A New Beginning in Old Tombstone
The pendulum stopped swinging and dropped from the hands of pendulum dowser Dan Baldwin. With tears in his eyes, he immediately embraced Rhonda Hull.
"You did good, girl," he said. Dwight Hull wiped his eyes and for a second was as speechless as everyone else in the room, a building in Tombstone's old Chinese district called Hoptown. A group of more than 25 people, including a documentary crew from New York, was also deeply affected. A guest, skeptic Brian Cano of television's The Haunted Collector, even had a sudden "allergy attack" and was also wiping his eyes. Many were weeping openly.
Unscripted and completely unexpected, the documentary crew captured the release of a tortured spirit—a man who in Tombstone heyday had murdered and who had chosen to remain earthbound out of his dread of a painful eternal judgment on the other side. What made this particular release fascinating is the "they" in the first sentence of this article. Dan, Dwight, and Rhonda were helped by the murder victim who had returned to help his killer cross over. His message was simple: Let it go. All is forgiven. Come on over.
This emotionally overwhelming moment is related in Speaking With Spirits of the Old Southwest, a book combining the authors' love of history with their ongoing investigations into the paranormal. Each chapter contains transcripts of their encounters with spirits of the old southwest combined with a history of the site investigated and a recounting of their sometimes rocky experiences getting in and out of the locations.
A Unique Combination of Skills
Dwight Hull has been investigating the paranormal for nearly thirty-four years. He has been involved in thousands of cases and has actively investigated Tombstone, Alcatraz, Terminal Tower, Sherwood Forest, Tower of London, Bacardi Factory, and The Queen Mary. He also served in the Air Force Military Police, which lends professional investigative experience to his expertise in the paranormal field.
He has communicated with human and animal spirits since he was a young boy and specializes in animal communication with living and deceased pets. He has helped hundreds of clients with their animals. His goal as an animal communicator is to raise awareness and advance the relationship between non-human animals on the personal and spiritual levels. He guides people to deepen their connection with all species in a respectful manner and is inspired by being a voice for domestic animals as well as animals in their natural environments.
Rhonda Hull has experienced her gifts since early childhood. Her gifts include: clairvoyance, clairsentience, clairaudience, clear knowing or claircognizance, psychometry, remote viewing, and mediumship. As a psychic, she provides insight and direction for her clients, which she believes leads to a stronger self-empowerment. As a medium, she has the ability to connect her clients with loved ones who have crossed over. Some of her clients are producers, Hollywood executives, musicians, and celebrities.
Unlike many mediums, who consider ghosts to be earthbound spirits, Rhonda Hull believes that most spirits have successfully crossed over but return frequently to re-visit their favorite places on the physical plane. This belief has been borne out by many of the chapters in Speaking With Spirits of the Old Southwest.
Dan Baldwin is the author, co-author, and ghostwriter of more than sixty published works. He is an award-winning author for his novels, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction. He discovered psychic abilities late in life, and often calls himself a "psychic on training wheels." His skill is pendulum dowsing. His paranormal books include Speaking With Spirits of the Old Southwest (With Dwight and Rhonda Hull), The Practical Pendulum: Getting Into the Swing of Things, Find Me (as told to Dan Baldwin), They Are Not Yet Lost: True Stories of Psychic Detecting, How Find Me Lost Me: A Breach of Trust Told by the Psychic Who Didn't See It Coming, and I CAN'T Be A Psychic Detective.
Getting Back to the Past by Getting Back to the Basics
The authors' unique approach to paranormal research combines the intuitive abilities of Dwight and Rhonda Hull with the pendulum dowsing skill of Dan Baldwin. Their technique is basic:
- Research the Location.
The authors are serious students of the old Southwest and research is one of the joys of their work. They use the obvious tools: books, magazine articles, online searches, and historical records archives. Visiting the sites mentioned in those materials not only provides opportunities for on-site investigation, but also the unique experience of interviewing people who were there at the time.
"When we are out in the field researching for our book we look for spots that have noted history, but ones that have been mostly overlooked. We want to promote those 'I drive by there every darn day, but I never knew that was there' experiences," Rhonda says.
As psychics they always do a bit of mediation before all adventures. Meditation helps to achieve the mentally clear and emotionally calm state essential to successful paranormal research. They use the basic techniques of relaxation, deep breathing, and focus.
Grounding stabilizes their own energy, which helps with focus and a feeling of wholeness or calm. Both are essential in connecting with spirit and in getting a clear message or image of whomever you are attempting to communicate with. Grounding connects someone to the Earth and the steps are straightforward: take off your shoes and socks or just sit and use your hands to touch the grass, stone, sand, or dirt. Even hugging a tree or holding rocks can help ground someone. As in forming any electrical circuit, two points of contact are needed. One foot alone on the Earth won't connect the circuit, but two feet or two hands will. If lying on the ground, someone can use any two connection points to form a circuit, for example, an elbow and a foot.
- Walk Around.
All three believe in investing time to just walk around a site and get a feel for the place before beginning any psychic research. Experience has taught them to enter an area without too many pre-conceived ideas or too many expectations. It's important to get any impressions of what may have taken place in the past and who may be present at the moment.
"It's amazing. You can go in hoping to meet a cowhand or miner and end up having an utterly fascinating conversation with a dancer from the Bird Cage Theater, a woman running a boarding house in Charleston, or a Paleo-Indian family at an old Spanish Fort. Incredible," Baldwin says.
Often they employ psychometry (the ability to hold an object or touch a building and obtain historical memories or sensations) if there are remnants of old buildings still present at the location. This can aid in providing images of what might have happened at the site.
"Generally speaking though, spirits know when we arrive and are eager to talk and greet us. We're stepping into their territory—often their home—so when everything works well, we get a history lesson conducted by the people who lived that history," Dwight says.
- Speak with the Spirits.
Usually one or both of the Hulls will feel drawn to a particular location. The three settle down and get as comfortable as possible, which can be a challenge in some of the more rugged and remote areas of the southwest. They set up their digital recorders, Baldwin brings out his pendulum, and the investigation begins.
"One of the reasons I believe we're so successful is our attitude. We're never confrontational. We always approach the spirits with courtesy, openness, and respect. They seem to respond quite well to that," Rhonda says.
This approach tends to yield more—and better—conversations and results in gaining knowledge of the site under investigation and the spirit world in general. It's a life-long learning process, says Dwight. "I started this work thirty-four years ago with about five questions. Now I'm up to about 512 questions."
During the investigations, they only use their psychic gifts, digital recorders, and Baldwin's pendulum. When communicating they focus on keeping it short and simple. They believe a lot of equipment only creates distractions because the investigators start focusing on the equipment and not tuning into the energy around them. Dependency on equipment can dampen the strength and effectiveness of psychic abilities.
- Help if You Can.
On rare occasions they have encountered a spirit in need of help in crossing over. They work with the spirit to try to assist them transition into the light, or heaven if you will, so that they are able to be with family and friends who are there waiting for them. On occasion, they are joined by members of the spirit world who want to assist in the transition.
Readers Can Hear the Voices of Spirits of the Old Southwest
Each chapter of Speaking with the Spirits of the Old Southwest has a transcript of the conversations with the spirits encountered. When EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) were captured, a link is provided so the reader can easily log on to their website and hear the voices referenced in that chapter.
Baldwin says, "Once an investigator has captured a single EVP he has proof of life after death. The question then becomes what you do with that information. We don't do this just to build a collection of EVPs like someone collecting stamps, coins, or comic books. We take matters a step further to (1) learn history, (2) learn more about our existence, and (3) perhaps most important, provide aide to spirits who need it."
The great lesson of this book is that people are people. Regardless of which side of the curtain they're on, people continue. Their emotions continue. And for many, there is a continuing need for understanding and help. That's really what Speaking With Spirits of the Old Southwest is all about.