Fall is here and it’s here with a vengeance. Great weather has finally came our way in the great state of Oklahoma. Fall and the cooler weather means one thing.. Halloween!!
Halloween is a busy time of year for paranormal researchers. There are a lot of events taking place. Tours and ghostly walks are popping up every time we open the newspaper or a local magazine. Halloween is almost here! For some teams, Halloween is busy mainly because they feel it’s an opportunity to “get their names out there” to the general public while others are attending speaking engagements, sharing their ghostly tales from across the state.
No matter what kind of team it is, it is still a very busy season.
The days of getting on the local news broadcast, attempting to convince the general public that what we do is “scientific” and “legitimate” are over (for me & my team). Why? Because it’s HALLOWEEN! Some teams may not understand this, but Halloween is not the best time of the year to “get their names out there” as some hard core scientific research group. No matter how hard they try, the local news stations will always play the spooky music as an intro, or say “who ya gonna call” or the best of them all, having a snickering news anchor follow up your “scientific” investigation footage with a comment like “I bet she DOES see dead people”. There is a trick to Halloween media, it’s still ignored by thousands of teams across the nation that are oh so serious with what they do. What is the trick? Have fun! It’s Halloween! Nobody is going to take you serious this time of year, people should just stop trying. Teams that do fun, adventurous segments, those are the teams remembered. The smiles, and the raised eyebrows are already there, so the snarky remarks and howling moon music they play, well, it won’t appear as you just got “owned” by an anchor.That’s the best treat of all! Getting a teams name out? Well, that’s important yes, but Halloween is the worst time of the year to do that. Why? After Halloween, the teams name, what they offered as “science” and the evidence and effort they put forth, well, it’s going to be replaced with the Holiday Season. Those teams hard work had just been replaced with Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas shopping! All that “hard work” has just went to pot! Just tell the story of the haunt, no need to make a big fool out of yourself while you do it! So, I invite you to watch local teams show up on the local news stations and I challenge you to see how hard they try to be “official” this time of year! Watching these teams, well that’s another treat all by itself!
Fun- This is the best time of the year for families. It allows adults to behave like children and children to get away with eating way too much candy and well, behaving like little monsters, literally. This time of year allows people to feel more comfortable taking about their “ghostly visitors”, so in turn, it may open up some potential investigation locations, but that’s about it.
Ghostly fun! My team just conducted an investigation at one of Oklahoma City’s well known travel and adventure locations. I will post the results of our findings before the end of next week, just in time for Halloween!
So, I will have many blogs up this month!
Until then, here are a few events I will be speaking at! Time to gear up for Halloween!
County Line Restaurant- October 10th & 17th. Reservation only. BBQ & Banshee’s dinner and ghost hunt. www.ghouli.org for details. Seating is limited!
Moore Public Library- Teen’s go Beyond series! I will have a paranormal research lecutre for teens, and even adults on October 19th.
TapWerks- Bricktown OKC- Sometime this October!
October 23rd- Chisholm Trail Book Festival
Enid Oklahoma Public Library- AM lecture- October 10th.
Just to name a few!
Stay tuned for our investigative report of one of Oklahomas biggest and most fun attractions! You will be suprised with what we discovered!!!
Outside of filtering through what is fact, fiction and legends while conducting paranormal research, a new concern is growing stronger every day. Paranormal myths are the fluffy stuff you see on TV and read about while browsing through ghost hunting websites. There is a trend starting to set and most of them are based off nothing more than a myth. A lot of teams seem to think they make a lot of sense with what they are doing while conducting “scientific paranormal research” at locations they are already assuming or wishing to be haunted. The truth is, there are more myths floating around out there than ghosts. I wanted to start a blog that helps educate those that are not ghost hunters and I wanted to broaden the mindset of those that are ghost hunters. With this blog, I just hope that people will reflect upon what they believe, why they believe it and what has convinced them that they are reporting the truth compared to a myth. I will start out with a few myths that I have personally observed during my many years of paranormal investigating. It seems to be getting worse with each new team of professional “scientists” that pop up. (Insert sarcasm)
MYTH-Paranormal Investigations are done and should be done only at night. Teams will say they investigate at night because they can use night shot and things are quieter and it helps with what they call “data collection.” I will admit I used to think like this. Then one day, I remembered I have common sense and started to utilize it once again. For starters, ghosts do not sleep. If you have a theory that they do, please share. Do they have their days and nights mixed up? Giving into the theory that ghosts were once people, people characteristically sleep at night right? So why would a ghost wait until night while everyone is asleep or when everyone is from the house? I find it rather immature and boogie-mannish to assume that ghosts only creep at night. We are not nine year olds right? I have personally conducted better investigations and have been able to witness more unexplainable activity during the day time hours. I have talked with many reputable teams and they agree. Those that continue to run investigations only at night, find out why. What is their theory? They are “scientists” therefore they should have a fantastic hypothesis to share with you and their peers.
MYTH- Ghosts need our help or want our attention. Has it crossed anyone’s minds that a ghost may just be clumsy or forgetful? Just like when they were alive? Nobody is perfect. So, let’s say you are a ghost and you walk around at night because everyone is sleeping and you accidentally kick a chair or break a glass. So, what makes these ghost hunters think that because the ghost stubbed its phantom pinky toe in the middle of the night, in the dark and moved a chair or made a loud bang is in need of OUR attention? All these people trying to cross over ghosts and specters need to think; maybe they are happy where they are. Maybe they are working to avoid the living and slip up every now and again. But no, the big bad ghost hunters must bother the heck out of them because they think they want to make contact? There are so many sad and depressed ghosts out there according to most ghost hunting teams out there. Well, sure. It’s probably lonely being a ghost. But would it make you sad, upset or even depressed all the time if the living called you by the wrong name? Shouted at you all the time for you to “Show Yourself”? Maybe it would make you sad because people simply make up lies about who you are all the time. Maybe you are sad because you accidentally scared Little Timmy or you seem to have some paranormal funk scent attached to you? Would you be happy? When teams claim that they are able to do clearings and cast away banshees from your bathroom ask them how they know for sure if the ghost is willing to go. There are a lot of hokey psychics in the paranormal field and unfortunately a lot of them are attached to ghost hunting teams. Just be aware of who is telling you stories or creating a great paranormal case for their website. Ghosts do not necessarily want our attention. If they did, you must ask yourself why there is not more substantial evidence showing the world that ghosts do in fact exist.
MYTH- Ghosts see in the Dark. Okay… where is it written that we get night vision when we die? Why are ghosts up and roaming in dark places? Perhaps the “orbs” we are capturing are their flashlights? Why do ghosts see in the dark but we the living can not? (PS- Orbs are not ghosts)
MYTH- Ghosts can go home with you. There is a 50/50 chance of this of course. But, I have to ask. If you are a ghost and you have lived in an abandoned Hotel for over 60 years, why at that moment are you able to leave and go home with a schmuck “ghost hunter”? Was the ghost hunter just so “hot” you the ghost had to tag along with them? Were they the “nicest” person you the ghost had ever met, with all the shouting and light pointing that they did? Was the ghost hunter the first person EVER to enter that hotel in 60 years so as a ghost you were so lonely that you had to hitch a ride? What makes ghost hunters so special where they are privy to a tag-along ghost? If a ghost could leave in the first place… why did they wait for Mr. or Ms. Ghost hunter to show up? Why not haunt the new Holiday Inn down the road? Why not hitch a ride to the local bar? Better yet, why not haunt your favorite celebrity? Maybe retire in Cancun, maybe
MYTH- Paranormal Teams that claim to have experience in all types of hauntings. Real hauntings are random and different with each case. Since there are no true and documented base lines for activity, these teams are suggesting that their science is based off random activity, probably searched on the internet and based off other myths. Nobody out there has experience with “all types” of hauntings. There is no type. Paranormal is not common and it’s not yet proven enough to categorize.
MYTH- More years in the field equals more knowledge. It seems that people that suggest they have more time in the field know more? Well, think of it this way. Mr. or Mrs. Super Smarty Pant Ghost Hunter is taking a report, building a case and taking it seriously from a person that has had very limited time in the field. The person they are trusting did nothing but witnessed something they could not explain and the smarty pant ghost hunters believe and want to believe everything this inexperienced person has just thrown at them. Here is the kicker with this myth. The person without any “time spent” in the field just witnessed full blown apparitions, moving objects and watched their dog float across the room. Ms. Smarty pant ghost hunters on the other hand are getting NOTHING out of the investigation. Who’s the better person here? Um… my vote is for the witness. They watched paranormal activity take place, Mr. Smarty pants are just hoping that it happens for them and their ghost hunting team. Years in the field does not make a ghost hunter smart, experienced or even half way correct. It’s very easy to regurgitate information passed on by other not so smart or even less knowledgeable ghost hunters out there. I have met researchers that have been in the field for a couple of months and they have more knowledge, common sense, skepticism and critical thinking skills than those that have many years in the field. It’s not how much time is spent, it’s how the time has been used is what counts.
FACT- If a person has spent more than five years active in the field of paranormal research/ghost hunting. They typically have evolved into a skeptic. They may still believe in ghosts but they are not easily convinced anymore. If a team or person seems to be gung ho and haunting happy, chances are they have an agenda that is not related to the truth? That agenda may be a TV show, popularity, fan base and website hits, Truth not so much.
MYTH- Ghosts can read our minds? HAHAH that’s just dense. Of course the ghosts were psychic or became psychic mind readers when they died? Perhaps they can enter our brain waves and become telekinetically in tune with our psyche and transparent consciousness… okay I will stop there. Why would they be able to read our minds? Because, ghost hunters believe in myths, that’s why.
MYTH- You can learn to be a ghost hunter by watching TV. Well, this is actually true. Today’s ghost hunters are TV trained. But a excellent ghost hunter/paranormal researcher probably does not watch paranormal TV because they are not that dim-witted enough to mimic an entertainment based TV show… If you do watch TV shows that teach you how to be a “ghost hunter”, please keep it at home or utilize it as a party favor. There is much more to paranormal research than what is seen on a 30 min television show with commercial breaks. So, that myth is in the air?
FACT: A person can learn his or her ABC’s from watching
I hope this blog helps readers, skeptics and believers understand that there are many wrong things in this field. If they are not wrong than these myths need to be tested more and applied to logic. Today’s Ghost Hunters are no longer looking for supernatural phenomenon. They are doing nothing more than searching for incidences that they as a team are unable to explain. They are ignoring the possibility that someone else may have the explanation for these events. Just because one person is not able to explain it, does not make it a ghost.
FACT- Most ghost hunters are more afraid of peer review than things that go bump in the night. Here are more MYTHS submitted by real paranormal researchers: MYTH–Ghosts exist and we are studying them and we only need to find evidence to prove that which we believe. MYTH–Electronic gadgets provide this elusive proof of the afterlife. No…They only provide some readings that some paranormal researchers/ghost-hunters think support their beliefs. Period.- TonyaK
MYTH – All hauntings are because of a previous tenant, owner, breathing life has died and wants to be heard in the afterlife. – LoveYourself
MYTH – You have to take an expensive online class and receive a ‘Certification’ in order to ghost hunt!- Kristy
Myth- Simply because a large number of people believe something it is true, or exists.- ReapSow
Myth, if a paranormal investigation team uses a psychic this is evidence that the psychic is authentic- Chasing Midnight
Myth – When your batteries go dead on an investigation, regardless of type, it means that a ghost obviously stole your batteries power/energy to manifest more easily.- Amanda
Myth- All Cemeteries are haunted. Nobody dies in cemeteries, it’s just a place where the bodies go. It’s rude and disrespectful for ghost hunters to visit them. People do not DIE in cemeteries- TH
March 21, 2009
OK-PARACON2009- The Oklahoma Paranormal Conference is almost here!
visit www.ghouli.org for details.
For early bird tickets email email@example.com El Reno, OK @ Historically Haunted Elk’s Lodge. Book early and SAVE!
As you visit websites, hear or see teams present themselves to the public you will notice the phrase “we have an open mind” pops up. Other phrases that people should notice are “we believe”, “we can help” or the most classic “we want to find the truth”. There is a Catch-22 more than often as you learn more about today’s Ghost Hunting Teams and it’s not stopping.
Claims to believe? If a person makes the conscience choice to believe in such things as ghosts how exactly are they going to help out in certain unexplainable situations? They have already established that they believe in everything the “client” is willing to throw at them. Perhaps the phrase should be “we understand, for now”?
Not all paranormal claims can be explained. Therefore “helping” clients is nothing more than an exaggerated declaration made by teams that perhaps need to validate themselves. Making sense of the situation, well, in the real world, that is what we do. We attempt to make sense of the unexplainable events to make the, well, explainable.
Finding the truth is not as easy as it sounds. Truth is based off of facts. Let’s face it. The paranormal field as a whole has nothing factual about it. The only thing that may have a firm grip to reality could be history. But we all know, there is flaw in history, especially the history of brutal murders, suicides, hangings and so on. History is documentation presented by a persons opinion, especially when it comes to pulling history from newspapers, diaries, journals and of course witness accounts.The newspapers can only report so much. The truth is, there is no truth. There is opinion. This is what teams do. They visit locations, conduct an investigation and do nothing more than offer their opinions on the subject. Opinion is not fact. Yes, this even applies to me.
The truth may not be screaming banshees in the hallways or tapping on ones chamber doors. The truth may be that there are mice, rats, raccoons, electrical problems and of course over active imaginations of clients and ghost hunters.
Teams will throw in the phrase, “we have an open mind” usually hear during media stints and moments of public recognition. It bothers me to the fullest that I am skeptical about such things as “ghosts”, therefore I do not have an open mind? Having an open mind is also thinking outside of the realm, speculation and expectation of a location being haunted. It’s applying critical thinking and a rational mindset all of the time. In my years of research, I have noticed too many times that the phrase “open mind” has become converted to “one track mind”. It’s okay to believe, but there should be a stopping point when it comes to paranormal research. More and more teams show up to locations and find ghostly activity. They are either creating it themselves through unintentional taught hysteria or they have mastered the art of blind ignorance. The rare occasion that there may be something “ghostly” on the premises is now being overlooked by pure exaggerated ghostly greed and the closed mindset of one team’s protocol and methods of investigation.
Before anyone suggests that I may be harsh on this subject. I wanted to state. I do believe and I want to believe you. But, I want to think rational and apply critical thinking to help you make sense of your ghostly inhabitants. I want to witness what you have witnessed and to help others understand the importance of possibility verses proof of my opinion.
Not all things that go bump in the night are ghosts. The closed minded behaviors of teams across the nation and locally are creating more “ghosts” than working to find the truth that they are claiming to seek. In reality, they are not seeking the truth. They claim they believe. They just want people to believe them and their opinions.
A special thanks to a reader in Covington, OK that has submitted a photo for review. Over the years I have received countless photographs asking one simple question. Is this a ghost? It’s not that simple.
While reviewing suspected ghostly photographs there are many questions that arise. But there are five main questions I seek answers on when offering an opinion of a spectral snapshot. I invite you the readers to offer your own opinion on this photograph asking these five questions.
1. Why would there be a ghost in this photo?
2. Why did they take the photo in the first place?
3. Was it day or night?
4. Was the flash on or off?
5. What is lurking in front of the lens?
The information I received about this photo was limited but here it is.“This was taken in from of our house in Bartlett, TN three years ago. Weird. It was a beautiful night.”
As an investigator, I view photos a lot differently than most people. Even my own family photographs I catch myself inspecting them differently than non-ghost hunters. For quality, light source and sometimes unexplainable images. I along with many others see the photos a screen shot, separated by layers . The first layer is the image as a whole. The second is what is closest to the lens if a flash is being used. The third but not final image is the objects that are behind or in line with the “anomaly” featured in the photo. And last, sizing. Is the “ghost” too big or too small within the natural setting of the photograph?
Reviewing this photo I was instantly drawn to what appears to be smoke a.k.a. the suspected “ghost or angel”. The smokey image is not set back into the photo, in fact it is directly in front of the lens. I noticed the photo was taken at night of Christmas decorations. Christmas in Tennessee, I am pretty confident the weather was cold outside. It may have been a nice night, but it was probably cooler temperatures. I then noticed that the photo was taken in the dark, with a very bright flash. I highly recommend with nighttime photography or even spirit photography, refrain from using a flash at all times and it’s been suggested to that you invest in a tripod to eliminate the “smeared light” effects involving nighttime photography. Sure, you may get a lot of blank photographs, but at least you will not share with your friends and family that you “caught a ghost” and later be the laughing stock. The flash will illuminate anything and everything that is directly in front of the lens or within the flashes range. The flash then lights up whatever is there in front of the lens. In this case, it’s more than likely that it is nothing more than a deep breath captured in a photo. Moisture, cold breaths and even cigarrette smoke can, will and is destined to be mistaken as a ghostly apparition maybe even an angel. I will not get into “orbs” right now, that’s another blog for another day. But with orbs, the same rules apply but then you are getting into dust, dirt, dander, dry skin, fabric fuzz, pollen and even bugs. If they glow and have wings and you used your flash, it’s 99.9% of the time going to be a bug, not a fairy, angel or the spirit of tinkerbell.
Reflective sources- It’s important to not utilize flash photography into reflective sources. Day or night. Wallpaper, paneling, mirrors, doors, windows, glass, shiney wood, gloss paint, slick plastic, TV’s, cars and pretty much anything that reflects light. Turn the flash off!
In closing, to our Covington reader, I am sorry but you did not photograph anything supernatural at that time. It is my opinion that you captured a deep breath on a cold night. Sorry! You have a right to believe that you did of course, but at least you got a second opinion on a very controversial subject.
Do I believe that ghosts could be caught on camera? Sure! I have seen apparitions with my own eyes, so why not be able to capture one on camera, even video!
Until then, I will have to wait until the next ghostly photo arrives in my inbox! firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: I am not a professional photographer nor do I claim to be one. I do have a close affiliation with professional photographers that have allowed me to learn about photographic discrepancies that are often confused with “ghosts”. As readers submit photos I will explain more about spirit photography right here on this blog. From orbs to visual matrixing,with your help I hope to cover it all and to learn more about paranormal photography. I will even be analyzing my own old “ghost photos” from over the years. They were “paranormal” then, but today I may have a different opinion. Looking forward to your feedback, suggestions and of course your photos!
a.k.a Paranormal Eyes
PS- Want a comparison photo? Click below