In a City of Angels, Ragensi has come to know its demons. Referring to himself as a “Paranormal Investigator and Masked Adventurer Extraordinaire,” Ragensi occupies a unique spot in the Real Life Superhero cosmology.
“I was never really a comic book aficionado,” the Los Angeles-based hero explains, by way of an origin story, “I know the basics, but that world isn’t really my thing. Maybe because I’m rather skeptical about the whole notion of ‘super powers,’” he says. Yet still, the theatricality of the Superhero community drew him in. “Earlier on in my career, I gave patrolling a try, trying to be more aware of the need for outreach, trying to fight crime, but after awhile, I felt I was kind of aimlessly looking for good deeds to do. But it did lead me more toward what I am now doing.”
And what he is doing now, is exploring paranormal phenomena, that which is often “hidden in plain view,” and causing an individual great, unseen pain. Fascinated from a young age with the supernatural, Ragensi recalls a moment in the 2nd grade when he became lost in a library, and was entertained for hours by books about monsters, aliens and spirits—and developed “a love for anything where there’s more going on than what’s at face value.” Possessed of no psychic skills or “sixth sense,” Ragensi works by exploring and researching such phenomena as poltergeists, “cursed objects,” ghostly sightings, and the like, in a traditional “gumshoe” manner—all in an attempt to comfort someone’s suffering. “I came to realize that I function best in a more controlled environment than the streets. A client comes to me with a task, and I can help. It’s not so much a quest for me, as it is something I just feel compelled to do,” he explains.
A seeker on many levels, Ragensi is a fan of Objectivist writer Ayn Rand, and the notion she advances that people have direct contact with reality through sense perception, and can attain objective knowledge from it.
“But subjective experiences count as well,” he adds, “sometimes, the only tangible evidence we have is the individual.” Such as when a client comes to him looking for relief from hearing unusual sounds, “You’ll often find that the week before they saw UFO-shaped lights in the sky, ghosts following them around—all these other strange phenomena that go with it. That’s when you know these are not isolated incidents, these kind of phenomena are linked,” he says. And often that link is a surface manifestation of something much deeper, and much more frightening.
“The ‘occult’ is a broad term, but in its simplest form, it means ‘hidden.’ And it’s our hidden desires, feelings and emotions that if we don’t express them, turn corrosive, and eat us from the inside,” he continues. “And the paranormal episodes people often experience come about because those secrets have eaten away at their souls, and they’re hollow,” he asserts. “I care about justice for the individual, and I like to feel I have compassion for these people. Even if what’s happening to them isn’t ‘real,’ it’s real to them. And they deserve an unbiased ear. That’s what I’m about.”
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