Overview: Exploring the Paranormal Through Lively Conversation and Moderate Alcohol Consumption at Brooklyn Meetups
Andrew Arnett is a journalist and paranormal investigator who has a unique perspective on the relationship between alcohol and Catholicism. Arnett believes that alcohol can play a positive role in facilitating conversation and the sharing of ideas and stories, particularly when it comes to exploring the paranormal. In his view, alcohol can create an atmosphere that is conducive to the exchange of information and the loosening of the tongue, allowing people to open up and share their experiences and thoughts on the mysterious and unknown.
Over the summer, at a Brooklyn Paranormal Society Meetup, I was speaking to a gentleman of the Christian persuasion who told me that being drunk was decidedly against the rules of good spiritual conduct, as was related to him in the Holy Book. Drunk ghost hunting is after-all the activity that BKPS began as.
I had to reveal to him, in full disclosure, that what happens at a typical BKPS drunken ghost hunt, does in fact involve drinking, but rarely have any of the participants exhibited tell tale signs of drunkenness, per se.
Beer is served, wine poured, and liquor mixed and consumed (I am often seen with a gin concoction in my hand). But actual drunken behavior, as one would associate with the term? Not a common sight. Truth be told, alcohol is merely the currency by which the true commodity is exchanged, that being, conversation. Preferably, good conversation.
That is the one abiding rule by which all participants are in agreement. Discussion and the lively exchange of ideas, concepts and stories. The more exotic and fantastic the story, the better. Really, we are seeking information upon that nebulous realm — the paranormal.
Alcohol can facilitate the conversation, and even the mere hint of liquor, can engender an atmosphere conducive to the loosening of the tongue. Fact is, some of the participants don’t even drink alcohol, choosing rather, a mocktail, soda or “Rob Roy.” There is of course, no accounting for taste. To each their own.
At that Meetup, while knocking back a UFO IPA at the bar, I made the acquaintance of a gentleman named Mick. Mick, it turned out, wasn’t there for our paranormal gathering (drunk ghost hunt). He had no idea, in fact, what the Brooklyn Paranormal Society was. He was just another patron enjoying a tall glass of malted barley and hops. However, Mick did have a paranormal story he needed getting off his chest.
“If you want to see some shit go down,” Mick told me, “you want to stay at this place in Los Feliz. I can get you the address.”
“You mean in California?” I asked.
“That’s right. I was laying on my couch in the middle of the day. I got this place because it was so close to the studio we were recording in. It was awesome, I was having a blast. There’s like a space between the back of the couch and the book shelf and then there’s a wall. The TV’s over that way and the Wurlitzer and I was just chill in there watching some TV and a bunch of fucking books and some mugs, some Beatles bobble heads, all this shit just went flying off the shelf across the room.”
“Get the hell out of here,” I said. I took a deep gulp from my beer then asked, “Was it an earthquake maybe?”
“No fucking way,” Mick replied. “I’ve been in an earthquake. I was in the North Ridge quake. I definitely know the difference between an earthquake, a tremor. I know the difference between asleep and awake states. The shit flew off the shelf and shit broke.”
“I started cleaning up stuff,” Mick continued, “I gathered up all the pieces of broken coffee cups and the bobble heads but I just couldn’t find John Lennon’s head.”
“Oh shit,” I said, “They decapitated John Lennon?”
“I fucking looked everywhere. I couldn’t find it. I just assumed they didn’t have his head, maybe. I called up the owners of the house and I was like ‘Hey, do you have like, entities living in your house? Because a bunch of your shit just flew off the shelf.’”
“Did they think you were crazy?” I asked.
“They said, ‘Oh yeah, totally. Sometimes it plays the Wurlitzer. We think the ghost is pretty cool, doesn’t seem to be up to anything bad.’ So I asked the owner what kind of liquor the ghosts might drink? I ended up buying a bottle of Jameson and telling the entity ‘No bad vibes. I’m gonna be staying here for a little while.’”
“That was mighty obliging of you,” I offered.
“Nothing else happened there except one of my shirts disappeared. That was really weird because I don’t have many shirts. Good shirts are hard to find. I just didn’t understand how that happened, but what I will say is that shit flew off the shelf right by my head.”
“California is a creepy place,” I said, “All the weird shit happens in and around LA.”
“Sometimes it’s good weird stuff,” Mick answered.
“But sometimes,” he added, “the other kind of weird as well.”
“You weren’t stoned, when any of this weirdness happened?” I inquired.
“I know I look like a hippie,” he said, “and I listen to jam bam music, but I really don’t smoke pot that much. I don’t want to engage with the spirit realm, but I guess I really didn’t have a choice this year. I’ve had two encounters this year. The second one occurred back in February, also in California.”
“It was a really nice place,” Mick continued. “Friends of mine were in India for two weeks and they have a big house – salt water pool, pizza ovens and two chicks to take care of their dog and cook breakfast every morning. They invited me to stay there while they were gone so I was chilling and zoning out, no radio, no TV, just smoking a cigarette, and this fucking thing comes into my brain- it was like I could see it in a dream but I was totally awake.
“This thing was like a huge circle, it was a big old round thing. It had a face, which I couldn’t even begin to describe, but it had enough similarities to a face to know that it was. It had a weird little body that kind of hung off on this angle.”
Mick waved his hand over to his left side, indicating where the creature’s body hung.
“It had no topographical features. It struck me as ancient in nature but it was so bazaar it was like something from a DMT trip.”
“Did you say DMT?” I asked. “Terence McKenna talks about that.”
“Yeah, I’ve been to some far out zones,” Mick said. “Let me tell you, it is something worth doing. DMT is awesome. It is very deep and very intense. There’s no way to describe it, but that level of weird? This thing, with the face, was at that level of weird. This thing was real creepy and it lasted for about a minute. It just rocked its head back and forth softly, slowly rotating. Did that for about a minute and a half then it was gone.
“The next thing that happened occurred the next night. This is the cool one. I was down stairs by the pizza oven and I was smoking a cigarette when this thing, this is hard to explain, I didn’t see it but I could feel something coming towards me at an angle, like 11:30 and 2. Does that make sense to you?
“Well, this thing got to me, then I had the best day of the year. It was like I was on fire, I was killing it. I would like, walk down the street and meet a bunch of girls, it wasn’t even fair. The only way I could put it into words is that the Holy Spirit was in me.”
“You mean like spiritually energized?” I chimed.
“Something had happened to me, that day was so powerful. I just wanted to share it with people, people who are interested, like you. And I don’t blame you because I’m interested too, I want to know what that was.”
“Your description of the entity,” I offered, “ reminds me of the Mutated Guild Navigator from the movie Dune. Are you familiar with that?”
“Spice dude,” Mick answered.
“Yeah, they don’t have arms or legs and they just float in this vat,” I said.
“I could see some familiarities,” Mick added. “It was totally bazaar and what was really creepy is that it got in here, inside my mind.”