Friday, April 30, 2010

How to do a ghost study in a graveyard

There’s a lot of ways to go about doing a study in a graveyard. Why even bother? That’s a good question. I admit to being chronically open-minded about testing anything and everything. I’m always “game” for whatever. Sometimes, it’s like word association. What you’re trying may not have any value or efficacy, but it may trigger another thought that puts you on the right path, so I treat ghost hunting as a series of serendipitous growth and expansion.

I have done studies in graveyards with some very exciting results. After much observation and interaction, I’ve come to the conclusion that recent grieving and visitations at the cemetery makes things more active. As well, the longer you’re there, the more it gets “used” to you. The more frequently you go there, the more reactive it becomes. It might simply be, if you are there—they will come.

The first declaimer has to be that you’re not supposed to be in cemeteries after dark. If you are, you better have some obvious good intentions. A rural cemetery is best for many reasons; it’s quieter, it’s darker, less likely to be harassed by police or citizens for being there and it doesn’t see as much human interaction which might be to your advantage.

I am always ready by arriving before it gets dark. You need to note the entire cemetery and take daylight shots from many angles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at a shot done in the dark and thought “wow, I got something!” and went back in the daylight to find out that it was a headstone or a metal sign marker I got in the shot.

Establish your alibi. Find a headstone and leave flowers there. Remember where it is and the name. You can always give the excuse that you were visiting the grave and it got dark and you realized it was time to go. With camera in hand, this sounds feasible. Good luck. People have been arrested for being there after dark.

This is a place that holds the remains of many people’s loved ones, treat it as if your own family were housed there. I must admit that the more respect and reverence you treat a cemetery with, the more pure your intentions, the more interaction you will get. I always bring a handful of flowers to leave them on the oldest most unattended graves, saying the occupant’s name because it has probably not been uttered for decades.

I have theories about it, but it seems to be true; pathways are most active in cemeteries, roads, lanes, paths. The simplest way to move about seems to have the most activity. My theories run the gamut from leylines to feng shui proving energy travels easier on a straight path, or if it’s residual trails of the living left behind by visitors that is somehow magnetically attractive to spirit activity, I don’t know. But, from much experience, I can tell you they seem to be active.

Newly visited graves have the best activity as do large groupings of one family put together. In one local cemetery here, I’ve documented for 7 years the continued activity in a family plot that holds about 19 family members. You’re going to want to go to the mossiest bad-ass scary looking headstone, but avoid that tendency. More visited areas of the cemetery have a lot more activity, as do benches. Yeah, benches. This is probably because they hold the people who grieve and whose emotions are at the surface. This seems to act like an attracting device for phenomenon.

If you’re lucky enough to find a quiet cemetery where you can do EVP, I suggest you give yourself a good 15-20 minutes before sunset to walk around, get used to the place, read some headstones, stop occasionally, move on. You will find yourself periodically going by one area over and over again with a sense of being watched from there. It will become your central point. Heed that sensation. It’s definitely telling you something. That is where you need to sit and do a study. Set up your recorder, hold your camera. You can try your hand at a pendulum or dowsing rods if you want. Graveyards are particularly good places for these devices. I personally prefer to be less hands on for this encounter. I will settle in a place and photograph and run my recorder while I ask carry on a conversation.

What do you talk to the dead about? A lot of people think you should be quizzing, “why are you here?” “what do you want?” “do you have a message?” I like to just shoot the breeze. My conversation might go like this. “This is a beautiful place. Your family must have loved your very much to have you placed here. I bet you like the trees the best. They make a wonderful sound when the wind blows, don’t they?” (pause for a time) “William Kimmer. Did they call you Bill, I wonder? I like Willy Kimmer. That sounds nice. You lived a long life William. You must have seen a lot in the 1920s and the depression, World War II, Vietnam. What an amazing time to be alive.” (pause for a time). So, the conversation goes on. For a time, I might talk about myself to give a reference for what kind of person I am.

My rule in EVP is always: Shoot the breeze, chit chat, laugh, reveal something about yourself that makes you vulnerable and human, never provoke, never grill with questions.

So far as taking pictures, I’ve found repeat phenomenon in some cemeteries, so if something comes up on the screen of your digital camera, take consecutive shots, take some more later on in the same spot. Have lots of comparisons to find out what might have caused it. At one particular cemetery, I have consecutive shots showing the phenomenon forming, peaking, and fading off.

Ideally, you want to go back there if you can. Cemeteries do seem to get used to people and if you found something there before, each time you come, the activity will start sooner and sooner. On average at a new cemetery if there is phenomenon to be found, it’ll take at least 30 minutes to happen, but with repeat visits, it can start the minute you climb out of the car. It almost feels like a schoolyard of children rushing to greet a favorite teacher.

I can’t tell you if I think the spirits of loved ones visit their family at cemeteries. Were such a thing possible, that is one place they would go, where the relative is forced to sit with the hard cold headstone and recall all the grief. My logic tells me that no one died in the cemetery and no one’s spirit, should such a thing be possible, left their body at the cemetery, but the phenomenon we record could very well be of an emotional imprint such as found on battlefields, a place where a great deal of agony existed and perhaps still leaves a residual. Either way, cemeteries can have activity and so I don’t think studying them is a wasted bit of time and the beauty of walking in a silent graveyard is spiritually uplifting. Instead of thinking of death, I think of the lives of the people and the impact they left behind by the grieving of their loved ones.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ideal horror movie tormenter

Let’s review the pro’s and con’s of the different types of horror movies bad guys:

Human-you-can’t-kill: Jason and Michael come to mind immediately. This is an interesting concept. They look like they should be able to be reasoned with because they’re human, but they can’t. And, worse, that kitchen knife only pisses them off more, but doesn’t kill them! No super powers here, other than invincibility. They seem to walk way way way too slow and yet they catch up to you. You can easily hide from them, but eventually they find you. You don’t have a lot of options to kill them, but honestly just poking their eyes out should pretty much take them out of business.

Vampire/Werewolf/Zombie: The romantic vampires will make you have an orgasm while they drink your blood—talk about the “little death! If they do the vampire the right way, he’s just feeding like in “30 Days of Night” and has no soul. That’s horrifying. They can’t be killed and they want you with a hungry focus. Good combo for terror, but admittedly, these monsters are very predictable. We know vampires, we know werewolves, we know zombies. There’s a little wiggle room, but not a lot. There’s just no mystery left in that marriage

Supernatural: We’re talking about ghosts such as in “Poltergeist” or “The Changeling,” of course, but in this category we can also include inanimate things that are animated such as “Chucky” doll and the ventriloquist doll in “Dead Silence.” As well, I’d include robots and computers in this category. Sure, they can’t be killed. Sometimes they present themselves as one thing and end up being something different. Can you really trust that doll sitting in the rocking chair? How do you know when you sleep at night there isn’t an invisible ghost nearby watching, lurking, waiting? This is a pretty good category because it can come in so many forms, it allows for a lot of creativity and it can’t be killed (unless you know some special spell or chant from a book of Necronomican…) It doesn’t have to follow the laws of physics either.

The dragons in “Reign of Fire,” Predator and Alien, the Creeper in “Jeepers Creepers” (my personal favorite monster); all improbable beings that can’t really exist. Because they live in the world of fantasy, we can’t really see ourselves plugged into the hero/heroine’s position. It’s another world in which such a thing exists and so we feel safely removed, sort of like playing “make believe” with GI Joe and Barbie as kids.

Conscienceless killers: Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates come to mind as the more charming and unsuspecting ones. Then, there’s also the out-right freaky killer ones like your serial stalkers in “American Psycho” and “The Strangers.” They have a very personal agenda and a need to kill that consumes them. If you get in their way, you’re up for a fight. They get the most pleasure out of your terror, so you won’t find mercy. Still, they are killable, so there’s that hope.

Which category most scares you and why?

The Haunted Formula: The Next Phase

Those who’ve been following me for a long time, probably remember my last hot summer in the desert was spent researching 50 haunted places to come up with a haunted formula. I want to expand that formula further with some studies of leylines and geomagnetic activity.

I will be studying ancient astronomical sites and why so many ancient civilizations all around the globe simultaneously looked to the heavens and made stone monuments to track the movement of planets and the alignment of stars. Speculation abounds about the location of these stone observatories and if they were centered over leylines where earth’s lines of energy crisscrossed. This ancient knowledge about the Earth and the use of stone structures, along with proper geology might have actually had the potential to make these structures more than just observatories, but perhaps also spiritual power centers. Are haunted sites atop of leylines that amplify events that occur there? Empower them to be able to record information?

I discussed in my haunted formula studies last summer that the conditions for a good haunting appeared to include;
A history older than 50 years
A history of repeated and long-term anguish and death
A structure made of stone
A geology that is rich with sandstone, granite, limestone and shale
A running waterway nearby
OPTIONAL: Often times for some mysterious reason, a nearby railroad track which I could not verify one way or the other was relevant, so I considered it to be an incidental finding, perhaps pertaining more to the location of older home sites and towns near their major transportation in the past.

Interestingly, when I was growing up at Aspen Grove, the structure of the house and the the land and wellsprings that ran through it often had me wondering if the stones had a power like Stonehenge. It was a rather fanciful thought, but much later as an adult I came across a movie called “The Stone Tape” made in 1972. This movie’s premise was a team of scientists rent an old building in England to have a lab to work on electronics advancements in recording that would make old fashioned magnetic tape a thing of the past. When they realize the place is haunted they also come to realize the stones of the building itself were a recording device. I was stunned when I saw this movie, as if a lot of things clicked for me. This scene (you can find all the scenes on YouTube if you type in “The Stone Tape”) if you go to about the 3 minute mark (if you don’t want to sit through it all) shows you how they come to this conclusion.

I have no idea this summer where my research will take me on enhancing the haunted formula, but I do hope to find some very strong correlations with geomagnetic activity and then delve into research of earth leylines. I am also studying why mining town with frame structured buildings are haunted, as well. Hopefully, the formula can be enhanced so as to make it possible to not only know if a location is ideal for a haunting but what exact day is best to study it.

Ghost hunting is not an efficient sort of hobby. It takes hours of studying, sometimes several days and even more time reviewing evidence. But, if I can find a way to make it more efficacious, I’m all for that. So, expect this summer to hear updates on how this is going.

The Death of Ghost Hunting Shows?

I know, I know…we haven’t been able to shake all the reality shows about the fine citizens of New Jersey and we’re talking about the death of ghost hunting shows? But, all these TV trends fade away over time. How many 70s shows focused on a woman with magical powers? How many 80s shows sported a growth-stunted African American child-man? How many 90s shows dealt with newly-divorced inept fathers?

Have ghost huntings shows played out their time here already? It doesn’t seem as if they have anything new to offer. “Ghost Hunters” really started the whole thing by demystifying what it’s like to sit in a creaky old house and wait for proof of interaction. Then, “Ghost Adventures” decided that like a rowdy roaming frat party, they’d bust in and taunt the ghosts. “Ghost Lab” thought they might throw around some theories and see if any of them stick, while using the same techniques TAPS and “Ghost Adventures” used but with a huge bank of equipment to make it look more important. How about some of the short-lived ones? There was one with mediums who came into the house, one with cops who looked for ghosts, one with a really frightened and terrorized team, one with college students, one that went international, and even talk of one with a bunch of “chicks” hunting ghosts.

You can dress a pig it in a dress, but it’s still a pig

I believe that the greater majority of ghost shows probably have a few years to play out with one or two one-season wonders hitting the TV screen because some channels were just slow to get on the bandwagon.

The death of “Ghost Hunters” will likely be a combination of things; the first being members dropping out because of the strain on their time and family lives (the turnover on "Ghost Hunters International" is worse than your local McDonalds). J&G will likely go down with the sinking ship like all good captains because they have an inn in New England to pay off and a crap-load of kids between them. The show has become very, as I call it “inbred” with no new ideas, no new techniques, no experts--ever (because apparently they know everything). It’s just the same old “walk around, talk, walk around, talk” J&G go together, the girls go together, blah blah blah. Same questions “Can you give us a sign of your presence?” (I could probably start a drinking game for just that one line). We spend all our time with the cameras on the guys as they cock their heads and listen to things and then explain what they heard, thereby destroying any further recordings they might get of sounds…

“Ghost Adventures” I think could have a fairly good haul. You know, I don’t take a damn thing they do seriously or any “evidence” they gather, but they had the right idea—use the right characters and people will keep coming back. This is the pack of douche bags in school that likely got punched in the stomach a few times and ridiculed and are now out to dominate and intimidate in a place where surely they won’t get punched out. They finally get to live out their bully sides and take it out on old houses. (I guess that’s better than old or frail people). This is purely entertainment, but they were young enough and hip enough to know to tow the online rope and stay up to date on Twitter and FB and other sites where they could get people excited about their project and feel like they’re partying with the big boys.

“Ghost Lab” conversely will die an early death for the very reason that GA works; personalities. These guys are abrasive, dominating, know-it-all but not so bright, and their very manner annoys so much, it’s impossible to watch the show. I had hopes for a team investigating and testing theories, but it seriously shouldn’t have been done by ham-fisted good ole' boys and should have been done with these special people with educations called--scientists.

What’s the future of ghost hunting shows? More than likely reality TV will assimilate them into the collective borg and they will become those godawful “dating show” scenarios with bimbos and empty-headed no-neck muscle guys going into scary places.

I know a few directions they could go that would make sense for both the field, research, and entertainment, but I’ll keep those under my vest for now.

They may not completely disappear, like those shows where the father is stupid and clueless and the kids outsmart him, but hopefully they will evolve and not remain a case of same old/same old as they have been in recent years. Evolution means survival and that's critical for this genre. It will take some open-minded talent to find the way to do this.

I’m not giving up hope just yet. The patient can be revived, we just have to apply the paddles and hit it with about 300 joules and that should do the trick. It just takes one smart producer to make it happen.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Making a Werewolf: Is It Possible?

A while back, I wrote about whether it was possible to make a zombie. I am fixated on werewolves right now, as I am writing an erotic werewolf novella. So, I started to wonder, what if we took it seriously like I did with zombies and talked about the intricacies of actually making a werewolf. Let’s explore

Let’s look at some conditions that might create a werewolf-like condition:

Ergot poisoning: A condition in which someone ingests a fungus from a rye or cereals. It is one of the theories behind the witch hunt in Salem. In ergot poisoning one gets spasms, seizures, and hallucinations. The fact is, this condition would make someone so incapacitated that they wouldn’t be able to be much threat to anyone, but during their fits, they would appear to be transforming.

Berserkers: Those famous Nordic fighters, were actually warriors who donned the skins of animals and took on their characteristics in fighting fits. That would be mimicry and costuming, but hardly a true werewolf in the sense we’ve come to view them.

Lycanthropic Disorder: This is a psychotic condition in which the person believes himself to be a wild animal, most often a wolf. The person does not actually become a wolf, but he is capable of great violence. This disorder is more about playacting than actuality.

Hypertrichosis: This is an extremely rare genetic condition with only 50 reported cases since the Middle Ages in which a person grows a thick coat for fur all over the body. This person is like anyone else, just hairy. So, this isn’t a real good potential for a werewolf.

Lycanthropic Disorder and hypertrichosis:
Honestly, the closest thing to a werewolf condition that we can humanly reach, and yet the chances of this combination are basically nonexistent.

Gene work: In the future, gene wor might make it possible to mate characteristics of man and wolf. The personality, however, might be more like an unruly child.

I would personally like to see a condition that creates the characteristics of a wolf and the physical transformation of one. The morphing would be truly fascinating. For now, I'll settle for writing about it in my novella.

"Splice" Upcoming Movie

My dear friend Anadae introduced me to this trailer and although the creature is CGI (I hate CGI) the concept is so cool and it's so creepy, reminds me of "It's Alive." It's coming out this summer and that's when I like to watch movies at the theater cause it's 110 freakin' degrees outside, so why not? This'll be on my list.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Don't Miss "Ghost Hunters"!

Wednesday night on SyFy, the TAPS team on “Ghost Hunters” will be rushing to the aid of a family with a portal to the other side in a child’s bedroom (can you say “Poltergeist”?)

This episode has promised to have the most amazing evidence they’ve ever gotten and I’m seriously hoping it's even better than the St. Augustine Lighthouse episode and the Stanley Hotel one. I'm ready to hunker down and watch it, but I'm still have Josh withdrawal. To get over it, I'm working on another installment of LAUGH series called "Destination Spoof" that deals with just "Destination Truth." I will warn you when it's going up. I'm also going to try my hand at some short MST-type videos where I mock scenes from scary movies. I will keep you posted on that too.

So, don’t forget to set your recorders and sit down and have a cup of hot tea or cocoa and enjoy Wednesday’s episode. If you want to tell me what you thought of it, put a comment on this post when you've seen it.

New Pic's of Aspen Grove

Ya'all know about the place I grew up in Fairfax, VA. It is a 260-year-old home that was once a very nice estate with outbuildings but a nasty son-of-a-bitch contractor bought it and wanted to tear it down. It was saved from the wrecking ball by conservationists and historical society, but he was allowed to tear down the back boxwood maze, orchards, and outbuildings to build condos around it, leaving the mansion and the front boxwood maze intact.

Recently a dear friend in the blog world, "Rowan MacLeod" went there with her team and took pictures of the place. As you can see, the deer love to graze in the boxwood gardens. The house is looking very nice. When we lived there, it was a Confederate gray, but the pale yellow is rather nice too. I thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how it's doing nowadays. I still have a goal of getting there and doing a hunt. My father, mother, sister, brother, and our dear family friend have all passed on and each one vowed to haunt the place along with the Northern and Southern Civil War soldiers who died in it when it was a field hospital (for both sides at one time or another).

Rowan has started a paranormal team in Virginia that I will be keeping an eye on and expect to be a great connection in the home state. I will be doing a post in the near future on your team and her blog and online website, so stay tuned!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spiritual Karma and Ghost Hunting

You’ve seen the taunting teams on ghost hunting shows. You’ve seen the boring teams that rattle of questions like tired cops in an interrogation room. You’ve heard them whine and plead and threaten to leave or promise to leave…

But, does any of this do any good???

I truly believe in my experiences in ghost hunting that intentions are critically important. I’ve been in large groups where some folks were praying, pleading, prodding and threatening. Might it work that you could piss off a ghost enough to make him react to your taunting? Nope, not really. Of course, getting oneself worked up like can make you emotionally sensitive. Have you ever been in a fight and someone’s silence or just the way they look at you makes you more pissed off? Getting worked up has an amazing effect, from increased heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, acute senses, hyperventilation…

You ever seen a dog chase his tail mercilessly???

Can you remember a time when taunting and drilling made you give the tormenter what they wanted? If someone taunted you into doing something, didn’t you dig your heels in deeper and resist? If your parents lectured and questioned you, didn’t you become more quiet?

There is something in the field that I’ve learned, respect, reverence, tenderness; all gets you good responses. Shooting the breeze, small talk instead of questioning, some laughter, a little talk about yourself to make you real to anyone listening, all provide results. You’re trying to make friends with something very shy and you’re a stranger. Do you remember bringing a new dog home and having to speak gently, pet it excessively, and assure it in a soft voice that it’s welcome in its new place? It’s not only effective, but your true nature shows through. Dogs can tell good people and bad people, scared people and aggressive people.

The spirit world has such senses, as well.

I did a post not too long ago about how to become a ghost magnet and the principles are still the same. What you send out comes back to you in dealing with a spirit realm. It’s spiritual karma. You can’t be afraid of the other side and you must be open to show your true character. Do not team yourself up with people you have issues or resentments with because that kind of tension shows through. If you’re having depression or anxiety issues, you are likely not going to be attractive either.

Spirit activity will show itself to those who are carrying a light from within and that only happens when one is letting everything go, being childlike, open, curious, patient and tender.

You’ve probably tried the grilling with questions, even pleading and bargaining and sometimes taunting. Give this a try. Sit down, get comfy, chitchat, be curious and give some of yourself so you’re not a stranger. I promise you, the response will be something quite amazing.

That’s probably why a lot of people encounter ghosts in their homes when they are most receptive, unsuspecting, and just being themselves.

It will come to you when you are open.

Tour an Abandoned Hospital

I like this one. It feels like I snuck in with a gang of teens and am exploring a world that no grownups rule. I love abandoned places, as ya'all know. I love the part where he looks down at the auditorium seats and you realize that what's so fascinating about abandoned places is that post-apocalyptic feeling when humans no longer inhabit the world they created. It's like a hollow shell without a beating heart... a body without a soul...a sleeping corpse...

My Cemetery Evolving

Well, I put in the statues, defined the area with little boulders, let the vines take over and ground cover. Now that it's grown in, I plan to put the headstones in next and age them really well and then find some short wrought iron fencing and maybe a way to hang lanterns for light so when I take the laptop out at night to write my horror stories, I can have the cemetery alit next to me and enjoy the atmosphere. I'm digging it to so far. It was a great use of a dark corner where nothing would grow without sunlight and it inspires me when I'm writing to be near something kind of gothic and cool. Next project? I have a dream of making a very large Green Man for my garden. Not sure just how I want him portrayed, but I definitely want do something sculptural...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

This week in horror movies and paranormal tv

***Notice ya'all that on the righthand side of my blog there's a section for great reads--it has links to all my LAUGH series making fun of TV ghost hunter shows. Now, you can read them in order any time you wish***

SyFy: “Ghost Whisperer” marathon

History Channel: “Ancient Aliens” (2 hours) Special about ancient visitations by aliens.

SyFy: “Ghost Hunters” This is one I’m actually FINALLY excited about. They better come through. They advertised they will get the most amazing evidence ever. A Massachusetts home with loads of activity. This will actually be the first episode I’ve watched all of this entire season.
History Channel: “Monsterquest” Episode about the Sierra Bigfoot.

SyFy: “Skeleton Key” movie followed by “Stephen King’s Desperation”

Travel Channel: Repeat episodes of “Ghost Adventures”

Yeah, paranormal TV and scary movies are rare right now, probably because the programmers know that there’s spring fever in the air and no one wants to sit still. I promise it gets much better by June.

Dale the Doll: My Family Album

(Another post by my ventriloquist doll, Dale)

You might ask why I do not refer to myself and my kind as “dummies,” but you humans have derogatory terms for your own kind that you should not utter. "Dummy" is one such word. We are dolls and very proud to be, in fact. We would much rather be facsimiles than real humans because we are able to parody what makes you so grotesque to us. Oh, and word to the wise, do not ever ask me about marionette puppets. They are considerably lower on the family scale, the mentally challenged of my kind. Do not mix the two of us up!

I’m rather proud of my family. They have accomplished much in their lifetimes. To be from such a lineage is a mark of quality and integrity. That is me in the picture typing this post. I work very hard when the human is asleep, so that her blog can represent my kind. To my fellow doll followers, I thank you for your unending devotion.

Let me begin with my grandfather, Martin. That’s him in the picture with his “human” holding him. His career took him into the era of Vaudeville when our kind were respected and revered. Each of my family members has a special talent. Grandpa Martin had an exceptional one. He could stare at audience members and if they gazed back into his eyes, they would go a little bit crazy. Some regular followers were known to go home and babble like idiots, step off the ledge of a building at 20 stories up, or race naked through the streets. The ultimate goal for any ventriloquist doll is to be able to affect the most humans and Grandpa Martin, all in all, drove hundreds to their breakdowns and early demises.

The next image of the man outdoors in the suit is my father, Cedric. He was a handsome doll, wasn’t he? They say I take after him. My father had the lucky opportunity to work in the Pokinos from the 30s until the 50s. The casual vacationing crowd got roaring drunk and enjoyed his shows very much. Father had the doll’s ability to plant his own words into the human’s mouth. His human never knew what would spew from his lips each evening and father was a most vicious and talented doll. More than a few times, my father got his human slapped by women and punched out by men out back in the alley. It is a wonderful talent when a doll can produce that much reaction, as we are ever trying to find ways to get humans to use their physicality since we are so limited in that respect.

My dear sweet mother with the pigtails was what we like to call a “bitch doll.” Her name was Emily. She did not have the human’s instincts to nurture and clothe and feed her young. No, a good ventriloquist doll mother prepares her young for their eventual careers by taunting them, calling them names, applying heat and cold, hanging them by their inner strings, and often times locking them for prolonged periods in small cases. My mother ensured that my brother and I were prepared for our futures and we did acquire a great comfort in being locked in small cases, jostled around, and left in the heat and cold. I owe all my skills and tolerances to my beloved mommy.

The last picture is my brother, Tommy. He's a traitor. Every family has one of these rebels who gets into trouble, falls far from the branch, and generally disappoints right and left. Well, Tommy is the black sheep. He took up with a little boy in Wisconsin who raised him as an honored family member and Tommy soon got addicted to the lifestyle of a beloved doll and companion instead of living up to his potential. It broke my mother and father’s hearts to see him smiling and happy and proud to be human-like. He still to this day struggles with frustration at not being completely human. A disgusting notion! We don’t communicate anymore which is just as well. I hold out little hope at this point in his life that he will come to his senses and break ties with the bad influences of humans.

Well, we come to the end of my family story. Perhaps now you readers will gain some respect for my kind and most especially me and my abilities to write these blog posts and watch my human as she sleeps and go along on her ghost hunting trips, unsettling more and more humans along the way. She hopes to make a video of me in haunted places and creepy spaces in May. I am ever proud to be the family celebrity. We always hoped to reach more humans and unsettle more.

Don’t stare into our eyes for to long, however, or you might start to feel not quite yourself

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Zak Bagans Spoof Vid by my son

"Zak Bagans Autobiography"

Okay ya'all, I don't know what to say, except my offspring is at it again with his amazing vids. I do scripted parodies, he does video ones. His name on YouTube is "Beatemorburnem" (the line from "Night of the Living Dead"). This particular video is likely to make you wet yourself, so be ready. It's short but oh so brilliant. Consider it a day in the life of Zak online.

He has a love/hate thing with Zak. You know, he thinks he's a douche, but he also adores the show and, like "The Soup," he hopes it never gets cancelled or the world just wouldn't be the same.

Classifications for EVPs

EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) is the supposed capturing of spirit voices on a recorder that aren’t heard by the human ear at the time of the recording. I readily admit that EVP is not an easy thing to gather in the field or evaluate.

There are several obstacles to getting good recordings. The most obvious is sound intrusion. Most sites I’ve been to for study have been too noisy to gather EVP because of road/aircraft sounds and the cries of children playing in the street, and other things that could be interfering.

It would be nearly impossible to set up an environment for complete clean capture by the simple fact that our airwaves are filled with signals from radios to CB’s, from cell phones to satellite phones. A recording device is a receiver and so therefore we can’t really be certain we’ve captured a ghost’s voice. It would take a scientifically designed special room with shielding to get an accurate record. That’s an experiment I’d like to see someone install in a building with a history of a lot of EVPs.

In the event an EVP does truly appear to be a response to the spoken words of the living, it is still impossible to tell if that apparently intelligent voice is a spirit’s voice. There are many other explanations that can include psychic projection, interdimensional, as well as outright fraud. For that reason alone, I wouldn’t use EVP as absolute proof of a haunting, if a haunting is defined by the public as “visitations from the souls of the departed.” However, in the context of other findings at a site, EVP can help to influence the decision that a site is experiencing paranormal phenomenon.

Below are the common classifications:

Class A:
A clear and distinct voice or sound that is universally accepted and undisputed, by anyone listening to it, and does not require audio cleaning or editing. The specifics of what is being said in the EVP is understandable by everyone listening, without being told or prompted beforehand what words or sounds to listen for; in other words a clean and articulate EVP. This is also one of the hardest EVPs to capture; most EVPs out there are typically grade class B or C.

Class B:
This class of EVP is more common and can be heard by most people; especially after being told what to listen for. However these recordings may require some editing or cleaning to pull out what is being said. The more experienced the investigators the less trouble they have locating the EVP within the recording. People will often have differing opinions on what is being said, what the noise is, or may not even be able to understand it. But the sound should be fairly clear and words should be fairly understandable to be a placed in the "B" category.

Class C:
This is the most commonly captured EVP. These are commonly clips that have been cleaned, edited, cleaned again, and is still are a mess. Most of the time the sounds or voices present themselves in a faint and whispery tone or that can barely be heard; sometimes even totally indecipherable and unintelligible. However, if the investigator, or team, is 100% sure that the EVP came from an empty room, or is not the voice of a fellow investigator, it can still be labeled as an EVP; just not a very good one.

In order for an EVP to receive a Class R rating it must have a meaning to it when played in reverse. Some EVPs will have a meaning when played normally and a different meaning in reverse. When this happens it will have two classifications. For example a Class A, EVP with a excellent and clear meaning in reverse as well, would be titled a Class A-RA, EVP. This meaning it was very clear to understand both forward and in reverse. It can not have a Class A-RC because this would mean that it could not be understood in reverse which would not be a Class-R EVP. You may have a Class B-RB or a Class A-RB etc.

If you watch “Ghost Hunters” show, you’ve probably heard a lot of Class C’s that usually sound like noises rather than voices, quite a few Class B’s that sound like words but are hard to make out, and only a couple Class A’s that are very clearly spoken words easily identified. I won’t even comment on Class-R, as I didn’t buy into messages played backwards on LP’s in the 70s anymore than I am on the notion of playing a recording backwards to hear a ghost.

You now the Class A because everyone at once knows precisely what was said. There isn’t any question about it, no one is hearing it differently. Class A is also the very hardest and rarest to capture.

Class B is the most common of the exceptional captures and it is clear to the listeners it is a voice speaking, but the exact wording can vary a great deal. There was an episode of “Ghost Hunters” in a family’s home when the parents were listening to the EVP and the mother thought it said “we’re chasin” and the father thought it said, “who’s Jason?” The team agreed that they heard “Who’s Jason,” but they had to prompt her to discern those words, then she heard "Who's Jason?"

On that same episode; however, there was the obvious sound of a child humming in that way they do when they’re busy playing with their toys. That was agreed upon by all and would be classified as a Class A, just as the sounds of booted footfalls might also be clearly understood by the listeners.

Class C is so very common that I usually erase these from my files. When you can’t even tell if it was supposed to be language, it’s a very poor EVP. It amazes me to listen to other’s EVPs when they think they clearly hear words in what sounds like ambient noises.

As a medical transcriptionist professional, I have always adhered to the saying used by doctors in determining differential diagnoses, "when you see footprints, think horses, not zebras." I have listened to thousands of reports swearing the doctor is saying one thing only to have someone else listen to it and hear something completely different. I understand how the mind picks up consonants and vowels and syllables and can focus on one alliteration, ignoring all else.

Although I’m intrigued by EVP findings when they get captured, which is fairly rare, it would take a Class A for me to be truly excited. Even then, I would want to know what context these words were uttered to see if they resemble intelligent interaction or coincidence. It’s not a clean source of evidence gathering, but with enough of these lined up together in search of intelligent interaction, they could show their true efficacy over time.

Screw the music! I want the movie!

A friend showed me this band Finntroll thinking I’d like it cause it’s Finnish, but I’m not much into the screamer stuff; I guess I don’t have enough testosterone. But, this video was so inspiring to me that I want the movie form of it—sans the music! I’m positively obsessed with Nordic horror and imagery. The way they film things is exactly how I would want to do them. If you wonder about the erotic werewolf novella I’m writing, the imagery in this video reminds me of it! I could watch it over and over again.

Friday, April 23, 2010

LAUGH: Ghost Hunters Swap!

Another installment of my series poking loving fun at TV’s ghost hunters (I'm probably going to start doing these less often because I don't want to burn out of material--but I will always warn you when one is coming on a Friday posting so you can still have Friday laughs).

Here are the other installments in case you missed any:
1. LAUGH: Ghost Hunters Dialogue
2. LAUGH: Ghost Hunters Adventure
3. LAUGH: Ghost Hunters Hunt
4. LAUGH: Ghost Hunters Prove Ghosts!

WARNING: Do not drink anything while reading this or it is likely to spew out your nose.

MODERATOR: Tonight we’re having a special ghost hunt in this abandoned mental hospital. In the spirit of doing something daring, two famous TV ghost hunting teams are going to swap partners. Jason and Grant will be taking Nick and Aaron from “Ghost Adventures” onto their team. Zak Bagans will take “Ghost Hunting’s” Kris and Steve on his team.

(camera comes up in a large rec room on the third floor with a few metal chairs and broken windows where Jason and Grant are ready to begin their investigation)

JASON: (steps over a pyramid of empty energy drink cans Nick and Aaron left) What in the hell are you boys doing?

NICK: (opening up a drawer in a built-in cabinet) I’m putting Aaron into this drawer and gonna close it up for the night, dude. He’ll be total ghost bait. Or, do you wanna be the bait tonight?

JASON: (hand up in the air, shaking his head) No! that’s not the way we roll. Get him out of there (waves his hand in impatient disgust as Aaron tries to climb out from the drawer, punching the bottom out of it) Get over here and sit down! (points angrily, causing Nick and Aaron to stumble into the metal chairs, hands in their laps obediently) Now listen here. I don’t know how you yahoo’s do your ghost hunting but on our team, we don’t belittle our members.

GRANT: (bobs his head in agreement) Well, except when Brian was on our team (says beneath his breath).

JASON: So, your job tonight is to sit here in these chairs while we do a little EVP session. You got it?

(guys nod together)

JASON: Grant, why don’t you do the questioning?

GRANT: (clicks on the recorder) Is there anyone here?

(Nick whispers to Aaron who snickers)

JASON: (holds up his hand) Turn off the recorder. Now what are you two knuckleheads doing? What did he say? (he asks Aaron)

AARON: (chuckles) He said “yeah, there’s four of us here, you dummy!” (Nick slaps him upside the head)

Shut the hell up, okay?

(they nod)

GRANT: (clicks on the recorder again) We’re just a bunch of nice guys here to shoot the breeze with you. We can talk about anything you want. You don’t have to talk if you don’t want to. There’s absolutely no pressure.

(stands up and shouts) I dare you talk you big ugly bully! Come on, quit hiding you pussy boy! I’m not scared of you!

JASON: (jumps up) What the hell are you doing?

NICK: Isn’t this the part where you start taunting them? (confused)

JASON: (runs a hand over his face and growls) We don’t bully.

GRANT: (bobs his head in agreement) Well, except when we had Brian on the team. (says under his breath)

AARON: (mouth open) Seriously, dude? What do you do for 10 hours?

GRANT: We walk around the place, sit for a while, talk for a while, walk around the place, sit for a while, talk for a while.

NICK: I coulda done that in my apartment, man. (sulks)

JASON: (snaps his fingers) Come to think of it, there is something we do that you two would be perfect for. It's very important, so you need to do just what I say. (reaches into the bag and grabs up a chain and a lock) How about if you two boys do us the honors of going outside and locking us in for the night?

AARON: Now, you’re talkin’!

(guys rush off excitedly with the chain and lock)

GRANT: (snickers) We are so rid of them.

JASON: (chuckles) How long do you think it’ll take till they realize they locked themselves out?

(in the basement, Zak, Steve, and Kris are wandering the corridor)

ZAK: My name’s Zak (giggles at Kris).

KRIS: I know that.

ZAK: Dude, that’s so cool that you know my name! Are you like psychic or something? (so busy looking in Kris’s direction in the dark that he runs smack into a brick wall)

KRIS: What was that sound?

ZAK: N-nothing (stumbles, blood dripping from his nose) Whatcha say we do some taunting, bro’s?

STEVE: (folds his arm across his chest, resting his elbow on it, his finger on his bottom lip as he contemplates) Yes, I’ve done that upon occasion. You see, Kris, the idea is that you tease and anger the spirits so that they react. Taunting can take many forms-

KRIS: I’m not Tango, Steve. You don’t need to explain it all to me.

ZAK: (stops walking) Okay, why don’t we use pretty Kris here for bait? Kris, you can strip down to your bra and panties for me—ah, I mean for the ghosts.

KRIS: I am not stripping.

ZAK: Okay, how about if you open up your blouse a little bit? Then I can see—ah, I mean the ghosts can see that you’re a girl.

KRIS: I am not opening up my blouse.

ZAK: (stomps his foot and pouts) Man, this is so unfair. I finally have a girl on a ghost hunt and I can’t even get her to show me her breasts—ah, show the ghosts her breasts. Don’t you have any skills that can help me, dude?

KRIS: (thinks a moment) I know how to sit and chitchat. I can wander around a building without complaining. Some people say I’m boring and dull and my voice is very whiny and droning, so I might be able to make ghosts irritated and impatient. (she adds hopefully)

ZAK: Can you taunt?

KRIS: Yeah, I’ve done it a few times. It’s kind of fun.

ZAK: Good! Go for it, dude!

KRIS: (child-like emotionless voice) I know you’re here you big—coward. You’re nothing but a big ugly stupid--nasty thing!

ZAK: (disappointed) Dude, is that how you taunt?

KRIS: I can be meaner. Give me a minute. (she thinks) You smell like a wet dog and you look like a crusty booger!

ZAK: (frowns) Man, why do all the girls keep saying that to me? (dejected)

KRIS: I’m taunting the ghosts, Zak (she reminds him)

STEVE: Let me try it. I can do this. (thinks a few minutes) It has come to our attention that you are haunting the halls of this establishment. More than likely I’d say you have a resentment or perhaps some unfinished business. Although, it’s been found that ghosts that haunt a building for decades can sometimes be—

ZAK: (shoves him aside) Dude, are you teaching a class or taunting? Let me do it! (turns in a circle in the middle of the room arms spread wide in the inky room) Here I am, you demon from hell! I’m not scared of you. Bring it on! You can bite me! (turns to Kris in the dark) Tear at my clothes! (pulls at his shirt) Touch my body! (running his hands all over himself lovingly in front of her blind eyes) Lick me all over! (tongue wiggling)

STEVE: (clears his throat uncomfortably) Are you certain that’s taunting? Categorically, I’d place that more in line with enticing, perhaps provoking. There are two schools of thought--

ZAK: (startles dramatically) Oh God! Did you feel that, dude? Did you? (turns to Steve and Kris) Something touched me. It totally squeezed my tit!

STEVE: (gasps) Really?

KRIS: (screams out) Ow!

STEVE: What happened?

KRIS: Something squeezed my (whispers shyly) breast.

STEVE: Wow! Zak must have provoked it.

ZAK: (clears his throat) Yeah, you think you can touch us anywhere you want, I dare you to touch her again!

(Kris screams out again)

STEVE: What is it?

KRIS: Something squeezed my (whispers shyly) butt.

STEVE: That’s strange, nothing has touched me. Temperature and EMF seem fine (busy with his gadgets).

KRIS: (gasps) Now it’s touching my hair!

STEVE: Really? My meter isn’t showing anything unusual. No cold spots (feeling in front of him)

(a scuffle ensues)

(startles) What was that?

KRIS: (panting) Something touched my breast again! I kicked it in the groin!

STEVE: Really? That’s amazing! (listens) Do you hear that? It sounds like a kid crying.

(Zak rolling on the floor and clutching his groin, crying several octaves higher)

STEVE: Zak, hey Zak?

ZAK: (stumbles to stand and coughs) D-dude?

STEVE: I think your strange way of taunting might have provoked something evil. Try it again.

ZAK: Come and touch me! Run your tongue down my neck (wiggles his tongue at unsuspecting Kris as she stares into the darkness) Rub up against me (wiggles next to Kris). I dare you to lick my tattoo! (stroking his arm).

(screeches) There it is again! It touched my breast! I kneed it in the groin again.

STEVE: There’s that crying sound again. Jeez, I hope we go that on the recorder. We could do this all night. Hey, Zak, you ready to taunt again?

ZAK: (blue-faced is rolling on his side) S-sure, dude.

STEVE: This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Zak, I had my doubts about your abilities, but we never get this much activity in one night. You’re like a ghost magnet! I can’t wait to show Jason and Grant that they’re not the only ones who get activity. Wow! I’ve been on this team for a decade and I’ve never had this much stuff happen in one night! I can’t wait to review the film tomorrow and see it on the IR. Maybe we captured the entity that did it!

(Zak curls up in a ball and sobs again)

STEVE: There’s that crying sound again! (holds up his recorder)

MODERATOR: It appears that with two of the team members locked outside and another (clear his throat) incapacitated, it’s time to call it a night on this fun episode of “Ghost Hunters Swap.” Thanks for tuning in!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


(Never fear, “LAUGH: Ghost Hunters” installment will show up in the late afternoon on Friday as promised)

I was conversing with one of my very favorite horror movie reviewers at Anything Horror Central and we knocked around the concept that the cover art on horror DVDs should match the quality of the film. Some covers are suspiciously awesome and the movie sucks. The problem with planting a seed for me is that I actually do it--so here's the ones I've cobbled together with my limited PhotoShop skills. I think they show the quality of the film and what you can expect by the cover art. Enjoy! And, if you want someone who talks like me and is real and sharp and genuine, you really have to follow the link above to Anything Horror Central. He’ll take the hits for you and see the bad shit so you don’t have to.

So, you want a ghostly encounter?

NOTE: You might also want to read a previous post I wrote about how to be a ghost magnet.

I have only met one or two people hunting ghosts who have not had an experience with a ghost that prompted the whole search. There are still some who love all things ghosts, but have yet to have a personal encounter. Those are the people I want to focus on in this post.

The interesting thing about most encounters with the paranormal, they’re serendipitous. Even ghost hunters have no guarantee on any evening they’re going to have something happen (look at “Ghost Hunters” lame episodes). You know the old saying about watched pots never boil? So, how are you supposed to have this amazing incident that will forever change your life and your views on the afterlife?

By upping your odds and skills.

Well, let’s look at the conditions in which others have run into the paranormal.

1. In the bedroom
2. Home alone
3. Silent places
4. Old historic buildings with tragic histories
5. Haunted tours
6. Haunted hotels

What do people who experienced the paranormal have that others are missing? Well, let me put it this way; if you’re spastic, noisy, hate the quiet, can’t stand to be alone, hate dusty old places, and keep your mind so busy you can’t think about one subject, you’re not a good candidate. You are going to have a very hard time capturing the nuances in the environment.

I’ve been in a room with others on a ghost hunt where only a couple people heard something or maybe just two people saw something, yet we were all in the room together. It’s subtle; it requires noticing changes in your body and the environment like temperature changes, hair standing on end, goosebumps, feelings of being watched and changes in the lighting.

If you meditate, you will be a great candidate for a ghostly encounter. The fact is, these incidents can be happening and you never pick them up because you’re not slowing down and tuning yourself in.

To start, try sometime just sitting at home alone with no TV, no lights, no air-conditioner running. Just sit and be in the dark. Do this a long while, studying the light coming through distant windows, listening for the sounds your home makes, just slowing down your whole system like a yogi master and feeling all around you with your senses to notice what changes. We consider ourselves to be limited by the confines of our body, but we reach out much further than that and encompass our environment as well. I always say the human body is the best ghost hunting equipment and most reliable compared to the gadgets we run around pointing at the air. You’re learning to feel yourself within an environment so that you’re a team. It’s something most people ignore all day long to get through crowded buses and office spaces and other boundary-imposing situations. In the case of running into ghostly phenomenon, you must probe your environment.

You are also developing your skills of intuition. Intuitive people tend to be able to stop time (not literally) long enough to capture shifts and changes. It’s an animal-like instinct and it’s crucial for knowing where to be and what time to be there to witness something.

You want a better chance of having a paranormal experience? I suggest you book a room at a haunted hotel. Be sure you pick one that isn’t in the downtown city where noise and lights are going to confuse you. If you bring a companion, let that person know your plan to experience something paranormal. Folks ask me all the time, “what about amulets or other attracting devices?” Honestly, the same things that meant something when they were alive will mean something when they have passed on. Try and leave out your jewelry and change on the bedside table. Scoot the alarm clock as close to the bed as you can get it. Wait until other guests have settled down. Hunker down in the bed, but don’t lie down or you’re likely to fall asleep. Lights out, but keep the bathroom light on and the door just barely ajar to see changes in lighting. If you have shades, close them on the windows, but don’t draw the curtains unless that’s your only option. You can see something moving in front of shades easily by the changes in lighting. You really don’t have to do anything more than ask if someone is there with you. Now, wait.

Giving yourself even more of an edge, you might consider going during stormy season or checking the geomagnetic activity for the day and be certain there’s some sort of storms going on. You can check daily here. If you want to be sure you have ideal geology, you might consider going to one of the “hot” states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky or a mining town.

The simple fact is that most of us live in modern homes in modern lifestyles and even go to bed with the TV on timer. We don’t get or appreciate any downtime in which we aren’t multitasking and on the cell phone with the computer running. Except for those brief moments falling asleep and during the night, we simply don’t get the chance to check in with our world and see what’s happening and changing, so we often miss a great deal of cues that the spirit world could be producing.

NOTE: A lot of folks get their first encounter with the use of a Ouija board. By now, most of you know I'm amused and entertained by Ouija but I do not have any personal belief in demons, Satan or the concept of evil as an entity. So, that being said, I still don't think a Ouija is a good idea for the simple fact that people are highly suggestible by nature. What you get using a Ouija board can have more to do with psychic abilities and reading others in the room or total nonsense than any sort of spirit interaction. I don't think you can talk to the spirit world that way and I think that most people have a religious background that can really screw with their minds and 10 years, 20 years later, they're still remembering that time they played with a Ouija and attributing all kinds of downfalls thereafter to having used it. So, for one's own good, just don't play with the silly game board.

Let me know if any of you have questions or experiences so I can refine my instructions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Examining the Haunted Formula's Statistics

**Above--Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Of the 50 places I studied, this has the only off-the-scale elements for a dream haunting. Geology: Limestone, shale, sandstone. One of the largest cut stone structures in America, older than 50 years, has seen an enormous amount of death and anguish for prolonged periods of time, has a waterway nearby, a cemetery on grounds, and even that common element that I have yet to prove is signficant--it's near train tracks. **

(This is a reprint of a post from Saturday, July 4, 2009. I am posting it because this coming summer, I'm hoping to do more research past just the haunted formula and adding the element of geomagnetic activity, something I talk about often on here and that I've found correlates strongly with active nights)

Exhausted. Hate numbers. Really hate making tables.

My curiosity started this whole weird journey into making a haunted formula. I think any of us would be able to say which places feel more haunted than others. It's not just that they have a dark history or are dusty or damp or dark. It's because of the elements that make a haunting possible. This set of circumstances has always intrigued me. All old places would be super haunted if events alone could haunt a place, but some places seem to be stained with a haunting, others seem to move on. What's different?

Here's how it looks so far in the 50 random haunted places I've studied in the past few months:

Geology (in order of most potent geology and then descending in importance)
1. Limestone: 13 of 14 sites with limestone ranked a 5 or 6 on the haunted scale
2. Shale: 12 of 13 sites with shale ranked a 5 or 6 on the haunted scale
3. Sandstone 20 of 22 sites with sandstone ranked a 5 or 6 on the haunted scale
4. Granite 1 of 2 sites with granite ranked a 5 or 6 on the haunted scale.

Sedimentary is a rather vague title for a type of geology and just about all the 50 sites had this kind in one way or another, but then a great majority of the land in the US is sedimentary, so that's not necessarily significant, except that volcanic areas seemed to be very devoid of activity, except mining towns.

WATERWAYS: (I considered if the site was within a mile of running water, stream, river, ocean)
41 of 50 sites had this feature--that is very significant. It's also hard to discover whether or not the other 9 sites had underground springs, so it's a very hard one to judge. Also, people tended to build homes near waterways long ago before we had wonderful plumbing and such. I did not, however, find one super haunted site that did not have water nearby.

TRAINS: This one intrigued me because of the strange correlation, but now I am leaning more toward it being an incidental finding and considering removing it from the formula all together which might alter a few things, but statistically it wasn't horribly impressive and, as I said, people tended to build older homes near trains and trains tended to be built near towns.
32 sites had train tracks nearby, 18 did not.

42 of 50 sites.

All 50 sites

Masonry/block/brick were 43 of the 47 that could be judged (one place was a sign, one place was a ship, and one place was a cemetery, so construction could not be included)
Frame were 4 of 47.

As I haven't yet started to look at the "hard" proof of hauntings of these places to decide what factors might be most important, such as geology or waterways, I can say that by eliminating trains, I will be having to shift the scoring of many places. I'll keep you updated. This will be quite the tangled process, but well worth it. I think all of us instinctively go to a haunted site and feel these features and know it's haunted, now we have a way to perhaps measure just how haunted it can be with what necessary features.

Don't Forget Tonight's Paranormal TV: DT Season Finale!

“Ghost Hunters” on SyFy Channel tonight goes to a mob hangout in Cape Cod.
“Destination Truth” on SyFy Channel tonight is the season finale (it happened so fast!) Josh and the gang will be hitting Easter Island for a ghostly spectre (yahoo!) and New Zealand looking for an extinct flightless bird.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Are You having a piloerection? Ghost hunts and goosebumps

(this is a reprint of an older post that many might have missed)

Piloerection is the fancy word for goosebumps. This is caused by the muscles at the bases of the hairs on our bodies reacting to cold or fear. The body hairs become erect in a desire to insulate the body better by trapping air within the pores. Static electrical charges cause hairs to stand away from other hairs or repel (kind of like that magnet trick in elementary school). Rub a balloon against your shirt and then run it over your hair and it stands on end much the same as what your body hairs do. Encountering static electricity, fear, or cold can cause goosebumps in haunted locations, but can the paranormal do it?

I’m studying static electricity a bit further in my ghost hunting theories. I’ve noticed a trend on ghost hunts between electrical storms and dry windy conditions and higher incidence of phenomenon.

You’ve had it happen before on a dry day, in a dry environment, you reach for a doorknob and zap! Here in the Arizona desert, you get real scared around metal objects. You approach them much as someone would approach an angry dog; from the side, coming up from behind, gently, slowly, nonthreatening. Once while my son was playing a videogame, I reached to tap him and you could actually see the lightning-bolt- like spark several inches between us before I even touched him. Damn that hurt! We were both whimpering for a while after that.

But, do the sensations of hair standing on end during paranormal activity correlate with static electricity or changes in temperature or fear or perhaps a side effect of spirit activity manifesting? My mother used to say (in a soft West Virginia drawl),“I think someone just walked over my grave,” when she got goosebumps. Upon further questioning, she would admit that it came on all of a sudden and left just as quickly. The sensation of being watched was overwhelming when this occurred. That happened quite often at Aspen Grove. In my present day, inactive house, it very rarely occurs.

One thing I have observed about goosebumps is that you almost never get them when you’re at home reading a book or watching TV (unless it’s a spine-tingling read or movie). But, in reportedly haunted locations it almost always happens at least a few times throughout the evening. What’s with that? Is it because were are on constant alert and fearful or is it related to the supernatural? I tend towards the idea that our bodies are more on the alert in such a place and our hearing is keener, our vision, and all other senses we use to interpret our environment. The goosebump phenomenon would then occur more often because our largest organ, the skin on our bodies, would be much more attuned to changes around us.

Admittedly, I’ve been to lots of late night visits to spooky places and I am the most hardcore “walk into complete darkness, completely alone, sit there and listen and never get scared even one iota” type of person, so when I get goosebumps in such places, I have to wonder if something other than fear is occurring. Perhaps a heightened sense of awareness or perhaps even a static electricity situation generated by the phenomenon itself.

The issues of static electricity around electronics is so serious that great measures are taken when dealing with components to assure no static discharges that might ruin the parts. This is very telling in just how much that little spark can affect change in what it comes into contact with. Of course, that telltale zap usually alerts us, but more subtle charges could affect us and make us break into goosebumps for no apparent reason.

I’ve discussed other potential earthly conditions such as geology, waterways, construction, and geomagnetic/solar activity on hauntings, but now I’m studying the static electricity aspect. I’m hoping that the more I learn about each feature, the more I might see how they relate.

My goal eventually is to come up with a way of knowing the most likely haunted sites (by the physical features and history) and the most ideal days of the week to visit them (depending on weather conditions and geomagnetic activity) to almost guarantee a good hunt. I can then begin to keep a log that addresses all of these conditions and helps me find out commonalities on successful nights compared to lame-o nights (you know, like most of the nights TAPS went out on their 4th season). Perhaps such information could help us to not waste time in the field and also see how physical aspects of our natural world enhance or react with that which is paranormal. Most ghost hunters will tell you, “it was a slow night, maybe we just chose the wrong time to be there.” I'd like to make it so that they have the optimal chances of encountering action.

I’ll continue in my ghost hunting theories to probe this and many other aspects of our physical world and the paranormal world, hoping to find the point where they two meet.

Thanks for following the trek.

I can't wait for this movie!

I've written about the movie "Phasma Ex Machina" a few times. It's a movie coming out that's made by smart folks using theories I knock around on my blog a lot. I'm so excited to see someone doing a feasible ghost movie that's also really chilling. Here's their latest update showing the science behind the movie--the theory about how this guy gets ghosts to appear. I haven't heard a release date, but you know I'm going to be all over this like butter on hot biscuits and updating ya'all regularly( sorry, southern gals never get rid of their sayings).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dale the Doll: She Should Be Scared of Me

(Another installment written by my home decoration, a ventriloquist doll named Dale. He likes to get up at night from his display and wander the house. He thinks I don’t know he blogs, but I run across his posts…he’s not that smart)

I wander the house at night. What else is there to do while the world is silent? I’m used to the TV running, the radio blaring, the human knocking around pots and pans and laughing on the telephone.

I don’t need people, but I do need their noise.

My first stop of the evening is the human’s bedroom. She sleeps funny. I noticed that she has some kind of long weird pillow she wraps her body around when she sleeps. It looks most awkward to me. Her hair is everywhere and I can barely see her face. One time, I made some noise to see if she would open her eyes and stare at me. I laughed so hard, imaging her horror at having my face so near hers when she was unsuspecting. But, she ignored my attempts at waking her. Just as well, I will find another way to frighten her. She is not easy to spook, but I am ever determined.

I overheard the human and I think she is planning to take me on some kind of road trip in May. I do so hope Miss Julie is coming along, I would like more time on her lap! I think the human is hoping to pose me in haunted locations and abandoned spots to do a series of me being a creepy thing in creepy places. She does not understand the seriousness of my threat. I am not a baby doll or some other benign toy. I am a ventriloquist doll, the embodiment of being human-like and even speaking, and yet having no soul

Do you know why ventriloquist dolls like their lives? Because their owners put their hand up inside us and move our mouths, saying all the things we wish to say about the humans. When you hear the banter on the stage, that is really us willing our words onto our owners. It is a remarkable life. We get to voice our very deepest and resentful feelings towards the living…