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Ghosts & Hauntings

What Do We Know (or Think We Know) About Ghosts?

Loyd Auerbach, MS

 

Possibilities we consider, and models we work with…

 Do people only “see” ghosts?

No.  They hear, feel and smell as well, often in combinations (seeing and hearing, feeling and hearing, etc.).

A ghostly figure can be:
a real person
a haunting (an “imprint” of people; a “recording” of sorts)
an apparition of the dead
an apparition of the living
a psychic perception
a trick of memory
a trick of perception
a blur brought on by infra-sound
an image caused by phantoms of the brain

 A ghostly sound can be:
a real sound
a haunting (an “imprint” of people; a “recording” of sorts)
an apparition of the dead
an apparition of the living
a psychic perception
a trick of memory
a trick of perception
an auditory hallucination caused by phantoms of the brain

 A ghostly smell can be:
a real smell
a haunting (an “imprint” of people; a “recording” of sorts)
an apparition of the dead
an apparition of the living
a psychic perception
a trick of memory
a trick of perception
an olfactory hallucination caused by phantoms of the brain

 A feeling of a presence or being touched by a ghost can be:
a misinterpretation of something going on in the body
a haunting (an “imprint” of people; a “recording” of sorts)
an apparition of the dead
an apparition of the living
a psychic perception
a trick of memory
a trick of perception
a kinesthetic hallucination caused by phantoms of the brain

 “Cold spots” and temperature drops, contrary to popular folklore, are not common with the presence of ghosts or in hauntings. The physical measurements of local temperature over the past 130+ years in investigations has yielded very few cases where an apparition or haunting was being experienced and the temperature has dropped. In fact, there have been some where the temperature rose a bit (though that could also be explained by the presence of too many investigators/bodies).

 People have experienced “cold chills” when also experiencing/perceiving a ghost or haunting, even though there was no measurable change in temperature in the room/location. That is attributed to either a psychic perception or a psychological perception resulting from otherwise experiencing something out of the ordinary.

 Why do some people become ghosts and not others?
Psychological need or desire (or fear of death, of what’s next) or denial (of death/dying)
Emotional drive to “stick around”
Appropriate environmental conditions (still under investigation)
Something related to spiritual/divine design????? (No way to know)

 What about hauntings?  How common?
If everything “records” info through time, there are haunts everywhere.

If environmental conditions need to be right for the signal to be recorded, there may be fewer haunts than we expect.

Environmental conditions ought to affect when and whether a signal is:
recorded “loud” (often meaning with lots of emotion at the time)
replayed “loud”

Psychic perceptions of the individual ought to affect when and how a person perceives haunting info

Environmental conditions and psychic perceptions together likely affect how and when a person experiences place memory/haunting phenomena

 What’s a typical ghost look like?
Generally Solid, almost always 3 dimensional, and always clothed (at least in our culture).

Hauntings may only provide part of a “picture” of a past person/event

Both apparitions and hauntings might only be processed/perceived partially by the witnesses. On occasion, this means sometimes people will see out of focus or even shadowy figures.

Apparitions often look better (younger and even sometimes healthier) than the person was at the time of death.  This appears to have to do with “self-image,” or how that consciousness that is the ghost thinks of himself or herself

Sometimes apparitions are seen from the top of the head down to mid calf or even just the knees.

Try this:  Close your eyes and picture yourself for about 10 seconds;

Note:  Don’t read any further until you’ve done that

Now recall what you visualized.

Do you remember the clothing you had on?  Interestingly, very, very few people in Western society would picture themselves in the nude.  Interestingly, ghosts are always “seen” with clothes on.

Do you remember what shoes you were wearing?  Were your feet even part of the visualization?  Probably not.  Again, this is interesting because occasionally ghosts are not “seen” all way down to their feet, which follows along with how we visualize ourselves.

 
Apparitions and hauntings are not seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, felt with the body or smelled with the nose.  In fact, it appears that the signal from the apparition and haunting is sent directly to some perceptual center of the brain or directly into our Consciousness, and added to the input from our senses.

It’s important to remember that ALL perception resides in the brain’s (or mind’s) information processes.  Data comes in from the senses.  Our minds/brains can add additional info to that data, or take data out or reshuffle it, so that what we perceive is not exactly what is really there.

So, additional information can be added to the mix from the senses and processed as sensory input.  Our eyes don’t see the ghost, but our mind does.  Our ears don’t hear him, but the mind does.  And so on…

Ghosts are typically not seen as orbs of light, as in the photos.  Generally, any visually perceived floating lights are looked at for other, perhaps unusual, explanations (such as ball lightning or earth-lights), mainly because there is no other apparitional experience/perceptions.

Most photos of “ghosts” on the Internet are actually photos of globe shaped orbs of light.  If these orbs are related to ghosts, they are more likely some effect the ghost has on the film or digital media than anything like a reflection (since cameras capture images from reflected light) of a ghostly form. Just like the camera captures images of reflected light bouncing off living people and other physical objects – which is how our eyes see as well.

However, with rare exception the orbs are reflections of the flash off some reflective, semi-reflective or even barely reflective (like a wet leaf or wood) surface or dust particle that does not even have to be in the frame of the image – just needs to be in range of the flash to provide a reflection back to the lens, or dust or insects in the air too close to the lens to see through the viewfinder.

Most of the photos now being identified by many as “ectoplasm” – apparent unusual white mists or even white smoky streaks and shapes – do not fit the original application of the term ectoplasm (spirit matter, usually extruded from the body of a spirit medium, and usually greenish and glowing). Again, they are taken with rarely any other apparitional experience/perceptions.

Most such photos are much more likely flash reflections of water/humidity in the air, or even the flash reflecting off moisture from the breath of the photographer (or other nearby investigator), especially when the external temperature is cool enough for the breath to be condensed (as it seeing your breath in the cold).

If an apparition/discarnate entity were involved, they are more likely some effect the ghost has on the film or digital media than anything like a reflection (since cameras capture images from reflected light) of a ghostly form. Just like the camera captures images of reflected light bouncing off living people and other physical objects.
For more information, see Loyd Auerbach’s books:

The Ghost Detectives’ Guide to Haunted San Francisco, by Loyd Auerbach & Annette Martin, 2011.

A Paranormal Casebook: Ghost Hunting in the New Millennium, 2005

Hauntings & Poltergeists: A Ghost Hunter’s Guide, 2004

 Ghost Hunting: How to Investigate the Paranormal, 2004

 ESP, Hauntings and Poltergeists: A Parapsychologist’s Handbook, 1986 (out of print, but a PDF version is available from Loyd Auerbach – email [email protected])

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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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