More Americans Believe in Ghosts, Not Fewer

Full moon - ghostly sceneA decade ago, most scholars claimed that about 50% of Americans believed in ghosts or related paranormal phenomena.

Since then, those numbers may have increased. Here’s the news story:

MSU Professor: Belief in Ghosts and Other Paranormal is Strong – KEYC

“Studies indicate that 75% of Americans believe in at least one of the supernatural phenomenon surveyed, and while scholars over the last century have been predicting that believes in things such as ghosts and hauntings would dissipate as a result of the increasing efficacy of science, technology, and education. That’s just not proven true at all,” said Sociology Professor, Dennis Waskul.

Read more …

I wonder if the recent focus on “fake news” makes people less confident about supposedly reliable resources.

Left to trust their own instincts, perhaps some people realize that ghosts might be real, after all.

One intense encounter — or even an eerie experience — may be all it takes to tilt the scales from “skeptic” to “believer.”

ghostbat

Also in the news: Syfy may have cancelled Ghost Hunters, but other ghost-related shows continue to feature lesser-known haunts.

It’s smart to know what will be featured on TV, if you want to investigate a site before the energy is diluted by a fresh stream of eager, aspiring ghost hunters.

Here’s a former Ohio school that sounds interesting.

Haunted old Butler County school to be featured on national TV – Hamilton Journal News

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:27:04 GMT

Hamilton Journal News – Haunted old Butler County school to be featured on national TV. Poasttown Elementary, a former Madison Twp. school building that is now the home of Darrell and Brenda Whisman, will be featured on…
Read more …

Of course, I still recommend your own local research, to find unexplored haunts with powerful ghostly energy.

[MO] Joplin Team – Apparition Video

You’ll see two possible anomalies in this video.  One is an interesting orb.  The other is something that might be an apparition.

The Joplin Paranormal Research Society (Missouri) don’t claim that the orb is a ghost.  Of the two anomalies, I think the orb is more credible to someone who wasn’t there at the time.

The orb appears and then backs away.  It’s clear and large, and the right shape and density to be interesting.

However, it might be something reflective that drifted in and was pushed back by… well, I wasn’t there. A fan could do it, a door opening and closing, someone moving abruptly enough to cause a slight breeze, and so on.

But, after my intensive research into orbs and how easy they are to fake (or mistake) with dust, moisture, reflections, etc… this orb could be paranormal.

On the other hand, the apparition looks like someone walking in front of the camera.  It catches the light.  It’s too solid.

That’s exactly what makes this credible.  Unless the Joplin team are terrible investigators, had temporary amnesia, or are trying to promote a hoax, that figure is something paranormal.  (Yes, as the author of the popular article, Scams and Con Artists, I know that audacious lies fool us most often.  Nevertheless, I’m taking this video at face value.)

Does the video show a ghost?  Maybe.  I’m raising an eyebrow because — as I said earlier — it’s too solid.  That doesn’t mean it’s fake, but I wouldn’t rule out other paranormal explanations.  And, for that reason, assuming this was a real anomaly, I’d be very cautious about returning to that location.  (Not sure what I’m talking about?  See my free checklist related to Ghosts: What They Are and What They Aren’t.)

All in all, this is an interesting video.

Originality (assuming it’s real)

4-stars

Credibility (combined, of either anomaly – the orb or the figure)

3-stars

[MI] Eloise: The Asylum that Started It All

“Eloise: The Asylum That Started The Whole Mess” (above) is not a ghost video, it’s a tribute, and a downright chilling one.  The really creepy part..? It’s not hyperbole.  The information in that video can be confirmed.

Watch it before the videos about ghosts at Eloise, Michigan.

This site was first a stagecoach stop, the Black Horse Tavern. Then it was purchased and turned into a poorhouse, and then became a medical facility.  In its various incarnations it was a sanitorium for victims of tuberculosis, and a mental hospital.  Its names included the Eloise Infirmary for the Sick and Elderly, and the Eloise Hospital for the Insane.

Several locations associated with Eloise sound as if they should be haunted.  In fact, I’d expect this to be one of the creepiest haunted hospital sites in America.

More history of Eloise: “Eloise: Mostly a memory”

Next, “Spirit Caught on Camera In Haunted Eloise Asylum” includes highlights of a brief investigation inside Eloise – Visual anomalies, some clear Ghost Box responses, and lots of NSFW language from the investigators.  It’s a good balance of evidence.

Next, a daytime tour by the Dearborn Paranormal Research Society of Michigan.  Sound quality is challenging to listen to, dialing the levels up and down, but the information is excellent.

“Eloise Mental Hospital – Ghost Hunters” isn’t the Ghost Hunters’ TV show; it’s a news report by a startled reporter who — apparently — didn’t really expect to encounter anything at Eloise.

Parody? The next video includes a daytime tour by Michigan Paranormal Investigators, interviews about (fictional) Patient 626, and a night-time investigation with impossibly clear EVP.  This is how many “ghost stories” are created.  In five years, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about genuine phenomena related to the invented patient’s ghosts.

And now, only to better understand what you’ll find at Eloise, the next video series looks like a Ghost Hunters parody.  Mostly, it shows foolhardy investigating, with some inaccurate history thrown in.  It looks like these 12-year-old kids may have encountered some paranormal activity, while making such serious research blunders,  it’s impossible to sort fact from fantasy.

The worst part is: They’re clearly breaking the law — which I never recommend — and doing so, repeatedly. That’s what makes it difficult to get access to good, haunted sites; this kind of prank is unacceptable and it gives serious ghost hunters a bad name.  (Two words:  No trespassing.  How smart does anyone have to be, to understand what that means? Yes, it’s a rhetorical question borne of frustration.)

[Update: These YouTube videos seem to be online, but can be viewed “by permission only.” I’m leaving the links here in case the kids decide they want a bigger audience for their follies.]

  • Part One – Stylish introduction, and a quick daytime tour of the key locations at the Eloise site, including criminal trespassing.
  • Part Two – More criminal trespassing. The smokestack building doesn’t seem especially haunted to me, but the visual imagery is impressive.  It’s ideal for photographers who like abandoned sites.  I’m not convinced that this part of the complex is worth paranormal research.
  • Part Three is more of the same.  It shows more criminal activity no 12-year-old should try… or anyone of any other age, either.  (The parenting skills — or, more correctly, the lack of them — are shocking.)  Mostly, the video shows a bunch of kids scaring themselves.  The “reveal” (or summary) starts at 4:41 in the video, and some of the evidence is worth a second look.  Unfortunately, with this kind of silliness, none of their research (and I use the term loosely) holds any credibility.  That’s just one of many unfortunate aspects of what we see in these videos.

Resources for investigators

[OH] Otterbein Cemetery Tour

This video — “Haunted Cemetery – Ghastly Sounds…” — isn’t actually a “ghost” video, but a tour and history of an Ohio cemetery that’s definitely worth investigating.  We need more videos like this, to help ghost hunters find worthwhile sites.

However, I didn’t see or hear anything especially scary in this video.  Most of the night video quality is poor — weak sound and blurry camerawork — but that’s not what I was watching for.  In general, this video provided some good history and ghost stories, and enough of a subjective impression that I feel confident this is an active (ghostly) cemetery.

No, I can’t articulate why.  There’s a certain mix of sounds and silences, images and shadows… it adds up to a “gut feeling” about some locations.  Almost invariably, they turn out to be haunted.  I’m pretty sure this is one of those sites.  If I were in Ohio, near this cemetery, I’d visit it regularly for research.

In the video, the woman mentions some spooky sounds.  Maybe I missed them; the sound track isn’t great.

What I did hear — between normal, rural night noises — sounded like footsteps.  If the woman filming the video was alone, or her companions weren’t moving around while she was standing still… yes, those sounds are kind of spooky.

The mausoleum is definitely creepy.  It has that sterile/tragic combination that often marks a site that seems to attract shadow people.  I have no idea why.  It’s as if they need to fill in the void with their forms… but maybe I’m putting the cart before the horse.

All in all, this video got me interested in this cemetery, enough to compile some useful links if you’re investigating that site.  And then, I discovered another haunted cemetery with the same name, also in Ohio.

Resources if you’re investigating Otterbein Cemetery in Franklin Co.

Another haunted Otterbein Cemetery, in Perry County, OH

There’s also an Otterbein Cemetery in Darke County and one in Marion County, Ohio.

Originality – The person who filmed this didn’t let her video skills hold her back. Though the quality isn’t great, the information and the impressions I got from this video made it intriguing.  It’s also thought-provoking, because I’m trying to understand why I feel so certain that site is haunted… and has shadow people.

3-stars

Credibility (Doesn’t really apply. This is mostly a “this is the cemetery and what’s known about its ghosts” video.)

3-half-stars

GFI Poasttown Apparitions

This paranormal investigation video — “GFI Catches REAL Ghosts and Shadow Creatures on Video!” — includes two clips from Poasttown, Ohio.  The first one is good, but I’m not certain it’s ghostly. The second one… maybe I’m not seeing what others are.  Either way, this highlights how closely you need to study videos, to see anomalies in them.

Also, I recommend muting the music. (When I’m analyzing a video, I’d rather not be distracted by tinkling music.  However, I understand that most viewer probably aren’t going to dissect a video the way that I will, so the music is campy and kind of cool.)

nov2012-green-1822

Above is a screenshot from the corridor, when it’s normal.  This is at the end of the first clip.

Like most night-vision videos, the angle of the light, where the camera is focused, and normal shadows are always an issue.  Ditto matrixing… looking for form and meaning in something that’s merely odd (not paranormal) at best.

What I’m seeing is a door that has a window, and a somewhat reflective surface on the door itself.  The floor is shiny and reflective as well.  Both of these could explain what happened in this video clip.

The next photo shows the point that interests me the most.  In it, a shadow figure seems to cross in front of the door, below the height of the door handle.

nov2012-green-1816

It might be a normal shadow.  If someone ducked down and walked in front of the video camera, that could cast a shadow in the light, even though the person’s body wasn’t seen in the video.

Or, the shift in camera position could account for different lighting effects that simply look paranormal.

So, there’s nothing  conclusive here.

To get a better understanding of what I’m looking at, here are two annotated screenshots.

nov2012-greencorridor-300wiAt right, you’ll see a the 11:18:16 PM screenshot again. I’ve placed an oval over the areas that interest me the most.

(It’s dark. You may need to watch the video again, and adjust your screen settings to see it.)

I’m looking at a shadow that crosses in front of the door.  At its tallest, it’s about two feet, maybe two-and-a-half feet, tall. (Less than one meter.)

Then there’s the darker area in front of the door.

Let’s say it is an apparition or shadow figure.  The question is: Is the figure at the door, and it’s reflected in the shiny floor?  Or, is the figure nearly human-sized, but closer to the camera?

Simply, does the oval include the shadow figure plus its reflection, or does the oval include the entire figure, with no obvious reflection?

nov2012-green-shadow-arrowIncreasing the contrast didn’t answer any questions.  An example is at left.  The arrow points to the top of the shadow figure, as I see it.  (Others may see something totally different.)

Except that I discount what seems like easy matrixing, several other frames in this video offered some strange images.  One looked exactly like a line drawing of a head and torso, extending all the way up to the window in the door, and the shadow was in front of it.

Also, I can see a variety of figures — some upside up, some upside down — in the reflection or possible shadow figure in front of the door.

They’re adding speculation on top of out-on-a-limb speculation.  That doesn’t mean they’re not real, or actually there… those images simply aren’t credible enough to include as evidence of… well, anything.

But, let’s not get that serious.  I think it’s important to as “what if…?” about even the threadiest evidence. (And, frankly, this video is better than many — and maybe most — that I see.)

You never know where the questions will lead.  They may not apply to the evidence in question, but they may trigger ideas for fresh investigation techniques, or new things to check for in old evidence.  (This is why I urge people never to delete old photos, videos, or EVP recordings.)

So, let’s say that the shadow figure is directly in front of the door.  Why would it be that small?

Here are a few explanation:

1. The ghost is walking on a level that existed in his lifetime, and only his upper body extends above the current floor.

I’ve seen this phenomena among apparations in homes where the floors changed, due to a structural change in the building.

For example, when a Victorian home (with high ceilings) is converted so the attic becomes a new living space — by lowering the floor — or the height of the foundation changes (common in homes renovated after flooding), the ghosts may be walking where the old floor was.

(Similar reports around York, England, describe half-bodies of Roman soldiers, still marching where the ground used to be, but it’s been filled-in, since.)

2. It’s a faerie.  Some of them, especially in categories like gnomes, are about two or three feet tall.

3. It’s another kind of entity, also small in stature.  (See my book, Ghosts – What They Are and What They Aren’t.)

At this point, as a researcher, I’d need more evidence to be sure that this video is showing something paranormal.  I’d need simultaneous EVP, or regular flash photos capturing the figure, or additional videos with the same phenomena.

This video is odd enough to make additional research a priority.  Something seems to be casting the shadow, but — without further evidence — it’s difficult to tell if it’s a normal shadow, a shadow figure, or something else.

mouse-in-hallThe second segment of this video confuses me.  Maybe I’m not looking at the correct area in the video, because what I’m seeing doesn’t look paranormal.

It looks like a typical evening in our Florida kitchen, when we were dealing with mice that looked disturbingly like Mickey Mouse.  (When I set them free, far from our house, I think they just returned to my kitchen, rather than heading to Disney World.)

In this video, I see something rush out, pause, and then rush back into the wall or a doorway.  To me, it looks like a mouse or a rat… a rodent with large-ish ears, whatever it is.  Varieties of mice with ears this large include Gremlin mice.

That’s an enlargement of the screenshot, at right.  To me, it looks like a mouse on his hind legs, with his ears at full alert, watching the person in the doorway, further down the hall.

At the correct angle, with the lighting “just so,” this mouse could look like the one in the video.
At the correct angle, with the lighting “just so,” this mouse could look like the one in the video.

Then, he drops back down on all fours, and scurries back to the room or opening where he’d emerged from.

Of course, in this kind of video, with a really shiny floor, it’s difficult to evaluate the figure’s height.

Maybe the anomaly is something else in the video.  I’ve watched it several times, and the mouse attracts my attention every time.

If there’s something else in this video that I’m not seeing, please let me know.  I’d hate to miss a really good anomaly.

Fiona’s “Scary Ghost Videos” analysis

The first segment in this YouTube video shows something odd enough to make follow-up investigations imperative.  Though I can explain the shadow in a variety of ways, I’d want to go back and test them:

  1. Have someone cross in front of the camera, but just beneath the lens, to see if that creates a similar shadow.
  2. Deliberately film from a variety of angles, filming constantly, to see what happens with shadows and reflections as the focus and angles of light vary.

The second segment — the b&w one — the activity at the left side of the screen looks too much like a mouse or a rat.  But, as I said, maybe I’m missing a truly interesting anomaly in another part of the corridor.

The take-aways from this video are:

  • Examine each video very carefully.  Sometimes, the anomalies are really subtle.
  • What you think you see in a video may be influenced by what you saw when you were at the site, or your teammates’ opinions.
  • When you post a video online, it’s good to include an arrow or other indication of where we’re supposed to look.  That’s not mandatory or even typical, but in this situation, it might have been helpful.  But, I know that other people don’t want to point to what looks anomalous to them, so any comments weren’t helped with clues.

Originality

3-stars

Credibility

3-half-stars

[OK] Brown Springs – Too Scared

If you can see this Brown Springs video by “Panic Attack Videos,” watch it. It’s interesting and credible.

[Update: Video made private by “Panic Attack Videos” on YouTube – link was http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DttYnOd1RPw  However, the video was so compelling, I’m leaving the link here in case you want to try to access it.]

This video looked like the real thing to me.  There is no reason for grown men to act that frightened… unless they were.  And, if you check some of their other videos from that site, I think you’ll be impressed with the location.

This was a very short video and — because it’s so brief and the guys panicked —  it’s not terribly scary.  However, it’s exactly what happens in a genuinely haunted sites… even if you’re a guy who’ll get out of a car to confront unknown people pursuing you.  (That refers to part of the video featured in my Hollow Hill article.  It’s an amazingly risky thing to do.)

Basically, the guys arrive at Brown Springs — in Love County, by Thackerville, Oklahoma — and stay just a few minutes.  Then, a sense of evil and danger overtakes them and they decide to leave, quickly.

Strong language made this video not safe for office viewing, and the authenticity — suggesting something truly frightening — made this video unsuitable for family viewing, too.

Originality

2-half-stars

Credibility

4-stars

Brown Springs Cemetery, Oklahoma

Brown Springs Cemetery in Oklahoma caught my attention.  This location looks so good — if you take proper precautions — it’s worth sharing with you, right away.

First, check the description and links at this Oklahoma history webpage:  Brown Springs, Thackerville, Oklahoma.

Then, watch this “Panic Attack Videos” presentation, which includes language — audio and in captions — that is not safe for the office. (Ignore the cheesy graphic in the video screenshot. It’s actually a good video.)

  • The on-site portion of the video gives a hint of why this could be a powerful location for research.
  • Then, it shows why you shouldn’t bother going there unless you have a large research team… including big guys with stakes (or at least baseball bats).

(As of Jan 2016, the following link will take you to that video’s location at YouTube, but you’ll need the channel owner’s permission to see it.)

https://youtu.be/jicCxgPihPs

This could be a highly dangerous location, due to the living, not the dead.  And, I wouldn’t want to see threatening violence escalate.  That could be tragedy waiting to happen… again, because of the living, not the dead.

However, with enough bouncer-type team members — and some good maps of the area, so you know which dirt roads are dead ends —  a site that active at night should be worth investigating during somewhat safer daytime hours.  (Here’s a link to one map with a general overview: http://www.oklahomahistory.net/brownspr/bsprmap.jpg )

Mostly, I like this video because the guys seem very normal and they don’t leap to paranormal explanations for what could be ordinary things.

Yes, the video could have been staged.  (Their YouTube description says that they enjoy “pranks,” and some of their videos are clearly fake, staged silliness.)

That’s not the point. 

The presentation is excellent… though I’m not sure what that fake screenshot is in the freeze-frame image provided by YouTube, above.

(In case the screenshot varies: the one I’m seeing as I write this is the guy at the wheel of the car, with a ridiculous, zombie-ish face behind him.)

Fake or not, I liked the first video, because it shows one good reason never to ghost hunt by yourself. That kind of real-life scare can happen anywhere.

Okay, Brown Springs Cemetery is known for trouble, but that trouble started at some time in the past.  You should never put yourself at risk by ghost hunting alone or unprepared.  You do not want to be at a haunted site on the night when trouble begins at that location.

In the next video, “World’s scariest ghost hunt that never happened,” the guys explain that Brown Springs isn’t one of their “prank” locations.  (Like the others, this video contains not-safe-for-the-office language.)

In the next video (linked below), you’ll see why you’ll want a good 4WD vehicle, leg covering (in case of snakes), and good hiking shoes.  Early in the video, one of the guys talk about hearing gunfire nearby, confirming the risks of visiting Brown Springs Cemetery, even in broad daylight.  And then… they get lost.  So, have GPS and a good hiking map and compass.

This is another video with not-safe-for-the-office language.  You’ll be tempted to stop after the 10-minute mark, since that’s when they leave the cemetery area.  However, if you’re planning a trip to the site, watch to the 12-minute mark.  You’ll get some useful tips about road hazards in and out of the Brown Springs Cemetery location: Specifically, place logs in the deepest ruts in the road.  (At the end of the video, they go to the nearby casino.)

Here’s the link to that video, but (as of Jan 2016) — like the first one I linked to — you’ll need the channel owner’s permission to view it:

https://youtu.be/4IS_uFJ3IYs

Additional Brown Springs references

Note: Browns Spring Cemetery — with an S — is a different location.  It’s in Georgia.

[IL] Chicago – Interview with Jamie of Chicagoland Ghosts

Background: I’ve known Jamie for many years and respect his enthusiasm for ghost hunting, as well as his integrity as a researcher with a solid background in science.

When I decided to add an interview section to this website, he was a logical choice for this, my first (2006)  interview.

Jamie’s popular Chicagoland Ghosts website is in transition. Originally, it was hosted at GeoCities, http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/2007/

How long have you been ghost hunting, and how do you describe what you do?

I’ve been involved with ghost hunting for about eight years now, and my specialty is the midwest, especially around Illinois. Mostly, I say that I’m a ghost hunter or paranormal researcher.

What’s your background for ghost hunting, and did you study to research this field, or did you fall into it naturally?

I have an AAS degree in E.E. (electrical/electronic engineering technology), but I just sort of fell into ghost hunting, or rather it found me.

What techniques and tools do you use the most? And, do you have tips for other researchers?

Mostly, I use cameras, and I measure EMF (electromagnetic fields). For photos, I mostly use digital cameras now. I have enough film photos but I did use 400 speed color film before I switched to digital. And, I get the best results with a flash.

Lately, I use digital despite the fact that it has no negative; if people aren’t going to believe it they aren’t going to believe it, regardless. Why should anyone waste countless rolls of film? Like most ghost hunters, I don’t have a lot of money to throw around, and digital works fine.

Wayne Dyer jokes that, in the old days if you asked a scientist if he believed in Deity, he’d say, “Of course not, I’m a scientist!” but today if you ask that same question, you’ll hear, “Of course, I’m a scientist!”

Similarly, many of us who begin as skeptics in this field, become believers. But, the question is… what are ghosts? What’s your opinion?

I have seen black things that walk at night. I have seen full apparitions, transparent and glowing. I’ve heard and felt many more things that science can’t explain yet.

I think they are probably spirits. Some seem to be lost, but others are able to travel at will between the planes of existence.

They are here for as many reasons as we are here: Some because they choose to be, others because they are lost or confused, and others are just visiting.

How do you select places to ghost hunt… what cues tell you that it’s a good place, or just an urban legend?

First, I check the history of a place. Then, sometimes it’s just a feeling, but many times my guesses are right. When I get to a good site, I usually get a feeling of heaviness, like the air is really thick. Cemeteries seem to be the best for my research right now. I’d really like a chance to investigate the catacombs under Paris.

Some locations get better the more you visit them, and others seem to deteriorate. It varies.

Have you ever felt a personal connection with a ghost?

Yes, when one called my name and nobody was around. I’ve posted a few of my favorite ghost stories at my Chicagoland Ghosts website.

Most of us remember at least one ghost hunt that was genuinely frightening. Have you ever been scared on a ghost hunt?

Yes, at a person’s home, in the basement. I was going to spend the night but I kept feeling like something was crawling all over me. I had to get out of there. It had me freaked out.

What do you like best about ghost hunting? Least?

The best is that it is a lot of fun. You get to see and experience things nobody else does.

Least favorite? Having to deal with rude skeptics and unbelievers. They can have a dampening effect. Sometimes, if you actually experience something, the skeptic automatically tries to rule out your experience without even considering the facts. People should use common courtesy, but some skeptics don’t.

How do you deal with skeptics?

I ignore them. They won’t last long, and they probably won’t come back.

Do you get better results at certain times of day or night? Is there more activity around certain times of year, such as Halloween?

It depends on the ghost. Generally, I can get results whether it is day or night.

Also, some show up at certain times of the year. Other hauntings seem to be random.

Describe your typical — or best — ghost hunts.

I like a small number of people. More than half a dozen is too many. I’m likely to stay anywhere from half an hour to an hour for an informal visit. Mostly I stay however long it takes to cover the area thourougly. I can keep researching for three or four hours on a more formal investigation. If I go back to a site–and I do revisit them, usually–I’ll usually stay just as long as I did the first time.

What would you tell someone who is interested in ghost hunting but doesn’t know where to start?

First, check the web sites and check my links. Read as much as you can, and dont expect anything to jump out at you. In fact, don’t expect to see anything at all. Stay away from “demonologists” or people that charge for investigations.

What else would you tell a beginner? What about websites, books, and other resources when you’re getting started in ghost hunting?

For reading, I like theShadowlands.net‘s Ghost Hunting 101, Troy Taylor’s The Ghost Hunter’s Guidebook, and whatever you can find on the web. The more sources the better. To find haunted places, check out the history of the area. See if there are any sources on the web for haunted locations. Check the historical society and newspaper archives, too.

Beginners can start with just a camera and a basic no-frills EMF meter, and maybe a tape recorder for EVP.

Can anyone/everyone be a successful ghost hunter?

No, most can but a lot of people lack the patience and open mindedness to actually succeed… It takes a certain individual. Some people get into ghost hunting for the wrong reasons. This includes anyone who is insincere, or thinks they can make a lot of money from it. Or, if you expect to see things jumping out at you, then you probably should just stay home and watch it on TV.

What precautions should people take before ghost hunting at a new location?

If you visit a site in the daytime, it could help you see more clearly what the area is like and eliminate a few obvious things. Don’t trespass; always get permission. Don’t smoke at a location. Pick up your trash. Use comon sense. Above all, don’t panic and run and hurt yourself, if you hear a noise.

Never go ghost hunting alone; let people know where you are.

You mentioned demonologists, but what about demons? Many of us have encountered things that aren’t ghosts, but we aren’t sure what they are. What’s your opinion?

I believe there are negative entities that feed on our fears and emotions but I do not believe in demons. There are certainly types of spirits that were never human; I call them elementals. They can be brought about by disturbing the land, or messing with forces that you shouldn’t mess with.

Negative entities are a hot subject in ghost hunting. How do you feel about people using Ouija boards while ghost hunting?

As with loaded guns, don’t mess with them unless you know what you are doing. Ouija boards are a tool and if you don’t respect a tool, you can get hurt. It’s not the tool’s fault, it’s your fault for not understanding what you are doing. Mostly, don’t use a Ouija board unless you intend to actually communicate with something, and don’t freak out and get all scared if it actually works.

Do you personally use ESP for ghost hunting? How do you feel about a psychic using his or her abilities on a ghost hunt?

I do use my intuition, but I don’t consider myself a psychic. They can be valuable but take it with a grain of salt. You don’t know how accurate a psychic is until you have some way to verify what they say.

Every community is different, but many of us get great support from the police when we’re ghost hunting. Is that true for you, too?

Yes, the police can be a great help if you cooperate with them and don’t disrespect the law. They might even be ghost hunters themselves.

Do you work with the press at Halloween?

No, I prefer to quietly do my own thing and not be bothered.

Do you accept clients? If so, do you charge for your time and expenses?

Occasionally I accept clients, but not lately. My work is always free but I will accept gas money. Generally, the site has to be nearby.

How can people get in touch with you, and stay current on ghost hunting in your area?

Visit my Yahoo!Group, Chicagoland Ghost Club.