More Americans Believe in Ghosts, Not Fewer

Full moon - ghostly sceneA decade ago, most scholars claimed that about 50% of Americans believed in ghosts or related paranormal phenomena.

Since then, those numbers may have increased. Here’s the news story:

MSU Professor: Belief in Ghosts and Other Paranormal is Strong – KEYC

“Studies indicate that 75% of Americans believe in at least one of the supernatural phenomenon surveyed, and while scholars over the last century have been predicting that believes in things such as ghosts and hauntings would dissipate as a result of the increasing efficacy of science, technology, and education. That’s just not proven true at all,” said Sociology Professor, Dennis Waskul.

Read more …

I wonder if the recent focus on “fake news” makes people less confident about supposedly reliable resources.

Left to trust their own instincts, perhaps some people realize that ghosts might be real, after all.

One intense encounter — or even an eerie experience — may be all it takes to tilt the scales from “skeptic” to “believer.”

ghostbat

Also in the news: Syfy may have cancelled Ghost Hunters, but other ghost-related shows continue to feature lesser-known haunts.

It’s smart to know what will be featured on TV, if you want to investigate a site before the energy is diluted by a fresh stream of eager, aspiring ghost hunters.

Here’s a former Ohio school that sounds interesting.

Haunted old Butler County school to be featured on national TV – Hamilton Journal News

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:27:04 GMT

Hamilton Journal News – Haunted old Butler County school to be featured on national TV. Poasttown Elementary, a former Madison Twp. school building that is now the home of Darrell and Brenda Whisman, will be featured on…
Read more …

Of course, I still recommend your own local research, to find unexplored haunts with powerful ghostly energy.

[MO] Joplin Team – Apparition Video

You’ll see two possible anomalies in this video.  One is an interesting orb.  The other is something that might be an apparition.

The Joplin Paranormal Research Society (Missouri) don’t claim that the orb is a ghost.  Of the two anomalies, I think the orb is more credible to someone who wasn’t there at the time.

The orb appears and then backs away.  It’s clear and large, and the right shape and density to be interesting.

However, it might be something reflective that drifted in and was pushed back by… well, I wasn’t there. A fan could do it, a door opening and closing, someone moving abruptly enough to cause a slight breeze, and so on.

But, after my intensive research into orbs and how easy they are to fake (or mistake) with dust, moisture, reflections, etc… this orb could be paranormal.

On the other hand, the apparition looks like someone walking in front of the camera.  It catches the light.  It’s too solid.

That’s exactly what makes this credible.  Unless the Joplin team are terrible investigators, had temporary amnesia, or are trying to promote a hoax, that figure is something paranormal.

(Yes, as the author of the popular article, Scams and Con Artists, I know that audacious lies fool us most often.  Nevertheless, I’m taking this video at face value.)

Does the video show a ghost?  Maybe.

I’m raising an eyebrow because — as I said earlier — it’s too solid.  That doesn’t mean it’s fake, but I wouldn’t rule out other paranormal explanations.

And, for that reason, assuming this was a real anomaly, I’d be very cautious about returning to that location.  It might be malicious.

All in all, this is an interesting video.

Originality (assuming it’s real)

4-stars

Credibility (combined, of either anomaly – the orb or the figure)

3-stars

[MI] Eloise: The Asylum that Started It All

“Eloise: The Asylum That Started The Whole Mess” (above) is not a ghost video, it’s a tribute, and a downright chilling one.  The really creepy part..? It’s not hyperbole.  The information in that video can be confirmed.

Watch it before the videos about ghosts at Eloise, Michigan.

This site was first a stagecoach stop, the Black Horse Tavern. Then it was purchased and turned into a poorhouse, and then became a medical facility.  In its various incarnations it was a sanitorium for victims of tuberculosis, and a mental hospital.  Its names included the Eloise Infirmary for the Sick and Elderly, and the Eloise Hospital for the Insane.

Several locations associated with Eloise sound as if they should be haunted.  In fact, I’d expect this to be one of the creepiest haunted hospital sites in America.

More history of Eloise:

“Eloise: Mostly a memory” (This video is no longer available at YouTube. I’m keeping this note here, in case it returns. It was a great history.)

Next, “Spirit Caught on Camera In Haunted Eloise Asylum” includes highlights of a brief investigation inside Eloise – Visual anomalies, some clear Ghost Box responses, and lots of NSFW language from the investigators.  It’s a good balance of evidence.

Next, a daytime tour by the Dearborn Paranormal Research Society of Michigan.  Sound quality is challenging to listen to, dialing the levels up and down, but the information is excellent.

“Eloise Mental Hospital – Ghost Hunters” isn’t the Ghost Hunters’ TV show; it’s a news report by a startled reporter who — apparently — didn’t really expect to encounter anything at Eloise.

Parody? The next video includes a daytime tour by Michigan Paranormal Investigators, interviews about (fictional) Patient 626, and a night-time investigation with impossibly clear EVP.  This is how many “ghost stories” are created.  In five years, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about genuine phenomena related to the invented patient’s ghosts.

And now, only to better understand what you’ll find at Eloise, the next video series looked like a Ghost Hunters parody. Mostly, it showed foolhardy investigating, with some inaccurate history thrown in.

These 12-year-old kids may have encountered some paranormal activity. But, they made such serious research blunders, it’s impossible to sort fact from fantasy.

The worst part is: They’re clearly breaking the law. This kind of prank is unacceptable and it gives serious ghost hunters a bad name. (Two words: No trespassing. How smart does anyone have to be, to understand what that means? Yes, it’s a rhetorical question borne of frustration.)

[Update: These YouTube videos seem to be online, but can be viewed “by permission only.” I’m leaving the descriptions here in case that changes.]

  • Part One – Stylish introduction, and a quick daytime tour of the key locations at the Eloise site.
  • Part Two – More criminal trespassing. The smokestack building doesn’t seem especially haunted to me, but the visual imagery is impressive. It’s ideal for photographers who like abandoned sites. I’m not convinced that this part of the complex is worth paranormal research.
  • Part Three is more of the same. It shows more criminal activity no 12-year-old should try… or anyone of any other age, either. Mostly, the video shows a bunch of kids scaring themselves. The “reveal” (or summary) starts at 4:41 in the video, and some of the evidence is worth a second look. Unfortunately, this silliness erodes any credibility. That’s just one of many unfortunate aspects of what we see in these videos.

Resources for investigators

ties.

[OH] Otterbein Cemetery Tour

This video — “Haunted Cemetery – Ghastly Sounds…” — isn’t actually a “ghost” video, but a tour and history of an Ohio cemetery that’s definitely worth investigating.  We need more videos like this, to help ghost hunters find worthwhile sites.

However, I didn’t see or hear anything especially scary in this video.  Most of the night video quality is poor — weak sound and blurry camerawork — but that’s not what I was watching for.  In general, this video provided some good history and ghost stories, and enough of a subjective impression that I feel confident this is an active (ghostly) cemetery.

No, I can’t articulate why.  There’s a certain mix of sounds and silences, images and shadows… it adds up to a “gut feeling” about some locations.  Almost invariably, they turn out to be haunted.  I’m pretty sure this is one of those sites.  If I were in Ohio, near this cemetery, I’d visit it regularly for research.

In the video, the woman mentions some spooky sounds.  Maybe I missed them; the sound track isn’t great.

What I did hear — between normal, rural night noises — sounded like footsteps.  If the woman filming the video was alone, or her companions weren’t moving around while she was standing still… yes, those sounds are kind of spooky.

The mausoleum is definitely creepy.  It has that sterile/tragic combination that often marks a site that seems to attract shadow people.  I have no idea why.  It’s as if they need to fill in the void with their forms… but maybe I’m putting the cart before the horse.

All in all, this video got me interested in this cemetery, enough to compile some useful links if you’re investigating that site.  And then, I discovered another haunted cemetery with the same name, also in Ohio.

Resources if you’re investigating Otterbein Cemetery in Franklin Co.

Another haunted Otterbein Cemetery, in Perry County, OH

There’s also an Otterbein Cemetery in Darke County and one in Marion County, Ohio.

Originality – The person who filmed this didn’t let her video skills hold her back. Though the quality isn’t great, the information and the impressions I got from this video made it intriguing.  It’s also thought-provoking, because I’m trying to understand why I feel so certain that site is haunted… and has shadow people.

3-stars

Credibility (Doesn’t really apply. This is mostly a “this is the cemetery and what’s known about its ghosts” video.)

3-half-stars

GFI Poasttown Apparitions

This paranormal investigation video — “GFI Catches REAL Ghosts and Shadow Creatures on Video!” — includes two clips from Poasttown, Ohio.  The first one is good, but I’m not certain it’s ghostly. The second one… maybe I’m not seeing what others are.  Either way, this highlights how closely you need to study videos, to see anomalies in them.

Also, I recommend muting the music. (When I’m analyzing a video, I’d rather not be distracted by tinkling music.  However, I understand that most viewer probably aren’t going to dissect a video the way that I will, so the music is campy and kind of cool.)

nov2012-green-1822

Above is a screenshot from the corridor, when it’s normal.  This is at the end of the first clip.

Like most night-vision videos, the angle of the light, where the camera is focused, and normal shadows are always an issue.  Ditto matrixing… looking for form and meaning in something that’s merely odd (not paranormal) at best.

What I’m seeing is a door that has a window, and a somewhat reflective surface on the door itself.  The floor is shiny and reflective as well.  Both of these could explain what happened in this video clip.

The next photo shows the point that interests me the most.  In it, a shadow figure seems to cross in front of the door, below the height of the door handle.

nov2012-green-1816

It might be a normal shadow.  If someone ducked down and walked in front of the video camera, that could cast a shadow in the light, even though the person’s body wasn’t seen in the video.

Or, the shift in camera position could account for different lighting effects that simply look paranormal.

So, there’s nothing  conclusive here.

To get a better understanding of what I’m looking at, here are two annotated screenshots.

nov2012-greencorridor-300wiAt right, you’ll see a the 11:18:16 PM screenshot again. I’ve placed an oval over the areas that interest me the most.

(It’s dark. You may need to watch the video again, and adjust your screen settings to see it.)

I’m looking at a shadow that crosses in front of the door.  At its tallest, it’s about two feet, maybe two-and-a-half feet, tall. (Less than one meter.)

Then there’s the darker area in front of the door.

Let’s say it is an apparition or shadow figure.  The question is: Is the figure at the door, and it’s reflected in the shiny floor?  Or, is the figure nearly human-sized, but closer to the camera?

Simply, does the oval include the shadow figure plus its reflection, or does the oval include the entire figure, with no obvious reflection?

nov2012-green-shadow-arrowIncreasing the contrast didn’t answer any questions.  An example is at left.  The arrow points to the top of the shadow figure, as I see it.  (Others may see something totally different.)

Except that I discount what seems like easy matrixing, several other frames in this video offered some strange images.  One looked exactly like a line drawing of a head and torso, extending all the way up to the window in the door, and the shadow was in front of it.

Also, I can see a variety of figures — some upside up, some upside down — in the reflection or possible shadow figure in front of the door.

They’re adding speculation on top of out-on-a-limb speculation.  That doesn’t mean they’re not real, or actually there… those images simply aren’t credible enough to include as evidence of… well, anything.

But, let’s not get that serious.  I think it’s important to as “what if…?” about even the threadiest evidence. (And, frankly, this video is better than many — and maybe most — that I see.)

You never know where the questions will lead.  They may not apply to the evidence in question, but they may trigger ideas for fresh investigation techniques, or new things to check for in old evidence.  (This is why I urge people never to delete old photos, videos, or EVP recordings.)

So, let’s say that the shadow figure is directly in front of the door.  Why would it be that small?

Here are a few explanation:

1. The ghost is walking on a level that existed in his lifetime, and only his upper body extends above the current floor.

I’ve seen this phenomena among apparations in homes where the floors changed, due to a structural change in the building.

For example, when a Victorian home (with high ceilings) is converted so the attic becomes a new living space — by lowering the floor — or the height of the foundation changes (common in homes renovated after flooding), the ghosts may be walking where the old floor was.

(Similar reports around York, England, describe half-bodies of Roman soldiers, still marching where the ground used to be, but it’s been filled-in, since.)

2. It’s a faerie.  Some of them, especially in categories like gnomes, are about two or three feet tall.

3. It’s another kind of entity, also small in stature.  (See my book, Ghosts – What They Are and What They Aren’t.)

At this point, as a researcher, I’d need more evidence to be sure that this video is showing something paranormal.  I’d need simultaneous EVP, or regular flash photos capturing the figure, or additional videos with the same phenomena.

This video is odd enough to make additional research a priority.  Something seems to be casting the shadow, but — without further evidence — it’s difficult to tell if it’s a normal shadow, a shadow figure, or something else.

mouse-in-hallThe second segment of this video confuses me.  Maybe I’m not looking at the correct area in the video, because what I’m seeing doesn’t look paranormal.

It looks like a typical evening in our Florida kitchen, when we were dealing with mice that looked disturbingly like Mickey Mouse.  (When I set them free, far from our house, I think they just returned to my kitchen, rather than heading to Disney World.)

In this video, I see something rush out, pause, and then rush back into the wall or a doorway.  To me, it looks like a mouse or a rat… a rodent with large-ish ears, whatever it is.  Varieties of mice with ears this large include Gremlin mice.

That’s an enlargement of the screenshot, at right.  To me, it looks like a mouse on his hind legs, with his ears at full alert, watching the person in the doorway, further down the hall.

At the correct angle, with the lighting “just so,” this mouse could look like the one in the video.
At the correct angle, with the lighting “just so,” this mouse could look like the one in the video.

Then, he drops back down on all fours, and scurries back to the room or opening where he’d emerged from.

Of course, in this kind of video, with a really shiny floor, it’s difficult to evaluate the figure’s height.

Maybe the anomaly is something else in the video.  I’ve watched it several times, and the mouse attracts my attention every time.

If there’s something else in this video that I’m not seeing, please let me know.  I’d hate to miss a really good anomaly.

Fiona’s “Scary Ghost Videos” analysis

The first segment in this YouTube video shows something odd enough to make follow-up investigations imperative.  Though I can explain the shadow in a variety of ways, I’d want to go back and test them:

  1. Have someone cross in front of the camera, but just beneath the lens, to see if that creates a similar shadow.
  2. Deliberately film from a variety of angles, filming constantly, to see what happens with shadows and reflections as the focus and angles of light vary.

The second segment — the b&w one — the activity at the left side of the screen looks too much like a mouse or a rat.  But, as I said, maybe I’m missing a truly interesting anomaly in another part of the corridor.

The take-aways from this video are:

  • Examine each video very carefully.  Sometimes, the anomalies are really subtle.
  • What you think you see in a video may be influenced by what you saw when you were at the site, or your teammates’ opinions.
  • When you post a video online, it’s good to include an arrow or other indication of where we’re supposed to look.  That’s not mandatory or even typical, but in this situation, it might have been helpful.  But, I know that other people don’t want to point to what looks anomalous to them, so any comments weren’t helped with clues.

Originality

3-stars

Credibility

3-half-stars