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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Default Does your house have ghosts?

    Does your house have ghosts?
    By Keith Pandolfi

    (This Old House) -- Troy Taylor is the author of more than 40 books on all things paranormal -- most notably haunted houses. He's also the founder of the American Ghost Society, a network of ghost hunters who collect stories of sightings and hauntings, then use investigative techniques and equipment to track down evidence of the supernatural.

    Here he explains how you can find the right ghost buster to rid your old house of its specters and spirits.

    In my line of work, I often deal with people who have (or claim to have) ghosts in their houses. Inevitably, most of them ask me what they should do about it. Should they move out? Should they talk to the specters, or just ignore them?

    But the most common question I get is whether or not they should contact a ghost hunter to come to their houses and investigate.

    First let me say that over the years I have been involved in ghost research, the vast majority of the cases I've investigated have had perfectly natural explanations. That is not to say that some haven't puzzled me, or left me feeling the house in question was indeed haunted. This Old House: Haunted houses

    Even if you're house is not haunted, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that it is, thinking every bump and creak you hear is something ghostly. And it's not long before your family picks up on your fears, and begins hearing the "unexplainable" sounds and seeing the resident "ghost." This Old House: Fix creaky stairs

    As witness to a series of what could be considered ghostly events, you must first determine whether or not those events are natural or supernatural. In order to do this, try to relax and be a good observer. Even if you're scared by what you've seen or heard, it's important that you first give the occurrences some rational thought. Are those "phantom footsteps" you heard simply the house settling, or the floorboards creaking? Was that "cold chill" merely a draft? Was that "ghost" you saw out of the corner of your eye nothing more than a trick of the light? This Old House: Detecting drafts

    Who you gonna call?

    Once you've ruled out natural causes, you have a choice of what to do next. You can either learn to live with the novelty of a ghost in your house, or get in touch with a legitimate ghost researcher to help you understand what's going on. This is not as easy as it sounds, as there are hundreds of them out there, with a varying degree of credibility. To get you started, here is some information that will help you choose the right one for the job.

    Check out the investigator's Web sites and use them to determine whether or not they are the kind of people you would be comfortable having in your home. Remember, that site is their method of advertising. If it's questionable, the ghost hunters are likely to be as well. After all, anyone can launch a Web site, but the quality of the material on it speaks volumes about who's behind it.

    Avoid ghost hunters who dabble in magic, the occult, or offer "magical cleansings" of homes. None of these things should be part of a legitimate investigation. If there is any mention of them on the Web site, move on.

    Legitimate ghost hunters will not charge for their services. If you are asked to pay for an investigation, look for something else. Only services that produce concrete, tangible results are worthy of payment, and paranormal research is too unpredictable for that. That said, if the ghost researcher is expected to travel (especially overnight) to reach your home, you should offer reimbursement for his or her expenses.

    Check qualifications


    Once you've found an investigator you're comfortable with, ask him how long he's been involved in paranormal research, and about his past investigations -- especially those involving private residences. If he claims to be some sort of "doctor," ask what kind of doctor he is. Find out if he's affiliated with a research group or a national organization, such as the American Ghost Society. Being affiliated with a group with a good reputation can help you make a better decision about allowing him into your home. You can also call the organization and request additional information.

    The investigation

    After ruling out natural explanations, the researcher might decide that an investigation of your house is warranted. Prepare to be invaded! Research teams can be made up of five to six individuals. And investigations can be very invasive. There will be photographs taken of the house, and hundreds of feet of video shot. They will ask you dozens of questions -- many of which will seem unconnected, and perhaps even embarrassing. They will ask you to describe the events that occurred, and your statement will be recorded. But bear with them. These questions have a purpose, and the investigators will be working to try to legitimize your story, and determine if the reported activity is real.

    Here are some things that you should be aware of when it comes to legitimate paranormal investigations:

    Investigators should arrive at your home with healthy skepticism and an open mind to all possibilities. Good ones remain non-committal until they've had a chance to gather all the evidence.

    Make sure the investigators know how to use their equipment. If there is anything you don't understand, ask them to explain. If they can't, you may have a problem.

    Reporters or other members of the media should never accompany investigators without your permission. The investigators are duty-bound to keep all aspects of your case confidential, unless they have your permission to disclose anything.

    Make sure everyone who experienced anything unusual in your house is present on the night of the investigation. And don't let friends and relatives over who simply want to watch the proceedings. They can be distracting to you and the investigators.

    It's important to remember that if you start feeling uncomfortable with what is going on at any point in the investigation, you have the absolute right to call it off. The investigators are guests in your home. They should be given the respect that such a title signifies, but they must respect your feelings and fears as well.

    Proper ghost removal

    If it turns out there are natural explanations for your haunting, ask the investigators to explain them in detail -- and don't be offended. You've asked them to give you an honest opinion, so you have to be prepared to accept it --whatever it is.

    If natural explanations cannot be found, and it's determined that there is indeed a presence in your house, the investigators will likely suggest you get in touch with a family minister so he or she can come to the house and to pray for the soul of the spirit that is present. This is not an "exorcism," but simply an attempt to get the ghost to leave in peace.

    If a willing minister is not available, the ghost hunter should be able to suggest another person capable of getting rid of ghosts -- either a professional medium, psychic, or someone who is sensitive to spirits. This person should be someone the ghost hunter has worked with before, or who was referred through a legitimate source.

    If the medium detects that a spirit is present, he will try to convince it to move on. How effective is this? It's hard to say. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. I often get calls from people asking for this service, but in my years in the paranormal field, I have found very few people trustworthy enough for this assignment. They are out there though, and your investigator should do all they can to get you in touch with them.

    Let me assure you, though, that ghosts are not present to hurt anyone and in almost every case, a family can peacefully coincide with a spirit.

    Obviously though, not everyone wants that and some even insist that the ghost itself would be better off passing on to wherever we go at the time of death. In this case, the ghost hunter should be proactive in helping you with your wishes.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk MF5150's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 12:20 PM
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    They forgot to mention one monumental thing in the ghost removal section:

    DO NOT CROSS THE STREAMS!
    My man, when you are fantasizing, don't go for attainable, you can get attainable at the local Applebee's. - Dave's Dreidel

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    Oh yes, Winter is almost upon us, if you don't own a CO2 detector you should pick one up this weekend.

    Seriously, if you're hearing voices in your home that's the first thing I'd look for. Speaking as an ex-Ghostie Hunter type.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvH_316_5150 View Post
    They forgot to mention one monumental thing in the ghost removal section:

    DO NOT CROSS THE STREAMS!
    Important safety tip......Thanks Egon.

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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    08.04.17 @ 11:33 PM
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    The obvious answer to the question "who you gonna call."

    My kids hear and see stuff around our house and my youngest insists on keeping every light in the house on. I never seem to catch any of this but then I'm old. Maybe it's best that I don't see anything or anyone until it's my time to head for the door.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    10.22.17 @ 08:55 PM
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    True story.....

    Summer of 1996, me and two friends were renting this house, and we invited some other friends of mine over to do a Native American house smudging ceremony, which is traditional when you move into a new place. We all felt a presence..... someone or something that should NOT be there, but it didn't really want to leave. After what seemed like a bit of a struggle, we all felt that this spirit had left. Or so we thought. We were all heavily involved in political campaigns that summer, so we didn't have a lot of time to dwell on whether the house was haunted or not.

    Weird things happened all summer....... like things disappearing, and turning up later somewhere else, and not because one of the roommates were using it, Keys, remote controls, things like that. Minor annoyances at most, but weird. Weirder still was the cat, who would just get freaked for no reason, refusing to go outside, and eventually confusing my tool box in the garage for a litter box. Yeah, nothing like reaching in for a socket wrench and finding a fucking puddle of cat piss.

    But to cut to the chase here, we got into a dispute with the dickhead landlords about unrelated issues and decided to move out in August. One of the roomies was a delegate to the National Democratic convention that year, so his parents had to move his stuff out while he was away......

    I heard his dad say "Well I guess we get Fred back now. It's been so quiet around the house with him gone". (I think it was Fred.... this was 11 years ago)

    I'm like... "Who's Fred?"

    "Don never told you? There's a ghost somehow attached to this flag". It was an older flag, maybe a 48 stater. The kind that they fold up in neat little triangles at military funerals.

    "Uh, no. He never said a thing about it." And then I remembered he wasn't there the night we did the ceremony.... But I'm sure I told him about it later. And I wanted to kill him when he got back from the convention.

    So that's the summer I spent with a dead war hero, I guess?? Never did find out exactly who the original owner of the flag (and presumably the ghost) was.
    Eat Us And Smile

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  7. #7
    Eruption
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    Ghosts are a figment of your imagination. They exist because you want them to.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockygotfingered View Post
    Ghosts are a figment of your imagination. They exist because you want them to.

    Not true at all.

    The title "Ghost" is applied to a number natural and unique phenomena where the 5 Human senses interact with a variety of eliments, energy fields and energy particles. Infrasound is the leading cause of unaccounted hauntings, extreme low frequencies effect the brain, especially durring twilight stages of sleep and can cause the feeling of being watched and make people think an invisible entity is in the room with them. This has been recreated in laboritories in Chicago and Arizona. Infrasound can result from the moving of techtonic plates in the Earth or architectural design, in fact the number of hauntings that have been reported in brand new homes can be attributed to the increase in popularity of the McMansion-style, oversized home. Wind or AC flowing through massive ventilation shafts and down long hallways is the same as blowing into a Tuba and can cause people to feel unease and even hear/feel things.
    Then you have energy fields cause by moving underground water and electrical devices. On the TAPS board a guy who is a TV repairman told a story about removing the shielding on a CRT and leaving it on and then forgetting about it. The the EMF from the CRT caused him to start hearing voices and seeing shadowy people move about the room. He then remembered his safety training and turned off the CRT and went outside for some air. His boss laughed at him and then told him that things would have gotten more interesting if he hadn't figured it out. That's an extreme case but today there are dozens of appliances and electronic equipment in the average American home that are always on and some of them can give off significant EMFs. Homes built over underground rivers and streams often found to be active. Many older homes, especially in the east are built over a well or have one on the property. Hand-dug wells especially have been present in homes with extremely active hauntings. We know that the energy is present not only from EMF detectors but from the fact that batteries will drain unusually fast. Ions (+/-) complete the circuit in the battery housing and drain them. Negative Ions may also have an effect on the brain, although the current medical evidence says that electromagnetic fields have no effect on the human body. That's not to say that there isn't interaction between the outside EMFs and the human body's own natural electromagnetic field.

    What nobody can explain - yet - is why these natural energy fields and Infrasound waves cause people see actual images or voices of former inhabitents who lived or worked in the same precise location; often the viewer beinf unaware or unknowledgeable of the location's past. While those natural elements can and do cause false hauntings there is no way for the person experiencing the event to know that it isn't a real evet and not a preceptive reflex. It is very real to them.

    As to the idea of people seeing ghosts because they want to see them I will simply ask this question:

    If it is possible for the mind to manufacture a 3 dimensional being by sheer will then how come I've never been awakened in the dead of night by Cindy Crawford (or Jessica Alba)? That's where my head is at 95% of the time and in my 43 years I've never even so much as a wet dream about them?

    If my mind can manufacture a US Army Captain in broad daylight then why not a Playboy playmate?

    Guess what, I WANT to see Cindy Crawford! If there is some kind of mental problem that causes me to not only see her in my room but have her molest me then tell me how to get it!

    Where are the stories about walking into an empty warehouse and seeing Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and John Bonham rocking out?

    I've never run into a ghost in a place that I expected them (i.e. a big creepy abandoned building).
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk Viking's Avatar
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    I have to go on the believing side. I have had too much stuff happen to me over the years.

    In our last house we had two separate groups of people say that they heard someone playing with marbles in the living room in the middle of the night. Neither group had any knowledge of what the other had heard.

    My sister woke several times to someone rubbing her leg. I woke up one morning to someone walking across my bed, which I though at first to be my niece, who was about 8 or 9 at the time, only to look up and see no one there. The freaky part is that while I was looking up and around this person/thing was still walking across my bed. I know some of you may think I was dreaming or smoking crack but I assure you I was not. One of the footsteps went right through my arm, and by that I mean there was a divot created in the bed underneath where my arm was. I stayed in bed a couple of minutes, got up and walked around for a little bit, and finally went back to sleep. It freaked me out a little but not enough to give me the heebie jeebies. All of us in the house had come to the conclusion that it was a small child. There are other stories as well, but I'll wait to tell those.
    "Viking - last to sleep, first to rise, last to leave, that's how the Nords of old rocked the house." ~ timmac in the 'Texas Linkers' thread talking about yours truly. :-)

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvH_316_5150 View Post
    They forgot to mention one monumental thing in the ghost removal section:

    DO NOT CROSS THE STREAMS!
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  11. #11
    Top Of The World
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeoHalen View Post
    The ghost of Keith Richards likes to haunt my house. Wait, he's not dead yet!
    "France has neither winter, nor summer, nor morals. France is miserable because it is filled with Frenchmen, and Frenchmen are miserable because they live in France." - Mark Twain

 

 

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