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, January 28, 2009

Couple thinks dog literally rose from the ashes.

CENTENNIAL - The Nichalsons don't expect you to believe something beyond the laws of physics is at work on their backyard patio.

But they do want you to knowthat the image that has now appeared on their grill cover certainly does look a lot like their old dog Fletcher.

"It's very freaky," Steve Nicholson said. "It is a little spooky."

"Yep, we've joined the club," his wife Peggy added with a smile.

She's referring to the seemingly endless parade of images that have been appearing on rather normal things in recent years (or at least as long as the internet has been around).

Go ahead. Google "George Bush on a piece of toast." Or "Elvis on a rock." Or "Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese."

Who knows? Maybe one day soon you will be able to Google "Fletcher on a grill cover" and see what has come to the attention of the Nichalsons as of late.

Here's the story. Fletcher was the couple's chocolate Lab. When he was 13, a vet told them the dog needed to be put to sleep.

"We had to pick a day, because he was really starting to suffer," said Peggy. "We were just so sad about having to do that."

That was a few years ago.

Over time the couple's memories of Fletcher started to fade. They even decided to get another Lab. His name is Bodie.

Then a few days ago, something happened that caused both Peggy and Steve to start thinking about their old pooch.

"We were getting set to grill," said Steve. "[Peggy] came running in and told me there was something amazing out there."

Steve went outside to look at the grill cover, and that's when he saw it as well.

"It really looks like a Lab," he remembered thinking.

"I see a very old Lab," added Peggy.

When 9NEWS compared the image on the grill cover with the old pictures of Fletcher, it's hard to instantly blow them off as another party solely interested in selling another item on eBay.

In fact they don't want to sell it at all.

Here are a few things to consider when trying to make up your mind on the issue. The family did place Fletcher's ashes in the backyard shortly after he died. The grill is under an area of the porch where condensation has clearly and repeatedly fallen down onto the grill, and its cover, below.

"You can see the drip marks," said Peggy.

And right beside the image is something that looks a lot like a fish jumping out of water.

"I'm a fly fisherman and I used to take Fletcher with me. He loved it. He would just sit there and stare just like that," said Steve.

Is it a forgery? Perhaps. Is it coincidence. Very likely.

But is it also a sign of something else? Who knows?

Judge for yourself.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ghost girl appears in Chilean video

In Chile, a woman named Cecilia Muñoz went on a ghost hunting expedition to a building that is notorious for reports of a ghost of a little girl that is said haunts the basement level of the building.

Cecilia and her mother decided to make a visit and do some amateur ghost hunting of their own. Given that there was no real activity captured the first few hours, her mother suggested that she go down to the basement with a group of children. The mother theorized that if there was a ghost of a young girl, then the ghost would feel more comfortable around children and possibly make an appearance.

What follows next is a video that shows three young men and a young girl being recorded throughout a basement. In a split second on the film, it’s claimed that the ghost of the girl makes her appearance.
Not being really clear, you can see what they are talking about.

Link to Video

In this frame, you see one of the young men walking, right to his side you see what appears to be a little girl wearing a dress. You can see her wearing black shoes and white socks.

According to the witnesses, she was not accounted for in the group. The only other female in between the young men was not wearing a dress at that time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

There's nothing wrong with a little Halloween in January.

Ghost stories are usually best told around Halloween, but sometimes things that go bump in the night, or in this case the woods, don't wait for October.

Almost everybody who hunts has a tale about some spooky something that turned a hunting trip into a B-grade horror flick. Most of the time the spooky is easily explained.

Ghosts turn out to be fog, bigfoot was just a squirrel and goblins are just imaginary gobbledegook.

Then there's what happened to my 16-year-old son, Hunter, in Stanton, Tenn.

First, Hunter isn't a kid who gets spooked very easy. He's hunted by himself for years, ignoring the dark, the noises and the creepy shadows. I've probably been rattled more times by the "what's that" effect of being alone in the dark than he has.

But what happened while he was deer hunting two weeks ago in Stanton still has him buffaloed.

He was sitting in a ground blind on the edge of a cut cornfield waiting for the sun to come up and a slight fog to get out of the way. When things cleared he would be able see 400 yards or more in almost every direction and he thought seeing a deer wasn't a matter of if, but of when.

Trouble was, he couldn't keep his mind on deer hunting.

Just before daylight something pushed him in the back. He jerked around expecting so see a stick blown by the wind or a crazed chipmunk or his little brother playing a stupid joke?

Hunter saw . . . nothing.

He sits down again and gets pushed again.

Nothing there.

By the time legal shooting rolled around he was a 16-year-old basket case.

Sit. Push. Look. Nothing.

So he sat there and the pushing kept on. Sometimes he was pushed in the back, sometimes from the side. Twice he said "it" almost knocked him out of the chair.

He checked for broken chair legs. He checked to see if the chair was sinking in the mud. He checked to see how hard it would be to have the blind exorcized.

Hunter was so intent on finding a rational explanation when we got home we checked with the U.S. Geological Survey to see if there were earth tremors in the area that day. Nope. Bizarre storms? None. Nearby road construction? Not so much as a gravel truck.

As for the irrational? It turns out Stanton has it's fair share of spooks, most hailing from the Civil War.

There's a military uniform that's sometime seen walking around with nobody in it. A Civil War doctor has been seen still wearing his bloody uniform. A Civil War-era soldier who's sometimes seen staggering along the highway near the Hatchie River Bottoms . . . that would be the highway that runs by the farm.

And it was just coincidence that Hunter pitched the blind by a huge old oak tree . . . with what looks like a sunken grave at it's roots.

Talk about a new meaning for deer rattling.

Who knows what it was. But if you can have Christmas in July, there's nothing wrong with a little Halloween in January.(above taken from "Knoxville News Sentinel Co.". )

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Drink coffee, see dead people.

HEAVY coffee drinkers are more likely to have hallucinations or feel "the presence of dead people", according to new research.

A UK-based study quizzed 200 students on their caffeine intake and found those with the highest consumption were also more prone to report seeing, or hearing, things that were not there.

Those who consumed a daily equivalent of seven cups of instant coffee or more - high caffeine users - were three times more likely to have extra-sensory experiences than low users, who had less than one cup daily.

The Durham University study took in all caffeine consumption including coffee but also tea, caffeinated energy drinks or chocolate bars and caffeine pills.

"This is a first step towards looking at the wider factors associated with hallucinations," said lead author, Simon Jones, a PhD student at the university's psychology department.

"Previous research has highlighted a number of important factors, such as childhood trauma, which may lead to clinically relevant hallucinations.

"Given the link between food and mood, and particularly between caffeine and the body's response to stress, it seems sensible to examine what a nutritional perspective may add."

When under stress, the body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. More of this stress hormone is released in response to stress when people have recently had caffeine.

It is this extra boost of cortisol which may link caffeine intake with an increased tendency to hallucinate, say the scientists.

"However, one interpretation may be that those students who were more prone to hallucinations used caffeine to help cope with their experiences," said study co-author Dr Charles Fernyhough.

"More work is needed to establish whether caffeine consumption, and nutrition in general, has an impact on those kinds of hallucination that cause distress."

People taking part in the study reported "seeing things that were not there, hearing voices, and sensing the presence of dead people".

Mr Jones said such hallucinations were not necessarily a sign of mental illness, and around three per cent of people regularly heard such voices.

Results of the study are published in the academic journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Has a ghost been captured on video?

A Lancashire landlord got more than he bargained for on a ghost hunt night at Samlesbury Hall.
Dave Moore, 36, who runs The Victoria pub in Watkin Lane at Lostock Hall, claims he came face-to-face with a spooky sight which appeared to have the face of a Victorian woman with long, curly hair and wearing a V-neck dress.

Video Link

He said: "I'm not zooming in and out ... it came right at me. At the time I saw it clear as day. It looked like someone dried up.

"It had a woman's face with curly locks of hair. This was 5am. We'd been there since about 9pm and nothing really had been happening.

"I was looking up and there was a noise to the left me and she appeared. Then I went to look without the torch being there and it was gone. It was about 20 foot up in the air and she came as close as four foot away from me."

Dave and 10 of his staff went on the ghost hunt as a Christmas night out on December 16 and some of the women were reduced to tears by events throughout the night, including strange noises and objects apparently moving.

He will now show the video to staff at Samlesbury Hall in Preston New Road. The staff hope to get it analysed by Living TV's Most Haunted team when they visit for a show later this month.

At the moment, it can only be viewed on the screen of Dave's digital camcorder as he does not want to export it to prove it has not been tampered with.

Dave, who is a former Royal Marine, added: "I thought my eyes were playing tricks. I don't believe in all this kind of stuff. I've been showing it to people in the pub and they've been saying 'it must be something but what is it?'

"It's the only thing really throughout the night that I couldn't explain. Movements and noises - it's an old building and wood expands.

"It comes into the torch as a solid figure, it's not transparent. I'm scratching my head. I just want to know what it is." (above taken from "Lancashire Evening Post". )

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Diver “Pino Termini” claims to see Steve Irwin’s ghost

After a small break for the Christmas holidays Prairie Specters is back with a story about Steve Irwin, a personal hero of mine.

Pino Termini of Naples in the south of Italy has spent more hours underwater than most. Having dived for the Italian Navy for seven years he now spends much of his time travelling the globe in search of the ultimate diving experience. None of this prepared him for what he claims to have seen during his last expedition. Last month he arrived at Port Douglas in tropical North Queensland for his eighth time, The Great Barrier Reef being one of his favorite playgrounds. He had heard that Batt Reef was worth a plunge into the deep blue. He chartered a boat from Port Douglas and made his way out to the area he planned to explore.

‘As I started my dive I saw somebody and was surprised because I saw no other boats around, then I noticed that the person had no oxygen tank or mask, the person swam towards me and I realised that it was none other than the crocodile hunter himself: Steve Irwin. I freaked out, but he looked calm and at peace’

‘I have seen a lot underwater but never a ghost. It was as if he was looking after the spot where he met his end, I felt that I should not impose myself on his turf as it was his and it seemed as if he was caring for the living creatures there.’ Termini said of his traumatic diving experience. We are not sure whether to believe Termini’s story but he swears by it. We contacted a number of diving shops in the town and they had heard nothing about anyone spotting Irwin’s ghost. Steve Irwin died in September 2006 at Batt Reef near Port Douglas, while diving.

He was fatally pierced by a stingray. A number of charities to protect wildlife have been set up in his memory. (above taken from "Ghost Theory". )