What is the paranormal?

exploringtheparanormalInterview with a Medium: Bev LaGorga

In a small town outside of Greensburg lives a medium named Bev LaGorga who can see, hear, and feel information beyond the five senses, like a psychic, and also communicates with ghosts and spirits.

I had the opportunity to interview LaGorga, a medium and an author who just released her first book: We Don’t Talk About Those Kinds of Things….The Making of a Psychic. The book includes contributions from Ed Kelemen. According to amazon.com, Kelemen is “a writer, columnist, and playwright [whose] articles and short stories have appeared in numerous local, regional, and national publications. Visitors are always welcome at his website, www.ekelemen.com, and he is also easily found on Facebook.”

We Don't Talk About Those Kinds of Things: The Making of a Psychic

We Don’t Talk About Those Kinds of Things: The Making of a Psychic

Growing up, odd occurrences in Bev’s life were dismissed as being just her imagination. She was aware that her father had an experience at one point but wasn’t permitted to talk to him about it. In high school, she tried to approach the topic with her mother and got nowhere. Her parents just wouldn’t talk about it. Her mother was raised as a very devout Christian and viewed psychic abilities in a negative light. Bev, however, now embraces them, along with her faith, and considers them a gift from God, not a burden. She did pray to God to “take [her psychic abilities] away” when she was younger. Her husband also had a negative view of psychic abilities and it took some convincing to change his mind. To help convince him, Bev predicted five out of seven March Madness winners in a row. She has predicted numerous sporting event outcomes correctly, but says she never bets on these events as it wouldn’t be fair.

I asked Bev what she thought were signs a person might be a medium, and she responded with a battery of questions that when answered in the affirmative show someone might be sensitive to the “other side.”

  • Have you ever felt like you are being watched or someone standing behind you?
  • Have you ever thought someone called your name but no one was around or everyone said “no” when you asked?
  • Have you ever walked into a room or a location and felt uneasy?
  • Have you ever had Deja Vu?
  • Have you ever had a gut feeling about something to later find out that your feeling was right?

Did you answer yes to any of these questions? If so, you may have psychic abilities. Of course, there are many, many other signs that would need to exist for a person to be considered a medium or psychic.

To develop her skills, Bev joined a paranormal team based in Belle Vernon called SPIRITswp where she received confirmation she was different and could do things not everyone could do. She is still active in the paranormal community, working as a consultant for my paranormal group and conducting her own investigations with her partner. She also has contacted the police in the past with information on a cold case but says they ignored her call.

Bev LaGorga’s book, We Don’t Talk About Those Kinds of Things….The Making of a Psychic is available at her book signings and on amazon.com.

If you have any questions for either myself or Bev, please email them to me and I will respond soon.

What is the paranormal?

When most people hear the word paranormal, they think of ghosts, spirits, and hauntings. The paranormal, though, encompasses much, much more. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines paranormal as “very strange and not able to be explained by what scientists know about nature and the world.” Yes, most of what is shown on television does involve ghosts, but the paranormal also includes aliens, unidentified flying objects (UFOs), and cryptozoology. Aliens and UFOs are more commonly known aspects of the paranormal, while cryptozoology isn’t quite as widely known.

A Thunderbird as depicted on a totem pole.

A Thunderbird as depicted on a totem pole.

Cryptozoology is the study of animals that may or may not exist. Cryptozoology does not study extinct animals, but rather animals that have yet to have their existence proven. Commonly known cryptids include the Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and the Thunderbird. Pennsylvania has had a lot of cryptid sightings but most don’t make the news. As recently as last month, there have been reports of Bigfoot being spotted in the state, most recently in Lehigh County. Sightings of the Thunderbird, or a thunderbird, have been reported as nearby as the Mon Valley. Most people know what Bigfoot reportedly looks like: a large, hairy ape-like man that lives in the woods. The Thunderbird, however, has been said to resemble a pterodactyl from the prehistoric era.

A lot of cryptid sightings turn out to be hoaxes, such as the jackalope, one of the more common cryptids. It has been discovered that creatures believed to be jackalopes were just rabbits infected with a virus called the Shope papilloma virus, which resulted in growths that looked like tusks or antlers. There was a man named Rick Dyer touring the United States late last winter and early this year who claimed he had the carcass of a Sasquatch that he dubbed Hank. Dyer later admitted to creating an elaborate hoax. This was not the first time he has attempted to fool the public.

Stan Gordon, a local UFOlogist, runs a web site called UFO Anomalies Zone

Stan Gordon, a local UFOlogist and southwestern PA native, runs a web site called the UFO Anomalies Zone

Aliens and UFOs, on the other hand, are a seemingly more believable aspect of the paranormal. It would be very hard to believe that Earth is the only planet in the universe that has life, and any life not native to Earth would be considered alien. UFO sightings are very common, and there is a local UFOlogist (a person that studies UFOs) native to southwestern Pennsylvania named Stan Gordon. A branch of the group MUFON, or the Mutual UFO Network, based out of Westmoreland County, investigates UFO sightings around the area. It’s important to note, however, UFO does not necessarily mean alien; it simply means unidentified flying object.

One of the more widely known local UFO sightings happened in Kecksburg, PA, near Mt. Pleasant, on December 9, 1965. On that evening, a cone shaped object fell from the sky creating a blue smoke that quickly dissipated. People who witnessed this event claim the United States military quickly came in and roped the area off, allowing no one near the object. The official word now is that there was no object that fell. Others who saw the object said there was strange writing on it. It’s now widely believed that it was a Russian satellite that fell from orbit, which would explain the writing. This wasn’t the only sighting of a UFO in the area, and likely won’t be the last.

reannarobertsIn each edition of Pennsylvania Bridges, Reanna Roberts, co-founder of The Mon Valley Paranormal Research Society, will explore various aspects of the paranormal, ghosts and hauntings. She welcomes your questions at reannaroberts@mvprs.org.


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