Book Reviewed by Rev. Mark Hunnemann
“Limestone and its Paranormal Properties”. It is one of the most significant paranormal books that has been written in quite awhile.Before reading this book we had been in communication regarding a shared interest in the connection between paranormal investigators acquiring serious sickness….which is far from being a mere theoretical issue…it is intensely human and personal issue which calls for compassion.
In a word, Tim’s thesis is that limestone has the ability to do two things: it acts as the mechanism for releasing residual energy which then re-plays events from the past; and limestone also can act as sponge which stores energy which spirits can tap into to give them a ‘boost’ of energy. It needs to be stated from the outset that, whatever else we say, these are TWO DISTINCT ISSUES. It is a tribute to Tim singular ability and competence that he addresses these two issues in the mere span of 130 pages!
It is a well-written book, interspersed with wry humor, and proceeds in logical fashion. It is not easy to explain some the more esoteric theories of quantum physics in a manner that a layman like me can understand, but Tim does a marvelous job! I will not be able to explain some of Tim’s more significant arguments in detail….I will leave that to the reader to purchase the book and read for themselves.
Back in 2010 I was wrestling with the notion of residual energy/haunts but I could not find any substantive articles/books which attempted to explain the mechanism of the Stone Tape Theory. Folks just assumed it was true. Starting in 2010 I wrote 3 different blogs in an attempt to be intellectually honest by explaining what I believed to be the primary problems with the notion of residual haunts, or the Stone Tape Theory.
Then, in 2015 along comes Tim’s book. At the outset of his book he quotes from 2 authors who state, “…we know of no mechanism that could record such information in a stone or play it back….”(Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn) A sufficient mechanism was/is the primary challenge to the Stone Tape Theory. Early on that was my primary concern as well.
In transparency which I find rare, Tim states that he simply assumed the dynamics of the Stone Tape Theory to be true….and that Limestone was ‘food’ for ghosts, until his intellectual curiosity got the best of him. Tim is the ONLY person I know who has attempted to explain one of the most basic and widely accepted tenets of the paranormal community—the residual haunt….as well as why limestone seems to feed paranormal activity. For this I have immense respect for him.
Depending on who you talk to, the consensus of the paranormal community seems to be that at least 50% of all true paranormal activity is residual in nature—non-intelligent. Given the large (and keeps growing daily) number of haunted places, it is of immense importance that we understand the alleged mechanism behind residual haunts.
There are usually four kinds of haunts folks allude to: intelligent haunt, poltergeist, residual/non-intelligent, and demonic.
Let me briefly summarize each chapter, and offer reflections along the way. Of necessity, I will have to be selective and brief or I’ll end up writing a review as long as the book! Having written 3 blogs on this subject, each longer than this blog, I realize the limitations of adequately conveying/analyzing Tim’s arguments.
First, it is noteworthy that Tim elected to begin and end the book with his own personal experiences—the first was at McPike Mansion, and the last was an honest assessment of his own experience at home.
As he and his wife and the others in the group approached the building, they heard the giggles of deceased children in the adjoining woods. Though Tim said it seemed positive, we all know how the demonic use the guise of children to deceive. Being a student of the bible I cannot reconcile God leaving young children here after they die…and in this case, an indeterminate amount of time. At no time did Tim mention challenging the spirits in Jesus name to reveal their true identity…I humbly wish he had.
Even though God says that the ‘fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Tim elected to analyze this topic solely from a scientific perspective. I ask: is that wise…given the wide-spread deception and evil that is in the spirit realm? And in light of the fact that God created the paranormal realm?
While in the cellar, Tim and his wife (20 others) saw orbs, swirling clouds and Tim’s wife was touched on the pant leg…which was thought to be a playful child spirit. Again, this was merely mentioned as a fact, without any attempt to discern the spirits.
Fast forward to the end. Tim states that his home has always been very active. (why, my friend?) The same ‘little girl’ that his wife played with when young is now playing with their daughters. That raises a question: how did this entity follow them? What is it? Tim assumes it is a little girl, but I assume otherwise. On pg 121 he lists about a dozen paranormal phenomena which occur regularly in his home, including apparitions.
‘The energies in our house fluctuate from positive to sometimes very negative.” One of the activities is 2-3 knocks on the bathroom door while it is occupied. It has been observed that 3 knocks is often a mockery of the Trinity. And Tim acknowledges that they experience oppression at times. Why, my friend, do you not reflect more on the role of the demonic in light of your own very personal experience?
He closes by saying that limestone is present all around—much of the earth’s crust is made of it…and the whole neighborhood seems haunted. The point is that Tim is not an armchair investigator/researcher…he has experienced a lot—indeed every day at home.
So, his book is like a sandwich—two pieces of ‘experiential bread’ and the meat inside is scientific analysis and theorizing.
We all have assumptions and mine is that any paranormal activity is demonic activity. Obviously the author and I differ in this regard. I say this gently, but somebody is right and somebody is wrong.
Having said that, I have often wondered how/if demons were able to re-charge themselves. Cold spots, the frequent draining of batteries seem to suggest that MAYBE they can re-charge. The bible is not an exhaustive handbook on demonic ‘physiology’. One could argue that they are merely going along with the show to reinforce the deception of trapped spirits. Yet I cannot categorically deny that demons MAY be able to acquire additional energy via limestone, EMF pumps, etc. On the other hand, I see no evidence (biblical or anecdotal) that angels ‘re-charge their batteries.” What’s up with that since demons are fallen angels, and one would assume their spiritual physiology is similar?
I have often wondered how they can transport objects. Tim offers a possible solution….quantum entanglement. More on that later.
Ch 1—what is limestone? It is made of calcite, which makes up a significant portion of earth’s crust. Like most minerals and rocks, it is often mixed with other things. It is the softest of all the minerals.
Ch 2 The deep history of limestone…He states that among other things, limestone played a significant role in the creation of Adam and Eve. Non-inspired commentaries (Talmud and Islamic texts) on the rock encased in the Done of the Rock apparently assert that Adam was created from the rock and that he and his family offered sacrifices on it. (The Foundation Stone) has allegedly been preserved. It is allegedly 90,000,000 years old and made of limestone. My question is: how could this rock from which God allegedly created Adam have survived intact the Flood? How could it have been found after that worldwide carnage?
According to some, it must have been found because it is said that Noah offered sacrifices on it as well. (again, non-inspired sources). What is the biblical text? I take issue with his belief that limestone has played a significant role in shaping the entire history of the human race. The comments from Muslims do not reflect biblical teaching.That the place where the temple was built was possibly on limestone is incidental to the meta-narrative of the place of the temple in the flow of redemptive history. The bible does not attribute any sacredness to this rock, and neither should we. God chose the place where the temple would be built, and if it partly contained limestone, that is of no significance in the biblical view of the site. It certainly is not intrinsically more sacred than any other kind of rock.
Tim also assumes the dating of macro-evolution, which I reject. Some Jews and Muslims affirm that this rock was the place where very significant events took place (e.g. where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac, the site of the Temple, etc.) The location of the Temple was made holy by God’s presence, and there is no indication that Almighty God intentionally used a specific kind of rock to unfold the drama of redemption.
What we need to realize is that that site/rock was holy because it was in close proximity with the Holy One….He certainly didn’t choose this site because of the limestone nature of a rock….if it is connected at all with biblical events.
Ch 3—I’ll skip as he offers skeptics arguments to the paranormal….and I am no skeptic when it comes to paranormal activity!!
Ch.4—intelligent and residual haunting. Tim clarifies the difference between the two. Since the rest of the book is an attempt, in part, to explain how limestone is the mechanism for residual haunts, I’ll be brief here. Although Tim urges caution, he does affirm the use of mediums, Ouija Boards and pendulums to make contact with intelligent human spirits. Again, I gently ask my friend: what of Deuteronomy 18 and Leviticus 19,20 which forbid ALL attempts to contact the dead, and the use of mediums? These verses forbid any and all attempts to communicate with the dead, which was a common practice in the surrounding pagan nations, which they were to destroy. Why are Christians, to their detriment, disobeying this clear command? Could this be why so many investigators are experiencing sickness?
As opposed to intelligent haunts, residual haunts are thought to be non-intelligent. Due to a traumatic release of energy, this is thought to make an imprint on the surroundings. Like a cassette tape they can be recorded and played back if the circumstances are right. Paranormal, psychic, or emotional energy can be trapped in limestone for centuries. A prison in Alton, Illinois experienced horrendous inhumanity. When it was torn down, the limestone rocks were used to build different buildings…all of which are haunted. This is thought to be released residual energy and evidence of limestone’s paranormal properties. It seems that Tim is assuming the very thing he is trying to prove. It makes more sense that demonic attachment is to blame for the activity in the various locations. The grisly circumstances opened doors to the demonic.
Ch 5—explanation of EMF fields….nicely explained.
Ch. 6 It this chapter, the role of the First law of Thermodynamics is explained—energy cannot be created or destroyed. He gives an analogy: just as spirits hang around cemeteries to extract energy from the dead bodies, they also extract stored energy from limestone.
Here is the heart of the matter. First, the human body (brain, heart) has only a few volts of energy which run the system. I must interject that I see no scientific evidence that there is also psychic and emotional energy which releases at death…or in extreme circumstances. Second, there is no energy in the long dead corpses for spirits to feed on. The reason cemeteries are frequently haunted is because our spiritual enemy is drawn to human death...just as Satan disputed over the corpse of Moses. They don’t congregate there to act like spiritual vampires—at death all our energy is released and is dispersed…widely. Like spiritual vultures, they are drawn to places of human decomposition/death.
We must remember that there are THREE Laws of thermodynamics. Tim alludes to this very briefly when he speaks of diffusion but does not follow it to logical conclusion. Tim assumes that there is such a thing as psychic/emotional energy that is released at times of high stress. That we have emotions is certain, but that it is released into surrounding environment like electricity is questionable. It is not quantifiable so it is at best a theory.
But regardless, the energy released upon death (again a few volts) is immediately diffused widely until it reaches equilibrium. Imagine putting a drop of food coloring in a glass of water. Without agitation, it will diffuse equally in the glass. Similarly, our energy cannot remain clustered indefinitely. The second and third laws state that, unless acted upon by an outside source, energy will dissipate into the surrounding environment…which is in this case the entire atmosphere. Why should it make a beeline for the limestone and remain clustered there contrary to the absolute laws of thermodynamics? I spent 3 entire blogs dealing with this, so I cannot go into sufficient detail here. The savage, traumatic events which paranormal investigators believe cause residual haunts are seen by the bible as doorways to demonic infestation/oppression. You murder someone, that will attract the Evil One who lives to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10)
Strangely, limestone apparently cannot emit or store electromagnetic fields. It is the quartz in it that allegedly allows for this. Quartz is piezoelectric, meaning that when pressure is added it emits an electrical charge, and when subjected to ac current it vibrates. Tim states that quartz has some deep spiritual significance. It is said to be to heal, absorb negative energies. He quotes, “crystals are living beings, incredibly old and wise, and willing to communicate when an individual is open and ready to receive.” (pg. 73) Uumm, no. On page 79 he quotes from the poet Robinson Jeffers who reminds me of the Romantics, saying that granite can remember and displays patience. He is personifying an inanimate object. And it is pagan/New Age rituals that use crystals to heal. These rituals are a doorway to the demonic.
I will only mention how vital a consistent biblical worldview is when dealing with such wide-ranging topics. Nature with a capitol ‘N’ tends to diminish the distinction between the sovereign Creator and His creation….and is at the heart of the pagan worldview change which is ripping like a juggernaut through our culture. At the heart of the biblical worldview is the biblical God who is holy and distinct from all He has created. However, He also upholds and sustains the cosmos moment by moment.
In a short section on haunted objects he attributes the haunting to psychic energies and not demons. However, I know from experience how demons can and do attach to objects and become quite territorial. When rebuked in Jesus name the connection was broken. Tim references John Zaffis here and for all his experience, the haunted collector got it wrong regarding human energy being absorbed in objects…even allegedly for centuries.
Ch 9 Tim uses an air freshener in a car/house as an analogy of how limestone absorbs and releases psychic/emotional energies. After a while it loses its scent as it diffuses. This is likened to a site that has been infused with psychic energies but then they are ceased…slowly it goes away. My problem with the air freshener analogy is that it is in a car that is a convertible. I’m not being sarcastic. What I mean is that immediately (not slowly) the infused energy into the limestone would diffuse until it reaches equilibrium in the atmosphere. And it’s a ‘convertible’ because when the psychic trauma occurs the entire earth atmosphere is the ‘glass’ in which the food coloring disperses. Or put another way, the second law shows that the air freshener goes stale in seconds.
It is said that lightning or any electricity can cause the clustered psychic energies to release and give a veritable light and sound show…replete with apparitions, sounds, smells, etc. However, if you take a piece of limestone from a very haunted place and subject it to strong current, has anybody ever elicited a residual haunt in the lab? No, but they should be able to given Tim’s thesis.
Ch 10 For sake of time, I will only mention remanence and induction. Remanence is the magnetic induction that remains in a material after removal of the magnetizing field. And induction is the production of an electric or magnetic state by the proximity of an electrified or magnetized body. Allegedly there is some kind of ‘memory’ of the EMF activity over ages of time. It is interesting that this author asserts that one can trace the amount of EMF over a period of time. However, it is my understanding that this is a PHYSICAL recording. I think it is better to speak of a ‘record’ of past activity instead of a memory of it. Inanimate objects having a ‘memory’ implies consciousness. In my opinion, not enough time is spent explaining what is the linchpin regarding the mechanism for storing and releasing residual haunts. Whatever record of past EMF activity that may be recorded in limestone and other minerals/rocks, it is a HUGE leap to say that this explains how emotionalized events (in form of energy) can be recorded and then replayed…like a hologram on steroids. I wish Tim spent more time explaining the connection because this seems to be the heart of his book in explaining his thesis.
Whether the limestone has quartz or other energy attracting rocks/minerals in it, the energy received or produced (from pressing quartz) will be quickly released. As Tim affirms, the laws of thermodynamics are absolute and none of the arguments given in his excellent book overcome this HUGE HURDLE. Namely, that whatever traumatic events occurred, that energy must have dispersed until equilibrium was reached….leaving no clustered energy to be ‘incited’ to replay over and over. There is NOTHING left to replay…even if one could explain how this replay is actually done.
Again, it is one thing to say that some rocks MAY store the record of past EMF activity levels but this does not explain the method by which inanimate energy from a traumatic event can create a veritable movie set. While writing a few minutes ago, there were a few close, loud lightning strikes/thunder. Even the introduction of the massive amounts of electricity/energy from lighting cannot press the start button on the recorder in an alleged residual haunt area because THAT energy is long gone….new energy may have been introduced but that is a horse of a different color! And even IF it remained for long time, NOBODY HAS EXPLAINED HOW ENERGY CAN CAUSE OTHER ENERGY TO ASSUME HUMAN FORM AND WALK ACROSS A ROOM THROUGH A DOOR THAT IS NO LONGER THERE, etc.
Please hear me. It is one thing to say that a rock may store and emit alleged emotional energy….BUT it is HUGE jump to explaining how a virtual sound and light show can be put on by inanimate energy. Scientists can create holograms which are amazing, but some of the visual, auditory, and olfactory ‘re-plays’ of the residual haunts put these holograms to shame.
I must challenge my dear friend and say that: it is one thing to release energy (even emotional energy…whatever that is) but quite another to create a moving, talking apparition. I am not persuaded that Tim has provided a sufficient mechanism for such an enormous task. Taking energy from 300 years ago, which should have dispersed immediately…or at least soon, which then is prodded to coalesce into something our scientists are not close to mimicking or reproducing. Frankly the alleged unintelligent world of residual haunts has the handprint of intelligence written all over it.
Ch 13—quantum world. (I cannot adequately explain Tim’s reasoning in this chapter due to space/time)Tim hypothesizes that quantum entanglement is possibly the means by which spirits transport objects…or poltergeist activity.
I want to try to be intellectually humble and honest and express that I have no idea how angels or demons transport objects. To Tim’s credit he gives us some real meat to chew on regarding this phenomenon. You simply need to read his section on quantum entanglement. He focuses a lot on human spirits and how their ‘spirit hand’ can move things.
He asserts, “Spirit energy entangling with stored energies within rocks and objects becomes the mysterious release mechanism that Lethbridge’s Stone Tape Theory is unable to provide us.” (pg 113) Even though I have not had the space and time to elaborate on all Tim’s theories, I must beg to differ that he has sufficiently explained the comprehensive and incredibly complex activity allegedly associated with residual haunts. Our understanding of the sub-atomic realm is hampered by our limited, finite observational abilities. It is fascinating, but I don’t think that Tim has given sufficient support for the mechanism of residual haunts…which I am convinced are demonic. Demons are intelligent enough to act non-intelligent if it will support a theory they find helpful to their cause. And many folks jump way too quickly to the conclusion that a haunt is allegedly non-intelligent.
At some point I wanted to point this out: while some (or perhaps many) of the world’s most haunted sites are associated with limestone/quartz, many others are not. I gently challenge anyone to show me a haunted site which is NOT caused by demonic activity.
However, it has always been my conviction that poltergeist activity is simply demonic activity. They are much stronger and smarter than us. They also hate us. The term poltergeist has become a catch-all phrase for all things off the chart paranormally speaking. In every case in which it was thought that a human spirit, or human unconsciousness, caused the strange activity, it turned out to be demonic when I/others challenged it in Jesus's name. My dear friend from Scotland, Laura Maxwell, was visited every night for years by a deceased loved one. However, when she asserted Christ’s authority, its true demonic nature revealed itself. We are both keen on warning folks to please not judge spirit beings by their appearance or their vibes.
Perhaps you’re thinking that I have brought ‘religion’ into a scientific discussion. But in fact, Tim let it out. If God created the spirit realm (Colossians 1;16-17) then we cannot make sense of it apart from His revelation. All of God’s creation (including God’s laws woven into the cosmos) are rendered incoherent and meaningless without having the biblical God as our primary presupposition.
Nevertheless, Tim has done the paranormal community a huge labor of love in writing this book because it challenges all of us to think through some very basic issues. This is one of the most significant books on the paranormal that has come along in a quite awhile. Please read it, and come to your own conclusions.
Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.