on my experience. As a group, we do seem to have more personal tragedy than your average folk. It comes in many forms, but often our ailments have a strong, psychological and emotional basis. This doesn’t surprise me, I suppose, because we are opening ourselves up to the invisible world, and we have no idea who or what inhabits that world. We probably ‘talk’ to many killers, rapists, sadists, psychos and demons on a regular basis without realizing it. Or, worse, we know we’re dealing with truly horrible entities, but we talk to them anyway, because, hey it’s fun . . . I guess??

I have long struggled with why we keep serving as mediums and channels for anyone who comes along, or for anyone who happens to be passing through, when would NEVER do that in our material life. Imagine heading off to ‘communicate’ with the worst criminals in a penitentiary–we don’t do that for obvious reasons, but it’s OK on an investigation because we think that the invisibility and subtle communications from the spirit world somehow mitigate the emotional damage that they could cause, but that really isn’t the case. The pain that they inflict on us–whether intentional or not–builds over time. It’s a slow accumulation of human (and sometimes non-human) misery that sticks to us like a draining and depressing residue. No wonder we get sick, both physically and emotionally.

I have limited my investigations drastically over the last few years. Now, I go mostly to be with the friends I have made; to be in their company makes me happy. So called “ghost hunting” does not really make me happy, ever since I realized that what we’re doing is as real as it gets. For a long time, the paranormal investigator isn’t really sure that this whole “spirit world” concept is genuine. So, we spend months or years attempting to convince ourselves that were not just playing around in the dark and scaring ourselves. It’s an adrenaline filled rush when you don’t really believe in ghosts but something weird is happening around you. It was much more fun when I wasn’t sure I was actually contacting anything; then, I had the excuse that I had to continue to compile evidence for the afterlife, so I needed to go out often and stay out late.

Now, of course, I have no such doubts and haven’t for a long, long time. It’s been three years since the investigation at the Episcopal Church that was so intense and provided so much evidence for the afterlife that I declared my need to compile evidence over. In the last three years, my main goal is to hang out with my favorite people. Sure, I do still get that thrill when someone seems to be making contact, when the Ghost Radio starts talking sense and the little, green dots populate my Ghost Radar Legacy and the words start showing a thematic relationship. I don’t like, however, the ghost bullies who trap others with them in their hell and scratch my friends (or me). I suppose I’ve learned to protect myself, and that has been a very valuable lesson indeed.

Those who stop investigating altogether are simply tired of exposing themselves to spiritual pain, or perhaps they can no longer protect themselves due to their own traumas. When your life seems to be spinning out of control, one has to wonder how the late night investigations in traumatized places might be contributing to the personal chaos. I completely understand why people walk away or take long breaks. I am not there yet, and I doubt I will ever completely give up such a fascinating and attractive quest. I am careful, though, much more careful than I am with the living. Speaking of which . . .

How DO I protect myself from the unpleasant and destructive people still inhabiting their bully-bodies??

So: answer me, please! Do you agree with what I’m saying here? Are you still compiling evidence? If so, why? What are you looking for? Please leave me some comments!

–Kirsten A. Thorne


I will be writing more about this on paranormalhousewives.com, so please do stay tuned for the whole story. In the meantime, I wanted to talk more in general about the ‘scratching’ phenomenon that many investigators have experienced at active sites. I know of at least four investigators who have had this happen.

In my case, I was sitting on the floor in the women’s bathroom with several other investigators because I had seen a woman cross from the sink into a stall when it turned out there was nobody there at the time. I started to ask some questions for the first time in that session, directing myself to the female as if she were still alive and I were meeting her for the first time. Shortly thereafter, I felt like someone had placed a burning hand on my lower back, and I screamed and shot to my feet. The burning sensation continued, so I decided to take a look at my lower back. That’s when I saw the scratch mark, which looks something like a backwards ‘F’.

I am not happy about physical contact like this from the Other Side. It signals aggression and ill intent. I doubt that it was the woman who did this, but rather a male spirit who has shown up several times before; he likes to mistreat female investigators, touching them, leaning over their shoulders, and bullying the female spirit(s) that reside in this location. For some reason, he dislikes, disrespects and harasses women. We have collected plenty of evidence for the existence of this man from multiple sources.

I prefer to not waste my time with people like this in the flesh, and it’s not much better when they’re in spirit. This brings up a question that has been buzzing about my head for years now. Why do I return to places where nasty, mean, bullying spirits reside? Am I still trying to prove their existence? I do not doubt their objective existence. I have enough evidence for a lifetime. I don’t need to continue proving the existence of something that is so damn obvious (again, see scratch). So: WHY DO I KEEP GOING BACK???? Is it solely up to the individual to decide his/her fate, or can we intervene to assist them in their spiritual struggles? I should pray for them, but I worry what other people will think of me if I start praying for the soul of a spirit. I fear condemnation on FB or in the paranormal circles; people could accuse me of hubris, of being “one of those” investigators who thinks that I can “cross people over”. There’s lots of scorn for the investigator who claims to be able to lead spirits to the light. And, of course, there are those people who have no interest in liberating any spirits or sending them to the light (supposing that were possible), because their favorite haunts would no longer be haunted. That’s a topic for another time . . .

So. I can’t say if I have been, am, or could be able to “send spirits to God”, but I do think it’s important that I try. If I don’t, then the purpose of the investigation is lost for me. Once I know that certain individuals are unsavory and others seem to be stuck in an unpleasant environment, I should at least attempt to help them. I realize that I might end up the target of some criticism, but that hasn’t really stopped me in the past. Hell, there are people at work who think I’m crazy for attempting to contact the dead, much less sending them to the Light.

Every investigator has personal reasons for why they do what they do. I respect those reasons, even if I don’t share all of their beliefs or motivations. This is a personal quest, and I love my fellow investigators with all my heart. My frustration is with myself and not them. I don’t want to be scratched anymore or otherwise touched by a molesting spirit. From now on, if they do this to me again, I’m breaking out my rosaries, my saint cards, my holy water and whatever else I have in my bag. I’ll call on the Holy Spirit and pray for the nasty guy to wise up and quit scratching girls in a theater long after he’s dead. I hope my beloved friends and investigators understand. I may fail in my attempts, it may not be possible, it might even be folly; but it’s the only next step I can take, the only one that makes sense to me.

I apologize for the overly large picture of my lower back and the lovely moles that seem to crop up more and more every year. Aging. Fun.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHWSCRATCH

I was one of those annoying kids–and teens–who, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, believed that everyone was essentially good. There were no people who hurt others for fun or to engage in a power play for the pleasure of it, only difficult, unjust circumstances that made people do bad things. As an investigator into the afterlife, I discovered that true evil does exist quite objectively and independently of one’s circumstances or any explanation that we might be able to proffer. The most difficult aspect of reaching 50 years (almost 51), is the realization that evil is not only a real force in the world, but that it has to be fought on multiple fronts.


Around 4% of the population is clinically sociopathic. Sociopaths are represented disproportionately in large organizations, usually in a position of power over others. They also show up in classrooms, families, churches and anywhere else people congregate for one purpose or another. I have met classic cases of this personality disorder over my 27 year teaching career. It never gets easier to deal with the student who spends all of his time attempting to manipulate me, his fellow students and anyone with whom he comes into contact. Superficially charming, friendly and open, the sociopath will turn on you with true viciousness once he’s figured out that his tactics have not worked with you. If you keep true to your boundaries, he will quickly seek out ways to hurt you, using whatever information he has gleaned about what matters to you. Once he knows what’s important to you, he will systematically attempt to destroy it.

The kind of cruel manipulation that I have seen in the living, I have also experienced with the ‘dead’: the demonic entity is simply the sociopath on steroids. That malevolent energy feeds off of innocent and trusting investigators and attempts to control their emotions, actions, and behavior with the goal of proving to them that they have no control over their lives, their destiny, their dreams or their loved ones. In essence, the sociopath, the ‘lower entity’, the demonic, all share that common goal: destroy your sense of autonomy and kill your hopes for the future. They also seek to kill off the most hated and feared emotion: love.

That, of course, no demon or sociopath can accomplish. Love is the most powerful force in the universe, and nothing can contain it, destroy it or alter it. I know that if I could face evil with love every time it attacks me, I would win. Perhaps not immediately, but love always wins in the end. Even the most frightening individual is at a loss when confronted with true love. I think that’s the only way I can understand Jesus, both as a concept and as a historical figure: He preached that all evil must be met with unconditional love, for darkness flees in the face of light. It simply cannot exist.

Institutions, corporations, individuals, governments, religions, any organized grouping of people will suffer from the chaos that the sociopath needs in order to thrive. However, the concept of ‘turning the other cheek’ is not about passively accepting the whims of the powerful and the corrupt, but about diffusing its energy, it’s reason to exist. Direct resistance is futile with evil in any of its forms. You can’t ‘win’ or ‘beat’ the demonic or the pathological personality at its own game. The sociopath will always win if you attempt to play his game on his turf. You have to win differently: by succeeding in spite of what is thrown at you, by enjoying the love of your friends, families, students and coworkers and by understanding that what evil wants is for you to be miserable. Nothing is more confounding, frustrating, enraging and confusing for the sociopath that witnessing your daily joy in life. That is your best and only revenge.

Much love to you all,


Kitty and Ty

I grew up hearing this:

“You’re weird.” “You’re too sensitive.” “You’re unrealistic and impractical.” “You need to toughen up and live in the ‘real’ world.” (my parents were NOT the main offenders; my peers were)

I accepted it. After all, there were ‘normal’ people who all saw the world the same way, and then there was me. I figured out that there was a proper way to behave, a right way to understand people and interpret reality, and then there was my way. I grew up apologizing for who I was, feeling that I had no right to exist because I was too different to belong anywhere and too weird for anyone to love me for any length of time. My classmates quite literally threw rocks at me. Some people who read Soulbank whether by design or by accident do the same thing.

When you grow up believing that your perceptions are incorrect because you have deviated from a norm, the effects are devastating and long lasting. For one thing, I lost any sense of self worth and became a victim of abuse in personal and professional relationships. I didn’t know how to defend myself, because I was not worthy of defending. I apologized for my very existence because I seemed to offend, anger, displease or upset certain people without any intention to do so. To this day, I arouse strong, negative emotions in certain individuals for simply going about my life.

It’s hard to go about my life. I have tried to fit it to the mainstream in a thousand different ways. Of course, it never works. The result is depression and anxiety. I am very lucky to have a family that appreciates me and is extraordinarily loyal. I would like to think that I am all grown up now and don’t care about those who despise me for deviating from this path that we’re all supposed to take and the philosophies we are all supposed to buy into. However, I recently found out that someone with a certain amount of power and influence in my life has declared me ’emotionally unstable’ due to my interests in the paranormal and life after death.

If, in order to be considered ’emotionally stable’ by the outside world, I am required to believe that my entire existence depends upon chemical reactions in my brain, that God is a concept for controlling the ignorant masses or that in order to be an academic I must renounce all faith in the human spirit and soul, then go ahead: bring on the labels. I have to, after all, toughen up if I am going to handle the bullies.

In the meantime, have the courage to be ‘weird,’ different and marginalized by your culture. You are, or will be, the revolutionaries.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW