Facebook Twitter Pinterest

Posts Tagged ‘ghosts’

The Tools of a Ghost Hunter

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

The Tools of a Ghost Hunter

Throughout history, there have been tales and evidence of paranormal phenomena, but there was not always a way to provide real proof for an explanation. To investigate these incidences, today’s hunters (also called investigators) rely on science to determine the possible presence of entities. There are different tools used to investigate and provide a possible explanation.

Electromagnetic Field Detectors
Phenomena are known to cause disturbances in the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing entities to cause fluctuations in the energy around us. EMF detectors monitor magnetic, radio, and electric fields for fluctuations. Testameters measure electric and magnetic fields. RF meters are used to measure radio frequencies.Listening Devices
Any type of recording device has the ability to pick up electronic voice phenomena that may be emitted through EMF energy. A digital recorder with computer uplinking capabilities is often chosen for a hunt. Although each case is different, a listening device can often pick up the communication of any entities presently trying to interact.

Digital and Video Cameras
History is riddled with documented photographic proof of paranormal entities. These days the same evidence is used in almost every hunt or investigation. Today, however, the equipment used is more advanced and includes digital high speed cameras that can take hundreds of photos per minute and video cameras to film the whole event or to use as a means of catching video evidence of occurrences.

Temperature Sensors
Entities have also been known to produce cold and hot spots or even make an entire room cold or hot as they deplete energy during their manifestations. Infrared thermometers are used to read temperatures and thermal detectors can be used to detect hot spots. An infrared thermometer is often combined with a laser point for accuracy. Thermal detectors are usually paired with video cameras, or part of a multi-purpose device.

Ion Counters
It is not uncommon for entities to cause the air to ionize. When the air produces static electricity or becomes ionized, light emits as the source field discharges. This can be the source of unexplained balls or spots of light appearing without a known cause.

Radiation Detectors
Some occurrences can have evidence of radioactivity. Although objects can be radioactive, the odds of a high enough level to emit a green or white light are small. Radiation monitors, however, are still used to help determine if there is a fluctuation in background radiation. If background radiation levels fluctuate, it can show evidence of a paranormal occurrence.

Infrared Motion Detectors
These highly sensitive motion detectors are typically connected to camcorders and other recording devices. They are scattered around and rely on the infrared sensors. Changes in a room trigger the detectors, which in turn causes any connected equipment to begin recording. In investigations, this is a handy way to monitor multiple rooms without the need for a large amount of people.

Walkie Talkies
Communication between team members is important when you are split off into groups. You need to be able to relay experiences to one another in real time. Walkie talkies are used to ensure that each member can be reached at all times.

GPS Devices
A GPS device can be a beneficial tool on a hunt, particularly if it occurs outside. It can help you mark and keep track of specific locations where events occur. Many of these devices also allow time stamping.

Flashlights Galore
One of the most common tools to have in your arsenal is a large supply of flashlights – and tons of batteries. Flashlights come in handy when you are investigating dark places or if the electricity happens to go out. Be aware, however, that it is widely believed that the presence of entities drains batteries or causes interference with flashlights operating correctly. Always have night vision and candles as backups.

Miscellaneous Tools
In addition to the main tools, there is a substantial amount of extra things to include. Extra monitors are often used for multiple cameras. You will need a laptop to sync all the equipment. For cameras and camcorders, make sure you have plenty of memory cards. Also, it is likely that you will need surge protector power strips, extension cords, and extra batteries for everything. It may also be a good idea to have a small portable generator for the equipment that does not use batteries, in case a power outage occurs.

If you suspect that your house is haunted, or you think you are haunted, contacting a hunting organization or individual is your first step. Through the equipment used, you can obtain photos, video, and other proof that stems from science. Be aware that every case is unique. It may not be possible to obtain the kind of proof you seek. It is also important to note that not all tools are used in every single investigation. Hunters tend to use equipment that is most likely to provide proof of the presence of an entity.

Q: Is there a difference between ghosts and spirits?
A: Yes. A ghost and spirit are two similar but different types of entities. Both entities have died. Ghosts are usually not aware that they have died; they have not crossed over and are attached to specific places from their life, such as a house. Spirits, on the other hand, are entities that know they have passed, reside in another realm, and only visit occasionally – often during times of heightened emotion or distress.

Q: Can an investigation be done at any time of the day or is it only at night like they are on TV?
A: Paranormal investigation shows on TV have led many people to believe quite a few misconceptions about investigations. Entities and activity can be detected at any time, day or night. The TV shows portray hunts taking place at night to provide a dramatic effect.

Q: Are there different types of hauntings?
A: Yes. There are three basic categories used to describe hauntings. A residual haunting occurs when ghosts are trying to recreate or re-live an event they experienced in life, such as the events that caused their death. It acts like a loop, continuing over and over, and the ghosts do not acknowledge you are there nor can you interact with them. An intelligent haunting occurs when the entities can, and do, communicate and interact. The third category is a poltergeist haunting. This type is believed to actually be a manifestation caused by a living person. The belief is that this person is going through heavy emotional turmoil that creates a large amount of energy, leading to events caused by psychokinesis – moving objects with the mind.

Scientific Explanations For Ghost Sightings

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Scientific Explanations For Ghost Sightings

Do you believe in ghosts? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Almost half of all Americans believe, according to recent CBS News poll. This conviction is an old one, found throughout history in ancient Greek culture, cave paintings in Utah from 7000 BC, and even in the Bible itself. Science is still skeptical, but the absence of proof is not necessarily proof of absence. Scientists have yet to prove the existence of black holes under laboratory conditions, but we’re pretty sure they exist in the universe. Couldn’t the same be true for ghosts? Although researchers have yet to reach a solid explanation, here are a few of the most supported theories regarding whether or not paranormal beings exist, and what they actually are.

1. Spirits of the Deceased
Common culture dictates that apparitions are human spirits separated from their bodies by death. Surprisingly, it seems Einstein considered this a true possibility: “If energy cannot be created or destroyed but only change form, what happens to our body’s energy when we die? Could that somehow be manifested as a ghost?” In 1907, Dr. Duncan McDougall attempted to prove that at the moment of death, the soul leaves the human body and the body thus weighs less – 21 grams to be exact. His work was later discredited, but has since inspired other researchers to determine the soul’s weight and all resulted in some measurable weight loss after death, although results varied greatly. However, this does seem to imply that something that leaves the body following death – could this be the human soul, that for unknown reasons, lingers here on Earth?
2. Neutrinos
Neutrinos are weak, electrically neutral particles with the ability to pass through any form of matter. They are created by radioactive decay. If paranormal beings were made up of neutrinos, this would explain their ability to pass through objects. However, if this were true they would be silent and invisible to the naked eye. It’s possible that ghosts are made of neutrinos, but under the right conditions these neutrinos are charged and thus become audible and visible. This could explain why supernatural activity is more likely during solar storms and during heightened geomagnetic activity.
3. Infrasound Resonation
Some sounds emitted occur at too low a frequency for the human ear to fully process. These infrasound waves occur anywhere between one to twenty Hertz. They are so quiet that you don’t actually hear them, but your ears can still sense them. Your brain can’t zero in on the source so your mind becomes confused, causing fear, dread, panic, nausea, anxiety, and chills. At 18.9 Hz, the human eyeball will actually vibrate just enough to create optical illusions. This accounts for at least some reported sightings. In 1998 at Coventry University, Vic Tandy discovered infrasound resonation to be the source of ghostly apparitions and feelings of fear. A fan emitting a low frequency sound wave of 18.9 HZ was the culprit, and Tandy published his findings in the Journal of the Society for Physical Research.
4. Geomagnetic Waves
Robert Schoch, a professor at Boston University, is currently researching the relationship between brain waves and geomagnetic waves. His theory is that the mind’s emotional states can travel along the low frequency wavelengths found naturally in Earth’s geomagnetic field. In this way, they can be transferred between people and result in apparitions. Although this explanation may seem far-fetched, his laboratory has compiled evidence that a positive correlation exists between apparition sightings and geomagnetic flux patterns.
5. Electrical Stimulation of the Mind
Recently, researchers in Switzerland published a paper in the journal Nature. These doctors electrically stimulated the left temporoparietal junction of the patient’s brain to treat epilepsy. This is the area of the brain responsible for recognition of consciousness – it allows us to differentiate between ourselves and other people. The result was that the patient described a ‘shadow person,’ closely following her every move. Her mind was unable to detect the break in her consciousness, and instead sensed a strange presence.Summary
Although we currently have no concrete answers as to what exactly ghosts are, or if they even exist, the possibility still remains. There is much in the universe that we still don’t know. Every scientific fact we now know to be true was just an unproven theory faced with skeptical opponents. Throughout history we have consistently developed new technology and improved our scientific methods of detection. There is no telling what we might find in the years to come.

Q: Is this a real science?
A: Yes, it is. 
There are several scientific organizations and laboratories around the world investigating this phenomenon. Several are affiliated with or run by respectable universities and conduct experiments using the scientific method and advanced technology like Geiger counters, infrared cameras, ion detectors, digital video/ audio recorders, and Electromagnetic Field (EMF) to detect evidence of any abnormal presence. 

Q: Where can I find out more?
A: The American Paranormal Research Association (http://apraparanormal.com/), the Paranormal Research Organization (http://www.paranormal-research.org/), and the International Paranormal Reporting Group (http://www.iprgc.com/) are great places to start. 

Q: What universities have supported experiments and research in this field?
A: Stanford University (1970s-1980s), Duke University (1930s-1960s), Princeton University (1970s-2000s), Harvard University (1990s-2000s), University of Virginia (1960s-present), University of Arizona (2000s-present), University of California (1960s-1970s), and Cornell University (2000s), as well as several others worldwide.

Historical Ghost Sightings, Scary Ghosts Throughout The Ages

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Scary Ghosts Throughout The Ages


Throughout history, imagery attached to ghosts is of shadowy, vaporous figures. Mysterious ghosts and phantoms reportedly haunt graveyards, misted moors, famous hotels, hospitals and prisons and castles. Spirits may possess good or evil auras.
Historical Ghost Sightings
In southeastern Ireland, Wilton Castle stands with only fire-scarred walls remaining. Ravaged by fire in the 1920s, this was the stately home of the prominent Alcock family since the early seventeenth century.
It’s believed several spirits reside within Wilton Castle walls. The strangest story about Wilton Castle is of a neighbor, Archibald Jacob, magistrate and captain of the local militia during the 1798 rebellion of the Irish against Britain.Jacob flogged and tortured many people in the parish. While returning home from a Wilton Castle ball one night in 1836, he was killed when he fell from his horse. For years, his ghost haunted the scene of his death and the castle.According to the story, a Catholic priest was summoned to perform an exorcism. When the priest made the sign of the cross and Archibald Jacob’s ghost appeared in the fireplace and subsequently disappeared in a cloud of smoke.Classic vs. Modern Sightings
Spectral hunting and paranormal research have always been subject to criticism and skepticism. The classic spectral image depends on the era in which the specter emanates. Although white-garbed spirits are the centuries-old popular image, naked spirits have been reported in a well-known Scandinavian story, where a scantily dressed man returns to his village after his death. The Japanese image of specters is clothed and often disheveled and bloody.Locations of Hauntings
The traditional locations of hauntings have been Scotland, Ireland, England and Germany. Hauntings of the early 1600s have also been reported in New England in the USA. The locations of hauntings have been reported in cemeteries and ancient Native American burial grounds. Military battle grounds of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars are reportedly haunted by unrested souls who died in battle.

Cultural Burial Rituals
Certain aboriginal cultures like Eskimos in the Bearing Sea, the Dogon people of West Africa, Siberian Chukchi and Kwearriburra in Queensland, Australia practice burial rituals to ward off the return of the dead who walk the earth restlessly. Within a culture, there are practices that transcend time and afford each culture a specific embodiment of understanding basic natural and spiritual events modern day people accept with skepticism.

Buildings, War and Mysterious Events
Old, empty buildings often evoke images in windows, in attics, basements, across expanses of lawns and lakes. A more recent haunting occurred when a well-known country and western singer purchased a large antebellum mansion in Tennessee. After moving in, she and her family experience paranormal events. After studying the history of the town and mansion, she learned it was located on the site of a Civil War battle.

Unexplained Events
Another unexplained event occurred when Charlie Troxell was murdered in Portage Indiana. His father, Romer, drove from his home in Pennsylvania to view his son’s body in the morgue. Romer Troxell believed he heard his son’s voice directing him to the killer. Local police later confirmed Troxell helped capture his son’s murderer. Unexplained visions shortly before or after a loved one’s death have been reported numerous times.

Halloween, Depictions and Demons
The celebration of Halloween is an annual event that arouses interest in scary demons, witches and specters. Halloween is actually an ancient Celtic harvest festival. It celebrated the bounty of harvest and souls who died.

Among ghostly locations, an historical, ancestral or military cemetery elicits a large number of eerie sightings. Some believe the dead haunt a cemetery to prevent desecration of graves. Native American Indian folklore is strongly attached to cemetery sites. Folklore and legends tend to add emphasis to ethereal beliefs.

Have You Ever Felt a Ghostly Presence?
Ghostly presences often occur during times of heavy emotional stress. Stress can originate from loss of a loved one or when the mind is crowded with confusion. The greater the sense of stress, the more the individual feels isolated from reality. A ghostly presence doesn’t have to appear in shape or form. It can be a feeling of extreme cold or “not being alone.” The phantom of an unresolved issue with a deceased individual is another example of ghostly presence that occurs day or night. It may be a memory jogged by some vague reminder lurking in the back of the mind.

Do Certain Places Scare You?
A dark attic, a lonely road or a vacant old home inspires the deepest sense of solitude. Humans are naturally averse to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Ethereal vibrations occur when humans place themselves in locations where there is emptiness surrounding them. Some believe that attics or vacant old homes evoke spectors of unrested souls who were unable to resolve serious issues before their demise. Dark or empty places conjure thoughts of the past from the sheer curiosity of previous people and events that occurred in these places.

Have You Ever Used a Medium?
A medium is the intermediary between the spiritual world and conscious world. The medium may be a person, place or thing. Fortune tellers, old wells, tea leaves, Tarot cards, crystal balls, prisms, runic stones and I Ching are depictions used.

Consciously, most people know it’s impossible to know the future. In reality, these are implements that heighten meditation skills. Many unconscious questions lie in human minds that affect meditation. These implements are centuries old and became practiced arts among highly sensitive individuals.

We see ghostly spirits because humans are naturally sensitive, intuitive beings. As the most intelligent life form, we seek answers to the unknowable.

The 7 Classic Horror Novels You Must Read before You Die

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Here are 7 Horror Novels You Must Read

Spine-chilling stories of supernatural creatures and terrors from beyond the third dimension have been thrilling readers for centuries. Whether you are a fan of frightening fiction, or a lover of literature, here are seven must-read horror novels that have stood the test of time to take their place with the classics.

Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is the enduring tale of scientific hubris. In a gloomy gothic setting, Dr. Frankenstein pursues his goal of animating a man of his own making. His efforts produce a terrifying monster so grotesque that it is shunned and driven away by the humans whose companionship it craves. Dr. Frankenstein and his monster are bound together for life in a nightmare of hatred, anger and desperate regret.

Equally well-known is the story of Dracula as told by Bram Stoker. Despite all the vampire stories that have been written since, “Dracula” is the original and the best. It tells the tale of how the unsuspecting Jonathan Harker meets the Count in Transylvania. He is puzzled by the strange psychological effect Dracula has on the villagers, as they seem to find him creepy, and even suspect him of murder. Jonathan unwittingly draws the Count back to his home where Lucy, a young woman of his acquaintance, becomes the focus of Dracula’s attentions. The suspense builds until finally Van Helsing reveals that Lucy’s terrifying illness is the work of a vampire that must be destroyed.

The third classic frightful story with which many are familiar is “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson. This tale is a scary exploration of the dark side of a seemingly normal personality. Dr. Jekyll is a bright young man interested in science and the psychological duality of the human mind. He compounds a drug that causes him to become possessed by the vile side of his nature. At first he experiences this as a lark, a way to free himself from the conventions of his time. However, as Mr. Hyde’s actions escalate to murder he seeks the asylum of his stable personality, Dr. Jekyll. Eventually he must make a choice between the best and the worst of himself.

“The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James is a classic ghost thriller in the gothic vein. It is a work of supernatural literature that allows suspense to build from a sunny, innocent beginning. A young governess is given the charge of two small children at a beautiful country estate. She soon develops the haunting feeling that all is not as bucolic as it seems. She learns that the previous governess had a dalliance with another employee which left her in a compromised state. There is the suggestion, although not explicitly stated, that the pair may have also taken illicit liberties with her young charges. Both lovers ended up dead through unclear circumstances. The new governess begins to see apparitions of the two, and she is horrified to realize that the children are aware of and welcoming to these ghastly presences. Have the children been possessed? Is it too late to save them?

The fifth title on the list is Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House”.  cters know what they are getting into and do it anyway. Dr. Montague is an investigator of the paranormal. He invites a number of people to spend the summer at the supposedly haunted Hill House to determine if the supernatural stories are true. The townspeople tell stories of family hatreds, suicide and the ghost of a sister. Two women, Eleanor and Theodora, accept his invitation, along with the nephew of the owner of the house. Creepy occurrences begin almost immediately. Doors close by themselves; loud banging sounds are heard at night; soft patterings are heard outside locked bedroom doors. The guests begin to realize that someone, or something, is trying to separate them. The house seems to have the strongest effect on Eleanor. When the others decide to send her home, whatever is in the house makes a decision of its own.

“The Island of Dr. Moreau” by H.G. Wells is not a ghost story, but it is definitely horror fiction. A man survives a shipwreck and is offered asylum on a small private island. The island is owned by Dr. Moreau, a scientist involved in mysterious biological experiments. The man is told that the island is rarely visited by outsiders, and it may be a year before he can return to his everyday life. As he rests in his quarters, he hears the piercing howls and screams of an animal in agony. The sounds become intolerable, and he flees the compound to walk about the forest. He catches glimpses of grotesque creatures that seem to be half man, half beast. Dr. Moreau confesses that his life’s work has been the attempt to humanize lower animals. Although some of his attempts are initially successful, all eventually revert to their animal natures. The dread of being trapped on the island as the doctor gradually loses control of his creations drives the rescued man to take desperate actions.

The last and most modern entry on the list is “Rosemary’s Baby” by Ira Levin. This is the story of Guy and Rosemary. They unexpectedly have the opportunity to rent an apartment in their dream building, but as they settle in and plan to start a family the dream becomes a nightmare. At first, everything is too good to be true: the neighbors are friendly, Guy is doing well in his career and Rosemary finds herself pregnant with the eagerly anticipated baby. On the other hand, a young woman in the building commits suicide, Rosemary finds an odd connecting door between her apartment and the one next door, and her pregnancy occurs only after eating a dessert with a strange aftertaste. Rosemary begins to understand that something is very wrong, and that she may not be able to turn to Guy for help.

As you scan through this list of frightful selections, there are a few questions that may spring to mind.

Q: What about the horror master Edgar Allan Poe?
A: Poe is known for his short stories and poems, not novels. A couple of other notable writers of short stories in this genre are Guy de Maupassant and Ray Bradbury.

Q: Are there any titles in this category that are considered modern classics?
A: There are many very scary selections that have been written more recently, such as “The Amityville Horror” and “Pet Sematary”.

Q: Should I read the books, or just watch the movies?
A: Read the books. You can catch the movies later, but what your mind can create is more complicated and more frightening than anything Hollywood can put on the screen. 

This list of seven classic horror novels to read before you die includes selections from early gothic novels to terrifying tales set in contemporary culture. Reading these books will give you a sampling of monsters, ghosts and a demonic baby. Reading these books will also give you seven examples of outstanding writing by authors who were not only masters of the genre novel, but of the written word.