Photo by Jeylin White
Williams Lester, of Jonesboro, has been studying the paranormal and “the darkside” for 20 years. His office is filled with books on the subject, decorative African art, masks, and action heroes.
With Halloween nearing, some people will celebrate by dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, watching marathons of scary movies on television, or visiting a hunted house.
Some, however, might go a step further and dabble in a little “black magic” to conjure up real sprits from the other side, hoping to see what “paranormal activity” is all about.
William A. Lester, Jr., 43, of Jonesboro, who has been researching and investigating all things paranormal, with an academic interest, for more than 20 years, is advising those who are deciding to play around with the “darkside,” not to do so.
“In paranormal research, we sometimes encounter negative entities, or ill-intentioned spirits,” said Lester. “There is a paranormal reality that is working and functioning.”
Paranormal activity, or the “spirit realm,” according to Lester, is a general, umbrella term for various experiences that lie outside the range of normal experiences or scientific explanation. These unexplained phenomena include such things as apparitions and ghosts, negative or positive energy, and demonic entities/spirits.
Most times, said Lester, when he has dealt with hauntings or negative spirits, it’s usually caused by an individual who has unknowingly dabbled in some Satanic or occult activity, or black magic. “A lot of times, [people] don’t mean to be negative, but they get in over their heads and think that they’re Harry Potter.”
Another reason people may decide to play around with such activities, he added, is an attempt to obtain material possessions, money or status. But, he said, there can be dangerous ramifications when playing with the mysterious world of dark magic. Those negative consequences, he said, include a person possibly coming under attack by a negative or dark spirit, which could result in the person’s demise or destruction.
He said people can open the door to negative spirits when they engage in occult or Satanic rituals, or other dark magic.
Negative spirits, according to Lester, may try to oppress the individual and influence him or her to, either commit suicide, or harm another. “So, I tell people to leave it alone,” he said.
In an effort to help others increase their knowledge and understanding of the paranormal world, in 2001, Lester founded the American Institute of Metaphysics, which is a home-study school for people who are interested in learning more about paranormal activity in the comfort of their own homes.
He said he will be hosting a Paranormal Expo, on Nov. 19, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Wingate Wyndham Hotel, in Atlanta.
Local experts will present information about such other-worldly topics as “demonology and the parallel universe,” said Lester. He added that this will be the second year for the expo, and he’s hoping that people who attend will leave more knowledgeable of the spirit realm.
“[I want people] to learn something [they] didn’t know, and become educated,” said Lester.
In the 20 years Lester has been studying the spirit realm, there have only been a few “legitimate” cases, in which he has found actual occurrences of paranormal activity. For example, he recalled the feeling he got after he would visit homes that he said were haunted.
“I have been in haunted houses where I see and feel [negative spirits] –– because you can feel [the negative energy,]” he said. He added that one obvious indication to know one has encountered a negative spirit is the hairs on your arms and neck stand up and the room temperature becomes colder than normal. “That’s not natural!” he said. “That’s why a lot of haunted houses have cold spots.”
Lester said he has authored numerous books on paranormal activity, including the recent release of an ebook version of his 2004 book, "Dimension X: Opening the Door to the Unknown."
For more information about the American Institute of Metaphysics, and the upcoming Paranormal Expo, call 1-800-956-8504, or visit www.instituteofmethaphysics.com.