Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and this is one of mine: there is absolutely nothing good to be said about ghost hunting.
I am not talking about those whose genuine work is connected to the healing or clearing of disturbing, destructive non-physical forms of ‘energy’. I am talking about the deliberate intrusion of what are considered to be haunted venues, for the purpose of entertainment and titillation. It puts me in mind of jeering peasants who attended hangings and beheadings, throwing rotten vegetables at the unfortunate souls who were fearfully preparing to meet their maker.
So, what prompted me to write this blog today? Well, a couple of nights ago, whilst trying to find something to watch on t.v., Dave came across a programme called something like ‘My Ghost Story’, and asked if I wanted to see what it was about. We thought it might be interesting, but it turned out to be just another set of stories about people who go marching into old prisons/hospitals/castles, armed with cameras and sound equipment, determined to make contact with a guy who hanged himself, or a woman who, grief stricken over the death of her child, threw herself from a bedroom window. Nice.
And of course there was the usual dollop of mysteriously slamming doors, icy hands giving a shove from behind, weird shadows, orbs, and the recording of creepy, distorted, barely discernible ‘voices’, interpreted as threats and warnings. It reminded me of just how repellent I find the whole ghost hunting thing, and it was peeing me off so much I could only stomach about 20 minutes of it… and that was 20 minutes too long!
It strikes me that some people believe that a ghost is different to a physically deceased soul… that they are two different species, not connected at all, which doesn’t make sense. And I have never come across anyone who wants to think that their deceased loved one, or a deceased ancestor, is now a ghost, trapped in the hospital in which they died, or at the cemetery in which their body is laid to rest. I haven’t worked with anyone who wants to believe that the friend or family member who took their own life is now stuck for eternity, reliving that moment again and again… and neither should they believe it. Just because a person died 50 years ago, or a 100 years ago, doesn’t change a thing: guilty or innocent, they were still a soul who lived, loved and died. To demand and command that a potentially disturbed, angry, non-physical energy makes itself known, so that it can be provoked, questioned and recorded, is downright nasty… and asking for trouble. If you go looking for the dark, be careful what you wish for – you just might find it.
Let’s face it, ghost hunting is never about having a nice chat with Auntie Alice, or about genuine, intelligent research; it is about drama and goading. Ghost hunters want to be scared, and to scare others. I have heard people say ‘oh, but it is interesting!’, or ‘it’s just a bit of fun!’. Okay, so go and read a good book, or take a course, or visit a theme park.
I was once asked to help out at an evening event, taking place in an old town hall. I really didn’t have much information except that I would be one of three mediums; as it was a friend who had asked me I agreed and turned up as promised. I was surprised to see that most of the attendees had sleeping bags with them and it emerged that the event was actually an evening of ghost hunting, and that people were going to spend the whole night there. I quickly made my feelings known, and made it clear that I would stay for only a short while, overseeing the group I had been allocated, and that if anyone became frightened or upset, that would be it… I was gone. I wasn’t taken seriously and most people, including my friend, laughingly dismissed much of what I said.
Fast forward 2 hours. Many attendees were crying and my friend decided that she didn’t agree with ghost hunting after all. Not that anything dreadful happened, but in one of the halls in particular, there was a highly oppressive and unpleasant atmosphere (and of course the lights had been turned off), and the result was hysteria. Some claimed to have been touched by invisible hands, a few said that they had experienced strong feelings of sadness, and others were just vaguely terrified. I left them to their cups of tea and tears, and later learned that most of them wouldn’t travel home alone and that, 2 weeks down the line, some were still sleeping with the bedroom light on! I admit that it was mean but I laughed, because I recognised that nothing really frightening or dangerous HAD happened, and that most of the attendees had actually terrified themselves… but still, had any of them been of a particularly vulnerable or fragile mindset, the experience could have triggered mental health problems… AND if a not-so-benign energy had been present (attracted by the group’s desire to dig up something dubious and dark), it would have found it easy to ‘attach’ itself to the easiest prey. I have definitely come across people to whom this has happened, regardless of what the cynics might say. You know what? To be on the safe side, just don’t go there.
And there is nothing to say that the ‘dark’ energies that apparently inhabit the stereotypical haunted venues ARE the souls of deceased people who died there… who really knows for sure? I believe that there are many dimensions of awareness, and that ours is just one, a teeny weeny part of something we couldn’t even begin to measure; we probably aren’t even a dot on a pinhead. And I believe that the dimensions – light/dark, evolved/unevolved – overlap one another, to one degree or another… which is how ‘hauntings’ come about. And it wouldn’t surprise me if our own dimension isn’t sometimes spilling over into another dimension, making us the haunters, rather than the haunted.
I have, accidentally and unwittingly, experienced the effects of unfriendly entities, and I can tell you, I would go to the ends of the earth to avoid doing so again, unless there was absolutely no other choice. I remember the night I parked up outside of an old, crumbling house, desperate for peace, and a bit of sleep. We lived in the middle of nowhere, a rural area with no street lights, and so you can imagine how dark it was. Our house was full of noise, and televisions, and computer games, and I was feeling exhausted. Leaving the children with their father, I decided to drive down the long dirt track, taking a blanket and a pillow with me, to find somewhere quiet enough for a snooze. The old, abandoned house was off-set, halfway down the track, and I parked up, facing the front. I got into the back seat, covered myself up, and was just dozing off when I felt it coming… something that could only be described as a ball of very threatening energy, heading directly my way. I shot up, intending to jump into the front seat, but I wasn’t quick enough… it hit me, and passed straight through me, and you will never see anyone as desperate as I was to reverse out of an overgrown old lane, in the black of night! And I should have known better, because months earlier, a customer, trying to locate my house, told me that she’d stopped at the old cottage further down, to ask for directions. She’d noticed an old man looking out through the bedroom window, but he didn’t respond to her knock. She realised that the place was dilapidated, but thought that that was just the way he lived. When I told her that the house had been empty for years she was shocked! Whoever or whatever that energy was, it didn’t want any intrusion from this physical dimension… and recognising that something more than a person looking out of a window was needed to scare me off, it found a more effective way to warn me! I had no interest in digging around or going back for more, so it got its way!
I have also very occasionally picked up sounds and voices, whilst recording consultations (white noise), the most unsettling being one that sounded like “help me”. I asked a number of people, including my children, to listen and verify that I wasn’t imagining it (and they were all a bit freaked out), before passing it onto a friend who was part of a healing circle. She and her associates focused on assisting and encouraging the whispering soul to move on… and then the recording suddenly disappeared, never to be found again. At first I was really disappointed to lose what I saw as paranormal evidence (even though it made me sad to hear that voice), until I realised that there was no longer a need for it. I have heard that collective prayer can be incredibly powerful, and I think that maybe the motivation, the intention, and the will of that healing circle was enough to lovingly assist a lost soul to find its way forward.
Having said that, not all paranormal activity is the work of an actual entity. Strong emotion, especially fear, rage and grief, can leave something of itself behind, a tangible residue, that can in turn react to the strong emotions of the living. Who can say why certain places/buildings/items are more receptive than others, and who can say why certain human souls are more aware than others? But what I do know for sure is that if the intention is to seek out the dark… the misery, suffering and anguish that has been imprinted upon the face of time, like an insidious tape recording… to attempt to conjure up the souls of those who might possibly ‘haunt’ the last, desperate place they experienced on earth, it really is pretty questionable behaviour. And as I said at the start, everyone is entitled to their opinions… and this is definitely one of mine!