Ghosts are in the headlines again, ranging from new discoveries to well-loved folklore.
First, for those who love creepy “haunted doll” stories, this is an interesting overview of the subject:
In Honor of ‘The Boy’, an Unsettling History of Haunted Dolls in Movies
19 Jan 2016, by Emily Gaudette
“The trailer for The Boy teaches you a lot about a movie theater audience. Some people squirm, some laugh, some look like they’re being tickled with razor blades. Haunted dolls freak people out. This is presumably why people make movies about them.
“Historically, audience have reacted to haunted dolls with a bemused, concerned ‘Oh God!’ because the trope is both funny and disturbing. While the haunted dolls of horror cinema began as effective twists on childish images — in 1963, Talky Tina’s debut on The Twilight Zone stunned viewers — they now occupy a different space in the horror canon. What was once shocking is now laughably cliche, and making a haunted doll feel unique, not to mention scary, is a difficult feat.”
Next, for fans of classic ghost stories and haunted lore, the “Great Shippe” is a well-documented tale.
The Great ‘ghost’ Shippe sets its mysterious sights on New Haven
21 Jan 2016, Fox61
NEW HAVEN–One of the oldest tales in the history of Connecticut’s former colonies is that of the Great Shippe.
It set sail in January 1647 with hopes of a bountiful journey, but its return ended up being much more mysterious than expected.”
Speaking of ghost stories, I think everyone’s heard some variation of the “ghostly hitchhiker” story. We laugh at it, but — in Japan — it might not be so funny.
Taxi drivers in tsunami disaster zone report ‘ghost passengers’
22 Jan 2016, by Julian Ryall, Tokyo
Taxi drivers working in towns in north-east Japan that were devastated in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami are reporting picking up “ghost passengers”.
At least seven drivers in the coastal town of Ishinomaki, where nearly 6,000 people died after it was battered by tsunami more than 30 feet high, claimed to have encountered phantom fares.
I’ve investigated at the old hospital in South Pittsburg, Tennessee (USA), and it’s definitely an eerie place. My “gut feeling” is that the grounds are as haunted as the building interior. The site may have many unmarked graves, with related gruesome and tragic tales.
You can explore it yourself, as the following article explains.
Explore Old South Pittsburg Hospital in a Ghost Hunt
16 Jan 2016, Examiner.com
“Folks that enjoy the paranormal activity of old hospitals may have heard of one of the most haunted locations in Tennessee. Located in South Pittsburg, Tennessee the Old South Pittsburg Hospital opened its doors in 1959, and quietly closed in 1998 making way to a larger facility in Jasper, Tennessee. Ghost Hunts USA will be hosting a few ghost hunting overnight events in January and February 2016…
“The history of the land the hospital is built on may contribute to the haunting. During the Civil War, many soldiers from the Union and the Confederate are buried in the city cemetery. Early in the 1920’s there was a tragic fire to a plantation that once stood on the property. During the chaos on that night, seven children lost their lives to the fire…”
Finally, for those seeking new TV shows documenting ghost hunts, several have been announced. The following is just one of them.
Paranormal Lockdown: New Series With Ghost-Hunting Stars Groff and Weidman
15 Jan 2016, by Cindy McLennan
“Destination America’s six-part series PARANORMAL LOCKDOWN, hosted by paranormal all-star Nick Groff and co-hosted by seasoned ghost hunter Katrina Weidman, follows the two as they confine themselves in America’s most terrifying places for an unprecedented 72 hours straight. Living at haunted locations, many of which have never before been seen on television, some being investigated for the first time ever, Groff and Weidman believe that the longer they stay, the more the spirits will communicate with them and the more information they can gather about the unknown.”
My thoughts: while 72 hours in a haunted house sounds impressive, I’m pretty sure many Ghost Hunters episodes actually cover nearly as much time. It’s just edited to fit in a one-hour time slot.
Nevertheless, 72 hours straight… I can see benefits and liabilities there.
Yes, if there are any spirits at the site, they may feel more comfortable emerging, once they get used to the investigating team.
However, the lack of sleep — good, normal, sound sleep — could make investigators hypersensitive, or even lead to hallucinations. So, that reduces the reliability of their reactions… but it can also provide extra thrills for the audience.
The show’s credibility will rest on the producer’s decisions, as well as the expertise of the investigators.
That’s the news for now. If you have thoughts about any of these stories, share them in comments, below.