Eilfie Music inspects an inverted pentagram

The Spiritual and Occult Research (SOR) department is the metaphysical branch of the Paranormal Research Society (PRS).  This branch of PRS was formed in 2010 with Michelle Belanger and Eilfie Music heading the development of SOR from the ground up. Along with being the spiritual branch, SOR is also the historical archive center of PRS with the Elm Library and Research Center , for the archiving of not only PRS history, but also the general history of the paranormal. SOR has also created one of its first projects which is a Séance room , that act both as a room to do spirit communication, but also a space to reenact the Victorian séances that were popular during the early 20th century.

Mission Statement

SOR purpose is to educate members of PRS and the paranormal community in the various aspects of spirituality, occultism, and religion as they relate to paranormal investigation. In the process of this education, SOR seeks to establish a functional dialogue between different belief systems based on mutual tolerance in order both to promote cooperation and to combat the ignorance that breeds fear. Finally, we seek to equip our members with the ability to draw upon their own individual beliefs and convictions in order to best protect themselves and other form negative spirits and other harmful paranormal influences. We do this so that they may no only be students and seekers but powerful warriors, should the need arise.

Historical archive

The historical archive center of the Elm library and Research falls under the SOR branch of PRS. SOR archives the cases from the other two departments in PRS, but also tracks the history of PRS.  The Elm library has a growing collection of books from modern authors in the field to the early investigators of the 1800’s with emphasis on collecting original works that are often reference in our modern books. The collection as it stands is over 200 books and will hopefully grow by another hundred by the end of 2011.

At this time the Elm library is limited to members of the organization, though in the future, we hope to make the library accessible to patrons outside of society to help further the education in the paranormal.

Goals of SOR

Michelle Belanger lights candles for a ritual

SOR is developing a project to properly record and create a time-line of paranormal history dealing with famous cases, groups, societies, and influential investigators. This will be a ongoing project given the diversity of the paranormal community ranging not only from hauntings and ghosts, but also cryptozoology, demonology, UFO, Psychic abilities, est.

Along with making a time-line for the history of the paranormal, SOR will be developing a database of contacts within spiritual and occult community. This will make it easier to not only to open communication from the various groups, but to also help provide an easier resource of experts in the different fields of study.

At this time the Elm library is limited to members of the organization, though in the future, we hope to make the library accessible to patrons outside of society to help further the education in the paranormal.

Co-Directors of SOR are Michelle and Eilfie Music

Elm Library and Research Center

With the recent formation of the Spiritualism and Occult Research (SOR) branch, the Elm library, research, and séance room now fall under this area of the society. SOR hopes to make the Elm library more accessible to the investigators of PRS and outside groups.

The Elm Library

The PRS library has grown in leaps and bounds for the last ten years. The collection now has over 200 books ranging from recent authors of the occult and paranormal in the 21st century to first additions of spiritualism in the early 19th century. Originally this collection started at a mere 12 books on a shelf in a Penn State cubical at the Hub Robinson center.

In the early years of PRS, the interest in the book research aspect of the paranormal was very much present, some of the original investigators would bring books from there own personal collection to PRS as to either lend or donate. It was not until much later when PRS was moving into larger spaces outside of the Penn State campus that the collection was able to expand further.

As the library took form, it also gained the name the Elm library. This was partially because some of the beginning stages of the library were due to Eilfie Music, who is still current curator and head of the library. The Elm name was also to keep the connection PRS had in its beginnings with Penn State, since the elm trees that line the campus all the way up to the Pattee library mall are protected due to it being an endangered tree.

Since moving into the most current office, PRS has made the library not only a place of learning, but also a haven with a sitting area and a study area. PRS has also reached out to people in the community for book recommendations and donations, which has shown a positive response. The library has become the core of not only the research but also the archiving of the PRS history and cases, along with the history of the paranormal.

The future goals of the Elm is to help other fellow investigating groups create there own library collection, and to help to preserve the past. We would also like to increase our own library by another hundred books with emphasis on the rare books often referenced in the more recent books.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Elm library, you can visit our Amazon wish lit by typing in “Paranormal Research Society” in the wish list search box.

Séance Room

PRS Seance Room

PRS had moved into its new offices with the idea to dedicate one of the many rooms as a “lab” for spirit communication and research. This is how the idea for the séance room began with hopes of presenting it for the October 2-3, 2010 Open House. About a week was given to put an entire room together that would be a workable séance room. Eilfie Music and Whitney Smith worked late into the nights painting, stapling, and piecing together the room with items found in the PRS storage and from Eilfie’s house. The room turned out to be a success and would be included in the future in things such as Open Houses and local events.

The design of the séance room is based off of descriptions and testimonies from various paranormal journals such as SPR (Society for Psychical Research) and history books describing the Victorian séance room. From what we could gather, we knew that the room had have little to no light when closed and as sound proof as possible without making it uncomfortable for people. PRS also wanted it to have a Victorian feel since that was the era when séances were at their peak.

Several layers of dark red paint were used to both give it that old parlor look and to cut down on light. To fix both the white ceiling problem and the florescent light, black cloth was pulled from the storage room and tacked to the ceiling, which also help to cut down on the echo sound. To create the spirit cabinet, Eilfie and Whitney used the alternative method of putting up a curtain to section off a corner of the room instead of dragging a large wooden cabinet in that could hold a person. One of the trickiest parts to the séance room was the wooden floor since the carpeting would not work well for table tipping; neither would a large throw rug. Two thin sheets of wood were brought in, stained, and fastened to the floor. Once the main parts were put into place, the decorations were added to help set the mood of the room.

The séance room is one piece of the library and the Spirituality and Occult Research branch of PRS. The room covers a wide variety of functions for the organization and, even though it is one of the earliest additions, it has already proven to be a great add to the library. This room shows that PRS does not want to simply read about the history of spiritualism as well as the early pioneers of the paranormal, but also try to recreate it and have a better understanding of the time. It is rare for a group to have a permanent room that can be dedicated not only to reenactments but also to actual attempts in spirit communication in an environment that can be built up over time with little constraints.

PRS hopes to use this room as an educational tool as well for both investigators and guests. With the séance room, PRS can visually show how methods of investigation are used from history and modern day. Though the PRS office so far has no history of being haunted or any deaths, this brings up the question of whether a séance needs to be held in a haunted location to guarantee success?

PRS will continue to build on the room both esthetically and also with new ideas to further utilize it in paranormal research. We also hope to use the séance room to show where the community came from and where it will be going in the future.

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