4 Easy Ghost Photo Mistakes – Even pros make them!

It’s easy for anyone – even pros – to make mistakes with ghost photos.

That includes me. (Yes, really. Even now, it’s far too easy to blunder with ghost photos.)

Ghost Photos Mistakes

Here are the four biggest mistakes I’ve seen in the field:

  1. Thinking everything “weird” in a photo is a ghost. Sometimes, normal explanations apply… sometimes they don’t.
  2. Not taking enough photos. Each time you take a picture, take a second one, or more. Those extra photos can help you separate what’s normal from a genuine anomaly.
  3. Thinking we can explain all ghost photos as dust, bugs, rain, etc. No, we can’t. Some really are paranormal.
  4. Ignoring the context. Context and personal impressions may be the single most-important part of ghost research… and they can be the easiest to overlook.

Let’s go through those four points, one by one.  They’re things I’ve learned over decades of trial-and-error research at haunted sites.

Thinking Everything Is a Ghost

We can explain some orbs. The #1 culprit is flying insects.

Those orbs are usually an irregular shape, like an oval instead of a nearly perfect circle.

Indoors or out, regularly look at lights – streetlights, flashlights (briefly turned on), and other lighting. See if any insects are swarming or flying past.

If you see flying insects, be especially aware of orbs in your photos.

Even better, have a friend (or team member) stand to the side, but a little in front of you. Have him/her look for anything highlighted by your flash, when you take the picture.

And then, be sure to note that, either on a notepad or with a voice recording.

Likewise, dust happens. 

The way to identify something that might be dust, is to see if – in sequential photos or video – it falls straight down because of gravity.

A straight line across the photo could be a camera glitch, or a flying insect, but it’s unlikely to be dust.

On a humid or rainy night, you may see several dozen orbs in your photos. If all – or most – of your photos show a massive number of orbs, maybe it’s the weather. (Just one or a few orbs that show up now & then…? They could be paranormal.)

The weather isn’t the only culprit when you see a lots of orbs, or a fine (but mysterious) mist. It could be your breath, even if the weather isn’t especially cold. (Don’t exhale until after taking each picture.)

I wish I’d known the breath issue when I took the following Gilson Road photo. I might have done some on-site debunking, right away. (Instead, I’ll never know if this was a genuine anomaly.)

Weird photo from Gilson Cemetery

Always consider normal explanations, even if they seem a little weird at first. And test your cameras (including your phone) at not-haunted sites, to see what dust, pollen, reflective surfaces, and humidity look like.

The two worst culprits are flying insects and your own breath as you exhale. In photos, either of them can produce cool, weird, ghostly looking anomalies.

Not Taking Enough Photos

At any haunted location, it’s essential to take two to four pictures in rapid succession. Try not to breathe or move, in between those photos.

Then, you can compare one photo with another, to see what – if anything – changed. The changes might help rule out false anomalies.

Ghost Photos - context mattersAlso, be sure to pause regularly and take photos to your right, to your left, and in back of you. Later, they’ll help you identify sources of false anomalies.

(They may also show you unexpected anomalies. Not all ghosts strike a pose for the camera. Some might flee in the other direction… in back of you.)

Indoors, take photos in other, nearby rooms.

Outdoors, walk a few hundred yards away – or up the road – and take photos.

One of the big questions to ask when you see an anomaly in a photo is: Why this anomaly, at this location?

If the anomalies show up everywhere, even 1/4 mile up the road, it might be dust or humidity or insects.

If you see few (or no) anomalies anywhere else, and there’s no easy explanation… it might be a ghost.

Thinking All Orbs Can’t Be Paranormal

Ghost orb at Fort GeorgeMany skeptics (and ill-advised investigators) insist that all orbs are dust, pollen, humidity, rain, reflections, and so on.

I know because, before I tested how likely those explanations are, I insisted we could explain most orbs. (At the time, it seemed logical.)

Yes, I was wrong.

I feel terrible about misleading people about orbs, even if it was unintentional. Please accept my apologies if I misled you.

Today, we can’t just brush them off as dust, rain, etc.

Six years of testing, under a variety of conditions, showed me that. (Yes, I was so sure I was right, I kept testing. And testing. And testing… until I had to admit I was wrong.)

Here are a few of my test photos.

NOLA - Pirates Alley, on a foggy, rainy night
Rainy, foggy night with bright lights. No orbs.
Flash reflected in glass. Lots of glass & metal objects in shop windows. Traffic cone with reflective surface. No orbs.
Toulouse Street, New Orleans.
Another damp, foggy night. Lots of bright lights. No ghost orbs.

Where’s the Proof?

The fact is, if you set things up “just so,” you can mimic almost everything we consider paranormal. That includes:

  • Apparitions (tricks of the light)
  • Shadow people (didn’t notice a light source & reasonable shadow)
  • Doors that open & close by themselves (bad carpentry or the building’s foundation shifted over time)
  • UFOs (experimental or low-flying aircraft)
  • Bigfoot (big guy in a costume)

… and so on.

(But ghost orbs…? Not so easy.)

My point is: if you’re looking for 100% irrefutable proof that something is a ghost – or that ghosts exist, at all – you’re likely to be disappointed.

For now, the only real proof is how the experience affects people, or if – in the light of day – they can explain whatever-it-was with confidence.

Ignoring the Context

If your memory isn’t perfect, take notes during the investigation.

The context matters. What else was going on, when you took those photos?

Was everyone bored or unimpressed by the location?

If that didn’t change around the time you took the unusual photos, it decreases the likelihood .

However, if several things happened at once – to you, or those near you – like chills, an uneasy feeling, an unexplained noise – take your photos more seriously.

In recent years, people have relied heavily on evidence in the form of gadgets – ghost hunting equipment, usually electronic. They’ve paid less attention to their personal experiences and observations.

Or worse, they’ve dismissed them altogether.

The biggest mistake in ghost hunting – not just ghost photos – is ignoring what your own five (or six) senses are telling you.

Pay close attention to them, and you’ll be a better ghost hunter… and take better ghost photos.


Related articles at this website:

More ghost photos articles, online:

Ghost Hunting – 5 1/2 Pre-Investigation Steps

Did you know…? The very best place to start ghost hunting is at home. Here’s why…

It’s not because your home may be haunted. (Of course, it might be.  If you’re a ghost enthusiast, that could be a plus.)

It’s because you can learn so much that will be useful later, when you investigate the site.

And, nearly all of this research can be done at home – or even during your lunch break – with Internet access.

In my recent article series about haunted Eden Camp and the ghosts of Malton, England, I explained what I look for, with examples from those locations.

Here’s exactly what I do…

5 1/2 Pre-Investigation Steps

First, I look for ghost stories. (This is the half-step. If I’m investigating a private home, their may be no ghost stories at all.)

If I find some, I check them against history. Do historical events and people match the stories?

A bogus story can diminish the likelihood of the site being haunted, but I won’t dismiss it altogether.

Maybe King Henry VIII or George Washington didn’t spend the night in that haunted castle or home. A similar-looking ghost – a different man in royal robes or a Revolutionary war uniform – might haunt the sites.

Then, I check for ley lines. I’m looking for nearby haunts and reported anomalies, or places that usually have ghosts.

Those include:

  • Cemeteries and rumored “ancient burial grounds.”
  • Battlefields or where skirmishes occurred.
  • Significant historical monuments.
  • Current or former sites of institutions such as hospitals, orphanages, and prisons.

I want to “connect the dots” with a straight line between the site I’m investigating and at least two other haunted/anomalous/weird locations.

After that, I look for other patterns… things that connect the investigation site to other, similar haunts.

For example, in Austin (Texas), I discovered ghosts at nearly every site related to Abner Cook and bricks from haunted Shoal Creek.

So, I look at geography, history, related sites (nearby or in other areas), etc.

Next, I dig into ancient history.  In Britain, that’s usually related to the Celts, Vikings, and Romans. In the US and Canada, I research Native American history, and which locations were considered “sacred” or “forbidden.”

The last online (and library) research step involves recent history. 

I’m not just looking for ghost stories. I’m also looking for extraordinary people and events – and related secrets – that can indicate a haunting.

Crime reports and court cases (reported in local newspapers) can provide some of the best insights.

The final step is to ask, “What’s weird?”

That is, what leaps out as different? What location or person or moment in history seems to linger in my mind, as something odd?

In a series of “odd” things – like the Salem Witch Trials – whatever stands out is usually connected to the darkest history of the area. 

I keep notes from those five research sessions: ghost stories, ley lines, other patterns, ancient history, recent history, and “what’s weird?”

Those give me a context – and possibly credible support – for whatever we’ll find during the on-site investigation.

And, with those clues, the investigation can be more focused. We can find the “hot spots” of ghostly phenomena – EVP, cold spots, apparitions, shadow people, and so on – faster than if we’re just… well… working in the dark.

Are All Haunted Houses Scary? Here’s what pro Steve Gonsalves says

In this short (two minute) video, Steve Gonsalves talks about one of his early investigations.

I agree with him completely: Sometimes, there’s nothing scary about a haunted house. In fact, the ghosts can be comforting.

If you’re afraid of ghosts, some of my other articles may help.

Eden Camp – Where the Ghosts Make It Personal

Eden Camp (in Malton, England) may be one of the eeriest sites ever shown on “Most Haunted.”
And it’s one of England’s best locations for ghost hunting.

Continued from Eden Camp Ghosts, Part One

If you saw the two-part Most Haunted episode in January 2019, it might have looked like a tame, friendly little haunt.

It’s not.

There are three reasons I  recommend Eden Camp:

  1. Most of the phenomena are “lite.”  That’s why Eden Camp is ideal for first-time researchers.
  2. Weird things happen more frequently than at many haunted sites. That makes it equally ideal for jaded professionals.
  3. The ghosts make it personal. It’s one thing to wonder if the ghosts know you’re there. It’s entirely different when you’re sure the ghosts know what scares you the most.

Lots of Ghostly Activity

In my review of the first half of Most Haunted’s Eden Camp Museum investigation, I described almost steady, low-level phenomena.

Investigators heard:

  • clatters
  • thuds
  • footsteps
  • other unexplained noises.

Those things aren’t scary, but when you hear enough of them, it can get under your skin.

In some locations, like the bungalow (the pre-fab house), Eden Camp’s ghost/s seemed to respond rapidly to what Karl or Stuart said.

But even when the ghosts weren’t reacting to questions or commands, the unpredictable – and usually random – noises continued.

Aside from the bicycle (in the bungalow) falling over multiple times, what happened wasn’t physical. No one seemed at risk.

Such regular – but apparently minor – activity makes Eden Camp an ideal site for a ghost vigil.

  • You’re likely to witness at least one or two “weird” things.
  • You’ll know you’ve had a genuinely odd, ghostly experience.
  • You’ll go home with a smile.

But… more experienced investigators might not take Eden Camp so lightly.

Eden Camp’s Ghosts from a Professional View

Eden Camp - Where the ghosts make it personalIn my previous review, I mentioned two impressive aspects of Most Haunted’s investigation.

Of course, it’s always a relief when a site has a steady patter of activity. At most locations, ghost hunters sit and stand for hours, waiting for something to happen.

It’s not that the ghosts were entirely obliging at Eden Camp. Yvette gave them many opportunities to manifest – as noises, poltergeists, and so on. But, they seemed less interested in startling her.

However, in Part 1 of the show, I noticed a few unusual things.

Separating the Investigators

First, when the team were working in pairs of two, unearthly footsteps seemed to come from two distinct areas in one hut.

Mary Beattie impressed me when she quickly realized something was trying to separate – and isolate – team members from one another.  As a professional investigator, that kind of activity is a big red flag. It’s one step away (no pun intended) from being malicious activity.

And, in most cases, it seemed like a deeply personal effort by Eden Camp’s ghost/s.

Making it Personal?

Then, something about Stuart’s demeanor troubled me. He seemed to internalize what was happening in the bungalow.

In other words, Mary could detach herself, mentally, from what was going on.

She saw the “method in the madness” of the moment.

By contrast, Stuart Torevell seemed deeply affected by the ghosts.

If one of my team member’s demeanor was like his, I’d be very concerned. He might need to leave the area for his own safety.

When Ghosts Unsettle Professionals

Stuart isn’t a ghost hunting novice.  Since 2002, he’s been part of the Most Haunted crew and team. He’s been at the center of some very troubling paranormal activity.

So, when you see Stuart seem troubled by what’s going on at a haunted site – even if the activity seems minor – pay close attention. That “red flag” may be subtle, but it’s significant. It’s a location that’s more haunted than most.

Remember: Those of us who’ve been investigating haunts for years… well, we get a little jaded. (That may be an understatement.)

  • A plate flies across the room and we yawn, “Yes, it’s another poltergeist.”
  • A team member feels a tap on his shoulder and we sigh, “Okay, it’s another attention-seeking ghost.”
  • Listening to EVP right after we recorded it, if the ghost mumbles, we’ll say, “Aww, c’mon, speak clearly.”

And so on. We’re not as startled or impressed as we once were.

So, when a pro reacts – especially in a dramatic or uncharacteristic way – that’s an anomaly in itself.

At Eden Camp, It’s Not Just Residual Energy

Ghosts of Eden Camp - it's not just residual energy.When I researched Eden Camp’s history, I found many reasons the site could have simple, residual energy hauntings.

It was a POW camp. People were there against their will, and some prisoners were Nazi officers whose political views were both extreme and aggressive.

That could explain lingering energy.

Eden Camp’s Eerie History Started Much Earlier

In later research, I uncovered Malton’s surprising importance as a Roman fort – and perhaps a hub of Roman occupation – for four centuries.

That’s why, when I started watching Most Haunted’s first episode about Eden Camp – broadcast “as live” – I thought, “Okay, Eden Camp has more than the usual amount of residual energy.”

Soon, I realized something intelligent was behind what’s going on at Eden Camp.

It wasn’t just what Mary said or how Stuart reacted… it was more. It was the consistency of the activity, and who seemed targeted by it.

That seemed… odd.

The clever subtlety of Eden Camp’s paranormal activity impressed me. And its variety.

From my experience, a lot of hauntings are “one-trick ponies.”

  • There may be noises.
  • There might be some poltergeist activity.
  • A “shadow person” might make a fleeting appearance.
  • Or, an investigator might notice an odd odor, usually pipe tobacco or perfume.

And so on.

The Mystery of Mixed Anomalies

When investigators talk in terms of three or four types of anomalies, either the site is profoundly haunted…

Or, some “anomalies” aren’t extraordinary.

To be blunt, either they’re imagined, exaggerated, or – in rare cases – rigged.

In this case, I think Eden Camp is haunted… really, really haunted.

Most Haunted’s Eden Camp episodes were among the most authentic ghost hunting broadcasts I’ve seen.

Chicken or the Egg?

Eden Camp Ghosts - which came first, the chicken or the egg?The intensity of the team’s encounters were why I started looking into other weird things in Malton’s history.

I found plenty. The question is, are there layers of turbulent history – or extraordinary energy – beneath what I found?

Or, was there some interesting energy around Malton from earliest times?

Maybe more recent events just added to its paranormal activity.

Each piece of weird history added to my general impression of Eden Camp and the Malton area… and its ghosts.

So, by the time I saw Part 2 of Most Haunted’s Eden Camp broadcast,  my expectations were high.

I was not disappointed.

Yes, It’s Personal

There may be residual energy hauntings at Eden Camp. Some noises could be explained that way.

In fact, the team went out of their way to debunk most of the phenomena.

Eden Camp ghosts - personal and scaryIn the first episode, the cat might have been responsible for some noises.

Maybe the bicycle wasn’t solidly propped against the wall, each time it fell.

And maybe there was a technical glitch so the smoke machine kept running, intermittently.

Rapping noises on the ceiling (or roof) and in the walls… sure, maybe they were squirrels or mice.

The swinging doors might have been an odd gust of wind. But then another… and another? Each time that happened, “normal” explanations seemed less likely.

When you put all of these seemingly low-level anomalies together, the picture changes.

The fact is, almost all ghostly phenomena can be explained by a dedicated skeptic.

But… ghost hunters (like me) raise an eyebrow when many odd, “explainable” things happen, one after another.

Variety, Pace, and Timing

It’s not the cause/explanation that holds our attention; it’s that these things happen at an anomalous pace, and all at one site.

Also at Eden Camp, some expected things didn’t happen.

Each of those was an anomaly, as well.

For example, at Eden Camp, relatively little seemed to happen around Yvette.

That’s odd. Usually, she’s the one most targeted by ghosts.

(She also recovers quickly when she’s startled. And then she gets straight to the point, challenging ghosts to make themselves – and their interests – known. Is it possible that Eden Camp’s ghosts were intimidated by Yvette?)

Eden Camp: An Intelligent Haunting

Eden Camp isn’t just haunted: It’s intelligently haunted.

The ghost (or ghosts) know exactly what they’re doing.

They’re tailoring each person’s experience to the individual.

Creating anomalies that could be explained/debunked… that’s a great way for ghosts to get you to drop your guard.

And that’s why the two-part Most Haunted investigation of Eden Camp was so compelling: Each investigator had a unique, unsettling experience.

That’s why I recommend Eden Camp Museum for ghost hunting.

Something intelligent haunts Eden Camp. I don’t know what its motives are.

It’s subtle. It’s clever.

If you go there, never wander off. Never be on your own.

Why to Investigate Eden Camp’s Ghosts

Eden Camp is an ideal site for casual ghost hunters to encounter a “good scare.” I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful visit and vigil.

But, even better, Most Haunted’s investigation barely scratched the surface.

Your visit to Eden Camp could be intense.

humorous ghost divider

Congratulations to Most Haunted for an excellent, authentic investigation. From my sofa, I was applauding.

Resources

*They did not ask me to recommend them and that’s not any type of affiliate link. I genuinely believe Eden Camp is one of England’s most impressive haunts.

 

Why is Malton, England So Haunted? Learn Here.

Malton is one of England’s most fascinating haunts. Find out why. Malton’s history can make your ghost vigils even more interesting.

Eden Camp – featured on “Most Haunted” – is just one of many ghostly sites you can investigate around Malton, England.

Let’s start with the A64, where you might glimpse a ghost and not even realize it.

Ghosts of Malton, England

Ghosts of Malton, England - stories and historyThe A64’s ghost story is from the late 18th century or early 19th century, when a woman – traveling along the old Roman road – may have been murdered by a highwayman.

She is seen on foggy or misty nights, traveling towards Malton. She wears a simple, traditional gown – not torn or bloody, just normal-looking for that era – and she’s carrying a child.

The ghostly woman glances towards passing cars, but doesn’t seem to see them. She just keeps walking.

The odd thing is, despite her apparently rapid pace, she’s not making much progress. It’s as if she’s suspended just slightly over the ground, and walking towards the town.

The Talbot Hotel in Malton may have a ghost in its cloisters area. At the very least, several people have reported cold spots. (Later in this article, you’ll read why this hotel might have some wonderful residual energy. Expect ghosts from the 18th century through the Regency.)

At or near the Talbot (especially at York House), two more ghosts have been reported more frequently.  Neither sound sinister, just watchful or even nurturing. (They may be Green Ladies, best known in in Scotland, but North Yorkshire may have them, as well.)

Blue Ball Inn Ghosts

Blue Ball Inn at Malton may have a ghost who – according to reports – appears to be a cook. I’m not sure why people associate him with the kitchen. (But, per Chris at the Inn, there’s no known ghostly cook.)

Some have associated the Blue Ball Inn’s ghost with Friar Tuck of Robin Hood fame.

Before you laugh at that idea, Friar Tuck is one of the few Robin Hood characters with a real history… if not quite in the right era. (Not unless his ghost led a band of robbers.)

The following is from a website called The Search for a Real Robin Hood.

“Twice in 1417, royal writs demand the arrest of an outlaw who led a band which robbed, murdered and committed other acts of general mayhem. One report says he “assumed the name of Frere Tuk newly so called in the common parlance.”

The Blue Ball Inn is a great location, in comfortable walking distance of several other haunts.

Nearby, visitors to The Spotted Cow at Malton’s Cattle Market area (near the corner of Middlecave Road and The Mount), have reported ghostly footsteps and some poltergeist activity.

However, those reports are infrequent, so I’m not sure it’s a reliably haunted site.  (I’d go there because the pub has great reviews.)

Ghosts at the Derwent River

The Derwent River may have a mischievous ghost.  According to one story from the 1980s, a fisherman was pushed and engaged in a fight with his apparent attacker. However, when the fisherman turned to face his assailant, no one was there… it was a ghost.

(The most credible part of this is the continued connection I’ve seen between poltergeist activity – which includes ghosts that push people – and water.)

If you investigate at the Derwent River, be careful. Frankly, it’s safer to research in the middle of Malton. You’ll have plenty of friendlier haunts to explore there, anyway.

More Ghosts Near Malton

Nunnington Hall is the home of several ghosts, including the Lady of Nunnington. (Like the ghostly woman at York House, I wonder if the Lady of Nunnington is a “green lady.”)

Pickering Castle may be the site of a ghostly, robed monk. He wanders with his face concealed and his hands outstretched.

That sounds like an opportunity for pranks, so – if you think you see the ghostly monk – use caution. He might be someone very much alive, and intent on scaring people.  Do not approach him. (I’ve always said that ghost hunters have more to fear from the living than the dead.)

But, if you do encounter the ghostly monk, start recording EVP immediately. From my experience, monks were either very chatty in real life, or they kept vows of silence.

In both cases, their ghosts are likely to talk, and talk, and talk…

Then there’s the odd dragon on the Malton Road. I didn’t take this seriously until I saw the number of reports of this “mythical” beast.

Dragons at Malton Road

Dragons are reported along the B1257 (Malton Road, to Hovingham). The Paranormal Database describes it as a ghost of a great lizard, killed by a local man and his dog. (All died of their injuries in the fight.)

However, this story closely matches the story of The Dragon of Loschy Hill, set just a few miles north of dragon sightings along the B1257. The Loschy Hill story has a Nunnington connection, as well… the site of many more hauntings.

So, is the ghostly dragon near Malton an urban legend based on the Loschy Hill story, or does this area still have dragons… or at least their ghosts? Given the volume of reports, cryptozoologists and dragon enthusiasts may want to explore the Malton Road.

Also in the cryptozoology category, Alien Big Cats (ABCs) appear in the Malton area, but – so far – no Black Shucks.

If you’re looking for ABCs… well, they’ve been seen in several locations around Malton. (I even wondered if ABCs might explain some of the odd activity filmed during Most Haunted’s visit to Eden Camp.)

If I were in the Malton area, I’d also investigate Wharram Percy,  and possibly “cursed” Howsham Hall and nearby Kirkham Priory. (The Hall was for sale in 2009, and I’m not sure anyone has been willing to buy it since then.)

Why is Malton So Haunted?

The endearing, eccentric history of Malton,England.
Photo © Paul Buckingham (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Malton is unique for many reasons, including some unusual historical events. Also, Malton has been the home of endearing characters… most likely to return as ghosts.

Other aspects of Malton’s history may explain why the town is so haunted… besides it being in Yorkshire (widely respected for its ghosts) and near Scotland (ditto).

As I continued my Eden Camp ghosts research – looking at the location and its Roman history – I stumbled onto some delightful history.

The Colorful, Independent-Minded Wentworths

The quirky history may start with Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1593 – 1641). He served in Parliament and supported King Charles I,  but when Strafford had to choose sides, he aligned with the king and turned firmly against Parliament.

Parliament was not amused. Strafford had to pay the price.

Under some duress from Parliament, Charles I signed Strafford’s death warrant. (After all, the King was still trying to save his own neck.)

So, Strafford – not guilty of any crime – was executed. (Eight years later, when King Charles I was beheaded, his last words were that God was punishing him for allowing Strafford’s death.)

But that’s just the beginning…

Politics and Family Rivalries

Where the family tree gets interesting is when the revived Earl of Strafford title went to Thomas Wentworth (1672-1739), the 2nd Earl, who was impeached for his involvement of the Congress of Utrecht, and was a leading conspirator in the Atterbury Plot of 1720-1722 to restore the Stuarts to the throne. 

Meanwhile, though Thomas Wentworth inherited the Strafford title, the Strafford fortune and the Jacobean house, Wentworth Woodhouse, was left to Thomas Watson (1665 – 1723).

Of course, that sparked a significant rivalry among the relatives.

Note: I’m still sorting the Wentworth family tree, with its multiple William Wentworths, Thomas Watson-Wentworths, and so on. (I apologize for any genealogical errors.)

In receipt of the fortune and the house, Thomas Watson changed his name to Thomas Watson-Wentworth, and – with part of his inherited fortune – bought the Borough of Malton in 1713. When he died, he was buried in York Minster, and memorialized by a lovely monument there.

The Malton Estate website notes that, “From the outset the family invested heavily in Malton as they do to this day.”

Twelve generations later, much of Malton is still owned by descendants of Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the elder). That’s helped Malton retain its unique identity as a community.

By contrast, as the York Press suggests, “Most town centres are now owned by institutions like insurance companies and pension funds, investors from overseas and collective investment schemes.”

That authenticity may contribute to the vivid residual energy and hauntings in the area.

But, Malton has even better reasons to be haunted. One includes an odd little mystery.

Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger) and the Gascoigne Papers

Especially in the early 18th century, Malton records are rife with the kinds of events that can spark later hauntings.

The first one that caught my attention was an act of wanton destruction… for no apparent reason.

In 1723, Thomas Watson-Wentworth’s son – also called Thomas Watson-Wentworth (1693-1750) – succeeded as 1st Marquess of Rockingham.

Then, in 1728, he inherited as Baron Malton.

… That’s when – on the advice of his attorney – Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger) deliberately burned most of the genealogical records left by his ancestor, Richard Gascoigne.  

What was the secret? I’m trying to understand why those records seemed so dangerous.

So, I tried to reconstruct them.

At least some of those records  were copied by a relative before Watson-Wentworth burned them. They appear in the book, The History of Barwick-in-Elmet (pages 129-132). Additional references are in the History of Barnbow.

Yes, I see that Sir Thomas Gascoigne was accused of conspiracy to murder King Charles II, but he was acquitted.

Also, in 1567, there may have been issues when the Gawthorpe and Harewood estates were passed to the Wentworth family, by marriage. That wasn’t a secret, either.

So, I’m baffled. I don’t see anything to suggest why it was imperative to destroy historical records. (If anyone can explain this, I’m very interested.)

Even More Likely Haunts in Malton

Then there’s Hoober Stand, a folly constructed by Henry Flitcroft (1697 – 1769) at the request of Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger), to celebrate the English victory at Culloden.

In light of his cousin’s role in trying to restore the Stuarts to the throne, that probably sparked more controversy within the family.

I’m fairly certain ghost hunters will find EVP around Hoober Stand.

Also, I’m intrigued that, in 1739, Watson-Wentworth acquired the building we now know as the Talbot Hotel. He then turned it into a hotel for people attending the races in Malton.

That sounds like a jolly idea. Though the record-burning is odd, the more I learn about Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger), the more I like him.

So, I’m sure there were boisterous parties in Watson-Wentworth’s era, and they could have left residual energy that lingers to this day… including at the Talbot Hotel.

In 1746, Thomas Watson-Wentworth inherited Rockingham Castle (famous for its ghosts), and – sadly – in 1750, he died, “drowned in claret.”

But, Malton’s ghostly history continued.

Ghosts in Malton - Connections with William the Conqueror, Robert the Bruce, and More

Malton Castle and Two Piles of Rocks

Malton Castle had its own astonishing history.

Around the site now known as Castle Gardens, the Romans built a fort – and rebuilt it, repeatedly – starting around 71 AD. It survived until the 1800s. (Its location is in the green rectangle, in the overlayed map, below.)

1926 map of Malton, England - Roman camp

The blue oval on the map shows where Malton Castle was built, possibly in the early 12th century.

When William the Conqueror was King, the Lordship of Malton – and the castle site – was granted to Gilbert de Tyson. Then Henry I owned it, and then Eustace FitzJohn, who gave Malton Castle to David, King of Scotland.

In 1138, in connection with the Battle of the Standard, Archbishop Thurstan of York attacked Malton, burning the town and capturing the castle.

Then, in 1322, Robert the Bruce occupied the castle. (Ghosts are reported at almost every major site connected with Robert the Bruce. Drum Castle is among the more famous, but there are many more… and I’d bet Malton Castle site is among them.)

After Robert the Bruce’s occupation, the castle fell into ruins for two hundred years.

Then, in 1569, Ralph, Lord Eure, built a house on the site.

After that, the Eure family rebuilt the house (I’m not sure how many times), until two sisters – Mary and Margaret Eure – inherited the house, together.

That did not set well with either sister, and an icy cold feud began. Finally – to settle the dispute – in 1674, Henry Marwood, High Sheriff of York, demolished the mansion.

He piled the stones into two equal heaps, one for each sister.

The nearby Lodge and gateways are still original to the Malton Castle estate, but they probably used the stones in many of today’s Malton buildings.

(In other English towns – such as Glastonbury – hauntings have been connected with the re-use of stones from emotionally charged sites.)

And so, Malton has Ghosts

This turbulent history – from family secrets to feuds and fires, and from Roman forts to Eden Camp – makes Malton, England a prime resource for ghost hunters.

As a paranormal researcher, two questions really stood out as I studied Malton’s history.

  1. Why did Watson-Wentworth burn his family records?
  2. Why were forts, castles, and houses built and rebuilt, repeatedly? (I know the Yorkshire winters can be harsh. Fires happen. And time takes its toll on all buildings. But… the frequent rebuilding in Malton suggests something else.)

From haunted hotels to ghostly pubs to Eden Camp Museum, investigated by Most Haunted in January 2019, you’ll find plenty to explore – and ghosts to encounter – in Malton, England.

Visit Malton

For an overview of Malton, this YouTube video is brief and shows various parts of town.

Places to see in ( Malton – UK )

Places to see in ( Malton – UK ) Malton is a market town, civil parish and electoral ward in North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding …

That one-minute video tour of Malton is at https://youtu.be/WFrBmEleeZg

How to Get to Malton

Malton is bypassed by the A64, which runs from Leeds and York to Scarborough, with a junction at the A169 to Pickering and Whitby.

Malton’s bus service is run by Coastliner.

Malton railway station is Grade II Listed, and it’s on the TransPennine Express route.  Fast trains run every hour from Scarborough to York, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Current fastest train time from Malton to London Kings Cross (with one change at York) is approximately 2 hours 33 minutes.

Why Eden Camp Is Extraordinary… and Worrisome

Q. What could give a professional ghost hunter chills, just watching TV?

A. When it goes far beyond the usual frights, and gets personal – even sinister – with the investigation team.

That’s what I saw when Most Haunted visited Eden Camp, and – in my review – you’ll learn why their investigation troubled me.

Most Haunted’s first Eden Camp episode (2019) showed viewers that Eden Camp has consistent, low-level activity. That – plus some of my own research – convinced me that Eden Camp was worth a visit.

In fact, when Eden Camp Museum is open for ghost vigils (evening or overnight investigations), I recommend it… but ONLY if you’re okay with real ghosts.

Why…?

Most Haunted - a review of the Eden Camp investigationWell, in the first Most Haunted segment from Eden Camp, several things impressed me. I felt like the Bungalow – investigated by Karl and Stuart – was one of the stars of the show.

It was more than just a building. Something is in there, and I’m not sure what it is… but it seems able to get inside your thoughts.

Eden Camp’s Bungalow

The bungalow – where Karl Beattie and Stuart Torevell investigated – was a surprise.

It seemed the only location with an obvious, intelligent haunting.  That is, the spirit/s responded directly to what Karl and Stuart were saying.

The K-II responses, noises, and poltergeist-like activity were more reliable than most hauntings.

But, I was more interested in Stuart’s demeanor. For an experienced investigator, it seemed odd. And a little worrisome.

At times, he seemed deeply and personally concerned. To me, that personal connection practically shouted “active, sentient ghosts!”

For example, his facial expression was almost distressed when he said that – except that he was on an investigation – most people would run from that building and never look back.

(If he wasn’t aware of how distressed he seemed, someone needs to mention it to him.)

When a spirit makes an especially deep emotional impact on an investigator, that’s noteworthy.

If he returns there, I’d keep a close watch on Stuart at Eden Camp, because he may be more vulnerable than the other investigators.

I’d warn other investigators to protect their personal/emotional boundaries at Eden Camp, too. As we saw when something tried to separate Mary and Darren, a malicious entity might lurk at Eden Camp. 

Also, in Most Haunted’s second Eden Camp segment, I hope someone returned to the bungalow kitchen, and they set up multiple cameras to capture poltergeist activity and noises there. The amount of energy there… that was fascinating.

The Bicycle

In the bungalow, I think everyone was startled when the bicycle fell over. When it toppled a second time, though it had been carefully propped against the wall, that was especially odd.

The haunted bicycle at Eden Camp.

One reason the bicycle interests me is: it’s made of metal. From my research, metal objects – especially iron and steel – can hold considerable psychic energy.

Could a bicycle act as an antenna for EVP…? I have no idea. That seems a bit of a reach.

But – in this case – I’d definitely explore that possibility.

I’d also want to know if the bicycle belonged in the camp when POWs were there. Does the bicycle have residual energy from one person in particular?

The Cafeteria

In the second segment (airing 19 Jan 2019), I’m eager to see what the Most Haunted team discover in the cafeteria/dining hall. I was intrigued when Yvette Fielding and Glen Hunt commented that the cafeteria seemed “wrong.”

Since that room has a history of poltergeist-like activity – chairs moving, by themselves – that could be an interesting room to investigate.

Poltergeist Activity

Speaking of poltergeists, I think it’s brilliant to include new team member Mary, because she’s bright and thoughtful, and she seems to have nerves of steel, especially for someone new to these intense settings.

When two phenomena happened in opposite sides of the hut, Mary immediately realized the entity might be trying to separate team members from one another.

More young investigators, please.That was a very astute observation. And, in my opinion, it was accurate. I hope Mary continues to investigate with Most Haunted.

In addition, her age and gender could further fuel the energy used by poltergeists.

(From past studies, we know that women – especially teens  – are often connected with poltergeist activity.  Likewise, I’m sure gender was one reason that – at Eden Camp – Louise and Jenny saw the most startling, consistent poltergeist activity: the swinging door.)

An additional benefit to more young cast members like Mary is: the new generation of ghost hunters bring fresh viewpoints and attitudes. 

As an “old timer,” I’m mindful of the importance of experience. But, if that’s all we needed, we’d have more insights about hauntings. And have a better grasp of what ghosts are.

The Unasked Questions

I’ll admit that my own research – especially about the Romans – caused me to talk to the TV screen as I watched the first Eden Camp episode.

(And yes, I know that no one hears me when I talk to my TV. Nevertheless, I talk to the TV screen, saying what I would, had I been part of the investigation team.)

During the show, Yvette asked the ghosts “Are you German?” and “Are you Italian?”

Roman ghosts at Camp Eden MuseumThe only response she received was a negative one when she asked, “Are you English?”

That’s when I spoke to the TV screen insisting, “No, ask them if they’re Roman!”

To me, the singular response to the English question suggested Romans.

  • If they were German, they’d have responded “no” to both the question about being Italian and the one about being English.
  • And, if they were Italian: vice versa.

In my opinion, only the Romans would be vehement enough about the English to single out that nationality for a “no!” response.

But… maybe I’m reading too much into this. I tend to be very literal (and perhaps hyper-vigilant) when using real-time communications with ghosts.

And, to be fair, my own focus is a little narrow. After all, Yvette didn’t ask if the ghosts were Vikings or Norse, either.  And I haven’t researched their occupation of the Malton area, if there was any.

(Admittedly, I jumped on the Roman topic because York’s half-body ghosts have fascinated me. Vikings, etc…? Not so much.)

The Camp… or the Land Beneath It?

Seeing the wide range of low-level activity at the camp, I believe the land beneath the camp could be important. History suggests Roman occupation at the Eden Camp site.

That could explain why the ghosts said multiple people had died at the Eden Camp site. During Eden Camp’s POW years, only one person died there.

My guess is: those other deaths were Romans. Or other people who were on the Eden Camp property before it became a prisoner of war camp.

When you have widespread activity at a location, always consider the history of the property it’s on.

At Eden Camp, the team found evidence of:

  • Poltergeist activity, sometimes very physical and dramatic, throughout the camp.
  • The sound of footsteps – and some other anomalous noises – throughout the camp.
  • Shadows and shadow figures, inside and outdoors.
  • Intelligent hauntings, both in the bungalow, and when an entity tried to separate team members from one another.

The team did not seem to witness physical contact. No one was hit, pushed, or otherwise assaulted, even by thrown objects. So, I think physical danger is unlikely.

(I’m still concerned about the effects on Stuart, as well as the clever attempt to separate or isolate team members.)

Nevertheless, the extreme range of activity intrigues me. I’d like to know more about Eden Camp’s location – why it was placed there, and any known history of that particular site.  (For that, I might need local resources. Meanwhile, for additional articles at this website, I’m researching Eden Camp’s location with my personal library and the Internet.)

In the Eden Camp episode, I applaud Most Haunted for presenting a realistic, two-hour show.

Though Eden Camp is especially active, it was refreshing to see Most Haunted convey what real ghost hunts are like. I hope more ghost-related TV shows follow Most Haunted’s great example.

Here’s one brief video showing Eden Camp Museum in daylight:

Places to see in ( Yorkshire – UK ) Eden Camp

Places to see in ( Yorkshire – UK ) Eden Camp Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum is a large Second World War-related museum near Malton in North Yorkshire…

That video is at https://youtu.be/h9zL8mF3xqQ

Read more at this website