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Social Media’s Immersive Memories and the Paranormal

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We Need You!!!

The Data Age…

We live in a time where data has never been so important to us, it’s literally a time where everything in our lives has link to some kind of data or algorithms to comprehend what we want.

Think about that for second. I am sure there are examples you could provide that seem like they have no influence from some form of data, but do they?

Its certainly a strange concept to get your head around that a lot of what we do is likely to be because the choices we are most likely to engage with have been presented to us. Conspiracy theorist have a field day with this kind of area and the concept of being constantly watched isn’t a new. The book 1984 suggested a world monitored by CCTV for example many decades ago now. Oddly the UK is dubbed one of the most monitored countries in the world when it comes to CCTV. The recent TV series Hunted shows how hard it is to avoid the CCTV once dropped in the centre of a city. Head out into the country and even though camera coverage is more sparse, ‘big brother’ will still find you!

This disturbing fact is one aspect of information and data that is captured in huge quantities on a daily basis, where you are and what you’re doing. Now if you think it would take thousands of hours for a person to sift through any footage to track your movements individually, then you would be right. However this isn’t the case and also where the data aspect falls into this. There is now excellent software that runs facial recognition and number plate recognition, the authorities can track you through a number of systems using this. In fact the systems do all the work and simply alert when you pop up so to speak.

Wait, what, now…

Lost? Wondering why I am rambling on about CCTV instead of the paranormal? Well it’s simple really, many of us utilise audio and video as a primary tool for attempting to capture probable ‘evidence’ of the paranormal. However these are equally tools which can help us document our environments of investigation more fully. At some point, I couldn’t tell you when I stopped reviewing every piece of footage on my CCTV system post investigation. This wasn’t because I got a tag lazy, but because I soon realised whatever I found would have no meaning without additional sources to support it. So, I allowed those other source to present themselves and to utilise the CCTV to a) back those sources up and b) identify the locations of the team. The latter wasn’t because I didn’t trust my team, but actually because our memories are not quite the best at actually recalling information about an event.We needed to back our own timeline up if we were to become able to present to the academics. More information and data.

The other thing I discovered was that in order to prove what we thought we were experiencing we needed a lot of data to support that. A couple of our favourite cases with a vague comprehension of what happened with no hard evidence would never be enough. This lead me to come to the conclusion that we would need at least a couple of hundred main cases to study and they would need to be geographically and chronologically spread, but what I really wanted to include was an abundance of up to date recent cases too. Especially as these recent cases from investigators out there today doing the work may constitute current activity we could investigate further.

Which is how I came to want to seek so much data or information within the paranormal field.

Hello ‘Big Data’…

The easiest way to comprehend this and to explain how these day in our everyday life we encounter this ‘big data’ and the collection and use of it, is to bring in one thing that often seems to cause issue within the ghost hunter community. I am of course referring to the internet based social media platforms we now use day in day out. These particular system constantly gather information on what we search for, like and become interested in. Then that information is fed through algorithms that likes of Facebook and Google use in order to determine which advertisement would be best suited for us.

I have spoken about this previously, when I mentioned AI and machine learning, but now I am saying let’s take that approach of gather information and using it together to understand more about the field we all love. I totally understand that gather numbers and pieces of information isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and will never be more exciting than navigating a haunted location in the quiet of night, but whilst we do that on occasion we could grab a little information to get us going.

ParaSearch Radio interview on research…

Around this time last night (as I’m writing this post) I was talking to Kerry Greenaway on The Spirit Dimension radio show, one of Paraseach Radio’s many interesting shows about this very subject. In fact we put a call out to the Paranormal Investigators out there for assistance in gathering some of this data/information in order to add into our research and understand the Paranormal better perhaps. Links below:-

The Spirit Dimension – Research Project

ParaSearch Radio’s YouTube Channel – Subscribe for their latest

You can also gather the kind of information I am after using my Paranormal Investigators Journal. I have even created a simple form for capturing Paranormal Activity here too.

Please have a listen to my interview with Kerry as it explains what we are trying to achieve a little better, the link to YouTube is above.

If we are truly going to crack this field or at least made significant steps forward we need to start gathering huge amounts of data and information in one place so we can analyse its contents, search for significant patterns and cross match it for similarities. I hate to say it, but video, photographs and audio are always to a degree come under harsh evaluation. IT shouldn’t be a case of whether someone believes what they see in a picture or hear in an EVP, the evidence should speak for itself.

So, please join me in gathering all this data and information together from your investigations over the upcoming year to begin with and hopefully beyond. It doesn’t matter if you UK, US, German or Australian based, the more we can gather from all over the world the better. It equally doesn’t matter if it was the investigation you did last weekend, last year or a decade ago, if you have it documented I can use it.

The first sweep (as I call it) is simply to gather location details, when the event occurred, what happened and whom. I also need the source if possible, as that can help me return to that case for more details later. Any event passed onto will be logged in the sheet with that person beside it. It also doesn’t matter if four different teams send me the same piece of activity for the same location at different or even the same times. It’s all important data we can use.

So please get in contact, send me some information, use the form on my website, contact Kerry at ParaSearch; it really doesn’t matter how as long as we share this information.

WE NEED YOU!!

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The Most Haunted Locations in the World – The Winchester Mystery House

A little history…

Often in the paranormal we are lucky enough to have several adventures in amazing locations seeking out various oddities. On occasion some of these locations are a little odd all by themselves. It’s not common place to find a location that is simply odd throughout and raises a tonne of questions all on its own. However the Winchester Mystery House does exactly what it says on the tin, providing its visitors with quite a bit of confusion as they navigate its hallways.

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However this particular story of a haunted location is less about a location becoming haunted and more about how one fascinating woman dealt with the loss of her close family. The woman was Sarah Winchester, wife of William Winchester, the only son of Oliver Winchester; owner of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Basically back in 1862, the Winchester’s were ‘big money’.

What should have been the beginning of an amazing life for Sarah soon turned a dark corner when she lost her only daughter at only one month old in 1866. In 1880 Sarah’s father in-law Oliver died and William inherited half of his fathers huge empire. Barely a year past and Sarah lost her husband William too, which meant his share of the family business went to Sarah.Unknown.jpeg

It was this sequence of traumatic events that Sarah lived through that possibly became the basis for the understanding that she may be cursed. A curse that Sarah possibly believed originated in the fact that the Winchester’s were responsible for creating weapon’s that had claimed possibly thousands of lives over the years. Fixated on this Sarah looked for a way to break the curse, which lead her down a more spiritual path. It was while exploring this path it’s believed a psychic medium advised her that the only way to combat the curse would be to build a house the spirits and her could both live in. The psychic went on to advise Sarah that if she stopped building the house, the curse would bring about her demise too.

It’s probably a good time to mention that although Sarah consulted with mediums and took those consultations very seriously, to the point of changing her life. This was likely driven by her grief, but it does leave us questioning things just a bit! Why would a highly intelligent, upstanding community member such as her be guided by such elaborate suggestions? Grief can certainly drive belief in such situations.

Sarah brought a six bedroom house in San Jose, which was still being built. A team were hired to carry out the work and the continuous construction of the Winchester House began.

A 1906 earthquake changed the seven story building at that point, making it only four stories. The earthquakes damage to the house was equally tied into the curse by Sarah, which highlighted that too much focus had been on the front of the house. Worked stopped on the front of the home and it has remained boarded up ever since.

A few of the Winchester House’s features…

It’s said that the number thirteen features heavily throughout the house and this could be due to Sarah’s obsession with the number. Something that may have even been a feature in her Will, which was believed to be written in thirteen sections and signed thirteen times. I always wonder how much truth there is in these numerical links; is it something that really was intended or perhaps something people have read into it after the fact? I guess the Will might help define this a little.

It is believed that in order to understand what was needed to be built next, Sarah would conduct a séance every night at midnight in the Séance Room. Perhaps this was where the design for such a collection of random and mind-boggling layouts evolved, but the why and even the how quickly returns. Was Sarah actually in communication with spirits advising her how to build her house? Were the layout designs simply from Sarah’s imagination, hence their complex random designs? Is there a possible method to the madness of the layout of the Winchester House.

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The work on the Winchester House contained for roughly thirty-eight years under Sarah’s and possibly spirits instructions. Sarah died at the impressive age of 83 in her sleep from natural causes and went on to finally join her husband and daughter in the cemetery.

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The Winchester House was auctioned and the new owners opened it as a tourist attraction. The house attracts many ghost hunters and paranormal investigators seeking the answers that the house has hidden in its walls. The place is certainly on my top ten list of places to investigate, after all I love a mystery.

The haunting of the Winchester House…

As far as paranormal activity is concerned, Winchester House presents its fair share too. Visitors have reported full-blown apparitions, odd sounds, cold spots, footsteps, strange feelings and even Sarah herself!

There is without doubt some strange things occurring at the Winchester House, some paranormal and also many secrets tied to its design too. Perhaps Sarah Winchester found a way to connect with spirits better? Maybe the whole house is some kind of psychical amplifier? One thing is certain in regards to the Winchester Mystery House, Sarah’s séance secrets remain well hidden within its walls. Walls which surround rooms that confuse, hallways to nowhere, hidden doors and a staircase into the ceiling!

Would you risk getting a little lost in the Winchester House…

The Winchester Mystery House is one of those fascinating locations that takes things far beyond the norm and most definitely into the paranormal. Although there is a part of me that wonders about the psychology here too. The very confusing ‘fun house’ layout of the house and its interesting history may just be generating the appearance of activity! However it could be genuinely haunted; after all it experienced over thirty years of continuous renovations, which has been associated with probable paranormal activity in the past too. Not to mention the nightly seances held by Sarah too. There are certainly all the ingredients for a traditional haunted house here. Why Sarah Winchester spent so much time and money putting the house together as it is will no doubt remain a mystery for years to come. In my opinion its one pretty interesting mystery too…

Don’t forget to read more haunted locations posts here…

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please don’t hesitate to like, share and comment below…

Sources/Further Reading : –

http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com,

https://www.livinglifeinfullspectrum.com.au/blog/the-mystery-behind-the-sarah-winchester-mystery-house/

The Paranormal Activity Form

The Simpler Form

In my quest to gather as much data as possible, I wanted to make things as simple as possible for anyone willing to assist me. So, with this in mind I thought I would create a really simple and straight forward version of the data capture form that I previous shared to gather data.

Firstly, this one doesn’t require your name and email, should you wish to remain anonymous in this attempt to gather information on paranormal activity. However remaining anonymous does mean I will be unable to contact you (should I wish to) in order to gather further details on your experience.

Simply enter the location name and county in the ‘Location of Activity’ field, then enter the date of the day or night the activity occurred on. Then go ahead and check the box next to the type of activity that occurred so we can categorise it. As sometime we can experience multiple types of activity at once, please feel free to check more than one box.

The Paranormal Activity Form

 

 

Again, as ever thank you for your support and assistance in helping me to gather this data. Hopefully it will present some interesting findings.

Please like, comment and most definitely share this post below…

https://ashleyknibb.com/category/psi-theories/

Information and the Akashic Records

Thinking about the Akashic Records…

As I sit in the quiet of the SPR Library looking out at the blue skies over London this afternoon, I find myself recalling a conversation on the Akashic Records that I had earlier today. If you would like to know a little more about the Akashic Records, please check out my brief Metetherial Encyclopaedia post on them here.

Obviously from a scientific stand point the records themselves are not considered a fact as their existence is very much unproven, but they are something that does come up on a regular basis in relation to the spiritual journey of some individuals. I too have encountered them both in research and during a dream like state in the past.

Now as they often seem to be related to the spiritual side of the paranormal I wondered if I could perhaps throw them into the psi theory concept and reconstruct them so to speak within a post that may present them in a different light.

Documenting everything…

So, the Akashic Records are believed to house every deed, action, thought, decision, event and interaction that has ever occurred in the past, present or future. A record of everything of all time. Which is where we begin to meet our first psi theory cross-overs in my opinion. A record of everything would be huge, in physical terms within our reality it would be an impossibility, especially if we liken it to a library. For example, I am sat in a library right now. There must be hundreds of books here, if not well over a thousand. Add in the various magazines and other documents, then you must be looking at thousands of sources of information in one room at the SPR. All on roughly the same subject area, Psychical Research. If you were to document every thought, every action, every event no matter how small that has and will occur throughout time, then I know that wont fit on my computers hard drive!

However this is where the Akashic Records come into their own in my opinion and we begin to perhaps look at other possible explanations, such as Jung’s Collective Unconscious. Oddly this also presents alternative possibilities for some of those more paranormal experiences too.

Its all about information…

One thing we must agree on here is that if the Akashic Records do store everything from all time, then what they store is information. That information will and must interrelate, as in each piece of information will link to another piece or multiple pieces of information, a little like a web. See where this is going yet?

Let’s go back to the library idea. In a library the books are usually in some sort of order, generally speaking this is related to the authors surname and they are arranged alphabetically on the shelves. So, you’ve got Sheldrake’s ‘Sense of Being Stared At’ on the same shelf as Sidgwick’s ‘A Memoir’. Their locality dependant on their author. However, Sheldrake talks of ‘telepathy’ in his book, a term coined by FWH Myers, who’s books reside on a completely different shelf, but by this and no doubt other elements are interconnected. This would be similar for all information especially if it was related to everything throughout time.

What’s even more interesting (perhaps just to me) is that these information correlations also relate to our own memories and what we know too. Think about it for a second. No matter the memory you think of there will be another living thing in proximity that will have a version of those events.

Its all in the memory…

Let me explain with two very different examples. In the first one its your first day at school, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a particular age group as it would work for any. As the child you are likely to turn up with a vague idea of where it is you are supposed to go and what you are supposed to do. Usually guidance comes from the adults around you, teachers and perhaps parents. It also will come from observing others too and what they do. However the whole event is something you remember from your perspective and experience, but there are equally multiple other memories from other perspectives too. The other children will have their memories, the adults too, but there are also possible memories beyond that which we often disregard as present. These are the memories of the animals near by too. Sounds strange to suggest that a bird flying over head may have a memory of the moments you started school or even dog outside the school gate remembers you walking to school, but these should be possibilities we consider.

The second example in this is all about you being alone. For example, you are for reasons unimportant located in a room of building. There is no one else there, you’re completely alone. At least that’s the memory you would have of that situation and there would be no human memory elsewhere to back that up. However this is also something we miss in our interpretation of what we remember. You see there is likely to be someone that witnessed your movements at some point in relation to arriving there. They may not have seen you walk in the room or even the building, but we have a human memory timeline from that. Also, there are animals around constantly, so it is likely that there would be memory of you at the location possibly even within the room from an unseen animal. Thus even a memory of an event which appears on the surface to have no connection to another memory is more than likely to have somewhere.

Our desire to appear independent and individuals is something which is constantly driven into our very being. We are presented with the tools to make decisions and walk our own paths on every opportunity. We may even fiercely deny our similarities to our parents and siblings because of this, yet we are a connected species and beyond that we are connected to the other living things around us too.

These memories like the books on the SPR shelves and that which is contained possibly in the Akashic Records is all about information. Information which is around us all the time. In fact these days with social media and cloud technology, our very memories are recorded in word, audio, video and photographs, then shared amongst many that were not present. So, a perspective of the events is even remembered by those not even present.

Now we seem to have a local and even non-local link to memories that occur on a daily basis, it sounds strange just to write it, but in reality its happening. Think about it, when you shared that picture of your birthday drinks, those not present at the events saw it possibly liked it too. Perhaps they showed someone they were stood next to, perhaps someone walking past completely unrelated saw the social media post too. All of a sudden the reach of your memory has the potential to be in several places across the world.

Memories make up a considerable amount of the information here, as those memories will link to actual events that transpired, but we put more than that out there. We share ideas and decisions, we share specific events and even history. The internet is already a huge source of information about everything really, in all forms. Granted its not quite everything of all time past, present and future. However it certainly appears to be of a similar form to the Akashic Records with the resources available to us today.

Locating the Records…

If information that covers well everything ever to happen and that will ever happen is recorded in the Akashic Records then we must discuss where they may possibly exist. Just to clarify, this part is purely theoretical and meant as simply food for thought. We are presented with a few possible locations for the records; another plane of consciousness, another dimension, etc.

I want to begin by throwing out there a truly ‘Doctor Who’ theory for the Akashic Records. What if the huge library existed within a black hole, just past the event horizon of the singularity. A place where time wasn’t normal and matter could be easily manipulated perhaps. Also, to throw caution to the wind, I believe that Hawkins had a theory where he believed information could escape a black hole. Perhaps that information is our connection to the Records themselves.

The consciousness approach is quite interesting as it feeds directly into the shared memories concept we’ve already discussed. That way it links all of our minds together making the information accessible in that way. Of course its suggested that meditation and other relaxed stated can help in accessing this form of the records. This could also be related back to Jung’s Collective Unconscious. It actually makes a lot of sense too. As a physical organ the brain has a huge capacity to store lots of information, multiply that by the number of humans, then by the number of animals and that’s a heck of a lot of storage to access. If we are all connected in that fashion then potentially we have access to well everything, as there’s bound to be someone somewhere that knows something about the one thing you believe no one does! If that makes sense? Hang on connected minds sounds a lot like a network of computers too, funny that!

Combining theories like quantum mechanics, entanglement and neurological networks could possibly be hiding the reality of the Akashic Records.

Relating Paranormal Experiences…

So how does this explain possible paranormal experiences? Without going into too much detail, think of it this way. If we continuously have access to information and its likely presented in relation to what our senses are picking up, then its almost like out minds are continuously ‘googling’ for information based on the space we are in. Add into this mix the probability of telepathic interaction and then the source of the information will be local or even non-local to the individual present. It could even be based on a thought that pops in and out of minds in a split second. Thus you could walk into a room and be presented psychically with the imagine of a past occupant in your mind. However that may relay or overlay what youre senses are acquiring, which then could make it seem as if there is a ghost present.

What you have is comprehension of information rather than survival of consciousness. Well that’s the theory!

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https://ashleyknibb.com/category/psi-theories/

Looking for Patterns – Anomalous Experience Form

Investigating in a different way…

Often when we discuss the paranormal and investigating ghosts, we think about wandering around dark old buildings with various gadgets and our trusty torches.

These are concepts and approaches that have now become common place understanding, which have been backed up by mainstream media and TV.

My Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in the UK - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

Personally my beginnings in the field involved more of a research perspective with me reading many books and constantly seeking answers. The concept of investigating over night is actually relatively new to me, I have only really been out on over night investigations for the last twelve years really. Okay so twelve years may seem a while, but before that I spent over twenty years in libraries and looking stuff up online, once that became a thing.

However early on I knew that these opportunities to visit historic locations overnight should not be wasted and I took it as a chance to try and document as much as possible. In fact that was how my website originally began, as a place I could share the details of my investigations with other like minded individuals. So, please check out some of my investigations and cases over the years.

Documenting experiences and these investigations was something that seemed relatively common place to me at that point, especially as much of what I had read had come about in a similar fashion.

Strangely as I became more involved with over night investigations or ghost hunting, I began to realise that documenting those experiences or writing up investigations was not as popular as I had first thought. Don’t get me wrong there are many out there that do document their investigations and do share them too, but many don’t leaving a wealth of information lost.

Once I joined the Society for Psychical Research I was happy to once again discover a wealth of information related to the paranormal. Most of which has now been compiled over more than one hundred years of research since the SPR was founded back in 1882. However it also highlighted the need for good hard data to back up any research I may do moving forward.

It’s not quite as exciting as ghost hunting…

The first thing I want to make clear is that by asking to look more at the data available, I am by no means saying that people should give up ghost hunting or overnight investigations. Although there is a lot of data out there that I feel needs to be ‘crunched’ in order to find patterns that could provide answers to the many questions we regularly ask.

As a matter of fact the continuation of ghost hunting may actually be key to this in order to maintain the new experiences and add them to the ones we already have. The most important thing is that we should document these experiences in order to comprehend the possible bigger picture.

I know that keeping track of all of our paranormal experiences isn’t always practical in the moment they occur, but we should do our best to do so. Granted that focussing on tracking this is considerably less exciting than standard ghost hunting, but still its something you could do afterwards.

Gathering lots of this kind of data is actually a million miles away from exciting, unless like me you have a thing for stats! Yes, I am that guy that gets a little excited about data, as you’ve probably guessed by now.

However there is a real need nowadays to capture this data in vast quantities in order to see if there are patterns, which could help us understand more. The problem that I see more and more of is that many of us are guilty of going out ghost hunting, but fail to gather any data. The strange thing about this is that these days we have so many gadgets and access to media devices, but we fail to document simple information on the experience.

Now don’t get me wrong there are a lot of people taking photos, capturing video and audio during their investigations; but we need to think a little more outside the box. Unfortunately these on their own are not really enough and if we want to gather ‘evidence’ for science we need more than that.

You may recall a previous post that I made, asking Could Artificial Intelligence Help Understand Paranormal Experiences. The cold truth is that this is already beginning with AI and Machine Learning looking at vast quantities of data in order to look at problems and seek patterns. In fact I was only contacted today by a group that are already looking into this by analysing ‘Phantasms of the Living’ using machine learning. Please take a look at what Maryland Paranormal Research have already achieved here..

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This highlighted a fantastic opportunity to start looking at some real data or information to find those all important patterns we all seek. So, hopefully I will be giving you a little more on this in the near future after a few more emails back and forth between Maryland Paranormal Research and I.

Here’s where I need your help…

In order to understand more about paranormal activity, something that I have been looking at is gathering data on experiences that many of you may have had at some point.  These experiences could be anything really in the realms of the paranormal, from simple feelings of temperature change to seeing a full blown apparition standing there waving at you. The experiences could be equally psychical too, that way even the interactions a medium has become relevant to this study. This is something that I know needs to be done in order to fully research some of my own ideas around psi and my theory of telepathic interaction too.

This approach of gathering data on the experiences of many people is certainly not new, in fact the SPR conducted a census back in the late 1800’s to first look into this. A census that has been repeated at least twice since. In fact there has been quite a few studies over the last hundred years of this manner.

As a little background on this, something else that I am doing is to gather data from other sources and reports to add into this piece of research to ensure I gather loads on this. Which means hitting the books and returning to the libraries too. So, that means the study will incorporate data from you guys using the link below, data that I have looked up in the SPR Journals and Proceedings, information from various books, information from various websites and of course my own investigations too.

However if you wish to help me out and tell me all about your experiences, please follow the link below and complete the form.

The Paranormal Activity Form

The form does ask for quite a bit of information, but don’t worry enter what you know for now, the more the better though. Also, if you’re not comfortable sharing your own home address and phone number then just enter NA in those fields. The location where the activity occurred is important though to enable me to tie it to other reports for the same location.

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What is cool about this link is once you’ve been on an investigation, if you’ve experienced something then you can simply follow the link above and detail it. Then there will be a record that only took five minutes to log. You can even do it on your phone too! Just bookmark it for use.

The form does relate to one experience at one point in time too, so not for a sequence of experiences or events that took place over a longer time frame. However if there are several significant experiences that occurred over a length of time please feel free to add one for each.

The link does use a mail list subscriber, which I manage, but will not be sending you random stuff from, as that’s just not cool right! As the list is related to documenting paranormal experiences the only thing I may use it for is to gather more information on your experience from you by email if you’re happy to do so..

So, please click on the link and tell me about your paranormal experiences. In advance I would just like to thank you all for helping me with this, its greatly appreciated and please keep an eye on this website for more details as the research progresses.

If you want to know more about my research and the data I am gathering, please comment, like and share below…

https://ashleyknibb.com/category/psi-theories/

Do You Seek Evidence or Experience ?

What are you looking for?

As many of us know that pass up on sleep in order to try and gain an understanding of those elusive haunted locations around the world, often we head home with more questions than we first arrived with. The paranormal field for me has always done this and each time I feel I find an answer, ten more questions come to mind off the back of the discovery of that one answer. However this may be the very thing that keeps us fuelled on energy drinks and giving up that all important nights sleep. The problem is though that there often becomes a point where you come to a conclusion that the approach may not be benefiting your progress after all. At least that’s something I came to realise over the years.

It’s at this point that generally we begin to question exactly what we may be looking for and why!

A particular term (and I’ve mentioned this before I know) that I am beginning to hear more and more recently is; that many ghost hunters out there just appear to be doing the same old that they’ve been doing for years and in fact; things in the field haven’t really moved forward since the Victorian era. As much as this may be correct it couldn’t be more from the truth and oddly is only based within the ghost hunter community itself. Perhaps within the spiritual field too.

This is really where as an individual and to an extent a team you must begin to ask what it is exactly you are looking for whilst you are giving up you hours of sleep?

Let me explain a little from my own perspective. When I first began to do overnight investigations I started from an understanding that I would aim to debunk in order to leave anything unknown as anomalous phenomena. What happened though was that whilst debunking I found more questions along the way. Part of this approach was to gather ‘evidence’ or at least what we called ‘evidence’ back then. I am of course referring to audio, video and photographic captures, which is something that has become common place representation of ‘evidence’ especially thanks to the boom in paranormal reality TV shows.

In fact it was these three types of ‘evidence’ that helped me to see that as a matter of fact they are far from categorical evidence of the paranormal at all. You see I managed to capture two things during some of my investigations; 1) crystal clear audio or EVP, and 2) video of a moving object. Both of these communicate as being fantastic proof of Paranormal activity by todays comprehension of the ghost hunting approach we have been made all so familiar of thanks to those reality TV shows. The problem was something I hadn’t been expecting at that time, but comprehend much better now. Both elements were rigorously questioned and alternatives were presented which placed the ‘evidence’ I had into question, in fact it highlighted them as being very weak evidence of the paranormal. Now I am sure there maybe individuals or teams out there reading this thinking that perhaps they may be able to provide better ‘evidence’ to support the paranormal in the form of audio, photographic or video. However let me just say, what you know about a piece of ‘evidence’ needs to be beyond doubt when it is comprehended by others that were not present when the said ‘evidence’ was captured. I guarantee that those not present will always have more questions and will be less likely to accept what you have captured, which in reality is how it should be.

This for me, this presented the question ‘what are you looking for exactly?’

A personal experience is okay too…

Over the years one thing I have realised is that although I enjoy the research and searching for solid answers, from time to time I do enjoy a good old fashioned ghost hunt. Now I often approach these in a couple of ways, which is often defined by whether its my investigation or an investigation ran by a friend where they wish to obtain good data; or its an event someone else is running.

I often like to just join a group or head out on a Paranormal event to visit a public location that has had reports of various paranormal activity over the years. It is actually these such events which may lead to me returning to a location to conduct my own more in depth investigation later on. These kind of events are excellent for allowing yourself to simply immerse yourself in the location and its potential haunting. This is usually the time where experience is the more likely result rather than something a little more solid. That said personally, and this is only a personal choice, I still like to jot down a few notes in my journal.

Anomalous experiences after all are where Paranormal research and investigation may begin, understanding what someone believes had occurred somewhere and then looking deeper into that occurrence to gain a better understanding is where my research once began.

The problem I find and this is perhaps a personal thing too being I do love a bit of data, is that often those personal experiences are not documented properly and remain events in memory alone. Alternatively only part of the experience is documented leaving out fundamental details, which when questioned often end up discounting the experience.

Remember its those experiences that if they are documented and analysed properly could help us understand a locations activity or even activity as a whole. Which is why it’s so important to gather some information, if you do experience something.

I know that if your aim is an experience and you’re not really concerned with an understanding or even documenting then that is absolutely fine. At the end of the day we spend our lives having experiences and learning new things, so if that is your approach then to be quite frank that life.

I guess for me I am always thinking about various elements of the paranormal, so even an experience is documented to help with that comprehension of how it all works. Which is why I tend to keep notes on my investigations and experiences on a regular basis.

Searching for evidence and meaning…

Of course if you’re looking for a little more than a random experience that if you’re like me leaves you with a tonne more questions than when you started out, then you are probably trying to find some evidence or meaning in the Paranormal.

Let’s return to that earlier statement about approaches not having moved on since the Victorian era. This is actually extremely far from the truth. Ghost Hunters utilise all kinds of tech these days in order to discover elements of the paranormal, where back in the day the approaches were relatively limited. However the approaches adopted by modern day ghost hunters are on the surface appearing a little stagnant these days.

One of the problems is something I am going to call; ‘the reality TV format mirror approach’! Basically this means that the team or organisation approach their ghost hunt from the perspective similar to that of a TV show. They walk the location discussing its history and activity, then they setup equipment, conduct vigils and then pack up and conclude. This isn’t a bad approach in reality, personally back in the day my investigations followed a very similar structure and it was one that many were happy with. However if change is to occur then perhaps these approaches need to be evaluated and new ones proposed.

Whilst looking for good data and understating within an investigation, one approach that I adopted at smaller locations (especially free ones) was to focus the investigation in one area/room for the night or even bring in approaches such as seances to bridge the gap between the spiritual and the science. These more focused approaches would make documenting the location and events more easier too. Especially as you can cover off the variables in a small area easier and keep an eye on one room much easier.

The problem is cost in regards to most of the locations many of us seek to investigate, you simply couldn’t justify paying for a location and only focussing on one room. Which is a shame, but we understand why the places charge as they do. Well in most cases we do as its to assist with the upkeep and maintenance of a historic location, which we are lucky enough to explore in quiet of night. Granted there may be some out there that the intentions for their high changes may fall into question, but the simple answer is if you don’t like or cant afford it, don’t pay it!

Sometimes the answers aren’t in the dark…

I would like to finish this particular post by highlighting a place that has provided me with more information on the subject of the paranormal than any overnight investigation ever. I am of course referring to the library and the extensive amount of resources that are out there available to those with an interest in the field of the Paranormal.

These days, a little like the odd tech a modern day ghost hunter may have, a library isn’t just a building in the centre of your town governed over by a stern librarian that peers over her glasses at you as you head towards the Paranormal section. Our local libraries are much more interactive and modernised, there is a tonne of online information if you search beyond Wikipedia and there are many academic resources that provide access to some very interesting information.

For example; back in the late 1800 the SPR conducted a census of hallucinations in order to gain a better understanding of anomalous phenomena. Bearing in mind that their use of the term ‘hallucinations’ didn’t mean that people were seeing things due to mental illness as we often associate it today, but more along gathering information on the things people had seen which were not physically present. ‘Phantasms of the Living’ was published around this time by the SPR and discussed more than 600 cases of apparitions probably linked to telepathy. Think about that for a second, 600 cases discussed in one place. That as a resource to build on nowadays is fantastic.

The point I am trying to make here is simple; if you wish to progress the field then you need to build on what has actually already been achieved. Those achievements are not by the popular TV shows, although they have brought more to the field which is great. The advancements were made by the giants of science, the fellows of the SPR and Ghost Club alike as they built the foundations of the field and research approaches. However that has now been picked up by more and more universities pushing the boundaries of research into the field of psi. I remember the day I read my first Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, I immediately thought I had to up my game and do so much more in order to become published in such a journal.

So, as you investigate in a darkened historic location, simply ask; what do you truly seek?

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The Most Haunted Locations in the World – Waverly Hills Sanatorium

A Little History

The Sanatorium sits on land that was originally purchased by Major Thomas H. Hays back in 1883. However the Major wanted his daughters to attend school, so he started a single room school house, then located on Pages Lane. Lizzie Lee Harris was hired to teach at the school and it was her fondness of Scott’s “Waverley Novels” that may have lead her to name the school house ‘Waverley School’. It’s believed that as Major Hays liked the name he chose to name his own property Waverley Hill.

The Board of Tuberculosis Hospital kept the name after they purchased the land and opened the Sanatorium. 1908 saw the construction of the Sanatoriums original building, a two-story frame building with a hipped roof. This was completed and Sanatorium opened fully on the 26th July 1910. At this point the building had been designed to house up to 50 tuberculosis patients.

Tuberculosis was a very serious disease at the time and this unfortunate to be affected with it were isolated from any general public and placed somewhere they could rest, remain calm and have access to plenty of fresh air. This is why Sanatoriums were often placed on higher ground surrounded by woodland, all to assist with the patients recovery. As Jefferson County saw tuberculosis become an epidemic, the little Sanatorium on Waverly Hill was filled with over 140 people. It became greatly evident that a larger hospital would be required to house those suffering in order to allow them to continue to live without having contact with the general population.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

In order to cope with the demand Waverly Hills soon grew in size and became a self-contained community. It had its own post office, water treatment facility, had its own fruit and vegetable gardens, and even raised its own meat to slaughter. The whole population of Waverly; patients, doctors, nurses and staff all became permanent residents “on the hill”. Which oddly was an approach that was totally contradicted by visiting day, where many of the patients would receive visits from their loved ones. Something which seems a little foolish in my book considering the contagious nature of tuberculosis you would have thought any contact would have been restricted.

Waverly Hills Patients

The huge facility that can be seen today, albeit a little worse for wear, dates back to October 17th 1926, when it first opened. Construction had started two years previously, in March 1924. This version of the Sanatorium was designed to house over 400 patients suffering with Tuberculosis. At the time it was built, Waverly was considered to be one of the most well equipped and modern facilities of the time. In 1961 the discovery of antibiotic that successfully treated tuberculosis meant that the Sanatorium would soon become obsolete. So, it was closed down and quarantined, before being renovated. Then in 1962, the building reopened as Wood Haven Medical Services, which was a geriatric facility. However by 1981 the state had also closed Wood Haven too.

The Haunted Sanatorium..

Given the magnitude of death, suffering and varied approaches to treatment explored at Waverly, its certainly not unexpected really that the location has established itself as one of the worlds most haunted locations.

It’s also had its fair share of visitors from TVs well known paranormal shows such as Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. What brings ghost hunting teams back to this now famous location time and time again though?

It seems as if the Sanatorium itself can have a paranormal effect on most of those that visit. Regardless of the individuals being sceptic or believer, medium or investigator; experiences come to most when they visit. Especially when walking the derelict hallways with little light too. Are these paranormal experiences or the psychological effects of walking through a derelict darkened building at night.

The brief research that I have done on Waverly seems to mention the fifth floor on a regular basis. It has been speculated that the fifth floor may have housed mentally insane tuberculosis patients, although I have not managed to confirm this as yet. Like I said brief internet research.

The fifth floor consists of two nurse stations, a linen room, a pantry, a medication room and two medium sized rooms. One of these rooms is room 502 and in itself has become the subject of many a Waverly story. The most prominent being that where visitors have witnesses movement in the window or heard a disembodied voice order them to ‘get out’!

The fifth floor does seem to be the subject of many an urban legend that’s associated with Waverly too. For example, one story says that back in 1928 the head nurse in room 502 was found dead in that room. She had allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the light fixture. It was also alleged that she was 29 years old at the time and pregnant, but still unmarried. Its believed that her depression over the situation lead her to take her own life, but her body may have been hanging there for some time before it was discovered.

Its also believed that another nurse jumped from the roof patio in 1932, falling several stories to her death. The nurse in that story also worked in room 502. Although these urban legends are still to be substantiated, they still persist to play a large part in the Paranormal stories that surround Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

Over many years now there has been considerable paranormal activity reported throughout the location. These range from strange ghostly sounds, slamming doors, light anomalies, objects have been thrown at ghost hunters, apparitions have been seen in doorways and along corridors, and so much more.

Would you spend the night at Waverly Hills?

I have to admit, although I have never been to Waverly Hills or the US the Sanatorium definitely makes its way onto my paranormal bucket list of places to investigate. One day with any luck I will give the place a visit that’s for sure.

Waverly Hills is a perfect example of what I call a ‘horror story’ location. The location has an interesting history that is fundamentally related to suffering, death and most likely mental illness too. All this during darker times make for the perfect ingredients that draw ghost hunters in. Don’t get me wrong I am not discounting any of the suggested activity or experiences, as its not my place to do so, as wasn’t present at the time and haven’t interviewed these individuals either. However this colourful history along with the fact that the location stood derelict for some time and to an extent still is, helps to generate those urban legends in the first place.

Its without doubt that Waverly Hills Sanatorium does have something about it and some great stories too. The question really remains; would you spend the night to find out if those stories are true?

Don’t forget to read more haunted locations posts here…

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Sources : – www.therealwaverlyhills.com, www.prairieghosts.com