In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth, and that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints ... and gods.

STEVEN PINKER, How the Mind Works


Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Best Pareidolia Ever


The term pareidolia (pronounced /pæraɪˈdoʊliə/) describes a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse. The word comes from the Greek para-paraphasia, disordered speech)—and eidolon—"image" (the diminutive of eidos—"image", "form", "shape").
—"beside", "with" or "alongside"- meaning, in this context, something faulty or wrong.



Have you seen Jesus today? The photo above may be a good chance. You can see the clear profile of a giant bearded man with closed eyes. It does resemble common representations of a fellow named Jesus. Even though that enormous Jesus head doesn’t quite fit into the rest of the image. What’s going on there? The child died short after the photo was taken”.


Child?

If you look carefully you may recognize that the photo is of a Victorian couple, with a small child sitting on the knee of the man. And then you may realize that that child is Jesus. Or rather that the big white hat of the little one is Jesus’ forehead and his tiny right forearm is Lord’s upper beard. Jesus’ hair is the vegetation in the background. Simply amazing.

“What is most likely, and maybe no less compelling—are the false head and other anomalies just ‘meaningless’ coincidences in which we find/attach/force/desire meaning?”, she asks.

That we first realize a giant face in the photo, even though it doesn’t fit the rest of the image, is probably not a coincidence. We have more neurons dedicated to promptly identifying faces than the ones that recognize Victorian kids sitting on their dad’s lap. That’s why pareidolia happens so often with faces. You don’t usually see Victorian kids in the clouds.

An explanation that I hope doesn’t make this any less compelling: this is really the best pareidolia case ever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Phone calls from the dead


This is a phenomenon in which people literally receive phone calls from the dead. The deceased caller usually had a close relationship with the recipient.

In such calls, the telephone usually rings normally, but may sound flat and abnormal. Usually the connection is bad and the voice of the deceased fades. The voice is recognizable, however, and usually speaks familiar or pet names and words. The phone call is terminated abruptly, either by the caller or by the line going dead. If the voice is too faint, the recipient may hang up in frustration.

If the recipient knows the caller is deceased, he or she may enter a state of shock and hang up immediately. If the recipient does not know that the caller is dead, he or she may talk as long as thirty minutes. Usually such calls occur within twenty-for hours after the caller's death, although, some calls have been reported as long as two years from the time of death.

Generally the purpose of such mysterious calls seems to be to leave a farewell message, or a warning of an impending danger, or information needed by the living. Actress Ida Lupino received a phone call from her father six months after his death; he told her the whereabouts of some papers to settle his estate.

Other calls have been made in apparent observance of holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. The caller may just speak a phrase such as "Hello Mom, is that you?"


Such phone calls have gone in the opposite direction too. The caller carries on a normal conversation with the recipient only to later discover the recipient was already deceased at the time when the call occurred.

Although there is no satisfactory explanation for the strange calls from the dead, there have been several theories put forth. One holds that the dead do place the calls through supernatural manipulation of the telephone mechanisms and circuitry. Another holds that they are hallucinations caused in part by Psychokinesis (PK) accomplished subconsciously by the recipient. Other theories suggest that the calls are pure fantasy, or tricks played on the living by low-level spirits.

Most modern parapsychologists do not take such calls seriously. In the early twentieth century, investigators modified the telegraph and wireless with the hopes of communicating with the dead. Thomas Edison, whose parents were Spiritualists, worked on but never completed a telephone that he hoped would connect the living with the dead. During the 1940s the "psychic telephone" experiments were conduct in England and America in attempts to reach the dead. Again, interest arose in the 1960s when Konstantin Raudive announced that he had captured voices of the dead in electromagnetic tape.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Red Eyes in the Darkness


Two red lights stare at Chris Black's motion-controlled camera from an impossible vantage point. Click on the picture to get a closer look. The lights are in the upper center part of the photograph.

Dry brown leaves cover the floor of deer hunter Chris Black’s wooded property near Park Hills in Southeast Missouri. Black keeps a small camper there during deer and turkey seasons and, while he sleeps in the camper to get an early start, motion-controlled digital cameras strapped to trees take photographs of, hopefully, deer.

He captured lights on those cameras in 2006, lights that shouldn’t have been on his property miles away from roads. He captured more this year.

Black thinks something highly strange is happening on his property.

“The same property, right before deer season, and more strange lights,” he said. “This time with three deer in the photo and these lights are fire red.”

A daytime photograph (above) shows two deer, one grazing and one apparently startled, maybe by the noise from the camera. Behind the deer is a plain of dead leaves and young trees. All normal.

Then there’s the night picture.

Three deer, one in the foreground, stand looking at the camera, their eyes shining with the flash reflection. But about 10 feet off the ground are two red lights set apart like eyes.

“They aren’t that hard to see,” Black said. “Right above the deers’ heads, they look like two red eyeballs without a face.”

Taillights? No. The trees in the night picture match the trees in the day picture. There’s no room for taillights in these images and the lights are much higher than any truck. But Black sees more than just the lights.

“There are a number of things in this photo which disturb me,” he said. “The first thing is the odd-looking expressions on the deer themselves. They look as if someone just screamed, ‘hey.’”

All three deer in this picture are looking directly at the camera.

“And they all looked at the camera at once,” he said. “None of the other photos taken during this three-day time frame show all the deer in the background looking in the direction of the camera at the same time.”

Black’s camera took 65 pictures, many of which have multiple deer in a frame.

“Usually, there will be one or two with their heads down feeding, and maybe one looking in the general direction of the camera, but never directly into it,” he said. “To me it looks like they are all focused on one thing and sort of mesmerized by it.”



After Black downloaded the photographs onto his computer, he took a closer look at the red lights – that one frame the only one with the red lights – and didn’t like what he found.

“When you zoom in on the red light on the left; now this is going to sound off the chart, but I swear when I zoomed in on it, I can see a face in the light,” he said. “It’s not at all hard to see. Plain as day there is a little face inside the glow. To me it resembles (a) little devil face.”

Black and his father stayed in the camper most of the first week of deer season, Black’s brother came the fourth day. That night Black’s brother slept in a bed against the far edge of the camper next to the canvas wall. The next morning, something was bothering Black’s brother.

During the night, something happened. While Black’s brother slept with his arms above his head against the canvas, he something touched his arm.

“He said he didn’t move because he thought it might be a deer’s nose pushing against the canvas of the camper,” Black said. “He said he wasn’t asleep but he felt something solid touching or pushing against the canvas and against his arm. He said it moved from one side of his arm, towards his head, then back along his arm.”

The brother froze, not wanting to startle whatever was outside.

“Then he fell back to sleep,” Black said. “It was only then that I told him about capturing the lights on my trail camera. I just think it’s awful strange that he would experience something weird like that in the same weekend that I captured more weird (stuff) on my camera.”

But Black wouldn’t have considered a paranormal explanation for the two red eyes staring at his deer camera if it wasn’t for the lights he captured two years ago.

“It seems like there are just too many things to pass off as imagination, or coincidence,” he said. “I’m convinced that this property is haunted. In some way, by something, but I don’t know what. But when it gets caught on camera that’s hard evidence that I’m not seeing things. (above taken from "From the Shadows" by Jason Offutt )

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mysterious image captured by local news crew in Argentina

The footage was shot at a cemetery in a province of Argentina called Córdoba.
The Argentinean news crew while reporting on a different matter, manged to capture what appears to be a person walking on the roof of the cemetery.

Video Link

According to personal and groundskeepers, there was no one at that time on the roof doing repairs or any other checks. The roof is not accessible to regular visitors.

Interesting video, but not enough evidence to call it a “ghost” or to deem it supernatural. However, notice how it moves very unnatural. Almost like it glides.(above taken from the Ghost Theory )

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What are Orbs? by Dave Juliano


What are these balls of transparent light we find in photos taken in allegedly haunted places? I won't tell you I know the answer to this question. No one has the true answer to this question yet, but that's part of the job of researchers and investigator.

One of the leading theories concerning what orbs are and the one that I lean towards the most is that they are not the spirit at all. The orb is the energy being transferred from a source (i.e. powerlines, heat energy, batteries, people, etc) to the spirit so they can manifest. This may not even be a conscious thing the spirit is doing, just a natural way they get their energy. This would explain why the orbs are round balls. According to the laws of Physics energy being transferring like that would assume is natural shape of a sphere. This theory can also be tied into the EMF readings we get during spirit activity.

I always approach things with a bit of skepticism, so when I saw all these websites start showing off these photos as ghosts, I was just as weary as most of you. I just had to t
ry it for myself. I took a 35mm camera that I had used regularly for 6 years in all types of lighting and weather and had never gotten an orb or other unexplainable photo before and went out with a few seasoned field investigators on a cemetery investigation. One of the investigators was psychic and she pointed out a few areas we should take photos, so I did. I also had ghost footsteps walkup behind me twice and I turned around quickly and took photos of the empty air. When I got my photos developed, I had these orbs and fog in those photos that I was told to take, as well as the footstep ones. All my other photos were normal. Coincidence?

Since we do not know what orbs truly are, just that they seem to be found mainly in areas where there is ghost activity, I will tell you what they are not. On a normal investigation there are about 10 people using 10 different cameras, 35mm and digital, and many speeds and brands of film. They all get their film developed at separate places. Let's say only half of these investigators get some orb photos. Are these water spots or dirt on the lens? That would mean that 5 people all had similar dirt on their lens and all 5 did not clean their lens either. Are these orbs film processing errors? Well the 35mm cameras all had their film developed in different locations and used different film so that is very unlikely. The digital cameras can't have fil
m-processing errors.

I am aware that some people feel that the orbs on a digital camera are an error in the digital processing of the image. When that error does occur in digital photos, the objects tend to be square in nature, not round and they cannot be semi-transparent, the pixel behind would have to be corrupted also. I will not even address the precipitation theory, no legitimate researchers takes photos in any form of precipitation. What about dust and dirt being stirred up? Can that be the cause of the orbs? If that were the case, I would think that there would not be normal photos in a sequence of photos from the same camera and location. All of the shots in a sequence should have the dust or dirt in it. We find that most orb photos do not appear in consecutive photos. All photographers present should get orbs if it is dust being stirred up as well.

These are just a few things for the skeptics to think of when they are condemning an orb photo as a fake or fraud and some things for investigators to consider when checking their photos for positives.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Haunting Questionnaire


Do you feel your home is haunted? Find out if it is and with what paranormal entity it might be.

Please read each option carefully, then place them in the order of most significant to least.

1. Have you…

A) felt as though you are being watched by unseen eyes?

B) felt a constant presence of energy?

C) occasionally sensed a mild presence?

D) had occasional unsolicited and dark thoughts?

2. Have you…

A) seen a free floating orb or apparition?

B) felt inexplicably tired, sad or angry?

C) experienced repetitive and predicable anomalous activity like invisible footsteps on the stairs or in the hall at specific hours of the day?

D) had things go missing then turn up later in the same place you looked?

3. Have you…

A) felt something unseen touch you or brush up against you?

B) felt uncomfortable only in certain areas of the house?

C) had reoccurring issues with plumbing, electrical or appliances with no explanation?

D) Suddenly smelled a horrible smell with no explanation?

4. Have you…

A) had vivid and inexplicable dreams of ghosts in your house?

B) experienced more illness or depression since living in the home?

C) had toilets flush or taps turn on when no one was using them?

D) felt an evil or manipulative presence in the home or developed violent thoughts, suicidal or homicidal?

5. Have you…

A) seen glimpses of something or someone in your peripheral?

B) noticed that when you are not home, you have more energy and feel happier?

C) seen inexplicable flashes of light coming from the same location more than once?

D) started experiencing night terrors or experiencing scary paranormal activity while trying to sleep?

6. Have you…

A) heard disembodied whispers or voices patiently trying to speak with you?

B) had an overall change in mood and personality since moving into a new house?

C) heard a repetitive voice or noise from a certain location in the house?

D) starting experiencing paranormal activity since you or someone in the home has entered a hormonal change in their life?

7. Have you…

A) discovered within the history of the home that there was a death in the home or nearby?

B) moved into a home that has had one or more previous owners?

C) found doors or windows left open when no one was there?

D) been physically assaulted, pushed or scratched by an unseen force?

8. Have you…

A) had others in your home, guests, children or others in the home, acknowledge seeing an apparition?

B) noticed a feeling of overcast negativity hovering over your new home?

C) noticed occasional anomalous scents in your home, tobacco, perfume, etc.?

D) noticed the paranormal activity heightening and becoming more aggressive the more you notice it or get upset with it?

9. Have you…

A) noticed your pets calmly looking at or passively interacting with seemingly invisible beings?

B) noticed your family members becoming more apt to fight or withdraw since moving?

C) noticed your pet reacting to repetitive noises in the home?

D) noticed your pet behaving frightened for no apparent reason?

10. Have you…

A) noticed considerable drops in temperature occasionally in your home, especially when you feel the presence?

B) lost interest in many of the normal activities you used to enjoy since moving in the new home?

C) noticed that the presence doesn’t seem aware of your existence?

D) had the entity follow you outside the home?

11. Have you…

A) felt someone standing beside or sitting on your bed while you are sleeping?

B) had new physical ailments suddenly appear after moving to this home?

C) noticed only certain lights or appliances to be affected on a regular basis?

D) had the feeling of being possessed, missing time or had the entity claim to be a demon or the devil?

12. Have you…

A) felt that you communicated with the ghost and had a successful response?

B) had obsessive compulsive or paranoid thoughts pertaining to the home?

C) discovered that many people have lived in the home previously?

D) noticed the activity strength will fluctuate or quit suddenly without warning?





If A’s seem to be the most significant, you probably have a typical ghost haunting. The ghost being that of a previously living human being that has ties to the home. Either they passed on in the home or resided in the home at one point, they feel a connection with the home and most likely have some unfinished business to complete. Often times, these types of ghosts have a specific message or duty to perform to enable them to cross over to the other side. The best thing to do in this situation is to verbally voice your willingness to help them in any way you can. By extending the invitation to assist them, they learn they can trust you and will eventually convey their message or decide that they have been acknowledged and will go home.

If B’s are mostly at the top of your list, your home may be inflicted with residual energy. Negative energies imprinted into the home from former tenants of the home. Anger, sadness, depression and bitterness may have painted their energies into the very fibre of your home. New homes built from the ground up are very pleasant to live in not only for their new home look, but also because no one else has been there before you to imbed their toxic behaviours or personalities. The very best way to clear these homes of their negative energies is to imprint a constant flow of positive energy. Crystals are a very good addition to homes like these due their energy cleaning properties. Burning sweet grass or sage is also another effective way of charging the home with good energy. Having the home blessed can also encourage positive energy flow.

If you’ve chosen mostly C’s, your home is likely haunted by a redundant ghost. Occasionally, a deceased person can recreate an event in a home or environment and replay that moment over and over. Like a tape recorder trapped in time, the event or events that occurred in that home may simply continue day to day or on a special day of the year. These ghosts are not sentient and are not able to communicate, it’s simply a blip in the fabric of time. Honestly, there’s really no efficient way to rid yourself of these types of ghosts. Blessing or cleansing the home would definitely be a good option, but otherwise, it may just remain as a harmless addition to the home.

All D’s at the top of your list is of great concern. This indicates that a poltergeist is likely present in your home. These paranormal vermin have been around for centuries and create serious and dangerous adverse conditions in your home. They have been known to present themselves as demons, the devil or simply a pest. They are proficient at manipulating people and creating extreme stress within homes. As well as being physically aggressive, they are able to invade the human psyche and tap into emotional weaknesses. They feed exclusively off of negative energy so the more angry, sad or scared the inflicted family becomes, the stronger they grow. The only way to attempt to rid one’s home of these potentially dangerous ghosts is to ignore them and control your own energy. Similar to a toddler throwing a tantrum, simply walk away from any of their attempts to manipulate you. All attempts to rid them through positive reinforcement may only cause them to try harder and become more violent. Cutting off the supply of negative energy is the only way to force them to leave of their own accord.

* Note, it is very possible to have more than one type of paranormal disturbance in your home.

**All logical mental, physical and emotional explanations should be explored and ruled out first before considering the paranormal. (above taken from the Spirt Guide )

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ghost in the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City


Entity Passes Through Museum Security Gate

Video of an entity taken at the Science Museum at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City. The security camera picked up the spectre as it passed through the security gate then again when it returned back. Notice that the turnstiles are also activated. The museum was closed to the public at the time.

This one is also interesting. I'm not entirely convinced but take a look.

Ghost in Public Hospital

Friday, November 14, 2008

Heavyweights of the Paranormal ( Part One ) Waverly Hills Sanatorium


Waverly Hills Sanatorium, located in Louisville, Kentucky, opened in 1910 as a two-story hospital to accommodate 40 to 50 tuberculosis patients. It has since come to be considered one of the most haunted buildings in the Eastern United States. In the early 20th century, Jefferson County was severely stricken with an outbreak of tuberculosis. The original Waverly Hills building was soon home to over 140 patients. A larger hospital was needed for the overwhelming number of patients coming in, so construction of a five-story building that could hold more than 400 patients began in March 1924.

The new building opened on October 17, 1926, and was eventually closed in June 1961. The building was reopened in 1962 as Woodhaven Geriatrics Hospital; Woodhaven was closed in 1981 due to patient abuse.

Room 502 is perhaps the most notable location in Waverly Hills and the number has sometimes been adopted symbolically
. One story claims that a nurse hanged herself after finding she was pregnant out of wedlock and attempting surgery upon herself to abort the illegitimate child. Another tells a different nurse who jumped from a balcony. However, the SciFi Channel series Ghost Hunters turned up no records or death certificates to confirm the legends, although there is confirmation of the nurse's suicide by hanging and her discovery in official records. Some sources claim there is also confirmation of the second death, but it is currently disputed. Other common sightings in Waverly Hills include the vista of young children running through the halls, as the hospital had a large number of children and families housed there.

Apparitions & Other Strange Events
The most common experience of visitors seems to be "moving shadows" or "shadow people". These are shadows that
appear to have some substance - able to "walk" across doorways and to block some light when a laser is pointed at them. There are many reports of these shadows both inside and outside the building.

Glowing Orbs (nicknamed "Soul Orbs" by some) have also been photographed there. These small balls of light appear almost like lightbulbs or specks of dust when captured on film, but there has been no electric power to the building in years. They are often reported to fly around corridors and spawn other orbs.

Some photos show indistinct "brown imps" o
utside the grounds too, but these humanoid shapes are a less common sighting. The existing photographic evidence of the imps is dubious to say the least.

There have been many Electronic_voice_phenomenon recordings made in the building and grounds. Varying from the more common "Get ou
t" or "Go away" to more specific statments like "What kind of hospital is this?" and "The winch" (referring to the winch that powered the Death Tunnel's body card, and recorded in that area).

Often a boy bouncing a ball is seen and at l
east one small, old, leather ball has been found in the building. Investigators once found a ball rolling towards them, and it being moved by an unseen force. Electronic_voice_phenomenon recordings feature a child saying "I am three". There have been numerous sightings and recordings of small children.

Another notable vision is the sight of a woman - reports vary as to the age and appearance - bearing chains around bloodied wrists chanting or screaming "Help me!" at the entrance of the building.


The most common apparition though is of a young girl with no eyes which has appeared on photos and been encountered by witnesses. This girl is called "Mary" by staff and researchers, based on a recovered photo of a young woman that was recovered and was signed "Love, Mary Lee". However, the girl in the photo is older than most reports of the ghosts perce
ived age. Mary is the most conversational of the ghosts and has spoken to many people, usually wanting to play games with them.

The Death Tunnel! This tunnel has to be the most famous tunnel up at Waverly Hills. It has been a major subject of discussion among people who have been to visit Waverly on tours during October. For some reason...this tunnel has come to be called " the body chute." Actually however, this is an incorrect term...because a chute is a slide. Bodies of deceased patients were never slid down this tunnel and piled up at the bottom in heaps - a popular misconception that alot of people have come to have about this tunnel.

In reality, this tunnel was originally a steam tunnel that supplied the sanatorium with hot steam for the radiators. Yes, the boiler room was at one time at the very bottom of the hill because of the black smoke produced by the coal fed boilers. The tunnel was also a good way for employees to get up and down the hill during the winter time and keep warm at the same
time. Transporting the bodies of deceased tuberculosis patients was only ONE of the uses of the tunnel. During the peak years of tuberculosis there were a lot of deaths at the sanatorium, and the staff realized that it would be very discouraging for patients to look out the windows and see hearses pulling up and taking away people who had died.

Try to imagine yourself being administered to the sanatorium with a diagnosis of having TB. It is the late 1920's, and antibiotics have not been invented yet. So, you realize that you have a chance to get cured and live, but...you could die too if the treatments they gave you didn't work well enough. Now, imagine how discouraged you would feel if you looked out from your assigned room, and when you pull the curtains back...you see people who have died being picked up with a hearse. And to make matters worse...you see that perhaps many times throughout a day. It would be so emotionally depressing to you that you might give up the fight to live. Then ....your bodies defenses dwindle. It is a known fact that if a person gets very depressed emotionally....it can affect their bodies defense system to the point that it may not fight off a disease as well as if the person is in good spirits. So, that is the reason why the staff at Waverly would sneak the bodies down through this tunnel!

Estimates vary wildly of how many died at Waverly, though the owners of the building say that it was around 63,000. This estimate would be consistent with other TB hospitals, considering Waverly's size.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ituna's Ghost of 1924

  "Ghosts, ah! ah! It is to shiver!

  Ituna, a small town on the Grand Trunk Railway, a hundred miles or so northest of Regina, is in the throes of a genuine mensation. For months the "ghost" of a woman has appeared near there.

 Residents of the town, district, and of adjoining places for miles around are thoroughly intriged - and thrilled. Hundreds have seen the mysterious figure both by night and day and the excited is divided into three categories - believers, half-believers and scoffers, ghost-hunting excursions. Ghost-hunting excursions have taken the place of dances, socials and concerts. Nearly every night, and often during the day, old and young make pilgrimages to watch the spot where the strange visitations occur. Some have camped on the scene for many hours at a stretch. Many have seen the ghost, or something which they are convinced is supernatural. Others have departed, disappointed and skeptical.

   One may question the sanest, most reliable people in Ituna and round-about and come to the reasonable conclusion that there is a real basis for becoming worked up over the question. The scien

tific mind might almost term the appearance of the [the image is missing of this part] female wraith, an "inexplicable phenomenon" At any rate it's decidely queer. Hundreds of theories have been propounded and none of them are very logical . In the meantime, people continue to see the nebulous creature in gauzy draperies, and more and more converts to the ranks of those who believe in the supernatual are made.

    Very appropriately the female wraith of Ituna haunts one particular spot; and still more appropiately the name of that spot is "Ghost Hill". The name was given years ago when the district was first settled, so long ago that residents have forgotten just why. It is an errie place, a bare, conical knob rising from the undulating bluffy country which lies between the Touchwood and Fire Hills Indian reservation.

   "Ghost Hill" is situated nine or ten miles west and a little north of the town of Ituna, half a mile from the Lunmville school. All around are sloughs and dense clups of bushes and small populars. Though there are farms on every side, the hill itself is in the centre of a section of wild land, the property of the provincial government.

    "Nothing ever happens in small town." Lot's of people believe this and thousands of residents in small centres throughout the country will repeat the phrase. But in the case of Ituna, the humdrum routine of rural life was rudely broken early in June when the first news of the haunted hill near the school was broadcast throughout the district

Nick Finuke, 22-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John Finuke, who live[s] less than three-quarters of a mile from the spot where the draped ghost walks, was apparently the first to see. It was high noon, he says. A figure in white garb appeared on the summit of the knoll, which stands out clearly against the sky-line from all sides. He thought it strange that a woman should be there and he walked closer. As he approached the hill, something strange about the figure rivited his attention. It seemed to grow larger and smaller before his gaze. It appeared to lack stability Finuke saw with surprise and fear that he could see through the figure. When he came closer it disappeared.

    This was the beginning then a munber of school children whose playground is within sight of the hill, saw the mysterious figure. From that distance - about half of a mile - they weren't sure if it were animal, bird or human being. They told their teacher Miss Ethel Clark. The latter a throughly practical Saskatchewan girl, put it down to childish imagination until one day she saw the ghost herself. That was on August 13.

 It was a punctual spirit. Each day, about the noon hour it would appear for a time and 

each night at midnight the intangible would again reveal itself for the edification of silent watchers. Children came to watch for the visitation and regarded its presence as almost commonplace, after the initial thrills had worn off. Farmers working at a considerable distance in their fields would observe a white shape wafted across the across the hill and they knew the ghost was walking. Then, as certainly of the fact that something enigmatic, something mysterious, was going on become established, the excursions and ghost-hunting trips commenced.

   The first week in July, and up to the middle of that month, saw the greatest interest on the part of people of the surrounding country in attempt to solve the riddle. Yorkton, Leslie, Jasmin, Herbert, Wynyard, Foam Lake, Hubbard and many other towns sent representatives as well as Ituna. Some came in a serious vein, prepared to be gentle or use violence with the wraith as occasion demaned. But the majority came in the holiday spirit. They drove in autos. The unspoiled environs of Ghost Hill resounded with raucious shouts. The landscape was embellished with empty cigaret packets, banana and orange skins, wrappings of chocolate bars and the grease paper which had done duty as coverings for lunches. One night, a party from Kelliher, brought a phonograph, and the ghost - if present - was regaled with such classics, "You've gotta see Mama ev-er-y night, or you can't see Mama at all".

    And then it became plan that the ghost disliked noise. When revelers were present, 

she remained invisible. At night, the display of lights also drove her into retirement. On many occasions between July 1 and the later part of August, the amateur investigators turned the headlights of their automobles upon the hill and small clump of populars on the northest side where from her ghostship was suppost to sally. Not once did she manifest herself.

    But to the silent, stalking type of ghost-hunter, came the success which the boisterous ones failed to secure. At midnight they would sneak up and secret themselves about the hill sometimes climbing to the summit and remaining perfectly still. Them so many of them asserted, they saw a white shape rise from the ground and grow to the height of a woman. They describe the spirit as like a vapor at first, afterward seeming to gain greater stability, yet retaining semitransparent qualities described by Nick Finuke.

    These noctural searchers after supernatural reported the spirit always to be in the same place. It would come, they day out of the [end of the front page; now quoting from page 3] clump of poplars, and stand facing the knoll between two small trees, the white trucks of which are plainly discernable, even at night. When matches would be lit for a close investigation; or when an electric torch was suddenly flashed on the spot, there was nothing there. The light was gone, the ghost would often reappear.

It was a silent, well-behaved spirit. It laid "cold hands" on no one. It made no noise, coming as quietly as the day and departing as quickly as the night comes in the tropics...

The investigators, comparing notes discovered several things in regard to the habits of the wraith. For example, in its nightly appearances it appeared to favor the time when the moon was at its full. This was particularly true of June and August. In the daylight, still, hot weather, without wind, seemed to lure the form into the sunshine. Cold, frosty nights within the past few days, are evidently too severe for thin and gauzy draperies, for watchers report no results.

Can it be that her ghostship - like the birds - will go south during the winter season?

Perhaps it is more likely that the noise; the encrouchment upon her privacy at Ghost Hill; the defacement of the landscape with the refuse from midnight picnics, and the tramping of the grass and breaking of the bushes has caused her to go elsewhere?

The first flush of excitement in Ituna over the ghost had subsided during the first week in September when a Morning Leader reporter paid a visit to the town and to Ghost Hill. H.G. Clark, well-known cattleman of the district; his daughters, Ethel and Golda, and the newspapermen squatted silently on the hill during the night of September 4 - and failed to get a glimse of her highness the ghost...

It was nearly 11 o'clock when The Leader reporter and Mr. Clark drove to Lunmville 

school on the night of September 4. Miss Ethel Clark who teaches at the school, and Miss Golda Clark - who will soon be old enough to impart pedagogal instruction, live near in a tiny, two roomed house near the seat of learning.

With the air of a humoring couple of sightly deranged people, the school ma'm and her young sister undertook to pilot the party over the intervening bluffs and through coulees and around sloughs to Ghost Hill. There was no stars and the light from the stars was scant. The moon - in its first quarter - was already below the rim of the horizon.

Though the pair of young Amazons didn't appear to have much difficulty, the reporter - and even Mr. Clark - would occasionally trip over something to the accompaniment of brief murmurs of pain or words signifying annoyance. Ghost Hill was finally reached an hour before midnight.

The spot at night, with all silent and expectant, is one which drips mystery. From the hill itself, the clump of poplars with dense undergrowth, loon black and uninviting. The slightest of slight night breezes ruffle the poplar leaves into a monotonous whisper. To the west, and behind the hill, is a big slough, banked on every side with tall reeds. The faint light reflected by its waters, is caught by the glazed poplar leaves and flickers in and out. Through the tree, lower down, come occasional glimpses of dried mud on the edge of the slough, showing gray.

Straining the four pair of eyes into the patchy blackness of the poplar grove Certainly it seemed as if between the two small poplars where the ghost was reported as having been seen many times, there was a misty shape. It was faint and formless, however, and close inspection invariably failed to get a more definite view. It was nearly one o'clock when the party - convinced that her ghostship would not walk that night - walked back to the residence by the school.

...There were no landmarks which could be seen in the now almost pitch black night: the big dipper constellation used for a guide at first, was found to be too far north and by the time the school was reached, the ghost hunters had waled at least three times the necessary distance.

Miss Ethel Clark, speaking of her sight of the ghost, said that she went out in the school yard to look after the Finuke children, Nick had come running to her with the story just after lunch, August 13. >From the distance, she was unable to tell very much about it. It seemed like a woman's figure, but the motion along the face of the hill was not like waling, rather a drifting, gliding means of progress. It disappeared a few moments after in the clump of poplars and she never saw it again.

The next day at noon, The Leader made a minute examination of the hill. It is honeycombed with rabbit and badgers burrows but of the badgers and rabbits there were none to be seen. A huge mound of earth thrown up near the poplar grove by one of the burrowing animals, had been styled a "grave" by one of the village ghost hunters.

The hill itself had nothing of the artificial about it. It seemed like many other smaller hills in the vicinity, to have been made in the course of nature's work. Glacial action and the errosion of centuries was very apparent. There was no sign of human dwelling about. In fact, there was nothing of the "manmade" look about anything in the neighborhood. The grove, though the underbrush had been torn, and initials cut deep into the young poplars by the amateur ghost-hunters, couldn't have sheltered a rabbit without a search disclosing the animal.

Fred Manchuk, attendance Inspector of the school... said very definitely that he had seen the ghost.

"At first it looked small, like a rabbit or a white dog," he asserted.

"Then, when I got closer, it seemed like a woman going along as smoothly as if she were skating. Yes, there's something funny there. Lots of people have seen it."

Mr. Clark said that one feature of the ghost hunts conducted during July and August was that some of the party would claim to see the woman and others, right beside them, couldn't see anything out of the oridinary at all. On one such occasion two men were sitting on the side of the fill diring the night, watching for the appearance of the apparition. Suddenly one exclaimed excitedly. "There it is." His companion strained his eyes into the darkness but could see nothing. "There, there," the other repeated, following with his finger the object which he saw moving along the edge of the grove. The other man caught up a stick and ran to the shadow beneath the trees, laying about with the improvised club.

"Am I hitting it?" he asked.

Yes, now it's on your left! Now it's behind you," said the other.

But the man with the stick though he flailed about, failed to see or touch anything unusual. Another case of similiar characteristics

is that of Mrs. John an aged lady of Ituna, and her son. They camped on the hill one night, and the old lady saw the ghost distinctly. Her son failed to get a view, though his mother was very positive and described the cold clammy sensation which came over her when the figure in feminine draperies appeared.

The movtive for the appearance of the wraith on Ghost Hill has been the talk of the whole country for may miles north of the Qu'Appelle Valley. One theory is that the visitation may have have something to do with a particularly revolting murder which occurred in the district a few years ago [... the author of the article goes into details of the murder, which I will omit here].

Another - and perhaps the most general belief among those who are convinced the ghost does frequent the spot - is that it may be "control" of some departed Indian.

The whole country on all sides was once famous as a hunting ground for Saskatchewan's original residents. Here was game in abundance; water aplenty and shelter from the elements in winder. Here were fought many of the little Indian wars.

Color to the Indian theory is lent by the fact that many years ago, a stone suppost to have been used by Indian sun-worshippers[1], was found not far from Ghost Hill.

According to T. G. Morrison, one of the earliest setlers in the district; the stone was about three feet square, with rough representation of the sun, with rays of light shown by deep scores in the rock. C. W. Hoddings, also of Ituna, one of those who, became interested when it was found, sent the stone in 1906 to Regina.

When the theorist discuss the stone, it is sometimes referred to as a gravestone and Ghost Hill referred to as a community burying place similar in character to the cemeteries of the earliest tribes of Britian before civilization came to her shore.[The rest of the article goes into various theories regarding the ghost and why they don't hold water] (above taken from the Leader  )

Monday, November 10, 2008

And in other news ... Illinois Woman Lived With Deceased Siblings

Neighbours knew 90-year-old Margaret Bernstorff's Evanston home was a mess, cluttered with old furniture and stacks of yellowing newspapers. But no one imagined that inside the colourful Victorian-era home on Judson Avenue were the decayed bodies of three siblings, one of whom died in the 1970s and another of whom died about six months ago.

The Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed yesterday that the dead included Bernstorff's sister Anita, who died in May at age 98; her brother, Frank, who died in 2003 at age 83; and another sister, Elaine, who died in her 60s sometime in the late 1970s. The bodies, some covered with blankets, were found on Friday in different rooms of the home.

It was determined that all three died of natural causes and police have not charged anyone with a crime. Bernstorff was unavailable for comment and has been placed in a senior care facility.

As investigators continued to gather information from the home, police and neighbours were left to wonder how a woman could apparently live for years inside a home with the decaying remains of family members.

"I'm shocked. I think we're all shocked," said Allan Redmond, an Evanston contractor who had become friendly with Margaret Bernstorff after doing repairs on her home. "A few weeks ago I asked her about her sister [Anita] because it had been a long time since I'd seen her. She said that her sister was sick and upstairs, but I couldn't have imagined something like this."

Some neighbours knew Margaret Bernstorff had once lived with relatives. But it had been years since anyone had seen her brother and months since they had seen or spoken with Anita, Redmond said. Given the horrid conditions inside her home, many were concerned that Margaret could no longer care for herself. Some neighbours occasionally checked in on Bernstorff, bringing food and groceries the woman didn't always warmly accept. "She could be stubborn and she didn't take help a lot of the time," Redmond said. (above taken from the Phantoms and Monsters website )

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Location - Darke Hall

Francis Nicholson Darke was a notable figure in Regina. He was a prominent businessman and real estate magnate and his philanthropic efforts improved the quality of life for Regina's citizens. He was Regina's youngest mayor and he served on city council for many years.

Francis Darke's philanthropic efforts greatly enhanced the City of Regina. He donated the money to build the Darke Hall for Music and Art in 1929. Darke Hall quickly became a bastion of culture for Regina and many musical and theatrical productions took place there over the years. It also served as the home of the Regina Symphony Orchestra for 41 years. Darke also donated the church bells that currently reside in the Knox-Metropolitan United Church. The bells, which were donated in 1927, were given as a memorial to Darke's son Clifford, who had died in an automobile accident in 1926.

Darke died in 1940 of a heart attack. He was laid to rest in the Darke mausoleum, one of the few mausoleums in Regina.

Darke’s legacy still lives on in the city, however. It is said that Darke's spirit has been seen in and around Darke Hall.

The "Blood Cemetery"


Curtis Carmichael, paranormal researcher and photographer today announced the official release of a new web site focusing on the famed ‘Blood Cemetery’ located in Hollis, New Hampshire (USA). This cemetery, cited in virtually all haunted places books in print in the New England area is believed to be one of the most haunted and active cemeteries in the region. With gravestones dating back to the 1700s, it is very old.

Officially, the cemetery is named Pine Hill Cemetery although commonly referred to as simply Blood Cemetery – the name attributable to the Blood family burial blot towards the central region of the burial grounds. Many believe the ghost of Abel Blood roams the cemetery and his headstone has been commonly cited and studied by paranormal researchers. Many people have reported the hand pointing up towards the heavens on his grave mysteriously points downward at night.

Numerous paranormal investigations have recorded strange voices (EVPs) and ghostly orbs have shown up in countless photographs. Closed dusk to dawn and heavily patrolled by authorities around Halloween.

Friday, October 31, 2008

10 Ghostly Mysteries of Canada


No.10 - The Walker Theatre's Ghostly Performers

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Inspired by a prominent Chicago theatre, Corliss Powers Walker's extensive 2,000-seat theatre opened in 1907 and would prove influential in shaping Winnipeg's artistic history. Walker would also create a series of theatres across the country. By the time he stopped working at Winnipeg's theatre in 1933, the seeds had already been sown for a haunting.

Stage actors Laurence Irving and Mabel Hackney drowned in 1914 and ever since they've been apparently engaged in ghostly singing, shouting and stage performances. Recordings have documented the sounds, and the ghostly twosome is known to hold impromptu performances to this day.



No.9 - The Hatley Castle Ghost

Victoria, British Columbia

The building now known as the Royal Roads Military College was originally a castle replica built by the former Premier James Dunsmuir in 1908. Known for its popular social functions, the house was eventually bought by another family in the 1930s. They soon began seeing the ghost of a young man killed in an earlier war.

When the building became a military college, the young ghost remained and he was joined by the ghostly Laura Dunsmuir. She would regularly mess up blankets, drop kitchen pots and watch the soldiers, all in an alleged effort to save them from a wartime death.



No.8 - The Haunted Five Fishermen Restaurant

Halifax, Nova Scotia

One of Canada's earliest schools in 1817, this historic Halifax building became

an art school and eventually a mortuary. As fate would have it, the mortuary was present during the sinking of the Titanic and the Halifax Explosion of 1917.

In 1975, the building became the Five Fishermen Restaurant, and while the food is great, so are the ghosts. Staff and paranormal investigators have recorded strange knocks, seen fast shadows ducking behind the bar, and felt taps on the shoulder. The ghosts have remained mostly invisible, except for an old grey-haired man who enters the bar during the l ate hours.



No.7 - The Banff Springs Hotel's Hidden Room

Banff, Alberta

The opening of the Banff Springs Hotel introduced tourists to the wonders of the Canadian Rockies. What these visitors didn't know, however, was that the hotel was built with a hidden room that only the construction crew knew about. Undiscovered until 1926, the area around the room was blamed for housing spirits and frightening guests.


The 1928 re-opening of the hotel removed the room, but spirits have continued to linger. A ghostly bellhop named Sam offers to open doors for guests and a long-deceased bride haunts the bridal suite and re-enacts the living moment when her dress caught on fire.

No.6 - The Great Amherst Mystery

Amherst, NovaScotia

After an attempted sexual assault in 1878, Esther Cox was victimized by an alleged poltergeist. The attacks began as noises and progressed to the point where Esther was experiencing seizures and continual pain. A death threat even appeared on her bedroom wall.


Actor and psychic investigator Walter Hubbell stayed with Esther's family in an attempt to save her. It was determined that the poltergeist was several spirits, most notably that shoemaker Bob Nickle, but no one knew why Esther was targeted. After going to jail for arson (which she blamed on the poltergeists), Esther was released and the spirits let her be.


No.5 - The Dagg Poltergeist

Clarendon, Quebec

The Daggs were a peaceful family in a Quebec farmhouse in the late 1800s. After they adopted a Scottish orphan named Dinah, a poltergeist began to harass them. Smashed windows, strange fires and moved objects were commonplace, and finally owner George Dagg asked journalist Percy Woodcock to see the events for himself.

Woodcock, Dagg and 15 others watched as the poltergeist started multiple fires, moved kitchen jugs through the house, and tossed stones through windows. Each witness signed documents stating that they had seen the poltergeist and after creating a sufficient spectacle, the spirit left the Daggs alone some three months later.

No.4 - The Baldoon Mystery

Wallaceburg, Ontario

Between 1830 and 1840, John McDonald bought a lucrative patch of Ontario land. He immediately got offers to resell it, especially from an old woman who wouldn't take no for an answer. McDonald refused, only to be plagued by supernatural activity like crashing poles, unknown footsteps and bullets flying through his windows.

Fearful, McDonald visited a psychic who told him to wound any strange birds lurking nearby because it would also wound the perpetrator. McDonald noticed a black headed-goose and after hitting it with a rock, he noticed the next day that the old woman from earlier was now suffering from a broken arm.

No.3 - The Wynyard Ghost

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Major Wynyard was a British officer serving in Canada during the American War of Independence. On October 23, 1823, Wynyard was having dinner with his fellow officers when a ghost entered. The other men were afraid, but Wynyard recognized the spirit as his brother. The spirit waved and disappeared before the men noted the date and time of the appearance.

Following the incident, Wynyard received mail from his family in England. A letter informed him that his brother had died two days to the hour after his ghostly appearance in Canada. With multiple witnesses and written documentation, this ghostly tale refuses to go away.


No.2 - Peter MacIntyre's Cemetery Visit

Tracadie, Prince Edward Island


Peter MacIntyre joined some men for an evening of drinking and fireside chats. One man told the others about a spirit that was haunting the Scotch Fort Cemetery. MacIntyre wasn't afraid and offered to go the cemetery alone and put a hay-fork in front of a grave to announce his visit.

The next morning, Peter was found dead at the graveyard with a clear expression of fright and his hay-fork stuck through the back of his jacket. Did one of the men set him up? Was an angry spirit responsible for his death? No one knows for sure.


No.1 - The Haunted Mackenzie House

Toronto, Ontario

William Lyon Mackenzie was Toronto's first mayor. Politics ran through his family as his great grandson William Lyon Mackenzie King eventually became prime minister. During Mackenzie King's tenure, his great-grandfather's old house was up for demolishment, but he agreed to keep it standing as a museum.

The Mackenzie House still stands, but it has been haunted for over 50 years. Ghostly sightings of the old mayor and his wife have been described in detail, as have sounds of his old printing press and his master piano. For visitors, it's now a classic museum that is filled with history and supernatural spooks.

Happy Halloween!



With prospects of ghosts and goblins right around the corner and pumpkins alight with candles, the spookiest of seasons is upon us. One of the traditional plants associated with this season are pumpkins, or “Jack-o’-lanterns.”

The history of the “Jack of the Lantern” dates back to several legends. One legend is based on an old Irish tale. According to this legend, Jack was a mean person who played a trick on the devil. This made the devil mad, so the devil sentenced Jack to walk the earth carrying a lantern made out of a turnip with a burning coal inside.

Jack became “Jack of the Lantern.” This was later shortened to “Jack-o’-lantern.” From this legend came the Irish tradition of placing lighted jack-o-lanterns by doors on Halloween.

Another legend is based on the Celtic celebration of the dead. Celtic ritual believed that the souls of the dead returned on the evening before November 1. Pumpkins were lit in a celebration of the harvest and as an honoring of dead ancestors.

The first fruit that was lit and carved was actually turnips and gourds. The Irish also carved potatoes. Sometime along the way, it was discovered that pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve. European customs included the lighting of pumpkins with scary faces to ward off evil spirits.

Several other legends abound, but all the legends agree that the lighting of the lantern helps ward off evil spirits.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Suicide Woods of Mt. Fuji



"The perfect place to die." That's how Aokigahara was described in Wataru Tsurumui's bestselling book The Complete Manual of Suicide. A dense, dark forest bordering Mt. Fuji, Aokigahara is infamous throughout Japan as a popular spot for those taking their final journey. In 2002, 78 bodies were found within it, replacing the previous record of 73 in 1998. By May of 2006, at least 16 new suicides had already been found. More than a few of them were even carrying copies of Tsurumui's book. No one knows how many bodies go undiscovered.

Signs emblazoned with messages such as "Please reconsider" and "Please consult the police before you decide to die!" are nailed to trees throughout the forest. However, the woods have such a reputation that these minor deterrents do little to stop the determined. Local residents say they can always tell who is going into the forest for its stunning natural beauty, who is hunting after the macabre and who is planning never to return. "We've got everything here that points to us being a death spot. Perhaps we should just promote ourselves as 'Suicide City' and encourage people to come here," the exasperated mayor of Aokigahara has been quoted as saying.

Part of the appeal is dying at the foot of the sacred Mt. Fuji. Part of it is the foreboding nature of Aokigahara, so dense and thick that from just a few kilometers inside it no sounds can be heard other than those produced by the forest itself. Legends surround the place; for instance, there are said to be massive underground iron deposits that cause compasses to go haywire, trapping innocents along with the purposely suicidal. Japan's Self Defence Force regularly runs training exercises throughout Aokigahara, and claims to have had no trouble with their military-grade lensatic compasses. They admit, though, that commercially available equipment would be pretty much useless.


Aokigahara is considered the most haunted location in all of Japan, a purgatory for yurei, the unsettled ghosts of Japan who have been torn unnaturally soon from their lives and who howl their suffering on the winds. Spiritualists say that the trees themselves are filled with a malevolent energy, accumulated from centuries of suicides. They don't want you to go back out.

However, even in these haunted woods, regular humans still have a job to do. Forestry workers rotate in and out of shifts at a station building in Aokigahara, and occasionally they will come upon unfortunate bodies in various states of decomposition, usually hanging from trees or partially eaten by animals. The bodies are brought down to the station, where a spare room is kept especially for such occasions. In this room are two beds: one for the corpse and one for someone to sleep next to it. Yup, you read that correctly. It is thought that if the corpse is left alone, the lonely and unsettled yurei will scream the whole night through, and the body will move itself into the regular sleeping quarters. In inimitable style, the workers jan-ken (rock-paper-scissors) to see who gets to sleep with the body. And you thought your job was rough. (above taken from the SeekJapan website http://www.seekjapan.jp/article-1/767/The+Suicide+Woods+of+Mt.+Fuji )


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hunting ghosts in Regina


REGINA -- If there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call?

Ghost Hunters! ... Research Team.

Dana Hryhoriw and Wendell Kapay are the Ghost Hunters Research Team (GHRT). They've been helping people with paranormal problems since 2004 -- for free, mind you, all for the greater good.

"One of the biggest things for us is we're not exactly what you see on TV," explains Hryhoriw. "To us, these spirits were and are still somebody's loved ones. We go by respect first and foremost. We try to communicate with the spirits rather than banish them."

Hryhoriw and Kapay say they help roughly 30 people in Regina every year deal with suspected spirits or unexplained noises in their houses. Every investigation is strictly confidential.

"Usually when we go there we'll take a look at every alternative possible. We don't necessarily go there looking for a spirit, but we also don't debunk our client's claims," Hryhoriw says.

They communicate with the spirits using a variety of equipment including night-vision camcorders, cameras, voice recorders, motion sensors, thermometers, candles and compasses.

"I like to use a compass ... Because of the magnetic force of the spirit, it makes the compass kind of dance around when you stand still," Hryhoriw says.

They've saved clips on their tape recorder: A girl's voice in an empty graveyard, a mysterious voice saying "hi" in a suspected haunted house. They've also accumulated creepy photographs over the years. Some have random smoke appearing, while others have orbs streaking through the frame.

They have always considered ghost hunting a hobby, but when they moved from Wynyard to Regina in 2004 they formed their research team. More precisely, the research team formed after the night Hryhoriw saw her first ghost.

She says she and her partner wanted to explore Darke Hall at the University of Regina campus on College Avenue. Just as they were leaving, Hryhoriw says she saw something she'll never forget.

"I looked up at the front doors of Darke Hall, and there was a man standing there," she says. "Just the way he was standing there and looking at us, it was like 1,000 volts of electricity surged through me. It took my breath away."

She didn't know at the time that this mysterious man, who appeared and disappeared in the old hall, was actually Francis Darke, the founding father of Darke Hall. They went to a library to find out more information on the hall when she saw him in a book.

"That's the man I saw," she says pointing to his picture in the library book. The man, 64 years deceased, appeared to her looking the same as he did in a photo taken in the early 1930s.

Both Hryhoriw and Kapay experienced the paranormal at a young age. Kapay explains some of the noises he heard as child.

"I would hear things in the night that I shouldn't have been hearing," he says. Like the rocking chair that would rock back and forth when only he and his brother were home. When his father died, Kapay believed that his spirit stayed in the house.

"Cupboard doors were opening and closing on their own," he says.

Hryhoriw's first real paranormal experience happened while she was in the eighth grade. She was very close to her grandfather when she was young, and in the months before he died she had the same dream every night.

"I was in school, wearing these certain type of clothes. I'd get a call to the office, so I'd leave my homeroom, go down to the office and they would tell me, 'Get ready, your parents are picking you up, your grandpa has passed away,'" she recalls.

Night after night, the same visions played in her dreaming mind. In every dream she had the same clothes on and every time the same result occurred. Disturbed by the dreams, she decided against wearing those particular clothes together and valued every moment with her grandfather.

One day she had slept in so she threw on some clothes in a rush. When she got to her homeroom class, the moment played out just as it did in her dream.

"The minute the secretary said, 'Please send Dana to the office,' I looked down and I realized I was wearing those clothes and I cried all the way to the office," she says. "It hit me like a ton of bricks."

Losing someone so close to her stung, so she's vowed to help out others who have lost loved ones as well.

"If somebody has unfinished business, or they passed away without being able to say goodbye to a loved one, for me, my ultimate goal would be to capture that message and just to be able help them pass on," she says.

With Halloween approaching, calls are coming more frequently for the Ghost Hunters. Because so many people ask for their help, they won't stop their investigations, not until the day they finally get an answer.

"For most people it's one of the most popular unanswered questions: What's out there?" she says. (above taken from the Leader-Post website )


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How To Photograph Ghosts


GHOST STORIES can be frightening... ghost voices in EVPs can be intriguing… but what people really want in the way of haunting evidence are photographs. Photos and videos of ghosts provide the most dramatic evidence for the existence of the spirit world, providing we can be certain that they have not been Photoshopped or otherwise hoaxed. That's why so many ghost hunting groups are so eager to point to the orbs and "ecto" in their photos – they desperately want that hard evidence. Unfortunately, orbs and "ecto", in my opinion, stand as rather poor evidence for ghostly activity since so many other things, such as dust and water vapor, can account for them.

So how can we succeed at photographing ghosts? Here are some ideas.

GO WHERE THE GHOSTS ARE

This seems like an obvious point, but how do we know where the ghosts are? Well, at any given moment, we don't, really. They could be all around us, for all we know. But our best bet is to go to locations where ghost activity has been reported.

Many ghost hunting groups like to hang out in cemeteries with their cameras and recorders. Although I've heard some very good EVP from cemeteries, I haven't seen many convincing photos or video taken there. Just because people are buried there, why should ghosts linger in cemeteries any more than in other locations? (I think the ghost hunting groups just like the spooky atmosphere.)

A better bet would be houses, buildings and other locations where people have actually experienced ghost activity – better yet, where ghostly apparitions have actually been seen.

EQUIPMENT

The type and quality of the photo equipment you use can be important. Most people are using digital cameras these days, and although you don’t need an expensive model, the higher the resolution the better. Cameras of low resolution can produce images with a lot of digital artifacts, especially in low light situations. This artifacting can produce elements in photos that might look paranormal, but aren’t. (Even if they are paranormal, the blocky resolution makes them more difficult to confirm.)

Use cameras of at least 5 megapixels of resolution.

WHAT TO SHOOT

Fortunately, large-capacity memory cards for digital cameras have become quite affordable, allowing us to take lots and lots of photographs, even with high-resolution cameras, before they have to be emptied. So take lots and lots of photos, especially in the areas where ghost activity and apparitions have been reported.

HOW TO SHOOT

Set up your camcorder on a tripod and let them run unattended. You can also try this method with still cameras equipped with a function of snapping a picture on its own every few seconds. Make sure your fellow ghost hunters aren't creeping around this area very much.

WATCH WHAT YOU SHOOT

Avoid shooting into mirrors or other reflective surfaces, especially with a flash. Flash reflections can result in too many questionable images that can be caused by smudges and dust on the reflective surface.

Some researchers believe that ghost images are more readily caught in a reflective medium like a mirror. (In fact, the ghost research group I belong to got one of its best images this way.) But if you do want to shoot into a mirror, do not use a flash. If there's not enough light available, put the camera on a tripod or other stable surface to avoid blurring.

DAY OR NIGHT?

Here's something that occurred to me as I was considering this article. Should we use flashes at all? (It's the flash that produces those questionable orbs and ecto.)

Should we even be doing this research at night in the dark? This is when most ghost hunting groups conduct their research, but why? Watch any episode of Ghost Hunters and they not only conduct their research at night, but also switch off all the lights. Again, why? Because it's spookier? Is there any evidence or research to show that we are more likely to capture ghost photos, video or EVP in the dark than in the middle of the day?

In fact, the opposite might be true. Take a look through this site's gallery of The Best Ghost Photographs Ever Taken. What's one thing they most have in common? Most were taken during the day or in normal light conditions.

So, ghost hunters, why don't we try that as well?

BE LUCKY

The one other thing the photographs in that gallery have in common is this: they happened by chance (with only one or two exceptions, I think). The photographers were not out trying to photograph ghosts. They were just taking pictures for some other purpose, and the ghosts happened to show up in the photos. In fact, that's how most great ghost experiences occur – when we least expect them and on their terms.

Ghost phenomena are fleeting and mercurial. We cannot control when they will happen or how. By definition, we cannot control our luck in capturing a ghost on camera or video. The best we can do is go where the ghosts are, be patient and be persistent. We may never get a photo of an apparition, but if we do, the effort will have been worthwhile. (above taken from the Paranormal About.com website )


Monday, October 27, 2008

Thanks


We here at Prairie Specters just wanted to send out a big Thank-you to Jo-Anne Christensen for taking the time to speak with us this weekend. It was great to meet you and we are looking forward to reading your new Saskatchewan ghost book.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Perfumes of the Dead


I’ve just finished reading Avery Gilbert’s What the Nose Knows, which reviews the six stages of postmortem decay: fresh/bloat/active decay/advanced decay/dry decay/remains. Everything’s quiet at first, but by the second day the gut bacteria send out a skunky sulphur dioxide, which shifts to a sickly sweet smell once the organs start liquefying. Then you get protein breakdown which produces nitrogenous compounds like putrescine and cadaverine with a characteristic nitrogen ammonia reek. In the phase of dry decay, the body smells like “wet fur and leather.” Just in case you wanted to know, and you’ll impress everyone if you stumble across a rotting body.

But I’m more interested in the spirits of the dead, not the dead meat part. What do ghosts smell like? On all the current crop of psychic or paranormal shows, the medium has a chat with a dead relative and maybe describes what they look like but rarely do they say what they smell like (the technical term for a psychic smelling ability is clairolfaction.) Occasionally you will hear of someone describing something banal like Uncle Bob’s pipe tobacco, but it is not a big feature of modern day channeling or mediumship.

In the19th century, during the heyday of Spiritualism, seance circles were full of mysterious raps and more flamboyant ghostly communications. Among the most spectacular phenomenon were phantoms that temporarily assumed a solid form, or “materializations.” William Moses was an Oxford educated minister, and one of the most scholarly and well-respected mediums of the 1870’s. During his seance circles, pearls and precious stones appeared from thin air, columns of light hovered over the sitters, and ethereal concerts played on invisible instruments. But a more unusual feature of his mediumistic sessions, was the spontaneous oozing of scented oil from his head, or the mists of perfume from the ceiling including beautiful rains of verbena, hay, musk, sandalwood and roses. He described some of these phenomenon in his notebooks:

“I find it difficult to convey any idea of the subtle odours that have been diffused through the room, or of the permanence of the scent. It is usually the first manifestation and the last. The perfume is sprinkled in showers from the ceiling, and borne in waves of cool air round the circle, especially when the atmosphere is close and the air oppressive. Its presence in a particlar place is shown to me by the luminous haze which accompanies it. I can trace its progress round the circle by the light... and can frequently say to a certain sitter: ‘You will smell the scent directly. I see the luminous form going to you.’ My vision has always been confirmed by the exclamations of delight which follow.”

“When we first observed this manifestation, it was attended by a great peculiarity. The odour was circumscribed in space, confined to a belt or a band, beyond which it did not penetrate. It surrounded the circle to a few feet, and outside of that belt was not perceptible; or it was drawn across the room as a cordon, so that it was posible to walk into it and out of it again - the presence and a sense of the odour and the
temperature of the air which acompanied it being most marked... Within it the temperature was cool and the scent strong, outside of it the air was decidedly warmer, and not a trace of the perfume was perceptible. It was no question of fancy. The scent was too strong for that.”

“I have known the same phenomenon to occur in the open air. I have been walking with a friend, for instance, and we have walked into air laden with scent, and through it again into the natural atmosphere.... I have even known cases where wet scent has been produced and showered down into the open air. On one special occasion, in the Isle of Wight, my attention was attracted by the patter of some fine spray on a lady’s silk dress, as we were walking along a road. One side of the dress was plentifully besprinkled with fine spray, which gave forth a delicious odour, very clearly perceptible for some distance round.”

“Great quantities of dry musk have been from time to time thrown about in the house where our circle meets. On a late occasion it fell in very considerable quantitites over a writing desk at which a lady was sitting in the act of writing letters. It was midday and no one was near at the time, yet the particles of musk were so numerous as to pervade the whole contents of the desk. They were placed, for no throwing would have produced such a result, at the very bottom of the desk , and between the papers which it contained. The odour was most prounounced, and the particles, when gathered together, made up a considerable packet.”

Other materializations were not always so lovely. For instance, a Polish medium named Franek Kluski, who was known for contacting animal spirits (often mediums were asked to produce the ghosts of departed pets, so they could be reunited with their owners) let things slip into high strangeness during one of his sessions in 1919. Apparently the forms of random stray dead animals and birds began to appear. In one case the spirit of a lion materialized and began to lick the sitters, “with a moist and prickly tongue, and gave forth the odour of a great feline, and even after the seance the sitters, and especially the medium, were impregnated with this acrid scent as if they had made a long stay in a menagerie among wild beasts.” It got even weirder at a later seance when an “apeman” appeared and began to carry sofas through the air, and press its shaggy head against people. One of the reporters said, “ A smell came from it like that of a deer or a wet dog. When one of the sitters put out his hand the pithecanthrope seized it and licked it slowly three times. Its tongue was large and soft. At other times we all felt out legs touched by what seemed to be frolicsome dogs.”

As you can see, our contemporary ghost-raising efforts seem very dull in comparison, and much less fragrant. (above taken from the Sniffapalooza Magazine website )