New Feature: Ask Fiona

ghostbatAs I’m writing this, Halloween is fast approaching. It’s “ghost season” for those of us who investigate haunted sites.

Many investigators — new and experienced — have questions about ghosts, ghost hunting, and haunted places.

I may be able to answer them.

Ask your question in the comment form, below.

(Though you’ll see it, immediately, the public won’t see your comment until I manually approve it. If you’d like me to keep it hidden, tell me that or use the “comments are always hidden” Ask Fiona page.)

If a question needs a lengthy reply, I’ll write an article to answer it, as time permits. I’m creating an “Ask Fiona” series at this website, for those in-depth replies.

Leave a comment below, and ask me anything about ghosts, haunted places, and related paranormal research.

16 thoughts on “New Feature: Ask Fiona”

  1. I disagree with you on some things, but I want to say that one of the things that I like about you is that you really do seem to be trying to understand the rules governing how all of this stuff works. That’s better than most of these ghost hunting groups who seem content to turn on their machines and hope that they get something interesting. I mean, that’s still okay, but, I tend to think that it is better to try to understand the rules of how these phenomena work. With respect to that, you posted, once, (I believe) that some kinds of portals may exist at some of these haunted locations. Do you have any thoughts on how to (possibly) build a machine to be able to detect these portals?

    1. Mark, thank you for your comments. At this phase in ghost hunting, I’m not sure any two people will wholeheartedly agree on all things. In fact, I think it’s good if we disagree; it means we probably don’t have the best answers, yet. We need to keep searching.

      If we continue this kind of dialogue with fellow ghost hunters, we may reach the “ah-HA!” moment where a more workable answer occurs to us.

      I also like your question. It’s very good, and exactly what I’m looking for, as well.

      I’ve written a few related articles. Here’s one of them: EMF Reality Check – Are EMF Spikes Really Ghosts?

      For a long time, I’ve suspected that the unexplained energy spikes we see — in EMF, and perhaps as photographic anomalies using digital cameras — indicate an opening “between the worlds.” It’s like they’re the flashing lights (or the window that opened in the old TV series, Quantum Leap, when Al was about to cross time/dimensions) that tell us something is different here/now.

      So, we may already have the machines that detect them.

      I’m not so sure about spirit boxes and other real-time communications devices. Could they actually access the “other world” (or spirits)? I’m studying this closely. At the moment, about 1/4 of my Ovilus III responses seem relevant. (But, when they are relevant, they’re exact matches for the respective context.) I’m not sure that’s enough to say, “Yes, this works.”

      This gives me two different directions for research:

      1) Assume that EMF and other energy-related anomalies indicate short- and long-term portals. In that case, I’m looking for patterns to identify the when and where elements.

      Ley lines — the way I construct them, anyway — seem to offer some promise, but that’s not a “sure thing,” yet. Not even close. But, it’s promising enough that I’ve kept pursuing it.

      (I’m trying to publish an updated ley lines book in the next couple of weeks, but my perfectionist tendencies keep getting in the way.)

      2) Keep looking for other commonalities in hauntings, so we know what kind of machine we need. For example, is anomalous temperature a more reliable factor than regularly documented poltergeist phenomena at that same location?

      If temperature is more important, we need to focus on related devices… and refine them for our purposes.

      If poltergeist activity is key, we may need devices that measure minute movement in physical objects in the room. But, we also need to check things like infrasound and other vibrations that can make, say, a child’s ball roll “all by itself.” (The sites where dishes fly across the room and smash into an opposing wall… that’s another matter altogether.)

      It’s difficult to decide the significance (weight) of data points. For example, is something that seems to happen regularly a stronger haunting than one that has multiple kinds of phenomena?

      (That’s probably a rhetorical question, though I’m always interested in feedback. At the moment, I feel like we’re wading through evidence that may have a high “me, too” ratio. Or EMF spikes that occur over underground power lines or streams that no one has noticed.)

      Hmm… this reply could be an article. I should probably make time to write one, expanding on this topic.

      Meanwhile, those are my thoughts, and I hope they’re helpful.

      Cheerfully, Fiona

  2. Hello! my name is David Cutler I have 7 paranormal groups on facebook and I am going to recommend your course to my admin i think this is wonderful!
    Alot of my admins and moderators are all over the place and its hard to teach them but this course is awesome thank you for making it so easy.

    1. Thanks, David! I’m working on improving that course, hoping to make it even easier for people to get involved in paranormal research and get good results.

      Meanwhile, your feedback is wonderful. Thank you!

      Cheerfully, Fiona

  3. My question has to do with the Mandela Effect (love your site about it!). Have you ever heard from any South Africans that they remember Mandela dying in prison, or has it only been people from the U.S. or other countries (I saw one on your site from someone from the U.K.)? I personally don’t remember Mandela dying in prison, but that other anti-apartheid activists did, including compatriots of Mandela. I also remember learning that he was in prison and that his wife at the time, Winnie Mandela, was fighting to get him released and it seemed like there was a good chance he could die in prison if something wasn’t done about it. I was born and have lived my whole life in the U.S. I’m 44.

    I just can’t imagine a black or white South African person being surprised that Mandela died after he served as the first black President of their country. If a fair number of them did, it would go a long way towards “proving” (though I’m not sure that’s really possible) the phenomenon.

    I’m fascinated by ME’s and have “now incorrect” memories about the Berenstein Bears/Stan and Jan Berenstein, Mr. Roger’s singing, “…beautiful day in *the* neighborhood” (my 11 year old also remembers it that way… we watched re-runs on PBS Kids daily until she was 4 or 5 – not long ago!), Oscar Meyer (though now I get confused about my original memory of the bologna song – it goes back and forth). It’s really blown my mind. So my question isn’t antagonistic. I would be fascinated if some South Africans were found that remembered Mandela dying in prison. It would also be interesting to note whether the “rememberers” were predominantly black or white, as information (and propaganda) probably spread differently on each side.

    I got here from your Mandela Effect page and I’m not sure this is the right place to ask you something about that. I apologize in advance if I should have posted elsewhere.

    Thank you!!

    1. In general, I try to keep the Mandela Effect discussions separate from my other websites, including this one. But, this question is asked, often, and you put a lot of thought into your comment, so here’s my reply:

      So far, no one from South Africa has presented a credible claim related to this memory. (I say “credible” because most of them quickly leap to political topics, ranting about… well, I have no idea what they intended to convey. The problem may be semantics and translation software, but there are other forums better suited to topics related to conspiracies, racism, voting rights, land ownership, and other topics those comments seem to include. I see it as a can of worms I’m not willing to open.)

      About 90% of the reports come from the U.S. I’m not sure what to think of that, as there are so many explanations… in addition to it being the Mandela Effect.

  4. I wanted to bring this up in the Vegas post, but it was locked. My band did a west coast tour throughout September. We had a show in Vegas then three days off before Salt Lake City so we stayed at the Excalibur for a couple days. The grounds that the shooting happened at was a 2 minute walk and we were there because the IHeartRadio crew got us into their daytime festival. Ever since being there, I haven’t felt right. Even before the shooting happened. I’ve been so sure it was a Mandela effect. I really feel like something happened and I was reset to where I am now. Any insight?

    1. Hi, Jon!

      Ordinarily, I don’t reply to Mandela Effect comments here. This site is strictly about ghost hunting.

      But, your question is a very good one, and my reply may help others who land here with similar concerns.

      So, my answer is for them, as well. (I’m unlikely to approve or reply to future non-ghost-hunting questions, here.)

      This is my current opinion:

      Like most paranormal activity, the Mandela Effect is something I can’t confirm for others. And, like ghost hunting, I firmly believe that the deciding factor may be the person’s internal reaction to whatever-it-is.

      Whether it’s an orb or a shadow person or an odd sensation, I believe the strongest evidence is what makes sense to the individual.

      In all paranormal research, it’s kind of a given that the first step is to debunk whatever-it-is, if you can.

      For example, let’s say it’s a photo showing a weird streak of light over someone’s birthday cake, combined with a strange highlight on great-uncle Fred’s photo. And, at the same time, the oddest Fred-related memory suddenly occurred to the person.

      Sure, the streak in the photo could be a simple artifact… something the pixels did in reaction to the candles on the birthday cake. Ditto the highlight on Fred’s photo.

      But then there’s that memory that surged up out of nowhere. Maybe it was just a weird coincidence, or triggered by seeing Fred’s photo.

      The answer must be decided by the individual. If the “logical” explanation — an artifact + coincidence — makes the most sense, that’s great.

      However, if in his (or her) gut, the person still feels sure that Fred had dropped in for a happy visit… maybe he did.

      I apply the same thing to the Mandela Effect. Most people who contact me are bright. They’ve already tried to debunk (or explain in normal terms) what happened.

      But, they keep going back to the very real feeling that it’s the Mandela Effect.

      I can’t evaluate people’s internal responses, and there’s no way I’ll casually dismiss them.

      In your case, the most compelling evidence is how you’ve said, “Even before the shooting happened, I’ve been so sure it was a Mandela effect.”

      When someone speaks with such clarity and confidence, I take note. And, I believe you.

      But, I have other reasons to take this seriously, too.

      Apparently, on that same night in Las Vegas, several other “weird” events happened at other hotels and casinos. (I’ve heard they were reported in news stories, but I haven’t made time to research that, yet.)

      So, I know something odd happened in that area, on that night. The shooting was a large part of it, but not the only anomaly around the Las Vegas Strip, that night.

      But, even if it was: if the Mandela Effect makes the most sense to you, I think you should accept it.

      Maybe you’ll feel differently in the future, but — for now — go with the answer that fits your “gut feeling.”

      That’s my reply to nearly every “was this really Mandela Effect?” and “was that a ghost?” question: Trust yourself and your internal evidence.


  5. Hello big fan of yours. I had a Ghost encounter as a child. I was wondering if you were interested in hearing my story. I still get shivers from the incident. I am an adult now. I still remember everything clearly that happened that day. I always believed in Ghost. That incident just secured it.

    1. Benjamin, I’m always interested in true ghost stories. I think we can learn from them. The smallest detail can lead to a breakthrough in this research. Thanks!

      1. Your Welcome! How should I send my story for you to read also? Should I just tell it here, or somewhere else?

        1. If it’s short (under 500 words), go ahead and post it. If it’s longer, give me a few days to decide the best way to manage this. Thanks!

          UPDATE: After thinking about this, I posted a temporary email address that Benjamin can use to share his story here.

          The reason I’m not opening this site to (or creating a fresh one for) ghost stories is: time.

          To effectively moderate ghost stories, I’d need to check them for plagiarism. (Sorry, but that’s reality, online.) Then, I’d need to decide whether or not each story seemed credible. Otherwise, we’d have a stack of “… and then I woke up” stories here, or similar cliches. Then there’s proofreading & editing, so each story is worth readers’ time, and so on.

          I try to moderate my websites so they’re original and unique destinations for ghost hunters and ghost enthusiasts. At the moment, I don’t have the resources to open this to ghost stories in general.

          1. Hello I just typed in the story, but it got messed up. It is not working right now,even though it is under 500 words.

            1. I’m sorry to hear that, Benjamin. Send it to me at [email protected] (this domain). I’ll cut-and-paste it into these comments, myself.

              Notice to others: That’s a one-time offer, just for Benjamin. That email will be deleted after I hear from him.

              If you have a ghost story to share, there are many other great websites and forums that feature them. (And, those site owners are able to moderate those sites, and keep them current. I’m not able to do that with ghost stories.)

              A few:

              Notice to spammer, in case you’re just skimming this, or your bot is: I’m going to delete that email address as soon as Benjamin responds.

              1. Hello let me retry my story. It happened when I was in elementary school. It was a field trip to a building called The Old Stone House, said to be a very haunted place in Pennsylvania. The tour guide giving us a tour, telling us the history of the place, and how it was haunted. I got bored after awhile of listening to the tour guide, so I wandered off by myself. They say when you are by yourself, unexplained stuff happens sometimes. I was standing beside the staircase in the house, and distinctively heard heavy footsteps going up the staircase, so I immediately looked up the staircase, and followed the noise. I found nobody at all on the second floor. I then came back down, and asked a employee there if that was the only staircase in the building. The staircase is also the only way to get to the second floor of the house, and back down to the first floor. The employee said yes, but there is a staircase outside, but it does not lead into the house at all.So curious I caught up with the group, asked some of them, if they heard any weird, strange noises. The rest of the group, and tour guide then all looked at me strangely. The tour guide especially was staring at me strangely. I think he somehow could tell I just experienced something I can not explain.

                1. Fascinating! I’ve noticed a pattern among children – and this includes my own childhood: Children seem to hear/notice ghosts on stairs more than adults do. They hear them and sometimes see them, though nearby adults (and some other children) either don’t hear them, or decide not to admit that they did.

                  The latter may have been the case with that tour guide. Adults who don’t believe children’s stories are more likely to shrug and chuckle and say something about kids and their wild imaginations.

                  A tour guide who takes a child seriously, probably has had a similar ghostly encounter, and is both pleased and troubled that anyone else (even a child) witnessed it, too.

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