Haunted Cemeteries – Gravestones and Monuments

Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries - 3rd editionHaunted cemeteries can be ideal research sites for any ghost hunter. Whether you’re looking for a “good scare,” scientific evidence, or to help a lost soul “cross over,” many cemeteries are convenient, open to the public… and haunted.

The following photos may convince you to explore cemeteries near your home, school, or workplace. They’re related to the 2015 edition of my popular book, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries: A How-To Guide.

Most of the photos are self-explanatory. Hover your cursor over any photo to see a brief description. Click on it to see the photo larger, with additional information.

[Sorry… until I rebuild the photo gallery, this space will remain empty.]

Tip: Move your cursor away from the enlarged photo so the additional information — not the navigation — is clearly visible.

[gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”true” desc=”false” img_in_row=”3″ animation_effect=”” album_title=”true” album_id=”1″]

Learn more about investigating haunted cemeteries. Read Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries.

Free ‘Haunted Cemeteries’ Worksheet

Phebe (Phoebe) Hutchins headstoneYou can download Fiona’s own worksheet for evaluating haunted cemeteries.

It’s free, and you can copy it (without changes) for your own use or for your team, as much as you like.

In her book, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries, Fiona explains how to use the worksheet. However, most experienced ghost hunters will be able to use the worksheet right away. (The worksheet includes a sheet of basic instructions.)

  • Complete the basic information before leaving for your investigation.
  • During the investigation, fill in details about things you notice there, such as unmarked graves and famous graves.
  • Use this worksheet to record things that you observe and your team mentions, including “gut feelings” about the cemetery.
  • After the investigation, complete the form as you decide if the cemetery is genuinely haunted, and if it’s worth additional research.

Visit Fiona’s website for this free download:

Worksheet: Evaluating Haunted Cemeteries, by Fiona Broome
You can open this worksheet and print it with any free PDF reader, including Adobe Acrobat Reader. (You probably have a PDF reader on your computer, already.)

More free worksheets

You’ll find more worksheets and mindmaps related to haunted cemeteries and other aspects of ghost hunting listed at Fiona’s Free Downloads links.

Free ghost hunting course

You can take Fiona’s free four-week Introduction to Ghost Hunting course at EncounterGhosts.com/free-course/.

In this free course, you’ll learn the basics of ghost hunting. Topics include:

  • How to start ghost hunting
  • Where to find ghosts
  • What to expect and what to do
  • How to continue your research as a ghost hunter
  • Ghost hunting as a hobby and as a profession

And, when you conclude the course, you can print and display your own certificate of completion.

Ghosts – What They Are and What They Aren’t (Updated)

The 2014 revised and expanded edition of Ghosts – What They Are and What They Aren’t is in the Kindle bookstore.

GhostsWTA-250hiX156Back in 2012, the first edition was rushed to deal with what seemed like an emergency in ghost hunting: New teams were venturing into “haunted” sites and encountering things that weren’t ghosts… but they didn’t always realize it, or the risks they took.

Generally, most paranormal entities that seem like ghosts… they’re okay. However, three categories are worrisome:

  1. Demons (or really dark and malicious entities) that pretend to be ghosts, so you let your guard down.
  2. Faeries from realms like the Unseelie Court, which seem pretty much dedicated to destroying humans that get in their way.  Some faerie experts use the word “malignant” to describe them. Whether those kinds of faeries truly dangerous or not, they can seem more like ghosts than like Tinkerbell, and they should be avoided.
  3. Shadow people that are appearing more often at investigation sites, and — at this point — we’re not entirely certain what they are.

In the 2014 edition of my book, I describe the wide range of ghostly phenomena we know about, and I include several first-person experiences.  I also talk about things that aren’t ghosts, but how they can seem like them.

This isn’t the ultimate guide to non-ghostly entities, but it’s an important introduction to what you might encounter at “haunted” sites and should know about.

To celebrate the relaunch of this book, it’s free in Amazon’s Kindle bookstore on Tuesday, July 8th and Wednesday, July 9th. After that, it’ll be $2.99.

Amazon.com link

Amazon.co.uk link

The Infrasound Issue

Many researchers aren’t considering infrasound in their current paranormal research. They should. When I update my free book, Is Your House Haunted?, I’m going to include a chapter about infrasound. In my own studies — which I will publish, as time permits — I’ve seen a high correlation between infrasound and certain types of paranormal reports.

As a starting point, check this PDF. (And thank heavens for the Wayback Machines, so we have access to these kinds of “vanished” reports.)

Psychics – Why Do We See What We See?

calendarWhy do psychics see what they see? That’s (mostly) a rhetorical question.

For a long time, I’ve wondered why we “see” things about ghosts when the ghosts seem to reject our help. Most seem to want us to roll back the clock, and we can’t do that. It’s frustrating. It’s why — in recent years — my focus has been on more tangible evidence related to hauntings: documented history, readings on measurement devices, and so on.

This week, the other side of that issue was on my mind. (No pun intended.)

I wondered why so many of us see the future, as well.  It seems equally pointless.

Almost exactly five years ago, I visited Gavin Cromwell at home. He was living in the United States at the time. On that day, he stumbled out from his bedroom, clearly under lingering effects of the medication he’d taken for an illness. So, I’m not sure he’ll remember the conversation we had.

On that day five years ago, he was distraught. He talked about a ferry that was going to capsize. He thought it was in Asia, and he was sure hundreds of young people were on board and would be lost. He described them traveling from the mainland to a small island, not vice versa. He talked about the ship turning onto its side for no apparent reason, and doing so, quickly. Gavin also mentioned the crew telling the young people to stay where they were because moving around could be unsafe. (At the time, I thought he’d borrowed that from a dramatization about the Titanic.)

Gavin kept asking why he was seeing something like that when he couldn’t do anything to prevent it. He asked me if I knew a way to prevent it, but I wasn’t picking up on that event at all. I had no answers.

Now, as the recent (April 2014) South Korean ferry disaster unfolds, every detail echoes exactly what Gavin said five years ago.  Not just what I listed, above, but far more details, as well.

The problem is: That information wasn’t specific enough to be helpful. Gavin “saw” more than most psychics (including me) might have sensed, but not enough to say, “In five years, on such-and-such a date, a South Korean ferry carrying hundreds of students, en route Jeju, will be involved in a disaster.”

The vision upset Gavin… a lot. He was extremely emotional about it, and almost frantic to prevent the tragedy.

But, even with as many details as he “saw,” there was nothing anyone could do. He didn’t have a specific date or location.

If he recalls that prediction — and I’m not sure that he would, since he was taking medication and was barely awake when he conveyed that vision — I’m sure it would upset him to see that it really happened.

What I’m pondering today is why psychics see what they do. It’s rare that we can help spirits. It’s unnecessarily traumatizing to see a tragedy that can’t be prevented.

What’s the point of that kind of “gift”?

Rhetorical question, sort of. I’m not sure anyone can answer this.

But, as I watch details emerge in the South Korean ferry story, I can’t help recalling the accuracy of Gavin’s prediction and wondering why psychics “see” things like that.

Before You Visit a Haunted Cemetery (Free Report, Worksheet)

cem1-pdBefore you visit a haunted cemetery, learn everything you can about its history, the graves in it (and outside it), and nearby landmarks.  That can mean the difference between a thrilling investigation and one that’s simply ho-hum.

For example:

  • Uncover information about the oldest and most famous graves in the cemetery. Power can be an important factor behind some hauntings, and the oldest graves may have the most interesting ghosts.
  • Discover which entrance to the cemetery is most popular. If you’ve read my haunted cemeteries book, you’ll also know which corner of the cemetery may be most haunted.
  • Look for information about nearby, lesser-known cemeteries. Their ghosts may be waiting for you!
  • Learn where to park. As cemeteries expand and need more land, parking areas can become plots. Don’t waste time driving around, looking for a place for your car. If you’ve checked the latest information for that cemetery, you’ll know where the best parking spots are.

You’ll learn these kinds of tips and more in my free, updated, three-page guide, and you’ll print the free worksheet to make your pre-investigation research simpler.

Download both in one PDF at FionaBroome.com: Haunted Cemeteries – Pre-Investigation Guide & Worksheet

Choosing the Right Ghost Tour

Ghost tours are popular all year ’round, and especially at Halloween.

However, their popularity has also led to some really bad ghost tours, and some shady marketing methods.

What kind of ghost tour would you like?

Ghost Tour Quadrants

I’m aware that “good” or “bad” depends on what you’re looking for. The grid at right can help you find the right ghost tour for you.

To be sure you’re getting tickets for a ghost tour you’ll like, ask questions before you buy the tickets.

Many people are looking for the experience. Will it be scary and seem real? Or, will it be silly, ridiculously theatrical, and just for laughs?

There are audiences for both kinds of tours.

Will you be accompanied by young children on the ghost tour? You’ll probably want something that won’t give them nightmares. Choose the tours that’d fit the right side of the quadrant: Both silly and funny and obviously made-up.

Tell the tour operator if you’ll have small children with you. Ask how scary the tour could be, and how lurid the stories are. No tour guide or company wants to be sued for emotional distress that could have been avoided.

Are you on your own, or with other adults? Do you want something kind of creepy, that you’ll laugh about later, because — looking back on it — the stories were so obviously fake?

Ask (a) if the tour is scary at times (does anyone scream), and (b) if it’s “all in good fun,” and folklore more than serious stories of tragedy.

Tip: No tour operator wants to be asked if the stories are “fake” or if the tour is “ridiculous.” They’ll respond better to words like folklore, colorful stories, lots of laughs, and so on.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something genuinely terrifying with real history — London’s Jack the Ripper Walk comes to mind — ask the tour operator if the tour is okay for small children. If they reply with a firm “no,” that’s probably the tour you’re looking for.

Also, if you’re expecting some genuine ghost hunting experiences, ask if the stories are all real and if they were researched academically. The term, “academic,” will usually put off anyone with fake stories.

I’m not popular on some ghost tours in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

They usually pause at the LaLaurie Mansion and talk about Madame LaLaurie screaming at her slaves in a French accent. At that point, I tend to remind the audience that Madame LaLaurie’s husband was French-speaking. She was actually the daughter of Irish immigrants. If she had an accent, it probably wasn’t French.

And, if the tour guide points to a window on the third floor and describes the (probably fictional) horror of the little slave girl leaping to her death, I often blurt that the third floor didn’t exist when Mme. LaLaurie lived there. The third floor was added later.

Fake tours don’t like people like me in the crowd. If you’ve already done some historical research about the locations along the tour, they won’t like you, either.

Many of the best ghost tours are somewhere between fun and scary, and mix researched history with some credible folklore.

Use the quadrant above to decide exactly what you’re looking for. Then, be sure to ask appropriate questions.

Shady marketing practices among ghost tours

Recently, I spoke at the Central Texas Paranormal Conference in Austin. During the event, I chatted with another speaker at the event, Dash Beardsley (owner of Ghost Tours of Galveston).

For many years — probably since 1999, when his tours were launched — I’d heard great things about them. According to reports, his tours are the second most popular ghost tours in the United States. (New Orleans usually claims the #1 spot for ghost tours.)

So, he knows a thing or two about ghost tours.

Dash shared some insights about the darker side of the ghost tour industry… and not the fun kind, either.

New ghost tours are trying to cash in on the reputation of established (and well-liked) ghost tours. They’re copying the names, just enough to confuse visitors. So, when you’re looking for Ghost Tours of Oshkosh (Wisconsin), you might see a list like this:

  • Ghost Tours of Oshkosh
  • Real Ghost Tours of Oshkosh
  • Original Ghost Tours of Oshkosh
  • Scary Ghost Tours of Oshkosh
  • Best Oshkosh Ghost Tours
  • Ghost Tours Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin’s Best Ghost Tours

(That’s a made-up list. I have no idea if Oshkosh has ghost tours, or what they’re called.)

That name game is why you need to ask questions before you take the tour. And, if a friend recommended a tour to you, get all the details from him or her, so you know exactly which tour to take.

Refund policies on ghost tours

Whether or not you’re on the tour you’d expected, you usually know — within a few minutes — if it’s the right tour for you. If it isn’t, discreetly let the tour guide know that you’re leaving the tour and you’d like a refund.

The problem is: Some tour companies give no refunds for any reason. Ask what their refund policy is, before you buy your tickets. (Most honest tours will refund your money in full, as long as you leave the tour within the first half hour or so.)

But, by the time you realize it’s not the right tour for you… it may be too late. If you’re only in town for that night, it’s probably too late to join the tour you wanted, and your evening was wasted. Don’t let that happen. Always ask questions before the tour starts and before you buy tickets.

Plan ahead for the best ghost tour experience

As you can see, planning ahead — asking the important questions — can make all the difference. It’s especially important if you’re looking for a particular kind of ghost tour: Something safe for little kids, or something with perfect historical accuracy. Print this article and use it as a guide when you’re shopping for the best ghost tours.

And, if you’re in the Houston or Galveston area…

If you happen to be around Galveston, be sure to take one of Dash Beardsley’s tours. He’s a colorful guy (and an impressive musician – he played some of his music during the conference) and his tours are internationally famous.

Here’s the link: Ghost Tours of Galveston (And, for the record, Mr. Beardsley did not ask me to mention him, his tours, or even his music.)

Free Digital Edition of ‘Is Your House Haunted?’

Is Your House Haunted?If you’re looking for information about investigating haunted houses, these are all the articles in the “Ghosts in Homes” category:

ghosts-dividerX3

If you’re looking for my free, 2013 edition of Is Your House Haunted?, it was available through The Authors Club.

As of early 2016, that site seems to be in redesign. (See TheAuthorsClub.net, in case the site is back in business.)

As soon as the new edition is available — both in free and extended editions — I’ll share the download links here and at my Fiona Broome author website.

When Jason Hawes launched The Authors Club — and included the free version of my book — here’s what I’d said:

Have you ever wondered what goes on at a possibly haunted home before the TV cameras start filming?

This book takes you through some of the important steps.  It’s sort of “the investigation before the investigation you see on TV.”

You can download the 2013 edition in either ePub or PDF format, completely free.  Just go to The Authors Club, click on the book link, and select which format you’d like to download.  Registration is free at the site, and so is my book.

This book will also be available in print, at Amazon.com.  The printed book is 140 pages long.

I’m working on a second update to this book — expected before the end of 2016 — as well as a much larger edition for professionals, in digital and print formats.

Here’s the book description:

Is Your House Haunted?  Tips for anyone living in — or investigating — a house that might be haunted.
Written by Fiona Broome, founder of HollowHill.com and Ghosts101.com

If you’ve wondered if your home is haunted, this book will help you find answers… and — in most cases — explain what to do about them.

You’ll discover the leading, normal reasons why some houses seem haunted. You’ll also find out why at least 80% of “haunted” houses don’t have ghosts, and what to do if your home really is haunted.

Based on over 30 years’ research in haunted homes and businesses throughout the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, and Canada, author and paranormal investigator Fiona Broome will show you…

  • What you can investigate on your own, easily.
  • What to do — and what not to do — if your house is haunted.
  • When to call an expert, and what to ask them.
  • How to protect yourself and your family from real and hidden dangers in your (possibly) haunted home.

If your home might be haunted, it’s important to act quickly. This book explains what to do, step-by-step, right now.

 

Haunted Houses and Carbon Monoxide

What does carbon monoxide have to do with a haunted house?

When people contact me about a haunted house, they often say things like:

  • dangers of the paranormal“Sometimes, when I’m in that part of the house, I get shaky, dizzy, and I feel weak all over.”
  • “I get a tightness in my chest, and I can’t catch my breath. Do you suppose the ghost died of a heart attack?”
  • “I’m okay during the day, but at night — especially when it’s cold out — it’s like something floats into my room through the bedroom window, and I can’t breathe.”
  • “The baby gets fussy in that room and seems to be looking at something that I don’t see, and the dog won’t go in there, ever.”
  • “I’m fine all day, but at night, when we close up the house and go to bed, I get headaches, it feels really stuffy in the room, and sometimes I feel kind of sick. I always have to get up and open the window, just to feel the breeze. About an hour or two later, around midnight, everything’s fine again.”

Well, those “symptoms” of a haunting can be caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. That’s why carbon monoxide is now the first thing to check in a house that might be haunted. This is especially true if the ghosts started to be a problem when the house was sealed up for the winter, or — in warm climates — for the summer.

The following is an edited excerpt from the book, Is Your House Haunted?, by Fiona Broome.


Before you do anything else…

Check the carbon monoxide levels at the possibly-haunted site.

Carbon monoxide is nicknamed “the silent killer.” Pets and children often react to it first. Carbon monoxide (CO), also called carbonous oxide, is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. It is highly toxic to humans and animals in higher quantities. It can come from a variety of sources, including gas appliances, woodstoves, car exhaust, blocked flues, and even cigarette smoke.

Some people are more sensitive to carbon monoxide, and may show symptoms before others do.

Any of the following symptoms may indicate high levels of carbon monoxide.

  • Headaches.
  • A tight sensation in the chest.
  • Nausea.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Vomiting.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fatigue.
  • A feeling of weakness.
  • Confusion or disorientation.
  • Visual disturbances.
  • Fainting and seizures.
  • Flu symptoms.
  • Infants may be irritable.
  • Pets can avoid certain areas.

Carbon monoxide can also affect the heart and central nervous system, and raise blood pressure. Carbon monoxide poisoning can damage the fetus of a pregnant woman. Many areas in the UK, the US, and Canada have laws recommending (or even requiring) the use of carbon monoxide detectors in homes. Older homeowners may not realize that. Even if the homeowner has no fireplace or woodstove, and no gas appliances, check the levels anyway.

For example, if a nearby neighbor has a wood stove and you (or the client) sleep with your window open, elevated carbon monoxide could explain some “symptoms” of a haunting.

If you regularly investigate haunted sites, be sure your home has very low levels of carbon monoxide, too. If you’ve been sensitized to the gas, even low levels might trigger your symptoms at a “haunted” site. It could happen. Rule this out, immediately.

When you’re investigating a potentially haunted house and any symptoms match the warning list, carbon monoxide levels must be checked first.

If the homeowner does not have a carbon monoxide detector installed, and you don’t have a handheld monitor, call the fire department for advice.

Note: Before buying a handheld carbon monoxide meter, be sure to read the reviews.

If you’re investigating haunted homes and you can’t afford a good carbon monoxide detector, don’t bother with a cheap one. Either have the homeowner install carbon monoxide detectors in several places in the home — and use them for at least a week before you investigate — or ask the fire department if someone in the community can test the air for the homeowner.

A carbon monoxide meter that works is important. A cheap one that’s not reliable could put you and your client at risk.

So, either use a good detector or have the homeowner or someone else handle that part of the investigation.

Christmas – Working Ghosts

Christmas and ghost huntingThe Christmas holidays may offer increased ghost hunting opportunities.

Some ghosts and residual energy hauntings are more active at certain anniversaries.

  • The obvious anniversary is the day the person died.
  • Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and other significant dates (including when battles occurred) can also signal increased paranormal activity.
  • Halloween marks almost universally greater hauntings, and I’ve mentioned April 30th as its counterpart.

However, many ghost hunters make assumptions about Christmas, expecting the day to be quiet, in ghost terms.

They may be missing some great opportunities for investigations.

Christmas — and other December holidays — have been so widely celebrated since the early 20th century, we assume everyone has celebrated the holiday season… always.

Well, that’s not quite true.

In fact, when Bob Cratchit nervously asked Scrooge for Christmas Day off… Bob was asking for something extraordinary.  In the 1840s, people expected to work on Christmas.  Working class families didn’t gather to celebrate Christmas, except at dinner. Even then, the meal was mostly for those who weren’t working 15 – 18 hours, every day.

It’s a day that — more than most — may have marked the gap between the wealthy and working classes.  And, as such, you may find opportunities for ghost research on or around Christmas Day, especially at 19th-century factory sites.

Personally, I’d never place ghost hunting above family celebrations.  So, I might investigate during the days leading up to Christmas, or immediately after… but not on the day itself.

On the other hand, if your family doesn’t celebrate on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, these may be ideal opportunities for experimental research.

The first thing to do is to find a few sites for research.  If you live near abandoned or refurbished factory buildings and mills, first check to be sure they can be accessed legally and safely.  As recent events have reminded many of us: It can be a grave mistake to ignore “no trespassing” signs.

Then, find out if they were in business during the era before child labor laws were enforced in your area.

Not sure? Here’s part of an article from Wikipedia:

In 1916, the NCLC and the National Consumers League successfully pressured the US Congress to pass the Keating-Owen Act, the first federal child labor law. However, the US Supreme Court struck down the law two years later in Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918), declaring that the law violated a child’s right to contract his or her own labor.

In 1924, Congress attempted to pass a constitutional amendment that would authorize a national child labor law. This measure was blocked, and the bill was eventually dropped.

It took the Great Depression to end child labor nationwide; adults had become so desperate for jobs that they would work for the same wage as children.  In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which, among other things, placed limits on many forms of child labor.

See if the factory had a policy about Christmas Day.  Old newspapers will probably help you understand the dynamics of the factory management, and whether they were likely to give workers the day off (paid or unpaid) at Christmas.  Remember, Christmas wasn’t a Federal holiday in the US until 1870.

Look for a history of workers’ strikes, and articles from the 19th century, with charities complaining about working conditions for the poor.

It’s kind of a grim era to revisit, historically, but it’s something to think about in terms of when a local site might be especially active.

At many 19th-century factories and mills, working on Christmas Day was routine, and another painful reminder of the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots.”

It might be an ideal opportunity for ghost research.  I’d focus on EVP and well as real-time communication with spirits at abandoned and refurbished mills and factory sites.

Additional references