Fri, 21 May 2010
Ontario is far more paranormal than most people realize. Ghosts, Bigfoot sightings, UFOs, and more make this a great destination for researchers.
In this 18 1/2 minute podcast, Fiona talks about some haunted sites she explored during the May 2010 G.H.O.S.T.S. Conference hosted by Margaret Byl and her team.
Fort George - Here, Fiona burned through four sets of camera batteries in a little over an hour, taking just 89 photos. This 1802 fort is known for apparitions and paranormal encounters.
Fort Mississauga - This 1814 fort was built to replace Fort George when the older fort was captured by U.S. forces in 1813. Fiona encountered residual energy in the basement, cold spots around the first floor, and noted considerable activity in the top floor/attic. Outside, she saw two full apparitions, one in costume.
Link: Fort Mississauga (part of the Fort George National Historic Site)
The Prince of Wales Hotel at Niagara-on-the-Lake was where Fiona participated in an eerie seance that involved more active participants (on both sides) than expected. Spirits were named George, Ben, Cindy or Cynthia, plus an entity with a frog-like appearance.
This elegant Victorian hotel is a charming location for a good night's sleep during your visit to the area. You can stay here without any worries about troublesome spirits.
However, it's also a very powerful setting for seances, if (and only if) you choose to participate in one. This is not recommended for novices or anyone easily frightened. Spiritual protection is advised if you attempt a seance. Fiona strongly discourages use of a Ouija board in this location.
Hotel link: Prince of Wales Hotel, Ontario
Gordon Ellison, from The Guidance Within
... and about 40 additional guests of the G.H.O.S.T.S. conference
To see photos from this weekend, visit HollowHill.com
Music for this podcast was Zombie, written and orchestrated by Devin Anderson
Fri, 7 May 2010
What new and what's "old" in ghost hunting?
TRENDS AND POPULARITY
Fiona Broome explains the latest ghost-related trends, based on search volume at Google:
"Ghosts" have been declining in popularity since October 2004. Interest peaked over five years ago.
"Ghost hunters" gains and loses popularity, based on interest in the show of the same name. Search volume for "ghost hunters" reached an all-time high at Google in October 2009, and Google predicts that 2009's levels will continue through 2010.
"Demons" spiked in May 2009, and then resumed its usual lackluster performance at Google.
By contrast, "demonology" began attracting interest in September 2009, and has maintained popularity with an overall upward trend.
"Paranormal" surged in popularity in October 2009 with the release of "Paranormal Activity." A slump in searches quickly followed, but we're now seeing a gradual increase as more people choose to say "paranormal" rather than "ghosts."
NEW PEOPLE IN GHOST HUNTING
Fiona is receiving more interesting emails and good questions. She believes that many bright people are new to ghost hunting, having avoided the field during its trendiest years.
Other interesting emails are from people who were too young to get involved with paranormal research in 2004 and earlier, when interest in ghosts was at its peak.
Those are the two groups of new ghost hunters not included in the Diffusion of Innovations theory. (According to that theory, innovators and early adopters are involved at the start of any trend or fad. Later arrivals aren't as likely to think in original terms.)
Though there are many people arriving on the ghost hunting scene now, thinking it's the "cool" place to be, Fiona's readers (and listeners) seem to be original thinkers and innovators, ready to take ghost hunting in new directions.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Question: Will a rock salt gun work against dangerous ghosts?
Fiona's answer: Probably not. That was a plot device on a (fictional) TV show, Supernatural.
Rock salt guns are used for riots and crowd control. Salt is used as a ghost repellant, but it's simply something that ghosts seem to avoid. Using it in self-defense seems silly; ghosts don't have physical bodies in our world -- or they don't seem to, anyway -- and a physical weapon is unlikely to have any impact... literally.
Besides, there are annoying ghosts and territorial ghosts, but no truly dangerous ghosts. Not by intent, anyway. (Some pranksters cause harm, but it's usually unintentional and not severe.)
Question: What's the scariest ghost you've ever met?
Fiona's answer: I've never encountered a scary ghost. Ghosts are just people without physical form in this reality/realm/world.
I'm not comfortable around certain non-ghost entities and energies that seem to be at a few "haunted" locations -- including Vale End Cemetery in Wilton, NH and the Falstaff Experience in Stratford-upon-Avon in England -- but those aren't ghosts.
I don't have "scary" ghost stories because I'm not afraid of ghosts, and I don't think anyone should be afraid of them.
Question: If ghosts are real and the evidence is so startling, why don't most TV shows include helping the people who have to live or work in the haunted places?
Fiona's answer: I like to think that most shows have a special team that handles that, after the cameras stop filming.
However, the before-show and after-show work isn't very interesting to watch. In many cases, it's tedious. Because people don't see that and don't realize what goes on, I wrote Is My House Haunted? to explain the steps to determine if a house is probably haunted.
Question: Why do people talk in English to ghosts that never spoke English? Also, why are most EVPs in English?
Fiona's answer: "Talking" to a ghost isn't so the ghost hears you -- if ghosts actually have ears that can hear in our world -- it's to improve your own focus and intent to communicate with the spirit. After that, it's all telepathy... sort of like silent prayer communicates "telepathically" with Deity.
People are most familiar with EVPs they've seen on TV. Since most ghost-related TV shows are for English-speaking audiences, they generally play English language EVPs.
However, several researchers report recording EVPs in other languages. So, I think there are plenty of non-English EVPs.
Question: If artifacts are such a problem (as skeptics claim) with digital cameras, why do TV shows use digital video cameras on ghost hunts?
Fiona's answer: There are two practical reasons to use digital video cameras on ghost hunts. One is economy; with tens of hours of footage from most ghost hunts, the cost would be prohibitive if we were using film.
The other benefit of digital media is that we can review it instantly, and debunk the apparent anomaly... or gather further evidence to support it.
However, I plan to use a film camera more often during my ghost investigations. We may photograph more anomalies and apparent evidence with digital cameras, due to how they perceive physical form, light and energy. However, a good photo supported by an unretouched film negative adds a lot to credibility.
Question: Are there any truly credible ghost photos? If so, where are they?
Fiona's answer: If you're looking for something that we can point to and say, "That's a ghost," I haven't seen that kind of photo yet.
However, I've taken (and seen) many photographic anomalies that defy explanation. Though I still won't say the anomalies are actually ghosts, those photos -- and other, supporting evidence -- suggest that something odd is going on at the location.
The supporting evidence is key, in my opinion. I never start with an anomalous photo and then decide that the site is haunted, based solely on a couple of odd photos.
For more information: Hollow Hill, the ghost hunting website
Music: Zombie, written & orchestrated by Devin Anderson