Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Paranormal speech has lively dead spots

YBOR CITY — Fifteen minutes into his speech, Murray Silver became annoyed. Enough was enough, he thought. No more distractions.

He was trying to tell a group of about 40 people in the Cuban Club about the meaning of life and the purpose of death, but he paused.

"Somebody keeps walking in and out the door up there, and they're not among the living," he said.

He looked up at the mezzanine's doors: "Hold it down up there!"

A few women giggled, but Silver kept a straight face. It's not a joke.

He knows what ghosts look like, he says. He sees them all the time. And don't call him a ghost hunter, like those guys on television.

"I'm not a ghost hunter, I'm ghost bait," he said. They come to him, he said.

He saw more than 40 ghosts during his speech, he said. They walked through the doors and came on stage. They looked similar to each other and probably lived in the area at least 50 years ago, he said.

Silver, of Savannah, Ga., was one of the speakers at the Ybor City Paranormal Conference on Saturday. His one-hour speech rose and fell like a preacher's sermon, his voice booming across the theater without a microphone.

"I have set out to prove the existence of ghosts through the scientific method," he announced. "I've gotten to the end of my investigation, and I'm here to tell you what I've found."

He matter-of-factly described heaven, comparing it to a pyramid scheme, where only a few make it to the top. Then he described hell as not a place of suffering, but of purification. He described ghosts as people who don't want to move to the afterlife.

Some nodded their heads as Silver spoke, but many have their own ideas. Speaker Bruce Moen of Safety Harbor talked about mentally freeing ghosts from places they're trapped. Attendee Chiki Bustamante, 54, of St. Petersburg thinks ghosts are impressions of energy of people that remain after they die. Her mom, Barbara Maddux, 75, said they're probably the spirits of people who are visiting or choosing to stay back for a loved one or unfinished business.

Some people like to focus on historic facts, others prefer scientific proof, and some delve into the metaphysical. So how do these ideas work together?

"They don't," said organizer and Tampa Ghost Watchers president Bill Sharpe. "It's a different approach."

But that probably prevents people who believe in the paranormal from gaining the respect of the scientific community, Silver said. Scientists want concrete definitions and answers, which many paranormal investigators don't have.

"We're easy targets," he said.

And that's what he's working on, he said. He's talked to many religious leaders, doctors, psychologists and psychics, he said, and he has a definition of ghosts.

"It's when the spirit leaves the body, clouded by ego that has an overbearing desire to return to existence," he said. "That's a ghost."

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Paranormal speech has lively dead spots 09/06/08 [Last modified: Saturday, September 6, 2008 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. During the most expensive mayoral election ever, St. Petersburg City Council wants to limit PAC money

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — In front of a large group of red-shirted campaign finance reform supporters, the St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday started the ball rolling on an ordinance that would limit individual campaign contributions to $5,000 from political action committees.

    A large crowd gathered Thursday to support passage of a controversial measure to limit campaign spending in city elections
  2. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses

    Business

    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  3. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning

    Blogs

    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.
  4. A test the Rays haven't passed

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — I have no idea what to think about the Rays. Not a clue.

    Tampa Bay Rays players celebrate their 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule: Stanley Cup champion Penguins, expansion Golden Knights among the coming attractions

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's season schedule was released Thursday afternoon, and there are plenty of must-see matchups coming to Amalie Arena. Here are the home games with the most intriguing storylines:

    The champs

    (Oct. 12, Oct. 21)

    The two-time defending champion Penguins make two early trips to Tampa. [AP photo]