Paranormal

Girls Gone Ghost Hunting Part One

TJShipPic

A few weeks ago my friend Kim took me on a ghost tour of downtown Seattle for my birthday. On the tour we found out Spooked in Seattle also hosts ghost hunts for the public to participate in. Kim and looked at each other and didn’t really have to say anything, we knew we were going there next.

“Next” was an investigation on the USS Turner Joy, a decommissioned Naval Destroyer that’s also a museum. The Turner Joy is moored in Bremerton, Washington – just a short hop across the water from where I live in Seattle. Kim and I signed up for the overnight event – Saturday October 3rd to the morning of the 4th. You too can participate in Spooked in Seattle’s public ghost hunts by visiting their web page. The investigation on the 3rd was the last overnight event for the year, but they do have two-hour events listed for November.

I had no clue what to expect. Sure I bump into spirits all the time – it happens when you’re psychic. But I have zero experience when it comes to the technological side of the paranormal. Truthfully, I’m not very tech-y. I feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to ‘build my author platform’, and half the time I think Siri is smarter than me and plotting against me. You should hear how she says my husband’s name when I ask her to call him.

There were several pieces of equipment provided that night by Ross of AGHOST. EMF meters, a laser grid array, plus ping-pong balls to encourage the spirits to manifest and move something. I brought my own camera and digital recorder. On my phone I had a number of ghost hunting apps, but as I talked about in this post, the general consensus is that while you can sometimes get an EVP or actual EMF reading, the apps do not produce valid data.

We got there at 9 and met the group. There were about 20 or so people there for the two-hour event, but for the overnight there were just four other women in addition to Kim and I. I’m not sure which is a scarier thought – that there are ghosts on the ship or that the six of us would be crawling around the ship into the witching hours of the night. But after 11 that’s what it came down to, and I gotta say, the Turner Joy did not disappoint.

During the first two hours on the ship I picked up the energies of a spirit nearby in several locations, but nothing I could truly call definitive spirit contact. Kim and I both saw a shadow move on a wall of one of the berthing quarters where EVP’s and and other activity have been recorded. No one was in the immediate area that could have caused the movement, but neither did we catch it with the camera.

Later, when it was just the six of us for the night, Kim and I were alone in another berthing area. In this part of the ship an EVP from an earlier investigation caught the word “Sweetie”. As we sat there, talking to the darkness surrounding us, I noticed a clicking sound, repeating at irregular intervals. Looking up I saw this light flashing on and off.

TJMotionSensorThe one hanging on the silver locker, just to the left of the word BURMA. I would love to say it flashed in direct answer to our queries. I really would, but I can’t definitively say that. I can say though, that we weren’t moving around and we found out after the fact that it was a motion sensor set to capture movement on the ladders behind us. We were pretty pleased though to just get some activity early on in the night.

But, as the night deepened it seemed that was all we were going to get. No knocking spirits had answered our queries, no obvious phenomena appeared on the pictures. Only time will tell if the recordings made will yield an EVP. (Yeah, I’m still going through those.) If you thought ghost hunting was glamorous, let me tell you it doesn’t get any better than this! Three tired women sitting at a table asking questions to thin, and kinda stinky, air. The smell of ship is unique, a little diesel, some musty fragrance and others I did not really want to identify.

Melissa had joined us from the other group of women after her friends retired for the night. At one point she left us briefly, taking a journey through a doorway and up a ladder. Kim and I leaned on the table across from each other, sagging just a little lower, our energy levels ebbing. My eyes slipped closed for just a moment and I considered laying my head down…

Then Kim let out a truly blood-curdling scream! I was awake now, standing up and hearing an answering cry from the doorway where Melissa had just descended back down the ladder behind me.

“What the &*^%?” Escaped my lips. Yes, I said a bad word. Maybe a few times. And then I doubled over laughing when I realized Kim had mistaken Melissa for an apparition.

Kim and Melissa were likewise bent over and we all belly laughed for a good minute or so. “I swear I thought she was going to come back from behind me!” Kim gasped. “It looked like she was floating! I didn’t recognize her at first!” Still laughing, we settled back and the table, now refreshed and ready to continue.

Maybe the spirits thought it was funny too, because after that we got more activity…but that’s going to have to wait for the next post.

Have you been on a ghost hunt? Have you tried to capture EVP’s or used other technological toys to capture paranormal phenomena? Tell me about your ghost adventures!

Paranormal, Spirituality

Weird Weekend – Paranormal And Technology

I’m not a ghost hunter, and I confess I have a hard time watching paranormal investigative shows.  It seems like all you get is a bunch of people running around either shrieking, or saying  “Did you see/hear that?”  Conversely, I do enjoy scanning YouTube for clips put up by the multitude of paranormal investigation groups around the country.  Something entirely different, in my opinion.  These are groups devoted (for the most part) to serious study of, and recording, paranormal phenomena, and are not for-profit or ratings driven.

I have not been out with an official ‘ghost-hunting’ group; I get plenty of encounters on my own, but I have to confess to a curiosity and desire to travel with one of these groups.  They have a lot of gadgets and devices that can record, measure and otherwise detect paranormal activity.  I have no idea how these work.  Something that seems to be on the rise though is photos of ghosts where nothing is seen to the human eye.

I found this collection on YouTube:

The advent of security cameras, both motion-sensitive and continuous record, has brought us videos of objects moving, flashing lights, and unexplained shadows while establishments are closed, locked and unoccupied by the living.  Like this example of a ‘ghostly head’:

I particularly like this one, from Hampton Court Palace.  They even talk about him on their website, they’ve nicknamed him ‘Skeletor.’

Creepiness, right?  Or just a tour guide in period costume?  I think it interesting that the Palace website is vague about exactly what it is.  According to the website, however, this is a fairly active area for ghosts in general, with public and staff reporting sightings or encounters.

Sometimes they move things, as in this rather dizzying video posted by Mass Most Haunted of their investigation at the Lizzie Borden House.

Could they be faked?  Sure.  Could some of them be genuine?  I think so.  I leave it to you to determine which you find the most plausible.

I’m not much with a video camera, but something I’ve always wanted to try is EVP.  EVP stand for Electronic Voice Phenomena.  In short, you take a recording device, ask questions and then hear voices on the playback.  It used to be done with reel-to-reel and cassettes, but now digital voice recorders are used, also they are heard on playback from video recordings..

These were captured at the Chapel on the Hill in Sedona, Arizona.

Have you done any ghost hunting?  Have you ever captured something weird on video or in a picture that you didn’t see when you were recording?  What’s your scariest encounter?