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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

Story Of The Ghost Priest Of St. Nicholas Church

This story, of a ghostly priest in Saint Nicholas Croatian Roman Catholic Church in Millvale PA. is one of Allegheny County’s most famous tales.

The story began when an artist was hired in April of 1937 to paint a mural on the walls of the church. On the second night he was there he heard a sudden long sound come from the organ in the back of the church.

On the fourth night, he glanced at the alter below him and there was a figure of a man in black moving and raising his arms and making gestures in the air. The artist assumed it was the priest who hired him to paint the murals and dismissed the incident. Unfortunately, that was not the end of it.

On the eighth night at about midnight, the specter appeared again. This time walking slowly down the main aisle of the church, mumbling rhythmically as if he was “praying”. For a while he walked along the aisle, then disappeared.

This time the artist asked the priest if he had been in the church. The father had not – and had been asleep since nine that evening.

The following nights the priest decided to come into the church and stay with the artist until quitting time. The following evening the priest verbally taunted the specter with a summons to appear.

Soon the men heard knocks emanating from the back of the church. Soon after they saw an old man in black sitting in the fourth pew. He was there for a moment – then vanished. That night the priest also reported hearing knocks or clicks in his room.

As the artist continued his work the old man in black appeared again, this time moving down the aisle toward the altar where they saw him blow out the light of the eternal flame. In eight years that light had never been extinguished.

The spector appeared throughout the job-for two months, usually around eleven or twelve midnight. Sometimes he would burn candles on the chandelier in front of the alter.

Local people report that the haunting continues to this day. The current priest of St. Nicholas has said that his German Shepherds jump and bark furiously around something leading to the front door of the church, and always around 11 o’clock. He refuses to enter the church after a certain hour.

It is believed that the spirit of the old priest haunts the church because he stole money from parishioners and neglected priestly duties and has returned to make amends. Whatever the case may be, if you find yourself in Millvale PA, this is one church you may want to avoid.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

This Terrifying Haunted House Will Give You $20,000 If You Can Make It to the End — but No One Ever Has (Video)

McKamey Manor in Summertown, Tennessee may lay claim to being the world’s scariest haunted house. It’s so scary that no one has ever completed it — but if you do, you’ll win $20,000.

All it costs to enter is a bag of dog food. Russ McKamey, the owner and mastermind behind the manor, has five dogs to feed.

The haunted house has several eye-popping preconditions. Contestants who want to enter must get a letter from their doctor asserting they are physically and mentally fit, and there’s a drug test day-of. Signing the 40-page contract alone takes three to four hours. Oh, and you have to have medical insurance because you’ll probably get hurt.

“I’m a very straight laced conservative guy, but here I run this crazy haunted house that people think is this torture factory, fetish factory,” McKamey told local news WFLA. “All of these things that it’s not, but people believe that based upon the films that I have made.”

McKamey concocts each “show” for every individual contestant who visits, cooking up particular stunts and tasks suited to their particular fears. It’s been featured on the Netflix show Dark Tourism and Haunters: The Art of the Scare.

McKamey is adamant that nothing weird goes on in the manor, despite a report from The Guardian that said visitors may be “bound, masked and held under water, slapped and stomped on, and compelled to eat your own vomit” during the eight-hour tour — if they last that long. McKamey insists it’s a more of a “mental game” between him and contestants, which he wins using hypnosis.

Each contestant’s entire journey through the manor is filmed, which McKamey says is to protect himself against false accusations.

“When I use the hypnosis I can put you in a kitty pool with a couple inches of water and tell you there’s a great white shark in there, and you’re gonna think there’s a shark in there,” he told WFLA. “And so, when you have that kind of power over people, and have them do and see things that you want them to see, then they can leave here thinking it really happened, and they’ll go to the authorities and say, ‘oh, whatever,’ and I have to come back and show the footage and say, ‘it didn’t go that way at all.'”

There’s also a required two-hour video you must watch if you think other people are sissies and you’re made of stronger stuff. “And Then There Were None” is one hour and 48 minutes of people giving up the haunted house, telling the camera and future visitors “you really don’t want to do this.”

If you think you’ve got what it takes, you can contact McKamey online to set up your own terrifying tour. For something a little less terrifying, here are houses with haunted pasts you can visit without signing away your life.

(Source: Travel And Leisure)

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Ghost of a child is filmed at an English Pub

A security camera in the Lamb and Lion pub in York, England, has filmed what many believe to be a ghost of a child.

The apparition was spotted by assistant manager Lee Smith while checking through footage and has left him creeped out.

The video shows the apparition come through the doorway as a waitress clears the tables. The waitress seems oblivious to it.

There has been a number of reports of paranormal activity in the pub including hearing a child crying in the room above.

Lee has worked in the pub for four years. He claims the footage is unedited.

He said “The camera is close to the bar area and I was round there setting up after breakfast.

“I was checking the CCTV to see where my colleague, Molly was as we were cleaning and preparing for the day ahead.

“I saw the outline of what appeared to be a ghost which caused me to jump back shocked, thinking ‘what on earth is that?’

“Molly walked past none the wiser, so I called her and she came and looked at the footage. She was as startled as I was.

“She did say she thought I was in the room with her and felt someone behind her. I don’t believe in ghosts but that footage is pretty convincing.

“A lot of people are saying it’s the light glaring through the window and someone said it could be cobwebs but there aren’t any.

“It looks like a small girl in a dress. It was very strange, especially with Halloween this weekend. A few other colleagues have reported ghost sightings in the past so maybe it’s the building.”

What do you make of it?

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