Friday, November 23, 2007

Our Fascination with Ghosts

Whether an episode of TAPS, a haunted tour of a city in a trolley bus with a tour guide, or an overnight investigation in a haunted location, ghost hunting is big business. Suddenly businesses and historic buildings, instead of hiding their ghosts in the closet, are bringing them out of hiding and broadcasting their existence on network television in an effort to bring in more customers, bring in the tourists. You don't have to wait till Halloween to enjoy the "fun" of being scared under controlled conditions.

Everyone wants to catch a ghost on film (speaking metaphorically) and provide the ultimate proof to convince the skeptics. Fuzzy photos, blown up so much the individual pixels can be seen are all over the net, usually with the ghostly figure circled and with an arrow pointing to it. This is necessary, since the images are not really visible and once pointed out, generate wildly different opinions as to what is being seen. Orbs were popular for a while, but people are finally catching on to the fact that they are just dust and moisture caught in the camera flash while flying too close to the lens. Similarly, camera straps and long hair create brightly lit examples of alleged ectoplasm. Does this mean there aren't any real captures of real ghosts on the net?. No, I believe there are some good examples out there, but one has to filter through a lot of dubious claims to find them.

The good thing is that more people are talking about their experiences and sharing them with a wider audience. When you consider that many of their experiences involve a loved one who has passed on and is attempting to communicate, this is a positive development. Some ghosts stick around a place they loved and end up being the unexpected co-resident who thinks of everyone else as house guests. Some stories bring a tear to the eye and a warm feeling to the heart. Others are incredibly sad, when you realize their ghosts are wayward spirits who have been unable to escape reliving terrifying events. Others are harrowing, since there are unhappy spirits who may wish to harm those still living. The house ghost, the visit from grandpa or your favorite aunt, or a child who died before his time - these are usually nothing to be afraid of, and if approached calmly can be good for everyone involved. The malignant or nuisance spirits, these need to be dealt with or avoided.

Halloween is about wearing costumes. Ghost hunting is about interacting with real persons whose bodies are gone, but whose spirits and personalities linger. If you are interested, there is plenty of information on the net on the different kinds of hauntings, how to go about trying to spot a ghost or contact a spirit and how to get rid of one; how to protect yourself; what kind of equipment is helpful. Watch for posts on these various topics . . . as I grow this blog, I will be adding helpful information on every topic I can think of related to ghosts, ghost hunting and all things ghost-related.

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