By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Peter Renn (pictured right with Jason Hewlett) of the Canadian Paranormal Foundation has his doubts about whether haunted objects are truly that in We Want to Believe’s latest webisode, “Haunted Objects.” It’s a start at examining the validity of whether energy can be transferred into certain objects and persist. Just when people thought Willy’s Wonderland was disturbing, that’s just Die Hard given a supernatural fiction spin.
This co-founder doesn’t believe that everything can contain a spirit. The little pokes at what other famous paranormal celeberities do–the Warren’s Occult Museum, Zaffis Museum of the Paranormal and Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum–was light as he didn’t want to stir a hornet’s nest. But I also see him having difficulty being accepted if ever invited to a pow-wow from any indigenous tribe since their traditional beliefs won’t jive with his.
In my studies of folklore and ancient cultures, Shintoism and Native American animism considers the possibility that everything contains a ‘soul’ of sorts. Be it an Elemental or just a transient force inhabiting that white stone by the river, there’s a lot to be said in where spirituality and occult theory crosses over.
Renn is more of a pragmatist. The crew joke about how he bought a house in the Kootenays that’s allegedly haunted. He acquired ‘haunted objects’ that he wants to study during his spare time.
Being a paranormal investigator is not about finding proof of the afterlife, and searching for those entities that get named and turned into divine forces others may want to worship. There are many ways to commune with these forces. Some turn to herbs, mushrooms or meditation in order to tune into the realm. Others need a ouija board–a “toy” first marketed by the Kennard Novelty Company when it was sold to kids. It was later embraced by the New Wave Spiritualist movement when seances wasn’t enough.
Earlier incarnations include table and glass-tipping. With both, people place fingers on the surface and it’s supposed to move on its own after questions are asked. Well practised mediums have opening and closing rituals performed before and after interviewing the spirits to not only protect themselves but also their clients.
In the We Want to Believe episode, there’s no formality involved. The crew are having fun, being not too serious about what they may provoke, as they interview an urn (filled with the ashes of a killer) and dolls. This episode is more about them as a crew than the entities that may be near, wanting to reach out to “touch someone.” EVPs are the focus here instead of motion and FLIR detection. Apparently, they got something, and the reveal is saved for the next episode!