'What the heck was that?!?' is a very familiar phrase to many. Was it just the house settling? Maybe it was a friend playing a prank. Or could it possibly have been a ghost? The latter choice is normally ruled out fairly quickly. But for some, it is very plausible. To prove or disprove the possibility of an apparition, a surprisingly scientific and frequently detailed investigation is carried out.
The "ghost hunt" originated in the 1800's. In these days, it was not a true ghost hunt, rather an entertaining seance, picture, or "show." Many people experimented with the invention of photography in this century. Making an eerie photograph was and is rather simple, but at those times the public was naive and unaware of these techniques. They consistently paid money for fake ghost pictures.
Time has a way of exposing frauds, and such was the case with these deceitful photographers. Over the decades, genuine researchers and photographers sprung up. Because of the beginnings of their profession, they came under much scrutiny and still do to this day. But in the current
century, ghost hunting is almost as scientific as physics. Ghosts are now normally categorized into one of three groups: a residual haunting, a spirit that lived as a human , or a spirit that never lived as a human (Killen, 1).
A residual haunting is what a person has normally encountered when they say they have "seen a ghost." What these types of hauntings are, are a past event in space and time that has been "recorded" onto a specific object or place. They are actually just like watching a movie playing an incident over and over. Because they are just replays of a past event, these types of ghosts will not interact with any surrounding people. ...
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... of fraud to its current state of technical understanding, the process will continue to fascinate society. Its desire and drive for scientific acceptance will keep this practice and tradition alive and well into the centuries to come.
Hemmel, Jeff. "BOO!" Boating October 2000: 140-145
Killen, W. Kevin. How To Conduct A Ghost Hunt. [on-line]. Available: http://home.naxs.com/kkpcc/howto.htm. (11.20.00)
Taylor, Troy. INTRODUCTION TO GHOST HUNTING. [on-line]. Available: http://www.prarieghosts.com/intro.html. (11.20.00)
Sellier, Charles E. The Paranormal Sourcebook. Place of Publication: Lowell House 1999.
SPIRIT (Society for Paranormal Investigation Research and Informational Training). www.ghosthunter.org. [on-line]. Available: http://www.ghosthunter.org/toolbox/belt.htm. (11.20.00)
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