Ghosts and Investigations Into the Paranormal

Ghosts and haunted houses are a huge part of the atmosphere surrounding Halloween. People have believed in the existence of ghosts and other supernatural phenomena since the beginning of human existence.

The desire to get in touch with those who have departed this earth is a strong one. People have attempted this over the years by a variety of means. These include attempting to contact someone through a medium via a seance, or hiring a ghost hunter.

Ghost hunting has become so popular these days that you can even purchase a ghost hunter’s ghost hunting kitstarter kit! Many shows on TV center around ghost hunting such as  the Discovery Channel’s, Ghost Lab: Pursuit of the Paranormal, The Travel Channel’s, Ghost Adventures, and SyFy’s, Ghost Hunters.

The Seance

The seance dates back to the late 18th century, with the earliest known book on the subject titled, “Communitation With the Other Side“, written by George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton in 1760. The practice of conducting seances grew by leaps and bounds by the middle of the 19th century. Some of the most famous people who participated in the practice were President Abraham Lincoln and First Lady, Mary Todd Lincoln.

Of the many different types of seances, the most popular was and is, the leader-assisted seance. This is where people sit around a table in a dark or semi-dark room holding hands or touching fingertips.The leader, or medium goes into a trance. The trance-like state makes it possible for spirits to enter the medium, and the medium will proceed to communicate for the spirit of the dead person.

The famous magician, Harry Houdini, helped expose many fake mediums. He did not oppose the practice of spiritualism in and of itself. He was just opposed to those who would take advantage of others through the practice by defrauding people who were in a vulnerable position.

Final 1936 Houdini Seance Audio Recording With Still Photos And Posters:

Ghost Hunters

The practice of ghost hunting goes back deep into ancient history. The most famous early advent of the practice began in the mid 18th century with the start of the spiritualist movement and went into the 1930’s.

One of the most famous ghost hunters of this time period was a man named Harry Price. Harry is most famous for his ghost hunting work conducted at the Borley Rectory, photographing ghostly apparitions. Though his work is still questioned by skeptics, he brought to the forefront the importance of using equipment in ghost hunting thus ushering in the modern era. More information on Harry Price can be found at The Haunted Museum.

Ghost Hunting Today

Today’s ghost hunter is a different breed compared to his or her predecessors. These modern day ghost hunters come equipped with all kinds of high-tech gadgets such as EMF meters, night vision photography, ultrasonic motion detectors and infrared thermometers, to name a few. With the advent of this new technology, the interest in ghost hunting and paranormal investigation has soared in the early 21st century.

The plethora of television shows surrounding the subject of ghost hunting such as, Ghost Hunters, The Othersiders and Most Haunted, have really fueled interest as well.

Investigating Longwood Manor In Ohio

Types of Ghosts

There are several different words ‘floating’ around out there that all mean ghost:

 

  • apparition
  • boggart
  • disembodied spirit
  • ghost
  • phantasm
  • phantom
  • shade
  • spectre (specter)
  • spirit
  • spook
  • visitant
  • wraith

There is also a subsection of phenomena that people associate with the the above list of ghosts:

  • Banshee
  • Cold Spot
  • Crisis Apparition
  • Deathbed Vision
  • Demon
  • Doppelganger
  • Electronic Voice Phenomena
  • Fetch
  • Poltergeist
  • Spirit Orb
  • Spirit Voice
  • Thought Form

If you want greater detail on any of the above ghost lists and more about ghosts, Real British Ghosts has an excellent, detailed page on this that is recommended highly.

Haunted Houses

Haunted House

Haunted House—Sean MacEntee (Flickr.com)

Most of us can remember one broken down old house in disrepair that was somewhere close by in the neighborhood. Perhaps it was vacant, or maybe a witch lived there with her big, black tom cat. Whatever the case we were probably thrilled, curious and frightened at the same time. Surely ghosts were taking up residence there!

Haunted houses have been a fascination with people for quite some time. Most house hauntings are thought to be centered around tragic events that have occured there. Among these are murders and suicides. These disembodied spirits cannot find rest for one reason or another.

 

 

Haunted Houses Centered Around Halloween

Makeshift haunted houses are usually open only during Halloween. This type of haunted house doesn’t necessarily have to be located in an actual house. They can be other types of structures such as old hotels, abandoned warehouses, etc. Most communities usually have one of these close by where you can have a frightfully fun time! Many of these types of community haunted houses are set up to benefit charities in the local community. Some will even wave the admission charge if you donate a can of food for your local food bank. A win-win situation for everybody!

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