This weekend I received a photograph and a email from someone that will remain anonymous. It’s a very typical thing to get in my inbox. People wanting me to analyze their photographs to get a second opinion or to just see if I will agree with them that their photo is in fact something as extraordinary as a real “ghost” captured on their camera.
Here is the email (edited for privacy reason)
This picture was taken at my sisters house around Sept. 25th. My nephew***** took it with his cell phone and posted it on facebook. We did not see the face until someone pointed it out to us. I sent the picture to ***local paranormal team*** and that posted on fb the picture was tampered with. There may be an explaination but I did not appreciate them call my family a liar. It could have been handled better. Anyway, please look at the picture and let us know what you think.
My sister says that there has been some unusal things happening at her house. After the photo was developed some people say they can see more than one figure. Thank you
for taking the time to look at this photo.
Here is the image that has been analyzed by another team on Facebook. I do have to say that getting other opinions is crucial in the the field of paranormal research but posting images on the internet for anyone to boast off their two cents, call people liars and not offer a single bit of education is rather immature.
Here is my email response to her.
I am not going to say your photo is fake or your family is lying. I would rather take the time to educate you before calling you names. I do need to be honest with you. I do see the face. But it’s probably nothing more than what our brains are naturally trained to do from birth. We recognize faces as humans, that is how we relate. We will see faces even images in photos, the sky, wood paneling and so on because that is what our brains are trained to do. It is called Pareidolia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia Click on the link to learn more about it. Click here for other examples of faces seen in smoke. I can see why that team would say you faked it. The image is very similar to those faces of Jesus on toast, smoke or other random objects. In my opinion, saying it’s “fake” was a lazy excuse and a quick analysis just to make themselves feel important. Anyway, the case of having unusual things take place at her home, that’s another issue. I personally would not attribute unusual with a haunting. Remember to think critical concerning all unusual moments. There probably is a good obvious explanation for what took place. Ghost, that’s the last thing on the list and always should be. If you or your sister are thinking critical and logic to the strange things taking place in her home, chances are the unusual things will just stop. Start a journal and document each moment in detail. Remember to never assume it’s a ghost. It’s a lazy way of understanding a situation. We can’t blame ghosts on everything lol
As for your photo, it’s not a ghost. Just a fantastic example of Pareidolia. Not faked, just a normal reaction to a very common trick of the mind that many people (even certain ghost hunting teams) fall victim too. I do not see anywhere it was tampered. No pixelization or anything. Start a journal and don’t take photos of smoke unless you are doing it for fun to see how many faces you can get ! lol
If you are wanting someone to tell you that the photo is of a ghost. There are plenty of stupid teams in this state that will create a whole big fat lie about “who” is in the picture. They will come out and investigate, record crappy audio, take crappy pictures and literally scare the hell out of your family telling you that you have demons in the closet. If you want to get in touch with them, let me know, I will send you a link.
I do hope I helped you out. Honest mistake. Ghosts are so “popular” these days, there are a lot of floating heads and faces popping up. Some people want to be haunted while others would just want to know the truth. Have questions, just ask.
More and more spooky faces and images are popping up on the internet. It is because “ghosts” are very popular these days. TV shows are offering the assumption that capturing ghost evidence is as easy as putting on a pair of one size fits all stretchy pants. It is not easy to collect evidence of paranormal activity. Sometimes researchers will spend weeks even months at a location and will only be able to bring a couple potential examples to the table. Photographs and the paranormal do not go hand in hand. There are basic tips on how to properly take photos in the light and dark and none of those basics are applied, even with Oklahoma’s most “Top Scientific Teams.” Taking hundreds of photos in hopes that at least one of them will have something the untrained eye can call paranormal, is not paranormal research. It’s amateur. Same goes with today’s version of EVP – Electronic Voice Phenomenon Today’s EVP examples are also directly linked to Pareidolia. A good example is watching ghost hunting TV shows where they need to spell out or offer subtitles so the viewer can hear what they hear. If a person needs to have an EVP example spelled out and looped back several times before it makes sense, it’s probably not an EVP, it is Audio Pareidolia.
I do ask that anyone that is actively conducting any type of paranormal research, no matter what their methods or belief standard are that they understand Pareidolia and embed it into their mindset. It will not only prevent the person from looking like an idiot but it will also help them help people. That’s what teams are doing these days, right? “Helping People?”
As always, feedback is welcome and encouraged. As we enter into October I have a feeling my inbox will hold a few more surprises.
Planning a weekend vacation or road trip with your family is always hard to do. Making sure there is enough for everyone to do outside of riding in a car the whole time can be an adventure on its own. I do remember vacations as a
child with my entire family. We would load up the powder blue station wagon (yes blue!) and hit the road. I remember trips where we got lost in the hills of Arkansas and stopping at cool Route 66 Places. As a child, I did not realize how “cool” those places really were. Now that I am older I have realized that family road trips were great for memories. I remember my parents yelling at us to stop smacking bubble gum. I remember my brothers picking on me and just being annoying, out of sheer boredom from riding in the car for what then seemed to be countless hours. I remember playing the “License plate game” and any other game we could create, just to kill the time. This was way before Ipods, games and DVD players. I remember eating with my family at “greasy spoons” and the joy of getting stacks of pancakes at dinner time. I remember driving down twisting and turning roads in the middle of the night and my dad making “spooky noises” because it was kind of scary for us kids. Instead of my parents non-sheltering tactics, or perhaps their little “pay back game” they played has now, been embedded in my mind forever, and I thank them.
I do not have memories of watching hours of TV, playing computer games or managing a social network page as a child. I actually got out and explored areas and had a great time doing it. As a parent, it’s my job to not only raise my children as independent, law abiding citizens, it’s my job to create memories for them as well and even scaring the snot out of them on occasion. Mean? I don’t think so.
The subject of this blog is sure to raise a few eyebrows for sure. Taking children into “haunted places” seems so taboo and irresponsible to some people. It’s a big “no-no” for a lot of people that are in the “Paranormal Field”, why, I have no clue. I have yet to read or hear a rational explanation for it, outside of paranoia.
Haunted places and children, sounds so scary doesn’t it? In reality, there is a good chance that the paranoid parents have already crossed that line. If your child has ever visited places such as Historic Museums, Battle grounds, Hotels, B&B’s, Zoo’s, restaurants and even cultural venue’s you have failed to protect your child from “ghosts”, If in fact you are one of the paranoid people in the world. Ghost stories are everywhere. They are a part of life and are nothing to be afraid of. What makes these places scary is the fear that parents put into their children’s minds. I take pride in the fact that I am raising rational thinking kids that are not afraid of historical locations. I wish more parents would jump on that band wagon with me.
This past year I was invited to join a private birthday slumber party at the Skirvin Hotel in Downtown Oklahoma City. I was asked to come share the haunting history of the hotel, teach the kids how to get “EVP’S” and take photos in haunted places. I brought my children along with me. Teaching children to not be afraid is not difficult at all. The kids learn about history and they remember it, because of the ghost stories attached. It makes great memories. The kids at this private party had a blast and explored the hotel in a quite and respectful manner. They did not go around screaming and yelling, taunting the ghosts and running amok in the hotel. They respected it for all it’s worth and embraced the history. All of the kids had a wonderful time and I had a blast scaring them with the stories. I do wish the hotel was a little more open minded about their haunting history, but then again. I enjoy helping people pick rooms in the hotel where they are more likely to witness something “paranormal.”
Those that are opposed to staying in haunted hotels with their children, honestly shows nothing but ignorance in my opinion. Not only are they robbing their children of great history they are pushing their fears into their children. There are even paranormal groups on the internet that preach about the dangers of ghost hunting and children. Kids stay at hotels all the time and they leave totally intact and without “demonic possession.” When I visited the very well known haunt, the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs Arkansas I was delighted to see even infants in the hotel. This is the same hotel where the big bad “Ghost Hunters” you see on TV acted like scaredy cats throughout the hotel. I remember late in the night I was walking around in my pajamas to sit on the patio for a while, I passed two little girls, probably around 8 or 9 years old in the hotel. I actually talked to these girls when we checked in and I asked them if they were afraid of the ghosts in the hotel. I told them to wait until real late and hang out on the stairwell so they could see the ghost of a woman. I totally made up the ghostly scenario, but late that night, the little girls were on the stairs. Waiting. I gave them the thumbs up and kept walking. I made it to the elevator and there was a group of “ghost hunters” hanging out by the elevator doors. They were armed with EMF meters, video cameras and were snapping photos left and right. I just walked right through the group in my fuzzy slippers. I do remember laughing at them once the elevator doors shut. If they only knew that two young kids were doing the same thing, but being more mature about it. Being innocent and just allowing things to happen instead of feeding off a group of adult idiots. I remember returning to my room and walking the halls alone. I did not have any ghostly encounters by myself, but all through the night the group of “ghost hunters” were taking photos of our rooms door. The infamous “Room 419″ (You can watch the show here 3 parts) is where I stayed and it was rather humorous to listen to how serious these “ghost hunters” were. They had no idea that someone was actually in the room, that was alive! The next day I did see the little girls and ask them if they met a ghost that night. They had all kinds of stories to share. Stories they will never forget.
This month my family will be hitting the road. Now that my kids are a bit older they will be staying in a room, in a haunted hotel all by themselves. Will they be scared? I doubt it, but if anything does happen, I know they will remember it for the rest of their lives. We are hitting the road to visit family in Missouri. I found a great hotel that has a lot of ghost stories and was even voted “best haunted hideaway” by Triple-A. The Bothwell hotel is a seven floor fully restored hotel in the small historic town of Sadalia, I hope to be able to share some stories once we return from this adventure. I hope my children do have a ghostly encounter, even if it is their imaginations getting the best of them.
In closing, staying where there are “ghosts” is not a bad thing. Parents need to allow their kids to have their own adventures and vacation time. Visit museums and maybe even take a ghost tour. Never fear that your child will be hurt or attacked by a ghost at these places. Keep in mind, ghosts have not officially been proven to exist! Remember, it’s only dangerous and scary if you, the parent make it that way.
Tonya Hacker aka “Paranormal Eyes”
Just wanted to do a very quick update! Life gets very hectic and then it makes sense. That’s the theory I live by, most of the time.
New and positive changes are in the works for myself, this blog and the G.H.O.U.L.I. team. No, we are not filming a TV pilot. I know, I know, every time a team says they have good news, it typically follows with something to do with reaching for reality TV stardom. Well, as much as some folks would love to see the GHOULI team on TV, it’s just not one of our goals. We have been working discretely at a few residential locations and soon to be researching and investigating a few historical locations in the state of Oklahoma. I have learned a lot in the past year in regards to local teams and what their intentions are. I have also rediscovered how many absolute crazy people there are in this so called paranormal community. It boggles my mind to think that people that claim to be rational or even “scientific” are the most outrageous middle school minded adults I have ever come across. The paranormal community is a horrific scene, it really is. I have witnessed liars, fakes, frauds and flat out utter stupidity take place with people and they still pretend to be some kind of scientist. It truly does blow my mind. But, I have made it a point to not be involved anymore with such vicious and conniving people anymore. I have been conducting paranormal research for over 12 years now in this state and if I am to be so bold to say, I am better than they are. Sure, hate me but I’m not wrong. I do not care at this point because the community has officially separated itself from real paranormal research and I am glad that the separation is blatant and obvious to the rest of the world. With that said, I am back on track. Adventuring out with my team or alone. The weather is warming up and do not forecast anymore harsh winter conditions. The GHOULI team and myself have teamed up with some great open minded individuals that do not have “paranormal reality tv” on the brain. We are getting back to the basics of documentation, history and supplying a valid non-hyped up opinion concerning subjects of the unexplained.
This blog: This year I will make this blog a bit more personal. You the reader will be able to tell the difference, I hope. I am excited to be able to visit some of Oklahoma’s best historically significant locations and talk about them, right here on this blog. I want to be able to offer readers a chance to visit the places I visit and enjoy Oklahoma history and culture as much as I do.
Conference time! Yes, it’s almost that time of year. Where people that enjoy a good old fashioned ghost story, urban legend or anything strange concerning the state of Oklahoma. April 23rd is the 6th annual Oklahoma Paranormal Conference. We have given the event a new name as the original title of Para-Con has been used by hundreds of events across the nation. With pleasure, we have titled the event “Ghostlahoma!” We hope everyone that has an adventurist side to them will be able to make the event this year. So far we have a lot of people getting ready for the event and we have yet to do much advertising. This is a fun event for everyone and we encourage you to attend. We have moved to a new historically haunted location in downtown El Reno, OK. The old Centre Theater is being preserved and we are happy to have the conference in such a magnificent old theater. www.ghouli.org for details.
I am excited about 2011 and so far I have made so many positive changes and I have a goal to have them reflect here on this blog. Just this week I will be dining at one of Oklahoma’s most secret haunted restaurants. I will not only review the food, I will share the ghost story.
As always… if you have a location you would like to see me review, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org I will be happy to offer my unbiased opinion about your establishment. I review places to eat, sleep, tour and drink that have a great or unusual history.
Tonya Hacker aka Paranormal Eyes
I am are currently looking for Oklahoma’s favorite places you can eat, sleep and drink with “ghosts” or anything else that falls into a category of “unexplained”
—–>>>>>This book is Family and tourism friendly!
Looking for Unusual tales across the Sooner State. All locations must fit into the outline. Hotels, Motels, Bars, clubs, B&B’s, Diners & restaurants… Please contact me to have your location added to the book. Contact me at email@example.com OR right here on NewsOK-Paranormal Eyes.
PLEASE SHARE & help the word get out that I am needing locations for part 2 of “Ghostlahoma” book series.
NOTICE: ALL LOCATIONS MUST BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! THIS SERIES WILL BE TRAVEL FRIENDLY!
PUBLICATION SET FOR OCTOBER 2011 email today firstname.lastname@example.org
It seems that ghosts are making more and more appearances on camera phones these days. Technology is great, but I must say that people need to not be stupid about it.
There are applications (tools for high tech phones) that mimic what is seen on TV and in the paranormal field. There are ghost detecting applications, apps that mimic the oh so popular ovulus and the biggest one of all is the ghost in a photo application. This application has fooled some uninformed journalists that have made the bogus images front page news in their local papers. It’s a sad day when the paranormal field is so popular that people have to utilize phone applications and try to pass it off as some kind of paranormal evidence. Trust me, there are probably teams out there right now sharing a photo of a full bodied apparition with some unsuspecting and uninformed group of believers.
Even the makers of IPhone and Ipod touch admit it is a joke. The sad thing is, people want to believe so much that they are not staying current with technology. These are the same group of self proclaimed “scientists” that boasts and brags about having piles of technology available to them when they “hunt ghosts”.
Lesson here. Stay current. If it looks like a full bodied apparition than it probably is not. If someone emails you or sends you an apparition photo, please get into the habit of comparing to the millions of Phone App ghosts that are floating around the internet like a swarm of deranged locusts on a hot sunny day in the prairie.
Want an application to fool people? Maybe even those “scientists” that you may pay big money to see speak at some ghostly get-a-way? Click here for many FREE applications to play with.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting up with some great Oklahomans that truly care about history, preservation and the beauty and renovation of our endangered historic places. Recently, two properties in El Reno Oklahoma were purchased that were once listed as “endangered”
according to the National Historic Register. I came in contact with the new building owners as I was looking for the next location to hold psychological trials at. Upon meeting them and getting a tour of the buildings and learning about the history I realized they were in need of help. The buildings have sat dormant since the late 90′sand remnants of two antique malls still in sight. There was a lot of garbage to be taken out and a lot of cleaning to do at these two historically significant locations. After getting to know the new owners I did offer to help them get things hauled out and cleaned up so renovation efforts can begin. Tackling historical buildings and preserving them is very costly and trust me, it is from the heart.Not everyone cares about “old places” but the people in my circle of friends and even “paranormal affiliates” do care. They care about the history, both haunting and not so haunting. They care about the architecture and they care about the beauty and charm within the older properties that news structures are lacking. Even if it’s covered in pigeon poop, it is still beautiful.
We set a date with the owners and I started to recruit volunteers for the clean up. I was expecting a lot of “ghost hunters” to step in, bring their teams and roll up their sleeves just to be able to enter a building that parts of it have been untouched since the late 1940′s. I didn’t get the feed back as I expected but some of Oklahomas best did show up to help out.
We had some of Oklahomas more renowned experts attend the clean up. Cullan Hudson- Oklahoma Blogger & author of “Strange State” stepped in to help clean up. Speaking with Cullan about why he showed up to sweat it out and do a lot of manual labor on aSaturday afternoon, he told me that he just loves the history and the historic buildings. He stated it was not so much about ghost stories, but it was being able to have the structures preserved for future generations.
My first time meeting one of the team members from AbandonedOK , Billy Dixon showed up to represent the team.
Being an Urban Explorer myself I was thrilled to meet up with them and also learn more about the AbandonedOK team and what they stand for. I could only wish that paranormal teams in Oklahoma shared the same passion as they do. Being a photographer myself, I am always thrilled to meet up with other people that see the absolute beauty in sometimes pikes of rubble and historical destruction. He worked very hard and had a chance to explore the building and take some wonderful photos to share with fellow Urban Explorers.
Joe Hanson of the ESP Team, based out of Oklahoma came to represent and help with the clean up. Being a fairly new team within the state, Joe discussed the importance of giving back to the places that we investigate as paranormal researchers. He was curious as to why there were not more investigative teams helping
out and he stated several times that he felt like a kid in a candy store. The buildings are massive and the clean up has just started but he felt it was his duty to come and give back to the historic community.
Some members of my team GHOULI came to work and we also brought volunteer teenagers along to help out. Getting teens involved with community service and understanding the importance of saving our
historical buildings is very important. The kids had fun and after talking with them they had several reasons as to why they enjoyed the clean up. They enjoyed digging through the old items, finding old yearbooks and photographs. The coolest thing they said was just being able to be in old buildings that have a history to them. I want to thank my team members and their teens that sacrificed their Saturday to come help out with this massive project. We had people that live in the area show up to help out because they love their town and want to see it prosper. The building owners, Linda & Paul were more than happy to have the help. It’s just two of them against a lot of square footage. We filled up a 40 foot dumpster in about 3 hours. Swept floors and filled up countless bags of rubble and garbage. I do wish more people in the paranormal field attended this clean up. I am hopeful they will either find a place of their own to volunteer with or assist with the next clean up date. We all had a great time and it was nice to be able to meet some of Oklahomas nicest people in the paranormal field while being able to do something good for others.
I do challenge all of my readers to keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities such as this one. Preserving our historical buildings is hard enough and most property owners would welcome a group of organized and energized people to help them out. I want to give special thanks to my team members and the teenagers that came and worked diligently on their projects. I want to thank Cullan Hudson of “Strange Stage” for his hard work and his passion for history. AbandonedOK, I am looking forward to working with them more within the state and helping people see the beauty in our forgotten places. I would like to thank Joe of the ESP team for showing up and expecting nothing in return as a paranormal investigator.
I am looking forward to the Fall months this year and of course Halloween. As most people say in this field, “It’s the busy time of year”, it is true. I will be speaking at the Belle Isle Library October 2nd come and say hi! If you visit www.ghouli.org there are a couple of October events taking place but they fill up fast.
(Photos courtesy of Billy Dixon/AbandonedOK.com)
Tonya J. Hacker- aka Paranormal Eyes
With a lot of searching I finally found a location to conduct a type of paranormal research that I feel makes sense to most of the world. It’s not “ghost hunting” where people enter dark spooky places hoping, wishing, waiting and sometimes provoking a spirit to jump out. It’s a real research project with a plan, message and even a conclusion.
On September 18th I teamed up with 17 other curious Oklahomans to see if things truly go bump in the night at this historic location. I offer the project to the general public mainly because they have no preconceived notions or established ego as a paranormal researcher. They are real people participating in a real research project. Many people want to tag along on a “ghost hunt” just to potentially witness something unexplainable. They have true open minds and enter as believers, skeptics or they have no opinion at all. Those in my opinion are the best researchers you can find. I will be continuing the trials in the month of October and they do fill up fast. There are still slots available but they are by reservation only. We ask only the serious participate in this type of research. This project is not a tour or some over crowded local haunt where people are piled in and forced to listen to some local team boast and brag about their accomplishments. You the participant are the team and we get right down to business and have a lot of fun while we do it.
What are cognitive trials? They are psychological tests being ran at a potentially haunted location. There is not known or established “haunt” at the property. Just a rich history and glorious architectural structure that very few will have an opportunity to explore. Is the location haunted? We can’t answer that until all of the trials take place and data is placed into a statistical format that will make sense to even the skeptics.
We do not go in filling a persons head full of spooky stories and manipulated history. The first run of the evening is a cold/blind run. Where participants know nothing about the location or history. They are led by a guide and given a map and a notebook. They are encouraged to take notes according the numbers on the maps and document anything and everything they feel should be documented about the property. After the first run, participants are allowed to speak out about what they witnessed on the first round. The second run begins and they continue to explore the same way as they did on the first run, but with a little bit of historical information, claims and occurrences that took place during the first trial. Do things get more “active” on the second run? You can find out more by reserving your spot in one of these trials. Space is very limited and they fill up fast. All groups are small and there will never be overcrowding.
I will blog after each and every investigation to keep you tuned in. I will also blog about some of the local places, news and announcements that are being made right here in Oklahoma! It’s an exciting time for preservation, history and even the good old fashioned ghost story. It’s also a great time in the field of parapsychology and we are proud to be leaders and supporters “real research”, not just ghost hunting.
If you would like to participate in any of the October dates of this trial please visit www.ghouli.org and click on “Cognitive Trials”.
So, I get a complaint this week about this media source being a waste. It’s wasted because I am not wasting my time chatting about moon phases, EMF levels and the possibility of Indian Burial ground being the culprit of 95.6% if hauntings within the state of Oklahoma. So, it’s a waste?
I personally have met the person making the complaint. In fact, this person has worked right beside me on a few investigations. No, this is not drama or some kind of internet cat fight, it’s nothing more than the reality that there is no “research” taking place. There is no research taking place anywhere, especially within the state of Oklahoma!
What do I do? Well, I search the internet or perhaps I visit a location and learn about their ghostly tales and I am supposed to report them here. What do I find? Not much of anything to be honest.
I visit local teams websites, they are doing nothing but marketing themselves as some type of super hero. Where is their research? There are a couple articles here and there offering a very elementary break down of possible theories concerning paranormal activity. I have even seen a few articles concerning ghost photographs and how to properly use EMF meters. This is not research!!! This is just a basic website full of nonsense that makes the team look “officially scientific” when in reality they are not utilizing anything close to a scientific method. I browse around and see brand spanking new teams pop up, claiming to have 20+ years experience in the field but for some reason, I don’t know who they are. These people are not even in a Google search. What have they been doing for the past 20 years? Stumbling around dark buildings and cemeteries waiting for Casper to pop out? These same brand new teams of “expert scientists” are also charging people for workshops, promising people that they too can become a “ghost hunter”, just like their hero’s on TV. First, I have a problem with someone that has had a “team” in place for less than 3 months teaching the public about how to be ghost hunters, but then again, a monkey truly can walk around in the dark holding a flashlight and jump to conclusions every time the wind blows.
So, where is the research? There is none, not in this state and not across the nation. If there are real research projects taking place, please send me the link to the team so I can get in touch with real paranormal investigators, not “ghost hunters”.
So, before anyone says “hey, practice what you preach” to me and attempt to make me look like a goon or hateful. I am happy to announce that I will be starting a real research project at the first of September. I have been working to find the perfect location and I just found out today that a great location has been reserved for this project. It’s a real location, real people and a real protocol that has been developed and approved by my NewsOK blogging counterpart. Dr. Bryan Farha has helped me and my team in the past organize a paranormal investigation that makes sense. No bells and whistles, just good old fashioned paranormal research.
I am excited about this opportunity. These Cognitive Trials are a lot of fun and very intense but they also make sense to the rest of the world. There is no “research” based off baseline EMF readings, moon phases and whacked out tools that talk on behalf of the dead.
In closing, I invite anyone to point me in the right direction of a team that is conducting any type of research. No, not just historical research, I’m talking applied research that is custom to a location. Not research where the team is doing nothing more than eliminating the obvious to find the unexplainable moments so they can call them ghosts. So, before anyone complains about “what” I am doing on this blog and if it’s a waste of a media outlet, please share with me something that is slightly informative, educational or intriguing concerning subjects of the unexplained. Until then, I will keep browsing, pointing and laughing at the thousands upon thousands of “ghost hunters” that are all doing the exact same thing.
I have been in the field of paranormal research a little over ten years now. I have seen people come and go. I have seen ideas, theories and testing come and go. I have also seen the image of paranormal research simply go.
Starting out in the field it was a very small community. The internet was growing quickly. I recall the moment I was able to get rid of my dial up and got “high speed” internet service. As people were able to upgrade computer and connections researchers started building websites that showcased their work, theories and ideas. Back then, teams were not selling anything and honestly, it was taboo to even mention selling anything on a website. There were teams that tried to sell t-shirts and they would be shunned, mainly because this field was for research, not making a buck. There were teams back then, but there were no titles or an “image” to be found. Honestly, it was a community of people, coming together asking questions and allowing their evidence to get reviewed. The term “debunk” was in it’s infant stage, today, it’s a common word that even elementary school children use. Back in the day, if someone posted something for review, they actually wanted it to be explained away, before they made a fool out of themselves by posting it on the internet. Yes, you read that right. Researchers then actually cared what their peers thought of potential evidence. Today, not so much. In fact, it’s the opposite. Boy oh boy, do I miss those days of paranormal research.
Today, searching the net for a paranormal research team can be a daunting task. Not many are actually “paranormal researchers”, they have adopted the title of “Ghost Hunter” and the majority of them claim to be some kind of expert or leader of some sort. As people may need help with their unusual problems, I can only imagine the stress they deal with as they pick a team to come and investigate their homes and private properties. What they have to filter through is a lot of fluff, advertisements and narcissistic claims made by the team. They have to filter through team bio’s complete with semi-professional team “photos” and of course the drawn out history of why each member is involved with the paranormal. None of those things are important, but it seems to be the new thing as team are selling their image, not their skills.
I won’t get into the reasoning as to why I think Paranormal based TV shows are literally killing the field of parapsychology, as most of you are already aware of where I stand on that issue. But the lack of information, testing, ideas and theories have seemed to be neglected. To me, and many veteran researchers it takes more than a “cool image” to make a team reputable and rational, otherwise just good researchers. The word research has been replaced with “hunt”. Do people really want teams of people in matching t-shirts to come to their personal property and “hunt” for things that go bump in the night? Or, am I so crazy to think that these people actually want some answers, explanations and rational reasoning behind their unexplainable moments. The general public that watches these TV shows are entirely educated as today’s ghost hunter. They do not need any additional knowledge outside of what they have seen on TV. Why? Today’s ghost hunters are just mimicking what they see on TV, they do not have any upper hands or extended knowledge of paranormal research. Not to mention, the mass majority of teams today will enter these properties already assuming the place is haunted. Wishful thinking, from a hunter. Not a rational view from a researcher.
Back in the day, it was word of mouth as to how investigations were researched. As more households jumped on the world wide web finding help became easier for people. They could just send photos and explain unnatural occurrences via email. Today, there are thousands upon thousands of “ghost hunters” claiming to be paranormal researchers on the internet. Very few have any information posted for public view. Most of these teams treat their personal websites as some sort of infomercial as they try their hardest to get a potential clients attention. They boast and brag about going to haunted locations as seen on TV, as if that makes them bolder, braver and more experienced than the next team. These teams proudly sell items from t-shirts to bobble head dolls, all to which are to help them pay for their “expenses”.
Expenses in the field are limited and the general public should never donate or pay a dime for services. EVER.
What are these teams using the money on? There are several things they use the money on. Here are a few…
Toys- Somewhere people have confused technology with science. In reality, a team can base a very nice and scientific based investigation with nothing more than a pen, paper, flashlight and some sort of recording device, audio or video. Meters, thermal imaging and laser pointing temperature gauges are used to make a team appear to be scientific, in fact it’s just a bunch of people playing with overpriced electronic gadgets that make them look as if they are important. Technology and gadgets are not scientific. These people have not been properly trained on the thermal imaging camera they purchased used on Ebay. Does the item work properly is a whole other question. Nobody should ever donate money for teams to get toys for ghost hunting. If you are that free with your money, I am sure there are deer hunters, scuba divers and even treasure hunters that could use a nice donation. Besides, what they are hunting for has already been proven to be real… ghosts have not according to science. The real scientific world does not approve of the tools they use. Figure that one out. If a team needs to earn money for their “Paranormal Princess Lifestyle”.. they should raise it themselves with public events. But, remember public events are for fun and entertainment, just roll with it.
Travel- paranormal research is not a paid profession. A person can make some money, but it’s not a lot. If a team of fifteen people want to go to a place they seen on TV and pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to have the place for a night, why would you pay for their vacation? Most researchers pay out of pocket for any travel destinations, especially if it is one that the team is just going to go have a good time at. How I can prove they are there on a paranormal hiatus is this way. Visit their site. See how they market that they are going. Check back and see if they actually did any “research” at the location. Chances are, they will have photos of dust bunnies, maybe some purported EVP’s they collected while they took the guided tour with about twenty other people. If a team does not have gas money to arrive to your location, please dis-invite them. The only thing a team should ever ask for is maybe use of the restroom and a glass of water.
Webspace- It is not the general public’s problem nor should they give a damn about paying for some ghost hunting teams website. If the team eliminated the bells and whistles, they could manage, operate and maintain a website for less than $100 a year. The team members should pay for this, not the general public. They will not go away if their site goes down. They will be forced to simplify and by the grace of God use the space to showcase what they do as researchers, not rock stars. Not to mention the free resources available on the internet, such as youtube and blogs.
Their Time- Ghost hunting is a hobby. NOT a career. Teams that charge for their time are nothing more than scam artists. They should be reported to the police and any other authority that will listen. It is a scam, I repeat. A SCAM. Their time is valuable, to them and nobody else in this field. They should have a day job or other means of income, there is no local experts worthy of collecting money for their services involving any type of ghost hunt or investigation. I can not stress this enough. If a team asks you for money, please let someone know so they can be turned in. If they ask for money to “Clear/rid your property of ghosts” please notify any other team in your area asap to get second opinion, even a third. do not pay anything until you have spoken with other teams in your area about the situation.
*** I can not stress enough that ghost hunting/paranormal investigations is not a paid service. Please report anyone to the authorities or heck, let me know. Just let people know. There are so many scam artists claiming to be ghost hunters these days. People need to be aware.
I’m not going to say that my way is the right way. There are good teams out there. There are good investigators out there, not all of them have commercials on the internet to help them look more official. Google the team leaders names and see if they are actually linked up with any type of paranormal research or if they just popped up in the past year and are all of a sudden claiming to be an experienced researcher.
I did a quick search on Youtube and found a great example of how teams are advertising their services. If you know me and this is your team, I do apologize in advance. But, I am not afraid to say that this is a very tacky and non impressive way to make you and your team look professional. What are you selling? The video is more scary and eerie than the unexplainable events taking place in peoples houses.
Here is the video advertisement for this particular team.
If people were not spooked before, I’m sure they are thinking they have some kind of demonic boogie man in their basement after watching this video. Marketing on peoples fears is the thing with today’s teams, nothing more. They will scare you to have a place to play. They will scare you so they can make a buck off of you. They will scare you and make you believe, what they want you to believe.
Paranormal research is not, nor should it ever be about marketing, commercialism and enterprise.
Agents, head shots and biographies- As you search the internet. See who has an agent, management service, head shots, biography that is similar to an actors. Are these people really doing research or are they just trying to make a name for themselves to be some type of celebrity?
That is the current state of the paranormal field to date. It’s no longer about research to most, it’s about recognition, competition and to see who can get on TV and make “big bucks” so they can live their dreams of overreacting on TV in spooky situations. If you are in need of a reputable paranormal research to help you make sense of the paranormal claims at your property please be careful as to who you have into your property. Ask for references from businesses that have not made money from the teams presence at the location. Google the leaders name, see how much they are really respected in the field. What they have written, research and who even knows who the heck they are. If you, the reader ever need a list of educated paranormal researchers to contact for referrals, contact me I can get you in touch with those that have earned a name for themselves with their research efforts and progress they have made in the field of parapsychology.
I am looking forward to your feedback.
Growing up, I have always heard that Frontier City was really haunted, not just at Halloween. Outside of being one of the best playgrounds in Oklahoma, for all ages. I have heard that when the lights go down and the people and staff clear out the park seems to take on a life of it’s own. Over the past eleven years, I have received a handful of emails stating “come and investigate Frontier City, it’s really haunted!” Well, I finally took it serious. While visiting one of Oklahoma’s most popular adventure destinations with my family a few weeks ago, I decided to ask around to see if the legends were true. The staff mentioned several places of interest to us. From the old Nightmare ride to the Wildcat Roller coaster. While combing through the historical archives, we found not much of anything to validate the spooky tales and locations we were directed too, but I did notice that some aspects of Frontier City has an untraceable background as some of the attractions were moved from other locations across the nation. As a researcher, It is helpful to a case when there are unfortunate mishaps to blame, but we only found a couple instances as to why the legends are born in the first place. The park does hold secrets, I will not deny that.
We spoke with the Marketing Director of Frontier City and arranged for us to come out and conduct an investigation of the entire park. We were able to talk with staff members and to get their stories as to what locations spooked them out the most and where the ” haunted places” were. After our interviews, the entire GHOULI team and EerieOK team split up, rules and maps in hands and ventured out on our own to see if we could witness any of the strange events taking place at Frontier City.
It was a nice cool evening, a full moon supplied us with light as we ventured around the park. I will admit, we all made several mentions of this particular investigation, being one those based off the Scooby Doo cartoon. All we were missing was old man Smithers, menaced property owner that was doing nothing but trying to hide his stock pile of fools gold. This was probably the first investigation where I noticed both teams sporting a child like grin the entire time. No matter how hard we tried, even as adults, Frontier City has a magic of it’s own. It’s just one of those places you want to be, day or night, haunted or not.
The Frontier City Staff was more than helpful as they led us around to forgotten places within the park and the “hot spots” pointed out by previous teams and staff members. Old childhood memories flooded in as we seen artifacts from yesteryear hidden and stored away. The rumors of ghosts and strange events focused on several rides and attractions. The GHOULI and EerieOK team had focus on “energy” during this investigation. The theory that stored energy of the past can generate images, sensations, feelings and even anxiety that leaks into today’s atmosphere, causing the haunting. What better place to test the “energy theory” than the highly active theme park!
Our goal was to get residual accounts of paranormal phenomenon. We desired to get ghostly thrill ride screams, children’s laughter and the occasional child crying, because he did not get cotton candy of course. All teams were armed with tools such as flashlights, thermometers, walkie talkies, video cameras, digital cameras, audio equipment and several types of meters. Each team rotated around the park to different hot spots and to locations where we found historical significance. We would meet up in between rounds to discuss any happenings or events that needed further investigating. As the evening went on, we had discovered we covered the entire park as well as we could. Investigations are not about camping out, we all felt that our time there was plenty to obtain what we wished to collect.
The evening grew colder and it was getting late. Only a handful of us had something “strange” take place and in some locations, it was unanimous as to where. A few days later, audio samples were being turned in. To our surprise, we were able to collect a handful of interesting EVP’s in some areas of the park. Were they the energy based thrill ride voices that we were after? Not really. The video below will highlight some of our findings from the park. The audio clips that were taken, compared and scrutinized by everyone from both teams. Are they ghosts? We are not sure, but they are unexplainable voices, caught on tape from the locations that we all had previously agreed to hold that “I was not alone in there” factor.
Our findings were a big surprise to us. None of us really made contact with anything that seemed to be menacing or angry of our presence as rumored. The hot spots deemed by another local team, well, we found our results to not collaborate entirely with their findings. Random? Perhaps. Hard core haunted? Not really, but just enough to add a little spice to the parks reputation of thrilling adventures. I will not report of the deadly mishaps we discovered regarding this parks past mainly out of respect for the families. But also, we will keep our historical findings to ourselves as we monitor other teams progress. Will they discover what we discovered? We will monitor the parks historical haunting’s from afar and see who is actually doing their homework and offering their findings for comparative data research.
Just this past weekend, I ventured to Frontier City with my friends and family to enjoy Fright Fest. This is one of our families past times and we never miss a year. Frontier City offers a fantastic time for families during the Halloween Season. We headed out to experience this years haunted house theme, Rotsville, Mental Asylum and to ride some rides and enjoy the park as it is decorated to the max for the Halloween season. As we were getting in line to grab our tickets to the haunted house, we noticed a paranormal team had what appeared to be a booth set up. We ventured over to see what was going on.
The local team MAPS had one of their ghost hunting fleet cars on display, surrounded by rope light. They had a tent and a glass casing full of ghost hunting tools and gadgets. They also had a collection of books that featured the author Hans Holzer on display. They had light up t-shirts for sale for $40 as well. The shirts were sound activated and perfect for some underground rave trance party. Walking up to the team, I noticed they utilized the infamous K2 Meters. I had to ask, “Does your team use these?” the guy in charge proudly answered “Yes, we do“. I challenged him, asking him all kinds of questions about the meter. That particular meter is public enemy #1 in the paranormal field. It was introduced on a popular TV show and has been tossed aside by legitimate researchers across the nation. People are no longer utilizing the meters, mainly because of outside interference. It’s been documented and tested that even cell phone receptions from up to a mile away can cause the meter to fluctuate, confusing uneducated ghost hunters into assuming it’s some kind of ghostly activity. We didn’t spend a lot of time with them at that moment, as we had to grab our tickets for the haunted house. After grabbing our tickets and some roasted corn, we sat and discussed the paranormal team we had just talked with. We finally realized that it was the team that investigated the park over a year ago. We decided to go back and to talk to them, in hopes of possibly validating some of the EVP’s we obtained during our investigation. I approached a woman in a MAPS t-shirt and asked her if they were able to obtain any evidence of the parks ghostly reputation. She stated that they had obtained an EVP in the Gun Show area of the park. I asked if I could hear it, or if it was on the Internet anywhere. I stated to her that I would like to compare the voice to voices we collected during our investigation. To my surprise, she told me that I needed to attend the 10pm Gun Show to hear the EVP as it’s not going to be offered anywhere else. I mentioned that if we could get out of the Haunted house in time, we would venture over, but in case we missed it, if it was possible for us to hear the EVP anywhere. She stepped back and had the lead of the team over to speak with me. I found this to be odd. Generally, when a team has placed themselves in the public for display, they are more than willing to answer questions. As the leader came over, I started to ask why their evidence was not open for peer review or collaborative research. All he told me was “It’s our choice not to”. As a researcher, it is imperative, especially in locations investigated by two separate teams to share evidence. It helps build a stronger case for both teams and the location. It’s also a good thing to have back up, when it comes to making claims as to proof of the afterlife. I started to ask many questions as to this teams protocol, they have the word “Science” in their title and I ask what was their scientific approach. They stated to me “To collect evidence in one place, go back and collect it again, in the same place, from the same entity”. This is the standard scientific protocol of most teams, but most teams realize it is almost impossible to replicate. I ask the team leader if the EVP they are playing during the gun show had been scrutinized under their protocol, he said “no, it has not”. He also explained to me that they do research for their own personal use. The general public and other teams are not to be privileged to their findings. I asked them why they were advertising at the park, with their cars, booth and t-shirts, I was told that they were invited by the park. Well, that’s fine and dandy, but I didn’t understand the privacy factor they gave me, and the blatant advertising they were displaying. Back to the evidence. I explained my questions on several occasions. It seemed to make them uncomfortable that I was asking them about their experiences at the park. As a researcher, I just wanted some validation in the audio samples we obtained. They refused to talk more about it and encouraged us to join them at the Gun Fight at 10pm to hear the mysterious EVP. Click here to watch the MAPS video posted for the public on their myspace page. (Scientific indeeed!)
10 o’clock arrived and we made a mad dash to the Gun Show. The show was fantastic, with a great Halloween story line, lots of action, fire and cool stunts. After the show, one of the actors invited everyone to sit down and wait for a moment. He stated to the crowd that he was a member of the MAPS team and that they conduct investigations all over. He stated “We are just like TAPS on TV” several times in his speech. He stated to the crowd that the Gun Show set was a “paranormal hot spot” and they have obtained an EVP to share with the crowd. Everyone confusingly sat patiently to listen. The audio clip they had prepared was not working for some reason. The actor continued to talk about the MAPS team and how they were just like TAPS from TV. Eventually, the sound person declared that the EVP was not going to play and the EVP can be heard on the website. For a group of scientists, I found this to be unacceptable. I remembered, that I was told (many times) that they do not put anything on the website for the public and never will, but anyway, the crowd filtered out quickly to get that last ride in before the park closed. We stood at the entrance to listen to what the public was saying about the ghostly claims made by this actor/ghost hunter. What were they saying? Nothing, nothing at all.
My previous blog was about Ghost Hunting teams and the Halloween season. The general public does brush off our research as just another Halloween trick. Comparing oneself to a popular TV show on the Science Fiction channel never is a good thing either. Once pumpkins and zombies enter the picture, the concept of being “serious researchers, just like on TV” goes right out the window, now on to that next caramel apple and roller coaster!
Frontier City is a magical place for Oklahomans. Is it haunted? We will leave that up to you. But for the many late night staff members, there is no question to what they have witnessed. It was real to them. Our small pieces of evidence just added to the case and to a very fun investigation. It was our privilege to be able to investigate such a legendary location in the state of Oklahoma. Is Frontier City Haunted? We will leave that up to you as you venture out this Halloween for your thrills and chills of the season. No matter what you believe, we invite you to take a second look the next time you are at Frontier City… Go ahead and peek into the dark corners of the park and quietly tell your children why the park never closes. This time of year it is fantastic to enjoy ghostly tales from our great state, but remember, the more stories you tell, the Halloween memories grow stronger.
Paranormal Eyes- Tonya Hacker