Archive for the 'Ghost hunting' Category

Ghost watching

My daughters and I were snowbound over the Christmas holiday on a farm dating back to 1666 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia bordered on three sides by a tidal marsh (and woods on the fourth).

The surprising snow storm dumped 16 inches of snow on a part of the country not accustomed to dealing with such weather and so we watched a lot of movies sitting next to the woodstove.

There were 11 of us in all, but fortunately we had plenty of alcohol and DVDs.

Among the DVDs was the fantastic ghost story The Woman in Black, which may have the most terrifying scene in any ghost movie ever.

Sadly The Woman in Black is not available on Netflix or even on DVD except for pirated copies, but it’s worth hunting down.

The 2002 “docudrama” A Haunting In Connecticut also provided some chills, particularly for the younger members in the crowd. Available on Netflix.

The 2008 “docudrama,” also from the Discovery Channel, A Haunting in Georgia, came off as more cheesy, but was still entertaining for the isolated snowbound in an isolated, haunted farmhouse. Available on Netflix.

Haunting of Winchester House from 2009 offered more cheese than chills and was entertaining when paired with enough alcohol and MST3K-styled quipping from a smart group, but I wouldn’t recommend it under other circumstances. Available on Netflix instant watch.

Below, a 2002 supernatural thriller, changed the scenery to a World War II submarine and offered plenty of jump scares mixed with the gritty WWII realism. Below is available on Netflix instant watch and is well worth a watch.

The real hidden gem of the impromptu Willowdale film fest was The Eclipse, a 2009 Irish film that blends family drama, romance and supernatural thriller in a slow-paced, but never dull film that allows the story and characters to develop naturally. A recent widower and long-time volunteer for a local literary festival is haunted by the recent death of his wife and by the specter of his still-living father-in-law. While some reviewers criticize it unfairly in my view for tacking on supernatural elements onto a romantic film, The Eclipse offers genuine frights and is well-worth a watch by those who like intelligently presented horror that treats its ghosts — and characters — with respect. Available on Netflix instant watch.

Ghost hunter avoids prison

From the Martinsburg Journal, a story about my ‘ghost hunting instructor’:

MARTINSBURG — Area ghost hunter Susan R. Crites, the author of a number of books, won’t be adding an account of her recent experiences in court to her list of titles.

Crites was sentenced Tuesday for practicing medicine without a license and practicing counseling without a license.

Berkeley County Circuit Judge Gray Silver III sentenced Crites to three years supervised probation. He suspended the 18-month jail sentence he imposed.

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The judge also placed limits on Crites’ ghost hunting tours.

Games-Neely told Silver that she didn’t want Crites to be able to give ghost tours in an enterprise capacity or do psychic development classes. The prosecutor said the latter is where things “went awry” and Crites was accused of the misdemeanors.

The prosecutor said she didn’t have a problem with Crites giving hour-long ghost tours. However, spending the night in a cemetery was out of the question, Games-Neely said.

Honestly I took the ghost hunting course she taught. I even successfully shot pictures of ghostly orbs or dust motes, depending upon your view point. The one-night class was a birthday gift from Ms. Carnacki if I recall correctly. While I may or may not have witnessed the ghosts, I was not a witness to any of the criminal conduct.

Ghost of Victorian girl causes crashes

From The Telegraph of London:

Paranormal researchers are investigating the sightings of a girl in Victorian dress on a road in the West Midlands, which locals say is an accident blackspot.

The late-night visions are occurring along Oldnall Road in the Halesowen area and are believed to have been responsible for a number of crashes and near-misses in the area in recent years.

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“The image had been described as a small girl between the ages of three and five years old and wearing Victorian clothes.

“We are trying to find out any stories locals might have of the area which might explain what or who this could be.”

Local resident Jimmy Lahn, 54, said: “We’ve had quite a few accidents on that road, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ghostly figure has something to do with it.”

Parasearch’s website is here.

Mississippi supervisors deny ghost hunting permit

From the Picayune Item:

GULFPORT — A Biloxi-based group of ghost hunters have been denied a request to look for spirits at a Harrison County cemetery.

Supervisors on Monday refused to allow members of Shadowz Paranormal Investigations to check a county-run graveyard for ghosts.

Supervisor Marlin Ladner said he was “reluctant” to allow the group to wander around the graveyard at night.

“I don’t know how the community would feel about these people walking around where some of their loved ones are buried,” Ladner said.

One of the ghost hunters in training said that neighbors had seen strange lights and activity at the cemetery which prompted the request to investigate it. How do you think people in the community feel about their buried loved ones walking around the cemetery, Mr. Ladner?

‘The Haunted Man’

Fortean Times has a fascinating interview with photographer Simon Marsden:

You don’t have to dig too deep to understand the morbid fascination with the supernatural that has driven Simon Marsden’s work. Raised in haunted houses, fed a diet of occultist books and inspired by his father’s photographic prowess, the talented cameraman has carved a niche capturing gothic castles, decaying ruins and sweeping cemeteries on film and inflecting them with a poetic flair that blends the beautiful with the terrifying. The Poe of the photographic world, some might say.

“The aim of my work is to jolt people into awareness that not everything around them is how it seems. I want them to wake up from this drudgery of life – of paying the mortgage, of working away in a job they don’t necessarily enjoy, of being obsessed with money and technology, and return them to the faculties of nature.”

Still as productive as ever, Marsden reckons he has visited in excess of 5,000 sites over a 30-year period, although he considers only about 20 of those to be “very haunted”. Ireland’s Leap Castle is one such place, allegedly home to a foul-smelling elemental, which, according to Marsden, is the embodiment of the castle’s horrific past. “I have never sensed such an overwhelming feeling of evil since,” he says, of the place, recalling his first visit – the result of a random drive. “I certainly wouldn’t consider spending the night there.”

Entire article well worth reading.

Police nab ‘ghost hunters’

Remember, always get a property owner’s permission before ghost hunting. From Associated Press:

COLFAX, Wash. — A dozen University of Idaho students who were hunting ghosts in an abandoned hospital at Colfax were surprised by police and now face trespassing charges.

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Officers ordered the intruders out and threatened to send in a police dog. The students complied immediately.

The students were investigating a rumor of a haunted insane asylum.

They weren’t so afraid of ghosts as to not go in, but they were afraid enough of the police dog to immediately go out.

Ghost hunters investigate tavern

From The Scotsman:

Spirit Finders, Scotland’s answer to Ghostbusters, were on a mission to detect signs of paranormal life lurking amidst the bar stools of this Glasgow institution.

The five-strong crew arrived in the witching hour with an entourage of cameras, camcorders, voice recorders, ‘ghost detectors’ and temperature sensors to seek out the dead.

And it wasn’t long after last orders before spirits ran high.

“He’s over there!” said Shania, a self-declared psychic ‘white witch’ and key member of the group, which travels across Scotland investigating what they claim is the country’s ghost community. “I can see his shadow. He’s medium build and moving towards the cellar now.”

Silence. Everyone glances around in the dark. Then some rattling noises emanated from inside the cellar. It had been empty when it was locked.

A man had killed himself in the cellar in the 1970s.

‘We study you’

Ghost Finders Scotland investigated the Highland Hotel in Doune.

The Highland Hotel was formerly made up of five residences that have now been converted into one building. There are many reports of past paranormal activity. The figure of a dark haired woman has been witnessed on the stairs, a man wearing blue overalls has been spotted on a few occasions walking through the restaurant and in the bottom floor toilet before disappearing, the apparition of a large dog was witnessed in room 6, footsteps are heard regularly through the hallways, smells of pipe tobacco in the living room area, bottles moved and cutlery disappearing in the kitchen area, people hearing their names being shouted when nobody else is there, and a human bone that was found in one of the walls mysteriously disappeared.

Lots of EVP recordings.

Students hunt for haunted bridge

A middle school in Louisiana is using a local legend of a haunted bridge to help teach children about how to look up information in a fun way. Columnist Jim Bradshaw of The Daily Advertiser has the details:

The place they’re hunting for is known to them as “Mary Jane’s Bridge,” and they think it is in the New Iberia-Broussard area.

According to legend, Mary Jane was a young girl who was killed by her boyfriend and thrown over the bridge. Every year since then, she had been seen crying on the bridge on Prom Night, wearing her prom gown. The apparition apparently has no feet.

The kids want to know where the bridge is, and what happened to Mary Jane’s feet.

I’d also like to know more about the places you know about that are haunted.

I’m a believer. Photographer Pete Piazza and I had a close encounter with spirits of some sort at Albania Plantation, and a little old lady used to sit in a rocker from time to time in an old home my wife and I lived in for a while.

Wait until they find and visit the haunted site and are attacked by a dangerous ghost. Now that will be an education: in terror.

Some of the columnist’s readers responded:

But only one reader called to say that he had seen Mary Jane.

He’s a retired police officer who asked that his name not be used. He says he vividly recalls seeing her on the bridge during the summer of 1985.

He said he was driving when he “just knew there was someone in front of me.”

He stopped the car, got out, and saw a girl dressed in white with flowing brownish hair standing on the bridge.

“She just stood there and looked at me,” he recalled. “I asked her, ‘Can I help you?’ and she just stood there.”

It was at night in August. He’d turned his car lights off, but there was a full moon to illuminate the scene.

“And it was cold, very cold, on the bridge,” he said. “This was August, I think, but it was very cold.”

I have a premonition of frightened middle schoolers on a dark and lonely bridge some night soon waiting for Mary Jane.

I miss Mary Jane, by the way.

Pa. town a ‘hot spot’ for paranormal activity

From the Phoenixville (Pa.) News:

Phoenixville, with all its rich history, is quickly becoming a hot spot for paranormal investigations, and on Thursday, the Mansion House on Bridge Street will open its doors for the first time to host a ghost hunt.

The Mansion House, which was licensed in 1850 as an inn for food, drink and lodging for travelers and townspeople, has several interesting features which will be highlighted throughout the evening.

Beneath the building is a sub-basement with a large dirt-floor tunnel that is believed to have been part of the Underground Railroad. The Mansion House has also housed some interesting guests, like the Sundance Kid, who is said to have lived in a Mont Clare house which burned down several years ago.

But perhaps the most intriguing part of the tour will be the exploration of two sealed rooms discovered after a fire caused severe damage to the building in 2003.

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