~Written By Pattyhap1863~

We are told that ghosts are the souls of the dead that have not moved on for various reasons. The classic reasons include unfinished business, retaliation, or attachment to loved ones, homes or objects in a home. They roam the earth or the places they used to live in – unable to cross over, unable to truly communicate with the living. They deliver messages to loved ones before parting. Messages of doom, of sorrow, of future events.
However, when we take a look at ghosts and hauntings nowadays, we come up with less romantic details in an actual haunting. Suddenly, ghosts are not as romantic or as frightening as they once were and they do not deliver messages with the frequency that they used to in the past. They turn into fleeting shadows or voices on a recorder. They do not appear at the anniversary of their deaths. Why is it that ghosts today are so different from the ghosts that used to haunt places centuries ago?

A lot of the differences could be the way they are haunted these days as opposed to the way people referred to ghosts and hauntings in the past. One moment here to ponder on this enormous change in the way hauntings are studied today and we can come up with a pretty accurate answer. For example, nowadays, we don’t fear, we approach, we study, we research. We try to find answers in natural explanations before attributing what is happening to anything ghostly in nature. We use electrical gadgets to record our findings, if any, and to try to prove or disprove a haunting. So suddenly, a ghost is stripped from the mystery that once surrounded it and viewed in a new light. We try to delve into the mystery and come up empty-handed most of the times. So this poses another question: why is it that ghosts don’t manifest with the frequency that they used to? Could it be that the very same instruments we are using to try to prove their existence are the very same that are (excuse the pun) scaring them away?

Let’s think about the photographs out there, for example. The vast majority of them are hoaxes or camera faults. We start to analyze and come up with shutter speeds, and flash anomalies. What is worse is that with all the photo software that exists nowadays, it becomes easy to manufacture a ghostly photograph. So easy, that these are the photos that we see all over the net. Even sadder are the cases where seemingly reputable paranormal teams hoax their photographs and these are seen as genuine examples of the spirits we wish to see. Hoaxes like these, and we are back to square one. We become even more ridiculed for believing in the afterlife; while the skeptics point out that there is not one photograph of a ghost on earth for them to believe in proof of the beyond. If even the paranormal groups hoax pictures to give themselves a name and become famous, then the paranormal world is doomed to a certain non-existence.

Then of course there are the groups who scream ghost at every single orb or mist that appears on their photographs, giving no thought to what else might have caused them. They close their minds to common sense and refuse to accept that they are anything other than a manifestation, totally overlooking the perfectly explainable facts that have been offered by those who have taken the time to analyze these anomalies. They ignore the fact that breath showing up in the night air and illuminated by the camera flash will cause what they call ‘ecto’. And that the ghostly vortex that appears in a photograph might be a hair, camera strap or a spider’s web. They refuse to see the obvious. Ironically, these people who are so determined to prove the existence of the paranormal are just handing ammunition to the skeptics, who continue to laugh even harder at the paranormal and its investigators. How can this be stopped? Well, for those who consider themselves paranormal investigators, we must begin with looking at what the term actually means: To investigate is to research, study and question. We can’t simply conclude that something is a ghost because it looks like one or because we want it to be. We must be able to at least discount the obvious before we can declare that a ghost is a possibility. And while the somewhat new profession of the ghost hunter may seem glamorous and interesting, we must forget about becoming famous. It seems that a satisfied ego is forever getting in the way of true research and irrefutable proof. So how do we stop this attitude? We start by denouncing the hoaxes at all costs!

Then of course, there is the internet. With technology advancing the way that it does, there are many paranormal sites out there that offer ghostly webcams on various haunted homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People join these sites in hopes of viewing the ghost cams and capping or catching a ghost in the home. However, they overlook some facts when doing so. First and foremost is the fact that people live in these homes, and sometimes the resolution of a picture as it is streaming across the net can capture a person in a blur and give him or her a ghostly appearance, when in fact the person is a living human being. Secondly, the fact that when there is no proper lighting in a room or area we can actually see the pixels moving around as if these were ghosts. Sadly, they are not. However, many people capture stills of these and enhance and distort them. Due to basic pareidolia, two dots become eyes, and another one becomes a mouth. This is also true of certain fabrics in the home, such as furniture, cushions and curtains. The patterns can form a lot of illusions that look like a face or even a figure. How to stop this? Watch the cams frequently. Take daytime caps of the place to compare to the nighttime ones. Learn to distinguish between obvious pixilation and screen refreshes and everyday normal objects in the home. This will help a lot in ruling out pixel caps and obvious human motion blurs. What to do if the site encourages these caps, and does more harm than good towards a more serious study of the paranormal? Look for another site that takes a more serious approach.

Let’s take a look into the present: many of the ghosts and hauntings that have been recently investigated have either been proven to be non-existent or have ceased to be a haunting. Why does this occur? In some cases the haunting was simply a rumor or urban legend, handed down orally from generation to generation. When doing a bit of research the story was found to be untrue or inaccurate. Thus, the haunting is disproved. In other cases, a historical event (murder, battle and other violent events) truly did take place in the area, but the haunting has seemingly vanished over the years. Why does this happen? Could it be that the electromagnetic fields in the area are not as strong as before? What triggered them into existence in the first place? Do certain sensitive people act as a trigger? Or is it all a case of mass hallucination?

We have many cases where there are reports of hauntings, and they involve a poltergeist type of haunting. Knockings, doors and windows slamming, ‘target’ certain people such as teenagers or women. Over the years, people have studied these cases and have come up with emotionally disturbed or suppressed emotions that are pent up and released in the form of a violent poltergeist, haunting the very person that conjured it up to begin with. The person is then taken to therapy, or is told about this, and the haunting seemingly disappears. What if the answer doesn’t always lie in this rational explanation? What if the poltergeist in question is really a kind of emotional vampire that hones in on certain kinds of emotionally disturbed people and feeds on their energy?

As in the cases of poltergeists, there are other unanswered questions when it comes to ghosts themselves. As time goes by and technology advances, we are faced with a problem: we see that voices that are recorded sometimes ask where the investigators are, or who they are. Does this mean that these spirits cannot see the investigators? In the cases where their presence is acknowledged, however, they seem to respond to their questions. Can EVP’s successfully be the way to proving whether or not a haunting is genuine? Or is it one more example of matrixing or paredolia as our brains come up with words that not everybody hears? What about the cases where the voices are so clear, there can be no mistaking the message? Are these really ghosts communicating with us? What about the cases where the ghosts cannot see us? Are they trapped in another place in time? Are we the ghosts in their world?

There are many other questions and issues that deserve a deeper look when you embark on a paranormal investigation. Some of them deal with electromagnetic fields, stones, and seemingly electrically charged areas. There are some cases where static electricity seemed to dominate the area and these areas were immersed in paranormal activity. Does this mean that electricity plays a more important role in ghostly manifestations? Let’s stop a moment to think about this. In most or all cases, electromagnetic fields seem to be disturbed or cause a spark in order for the ghost to manifest. Even when revising EVP’s on recorders, there seems to be a ‘popping’ noise or ‘crackle’ when ethereal voices are picked up. Does this prove that we should be looking more in the direction of electromagnetic fields in order to successfully describe a ghost or explain ghostly manifestations? It is generally accepted that ghosts are present at night more than during the day. The explanation for this is that during the night, electromagnetic forces seem to be stronger in absence of direct sunlight or solar activity. Is this a clue to help us to try to understand and arrive to positive proof or evidence?

There are so many questions in our heads that it would be impossible to list them all here. One thing is certain: We are still at the beginning of our journey into the paranormal. Are we accomplishing something along the way? We think we are. If we continue to question and give thought to the answers, if we continue to study and research and set aside our selfish goals, then we may gain a little more insight and understanding of the paranormal, and perhaps grasp a small fraction of the truth in our quest for the afterlife.

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