Ghost hunting
Posted: 28 December 2010 12:40 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi there smile

I realise I haven’t introduced myself yet but I just registered to post this question. Everything you need to know about me is in my profile.

For most of my life I’ve been told that a certain aunt of mine’s house is haunted by the ghost of a little girl. As an atheist and skeptic who is a disbeliever in astrology, homeopathy, auras, the idea of a soul and an afterlife etc., this is an idea that I’ve struggled to agree with.
Ever family member who has ever stayed over at her house has said they have seen something (an actual ghost), smelled (sulfur), heard (furniture being moved and footsteps), or felt (goosebumps) something. For the first time ever I’m going to be in a position where I can do a stake-out at their house this week should I so wish because my mother is house-sitting there while they’re visiting family for the holidays.

What I’m not sure about is whether I should do it at all or, if I choose to do it, what would be the best way to approach this rationally (if there is indeed a way of doing so).

Has anyone had any experience with this type of thing before? I’m worried that I’ve already been primed because I was raised on ghost stories, but I wish there was some way of getting an answer to this. This is one of the only gray metaphysical areas in my life at the moment and I would very much like for there to be a “yes” or “no” answer to this question, although I understand that that’s not the nature of this type of research.

Any advice would be appreciated smile I’m trying to avoid blindly accepting or blindly rejecting the possibility of ghosts and I would like to make an informed decision in either direction.

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Posted: 28 December 2010 12:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Joe Nickles and Ben Radford specialize in this field. They look for rational explanations for ‘hauntings’. Google their names, they both have a large body of work. It should be easy to find their articles online. wink

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Posted: 28 December 2010 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I personally would jump at the chance to “stake out” a “haunted” house!  The first thing you should do is like Asanta said, read up on some of Joe Nickle’s and Ben Radford’s investigations.  But really all I would do is keep my eyes and ears open, and if I did see or hear or feel something unusual, be very careful not to jump to conclusions about what caused it.  This is the big thing the Ghosthunters do wrong in my opinion.  They go in expecting that anything they experience (whatever they experience) is going to be proof of a “ghost”.  Just keep an open mind.

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Posted: 28 December 2010 07:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The problem is that there are all sorts of unexplained things in any house.  Temperature changes cause boards to creak making weird sounds, Mold in the old walls can give off interesting odors at times,  Lights can be reflected off of odd surfaces causing the appearance of “something”.  We are all prone to seeing things that appear to us as different from what they are.  Last night I was flipping channels and saw a flat landscape with a very strange scalloped pattern of black areas.  I did a double take to figure out what it was then saw it was a shot of sand dunes in a desert lit by a setting sun and the bizarre black pattern was merely the shadows on the dark sides of the dunes. 

We have to be careful to examine unknown noises, sights, smells, etc. very carefully to track down their causes rather than jumping to the conclusion of a supernatural event.

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Posted: 29 December 2010 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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if they ask you anything just say ” it’s unexplained by modern science,please wait for an unknown period of time until science can tackle this problem “

and your avatar is funny LOL

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Posted: 30 December 2010 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Science is quite capable of “tackling” the problem right now, Phi-, as Ben Radford and Joe Nickel demonstrate time and time again.

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Posted: 31 December 2010 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’ve read about Ben Radford he seems a rational and a true paranormal inquirer,but am wondering if he ever tried to explain The Mothman

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Posted: 03 January 2011 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Mothman was debunked years ago.  Sorry I don’t have links—I’m on my way out the door for work.  But, the flying creatures people say they saw were probably owls.

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Posted: 03 January 2011 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Phi- - 31 December 2010 10:48 AM

I’ve read about Ben Radford he seems a rational and a true paranormal inquirer,but am wondering if he ever tried to explain The Mothman

Ben Radford discusses Mothman on one of his MonsterTalk podcasts. You can look it up on iTunes. You can also probably find it by doing a google search.

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Posted: 04 January 2011 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hauntings (hallucinations) can also be caused by gas leaks (auditory/tactile hallucinations) and/or a certain frequency of vibration in pipes/fans/etc. (visual hallucinations).

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Posted: 05 January 2011 08:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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A house actually breathes, expands, contracts, shifts. Even if these changes are very small, the stress on the structure may well cause noises such as sighs, moans, screams. Pipes may hiss, gurgle, or bang. The waste system may cause smells and sounds. Wind can cause some very interesting sounds as it swirls around the house or cause tree limbs to brush against the house. If you live in a volcanic region you may well smell sulphur from small earth vents, even if those vents are not identified.

IMO, if these sounds and smells occur regularly, one may assume them to be the result of one or a combination of these causes. My interest would be peaked if things started moving by themselves or by purposeful movement of any unidentifiable lights or apparitions.

If you decide to do this research project, make precise notes of the condition of the house, outside environment, and weather. Take a position that will allow maximum view of the area you are investigating and remain perfectly still, even when there is an apparent occurrence (if you move, you shift angles and viewpoints, which may invalidate your observation). If anything unusual happens, make precise notes of the time and nature of the occurrence, temperature and weather conditions. Then when you have gathered all the evidence from an extended stay (week), sit down and analyze the data critically. That which defies any possible explanation, may then be named “unidentified”, which of course would make it a candidate for further investigation.

Looking forward to your report, if you care to share your experience.  Good luck.

[ Edited: 05 January 2011 09:41 PM by Write4U ]
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