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Posts Tagged ‘science’

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.

Don’t Miss These 5 Super Scary Stories on TV

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

5 Super Scary Stories on TV

Over the last decade, there has been a shift in genre popularity on television, due in large part to the ability of cable networks to flex its liberal muscles. As people start to tire from reality TV, a new genre comprised of scary tales and sci-fi thrillers is waiting in the wings. ThThe creation is not it a way of life ... even for survive in the reality of this world that so often exceeds us?is new trend owes its apparent success to smash hit predecessors like “X-Files” and “True Blood.” Here are a few examples.

The Strain
The timing of this show is impeccable considering the current Ebola outbreak that has peaked concern all over the world. In this thriller, a plane of dead people shows up in New York City from Berlin. The cause of death is unknown, prompting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to become involved. The scientists are led by an unlikely hero named Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), who plays detective type character who just happens to also be a scientist. His co-workers are like-minded scientists obsessed with finding the cause of death before it spreads. While investigating the circumstances, the group is confronted by a freaky doomsday advocate (David Bradley) telling scary tales about the impending end of civilization because of what lies in the box (coffin?) found on board. When the notion of vampires comes into play, the show becomes a modern horror story. Network: FX.

Bates Hotel
Beware, Norman Bates is coming to a cable channel near you. The show takes place in a small town in Oregon, depicting lives of Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) and his mother’s (Vera Farmiga) prior to the days of “Psycho.” When mother buys a local hotel after her husband’s death, the relationship between mom and son begins to evolve into a creepy, dark story of family dysfunction. Norman’s love interest is Emma (Olivia Cooke) who doesn’t know what to make of Norman’s increasingly strange behavior. When Norman is accused of a violent act, he is exposed for the disturbed person he was destined to become. The family is at continuous odds with the people of the town, including Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonelle) who fear something is up with this family. The screams may be missing, but the story still thrills. Network: A&E

Penny Dreadful
A dreary, mystical and dark Victorian English landscape is the backdrop for this tale of monsters, psycho-sexual behavior and romance. Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton of James Bond fame) is an explorer on a quest to find the horror and fear that lives through the visions of Vanessa Ives, a spiritualist with a strange ability to attract the occult. As Murray does his best Sherlock Holmes impression with his sidekick Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), they encounter the kind of evil that evokes screams and fear. Her visions are complicated by the real-life relationships she has with these monsters. Along the way, Murray encounters such characters as Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) and Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway). In their own unique way, each character has a demented personality and truly fascinating relationships. Network: Showtime

Where “The Strain” chooses to mix a mysterious virus with vampires, Helix chooses man-made viruses plus a crazy scientist determined to destroy humanity. The story takes place in the Arctic Circle where Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell) has been summoned to help investigate a couple of disease breakouts. As the head of the CDC, he is motivated to make the trip by the fact his brother Peter (Neil Napier) has been exposed to one of the biologically engineered viruses. It’s a story about good science battling bad science with a real Sci-FY flair. The show’s anti-Christ is the nice, but terrible Dr. Hiroshi Hatake (Hiroyuki Sanada), the man behind the bad science. With two viruses in play, time is of the essence as either one of the viruses is capable of wiping out civilization. Network: SyFy

American Horror Story
After encountering a lifetime of relationship difficulties that include affairs and a miscarriage, Ben (Dylan McDermott) and Vivien (Connie Britton) Harmon move into a mansion in Los Angeles with their bratty teenager. The move is intended to give the family a new start. What they get is an old haunted mansion filled with ghosts and witches. With one freaky event after another, the family is trapped in purgatory dealing with ghosts that are providing constant reminders of the very things the family was trying to forget. There is nothing mystical here as each creepy character, whether real or not, looks the part of ghosts, witches or ghouls. With no way to tell the characters apart, trouble lurks behind every door. Network: FX

This new TV genre is guaranteed to continuing growing based on the concept of supply and demand. Audiences are demanding to be frightened and cable television is obliged to meet that need. With a combination of horror/Sci-FY, the possibilities are only limited by the imagination.

Q. Which one of these shows is most likely to succeed?
A. As they stand now, “Penny Dreadful” has the most compelling characters and a larger pool of storyline possibilities. Of course the sexual overtones figure to captivate audiences as well. It is noteworthy that “Bates Motel” has already received Emmy consideration.

Q. On the flip side, which show is most likely to end up on the cutting room floor?
A. That’s a little more difficult to predict, but “American Horror Story” is a bit cheesy. The story-lines are weak and the only redeeming quality of the show is a few decent special effects.

Q. Mention was made about the recent Ebola breakout. Will there be any ramifications for “The Strain” and “Helix”?
A. The reality is that both shows figure to benefit from this terrible current event. People will tune in hoping to learn about the effects of uncontrollable diseases. Thank goodness these are only shows with no basis in reality, at least for now.