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Jim Harold interviews experts on all things ghostly in this PLUS ONLY podcast! For Jim's other PLUS shows, go to


Apr 27, 2022

Psychic John Russell shares many experiences from a lifetime of paranormal activity.

You can find his most recent book at Amazon: A Knock in the Attic: True Ghost Stories & Other Spine-chilling Paranormal Adventures

Thanks John!

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Please note we do not guarantee 100% transcript accuracy. The below reflects a best effort. Thank you for your understanding.

Jim Harold 0:06
Ghosts, have they become a cliche? Or can we once again examine this phenomena seriously? After all, isn't it really our own afterlife we're curious about? Let's delve a little deeper on _Jim Harold's Ghost Insight_.

Welcome to the program. I am Jim Harold and so glad to be with you, once again, and I think we're going to have an absolutely fascinating program. Our guest today is John Russell, and he has been an internationally known professional psychic for almost half a century. He's worked with clients around the world, and he's also been a featured guest on many popular radio shows, and recently filmed a TV pilot for the History Channel in which he psychically explored the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. And he's also been an avid motorcyclist for over 50 years. When he's not chasing ghosts around the country on his motorcycle, John enjoys reading, painting, making photographs, gardening, target shooting, and he fancies himself a fair chess player, as well. John, so glad to have you with us on the show today. Thank you for taking time.

John Russell 1:16
Jim, I'm so happy to be here. I appreciate the invitation, and looking forward to our talk today.

Jim Harold 1:22
Now actually, we're going to talk, today, a little bit about your book, _A Knock in the Attic: True Ghost Stories and Other Spine Tingling Para-- Spine Chilling, excuse me, Paranormal Adventures_, but I always like to find out about origin stories. Have you always known that you're psychic. How did this all start for you?

John Russell 1:44
Oh, this all started, Jim, when I was about five years old. And I was in my bedroom, completely sound asleep. Woke up in the middle of the night. I'm guessing midnight to 2AM, somewhere around in there. And when I woke up, I was absolutely, suddenly, totally, completely, wide awake. There was no grogginess, no drowsiness. I didn't gradually come awake. I was just, all of a sudden, wide awake. And I couldn't figure that out. And I laid there a second in the dark. And I thought well, "Maybe there was a noise outside that woke me or something." And I listened. Didn't hear anything. And I thought, "Well this is really odd." So I raised up on my elbows in bed, and I looked around my bedroom. My bedroom door's open, and there was a hallway with doorways going off of it. My parents had put a nightlight in the hallway, in the bathroom, in case I had to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. And as I looked out my open bedroom doorway, down the hall, peering around the doorway, coming into the hall, was this elderly black gentleman. And I screamed bloody murder, because I'm five years old, and we didn't have anybody in black living with us, was a white family. So my assumption as a child was an intruder had entered the home. And when I screamed bloody murder, he walked around the doorframe, into the hallway, started walking toward my bed. And locked eyes with me, never looked away. And I knew he was elderly, because he had close-cropped white hair and a white mustache. He had on a red flannel shirt, khaki pants, black shoes, black belt, and he was not translucent. He was not transparent. He was every bit as solid as you or I. Totally, completely, solid. So that added to my fright, because, "Okay, here's somebody in a physical body I don't know, in our home, coming to my bedroom." So I screamed bloody murder, again, the light started coming on. My parents start running. And as my parents start running, he disappears, beginning with his feet, almost like a Cheschire Cat. It was- it was funny in retrospect. He disappears and starts getting transparent at his feet, goes up to his head. That vanishes, and he's gone. And that happens before my parents make it into the bedroom. So I'm understanding now that I had just seen my first ghost, but I'm still convinced somebody's in the house, and so I'm crying like crazy. And I'm telling my parents, "There's somebody here! There's somebody here!" And they're like, "No, no, no. Nobody's here. You had a bad dream. It was just a nightmare." And I knew better. I knew I had just seen somebody, totally, completely, physically solid, that had just subsequently vanished into thin air. And my fright was so real that my father actually went through the house, looked under all the beds-- the closets, checked all the doors, and windows. Course, everything was secure. So they tried to comfort me. I tried to go back to sleep, which was nearly impossible, because I'm like, "Why did this guy come in the first place? Is he going to come again? How can he appear a solid body and disappear? Is he going to want to talk to me? Is he going to ask me to do something weird, or scary, or whatever." So I finally got back to sleep. And I spent the next several days, the next several weeks, looking over my shoulder frequently. Ya know, "Where is this guy? When is he coming back? What's going on here?" And then it was like I had this epiphany, like, the other side gave me this epiphany. It was like, "This guy came to open up the portal for you, between the other side, and your perception of the other side, so that interaction can occur." And I begin to have these experiences: literal, physical experiences, not things I dreamed or saw in a vision, or meditation, or anything like that. These were actual, literal, physical experiences occurring in the physical realm, that were supernaturally manifested, and many times witnessed by other people. So there were footsteps, invisible footsteps, that would follow me around. There were movements in the house that weren't caused by any person, or pet, or wind, or draft, or anything like that. Doors were opened and closed by themselves. These types of things. Things would kind of appear and disappear. And so I began to put two and two together. It's like, "Okay, he came to open up the doorway to that." Now, at the time, I didn't understand all the ramifications of tha, but I understood that he was responsible for opening up that portal, opening up that doorway. And so the paranormal manifestations began on a physical level. And now I've had well over a thousand of those in my lifetime, a lot of them we've recorded: audio, video, taking pictures, so on and so forth. And then, it wasn't long after that, I was maybe getting close to six, and I was out in the backyard playing with a toy. And this car pulled in the driveway I didn't recognize, and so I went, and ran, got my mom and dad, and I said, "Hey, there's somebody in the driveway. Some car just pulled in. I don't know who these people are. I've never met them. I've never seen them." So my parents came out, said, "Okay, we'll see who it is." So they came outside of said, "Oh, those are friends of ours." And they were friends of theirs I've never met. So they were all standing on the sidewalk outside and talking before they went in. And I was kind of goofing around with my toy, kinda eavesdropping a little bit. And all of a sudden, I had this crystal clear vision. And I went over, just went up into the group of adults and interrupted them. And I said, "You folks just went on vacation, and you drove that car that's sitting in the driveway." And I said, "You took two kids with you. You have two kids. They're not with you today. But you took two kids with you in that car on vacation. And you stayed at this hotel that was painted this color. Had this many stories. Looked like this. There were trees up in front that were regularly spaced, and the pool area looked like this." And- and so the guy, the husband, was kind of looking at my mom, and dad, and me, and his wife, kind of like, "What's going on?" And I'll never forget his wife: her eyes were bugged out. Her jaw was slack. She looked at my mother and she goes, "How the hell, could he possibly have known this?" And my mother was kind of flustered and she said, "Oh, well- get- you know, kids and their imaginations." And she said, "That-- No. Kids and their imaginations? No. How the hell could he possibly know this? That's what we were coming to tell you about: this vacation we just took. Which we drove our cars out there in the driveway. We had our two kids with us. The hotel, we stayed at matched his description exactly. How the hell could he possibly know this?" And my mom and dad were kind of like, "John, go play," and I was like, "Okay, nice to meet you folks!" And went off with my toys. And I guess I scared them to death, because they never came to visit my parents again. And that's when I learned that I had the psychic ability to see into people's lives. I learned that I could read their minds. That I could tell what happened to him in the past. What was going on around them, then. And that I could accurately predict the future. So that's where that all started, and then grew from there.

Jim Harold 8:35
Now, I want to get more into your journey, but you made a statement, or have a belief, and I'm very interested in this; The idea that all houses are haunted. All houses are haunted.

John Russell 8:49
All houses.

Jim Harold 8:50
And I assume that includes brand new houses and very old houses.

John Russell 8:54

Jim Harold 8:54
So talk- talk to us about that. Because, you know, a lot of times, I have a show called _Campfire_, and people call in, and say, "Hey, you know, I grew up, and there was a ghost in my house. And the thing was, the house was brand new!"

John Russell 9:07
Right. Right.

Jim Harold 9:08
So talk to- talk to us about that, please.

John Russell 9:10
Oh, absolutely. The easiest way to understand, Jim, that all places are haunted-- the entire Earth is haunted. You have to go back and realize that for however many hundreds of thousands or millions of years that the Earth has been in existence, there have been people all over this earth. And there have been murderers, and there have been wars, and there have been wholesale slaughters, and there have been wholesale die outs because of diseases. And all of-- you know, throughout history people have probably populated every square inch of this planet, at one time or the other. So there have always been people there, animals there, so on and so forth. So when you think you're building on virgin ground-- you've cleared a forest and- and built on virgin ground-- there may have been people there 100,000 years ago. 10,000 years ago. 1,000 years ago.

Jim Harold 10:06

John Russell 10:06
--they cleared that area, had a place there, left, maybe dismantled it, maybe nature, you know, took care of it. And then the forest reconsumed it, regrouped, come up about it. And so you think you're getting virgin ground, and you're not. The interesting thing that I discovered when I-- in doing a lot of paranormal investigation in the state parks, and in the woods here in Florida; there was one place that was a thriving plantation. And they they had all these things that they did, and they produced this, and this, and this. They had all these slave quarters, and they had the Masters mansion, and they had all of these things on this land. And the only thing there now, is, like, a well-house, a coal-storage house, and some of the foundations of the slave cabins. And that's it. The woods, Nature, has reclaimed the rest, you know. And so we have to understand that even though we may think it's pristine ground, it may have been cleared a long time ago, abandoned a long time ago, nature re-took it. And if you bother to find out anything about how fast nature reclaims things--

Jim Harold 11:16

John Russell 11:16
-- it's incredibly fast, it's incredibly quick. So every place on the planet's been haunted. I always tell the story; there's a place here in Florida, and it's called Matanzas Inlet, and it's on the ocean. And you look over at the inlet, and you look over the ocean on the beach. You go across this bridge, and it's pleasant, and it's pretty, and there's people kite-surfing, and fishing, and sitting out there, and picnicking, or whatever, and enjoying the ocean. Enjoying the inlet. And the word, "Matanzas," means slaughter. And on the spot where the sign is for Matanzas Inlet, there's a sign that says "On this spot," you know, however many decades ago, "These, the Spanish soldiers," I believe it was, "slaughtered the French," or whatever, I'd have to look it up. Now, you can look it up, it's online. But in this beautiful spot, there was this mass slaughter of people, on this- on this spot that we, you know, value as- as a tourist spot. And so all these things occur all over the world, continuously since we've been on this planet. And so every location has not only the physical people that have been there, and died, and things of that have happened, but we also have to understand that we share the earth with nature spirits, various other energies, so on and so forth. And they're all over. We don't see them, because we're not usually on the same frequency. But they're all over the place. And we have these hauntings from people that have been there. We have these hauntings from nature spirits, other energies that are there. So yeah, you can build a brand new house, and it can easily be haunted. So that's- that's the understanding that I came to handle this.

Now when we're talking about hauntings, and we're talking about ghosts, I mean, I think a lot of people assume, "Okay, if you're talking about ghosts or hauntings, you're just basically talking about the spirits of dead people." But it's much-- as I understand it, talking with people like you, it's a- maybe a much broader sampling of different kinds of entities, and different kinds of spirits. I mean, how wide is that continuum of different kinds of entities?

It's very, very wide. And I don't think we've touched the surface of it- scratched the surface of it. I don't think we have even a close understanding of it yet. Because, yes, there are people on our side that pass over and hang around for whatever reasons, and communicate. There are also seemingly, let's call them little motion pictures, that replay in the area, a certain area, over and over and over again, that may or may not be interactive, and may not be directly a ghost, or an intelligent entity, or anything like that. And then there are, yes, there are nature spirits. There are fairies. There are-- you've got Bigfoot. You've got all of these things that-- and then energies on the other side. And talking about these nature spirits, I think there was various classifications of those energies and spirit beings. On the other side, there's a broad possibility there, angels or guardian angels, various other types of entities that communicate that we don't really even know who or what they are, or how to classify them. And so, yes, we have a very large spectrum, a very broad spectrum, of beings that can communicate with us and do communicate with us. And that's why it's important when you go and investigate a place. It's like trying to determine who is communicating, what their purpose for being there is, why they're there, what message do they have for you, what may they need from you, and all those types of things. And with such a wide variety of entities there that I've experienced. It's kind of important to narrow down- narrow the focus down, if you can. You can't always. But you're correct in saying that there's a very broad spectrum there. Absolutely.

Jim Harold 15:14
Now, I mean, some people kind of fall, I think, into the trap that think that, "Maybe all these haunting things are evil."

John Russell 15:23

Jim Harold 15:23
Now, let me ask, but then I think there's other people who fall into the trap who think, "Everything's good!" What do you think? Are we- are we dealing with pure evil? Are we dealing with pure, good? Or is it kind of like everyday life: again, there's a broad spectrum?

John Russell 15:42
Well, I think there is a shallow spectrum there.

Jim Harold 15:47

John Russell 15:47
I don't think that everything on the other side is all, you know, lollipops and roses. I don't think that. because if you look at humans, we know that there are incredibly mean and evil people out there, among the human race.

Jim Harold 16:04

John Russell 16:04
And if we extrapolate that, then by extrapolation, by logic, there have to be some spiritual on the other side that do not have good intentions, as well. But I have to say, I began doing paranormal investigations at the age of 12, and I'm- I'm gonna be 68, now, this month, in a few short days. And in all of these years of my paranormal investigations, I have never met the stereotypical, the movie, _The Exorcist_, demon. I haven't found demons hiding behind every bush. I've not been bitten, scratched, pushed, choked, threatened, or anything else. And I've done a lot, a lot of paranormal investigations in my time. I think that one thing that contributes to people's concept of everything being evil or dangerous or scary; there's a couple of things that contribute to that. One: is our religious upbringing. Whatever our religion is, but in particular, if you were brought up in the Christian religion--

Jim Harold 17:08

John Russell 17:08
-- any paranormal experience that occurs outside of the Bible's approval, is automatically satanic or demonic. So that's hard to fault, knee jerk response. If it occurs, and it's not in the church, or approved by the church, or whatever, our go-to is that must be evil, it must be demonic, it must be satanic, must be dangerous. The other thing that contributes to this is, like, when I was shooting the pilot for the History Channel, there was a lady that said, "I've got to talk to you on a break." She was one of the docent's at the places we were filming. And I said, "Sure." So she said, "A ghost tried to kill me. I've got to find out." But I was like, "Oh, my God. No ghost tried to kill you. But that's okay. We'll talk." So we upped and breaked in the filming. And we got off in a private room, we were talking, and she said, "I was in my kitchen, the cupboard door flew open by itself, this plate came sailing out by itself, flew across the kitchen, landed a couple of feet away from me, hit the wall, and shattered into a thousand pieces as it hit the wall and fell. That ghost was trying to kill me. Trying to harm me." And I said, "Nope, nope, nope, nope. You're completely, totally, wrong."

Jim Harold 18:16

John Russell 18:16
"The ghost wasn't trying to harm you. Wasn't trying to kill you. If it did, it would have hit you. I said, what I perceived psychically, is that you have been needing some guidance and some contact from the other side for a long time. And they've been desperately trying to get through to you, to enhance your intuition, to give you some guidance in areas that you really do need. And they've been trying so long to get through to you. And you've been kind of shutting them off, or ignoring them, or afraid to open up to that, that they finally just got frustrated. And it was like, "Okay, ignore this! You can't ignore this." So she got it, she understood it. And, I was like, "You know, look, a lot of the times we're just so blind and so deaf to what the other side's trying to get through to us. And if we listen, if we pay attention, these beings can, literally, save our lives. Like it will, literally, save my lives many- my life- many, many times." So it's important that we listen to that, because they can save our lives. They can guide our intuitions. They can keep us out of trouble, like, and tell us when we're in danger of being conned, or being frauded, or whatever. And so it's important that we enhance our intuition enough that we can receive this information and listen to this. So those are good and positive things. But the other side can do some wild things to get your attention, if you're not paying attention. And then also, I've talked about the nature spirits and things I've encountered, and they're not human. They were never human. They don't necessarily think in a human-minded, human-hearted way. That doesn't mean they're indifferent, or they're evil, or they have it out for us. It's just that their thought processes, our thought processes, are quite different. If you want a good analogy there, look at your pet dog. Your pet dog has intelligence, emotion, can learn, plays with us, loves us, everything else, but it's not human. And it has different ways of thinking than we do, when it comes to certain areas, about the way it interprets the world, and things in the world, and so on and so forth. So that's a good analogy for that. But I have not encountered any wide variety of evil, or danger, or whatever. And in all the paranormal investigations I've done, I haven't had any of those attacks, or anything like that, come against me. I have encountered entities that-- the best way that I would put it is, you better be very, very respectful of these beings--

Jim Harold 20:44

John Russell 20:44
-- because they have a tremendous amount of power. They can affect things on the physical realm. And they are fairly easily slighted sometimes. And so all these paranormal investigators that always go in cursing the spirits--

Jim Harold 21:01

John Russell 21:02
-- like "show themselves" and all this--

Jim Harold 21:03

John Russell 21:03
That's a total lack of respect, and that's no way to conduct paranormal investigation. You should always respect who and what's on the other side, particularly these forces that are extremely powerful, that are unseen, but yet can manipulate our physical realm, and that includes us. So we have to be respectful of that. But no, I haven't found all this scary, spooky, dangerous, evil, demonic, I haven't found that at all.

Jim Harold 21:29
Well, it-- to me, about the kind of provoking, I guess they call it, thing. Would you go into a human's house and start yelling at them? Because --

John Russell 21:39

Jim Harold 21:39
--if you're in Texas, you might be in trouble. I mean, you know, you get ahold of the wrong person--

John Russell 21:44
--in Texas, they'd shoot you in a heartbeat.

Jim Harold 21:46
Well, that's my point. I mean--

John Russell 21:48
--if you show up on Mike Tyson's doorstep and start yelling--

Jim Harold 21:51

John Russell 21:52
--you get you're-- you're gonna be swallowing your teeth. So--

Jim Harold 21:54
Exactly, or losing-- you might lose an ear--

John Russell 21:57
So, quick example, if I may?

Jim Harold 21:57

John Russell 21:57
So the powerful energy that these forces have-- and that they know exactly where we're at, and who we are, and what's going on. And I write about this in my first book, _Riding with Ghosts, Angels, and the Spirits of the Dead_. And I had-- I've been a biker since I was 15. Now, my current bike, I have almost 214,000 miles: serious biker, lifelong biker, ride a lot, did ride a lot. And so my- my day trips, when I would schedule myself a day off from my readings and things. My day trips might be 500 miles. And that was easy peasy for me. That was normal everyday fare, you know, ride 2-3-4- 500 miles in a day, and visits several different locations sometimes. And so I was coming back home after I had been on all these long treks, and I stopped at a- one of my favorite rest stops on the interstate. And there was a storm coming from the north, but it was moving really, really slowly. And I knew I had plenty of time to outrun it. I wasn't worried, and everything was clear around me. I was in sunshine. So I relieved myself, got me some soda and some snacks, and decided I'd mount back up. And the wind was getting up. And that didn't concern me, because I've ridden my entire life in every kind of weather you can imagine, literally: raining, hail, sleet, snow, high winds, everything. I've done it. And as I get on the bike, and get on the access road to get back on the interstate, all of a sudden, the wind blows so hard that it, literally, nearly scoots my bike into the lane next to me. I'm like, "Whoa, this is getting a little dicey here." And so the wind comes up so strongly that on the interstate, here in Florida, people are slowing down to like 45-50 miles an hour. Now believe me, it takes something big time to make people drive that slow on the interstate here. And big trucks were slowing down big time, because they were worried about blowing over. And I look up ahead of me, and the-- now it's still sunny where I'm at, even though the storm's coming in. It's so sunny where I'm at, but the wind has gotten so bad up in front of me that I see in the fields off to the side of the interstate, small trees, and brush, and the grass, is blown over completely sideways and rippling. And I'm like-- now, I'm an old West Texas boy, it's tip end of the southern alley- err, Tornado Alley, southern end of Tornado Alley when I grew up. So I know what this means. There's going to be a tornado forming. (Unintelligible) on the ground, something. So looking around, I don't see anything. The winds getting worse and worse. And about this time, me, and my bike are picked up into the air as one. Now, not lifted off the saddle of my bike. My bike and I are picked up off the ground. Now I don't mean anything, like, as drastic as three or four feet, but we're picked up a good six inches, maybe a foot off the ground. And I'm still going through the air 50 miles an hour. Only, now I'm going through the air 50 miles an hour off the ground. And this force begins to spin me slightly counterclockwise. And bikers always always say we want to die at speed. That's how we want to go out, and I'm sitting there thinking, "This is it, because if this thing sits me down at this angle, sideways, I'm falling over sideways at 50 miles an hour." Smacking myself on how many cars are going to run over me before they get stopped. I guess I'm fixing to find out what's the other side's like, firsthand. So this- this force holds me there a little bit, and spins me back around gently, and kind of sets me down a little bit off kilter. But I've been riding since I was 15. I've got excellent riding skills. So I do my body English, call all the guys to help me get straightened out. And I look up, and here comes this funnel cloud snaking down out of the clouds, straight toward me. And I'm like, "Holy cow!" So I downshift the bike, lean down over the tank, lean out over the bars, open up the throttle all the way 'til the engine screams, and I run hot like that for four or five miles 'til I get clear of this thing. So I'm like "Holy cow. What an experience is this?" and the feeling, the sensation, I had was not that this was a weather accident. This was the the feeling that I had-- and I talk about the possibility of intelligent storms in both my books. And the feeling that I had was some powerful entity, some being, was literally taking me in my bike, kind of spinning us around each way, looking at us, like he might pick up a grapefruit in the supermarket and twist it back and forth in your hand lookin' to see if it's got any bad spots. And that was the feeling I got. Some one had picked us up and was just kind of spinning us round, looking at us going, "Uhh Huh. Look what I can do." And then sent me back down. So after I ran hot, got through, there was a bar here, biker bar here, that had a tattoo shop with it. I thought that's the most genius thing ever. And I had made a rule that I didn't imbibe on my bike when I was (Uninitelligible) and then, after this, I'm shook up a little bit, I'm gonna stop and have a beer. And I was also going to get a 13 tattoo, because the tattoo parlor had this special going. This was the day before Friday the 13th, which has always been a lucky day for me. So the tattoo special was that if you come in Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, you'd get a number 13 tattoo for $13. So I'm waiting for the tattoo shop to open up. I'm trying to tell people, you know, about this experience, I've just had, and they're like, "Yeah, yeah, crazy old biker, leave us alone."

Jim Harold 27:12

John Russell 27:12
And so the tattoo parlor opens up, I go in to get my tattoo. And I'm telling the the girl, the tattoo artist, about this experience. And as I'm telling her this, from across the street, this exact same funnel cloud in the exact same shape, coming down at the exact same angle, starts snaking across the street right towards the tattoo parlor. And I said, "My God! Look! Look out the window," and she gets up. Stops my tattoo. Gets up. Goes and looks out the window. She goes, "Hmm. Looks like it followed you," and it went on over without any damage or anything. But that's the experi-- the power that you can experience from the other side. And like I say, this was not a coincidence that that exact same funnel cloud followed me all the way down there, and then came back the other way from the direction of the store to move toward the tattoo parlor in the exact same shape, exact same form. And it wasn't any kind of weather coincidence, because I can psychically tell- psychically tell that some being, some person, some entity had picked me up and was just holding me. Kinda turning me, lookin' at me, "Look! Look what I can do!" and set me back down safely. So that's an example of the power that these energies and forces have. And it always amazes me that these idiots go into these so called paranormal investigations and start cursing these entitites. That one doesn't just pick them up and throw them out the window or something. Because that's the power they obviously have and can manifest. So we need to be very respectful of this other side.

Jim Harold 28:44
Now, on that topic, people want to go out and do paranormal investigation. I, personally, I'm not a paranormal investigator. I- I kind of look at this way; you have sportscasters who used to play the game, and then you got sportscasters who never played the game.

John Russell 28:59

Jim Harold 28:59
That's like Howard Cosell, if people remember him. I never played the game. I'm kind of the person who talks people like you, and experts, and gets their opinions. But I intentionally don't want to go out and investigate, because I want to keep kind of an arm's length, and- and be able to hear everybody out, and not have a bias one way or the other. But a lot of people these days-- I think mainly because of the TV shows-- want to go out and do paranormal investigation. It's probably like bowling in the 60s or 70s, you know, everybody's got a bowling shirt. Now everybody has their black t-shirt, right? So- so here- here's my question for you. What are your thoughts on just individuals who are just interested going right out and doing paranormal investigation? Do you encourage it? Do you cau-- do you encourage it but with cautions? Do caution against it? What are your thoughts?

John Russell 29:53
I would encourage people to learn as much as they can before they do. Because, for one thing, you're stumbling into an arena where there may be these powerful spiritual forces, and maybe they're in a good mood that day and give you a pass, and maybe they're in a bad mood that day and they don't. So you don't know who and what you're encountering. So, I would tell people to gain experience to kind of learn what they're going to expect. You know, it might be a good week. People go out and report feeling ill, feeling bad, getting headaches. This and so on, and so forth. I've never experienced that. But I always go into a place-- and this is what I stress to people that want to do this-- I always go into a place with clear intent, with a pure intent. And that intent is to respect whoever and whatever energies are there. And to ask their permission, that, "May I come in here, and I don't want to stir anything up. I don't want to disturb you. But I would like to investigate here. And if you have anything to communicate to me, I would be open and receptive to that. If there's anything that you would like from me, that I could do for you, would you like some music? Would you like some incense? Would you like a candle lit for you? Would you like to be left the hell alone? You know, whatever it is, what can I do for you?" And I think you develop that two-way, you know, repartee, and you go into it with that attitude and that experience. And I would say this to everyone, if you're scared of it, if it spooks you, leave it alone, because I can guarantee you something's going to happen. That either somebody on the other side has a real good sense of humor, and they're gonna get you. Or you encounter one of these powerful entities that makes your hair stand on end, and you misinterpret it as evil, or demonic, or malevolent. So if you're naturally spooked, if you're naturally easily scared, if you have any trepidation about this at all, find some other thing to do, leave it alone, don't mess with it. Now, if you do feel like you can do this in a respectful way, and it's not going to frighten you, and you're not going to have a knee jerk response to whatever happens, but whether you will be open to the interpretation of that and try and communicate with that spirit, see who's there, why they're there, what they're communicating, then that would be the way to do it. If you're not psychic like I am-- well, everybody is psychic, but only to a degree, we all have our plateaus that we come to. So if you're not powerfully psychic, like I am, where you can communicate directly with these energies, with these spirits. Then you can read up on using like EVP electronic voice phenomenon, or you record spirit voices, you can use REM pods to indicate the presence of a spirit, you can do spirit photography, all these types of things. So gain experience with that. The best way to do that-- and look, let me tell you one of the most clear, concise, powerful, easily understood spirit voices I've ever recorded in my life was in my home office. So you don't have to travel to Gettysburg, and carry a ton of gear with you to do this. You can begin your experimentations right in your own home, right in your own yard. You can take spirit photographs there, you can do EVP recordings, or you can use REM pods, or you can do a number of things there, pendulum, crystal ball, Ouija boards, scrying, all these types of things. So you don't have to travel to someplace exotic, you can do it right in your backyard, because we've already established, every place is haunted. And then it takes time, it takes patience. You might be tryin' for an EVP recording, you might get something the first time that you do it. You might not get anything for three weeks. So it depends on, are you patient? Are you persistent? Do you want to continue with this enough? Are you really that interested? And wanting to find out what's going on, wanting to find out how you can better connect with the spiritual realm for your own well-being, and then to help you be a help to other people as well? Do you really have that? And so that's how I would tell people to approach it. And again, patience, persistence, and if you're scared at all, or if you've bought into any of the negative superstitions that surround this thing-- and here comes the big one-- the Ouija board--

Jim Harold 34:14

John Russell 34:14
-- Oh the Ouija Board. Oh my God. I know you're gonna come from demons. I would never use a Ouija board in paranormal investigation. Oh my god, my god, my god." Okay, let me throw something at you, here. You'll use a deck of tarot cards. You'll go to a medium or a psychic, such as myself. You'll watch these things on TV. You'll use a pendulum. You will use a crystal ball. You'll use crystals. You'll use runes. You'll use all these other things. REM Pods. You'll use EVP. But the Ouija Board's bad? Now why is the Ouija Board bad, and all these other things aren't, you know?

Jim Harold 34:49
That's a good point.

John Russell 34:50
You're comunicating with the exact same realm.

Jim Harold 34:53
That's a really good point.

John Russell 34:54
Yeah, you're communicating with the exact same realm. So I've used a Ouija board since I was 15. I had a woman introduce me to it, and- and teach me how to do it. And I've used it since I was 15, still do, never had any problem, never had any threatening messages, never had any gobblygook or nonsense that told me to sell my house and join a cult or anything, never anything like that. So I think too, we have to realize that our subconscious can also throw energy out there and influence things. And if we're scared to death of a thing, and we go to use that thing, then our fears might manifest something that's not even out there. That's not even tangible or not even real. So look at what paranormal tools that you would find comfortable to use, and- and progress from there. But again, the key is respect. That's the big thing when going into any of this. And if you're going to communicate, you know, most of these people go out, and they go, "Spirit, are you here?" and the REM Pod goes off, "Oh, wow, look, we found one!" Or they do something like that. Well, guess what? You've established the presence of a spirit, but you haven't established who it was, why they're there, what they're trying to communicate, and so on and so forth. So to do that, you have to have experience using either some communicative tool like the Ouija board, or something like that. Or EVP, or you got a bring a good psychic along with you that can communicate directly with the spirits. And so that's- that is how you get into it. That's how you do it successfully.

Jim Harold 36:22
Now, if people pick up the book, _A Knock in the Attic: True Ghost Stories & Other Spine-chilling Paranormal Adventures_, what can they expect?

John Russell 36:33
This book, my second book, is in kind of-- it's in chonological order, it actually goes back to my childhood, when I saw that ghost and awakened all this, and documents throughout my life, up until the time I become a young teen and young adult, entered the ministry, become a full time psychic, moved to New York, moved to Florida, and where I'm at now. It actually takes you through my life in chronological order that way, and talks about the phenomenal paranormal experiences I've experienced and had in the physical realm that a lot of times have been witnessed, and experienced by other people as well. And what they've taught me, and that's another thing, it's like, okay, it's great to establish that these things are real and that they exist. But what are they teaching you? What do you have to learn from that? And I learned a lot of things from these experiences over the years. And I want to share that with my readers in my book. So if they go, "Oh, yeah, okay. I never thought of it that way. Or I wouldn't have understood that to be associated with this." And so they will get spine chilling, entertainment galore. But with it, they'll say, "Okay, this was what I learned from it. And maybe this is why you can learn from it. Maybe here's what we all need to be looking at, in our interactions with the spiritual realm." So they're gonna have plenty of ghost stories, there's plenty of good entertainment there. But you're gonna learn something, not in a preachy way, but in a very interesting way throughout the book.

Jim Harold 38:03
A couple of things I wanted to talk about quickly, before we go, and really enjoyed our conversation, are a couple of stories. And now did you buy a haunted doll off of eBay?

John Russell 38:12
(Laughs) I did, and my wife and I had seen something about haunted dolls. I think maybe on TV or something. I don't even remember now. And we were in agreement that we needed to get a haunted doll. So she said, "Well let's look on eBay." And we did. There were a lot of people that advertised haunted dolls. So they would sit the doll in one position, it'd be in a different position when they came back in the room. Or eyes would open and close by themselves. We're like, "Oh, we've got to have one of these." And we found a haunted doll that we wanted to buy, and so we'd bought it. And the lady was saying that it would would do various things, various manifestations: eyes open and close, things like that. So when we got the doll, we could tell it definitely had a spirit in it, attached to it. And we were very respectful with it. And we welcome it to our home. And we were glad that it was there, and we would talk to it. And we would give it little offerings, and we played music for it, do all these things. And one night, I had this dream and the doll came to me, the physical doll, not the spirit in the doll, but showed me itself as the doll, the Spirit did. Came to me in a dream, this crystal clear dream, and said, "Thank you so much for being so kind to me, and for helping me, but now you've sent me free, and I'm gonna go." And with that, it went up in this- this ball of flame, this pillar of fire in my dream and disappeared. And so I woke up, and I told my wife about the dream. And lo and behold, the lady that sold me the doll, the next day after I had that dream that previous night, she sent me an email and said, "Are you okay? I had a dream last night that the doll went up in a pillar of fire. And I want to make sure it didn't burn your house down or something, or harm you, or you guys." Okay, so she had had the exact same dream. The doll announcing that it was leaping that way. And sure enough, there was no more spirit in the doll, it was, you could tell it was totally completely gone, there was no presence there at all anymore. So that's our hounted doll story.

Well, I have to ask about one other story. And then- then folks will have to check out the book to learn more. But this one fascinated me the story of Pig Pig.

There are manufactured animals, stuffed animals, and things. And there are objects that somehow either a spirit enters into them, or attaches to them, or whatever. And this was when we were still living in New York. And we were at a department store, and they had this display of stuffed animals, and one of them will have a display of stuffed pigs. And we were sittin' there waiting to checkout, and I look toward this one. And they all had these little black button eyes, little, solid, shiny, black button eyes. But there's one had life emanating from its little bright shiny button eyes. And I told my wife, said, "That one's got a spirit in it." I said, "Look at its eyes." She goes, "Oh, my God, it does!" I said, "We gotta get him. We got to take it home." So we get it. And we named it Pig Pig, with it being a pig. And so Pig Pig would-- you would leave him in a room in a certain position, come back, he'd be in a different position. There would be various physical phenomena that would go on around him. And so we have just treated him with love and respect, and the spirit that was in it. We still have him to this day, the spirit's still there. Over the years, we'd dress him up in clothes, put little sunglasses on him, take him on road trips. I get in places where people look at us, like we were nuts, but we knew there was a real active living spirit in there. And we were treating him to all these experiences. And so he still- still manifests. There have been times that we have heard literal vocalizations coming from him. And so we knew that there was someone very active, very alive in there. And we would-- like, if we went places, left him alone, we would prop him on the bed, turn the TV on, and let him watch TV, things like that. So that has a little bit to do with respect to the other side. We have these experiences, and they're very phenomenal, and hair-raising and all this, but it's like, you know, hey, there's a living entity there that you're dealing with. It's not just for your entertainment, it's for you to also be considerate of that being, whoever that spirit, that being is. So that's Pig Pig. We still have Pig Pig, and he's still alive and well, and still manifests things

Jim Harold 42:32
I used to love-- when I was like, in my teens and early 20s-- I used to love to go to thrift stores and buy records. At that time, there were records. Nobody wanted them. I wanted him. I still thought it was cool. Now my youngest daughter goes, and she buys them. And now, they're not records, they're vinyl. And instead of 50 cents apiece, they cost 20 bucks apiece: used records.

John Russell 42:54
Right. Right.

Jim Harold 42:54
So that's the difference. But- But it made me think, going into thrift stores. I mean, are you apt to catch, you know, are a lot of those objects, quote, haunted objects, do you think?

John Russell 43:07
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that some people are so closed off to the other side. But if it's like a very sweet and a very benign spirits that's attached to something or inhabiting something, it may try, very gently, to make manifestation to see how it's received or not depending upon the person that that gets it, that holds it. And then they may either kind of go dormant in that object, or they might leave that objec.t depending upon, oh, the who or what the Spirit is, and what's their motivation and intent is. But yeah, that's a- that's a good way-- And like, if you go into like an antique shop, something like that, or junk store, and you're browsing around, find something that makes your hair stand up, or that you look at you go, "Oh, that- that's that's something special there. That's weird there." And then if you're trying to do that type of thing, if you want to bring that type of spirit into your home, into your life, you can do that. So-- but you know, be very cautious. Be very sure that that's what you want. Because I had a lady calling one time, a client, she said, "I was watching TV--" and this was back when Sylvia Brown was alive.

Jim Harold 44:14

John Russell 44:15
And she said, "Sylvia said if you want a ghost ask for one, and one will come to you." The lady said, "Oh, that sounds pretty cool." So she did, and she got a ghost. And it disturbed her life so much, and scared her so much, that she moved to try and get rid of the ghost. Well, the ghost came along. And where she was living, the ghost was kind of miffed that it tried-- that she tried to leave it, and so it would go up and down the street and set all the car alarms off in sequence. And so the neighbors called police on her, because they thought, "Well, this has never happened before, this woman moves in, now this is happening, so she has to be the cause of it." So she said the police came out and were standing on my front porch, questioning me. And while we're talking, all the car alarms sequentially went off up and down the street. On side down the other. While the cops were there, they looked at each other, looked at me, and said, "Okay, we don't know what it is, but we know she ain't causing it."

Jim Harold 45:09

John Russell 45:09
So they wens off. So like, "So what do I do, John?" And I said, "Well, look, you asked for it, it came. And then you disrespected it by being scared of it, trying to move away from it, abandon it, leave it behind." And I said, "what you do now: you make peace with it. You say, 'Look, I did ask for you, and you came. So I appreciate that. And I'm glad you're here. It scared me initially. But I'm glad you're here. Try to interact with me a little less forcefully, or a little less demonstratively, initially, 'til I kind of get used to you a little more. And let's grow a relationship here.'" And I said, "Ask the spirit, to watch over you, and to protect you. To let you know if something's wrong in the house. Because they will do that. I've had them do that for me." And I said, "When you leave, if the Spirit doesn't indicate that it's coming with you, or you don't invite it, say 'I'm going to the grocery store. If you're staying home, keep watch, and keep the house safe for me.'" And I said, "Do that, and if if that doesn't work, smooth things out. There's some other things we can do. But let me know how that works." So she called me back, let me know everything was fine and dandy. She'd made peace with the spirit. Things were good in the home. She had kind of come to look at it as, like, a protector and a friend. And so that's, like I say, you know, if you're gonna do this, we're gonna get involved, you're gonna find something very real there. And it's going to hold interaction with you. So make sure that's what you want before you go and start haunting the antique store. Like, "Ooo, I found a haunted doll, or a haunted box, or a haunted this. I'm gonna take it home!" Make sure that's what want.

Jim Harold 46:40
Well, it's been a fascinating discussion with John Russell. Today we've been talking about paranormal things, and his latest book, A Knock in the Attic: True Ghost Stories & Other Spine-chilling Paranormal Adventures. John, where can people find this book, your other book, and everything you do?

John Russell 46:59
They can find my books at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, online. There's a lot of mom and pop bookstores online that have them. If you want to get a reading with me, that's And also links to my books are there as well. But That's got information on me, my qualification, my 50 years of expertise as a- as an internationally known psychic. I've worked for clients in over 40 countries. All my information there, and ways to set up your reading with me, and so on and so forth. And then again, the books are available at all major booksellers online.

Jim Harold 47:32
John, thank you for joining us. It's been fascinating.

John Russell 47:35
Jim, I appreciate it. It's been a lot of fun. We'll do it again down the road.

Jim Harold 47:38
Absolutely. And thank YOU for tuning in to the program. We appreciate it, and we'll talk to you next time. Have a great week everybody.

Bye bye.