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

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

50 Berkeley Square

50 Berkeley Square is one of the most haunted houses in the UK. There are a number of ghosts that are rumored to haunt this gruesome building.

The earliest report of a haunting is the ghost of a little girl who was killed by a sadistic servant in the nursery. She has been seen on the top floor, sobbing and wringing her hands in despair.

In the 1700s, a young woman called Adeline, lived at the house with her evil uncle. One day she tried to escape from him by climbing out a window. She fell to her death and since then, her screaming ghost has been seen hanging from the window ledge many times.

During the 1870s, the building was vacant and neighbors reported hearing screams and loud cries coming from the locked house at night. They also heard the sound of furniture being dragged across the floor, bells ringing and and windows being slammed shut. Even though the house was deserted, furniture and books were thrown out the windows onto street below.

Years later the house was occupied by a Mr. Dupre, who locked his insane brother in a room on the top floor. He fed the insane man through a special opening in the door. This room was said to be the heart of the haunting, and is called the Haunted Room.

In 1850s, a maid was staying in the haunted room overnight. The owners of the house were shaken from their sleep by awful screams coming from her room. They opened the door to find her lying on the bed, her face hideously twisted, her eyes fixed, staring in terror. She went insane and died in hospital the next day, unable to describe what she had seen.

A young man said that he did not believe in ghosts and made a bet that he could spend a night in the haunted room. He arranged for a bell to be rigged up in the room so that he could call for help if he needed it. With his friends sleeping downstairs, he went to bed in the haunted room, holding a gun for protection.

At 2 AM, his friends heard the bell ringing violently. They ran upstairs and heard the sound of a gunshot. As they entered the room, they found the poor young man lying against the wall, his eyes wide and his face contorted in fear. He was dead but there wasn’t a mark on him. The smoking gun was in his hand and there was a bullet hole in the wall.

By 1872 the house had a horrific reputation and nobody would live in it. A man called Lord Lyttleton decided, on a dare, to spend a night in the haunted room. He armed himself with a shotgun and, during the night, fired it at something that jumped out at him from the darkness. When he turned on the light, there was nothing there.

On Christmas Eve, 1887, two sailors named Martin and Blunden, were looking for a place to spend the night. When they came across the empty house in Berkeley Square, they decided to break in and sleep there, unaware of the house’s ghastly reputation.

They chose the room at the top of the house to spend the night. The haunted room.

During the night they heard shuffling footsteps coming up the stairs and a horrific smell entering the room. The door creaked open and some shapeless thing came through the doorway.

Martin managed to rush past it and raced down the stairs to the street, leaving his terrified companion Blunden behind.

He found a policeman and returned to the house just in time to see Blunden jumping out the window, screaming in horror. His body landed on a spiked railing at the front of the house. He was impaled on the spikes and died instantly. Police searched the house but found nothing.

By the 1900s the house was occupied by an elderly couple who acted as caretakers but this couple were never allowed to go into the haunted room. The only key to the room was held by a man who called every six months and spent several hours in the room after having first locked the couple in the basement.

Today, the house is occupied by Maggs Bookshop, and employees working there still report strange happenings. A young woman saw a mass of brown mist, move quickly across the room and then vanish. A cleaning lady felt the presence of a ghost following her around the house. A man was walking upstairs when his glasses were torn off his face and thrown across the room.

Employees are not allowed to go up to the top floor. They say that there’s a police notice hanging on the wall inside the house that was put up in the 1950s. It states that the top floor of the house is not to be used, even for storage.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Paranormal Group Finds Bones Behind Historic Mansion Wall

A historic Brooke County, W. Va., mansion is at the center of a police and paranormal investigation after skeletal remains were found hidden behind a brick wall.

Gene Valentine, the building's owner, told Steubenville news station WTOV that it all started when a paranormal research group came to the Aspen Manor to hunt for ghosts.While there, some members of the Brooke County Paranormal Society said they sensed someone was buried in a basement wall and said they followed the voice to the area."A couple of the psychics that were part of that group got physically sick when they went down there and they couldn't figure out why," said Valentine.

The paranormal group came to the 76,000-square foot mansion in search of spirits, but had no idea they would find skeletal remains."It wasn't what we actually went in looking for," said Kathy Larntz, a member of the group.Larntz said they found a bone on the floor, so she picked it up thinking it was probably an animal bone. She kept digging, and as she did, she found more and more bones.Sheriff Richard Ferguson said the bones had "been chopped up into pieces" and had saw marks on them.The remains were removed from the wall and are being sent to the state medical examiner, who will determine if they are human or animal."They found some questionable bones and I still cannot confirm or deny that they're human," Ferguson said. "They appear to be very old, but still intact, and we have no time frame. We're actually looking back into the history of this area.

"In the meantime, in the former nuns' quarters, Larntz said she, her husband and another investigator made another finding. She said the trio was using electronic voice phenomenon equipment and heard clicking sounds."Nuns would use these clickers when kids would get like really loud (and) wouldn't settle down, they'd start clicking," she said.Valentine said he isn't surprised by the findings."I've had a few psychic friends walk through here and they've had really bad reactions in the house," Valentine said. He said he is restricting access to the mansion until the sheriff's department gets more answers.

The sprawling Aspen Manor mansion was built in 1895 by the Vandergrift family as a boys' getaway that hosted gambling and cockfights.Later, the Catholic community took over and turned it into an assisted living home where nuns and priests once lived. The mansion has since been converted to a bed and breakfast.

(above taken from "WTOV9.COM".

Monday, November 16, 2009

Capela dos Ossos — the Chapel of the Bones

Located next to the Church of St. Francis in the medieval town of Evora, it’s a large room decorated with the bones of more than 5,000 monks, exhumed from local churchyards to be used as building materials way back in the 16th century. As you enter, you pass under this doorway. Its inscription, translated from the Portuguese, means ““We bones here, for yours await.” Nice and creepy.

According to legend, the 16th century Franciscan monk who created the chapel did it not to freak people out or scare them, but to prod visitors into a spirit of quiet contemplation. “Life is fleeting!” the bones are meant to imply. “See?!”

On the other side of the doorway, as you exit, is this cheerful little motif, restored in 1810. The monks who built the chapel got creative with their bones, using them not just to fill wall space, but to create all sorts of decorative patterns. It’s more or less what I imagine a Martha Stewart Halloween special would be like.

Not everyone who visits the chapel is inspired to contemplate the mysteries of death, however, judging from the many graffiti-inscribed skulls that line the walls. Ana Gomes, I hope someone writes on your skull when you’re dead.

As an added bonus, the monks decided to hang two corpses on the wall from a chain — that of a woman and a child. They’ve been there for hundreds of years, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. No one is sure exactly who the unlucky pair are, but rumor has it they were cursed by a powerful man and were refused burial in local cemeteries.

The strangest part about the Chapel was that it didn’t seem all that creepy. There was something sanitized and touristy about the whole thing, with ropes sectioning off the walls so you couldn’t get too close, and an information kiosk just outside the door.

By Ransom Riggs Mental Floss

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tomb Raiders Digging WWII Graves Witness Inexplicable Phenomena

A few years ago the so-called 'black archaeologists,' people conducting independent excavations in the places of World War II battles and looking for precious war trophies, were extremely active. Sometimes during their search they would encounter very strange phenomena.

Bonfire hanging in the air

In 1997, a group of six people headed to Luban in the Leningradsky region, where the ruins of Makaryevsky monastery destroyed during the war rest amidst the swamps. Nearing the ruins, the group noticed bonfire flames. They were shocked to find out that the bonfire was hanging right in the air. As soon as they approached the ruins, the bonfire disappeared.

The "black archaeologists" fixed a camp in the ruins. Throughout the night, they were bothered by wild human screams originating from the woods. None of them rushed to help.

Next morning, one of the archaeologists went to the woods and got lost. He came back three hours later, with his clothes dirty and insane look on his face. He never told his friends what happened to him.

Mines in Myasnoy Bor (Meat Pinewood)

One of the most famous anomalous zones connected to World War II is a marshy valley Myasnoy Bor located 30 kilometers away from Novgorod. Many warriors of the Soviet Second Attack Army, divisions of German Wehrmacht, Spanish “Blue Division” and other troops perished in this area during the Lyuban Offensive Operation of 1942. Many unburied remnants are left here.

Galina Pavlova, head of the group “Search” from Engels city in the Saratov region told about an incident that happened to her in 1997: “The woods of Myasnoy Bor are scary and mystical. As soon as you are left there by yourself, the woods start making sounds. You can clearly hear yells “Hooray,” as if restless souls of the perished warriors still carry out an attack. The day we found the mines, I was behind the guys on a trail. I stopped at a spot that was excavated many times before. Suddenly, I saw that trees were leaning towards the same spot although it was not windy at all. I called the guys, and we found a decomposed wooden box and old mines.”

Alexei, a "black archaeologist" who used to excavate in the woods near Bryansk where Russian front was located in 1942-1943, told an interesting story.

“We excavated the bodies of six Russian and 11 German soldiers, four of which were Wehrmacht soldiers in a swamp trench shelter. We cut the logs and discovered decomposed German boots with bones sticking out. Then we began a more careful excavation, and found pelvic bones, a spine, and ribs. Little by little we dug out remnants of four people. It was getting dark. We left the skeletons at the trench and camped out on a meadow about 200 yards away.

At night something happened. We were woken up by Valera, a guy on duty. He told us that something weird was going on. We got up and started listening carefully. We could hear German speech, songs, laughter and clatter of tracks. It was very scary.

In the morning we went to the trench. It looked the same as when we left it. But when we walked a little further, we saw tank ditches and, most amazingly, fresh tank tracks.”

There is an anomalous zone Zheltoyar, better known as Novokhopersk anomalous zone, in the eastern part of Voronezh region, near the town of Novokhopersk.

Members of an expedition of the Voronezh committee for studying anomalous phenomena led by a famous researcher Genrikh Silanov managed to take pictures of people clad in soldiers’ uniform near tents. A plane phantom appeared on one of the photos. The researchers believe that these were the pictures of World War II. One of the pictures showed a silhouette of a Czech soldier. Later the researchers found that a Czech division that was a part of the Soviet Army used to be located in that area.

Silanov believes that the pictures were typical “chronal mirages” created by the so-called “memory fields” connected to dramatic events that occurred in the past.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Walpurgis Night - The Other Halloween

There's a penetrating chill in the wind. The bright moon rises behind the shivering, nearly naked trees. A profound sense of foreboding permeates the darkness. This is the night, after all, when witches ride their broomsticks through the sky, and the natural world is forced to confront the powers of the supernatural.

No, it isn't October 31 and this is not Halloween. It's April 30 and it's Walpurgis Night.

Like Halloween, Walpurgis has its roots in ancient pagan customs, superstitions and festivals. At this time of year, the Vikings participated in a ritual that they hoped would hasten the arrival of Spring weather and ensure fertility for their crops and livestock. They would light huge bonfires in hopes of scaring away evil spirits.

But the name “Walpurgis” comes from a very different source. In the 8th Century, a woman named Valborg (other iterations of the name include Walpurgis, Wealdburg and Valderburger) founded the Catholic convent of Heidenheim in Wurtemburg, Germany. She herself later became a nun and was known for speaking out against witchcraft and sorcery. She was canonized a saint on May 1, 779. Since the celebration of her sainthood and the old Viking festival occurred around the same time, over the years the festivals and traditions intermingled until the hybrid pagan-Catholic celebration became known as Valborgsmässoafton or Walpurgisnacht – Walpurgis Night.

The Other Halloween

Although not widely known in the US, this May-Eve night shares many of the traditions of Halloween and is, in fact, directly opposite Halloween on the calendar.

According to the ancient legends, this night was the last chance for witches and their nefarious cohorts to stir up trouble before Spring reawakened the land. They were said to congregate on Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains – a tradition that comes from Goethe's Faust. In the story, the demon Mephistopheles brings Faust to Brocken to consort with the coven of witches.

To ward off the witches’ evil, the citizenry would burn bonfires, sprinkle holy water and adorn their homes with talismans of blessed palm leaf. One of the best ways to keep evil at bay, they thought, was through noise. This is an idea that probably dates back to early man. On Walpurgis Night, the citizens would ring bells, bang drums, crack whips and beat blanks of wood onto the ground. As technology advanced, they would shoot firearms into the air.

Walpurgis Night even features its own version of Trick or Treat in some parts of Europe, especially Germany. In Bavaria, for example, where the celebration is known as a Freinacht or Drudennacht, the young might roam the neighborhoods pulling mischievous pranks, such as wrapping cars in toilet paper and smearing doorknobs with toothpaste. In Thueringen, Germany, some of the little girls dress up as witches, wearing paper hats and carrying sticks.

In Finland, where the holiday is called Vappu, the ordinarily reserved Finns run screaming through the streets wearing masks and carrying drinks.

Halloween-like scarecrows make an appearance, too. Life-size or smaller strawmen are created and ritually imbued with all the back luck and ill will of the past year. They are then tossed on the Walpurgis bonfires along with worn-out, burnable household items.

A Time of Magic

Some believe that Walpurgis, like Halloween, is more than a time of ritual spellcasting – that it is a time when the barrier between our world and the “supernatural” is more easily crossed.

Winifred Hodge writes in Waelburga and the Rites of May, “Since this is a turning-tide when the season is not quite one thing or another – a ‘between-time,’ it is very suitable for occult divination and spellcraft: a time to take advantage of the thinner veils between the worlds and the fact that our minds are temporarily focused away from everyday affairs and onto the magical energies of Nature's spring tides. This is a time for looking into that which is coming into being and which should be, for seeking deep roots of life-knowledge and life-mysteries, for love-magic and spells of growth and change, conception and birth – in fact, for almost all the elements of what is often called 'women's magic.'"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Ouija Board - A Reflection In the Mirror

In the oft-misunderstood spirit of Halloween, as the days grow shorter and the nights grow darker, the cool winds of autumn pull at our coat tails and coloured leaves litter the streets. We revel in the excitement of our children, as visions of ghouls and ghosts become mixed with sugary notions of fun and costumed trickery.

October is the month of dying seasons, when our thoughts often turn to those people that have passed before us. In contrast to the historical idea of Samhain (commonly referred to in Wiccan circles as All Hallows Eve) and also known in Catholic traditions as All souls Day, most people these days take pains to celebrate this typically convoluted and commercialised holiday at the end of October, the vast majority having little idea of the real sentiment behind the celebration at all.

Mixed in with these month long advertising frenzies for plastic costumes, candy and a general condoning of impious attitudes toward the dead, is a yearly flood of interest in what may be the most misconstrued item of occult renown the world has ever known; the Ouija Board.

If you were to step out your door and ask any number of people you may run into on the street, what a Ouija Board is, there will be no mistaking the widespread familiarity people have with this lettered board and harmless planchette; people will expound on the creepy powers of Ouija, they will warn of the dangers and extol memories of past transgressions, usually at the mercy of some terrifying encounter with demonic influence, and most will relay the idea that the Ouija Board is an ancient practise of magical commune with the dead. Most would do this, though most would be completely wrong.

The Spirit Board, as the Ouija is generically referred, is by all accounts a very recent invention. In fact Ouija, a word whose etymology is entirely unknown and is widely believed to be completely made up, is a trademarked product name, owned by Hasbro. Yes, the toy company.

The Spirit board and each of its hundreds of various incarnations is, in all seriousness, a toy; though it didn’t necessarily start out that way. A man by the name of Charles Kennard, along with his attorney and associate Elijah Bond, made application to the US Patent office for a planchette and lettered board on May 28, 1890, and subsequently received US Patent #446,054 for what they termed ‘Psychographs, with sound producing numbers’. In the patent document, at the very top, the classification for the product is specified as “Toy or Game”.

In 1901, Kennard, through the ‘The Kennard Novelty Company’, handed production of the Spirit Board over to his employee William Fuld, who coined the term Ouija (most believe he fabricated the word from the French “oui” , meaning ‘yes’ and the German ‘ja’, also meaning ‘yes’). It was Fuld’s ingenious marketing of the product, hence forth known as the Ouija Board, that skyrocketed it’s popularity among both competitors in the Toy and Game making industry of the turn of the century, but also among the wildly growing Spiritualist movement of the same time.

During his reign as the worlds only Ouija manufacturer, Fuld was the complainant in many trademark and patent infringement lawsuits, against others who saw a financial opportunity in selling what may be the highest profiting entertainment device conceived of prior to modern electronics.

At the conclusion of Fuld’s life in 1927, he held exclusive rights to the use and manufacture of the game, though his estate brokered a deal with the budding toy manufacturer Hasbro in 1966, to have them purchase the rights to the Ouija franchise, and since that point, the Ouija Board has been manufactured and distributed by the Hasbro Toy Company exclusively.

This somewhat bland history of the Ouija Board -now also known by many other names, such as The Angel Board, The Spirit Communication Board, Planchette Ghost Board, Ghost Board, and a host of other such terms- says nothing about the game’s ability to either communicate with the dead, or to open gateways of spiritual commune, or to scare the bejesus out of kids and adults alike. It says nothing about the efficacy of the concept of Spirit Board communication as a tool for Ghost Hunting or spiritual research, and it says nothing about the legitimacy of the concept as anything more than a novelty.

The legendary ability of Ouija Boards to facilitate question and answer periods between educated paranormal investigators, or ignorant teenagers or even robe wearing psychic charlatans, and the dearly departed, is founded on nothing more than the glorified marketing of Mr. William Fuld at the height of western society’s most gullible period of development. This was a time when flimflam was a respectable profession among salesmen, when snake oil and mechanically aided séance were rampantly offered to anyone with the means to afford the scam. (Though one wonders how far we’ve really come)

In your impromptu street survey (as suggested earlier), you would certainly have encountered a preponderance of expert advice for how to deal with the Ouija Board, and likely at least a few warnings to avoid the use of this toy, for fear of inviting such forces as demons, inter-dimensional creatures, evil spirits and even the devil himself, right into your home, or even your own soul (depending on the theistic beliefs of the advisor in question). Popular culture has simultaneously vilified and mystified the reputation of the Ouija Board; there is a general consensus that mistreating or disrespecting the so-called power of the Ouija Board is akin to taunting a violent bully when there’s no way to escape his inevitable wrath.

In fact, the government of Great Britain has banned the sale of Ouija board and the like since the 1970’s, though this legality is based more on the idiotic behaviour which people will partake in on their own accord, rather than any demonic or otherwise influence exerted by the board.

In reality, the Ouija Board, by that name or by any other, is a simple collection of cardboard, or wood, and plastic. There is no ritualistic practise in its manufacture or sale, there is nothing special about any part of it, except…the person who intends to use it.

And a great many people have criticised the intention of the people who would find themselves using such a toy for anything other than party tricks.

Dr. Jimmy Lowry has been outspoken about the fallacy of Ouija Boards, and of the mindset that fools regular people into believing that the simple act of placing your hands on a plastic planchette will somehow open a doorway to another realm. His theistic damnation of the toy does seem to be a bit much, but his point remains as poignant to the agnostic as to the devout parishioner.

So what is happening when a pair of would-be mediums tempts the spirits with the use of a Spirit Board?

The most popular theory, the Ideomotor effect or automatism -essentially this is the psychological process by which an idea or suggestion creates a subconscious action intended to complete the idea- is a fancy way of saying that the results achieved by users of Ouija Boards is entirely self-inflicted. Others suggest that there is an element of telekinesis involved, which might explain the vastly divergent results experienced by so many people; some experience immediate and dramatic response from the board (or from their own psyche, depending on which explanation you subscribe to), while others experience little to no response at all.

But throughout all of this we are faced with a truth, a truth that is ignored by so many people, in so many various positions and endeavours on spiritual fronts. In our world, our reality, which includes some of the strangest natural phenomena, some of the weirdest science and the oddest environmental influences conceivable by man, why do we jump to the conclusion that the effects shown to us (or by us) through the Ouija Board are the will of ghosts or demons? Is our obsession with death and the hereafter so compelling that we actively seek out ways to express our own hopes and fears in that regard through toys?

The answer to that last question is most definitely ‘yes’, though the first question is a little harder to satisfy. Of the possibilities, most significantly including the untapped powers of the human brain, we give credit for the awesome potential of mankind to the mysteriously safe entities of fantasy and dream. It’s a cop out…it’s an excuse and a way to avoid the ultimate culpability, to avoid the admission that we are all, ultimately accountable for our actions, our words and our thoughts. If we buy into the marketing of Fuld or his predecessor Kennard, and we accept that it is the influence of the hereafter that affects our fates, then we are no longer responsible for where that influence takes us.

In the end of it all there is no reason to fear the Ouija; it is not a demonic doorway, nor is it a tool for communicating with the dead…it remains a toy, and a fun house mirror of our own fears and fantasies. Though, in so much as there is no factual reason to avoid the game of fortune telling with a Spirit Board, there is also no reason to connect it to what should be a hallowed celebration of those people who have passed on before us.

(above taken from " Paranomal People ". )

Friday, October 16, 2009

Haunted Objects

Can a seemingly harmless and inanimate object such as an old watch or piece of furniture contain the psychic energy of its previous owners? Can everyday objects be haunted? In a recent visit to the popular auction site eBay I happened to find several supposedly haunted items being sold. Everything from old tools and photographs to dolls and jewellery, all of it purportedly haunted. There was even a haunted mansion for sale in Colorado. It seems that there is no shortage of haunted, cursed and generally spooky stuff for sale these days.

Some objects are said to be cursed, other seem to be animated by spirits. Other notoriously haunted objects are vehicle; phantom ships, ghost trains that steam through the night air on their old runs, even if the railway line has been long removed. Some famously haunted objects have fascinated the public consciousness for years. We have all heard about The Hope Diamond, the Flying Dutchman and King Tuts tomb, all of which are reportedly cursed or haunted items, which many feel retain the essence of long dead souls.

I have no doubt that the majority of so called haunted items being sold on online auction sites today are just plain old junk. Junk wrapped in a nifty, compelling and mysterious story and sold to novelty collectors. To each his own, I always say. I also have no doubt that much of the mystery surrounding famous objects such as King Tut’s tomb is the result of myth and legend. Tall tales which haven’t hurt Egypt’s tourism trade one tiny bit.

That being said, I do believe that some places and items can retain the energy of human beings. Our thoughts and emotions create energy, our lives create energy. It isn’t that much of a stretch for me to imagine that type of energy being stored in a house or other objects. The stronger the emotional energy attached to an object the more likely it will be to display paranormal behaviour.

Some have labelled this phenomenon a psychic echo; I prefer to think of it as residual psychic energy. The term psychic echo implies that energy has bounced off of an object; I feel that this is misleading since it seems that psychic energy is absorbed by the objects involved and not simply reflected.

While many of the items being touted today as genuinely haunted or possessed objects, the truth is that most of them are nothing but pure basement clutter. Be careful though when you are perusing the flea market stalls, thrift shop shelves and online auctions, because though quite rare, possessed objects are most certainly real.

(above taken from "Level Beyond,Jeffry R. Palmer ". )

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ghost hunter zeros in on former Saxony Motor Inn, Edmonton

Spirits may be lurking at a once luxurious west-end hotel.

Staff have reported TVs, toasters and microwaves being unplugged sporadically at the former Saxony Motor Inn, now a Howard Johnson Hotel, 15540 Stony Plain Rd.

Unexplained footsteps in stairwells and bangs on the doors have also been heard.

The strange events have piqued the interest of a local ghost hunter, who's launched a paranormal investigation at the inn.

After speaking with several chambermaids and guests, Sean Seerey, a veteran tarot card reader and hospitality consultant at the hotel, did a late-night reading in a second-floor suite.

While he did the reading, Seerey said the room became so cold he could see his breath.

"It was 23 or 24 degrees outside that night and I could see my breath (in the room)," said Seerey, 45.

The Saxony was a posh 40-room Spanish-style hotel when it opened in 1966.

But over the years, its high-class facade crumbled.

In the 1980s a strip club operated at the inn and later, a bingo hall.

On Dec. 21, 1990, Lorraine Wray, a 46-year-old masseuse, was found strangled in the bathroom of her business, a massage studio in a strip mall attached to the hotel.

"Spirits are either lost or they're observing something or they've got an agenda they need to accomplish before they move on," said Seerey.

While walking through the halls during late shifts, Seerey says he felt a spirit move through his body. He says he's also smelled rose perfume.

Front desk manager Debbie Hart says longtime staff members speak of a trick-playing spirit named Bob who lives at the hotel.

Over the years at the hotel, staff recall lights flickering in the lounge, footsteps in the stairwell when no one is there, and knocks on doors.

"The older staff say it's Bob playing again," said Hart.

(above taken from " ". )

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is it a ghost or Carbon Monoxide?

Good ghost hunters approach each case they investigate with an air of skepticism. It's not that we want to doubt witnesses or don't want to believe in an afterlife; it's that we have learned through years of research that humans are fallible and many seemingly normal things in the world can produce out of the ordinary results. So what if some hauntings are the result of something very normal in some homes, such as an old furnace?

Old buildings and hauntings seem to go hand in hand. Yes, the older a building is the more likely it is to have experienced something either dramatic or traumatic that could have left an energy imprint behind and resulted in a haunting, but older buildings are also more likely to have an older heating system, fireplace or low-efficiency water heater that runs on natural fuel. As the natural fuel is consumed by these systems, carbon monoxide (CO) is emitted as a by-product and must be safely vented out of the area. If not properly vented, CO poisoning, which accounts for approximately half of the poisoning deaths in the US each year, can occur.
Many times, people experiencing hauntings give very similar accounts.
  • It's an older home or building.
  • Everyone and everything was fine when the family moved in.
  • One or more family members started feeling watched, experiencing anxiety, etc.
  • This was followed by flu-like symptoms, such as occasional headaches and nausea, pallor and drowsiness.
  • And then some family members developed memory problems, paranoia and began to see things.
  • The family pets were even affected
  • Everything slowly returned to normal after the family left the haunted site.
While not to say hauntings haven't happened through the years, if this scenario occurs in a place with a badly ventilated, natural-fuel system of some type, then a carbon monoxide leak must be taken into account since the above are also symptoms of slow CO poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas, so many people never realize they have it in their home until it's too late. That's why CO is often referred to as a "silent killer." Sadly, early symptoms are even frequently missed by physicians due to their similarity to the flu. Since the source of CO is usually a badly ventilated, natural-fuel-consuming system, it also explains why it's most common in the winter, as that's when those systems are most likely to be used in a home.
Interestingly, reports of hauntings spike in the winter as well. Because of that correlation, any time a paranormal investigator is called in to a document a haunting, especially if activity peaks in the colder months, a carbon monoxide check should be conducted. It could save lives. ( Above taken from "".)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan 3

Saskatchewan and ghost stories. They go together like a grinning scarecrow in a whisper-dry October field. In 1995, Dundurn successfully published and reprinted numerous times the original "Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan". Since that time, an eerie wealth of supernatural accounts have surfaced in this seemingly quiet prairie province.

In this third collection, a quiet cemetery appears to be a portal between the worlds of the living and the dead, a Victorian mansion-turned-restaurant in Moose Jaw remains occupied by the spectral image of the original lady of the house, and a weary traveler near Flaxcombe stops for coffee in a diner that burned to the ground a decade earlier. There are historical tales and personal accounts, legends and lore. And there is much to keep the dedicated ghost fan awake late into the night. Here the reader will find triple the history, mystery, and chills from one of Canada's established authors in the paranormal genre.

Jo-Anne Christensen is the author of several best-selling regional ghost story books and short-story collections, including Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan, More Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan, Ghost Stories of British Colombia, Campfire Ghost Stories, and Haunted Hotels. She lives with her family in Edmonton, Alberta, though her heart is always one province to the east.

Prairie Specters was happy to sit down and speak with Jo-Anne Christensen and are very happy to be featured in Ghosts Stories of Saskatchewan 3 as well as have a number of pictures inside as well. Thanks Jo-Anne! Can't wait for number 4!

Buy it today!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Ghost Month

In Chinese tradition, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. During the Qingming Festival the living descendants pay homage to their ancestors and on Ghost Day, the
deceased visit the living.

On the fifteenth day the realms of Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open and both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased.
Intrinsic to the Ghost Month is ancestor worship, where traditionally the filial piety of descendants extends to their ancestors even after their deaths. Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper, a papier-mache form of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors. Elaborate meals would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living.

Ancestor worship is what distinguishes Qingming Festival from Ghost Festival because the latter includes paying respects to all deceased, including the same and younger generations, while the former only includes older generations. Other festivities may include, buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies giving directions to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors and other deities.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Railway enthusiast delves into stories of supernatural

Ghost trains. Phantom travellers. Poltergeists and demons. Perhaps humans haven’t been the only ones riding the rails way down the line.

Nova Scotia author Jay Underwood tries to unravel the truth behind such spooky sightings in Ghost Tracks: Surprising Stories of the Supernatural on Rails.

The Elmsdale writer delves into a range of spectral stories — everything from a grey lady haunting Inverness County tracks to dreams of a white horse becoming a harbinger of death on the Merigomish line.

Along the way, he offers earthly explanations for the lore’s possibly supernatural origins.

But Underwood, 51, is certainly open to the latter, having once seen what he believes was a ghost.

It happened when he was about 14, living with his family at a Royal Air Force base in Abingdon, England.

"My bed looked out through the bedroom door and down the hallway toward my sister’s room," he recalls. "I woke up late one night and saw a little girl standing in the hallway and I thought, well, it’s my sister Sara because she sleep-walked, so I got up and I went to put her back to bed, put my arms around her and they went right through.

"So I locked myself in the lavatory and spent the rest of the night there. . . . Afterwards I thought that probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do because a ghost could probably walk through a locked door anyway. But anyway, that was the sum total of it. It seemed quite real at the time."

Underwood says he didn’t talk much about the experience afterward, telling his grandmother (who believed in the supernatural) only years later when the family had moved to Canada.

Besides, he says, many who report supernatural experiences often face ridicule as a result.

"This is one of the things I found when I was writing the stories of the railway ghosts. It tends to get treated the same way as an unidentified flying object. A lot of people think they’ve seen them, but they don’t like to talk about it for fear of being dismissed as a crackpot of some kind. And what they may have seen may or may not have been a ghost but they know they saw something. And I spoke to several people who believed they saw or experienced something."

But that’s not to say Underwood buys into every spooky story he hears. In fact, he makes it clear that many of the book’s tales can be traced to far more human factors. Some appear to have grown out of train wrecks and other railway-related deaths seemingly tied to things like unfamiliarity with new technology, or overwork or lack of maintenance.

Even the prevailing mood of the times may have conjured some spirits in people’s minds. Underwood points to the gloom pervading the Commonwealth after Queen Victoria’s death as a factor.

"All these stories, it seemed to me, happened within a certain time frame, especially around the death of Queen Victoria and that seemed to me to be a pivotal point not just on Canadian history but in British history too because a queen who had reigned for that long and was so loved to suddenly die, it was a massive change in the way the society viewed itself. . . .

"At that time Canadians were still proud to call themselves members of the British Empire and when the head of the empire died suddenly there was this uncertainty about . . . what would the empire become without her presence. So a lot of that seems to be a reflection of the melancholy that pervaded the empire when she died."

But then again the rails had been steeped in superstition almost since the beginning, from a fear of the number nine to beliefs that dreams foretold pending deaths.

Fear of new technology may have inspired such beliefs too, he says, especially in the wake of numerous wrecks and accidental individual deaths.

Even in the late 1800s and 1900s, Underwood says, railway companies were emphasizing safety "so that when something did go wrong people would say, ‘Well, we did everything we were supposed to do and the accident still happened — there must have been some other force at work.’

"There was a certain amount of lack of sophistication associated with that era. . . . The world was transitioning from a Victorian era into what we are today, and in Victorian times there were still a lot of people who clung very strongly to tradition and superstition."

In many cases, though, lack of familiarity with new technology may have caused wrecks, explosions and freak accidents that lent themselves to ghostly interpretations.

But perhaps not all.

Underwood believes the tale of the Whiteside Terror, which he chronicles in Chapter 5, could be true. Without giving the whole story away, suffice to say it involves, at one point, a ghostly hand gripping a human neck.

"I believe the Grey Lady of Inverness certainly could be," he adds of another story about a female apparition people have claimed to see and hear around old railway tracks near Judique.

"I think in this day and age people like to use science to explain everything," says Underwood, a longtime journalist who is also president of the Nova Scotia Railway Heritage Society. "And I don’t believe that science can explain everything, in some cases. You know they’ve tried to use science to explain the Shroud of Turin, but they never have completely."

(above taken from " ". )

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beban House's ghostly past continues to spook workers

He is slow on his feet and loves to take mid-morning, afternoon and evening naps, but Slater seems to have caused quite a commotion at Beban House since his arrival.

The family pet now calls the Nanaimo Tourist Information Centre home, but his owner fears the cat has stirred up the building's ghostly past. Employees at the Nanaimo Tourist Information Centre in Beban Park are familiar with the buildings haunted history. But it was only recently that they started to take it a little more seriously. Recurring incidents left them with chills down their spines and prompted them to contact the Vancouver Island Paranormal Society to investigate their ghostly suspicions.

Mark Drysdale, executive director of Tourism Nanaimo, says he's not convinced there are ghosts roaming the rooms and halls of the historic building. He doesn't even believe in ghosts. But after moving his cat into the building, strange things started to happen with no good explanation. Co-worker Amanda Envoy shares Drysdale's practicality, but they both figured it couldn't hurt to seek the opinion of a professional ghostbuster.

Rob Turner with the Paranormal Research and Investigation Group is still reviewing the evidence they collected in Beban House on the night of July 4. Envoy is eager to find out the results, even though she passed up on the opportunity to sleep over with the ghostbusters while they conducted their research. She's already spooked enough and didn't think trying to meet and greet the ghosts, if there are such a thing, would be in her best interest.

"Lets just say if ghosts do exist, then there's one here," Drysdale said with a laugh.

Beban House is one of Vancouver Island's most well-known hauntings, which was even featured on the television series Creepy Canada.

Before becoming Nanaimo's tourism building the top floor was used as a daycare. The operator of the facility often heard stories from preschoolers about an oddly dressed child playing with a red rubber ball. It was later realized that it is more likely one of the Beban's Chinese servants, a young boy who died in the house.

Drysdale has heard all the tales, but it wasn't until a few unexplained incidents got his wheels turning. Doors and windows he had locked were opened. Doors he left opened were locked. A vital key went missing and then reappeared weeks later. And Slater who was locked in a room over a weekend was sitting in the foyer on the following Monday. It's a mystery because the door to his room was still locked and there was no other way out.

Drysdale called the security company a few times to check to see if the alarms had been set off at any time or if they had detected any movements inside the building. The security records came back clean. That's when the tourism team decided to call in the experts.

Even when Drysdale and Envoy are in the office all alone, they never really feel alone. It's not that they feel like someone they can't see is staring at them. But rather, there's a presence of someone else in the room, on the stairs or in the corridor. Despite the eerie feeling, they don't believe the ghosts, or spirits, to be evil.

"It all seems to be quite harmless," said Envoy. "But it still creeps me out."

(above taken from " ". )

The Beban house is a beautiful home that was built by Frank Beban, British Columbia's leading timber baron. A mansion built on 160 acres of land, 3 miles north of Nanamio. In 1953 the city of Nanamio purchased the estate and eventually in 1997 it was turned into the Nanamio Tourism Headquarters. Through out the years before the estate became the headquarters it also served as a daycare centre, which is when it seems stories started to come to life by the young children. Children claimed that there were other children that dressed differently hanging out with them playing with balls of their own.

Eventually after some research of the daycare providers it was discovered that children once resided in this estate and even more info came out that they were the Chinese servant's children to the original owner Frank Beban. A young Boy has said to have died in the house of an accidental death.

After several investigations by ghost hunters and the curious there have been numerous accounts of weird and unexplained happenings, Psychics claim that there is more than the spirit of the little boy. The unexplained encounters have been recorded as water taps turning on, messages left on the answering machines and doors mysteriously opening and closing. Not to be left out is the strange eerie feeling of being watch when in the basement.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Black Hope Curse

Just outside of Houston, Texas, is a neighborhood filled with upscale homes and manicured lawns. In the early 1980s, Sam and Judith Haney settled in at the far western edge of the development. Sam described it as their dream home:

“When we bought the house in Newport, it was the house th
at we had always been looking for. So, it was the house that we intended to stay at for a long period of time.”

But there was a morbid secret about the Haney’s perfect home, one that soon turned their lives into a never-ending nightmare. Sam said it all began when a mysterious old man showed up at their door with an ominous warning:

“This elderly man told me that he had noticed that we were putting a swimming po
ol in our backyard and that there was something about our backyard that I needed to know about. So I followed him around to my backyard and he pointed at the ground and said that there are some graves right here. And he marked a spot on the ground where they were. And I really didn’t know how to react to that. I didn’t know if he was just joking. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to joke about something like that.”

Using a backhoe, Sam decided to see if the man’s alarming claims were true. Sam says it wasn’t long before he hit something:

“And at that point, we stopped with the backhoe and we got down into the hole and continued digging by hand. There were pine boards. When we lifted up the first board, we could see an indentation of a skeleton form. It didn’t take long to figure out that it was actual human remains.”

Sam immediately called the Sheriff and county coroner who conducted an official exhumation. Most of the bones had turned to powder. But 25 fragments were found, some so brittle that they disintegrated when touched.

A second coffin, located alongside the first, hadn’t been disturbed. Inside, two wedding rings were discovered on the frail index finger of the exposed skeleton. Judith Haney was mortified by the discovery:

“They handed me the rings and it was sickening to
think that I had desecrated somebody’s grave.”

Wanting desperately to do the right thing, the Haneys decided to find out whose remains were buried in their backyard. The search led them to a longtime resident named Jasper Norton.

Years earlier, Norton had dug several graves in the area. He told the Haneys that their home and a dozen others were built on top of an old African American cemetery called Black Hope. The deceased were mainly former slaves. The last burial was in 1939, and as many as 60 people were interred there in paupers’ graves. The two people buried in the Haney’s backyard were Betty and Charlie Thomas. They died during the 1930s and their graves were eventually forgotten.

Judith and Sam Haney made an extraordinary decision. They reburied Betty and Charlie in their yard, and prayed their spirits would rest in peace. But, according to Judith, peace was not forthcoming:

“There was a clock in my bedroom and one night it started sparking and putting out a sort of blue glow.”

When Judith checked the clock, she found that it was unplugged. That was only the beginning of the Haneys’ ordeal. On another evening, Sam went to work the night shift, leaving Judith alone:

“I heard the sliding glass door open and I heard what I thought was Sam saying, ‘What you doing?’ Everything was quiet, the sliding glass doors were locked, and I thought, ‘Well, you know, you must be losing your mind. This really must be getting to you.’ But much to my amazement that’s not where the story ended. In the morning I awoke, went in my closet to get my red shoes, and I could not find them anywhere.”

Sam backed up Judith’s story:

“So, of course, I started looking for them and went through all of her closets where she normally puts things. And we just couldn’t find them. We had walked just a short distance from where the gravesites were and I could see something on the grave. And they were both side-by-side like someone had just picked them up and carried them over and laid them down on the gravesite.”

Even more disturbing to Sam was the realization that this was Betty Thomas’ birthday:

“And I kinda got the feeling that it was like Charlie was giving Betty a birthday present.”

Judith felt she knew what was going on:

“I began to come to the realization that this was not all in my mind and that this had to have some relationship to Betty and Charlie’s graves being disturbed. Their spirits were saying, ‘This isn’t right.’”

The Haneys were not alone. A dozen of their neighbors also reported lights, televisions and water faucets turning on and off, and unearthly sounds and supernatural apparitions. Worse, these bizarre events were becoming malicious.

Like the Haneys, Ben and Jean Williams thought that they had found their suburban paradise when they moved into the same neighborhood. But Jean said she never felt at peace in the house:

“After we moved, in everything changed. When I tried to plant new plants, they just would not live no matter what I did. You know, fertilizer or whatever, they still would not live. And I constantly had a foreboding feeling, a feeling of things are not right or something bad is about to happen.”

The Williams said that near their flowerbed, sinkholes appeared in the unmistakable shape of a coffin. The Williams would fill them in, only to have them reappear a few days later. The Williams also felt their ideal home was being invaded by a menacing presence. Random shadows slid along the walls, followed by whispered words and a putrid smell.
At the time, the Williams’ granddaughter, Carli, lived with the couple. During the blazing heat of summer, Carli said she would stumble into bone-chilling pockets of ice-cold air:

“It would be very, very chilly and you’d have this feeling of foreboding, or just, you know, like something wasn’t right. Anywhere in the house you’d have a feeling that you were not alone. Somebody was watching you. It terrified me to be in the house by myself. The toilets used to flush on their own. As the water went down I could hear, it was almost like conversations. You could hear people murmuring to themselves. It was a presence or spirit or something there. Something that wanted to be heard. Wanted me to know that it was there.”

Jean Williams had no doubt as to the source of the disturbances:

“I absolutely believe that all of these things happened to us because we were on the graveyard, and that we were simply going to be tormented until we left there.”

Ben said he and Jean debated what to do next:

“Me and Jean, we talked it over. And she said, ‘Well what can we do? Walk off and leave it?’ She said, ‘We ain’t got enough money to pay down on another home.’ I said, ‘We’ve always been fighters. We’re gonna stay right here and fight it and try to beat it.’”

According to Ben, it wasn’t long before he got his chance:

“I came home from work around ten after twelve from the midnight shift, an
d I walked straight to the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door, and that’s when I seen these two ghostly figures. And they went straight backwards into the den. And then they started heading right down the hall to Jean’s. And it was standing right about a foot and a half from the end of the bed. The only thing I really thought of was, ‘They ain’t messing with me wife.’ As I dove through it, I felt a sticky cold sensation in my body.”

Down the street at the Haney’s, Judith said the disturbances caused her life to unravel:

“I was crying all the time. I was frightened. I was scared of doing my daily routine in my own home.”

The Haneys decided to fight back in court. They sued the builder for not disclosing that their home was built over a cemetery, in part, so that everyone would know what was happening at their subdivision. A jury awarded them $142,000 for mental anguish. But a reversal ruled on legal grounds that the developers were not liable. The verdict was thrown out and the Haneys were ordered to pay $50,000 in court costs. Sam Haney recounted the total cost of their ordeal:

“At that point we decided to file bankruptcy. All in all, we ended up losing the case, losing the money, losing the house.”

The Williams also explored legal recourse. But they say that they were told that without definitive proof of a cemetery on their property, nothing could be done. It was then that Jean made a decision that she will forever regret:

“That was the last straw. You want a body? I’ll show you a body. So, I thought to myself, I can dig about two feet a day and I knew I would reach a body.”

But soon after she started digging, Jean felt ill. Her adult daughter, Tina, volunteered to finish the job. After digging for a half hour, Tina also fell ill. Carli Karluk was there that day:

“I remember her saying that she was, that she felt funny. She was getting dizzy as well. She put the shovel down and she went back inside. And she just laid down on the couch. She’s like mom, daddy, I don’t feel right. There’s something wrong. The last thing I remember her saying was, ‘Mommy, take care of my baby, take care of my baby.’ And she looked so scared.”

While waiting for paramedics to arrive, Jean tried to keep her daughter conscious:

“Almost immediately her eyes started glazing over. And I was talking to her, t
rying to talk her out of dying. ‘Please Tina, talk to me.’ And all this time her eyes were changing until they got to the point where I knew that she wasn’t responding at all.”

Tina had suffered a massive heart attack. Two days later she died. Jean burdened the blame:

“I realize that I had desecrated another grave and now I’m paying. I told Ben, ‘We have to get out of here. It doesn’t matter what we lose, what we had.’ And I knew that if we didn’t, that I was not going to make it, because my fight was gone. I could fight no more.”

The Williams escaped to Montana and later moved back to another house and another neighborhood in Texas. Today they are a happily growing family, no longer plagued by mysterious noises, horrific apparitions or heart-breaking tragedies.

Back in their old neighborhood, none of the current residents have reported any paranormal activity. No one has ever been able to explain what happened to the Williams or the Haneys.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Great Grandmother’s Ghost: Cellphone Picture

Interesting story is starting to circulate the web about a ghostly image of a supposed great grandmother who makes her appearance on a cell phone picture is making noise across blogs this morning. The story was posted on LitRockFM's website when a listener submitted the story. Kasey claims that while babysitting her 22 month-old niece, she took a picture with her cellphone and noticed an older woman in the background. According to the story, nobody was in the room at the time and no TV or mirrors were around to produce that image. (above taken from "GhostTheory ". )

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Screaming Tunnel - Ontario

There is a tunnel under the old railroad tracks just to the west of the Queen Elizabeth Way in Niagara Falls. It is known locally as the Screaming Tunnel. A path wanders through the tunnel and then up to an empty field on the hill. But the field was not always empty.

At one time, a large farm house stood in the field at the top of the hill, and in it lived a happy family. Then one night, the house caught fire. A young daughter was trapped in the house, and the only way to escape was through a wall of flames. The brave young girl covered her face with her arms and ran into the fiery doorway. Her long hair and her long nightgown began to smolder as she burst through the flames and rushed out of the house.

When the night air struck her smoldering clothing, it burst into flames, enveloping the girl in a raging inferno. The girl screamed in agony and ran blindly down the hill, away from the fire-stricken house. She staggered into the tunnel under the train tracks, her screams echoing and re-echoing through the night. Overcome by the flames, the girl fell to the floor of the tunnel, wailing in agony. She rolled frantically on the floor of the tunnel, trying to douse the flames, but her efforts were weak and ineffective. She was quickly overcome, and burned to death in the tunnel under the tracks.

After that night, anyone that dares strike a match in the tunnel under the tracks will hear the agonized death screams of the burning girl, and a ghostly wind will instantly blow out the match.

Monday, July 27, 2009

How (not to) be a Ghost Hunter- A tongue in cheek guide

How (not to) Be a Ghost Hunter- A Tongue in Cheek Guide

Original Link

So you want to be a ghost hunter. Being a ghost hunter is easy, all you need to do is spend a few hours watching television, you can learn all about it. There are wonderfully real and accurate paranormal shows all over cable television. Watch them and you too can be an expert. But what if you don’t have cable television? Never fear I have watched all the shows and I can tell you what to do:

Preparing for a Ghost Hunt

1. Ghost hunting is an exciting and thrilling hobby. Your time spent ghost hunting will be action packed. Ghosts are drawn to activity, so have fun and be high energy. Don’t stay in one place too long 2-3 minutes is more than enough. You never see the guys from TAPS sitting around for hours do you?

2. Your mind is more open when you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol. So be sure to have a couple beers before you go, and bring a few extra along in the cooler. I would never advocate the use of illegal drugs but let’s just say this: Too bad they are illegal because they would be great help on a ghost hunt. Also if you have smokers on the team, be sure to bring cigarettes. Ghosts are attracted to the nicotine and you can often see the ectoplasm of many ghosts hovering around smokers.

3. The more the merrier, bring all your friends! Make it a party. Ghosts love parties, and if something gets trashed- well who cares? It isn’t like the dead can complain right?

4. Asking permission to investigate a site is for amateurs, the real die-hard ghost hunters don’t care. Break in if you have to, it’s in the name of science after all.

5. Do NOT do any sort of research on the site before you go, it is much better if you go in not knowing what the claims are or what to expect.

Using Your Equipment

1. Never warn a ghost that you are going to take a picture; it is much better to surprise them. If you say “flash” or give any sort of warning, they will run off.

2. Orbs are great evidence of paranormal phenomenon, don’t use night vision, not only are these cameras expensive, but they also can’t capture orbs. Use a very bright flash or spot light to capture these ghosts.

3. Never take a tripod, they are too bulky and they will slow you down. Keep moving when you are taking photos. Never take 2 shots of the same spot. Most ghost hunters have a nice steady hand, so they won’t have to worry about the camera jiggling.

4. Set your shutter speed to a slow speed. Ghosts move very fast so you will need the slow shutter speeds, this is especially helpful for capturing rods, and paranormal ribbons.

5. Bring crystals, Ouija boards, divining rods, etc you never know when they might be helpful.

6. Bring an EMF detector, a KII if you can, if you see the numbers go up, you have a ghost and ghosts like to communicate through them.

7. When doing an EVP session, make sure you whisper- you wouldn’t want your voice accidentally caught on tape. Keep the conversation moving; don’t pause too long in between questions. NEVER video tape an EVP session, it is a waste of film; you have an audio recording, anything more is overkill.

8. If you can’t find equipment that will do what you want, build your own. There is no need to waste time conducting scientific testing to evaluate the tool, if it lights up, is shiny or makes cool noises- it works!

9. If one of the television ghost busters uses a new tool- don’t waste any time getting it. These shows have hundreds of highly-paid researchers to look for new gear, if they use it, it must work!

10. If you can’t get the equipment to work the way TAPS does, then you must be doing something wrong, so keep trying. In fact you should spend the majority of your time trying to duplicate the same cool results they get.

Developing Your Investigative Style

1. You don’t get a television show for nothing- these people on TV know their stuff! If they do it, there is no need to question. Never question the pros. They know what they are doing; you really don’t need to know why they are doing something, if Paranormal State then that should be enough for you.

2. The best answers for paranormal activity is usually the most irrational, when explaining paranormal activity don’t let skeptics try to throw logic into the mix. And always give a full explanation- such as how the ghost was feeling, what they were thinking and so on.

3. Use your instincts; your first impression is usually right. Don’t dig around trying to find explanations for something, remember your test taking advice from school, “The first answer you choose is generally correct”

4. Think on your feet, never pause to evaluate a situation, chances are you will miss your opportunity to capture a ghost. If you hear a noise, run blindly toward it; don’t pause to think about what might be the source. Besides, you are totally safe, it is just you and your friends in the abandoned building- what could possibly go wrong?

5. Don’t ever get bogged down on researching other people’s theories, develop your own and stick with it. If someone questions you, make something up or confuse them with mysticism or throw some technical sounding terms at them. Try to create your own phrases by combining technical and new age terms such as “isochoric manifestation of a cosmic energy relative to the ethereal plane in pseudo-corporeal form”. Don’t worry if you don’t understand what you are saying- no one else will either, and you will look very smart! REMEMBER! You are the paranormal "expert" make sure you let everyone know that!

Dealing With Clients
1. Try to always keep in mind, the client has no idea what is going on. Don’t waste time talking with them or getting their opinion. If you do have to interact with your client, don’t ask a bunch of personal questions. It isn’t any of your business what is going on in their lives; never ever ask about drug or alcohol abuse, histories of mental illnesses, recent stresses or other personal information. In fact, never ask questions; let them tell you what they want to. Not only is this much more professional, but asking a bunch of questions will only encourage them to bug you..
2. If the client does start to bug you, asking annoying questions about why you do something or stuff like that, it is easy to shut them up by simply asking, “Don’t you watch Ghost Hunters?” If they did, they would know what you were doing, and if they don’t… well they are beyond help.

3. Make sure you state your rates up front and always collect payment before you start investigating. Only amateurs do an investigation for free. The only exception to this is if you are trying for a TAPS family membership- then you have to work for free because they say so. But don’t worry; you will still make a ton of money doing personal appearances when you are accepted as a member. (Did you know that recently autographs of TAPS members sold for $35 each? - you do the math!)

4. Always try to sell your client a paranormal cleansing while you are there. (even TAPS members can charge for this one!) This is very easy to do, just burn some white sage, say a few prayers and sprinkle some holy water around. It is guaranteed to get rid of the ghosts and will make your team extra money- so it is a total win-win!

5. Don’t ever give a client a copy of any evidence. They will sell it or use it to write a book and will take all your glory. You captured the evidence using your equipment- you have sole rights to it and can use it whenever and wherever you wish. When you do post evidence, make sure you include all the important facts, time and date it was captured, the exact address where you caught it, and if you can post GPS coordinates so other people can find the haunted site- the only time you should not do this is when there are other teams in the area. This leads me to my next point.

Working With Other Teams

1. Ghost hunting is a competitive business. NEVER EVER work with another team, unless they can do something for you. But as soon as you get what you want out of the relationship, cut all ties.

2. Your best bet is to bad-mouth, harass, and run down other teams. Let everyone who will listen know why your team is so much better than theirs. Spy on them, try to post nasty messages if they have a message board, and make fun of them whenever you can. The only teams worth working with are TAPS, Penn State, GHI or other TV teams; everyone else deserves nothing but your disdain.

3. Your best bet is to just break up the other teams. If you find a weak member do everything you can to steal them. Good people will jump ship to go to another team at a moment’s notice- remember that and watch for your opportunities to talk trash to those people and turn them against their team.

4. If you do get someone to switch sides, make sure they take as much personal and private information as possible. Use what you can to better your team, and leak all the dirty laundry- it will only make them look bad and you look good.

5. Never take the advice of a more “experienced” investigator. Sure, there are people who have been investigating for 20-30 years, but let’s face it, if they were really any good, they would have a TV show, so don’t bother with them. You know just as much as they do, and why would they help you anyways? Be suspicious of those people, they just want to steal from you or ruin your excellent reputation.


1. If at first you don’t notice anything in your audio or photos, use fancy software to enhance it. When you do this, you will be surprised how much you will find. Don’t ever publish unaltered evidence- that is boring. Make sure you enhance it until you will be sure everyone else will be able to see or hear what you did.

2. Never ever question your findings; this will make you look ignorant. And if by chance you discover something you published is wrong- never, never, ever retract it. No one else is as smart as you so chances are if you missed it, they will too. It is much better to leave it up and just run with it.

3. If you can’t find any compelling evidence, it is ok to fake it. The only way to gain credibility is to post exciting evidence. This will help you gain more exposure and you will eventually have the chance to find real evidence later.

4. Be sure you know how to spot other people’s fakes and call them out on it every chance you can. If they try to call you out on your fake evidence, or even question your real evidence, personally attack them. This will show what losers they are and no one will listen to them.

Putting Together and Promoting Your Team

1. It is much better to start your own team than join an established one. If you must join an established team, try to make changes to suit your needs as soon as possible. Especially if they don’t do things the way it is done on television. If they try to question you, simply tell them, “Well that is the way (insert your favorite TV team here) does.” That is all the explanation anyone should need.

2. Start building trust within your team immediately. Never do a background check on a potential team member. That is an invasion of privacy and besides, what they do in their personal life has no impact on your ghost hunting.

3. People with jobs and families will just hold you back. Try to find people who don’t have any responsibilities or goals other than ghost hunting.

4. Go EVERYWHERE together in your team t-shirts. Try to attract as much attention as possible. Dress crazy, be loud, do what ever it takes to attract attention. This is especially important if there is a television camera or a reporter nearby. Do whatever it takes to be photographed, or even better, interviewed in your t-shirt! All press is good press. (above taken from "The Author: Cheri Esperon". )