Everything’s a Ghost at Halloween?

Halloween ghosts 2020As soon as I turn the calendar to October, I know the “ooh, it’s a ghost!” stories will start showing up.

At least half of them will be preposterous. They’ll talk about haunted places with apparitions, noises, shadow people, ghosts that scratch people, poltergeist activity, cold spots, and more.

The fact is, 99% of haunted sites don’t have a wide range of activity. Two or three different categories of phenomena are more likely.

That’s why I dismissed Ghost Photo: Window Pain as likely pareidolia. The combination of an extremely blurry area and then a startlingly crisp image… probably not ghostly, in my opinion.

(If you’re seeing lots of “ghost photos” that look preposterous, you can thank authors of articles like How To Make Ghosts in Photoshop or GIMP. Silly…? Yes. Likely to fool experienced ghost hunters…? No.)

Credible reports from Alabama

By contrast, I liked seeing Fort Morgan (Mobile, AL) highlighted in Ghosts, spirits said to wander the grounds at Fort Morgan.

There have been many sightings over the years. The old barracks are said to be one of the most haunted portions of the fort. In 1917 a prisoner hanged himself there. According to many reports, you can still hear the hanging man cry late at night. Visitors say they also hear footsteps and have been touched. – Alabama Living, alabamaliving.coop

That’s a report with credibility.

  • The site has a lengthy history of incidents related to violence.
  • It’s near the water; that’s a suspected amplifier of paranormal activity.
  • Both tour guides and visitors offer low-key accounts that sound credible, not exaggerated beyond belief.

In addition, I’m pleased to see a haunted site – mostly open-air – in the media. During the 2020 pandemic, outdoor (or well-ventilated) research sites are ideal.

Overnight investigations in New York state

At the other extreme – geographically, at least – Wyoming County, New York is ready for ghost hunting guests. Spend the Night with Ghosts – Wyoming County Tourism offers a very solid and reliable list of haunted places to stay (overnight) and to visit. Just a few miles from Lake Erie, Wyoming County also meets my observation that more ghosts are reliably reported near bodies of water. 

This report about the Genesee Falls Inn intrigues me. Here’s part of the article that reinforces the location’s link to water.

The reason for the paranormal occurrences? There are many places to point fingers: fires, suicides, even a drowning. The current inn sits on the same property where two prior buildings had burned down. It’s also the same residence where a family lived – one that had a strong history of suicide. None of the family members died in the building itself but many took their lives in the nearby waterfalls. More recently, the inn’s caretaker passed away in the building. Although it’s been over two years since his passing, the caretaker remains protective of him room by closing the door and locking it.

The photos in that article are gorgeous, as well. I’m over 1,000 miles away from New York state, but I’m bookmarking that article for my next visit to the northeast.

Extreme EMF may indicate ghosts (UK)

British ghost hunters should definitely take a look at St. Margaret’s Church in Essex. The article is sparse, but what got my attention was this:

Another strange phenomenon reported in that area were the electrical faults experienced by people driving down the country lane to the church. Headlights would flicker and die, plunging the road into pitch darkness, much to the terror of the car’s occupants. Even more terrifying, people have also experienced brake failure!

That reminded me of my own experiences at Pine Hill Cemetery – aka “Blood Cemetery” – in Hollis, NH.

ghost divider

So far, 2020’s “ghost season” has started with some good stories and reports, as well as the usual hype.

I’m pleased that haunted sites are offering safe opportunities – at least in terms of health precautions – for ghost hunters at this time of year.

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