Ghosts & Spirit Studies: July 2014 Newsletter

Author, Louis CharlesWe’re blending old and new this month: old in that we are sharing some history of ghost and spirit studies. The past should be understood and not discarded or forgotten.

For something new, I’ve brought back with me some local ghostly lore from the Outer Banks. And for fun, we’ve added our new rate-a-photo widget to all of our picture and video galleries. Give it a try!
- Louis

Ghost History ArticlesHistory and Ghost Investigation
Let’s not forget the past. We wanted to look back at history to see what we could learn about the mystery of ghosts. Here are but a few articles and stories to consider…

Blog Post: History is Missing with Today’s Ghost Hunters
Article: Capturing Ghosts on Film
Story: First Documented Ghost in the United States
Story: Florida Poltergeist of 1967

Rate a Photo or VideoNew! Rate-a-Photo or Video
Rate a pic or video to see the voting results! It’s finally here! We’ve added a custom “rate-a-photo widget” to our picture and video galleries, site-wide. Now, you can vote, see the results, and share it on social media! Why not give it a try by rating some 2013-2014 Ghost Pictures?

 

ghosts-haunting-outer-banks-north-carolina-72014zzOuter Banks: Haunted?
Tales of pirates, phantoms and hoodoos. We were surprised to find quite a few tales of haunting in and near North Carolina’s barrier islands. So, we made our basecamp at Roanoke Island and went exploring.

Article: Outer Banks Ghosts & Haunting

 

Scottish GhostParanormal Visuals & Perusals
More spirits & ghosts to read and see!

St Mary in the Castle Ghost? Is that a giant face in the mist?
What is a Banshee? The eerie lore behind this phantom tale…
Alcatraz Ghost Woman Prison ghost pic haunts the web recently!
Currituck Beach Light We explore the northern OBX haunt…
Can Ghosts Produce Snow? A mysterious snowstorm is witnessed inside a home!
Ghosts of the Whitehouse Historic spirit experiences in the Presidents residence…
Smithsonian Museum Ghost Update! A second pic of a man’s face near General Sheridan’s horse…
German Cemetery Ghost? A foto of a soldier spectre goes viral…and may be a fake!
What is an Apport? Old school ghost hunting term has application today.
Taxi Crash Angel Rescue A woman is pulled from a deadly cab and healed…
Can Ghost Photos Be Art? Blog post about photographic fakery of the supernatural…
Pengwern Arms Ghost Girl Did someone with Gwynned Paranormal snapshot a girl’s spirit?
Seeing Shadows She recalls seeing a shadow person stare her down…

Ghosts and Inspiration from Art

capturing-ghosts-film-72014drHave you ever wondered what the first, real ghost picture might have been? What about the first “faux” ghost photograph: when did it first occur to someone that they could fool humanity into believing the false?

But was it really fooling people or, perhaps, actually “inspiring” us to consider the supernatural?

Something (Capturing Ghosts on Film) great for us to contemplate was put forth by writer Robert Irving over a decade ago as a magazine article for Fortean Times, and I think Irving’s thoughts are still very relevant, even in light of today’s far-flung chicanery — the onslaught of false ghost and spirit photos we see being shared, daily, thanks to the smartphone apps that help to create the odd and eerie “phantasmal” imagery. I can sum up Irving’s idea as this: we are mesmerized by the metaphysical.

Mankind has certainly been inspired by media — first artistic renderings, statues, paintings and the like — and in modern times, photography and videography have been added to our art forms, allowing us to “conceive” glimpses into the afterlife, or at least what many of us might choose to believe is a depiction of what could await us at the end of our earthly lives.

In retrospect, I am beginning to wonder if we should continue to hold disdain for the faked photographs polluting the web. Could it be wiser to simply give in and share them with others? Of course, I hate the idea of contaminating possible real evidence with the false; but it seems even the real thing is discounted, anyway, even after laying out the best case possible for each ghostly experience.

Are we better off to share something that may spark an interest or, at least, a consideration of the paranormal? Sometimes, I think so. It could just be a new form of art.

Ghost Picture Alert!

smithsonian-winchester-horse-ghost-062014zx

We just received a second photo taken at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum that validates a ghost picture we had posted a few years ago.

Taken one year apart by two different photographers who do not know one another, a similar-looking ghostly head has appeared at the display case of the horse, “Winchester.” Though we have considered the phenomenon to be the product of similar lights shining on the case, or something of that nature, what is compelling is that the most recent ghost photograph has a more well defined nose and mouth when compared to the other photo. This would lead us to believe that, though similar, the face has been photographed at different phases of its manifestation.

You can see both photos of the ghost face, here: Smithsonian Ghost.

History is Missing with Today’s Ghost Hunters

ghost-investigator-harry-price-20145Over the past ten years, I’ve observed the rise of ghost hunting on television and the paranormal craze it has stirred up. There’s been a lot of good come out of this. Recent advances in experimental “ghost hunting” technology could help us better detect ghosts or even communicate with them.

Not All Is Lost
But, there has been some not-so-good stuff appear on the scene, too, such as people wanting to become famous on TV, the faking of evidence (at least by some producers), and an ignorance toward the past. I, myself, am guilty of the latter and desire to chase down prior work done by early ghost investigators.

One such story I stumbled upon is worthy of researching: the ghost of Nelly Butler. Making her appearance over 200 years ago, the depths at which she went to confirm the existence of the human spirit after the body perishes is astounding. I say astounding because this ghost was confirmed, validated by those who investigated and tried to denounce the haunting at the time. (Read, The First Documented Ghost in the United States.)

History Is Something Ghost Investigators Need to Embrace
What I have come to realize is that we have numerous cases of studies and sightings that are important but seem forgotten because they are not modern day. I wonder if we look at some of the older witnesses and explorers of haunting as antiquated or even “loony.” If so, it is a shame, and I think we are remiss not to uncover what they wrote, what they explored. It was written for us, today. We are their future generations who they wished to communicate their stories to. It’s up to us whether or not to take their word as credible; but to do so, we need to at least consider them to be fellow researchers of the paranormal.

By studying the ideas and findings of our predecessors, I suspect we just may find that some of our beliefs are not new; and I think we will enhance our understanding of ghosts and spirits. Might we become inspired by their journeys, as well? I know I am.
- Louis 

Our Latest Newsletter on Ghosts, Angels & Spirits: June, 2014

white-hart-inn-apparition-photo-062014nl

If you are not on our mailing list for our monthly newsletter, then you’ll want to check out our latest release for June 2014, online: Ghosts, Spirits and Reincarnation.

For June, we’ve added over 20 pages of new content to the Angels & Ghosts website — from ghost, angel and spirit photos to informative articles about types of ghosts and even reincarnation!

Much more great stuff to come…  - Louis

What Does a Ghost “Feel” Like?

whaley-house-ghost-experience-052014zzWhat do ghosts feel like?

This may seem like an odd question, but I think it is a good one to consider. For, at times, it is possible that when we encounter haunting we might not be aware of its effect on us.

Many of us have heard, or even experienced, that when we encounter “spirit” a tingling sensation or goosebumps may arise for some people. I believe this to be true for many of us. After having had my own encounters over the years, dating back to the 1990s, I began recognizing when I am within a “presence,” at times. I have felt this in my own home, when attending certain churches (in the past), and while attempting to communicate with ghosts at haunted locations. So I am trying to say that there has been a wide variety of places and experiences that seem similar to me  (as it relates to feeling “an unseen presence”).

Others, though, have had deeper experiences with ghosts, having felt dazed or out of it after encountering what they can only believe to be a ghost attack. Now using the word “attack” seems harsh, to me, because who knows what really happened. Perhaps the ghost didn’t have intentions of attacking another person at all. So let’s be careful about labeling such experiences as attacks, demonic, evil, nasty, etc. Let’s agree to call these feelings that we do not fully understand as “odd.”

Kathryn Johnson had such an experience when entering the door of a notedly haunted place in San Diego – the Whaley House. She didn’t expect to feel the way she did, and I do not believe she felt she was attacked. Her suspicion is that, maybe, a ghost passed through her (see Whaley House Ghost Experience). And why couldn’t that be the case? After all, it might be good fun for a spirit to make their essence known by walking through or near a person. I would want to try it if disembodied, I think!

This idea of another’s spirit mixing with our own does seem parallel to accounts we hear of ghost possession (or “attachment”). People who have suffered such encounters struggle to be in control of their body and mind, seeming foggy or pushed back out of the way. Quite frightening to hear about but a phenomenon that has been known about for thousands of years.

This subject is definitely something to ponder: the influence of ghosts, invisible, upon the living. How might they affect us if interacting with us? Something to consider…yes, indeed.

- Louis

Ghost Photo Pranks – Have You Been Fooled?

ghost-photo-pranks-have-you-been-fooled-52014zzOver the past few years, we have been noticing more and more smartphone apps appearing in the Android and Apple stores that allow people to add fake ghosts to their photographs.

With about 60% of the United States now owning a smartphone, the small, handheld computer is  quickly replacing desktop and laptop usage. So, as you might imagine, we are continually seeing more and more submissions of fake ghost photos created using one of these apps. Why? It’s too easy for the average Joe, nowadays, to try to fool his friends or family. And, it’s big fun. We get it. Oy.

May We Be Frustrated?
Many of the photos that we see come from unsuspecting people who swear they saw their friend take the photo in front of them and know they didn’t fake it (even though their friend did fake it with an app). Other pictures come to us from the person who created it, the image posing as the real deal but is, oftentimes, quickly ruled out. But we must admit, there are some photos that may get nixed that could be paranormal, which is sad; and it is also possible that some photos could be deemed authentic that are not (also sad). Oy.

Even worse, though, some of the false ghost photos we see are created by ghost hunting apps that claim to be real paranormal investigation tools but secretly add fake paranormal-looking oddities into the victim’s photographs, audio recordings, etc.  (e.g. Ghost Detect Pro). This can become quite scary for users because they may think they are being haunted by ghosts – - pursued by unseen, dark and, possibly ominous, forces. Oy. (Rant over…)

If It is Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Obviously, if you see an art-drawn demon or spook in your friend’s photo, you should know it is not real, and thus, fake. Many are gullible, I suppose. If your sibling took the ghost photo right in front of you, be suspicious – the odds of capturing something that good and right in front of you is low. Be skeptical. Ask to see the smartphone , right then and there, and look for photo editing apps.

When reviewing others’ ghost photos, note any evidence that is too real looking, too perfect. Look for mistakes in lighting by comparing light on the ghost versus how light reacts in the rest of the photo. If light is coming from different directions, and only the ghost is lit from light from one direction, it is a fake.

Question it. Get the story behind the image. Does the person have any other “ghost photos”? How do they look in comparison — any similarities? If so, we bet they are trying to fool you. (Did we already mention to ask to see your friend’s smartphone and look for the app?)

More on This Topic of Fake Ghost Picture Smartphone Apps:
Fake Ghost Pictures
Ghost Camera Pro
Ghost Capture
Ghost Prank Phone App

New Stories: OBEs, NDEs and Haunting

angels-ghosts-updates-052014zz3For years, we have been unable to share all of the stories we have received from viewers, but now that our new website is live, we are able to get some very old accounts (we received some of them as far back as 2007 and kept them safe) of near death experiences, out of body experiences and encounters with ghosts posted to Angels & Ghosts.


Recently, the following pages posted to our Phenomena and Ghosts sections:

The Ghosts of Regency - a long but interesting story of haunting in Texas
Bristol Woods Ghost Photo - two girl campers get more than they bargained for
Suicide Near Death Experience – desperation and death turns into purpose
Tunnel of Light NDE - a child is sick and finds a tunnel of light while at a hospital
Sleep Apnea OBE - floating out of one’s self when breathing stops
Labour Out of Body Experience - a UK woman found herself outside of her person before giving birth

Enjoy!

Vastness and Connection

vastness-starsIf you haven’t had the chance to watch the new Cosmos (Sunday evenings on Fox, 9 PM EST), you are missing a real treat. The show is incredibly well done, and even though it is scientific in nature, it attempts not to trample to harshly on religious beliefs – though it may challenge them, at times, when sharing about the Big Bang or evolution.

But, that shouldn’t shake those who are of faith because, after all, who can know what lies behind the veil that masks the unseen? Who’s to say that something greater didn’t use a “big bang” as part of the plan? To me, when I take a step back and take a hard look at the known Universe, I cannot help but be inspired and awed by its sheer vastness, something so large and grand that I struggle to wrap my head about who I am in all all of “this.” I suspect that my mind cannot comprehend how big everything truly is. And if I am given the opportunity to see beyond this world, one day, will I be able to ever fully digest its greatness and diversity? Probably not. Mind pop!

When we consider how things have spread out and progressed, we must not be blind to how connected we are to everything. This idea, to me, points to something very grand going on within everything that exists. It is in power (controlled chaos, if you will) and ever moving. More on this idea in the future…