Two years ago while I was researching some allegedly haunted locations with my paranormal partner in crime, Matt Cook, I came across some amazingly fascinating synchronicities. The way information seemingly lined up was almost unbelievable. In fact, I would watch old local news videos on youtube about haunted locations and a week later meet these people in completely unrelated situations.  Sometimes I would bring the topics of ghosts up myself, sometimes I didn’t have to, it came to the front all on its own.  I related one of those stories in Synchronicity & Haunted Beban House but there were many other instances.

This flow of events and connecting with people to gather information and old stories is what makes paranormal research exciting and worth engaging in. However, there is another side to Forteana that is darker and less talked about. It is a phenomenon known as psychic backlash and I suspect it is much more common, and with serious consequences, than anyone would believe.  What is a psychic backlash you ask?  Well, let’s take some time to get grounded first and I will explain.

Psychic backlash is an occurrence that can happen during paranormal investigations when the phenomenon under study becomes aware that it is being watched, tracked and evaluated. The backlash happens when an investigator is deeply immersed in a topic over a longer period of time and usually is focused intensely on the paranormal events. This intense focus makes the object of investigation agitated and it in a sense lashes back that intensity at the investigator.  This “backlash” can manifest in a variety of ways, but it usually starts off slowly and builds.  Essentially what is happening is that as a paranormal investigator an abyss is being opened and peered into and as the Nietzsche quote goes:


Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.


Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche


So what can possibly happen by researching a little ghost story you ask? Well, that depends on the ghost, or the topic and the investigator’s relation to it.  I will use myself as an example. As I mentioned earlier in this blog, I experienced some amazing synchronicities, but when our focus got intense, life went extremely chaotic. It started off as light feelings of sadness in the house and bouts of anxiety by some people who visited.  We attracted strange friends into our lives and my job that I had just started turned out to be the most miserable place to work, with co-workers being rather indifferent to me.

Now I didn’t make any connections right away – at all.  All these things could be explained rationally. The weather was rainy, I was working in finance, or people are assholes, that’s all. However, as it escalated into other areas it became obvious something was not right at all.  I started being unable to meet my goals and make sales at work, which happens sometimes so I fluffed it off because I was a newbie.  But this, of course, affected finances and had me start using savings or credit to get by.  This was all normal to me, possibly to be expected.

Then one morning I got up and walked out into the living room and in front of me a Scentsy wax warmer shot off the shelf and onto the floor, it completely defied gravity. I was baffled. It happened right before my eyes.  I had never seen anything move like that without the aid of human force. I didn’t panic, I just continued on as you do. Of course, things were going to get much more strange.  I started getting phone calls from Matt while I was at work saying he was hearing intermittent banging on the walls and he checked to see if it was the landlord upstairs, but they were not home.


1911 conception of poltergeist activity


Next, it was strange thoughts in our minds that none of us had before. Thoughts of people hanging or not wanting to exist began to enter our minds. I thought perhaps it was too much stress and that we just had to work harder and make more cash.  Then suddenly my son’s grades started to fall when he had always been a strong student. Everyone seemed to have a real dark energy about them all of the sudden.  One night we were looking for Matt’s e-cig and we literally tore the entire living room apart. We cleared off every item on the coffee table and lifted up every cushion on the couch. We just couldn’t find it anywhere. We sat back on the couch rather perplexed and when we looked up, there it was right on the table we had just cleared.

Those were just some of the issues that ensued and it got worse before it got better. Could it have all been just bad circumstances? Certainly, it could have been, but I have to admit, I’ve never had so many odd and outright disastrous things happen all at once. As soon as Matt had to part back for the UK, I decided to do some serious grounding and changes and it all literally ceased. My finances improved, I got a new job and new projects came my way, my son’s grades went back up and of course, all strange thoughts ceased and paranormal activities happened no longer.

I now write for TCF blog, but I am wary of getting intensely involved less I undo all the stuff I have currently built up. So what can one do as paranormal investigators that will help prevent or lessen this psychic backlash? Do other career area’s get this experience as well? Psychics, artists, fringe scientist? And is it all the person’s psychology? Or as I explained earlier, is it really a force lashing back at us, almost putting us back to the normal status quo in order for “it” to avoid being discovered?

On the fringe radio show, Where Did The Road Go? they talked about the idea that belief creates a gateway on one of their shows. One thing that stood out was that a remedy to avoid this “falling apart’ of your life, is to mix your research with well scheduled normal activities.  It’s a daily way of grounding yourself in reality and not feeding the abyss to the point that it consumes you. You may have seen psychics practice grounding and protection rituals in order to ensure that whatever it is they pursue, does not end up pursuing them, or worse consuming them. Myself I work mornings in fitness, mix up my life with graphic design and regular fitness activities.  This summer everyone took a big break from writing on this blog to do other summer activities.

It is not uncommon for paranormal groups to break up often and I wonder if psychic backlash has something to do with it.  CFZ’s Jon Downes testifies his own experiences when working on a novel and how it broke apart his life. It seems that there is some force that is content on not being discovered and perhaps it indeed reflects our worst back on us to make sure we stop solid in our tracks. Of course, most of us always end up returning for more…


Please, I want to hear your stories, even if you’re not a paranormal investigator. Let me know if your area of focus has caused similar experiences.  You can listen or read the links below, they have some fascinating theories.


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