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Ghosts & Hauntings

There’s More Than One Way To Define A Ghost

When you no longer believe everything you think, you become aware, and realize the thinker is not who you are.” -Eckhart Tolle

Tolle, a German-Canadian Spiritualist once called the most spiritually influential person in the world, was talking about overcoming, overpowering the ego.  His goal was to identify the self, to distinguish the thinker from the witness, with the hopes of releasing the “power of now”.  Whether you buy the premise or not, his words do get one thinking about the nature of who we are.

What is the self?  Where is it?  When you identify your inner-self as “I”, who, exactly, are you talking about?

Fundamental to this is a philosophical question that has vexed some of the greatest minds known to the world.  That is the question of the soul…and that is a big question.

Plato

Plato

 

Men like Socrates and Plato have tangled with this question, giving us our most popular stance on the issue, which is that the soul is the essence or “breath” of life.  It is the incorporeal occupant of our being.  It transcends death and is rooted in the supernatural, and provides the basis for the building of the afterlife.

The main tenet of the philosophy of mind is the concept of Dualism, which is the assumption that mental processes are not physical.  It says that there is a separation between the mind and the body, and that the soul is the seat of consciousness.

While the nomenclature of the philosophy of mind may not be familiar, its underlying point is one that is nearly universally accepted to be true among most religions and spiritual schools of thought, and is central to the lives of a majority of our population.  Humans have souls and souls are the essence of our being.

Variations on this theme exist, such as the Akashic Record or Akashic Field theory, which posits that our soul is actually a segment of an ethereal realm of information that our minds access remotely.  The theory, which you can read more about, says that this field informs our physical being, making us who we are, and that some people – most famously Edgar Cayce – have the ability to access more of the field, giving them knowledge of events and concepts outside of the self (i.e. psychic abilities like divination or prophecy).

Modern science however, has other ideas.  A good many scientists, in several fields, suggest that Dualism is pure superstitious nonsense.  Science holds to the primacy of Physicalism, which claims that consciousness is the product of neurology, of the neuro-chemical make-up and activity of the brain, and that the self or in Freud’s terms, the ego, are products of biological processes inside the brain.  This is the basis for an on-going theological debate:

“If many object to the idea that human identity emerges gradually during development, they’re most definitely going to find the idea of soullessness and mind as a by-product of nervous activity horrifying. This will be our coming challenge: to accommodate a view of ourselves and our place in the universe that isn’t encumbered by falsehoods and trivialising myths.” – PZ Myers

This debate questions the very foundation of religious or spiritual thinking, the idea that the soul is something to cherish and in the case of Abrahamic religions, a precious thing coveted by the forces of both good and evil in this universe.  These questions cast doubt on the main concept of religious doctrine, the afterlife.  It seems an almost silly thing to say, as few could miss the connection (though many do), but much of the paranormal, or at least what people think they know about the paranormal is derived from the concept of Dualism; specifically on the issue of ghosts.

Ghost-Girl-horror-movies-7213893-1024-768

Ghosts are the souls of dead people, trapped in the ethereal realm by whatever means.  They are the incorporeal manifestation of those who have succumbed to the ultimate outcome of life.  They are souls without bodies to occupy.  Such is the predominant belief about what ghosts are.  It is known as the Dead Person Hypothesis, and some believe that emphasis should be heavy on the word hypothesis.

What many seem to miss is the rather large assumption involved in the DPH, an assumption connected to the one made in Dualism, best illustrated through the following question: what if the self is only the product of neurology and the soul is a religiously inspired figment of our imagination?

What then are ghosts?  And what then of the afterlife?

Some see the DPH, which they hold to be true, as evidence that Dualism is correct, but this is putting the cart before the horse.  Because Dualism is not observed experimentally, but rather, through brain mapping and other neurological research, Physicalism experientially denies the existence of the soul, is there another explanation for the almost undeniable phenomenon of ghosts?

In fact there are many.

Whether one buys into the concept of psychic projection, or emotional imprinting, or time ripples, or even inter-dimensional weirdness, there is no shortage of ideas put forth in an attempt to explain what ghosts are.

quantum_physics

Some try to frame their hypotheses in the language of science, of physics, such as the Quantum Theory of Ghosts developed by Max Bruin PhD., which says that ghosts are “an impression upon the subatomic weave of the universe, created via strong emotion of a sentient observer.”

This may actually be supported by both theoretical and experimental data.  Biologist Dr. Bruce H. Lipton claims that the self is nothing more than the product of cellular cooperation.  In his book The Biology of Belief, he lays out the process by which the cells in our body sense, interact and communicate with their environment and with other cells, and he says that this collective relationship between the cells of our body are the foundation of consciousness. Another possible explanation for ghostly phenomenon comes out of this research, a sort of biological hypothesis, which you can read about here.

Others prefer a wholly metaphysical explanation, but each idea seems to be supported by some aspect of the widely varied phenomenon of ghosts.  For instance, emotional imprinting seems to be supported by the types of reported apparitions that play out like looped videos of past events, while psychic projection may explain poltergeist type activity.  Few of these speculations offer encompassing, comprehensive answers though.

Most, if not all of these hypotheses (not theories, look up the difference if you doubt it) are exercises in pure speculation.  They are un-testable ideas about a field of inquiry that science does not recognise as real.  In spite of this, the majority of the paranormal research community truly believes in the phenomenon of ghosts, and though the field isn’t exactly split down the middle on the issue of soullessness, there are a good number of researchers looking for non-traditional answers to some of these perplexing questions.

Something all researchers, especially those who call themselves Ghost Hunters should keep in mind, is that the DPH is only one of a great host of possible explanations for ghosts.  It is a hypothesis only, not a theory and certainly not a fact, and it does not necessarily deserve primacy in the face of such doubts.

Do ghosts exist?  Are they related in any way to the soul?  Does the soul actually exist?  These are huge questions that are unlikely to be answered in the near future and least of all in the musings of a casual blog post, but perhaps with the realisation that there is more than one way to look at the issue more people will begin to question the status quo.

 

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Reality show to be filmed in medieval “haunted castle” in Wales

British celebrities will take part in a reality show at the medieval castle of Grich in the city-county of Conwy (Wales), which, according to legend, is full of ghosts. It is reported by The Sun.

According to data from open sources, the castle was built in 1283-1289 by order of Edward I of England. For four years one and a half thousand people erected the fortress and walls. The castle is surrounded by a stone wall with round towers and loopholes. 

According to local residents, the ghost of the previous owner, Countess Dandonald, who died in 1924, wanders around the castle. According to legend, the woman’s spirit is angry because her husband took the valuables out of here. 

About ten years ago, a mysterious silhouette appeared in the photo, which was noticed on the first floor of the castle in the former banquet hall. In addition, it is rumored that objects are moving mysteriously in the castle. Also, fans of everything mystical believe that there you can meet the ghosts of gamekeepers and a maid who died after falling from a horse.

The creators of the reality survival show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! Became interested in the legends of the ancient castle, in which celebrities perform creepy tasks. 

The producers are delighted with Greich Castle. It is planned to spend almost 1 million pounds and six weeks to prepare the location for filming.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Loftus Hall is the most famous haunted house

Almost any house built 150 years ago is tempting to think of ghosts. Of course, if it was not restored beyond recognition. But a special pleasure is to visit, or at least look at photographs of a house in which ghosts are definitely found. Well, exactly: in the opinion of its owners and those who live nearby.

Loftus Hall is one of those. Even if, in the opinion of the locals, ghosts were not found in it, they would be worth inventing again – this is how the atmosphere of this gloomy house located on the windswept and washed by waves of the Hook Peninsula in the Irish County of Wexford has to do this.

But, before we tell you what is so paranormal in this Loftus Hall, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with real historical events related to the house. Moreover, they are worthy of attention without any devilry.

Photo # 2 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

We can say that the history of the house began in 1135, when the Norman knight, Raymond Le Gros, landed on the peninsula. To assimilate faster, the knight renamed himself the more familiar to the Irish ear by the name Redmond.

The castle, built by the knight, stood for two centuries, until in 1350 the descendants of Redmond built a new house in its place. It is interesting that they were building right during the Black Death – a plague pandemic that arrived in Ireland by ship from Bristol a year earlier. The new house, Redmond Hall, was named.

Photo # 3 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photo: Shutterstock

Three centuries later, in 1650, the house became the site of one of the fiercest sieges of the Irish Uprising. The owner of the house, 68-year-old Alexander Redmond, with his two sons, a couple of local activists and a tailor who happened to be in the house at an unfortunate time, barricaded himself and bravely repulsed the attack of almost 90 British for several days. 

In all fairness, most of these Englishmen have crawled into neighboring villages, indulging in robbery and violence, instead of laying siege to an impregnable home.

The attack was repulsed with the help of the Irish forces arrived in time, which attacked the British under the cover of a thick fog, which in time fell on the Hoek Peninsula.

According to local chronicles, Alexander repelled several more attacks. When the British nevertheless conquered Ireland in general, and Redmond Hall in particular, Cromwell even let Alexander die in peace in his own house – for his courage.

Photo # 4 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

Well, after the death of Redmond, his relatives were evicted from the house and soon the house was sold to a family of Englishmen named Loftus, who live nearby. 

Subsequently, the Redmond repeatedly tried to sue Loftus Hall back, but to no avail. But as compensation, they were given land in the neighborhood.

The Loftuses moved rapidly up the court stairs. If in the 18th century the head of the family was called Baron Loftus of Loftus Hall, then already in 1800 the title of Marquis of Eli was created especially for the Loftus.

Actually, the 4th Marquess of Ely gave the modern look to Loftus Hall. A major renovation was undertaken by the Marquis in the second half of the 19th century: he very much hoped that Queen Victoria would come to visit. After all, the Marquis’s mother was her maid of honor!

Photo # 5 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

The Queen never came. But the 4th Marquis of Ely became the owner of a luxurious house with such unprecedented conveniences as flush toilets at that time. And, alas, the owner of huge debts. Soon the house had to be sold and its wanderings began among different owners.

In 1917, the house was sold to the monastery order of the Sisters of Providence. In 1983, the house was converted into a hotel. Well, in the early 2000s, it was acquired by the Quickly family. In 2020, it became known that the house was again put up for sale. Moreover, Quickly emphasize that they will not choose a new owner, but “the house will choose him.” And that’s why…

The story of how the devil sailed to Loftus Hall and what happened after his visit dates back to the 19th century. It sounds like this.

On a cold rainy night, a dark-robed rider rode up to Loftus Hall on a dark horse. He said that his ship was caught in a storm and had to dock in a nearby bay. The Loftuses were away, the family of their distant relatives, the Tottenham, lived in the house. They sheltered the rider and offered him shelter and bread.

Photo # 6 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

Tottenham’s daughter, young Anna, immediately fell in love with a mysterious stranger. A couple of days later, in the evening, everyone sat down to play cards. During the game, Anna dropped the map and, bending down to pick it up, saw that the stranger had cloven hooves instead of legs.

The stranger realized that he had been discovered. He immediately soared up, surrounded by devilish flames – and, as expected, made a huge hole in the roof.

It would seem that the devil is expelled, you can live on. But Anna, after the disappearance of the stranger, became not herself. She went crazy by leaps and bounds. The family, frightened by this development of affairs, locked the girl in her favorite sewing room.

There Anna sat, almost motionless, clasping her knees with her hands and soon died. 

According to another version of the legend, before her death, she managed to give birth to a child – that is, the devil did not lose time during two days in the house. 

Anna was not buried in an ordinary coffin: they could not straighten her and buried her in a sitting position, in which she spent the last months of her life.

Since then, according to numerous testimonies of guests and owners of the house, ghosts of a girl have been walking around the house. And the house itself has become a place of attraction for lovers of everything paranormal and creepy – excursions, especially popular on Halloween, are regularly conducted in Loftus Hall.

If you consider yourself a mystic, but do not have the opportunity to visit Loftus Hall yet, we recommend watching the gothic horror film The Lodgers 2017. It is filmed entirely in the luxe and eerie interiors of Loftus Hall, and has received excellent critical reviews. Here’s the trailer:

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Ghosts & Hauntings

The ghost of the Haycock Manor Hotel: a beautiful legend about a frequent visitor to an ancient building

For decades, the Haycock Manor Hotel, located in the small English village of Wansford, has attracted tourists by claiming to be the home of the ghost of Queen Mary Stuart.

Mary of Scotland, aka Mary Stuart, according to legend, visited the Haycock Hotel on the way to Fotheringay Castle, where she was executed. Why, in this case, she chose a hotel in a small village as her last refuge , and not a stone castle, is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, visitors to the hotel claimed to have seen the ghost of Queen Mary, the Mirror writes.

The last resting place of Mary Stuart

Because of her intrigues against Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart was put on trial and sentenced to death, which took place at Fotheringay Castle. On the way to the castle, Mary of Scotch stopped at the Haycock Hotel.

Mary Stuart

Despite the fact that the woman spent only one night in the hotel, this is the place she, for some reason, decided to choose as her last home. At least that’s what those who encountered her ghost say.

Manifestations of supernatural powers

Many of the hotel guests, who ventured to spend the night in the last refuge of Mary Stuart, complained about strange things that happened to them.

Some guests claimed to have seen a ghost, which they identified as Mary of Scotland. Why they were so sure that the ghost was exactly Mary Stuart is not clear, because the history of England has a large number of women rulers, and it is simply impossible to remember them all.

Other hotel guests recall seeing an obscure ghostly cloud-like figure in the oldest part of the hotel. They also shared that they often encountered the feeling that there is someone else in the room – someone who cannot be seen, but can be felt.

Hotel Haycock

Guests also reported that they heard quiet voices and footsteps, although there was no one else in the rooms.

Despite the fact that such stories can scare ordinary people, they are not of interest to real seekers of the paranormal, since they can easily be explained by the dilapidated state of the building.

haycock hotel

Haycock Manor is currently closed for renovation, which means that if the phenomena of supernatural forces could be explained by the state of the hotel, then after the renovation they should disappear.

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