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by Eddie Burks and Gillian Cribbs
(from "Ghosthunter" )

Eddie Burks, a consulting civil engineer in England, discovered the gift of spiritual healing in 1975. His extraordinary psychic powers made international news in 1993 when it was revealed that Coutts, the Queen's bank, had asked him to deal with a headless ghost at its prestigious Strand headquarters. His intervention laid to rest the troubled soul of Thomas Howard, the fourth Duke of Norfolk, who was beheaded by Queen Elizabsth 1 in 1572.

The resulting book about his life and work - Ghosthunter - is now out of print and extremely difficult to locate. Second hand copies fetch a handsome price and put it well out of the reach of the average book buyer, so we have chosen to reproduce one of its chapters - an interview between Gillian Cribbs and Eddie Burks - in the hope that it leads to a better understanding of ghosts and apparitions.

"What happens to a person when they die?"
In the dying moments consciousness begins to drift to a higher level of existence; often relatives and loved ones will appear, sometimes accompanied by a spirit presence. Then the person passes out of the physical body and into the etheric body. This process is sometimes witnessed as a silver thread rising out of the abdomen or top of the head. The spirit will then linger by the body for a short while - usually a few days at most - before casting off the etheric body and moving through a tunnel into the spirit world.

"What is the etheric body?"
The etheric body is a halfway house between the physical and spiritual bodies. The etheric body is very closely knit with the physical body; when you are alive it conveys the energies of the spirit world and, when intact, prevents damaging entities intruding. Protection through the etheric body is our birthright, but it can be breached in many ways - by repeated use of hallucogenic drugs, by injuries to the body (especially the head) and by consulting ouija boards. When breached, the etheric body is less able to protect the consciousness from invasion by entities from the lower realms of the spirit world; some cases of schizophrenia are thought to be caused by this invasion.

When you die your consciousness moves out of the physical body and operates through the etheric body. But if you remain in the etheric body for too long your consciousness begins to cloud; this is why ghosts have no idea how long they have been trapped - in the etheric body there is no difference between a day and a hundred years. When you are released into the soul or spirit body - the next stage of development - there is a great sense of freedom and expansion of the consciousness.

"Are evil people always trapped when they die?"
No, they don't necessarily remain earthbound, but their nature tends to determine where they are going. A murderer would probably find himself in a dark region, whereas a person who has led a good and kind life will find himself in a beautiful place. Our spirituality - or lack of it - determines our next destination.

"How many people get trapped?"
Up to one in five hundred, but this is only a guess.

  "Does a ghost become trapped unwittingly or is it a matter of choice?"
In most cases unwittingly. It's usually because some part of them still clings to the life they had on earth; the memory of death or the sorrow of learving a loved one behind could hold them back. Most ghosts want to go, but can't.

"Is a ghost simply a soul that is not very developed spiritually?"
Definitely not. I recently released a woman who was alcoholic but spiritually evolved. She was earthbound because her husband had taken her children from her and she was still grieving over her loss.

"Why do they come to you? Do they instinctively know you can help?"
They come to me because I throw out a psychic light - a sort of beacon that only they can see. I don't know what it's like, but it obviously means something to them.

"Is that why ghosts are attracted to certain people and places?"
Yes; if they are not trapped in a particular place, ghosts will take temporary refuge where they see a light; this can emanate from anyone who is spiritual.

"How do they make themselves known?"
A very sensitive person might feel as if an invisible presence is following them. If nothing is done to help the entity at this stage, it can quickly become a nuisance; as it grows more frustrated it will start to draw attention to itself by banging doors, switching off lights or giving off strange smells. Sometimes there will be a sudden drop in temperature and people in the house might feel unnaturally tired; this is because the entity is drawing on their energy to create the disturbances. It is very rare for a ghost to appear physically as it would require a lot of energy to manifest.

"Have any ghosts refused your help?"
One or two have avoided me, and I can't do anything about that as it is their choice whether or not to come forward.

"How do you make contact with the ghost?"
Often a trapped spirit will come to me unbidden; in that case, I sense a change in my mood - I feel uneasy, frustrated or depressed. I know that this feeling does not belong to me because it often happens when I'm feeling quite cheerful. I try to adjust my consciousness to allow it to get closer to me; I suppose I bring it into a conscious focus. This is not a rational process, except that I recognize what is happening mentally. It's more a matter of the heart - I develop an empathy with the spirit. As I focus on it, I begin to find out about its situation; first I get some idea of whether it's a man or a woman and then I begin to get an understanding of the problem.

"Do you then switch off your rational side and let the intuitive side take over?"
Yes, it's as though my intuition - or psychic facility - reaches out and engages with the entity, but my rational side continues to work so I am able to describe what is happening. It's as though I'm keeping one foot in the real world and one in the psychic world. The two sides are working together, as the psychic side pulls in information which is filtered through the rational mind.

"What sort of information do you receive?"
First of all, the emotional state of the person. For example, if a person died a violent death and left things undone, they may be held back by the guilt over that and I feel their remorse. I share their emotions in a way that is very cathartic for them; I am reading from their memories of the event and I have to encourage them to go back to their death, because sometimes they have wiped it from their consciousness. It's very important for me to share these feelings because these are usually at the root of the problem. By helping them to express emotional energy they can be released.

"How do you communicate with a ghost?"
I usually pick up words and phrases before I see the ghost. It's as though they share their emotions first and then their thoughts. I respond to them telepathically too, either encouraging them to talk or asking direct questions. I often say: "Look, I have to share your death experience with you before we can go any further." And: "I'm not driving you out into the dark, I'm helping you; there's a far better place for you to be than here.

"What sort of information do you pick up then?"
I usually pick up the physical pain of their death, although occasionally this comes through very strongly at the outset. A hanged man once came through to me and I immediately felt the noose around his neck. It's far more traumatic for them than it is for me; although I do pick up terrible pain sometimes. I have trained myself to let it go. I share enough of their burden to encourage them to shed it; if you are not prepared to go through this process you risk leaving them in a worse position than before. This is the mistake most exorcists make.

"Is there also a visual stage?"
When the person has gone through the emotional and physical catharsis of their death, they suddenly emerge into their soul body. If a person has had disabilities which have caused them unhappiness on earth, these disappear with the etheric body. My psychic vision becomes much clearer once they are in their soul body. It's as though my consciousness suddenly comes into focus again; sometimes I see the clothes they are wearing or their face.

"Would you describe yourself as a psychotherapist for ghosts?"
Yes, the process is very similar to a psychiatrist taking a patient back to the deep cause of a neurosis. The difference is that a release happens more quickly and it's usually accompanied by a great burst of energy. I have to remain calm to hold the ghost steady and steer it through this important stage. Many of the entities I deal with have gone through a terrible experience and I must ensure that they are not traumatized. I gently urge them to let go of the experience. They are then ready to move into the light.

"What do you mean by moving into the light?"
Jesus himself said: "I am the light of the world"; in the spiritual world a highly developed soul has a very strong light, while an undeveloped soul shows no light and may show darkness. Anyone who is spiritually developed will recognise an entity's progress by the strength of the light around them. When I release a soul it has to come into the light; if I succeed, it's as if a background light comes into the foreground, signifying that the spirit world is ready to accept them. The release is complete when the person steps into the light.

"Does everyone move into the light?"
No. If someone is not prepared, either morally or spiritually, the light will not appear; a path will appear instead, often with a gate. If the person opens the gate, it indicates that they are willing to begin their spiritual journey towards the light. On that journey, which is a sort of Pilgrim's Progress, they will encounter all sorts of obstacles which symbolize the things about that person's personality that need to be corrected - a quick temper, stubbornness, selfishness or greed, for example. It's allegorical, of course, but nonetheless very real to the person on the journey. They may have to climb rocks and squeeze through narrow openings, or they may be presented with such insurmountable obstacles that they have to pause and work out what to do.

"What are the differences between hauntings, psychic imprints, revenants and poltergeists?"
A haunting is characterized by the fact that phenomena associated with it vary and often attract attention. The ghost exists in its own right with a consciousness; if I make contact with a ghost it is aware of me; and in some cases the person who is being haunted can also communicate with the ghost.
A psychic imprint is like a psychic video; it will replay the event to whoever is sensitive enough to pick it up. Psychic imprints are often experienced when people are in a relaxed state of mind, and they are characterized by repetitiveness - the same event will recur time after time. A psychic imprint does not interact or communicate because it belongs to a specific moment and has no consciousness associated with it.
The term revenant is used to describe someone who is not trapped at the earth level, but has moved to the spirit world, and whose memories or desires take them back to the place where they first felt them. Occasionally the person will manifest and is mistaken for a ghost; it's only through contact that I can determine that they are a revenant. Fear, sorrow and bitterness usually indicate a ghost, whereas a revenant is more likely to bring feelings of happiness.
I've never dealt with a poltergeist case, but I agree with the theory that a poltergeist is not necessarily a discarnate spirit, but a manifestation of the unconscious mind of a person - usually a teenager. It's as though the psychic energies of the teenager are externalized and this causes disturbances such as flying objectsand rushing winds. It usually stops when the teenager grows up.

"Why does the spirit world need you to release ghosts?"
I have the advantage of being on the earth; I can therefore hold the ghost steady as it is released. If I didn't do this, the emotional backlash could send them into a psychic wilderness. But I do get help from the spirit world; a team of helpers usually comes to assist. This team always includes someone who knew the ghost and has some love for them; this is the person that takes the ghost to the spirit world.

"Why are some ghosts more aware of what's going on in the twentieth century than others?"
This has something to do with how alert the person was when they were alive; someone who died from a drug overdose, for example, would have little awareness of what's going on around them. Sometimes it seems as if they are looking at the earth through a smokescreen; they cannot get back to earth or see the light to the spirit world.

"Are ghosts aware of their predicament? Do they know that you are there to help?"
There's a lot of variation. Some are anxious to get away; others have no idea of their situation. Their consciousness is dimmed once they enter the etheric body, but some begin to have an understanding - maybe after a year or two, or maybe after a hundred years - and they begin to look around for some way out. At this stage they will begin to grow frustrated and can develop into a nuisance.

"What does it take for a ghost to become aware?"
Although the consciousness has dimmed, it slowly dawns on them that they are in the wrong place and they have to move; this feeling becomes more and more urgent. Sometimes other spirits come to them and prompt them to leave. When I draw close to a ghost I empathize with him and at the same time he becomes aware of anything that is affecting me. One ghost insisted I closed the window because he was disturbed by the noise of the passing traffic on a busy road.

"Have you ever failed to release a ghost?"
Yes, where someone has been reluctant to let go of some aspect of their past life it can prove impossible to help them. One should never try to force them to change their minds or interfere with their free will. This has happened to me on a couple of occasions; I made contact with the ghost but then it withdrew from me because it was not ready to let go of whatever happened in its earthly life.

"Are there other people doing the same work as you?"
There are a few who work in the same way as I do. But there are others who do more harm than good. If they charge for their services, it may be a bad sign.

"Do you feel you are doing some good at a haunting?"
Releasing someone is like turning a key to their cell. I sense their feeling of liberation and I feel great joy from the spirit world.

"Could you be described as an exorcist?"
I would not like to be thought of as an exorcist as this conjures up images of rituals involving holy water. Nor do I like the term 'ghostbuster' because it implies aggression; the last thing I do is to behave aggressively towards these poor souls. I have been called in after exorcism has failed, but my work is different because I help the trapped spirit move on to a better place. Anglican exorcists are usually more interested in ridding the house of the ghost than what happens to it afterwards; very few exorcists can guide the spirit into the next world.
There's also a tendency to think that ghosts are evil spirits. The ghost is not necessarily evil. Entities often tell me they don't want to be pushed out into the dark again. In the Roman Catholic church they seem to have a better understanding of the problem - they talk about people being trapped in purgatory, the halfway house between this world and the next.

"Do you need to regenerate yourself after you have worked with ghosts?"
Yes, through sleep - too much psychic exertion leaves you feeling mentally and physically drained.

"How do you protect yourself against evil or dark forces? Are there any places you have refused to visit?"
I have never refused to go anywhere, and I never feel fear in a spiritual sense. I protect myself with prayer before I visit a place and ask for help from the angelic realms. My experience has also built up a degree of protection.

"What about the future? Some psychics believe that as we enter the Aquarian Age the earth is attracting powerful new energies from the spirit world that will clear these trapped souls in a single wave."
It is said that Jesus journeyed into Hell to preach to trapped souls; you could say that He entered this realm in order to release them. There were many more trapped souls then than today because the times were so cruel and understanding of the psychic world was limited. Although there are trapped souls today, there are not so many; they are coming to light rapidly, because the energy of the spirit world is exposing them. As the New Age dawns, those who are trapped will become uncomfortable; they will realize that they are in the wrong place and, as their frustration grows, it will become crucial to deal with them.

from "Ghosthunter" by Eddie Burks and Gilliam Cribbs