Episode 106: Vampires – Fact or Fiction: Part 2

[Hi everyone! Just a potential trigger warning for you all, before you start to listen to this episode. In one part Michelle and I discuss a case where she attended, just three weeks after a woman committed suicide. So, if this could be potentially distressing for you, please take this as a warning to skip that bit. Or to not listen to this episode. It’s where I ask Michelle what was the scariest thing that had ever happened to her during her time on the tv shows.]

Kia ora, hi everyone. Thanks for joining us today. If this is your first time listening, you might want to go and listen to the first part of this conversation I had with my guest, so you get the context of what we were discussing in that episode. In this episode, I conclude my conversation with my special guest Michelle Belanger. And I add a little more information to the first part of our conversation. Without further ado, let’s head back into this part of the shadowlands and see what’s waiting for us this time. Are you ready? Then let’s begin!

For those just joining us, and not having listened to the first episode, here’s a little information about Michelle.

Michelle Belanger

Michelle Belanger is an occult expert, presenter, singer, psychic, and author of more than thirty books on paranormal topics. Michelle has been featured on TV shows including A&E’s Paranormal State and the Travel Channel’s Portals to Hell as a psychic medium and occult expert. Michelle’s nonfiction research in books like “The Dictionary of Demons” and “The Psychic Vampire Codex” has been sourced in television shows, university courses, and publications around the world.

A person of many talents, Michelle has performed with musical groups, including the dark metal band URN, and the Gothic duo Nox Arcana, and designed immersive live actions RPGs for companies such as Wizards of the Coast. In the 1990s, Michelle was the editor of Shadowdance, a magazine dedicated to dark fringe culture that has since been reborn as a podcast. Michelle has made appearances on CNN, A&E, Fox News, Reelz, and the History Channel.

Nowadays, Michelle teaches online classes and creates a variety of resources for personal psychic development. Michelle lives near Cleveland, Ohio with three cats, a few friendly spirits, and a library stuffed full of books. Let’s welcome back my guest, Michelle Belanger.

Michelle Belanger

Marianne: I’d like to ask you how you got into the television aspect. How did that come about for you?

Michelle: Partly by device and partly by accident. So my involvement with television has a lot to do with my involvement in the vampire community. And as an expert on dark occult aspects. As a sort of media liaison for fringe beliefs. In, in the United States in nineteen-ninety-six, there were two fairly high profile events. One was a murder and one was the disappearance of a reporter in New York City. Both of which were believed to be tied to the vampire community. Their connections are a little more complicated than that, especially the reporter. She was probably disappeared by the Russian mob, because, she’d done an exposé on them, long before she got involved with vampires. But, all of that is conjecture.

The main thing is it became really sensationalized at the time. It was at the height of the satanic panic. Where there was this widespread belief. Really pushed by evangelical Christian extremists. That there were secret cabals of, you know, satanic ritual abuse things. It was a really wild time of hysteria. But if you were listening to metal music, if you were listening to goth music, if you dressed all in black, you were seen as suspect.

I have a friend, who back at that time, was the weird kid in his town. You know, he listened to heavy metal. He definitely dabbled in magic and witchcraft, dressed all in black. He was impoverished, so he didn’t have much of anywhere to go. He was just kind of rambling around the town. And there was a triple murder that happened and they painted on him and two other kids. And he ended up on death row for nearly two decades. Released. And is currently fighting it because they’ve tried to, like, destroy – It, it’s, it’s a whole thing.

It was called the West Memphis Three. Damien Echols. So, all of that was going on. And I had gotten contacted by, of all things, the Ricki Lake Show. Because, at that time I was part of the vampire community. It was an underground network of fanzines and newsletters and pen-pals. And just, you know, it’s pre-internet. Like a very, very early internet. And they’d sort of sussed out that there were those of us who were identified as the vampire. In, in a magical capacity the same way that witches, you had the witchcraft community.

What I learned from the head hunter for the Ricki Lake talk show was they really were looking for someone who was genuine. They were looking for someone to be sensational. And I will quote how this phone call went. Because, at that time, I was not out. I was a researcher. I edited and published a magazine and a newsletter. It was, you know, on the ground floor of writing a bunch of stuff, but I was not publicly like, you know, vampirism is a part of my experience.

So they reached out and called and they’re like, Hey, we know that you were working with these people for this book and we’re doing it a section on vampires. Would you like to be on? And I’m like –  Well, I can come on as an expert. Well, we’re looking for vampires and like, I can come on as an expert. For an all-expenses paid trip to New York City, would you like to come on as a vampire? No! I really wouldn’t. Do you have a friend who would like a free trip to New York to come on and be a vampire? No. Click. Back when you could get the full, visceral feel of hanging up on someone on the phone!

What  it taught me was. Our community was in the public eye. And if we didn’t manoeuvre ourselves into a position where we could speak for ourselves, we were going to be talked about. And presented in a way, that was inflammatory. And just wrong! And I’d seen that with the witchcraft community, certainly. And I’d also like learned from them. You know, there was the fifties and the sixties where it was all like B horror movie level, sensational. Like, you know, oh look at these people, they’re all naked, they’re dancing in circles, wow witches!

And several well-reasoned, well-spoken folks like Margot Adler and Star Hawk started to move forward. Even manoeuvre themselves into media like Margot Adler, who worked for NPR. And I took a page from that and was like, All right, well, somebody needs to do this. I was finishing my college career. I was debating, do I, do I move from this? Like, Do I go straight to like the Ph.D. stuff. Or, do I speak for my community? And so, I became basically a media liason. And did that for ten, fifteen years, mostly things like the Discovery Channel, CNN, various news items, documentaries from nineteen-eighty-six, onward if there was a documentary on vampires and I wasn’t directly on it, I was almost certainly still consulted on. I was still one of their resources.

And the thing about TV in the states – I’m not sure if it works like this anywhere else. Once you’re on one thing, you’re on people’s radar. And they, they like, get interested in how you have your sort of media personality. Which was a little lost on me. Because, I’m like, this is just me. And also, I do speak well on camera. I keep my head about me and bull-headed enough not to let anybody like, you know, boss me around. Or, try to twist what I’m saying. I can, I can play chess with the best of them that way.

Right? Yeah, I noticed. I observed that in in the shows that I saw.  And I know how they edit these shows, because, I’ve been on one myself.  I had a  paranormal investigation team here in New Zealand. And we were on a television series that was being filmed. And, you know, to see how they do it behind the scenes is quite an eye-opener.

With the stuff with the vampire community, especially like, that was a crash course in learning how to out-manoeuvre someone who really, truly doesn’t want you to speak your truth. They just want you to fill a role. And find the ways to speak and the ways to engage with, or deflect questions so that they can’t be twisted. I mean, honestly, that as much as that was a pretty tough learning experience. And I was doing it, you know, gratis. I wasn’t doing any of that work paid. I was doing it because we needed it. We didn’t any more kids like Damien Echols getting like, picked up off the street, just because they were black. Like, it was just what, it taught me a lot and manoeuvred me in a good way. Once Paranormal State came together and some of the folks involved in that show were already fans of the work that I’d done with the vampire documentaries, as well as with my books.

Right. So that’s how you got involved with that.

 Yeah, sorry, that was a very long.

No, no, no. That’s brilliant. On a lot of the television shows you’ve been on, they bring you on a lot for your paranormal abilities. And I’m recalling, specifically in Penn State, so they used to bring you on blindfolded. Or was that? Yeah. They bring you on blindfolded. So you came into an area. You didn’t know anything about it and you would just give them the impressions that you got. And I really liked that. I really liked that. You didn’t want to be influenced by anything that you could see around you. So you could just trust your, your intuitive abilities. Are you still involved in, despite the current world situation, in doing paranormal work like that?

Yeah, I’ve been working with Jack Osborne and Katrina. And Katrina, who worked with the PRS. And you know, COVID permitting and in travel and whatnot. We’ll, we’ll still do some work with them. And I prefer the blindfold. The blindfold started with the Paranormal Research Society. And at first it was just an experiment of like, if we remove the ability to potentially cold-read –  Which is something that people will sometimes intentionally do. But, you can unconsciously do it. If you walk into a room. Even, if you’ve never been in that space before.

And even if you don’t think of yourself as a particularly observant person. There are elements visually about a space that may tell you a lot about who lives there. What their history is. Pictures on the walls. The presence of books, or the lack of books. Whether it’s cluttered, the state of the furniture. There’s the architecture of the house can give you a sense of how old it is, or how new. So there’s so much information to add. The blindfold removes that to a pretty significant extent.

And I had such a very good time with that. I am a very observant person. And I am someone who, I’ve spent so much of my life trying to find the line. Like, where is that dividing line between my psychological expectation, or projection of belief. Versus my authentic experience? What’s the line between my physical ability to read people, to read spaces, to just make an educated guess about a location, and a truly psychic impression? And the blindfold has let me just stop overthinking. It’s turned into sort of a mini-ritual itself.

It’s very helpful, because, as somebody who’s as sensitive as I am, and I’m sure you reckon, you will be able to relate to this. Is more – Most of my work as a psychic day to day goes into, blocking stuff out. Just shielding myself, staying grounded, trying not to pick everything up all the time. Just to, you know, get by and not be bombarded. There’s especially right now, there’s so much going on in the world. And I really just like some peace and quiet now and then.

So, when I go to these places and usually they’re there – They are rarely haunted locations, where it was a happy haunting. We’re talking abandoned prisons and tuberculosis wards. And old insane asylums and just, just places where horrible things have happened to many, many people for it –There’s psychic stains upon the land, where these are at.

And put the blindfold on, that tells me now it is time for my shields to go down. Because, I’m going into this space as open as possible. And there’s a certain amount of a trust fall with that, you know?  Knowing that I’ve got Katrina, or Jack, or other folks around me. Who if, for some reason I am in distress, or something gets dangerous, they know me well enough to tell if I’m, if I’m not OK. And to check in. And that to trust that they will, even if it’s on camera. Even if it’s going to interrupt the show. I won’t. I won’t work with folks in television, who won’t respect boundaries like that. And one of the things I love about Katrina is . . . There are a lot of paranormal shows out there, paranormal television is very big and very popular. And it would be disingenuous of me to say that it’s all a hundred percent real in every case.

Yeah. Absolutely.

 A lot of production companies are making very good television. Whether or not what they’re doing is one hundred percent accurate , or true. And it’s not to say that the, the teams are necessarily faking anything. But the way in which they may be edited, the way in which they may be presented. Or, the things they might be pressured to do may not always be what they want. So, that’s something to keep in mind.

And as someone who you know, I’m in a good, comfortable position, I can pick and choose. I don’t want to be on TV, like it’s not a thing of like, my end goal is to be on TV. Yeah, I do television work because I, especially for the psychic aspect, it gives me an opportunity to stretch my abilities. To understand how they work, sometimes to help people. And also, to represent a certain way of doing things, certain attitudes for doing things, you know, it’s not –  I am one of actually, I think that I am the only openly, intersex person who works in paranormal television. I am probably one of the only vampires. I know that I’m certainly one of the most open ones, about that aspect. So, I represent a number of fairly under-represented and diverse things. And that representation can matter.

Yes, it can. Yes.

I also represent that side of psychics who don’t just assume that everything’s always psychic. And I’m not shy about admitting when I don’t have anything. And I’m not shy about calling bull-crap, if I hear it. Which also, I think is something that we need to see more of on these shows.

Oh, absolutely agree with you. I agree with you. There’s just so much. Some –  like one thing I’ve always known about you from the minute, first time I saw you was, here’s a genuine person. Here’s a woman who speaks sorry, oh sorry, is that the pronoun you use?

I use all pronouns. It’s fine. I’m intersex. Like, like all and none apply at same time. It’s fine.

Sorry, I’m not a very political person. Like, here’s a person who speaks the truth. Who is honest. Who calls a spade a spade and doesn’t take any bullshit, basically. That’s the immediate impression I got from you. As soon as you walked in, without even open your mouth. I just knew it straight away.  Because, that’s the energy that you gave often and watching you subsequently over that series, validated my first impression. Even though I know how television series works, how they’re edited. You know, it was enough for me to know.

Yeah, I will, I will say one of the things that I really liked about paranormal state was it was not scripted. It was documentary style. So the script open quote ‘slightly’, air quotes was, there was a person whose job description it was to listen to everybody’s mike. Like, like every single person who was miked up. They’re in there, in a van, with basically like shorthand on a computer, typing up everything we’re saying, as we’re saying it. And then they would come, like basically, put together the story of the investigation from that. And that was the, you know, script as it were. There were, you know, beats for like what the production company and the director thought that we should be doing. Based on we know that well, the team knew, that they were investigating – Say it was this is a family and the daughter is seeing her doll move every night. So, you know, we’re supposed to go check out. Like is it a haunted doll? Is it something else? Is it the daughter?

And so there would be some sense of like go and meet the family first, go and do this, go and do some research on the house. But it wasn’t like they sat us down and said, here are your lines. It was not like that at all. It also did not, with the exception of one instance. I never had to like, go and reshoot lines. Like they didn’t ask us to stop and redo a thing. They just let us go. There was one instance where something went wrong with my mike pack. And they had me try to repeat exactly what I had said in the moment of like, Oh, I actually, remember when I said, I’ll try. Because it happened to be like a really, really important thing and they couldn’t get it back. That’s not the case with all of them. Some of them are more scripted. Some of them will be like, Oh, wait, hang on, we actually need you to say this, in order for the story to go on. But, it’s like, what? It’s real. It’s not a story, but it’s like, Yeah, I have. I have feelings about a lot of them.

The documentary style ones I prefer. And it’s definitely why I still work with Jack and Katrina for Portals to Hell. And yeah, if you see me on something and it’s not just straight up a documentary. I have chosen to be there. And I trust the people to not mess with me. And to respect the boundaries that I set. And one of the biggest boundaries of that is I will not make something up if I don’t have a reading on a place. I am not going to tell you what you expect. Like, if you tell me you want the place to be haunted by a demon and I don’t sense a demon. You’re not getting a demon out of me. Sorry.

Yes. And that brings up another point. These days, everything is demons. Demons, demons. There’s nothing – like it’s not just an angry human spirit. Or, somebody who’s hurting and is just projecting anger, cause, they’re hurting. You know, everything has to be demonic, which is just such a load of bullshit!

It drives me up a tree. I’ve got – I took demonology from the Jesuits at my college. Like, I learned demonology from the people who pretty much invented exorcism as we see it. The exorcist in media. So, it – this is one of the things that really gets my knickers in a knot. Because, it does come down to labels. Like it’s a convenient box. And it definitely gets a rise out of people. It’s sensationalistic, it’s very spooky. It’s an easy, bad thing to like, kind of like, get a thrill.

And it’s often, incredibly misleading. And really loses the incredible nuance of the spirit world, which is A, really not black and white. Rarely, purely good, purely evil. And not made up of only human spirits. And then also, demons. Like there’s a wide range of things that people can be interacting with.

Oh gosh, yes.

Oh, and yeah, and it’s entirely possible for a human spirit to be so messed up and so conflicted that they are doing all of the things, that we traditionally associate with the demon. But, they’re still a person. They just are a person who’s got a lot of freaking issues. And you know, yeah. And I’ve met non-human entities that they’re not human. That doesn’t mean that they’re bad, but it doesn’t mean that they’re evil.


They ,they don’t. Yeah, I it. It makes me so aggravated, especially because. What you will see is a team on a television show encounter a spirit that doesn’t behave within the expected range of human psychology. And, rather than trying to understand what that is and why? Or, understand what its actual framework of reference is. They just go, it’s not human, therefore it’s bad. And they kind of beat it with that hammer word, just like OH! Must be a demon!  And you know, we lose so much understanding by just painting things with, you know, a black or white brush.

Oh gosh. So right. Like, I always say to members of my group, cause, I started my group – My podcast started out of my group. I started my group so I could help reach more people. And I could help more people. And I don’t charge for, you know, advice, or anything for my group. So, I often get people come on my group, oh I’ve got this really evil entity in my home. And I’ll tune in – And it’s not even evil at all! Just somebody who’s angry. They’re angry because they’re hurting. I say to the people, I say; this person’s hurting. They’re angry, because, they’re hurting! Because, of this and this and this.

You need to approach them like you would a person who’s in pain. And acknowledge their anger. Say, I know, I can, I know that you’re angry. And I’m sorry that you’re in so much pain that, you know, whatever? And people just. Even with, like you say, the non-human beings –  I say to my group, not just because they are non-human doesn’t mean they’re evil. And often, we will have this fear for them because their energies are so vastly different to what we are used to. But, it doesn’t make them evil. It just makes them different.

Yeah. And I recognize it’s a fairly inborn, human impulse, to fear what we don’t understand. And that feels foreign and unpredictable. and it does come down to that sort of survival instinct of accurate threat assessment. If we don’t knows what something is, we don’t know on a deep, visceral level what to expect from it. Like, what are the rules? How will it behave? Is it threatening? Can it hurt me? What can I do to protect myself? And when none of those questions are answered. When we don’t have easy answers for those, we are afraid. And we usually deal with that fear by judging something. By like, setting up a boundary, and just like trying to destroy it or run it off. Honestly, the vast majority of even, even the nastiest, most violent spirits don’t need an exorcist. They need a therapist!

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You’re absolutely right. Like, you know, I don’t call myself ­– I call myself a spiritual counsellor, because, so many of the spirits that I’ve had contact with, have just needed somebody to talk to. Somebody who understands what they’re dealing with. And then, they’re quite happy to go off and go wherever they go. It’s so sad that we react out of that fear. Understandably though, because, most people don’t have the understanding that we do. So for the average every day and they’ve been taught to fear, that’s taught into the human psyche, to fear. Speaking of fear, what is the scariest thing that you’ve ever personally encountered on one of your investigations?

Ah. I will say the one that had the biggest impact on me was – It was with Paranormal State. It was here in Ohio, Southern Ohio. It, probably two hundred miles from where I live. And a woman had hung herself three weeks before. She was around my same age. And since she lived in the same region. Whereas, I didn’t know this going in, it was one of the blindfolded episodes. And I went through, like, the house. She had hung herself in the garage. They saved that for last. I had this distinct sense as they moved me out of one building into the next that I was, and I said, I have a very bad feeling about where I’m going. Like, I feel like I don’t want to do that. And they, and they checked in. They’re like, so, so you don’t want to do? You want to stop? And I’m like, no, no, I’m here to experience it. But, I just want you to know I have a foreboding feeling of wherever we’re going, is going to be rough.

And I stood, they stood me right where she did this, three weeks before. And so, one of the things about reading things like that psychically is, you know, you’re experiencing it in your mind. As emotions, or images. As impressions, and you learn to keep it separate from yourself. And sometimes it’s easier than others. When you’re talking about an alien spirit. When you’re talking about a land spirit. When you’re talking about a person who lived a hundred and fifty years ago. There is a different feel to how their emotions work, and how they feel. And how they think. So, it’s easier to keep them separate from you.

This is someone who was my age. Who grew up broadly, in the same geographical and cultural region. Her mental language, for lack of a better term – It was hard to keep her, and me, separate. There was a lot of bleed over with what she was experiencing and what led her to do what she did. And so, the initial reading itself was a lot.  It was especially difficult, because, she didn’t kill herself.

Her family thought it was because of demons, and it was just, it was just wrong. And in some respects, that was her mother trying to not look at the real cause. And the real cause was human evil. And her sister was the one who had brought us in there. Her sister was there while I did the reading. I didn’t realize that. I’m not sure that I would have been as bald with some of my descriptions. But, the sister took me aside after that. And tearfully, I mean, just uncontrollable crying, honestly. Said, you’re the only one who knows! You’re the only one who knows what’s actually going on in this family. And there was a bad male family member, it had been going on for a very long time. And my advice to the sister was get out now, just like leave!

Anyway, so all of that happened. And I go back to my hotel room and just do the usual stuff. Clear things out, game on my computer, whatever it took to clear my head. About three or four in the morning. I wake up.  And I, and I could see where someone else would say, Oh, the spirit followed me and attached to me. And that wasn’t what was going on. It was, the experience resonated so deeply, that I was still carrying a lot of the emotions. So, when I woke up in the hotel room with no other frame of reference, there were a few moments where it was very difficult to tell the line between how I felt, and what I was still feeling from that reading.

So, I did something that, that is not really typical for me when I’m doing an investigation. Where I hopped on to Twitter and I’m like, hey, I can’t talk about why I’m upset, but send me cute pictures of your cats. Talk to me. Anything to get me like, get me pulled out of like, this weird, spiralling cycle in my head. Because, I need to not be caught in this woman’s suicidal ideation, of her last moments. Because, I can’t quite clear it out of my head. And that was the hardest thing that I’ve done. And the scariest. Especially because, there wasn’t a ghost we could run off. We couldn’t do anything about what was going on in that family for a lot of weird byzantine TV things that have to do with waivers and rights and privacy laws. And yeah, that was the hardest one.

That must have been extra hard. To know what was going on and not be able to do anything about it because your hands were tied. I can see –  I can totally get why that was difficult for you. Yeah. And I can see it still affects you to this day. And I understand that.

One time when I was doing a lot of consultations, I was going to an area in New Zealand. A very small area. A timber mining area. And before I went spirit said to me, now Marianne, when you get there, you’re going to have a lot to do with suicides this time. You need to be prepared for this. I think over the time period I was there, I saw thirty people. Probably twenty-eight people of those thirty, had been affected either directly by suicides. Or, they knew somebody who’d committed suicide.

And so, I had them there. I had the person who’d committed suicide there. It was the most difficult thing for me. Because, when I do a consultation, I feel what spirit feels.  I feel what my client feels. And so, I totally get, I totally get how you were feeling. Absolutely. Wow, I can see that would have been incredibly difficult. You’re currently still ongoing with them as, as covid allows.

Yeah and well, also it’s let me do a lot of remote viewing work. Not, not every production company is OK with making that part of their thing. But, you know, I don’t have to physically be in a location. And in some ways, it’s so incredibly validating to just be in my house. And I, it’s I don’t need a blindfold. I don’t even see where I’m at. Nobody tells me where I’m at. I just focus on Katrina and then try to read around her. And, and they, you know, do the usual things, like try to verify what I pick up. So, so Covid’s allowed – TV in general is very slow to adapt to new ways of thinking.

And they are very hesitant of things that they don’t think will look good on camera. That’s usually their sort of like, primary thing. And remote viewing seems pretty boring. But, at the same time, from a psychic perspective, it is this amazing –  Like seriously, how much more amazing can it be? This person has no way of like, seeing anything. And they can be on the other side of the globe, and literally be at the location as if they’re walking around. Like, that’s pretty cool.

It’s pretty cool. And I’ve experienced that myself, when so many of clients have been in the United States, so. . .  With energy, there’s no time or distance. It’s just, you’re just there, just a thought! Just a thought connection. Well, it’s more of an energy connection.

Yeah, yeah, if you can connect, if you can manage it. You can do it.

Yeah. It’s really cool that they’re doing that. And of course, that stretches your abilities too. That, every time you work it, it helps you hone your abilities. That’s really wonderful. I have a lot of group members from all over the world now. It’s only a small group. I only have like about three thousand members. But, I’ve got people in the states. And I’ve had people, you know, like I’ve had people with entities in their home. And I just like, tune in.  I can see the home, like you, quite clearly in my mind.

And I say, OK, I go around the rooms until I find this entity, or this being, or this spirit person. And you know I let my people know what I see, and what they need to do, to deal with him. You know, for me I guess, like for you, it’s about empowering people to take control. And to do it for themselves. Because, I always tell my people, you don’t need to get somebody in to clean your home. You’re quite capable of doing it yourself. Here are the tools. Here’s how you do it.

Yes. That is, that is a big thing for me, too. I I think making, putting people in a position where they rely on someone else to do it for them. In many ways perpetuates the fear. You know, that means that someone else has to come in and protect them. And they’re always going to be afraid, because, then they can’t – It implies that they can’t protect themselves.

Yeah, absolutely! I agree with you. And I always say, I always say to people, Look, you have the power! This is your home. You, you can set boundaries. You can do this. You don’t have to rely – Don’t give your power away to other people. You, there’s no need to. When you’re as powerful as the next person.  You just have to believe in yourself. And you just have to have the right intent. If you go in with your intent and you’re doing a cleansing, and you’re thinking to yourself while your cleansing, well I don’t think this will work. Then it of course,  is not going to work, because, that’s the intent you’re putting out. Now, it’s as simple as it really isn’t it?

Yeah. No, absolutely.

Now, Michelle, where can people contact? Do you have a website, or a couple of websites that people can visit?

My main website is my first and last name, michellebelanger.com. If you are in the states and aren’t too keen on French. That has like all my books and links to classes. And pretty much it’s where all of my stuff converges. It’s where you can find all of my social media links, because, I’m active on Twitter, less active but present on Facebook and Instagram. And I also have a Patreon. Patreon.com/ haunted, way easier to remember than Michelle Belanger. And that is where I’ve been doing a lot of teaching classes and things. So, like a psychic development, healing with energy. There’s also a really like, avid community of honestly awesome people on the discord there, where it’s not just me like dictating stuff to people like. It’s, it’s a place of co-learning where folks who share stuff, they feel safe to share things. And yeah, I just they’re really supportive of one another’s healing circle in there. And they’re like, everybody’s just really, really cool. I’m very lucky to have them.

Oh, this sounds really great. I know I have a lot of people often ask me if I’ll start to development cycle, but really, my energy’s better used elsewhere. So, I’ll just refer them onto you.  So, that’s really awesome. I can use you as a resource if that’s okay?

Yeah, no, that’s totally –  I do. Like I said, I do classes. I’ve had a lot of people asked me to mentor them like one on one, or two on one. And that’s a little bit more like time than I’m able to invest in a way, that I feel would be beneficial for everybody.

But, the classes are pretty easy and it’s all online. It’s been really the one fringe benefit of the COVID times, is people making a better transition of like, we don’t have to be in the same place to connect. We don’t have to be in the same place to learn from one another. And to share things. And to just have profound experiences.

That’s really cool. You’re reissuing your Vampires Codex book. You’re still working on the program

Portals to Hell

So you are still on going, on that. And do you have any other projects that you’re working on concurrently? Doubtless you have!

Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, twenty-twenty-two  is the year that we will be re-releasing a number of books are out of print. Including ‘Haunting Experiences’, which is a collection of like, my real early investigations and experiences. ‘The Vampire Codex’, ‘The Psychic Energy Codex’, ‘Psychic Dream Walking’.

I have also happily gotten back into writing some games. And in role-playing stuff. It’s just a way, honestly during the pandemic, to find some joy. Yeah, just enjoy myself. So, there’s a silly little vampire romance, that just leans into all of the tropes and all of the fiction that will probably be coming out in February. Called, oh goodness, ‘Midnight’s Kiss’. And there is another one, that is like an interactive novella. So it’s, it’s a novel, but it stops at points. For you, the reader, who is also the character, to journal some sections that are left open. Called ‘Lonely House’. And that is a classic haunted house tale. And just things that I’m like,  letting myself play with different forms and have fun. Like narrative arcs and journaling games. And just different ways of telling stories.

Oh, that sounds awesome. Michelle, it’s been absolutely a fabulous time talking to you. And I’ve really enjoyed our conversation. And I look forward to having you back on again, when you release your new book. Re-release your book.

We’ve had so many nifty things to talk about, from psychic experiences, to remote viewing, dream walking, vampires, belief, language, just the utility of boxes. And why we should probably eventually explode every box that we put ourselves in. Yes, this was delightful. Thank you so much for having me on.

. . . . . .

Michelle did a brilliant summary of all the topics we’ve covered in these two episodes, which absolutely impressed me. She’s my first guest to ever do something like that!

Before I close, I just want to add a little bit more about vampires that I didn’t say at the beginning of the episodes, for one reason or another. But, I think it’s important to add these bits to round the episodes off, so to speak. I began the previous episode, by talking about vampires in movies. And of cultural differences found throughout the world, of these creatures.

Although, I didn’t actually go into any great detail about the differences. I did talk about the predominant descriptions of vampires – Although, they do alter from culture to culture throughout the world, as I mentioned in that episode. And of course, they have different names. So many different names, in fact, if you go to this episode’s page on our podcast website www.walkingtheshadowlands.com there is a link to a page on Wikipedia. That has a huge alphabetical list of over two hundred and thirty different names for these creatures, including the countries they belong to. Some countries have more than one name for them.

For example, vampires are talked about in different cultures and time periods, like the Mesopotamians, the Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, and Romans. They were particularly strong throughout the South-Eastern Europe, in areas like Albania, Hungary, Romania, Slavic Europe. But, they are also found in Ireland, Scotland, Iceland even. Africa, India, Asia, and the America’s. So, pretty much every culture in the world has their version of the vampire. With each culture having their own names, and traditions surrounding these creatures. Also, each cultural belief has their vampire, often having a different form from the predominate description I gave in the first episode. But, the common feature, is that they all either drain human blood, and energy, or life force from their victims.

And many of them are able to shape-shift into other animals, like owls, as how the (and please forgive me if I pronounce these names incorrectly), Stikini vampire of Seminole Indian tradition does. Or, they have stingers hidden under their tongues as with the Wampir vampire from Russia. The Strigoi from Romania, for example, are born with a tail, but have the ability to become invisible. The Loogaroo from the Caribbean, initially appear like normal women. But then, they shed their skin like a snake. And can transform into any other sort form, in order to slip through any crack in a house at night. So they can drink the victim’s blood. And on the Ivory Coast, their form of the vampire called the Asanbonsam looks exactly like a human, except for their hand’s and feet, which apparently have iron hooks. They are ambush predators and hide in trees, waiting on some unsuspecting person to walk by. When they do, they use their hooks to drag them into the trees, where they drink their blood.

So, from these small examples you can see that there are many different varieties of these creatures. But, the very fact that they are found world-wide, what does that tell you? Are these variations of vampires, or indeed the traditional vampire themselves, merely humanities way of explaining the unexplainable? From back in the days when they had no way of accounting for illnesses? Are vampires not merely creatures of myth and legend? Do they in fact exist in today’s society?

Yes, actually they do, as I discussed with Michelle. We talked about Vampires, different types and subcultures within the current known vampire communities, mostly in the America’s where my guest comes from. But, are these the only type of vampire in existence? Do the vampires of these much older traditions still exist in some shape, or form today? Are they only a result of humanities fear of the unknown? Or, are today’s vampire communities the remnants of these much older variety, adapted for today’s life style?

Some, particularly those who work in the fields of psychology and sociology even, debate whether these people are genuine Vampires. Or, whether they are merely lacking in some other area in their life and seeking a place where they can belong? A place where they feel accepted and acknowledged for who and what they are? Whether some of those who proclaim to be vampires are, in fact, suffering from some form of psychological delusion, or illness? And certainly, within any culture and subculture in humanity, you are going to get a very small percentage of people like that. But, does it mean that all who say they are vampires are delusional and needing psychiatric help?

Or does modern psychology and sociology need to look past their biases? And accept that in those famous words from Shakespeare, where Hamlet is speaking to Horatio;

“ There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

I really want to thank Michelle for her time and energy in these episodes. I know she was dealing with a cold when we spoke. But, being the true professional she is, she soldiered on. Talking with me, for over two hours. I am very grateful to her for that. And I’m absolutely looking forward to having her back on to talk about her re-released book of paranormal accounts.

This episodes bumper music was called Gothic Children’s Choir, from Allen Gray

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