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Find Haunted Libraries in Your Area

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hauntedlibrary.jpgDo you remember when I told you about The Easton Public Library?  About how it was haunted—and built on top of a mass grave?

Well, the Easton Public Library is NOT the only one.

It's a little-known fact that many public libraries have paranormal activity…

Early Friday morning,  I received an email from Barbara Schreiber at Encyclopedia Britannica. Turns out, Encyclopedia Britanica is publishing a list of haunted libraries—both in the U.S. and internationally.  Barbara asked if my readers would be interested.  And of course, I said yes. :-)

So, if you're looking for some new haunted locations, go check out Encyclopedia Britannica's list of haunted libraries. Here is the list so far:

Haunted Libraries in the U.S. Part One – Alabama to D.C.

Haunted Libraries in the U.S. Part Two – Florida to Maryland

Haunted Libraries in the U.S. Part Three – Massachusetts to Missouri
I've been told that more locations (including libraries OUTSIDE the U.S.) will be published in the days ahead.  If you're one of my subscribers, I'll let you know when more locations are available.

* UPDATE:  Here are more haunted library locations in the U.S., Canada and internationally. *

Enjoy—and if you visit any of these haunted libraries, be sure to let us know what you discover.

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Ghost Hunting Without Equipment – Subscriber Question

372382_ghostly.jpgJosh asks…

"Is it all right to go ghost hunting without an EMF detector and a digital recorder?"

This is a great question.  The truth is, it's perfectly fine to ghost hunt without any equipment.  Ghost hunting is about observing.  Tools such as an EMF detector, digital camera, and a digital voice recorder are used confirm anomalies and strange activity.  They're also helpful when you want to capture scientific evidence of the paranormal.

But don't feel that you must own or use a particular tool. If your budget won't even stretch to include a disposable camera, don't worry about it. Just go out, and enjoy the ghost hunt. Take notes, observe, and then when you're able to buy equipment and tools, go for it.

Don't let "not having any ghost hunting tools" keep you from getting started!

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EVP Videos – Your Questions Answered

evp soundwaveToday, by popular request, I have more videos for you.  Since my first post on EVP, I've received even MORE questions about this topic.  People have asked for help with recording EVP, what software to use, what tape recorder to use, why the voices sound whispery/quiet, and a whole lot more.

Today, I'm going to answer some of your questions in a video.  But before I do that, take a look at this video which features EVP on prime-time news (Fox News).  Warning: The volume is very low, so be sure to turn up your speakers…

In Video # 2,  I answer some of your most commonly asked questions about EVP.  I've also included 8 tips to help you capture EVP's.  You can watch EVP Video # 2 here. This is a 7-minute video presentation that I created using a new software program called Camtasia Studio.  My audio editing is pretty rough (far from smooth) – but I hope you enjoy the content.

I will be creating more videos for you over the next couple of months, so be sure to let me know what you think.  If you have a question about ghost hunting, EVP's or anything related to paranormal investigation, you can ask your question here.


How Clear Are Your EVP's?

Three Types of EVP Recordings

headphones evpNot all EVP audio recordings are clear enough to understand what is being said.  EVP researchers use the following "classes" to determine how clear a particular EVP is.

Class A - Class A voices can be heard and understood over a speaker by most people.  Just because a voice is loud does not mean it is a Class A recording.  Recordings of this type must be capable of being understood by most people.

Class B - Class B voices can be heard over a speaker but not everyone will agree about what was said.   Most EVP recordings fall into Class B.

Class C - Class C voices can only be heard with headphones and are usually difficult to understand. Note: Class B or C voices can have one or two clearly understood words.

It's normal to feel frustrated when you can't understand what's being said on an EVP recording.  Understand though, that not all EVP's can be understood.  Some of them will always remain a mystery.

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What to Bring on a Ghost Hunt – 10 Things to Take

Planning to ghost hunt this weekend?  Here are 10 things to take with you…

10 Things to Take With You on a Ghost Hunt

flashlights.jpg1.  Patience. Ghost hunting is a lot like fishing – you need patience because you won't always see results immediately.  On some investigations, you'll find paranormal activity. On others, you won't. Sometimes what you thought was paranormal can be explained by natural causes. Be patient and understand that you may need to visit a haunted location several times before you experience anything unusual.

2.  Plenty of flashlights. Always bring plenty of flashlights, along with extra batteries.  You do not want your light source dying on you, in the middle of an investigation!

3.  Audio Recorder (Digital, preferably).
This is a tool that I always take with me.  If you plan to capture EVP's or record sounds, a digital audio recorder is a must-have tool.

4.  Your ID. Always carry ID in case you are stopped by the police or local law enforcement.

5.  A Log book. Always log every event that seems out of the ordinary, (doors that lock, electrical problems, swaying
chandeliers, strange lights). Videotape everything for proof. Assign someone in your group to be the "secretary" to record all the details of the investigation. Details to record include who is participating, changes in temperature, weather, location, and date and time of any happenings that may take place – including who witnessed them. Be sure to walk through the site beforehand to record your thoughts and feelings that you (or any of your team members) may be getting from that particular site.  I find it is often easier to keep an audio "logbook" instead of a written log.  Although, the two can be used together.

emfmeter.jpg6.  EMF Meter (Electromagnetic Field Meter). An EMF meter measures electromagnetic radiation, and can be a very useful tool.  Usually, areas of paranormal activity produce strong electromagnetic fields, and have high EMF readings. Be careful, though. EMF meters can produce false positives. Man-made electrical sources such as power lines, appliances, cell phones, and fuseboxes, can give off strong EMF readings. Before assuming paranormal activity, check to see if the cause could be a man-made electrical source.

One strong indication of paranormal activity is EMF's that move.  (The background EMF needs to remain constant in order to locate such fields.) Usually, these EMF's will either move away from you, or follow you. In one case, I was able to follow a moving EMF through three floors of a building.

7.  A camera - Bring either a digital camera or a 35 mm camera. If you use a 35 mm camera, bring several fresh rolls of high-speed film. For best results, use 400 speed film or higher. If you use a digital camera, use the highest resolution and make sure the memory stick is empty (or has enough storage capacity).

8.  Video camera. Always use clean, new discs for your camcorder. If you are filming a designated room/area, place the video camera on a tripod for stability and ease of use.

9. Food, snacks, and drinks. Make sure you pack plenty of food and drinks. This may seem trivial, but many a ghost hunt has ended because of lack of food. Sometimes it's difficult to predict how long an investigation will take. So, come prepared!

10. An open mind. Investigate each location with a positive attitude, an open mind and a healthy dose of skepticism. Try to recreate all reported paranormal events and eliminate any natural explanations before reaching a final conclusion.

A couple of other tips…

  • Arrive early to your location with your necessary ghost hunting equipment and give yourself plenty of time to set everything up.
  • Wear sneakers and warm, comfortable clothing with extra pockets.
  • If you need extra pockets, you can buy a fisherman's vest (available at WalMart for about $15.00). These vests are lightweight, fit over a bulky sweatshirt and provide lots of pockets to store batteries, discs, audio recorders, cameras, etc. There's even a clip to attach a flashlight to.

Have fun!

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Can Everyone See Ghosts? – Subscriber Question

Alex wants to know whether everyone can see ghosts.  He writes: "Do you believe that all people can see ghosts?"

871094_sunny_power.jpgIn my opinion, most people can sense paranormal activity—on some level.  Whether it's seeing, feeling, or hearing – most people are sensitive to some degree. (Of course, some people are more sensitive than others.)  In fact, even skeptics have seen ghosts.  Hard-core skeptics who don't believe in anything "paranormal" often change their minds after a firsthand experience with a ghost.

The ability to see ghosts is not limited to a select group of people—almost everyone has this ability (especially under the right circumstances, such as an enviornment that is known to be haunted).

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Paranormal Voices & EVP Audio Recordings

Can the dead talk?

Many people believe that ghosts can communicate with us, while others are skeptical of such claims. A common tool used by paranormal investigators is EVP – also known electronic voice phenomena.

What is EVP?

717786_the_doors_are_open.jpg
EVP is speech (or speech-like sounds) heard on electronic devices, but not heard in the environment at the time they are recorded. Human-sounding voices will actually respond to questions posed by investigators, comment on situations, and will sometimes address paranormal investigators by name.

These voices have been recorded on a variety of electronic media such as tape recorders, digital voice recorders, video recorders and other devices. Strangely, the voices are not heard at the time of the recording; it is only when the recording is played back that the voices are heard.

There are thousands of these voices documented.  Researchers all over the world are capturing EVP's, and many of these voices have accents, and show strong emotion. These voices can respond to you, answer questions, and even ask questions of their own.

So, what does an EVP recording sound like?  Here are a few examples…


Real EVP Audio Recordings

1.  South Jersey Ghost Research recorded this EVP at Fort Mifflin, an old army fort. The investigator recorded a voice that seems to be that of a sentry at Fort Mifflin. There is a loud thump, like a boot or rifle butt slapping the floor and then a man’s voice says “Who goes there?”

2.  Here is another audio from the investigation at Fort Mifflin (recorded by South Jersey Ghost Research). On this EVP, you can hear a female voice saying “Come my children."

3.  The Allegheny Mountain Ghosthunters have captured some pretty clear (and diverse) EVP's.


6 Tips to Capture EVP Audio Recordings

627397_sound_peak_2.jpgEVP recordings can sometimes be difficult to capture clearly on tape. Use these 6 tips to capture the best possible recording.

1. Only use one side of any cassette tape, and only use that side once. Evidence from paranormal investigations is highly scrutinized, and not just by the skeptics, but also by other paranormal investigators. To reduce the chances of "bleed through" (a recording made on one side of the tape playing on the other side) only use one side. This will add technical credibility to your EVP recordings.

2. When you first begin to record at a location, make note of the date, time and location. Also, if you are going to be moving from room to room, or floor to floor be sure to mention it aloud. This will help you remember where you were when you process your recordings later.

3. Many new investigators get discouraged or frustrated by whispered or faint EVP. One thing that may (or may not) help would be to ask the spirits to please speak as loudly as they can.

4. If you are using an analog audio recorder, be sure to use a separate microphone. Recorders with built-in microphones create unwanted sounds from the internal motor and wheels.  However, if you are using a digital audio recorder, a separate microphone may not be necessary. When using a digital recorder, I have found that an external microphone actually INCREASES the amount of static recorded. So, if you have a digital recorder, you may want to *avoid* using an external microphone.

5. Keep conversation between yourself and other members of your team to a minimum. When you talk, speak clearly and in a normal tone of voice. Never whisper. This will help you distinguish between human voices, and a real EVP audio recording.

6. Do NOT use the voice activation feature available on some models of recorders. Voice activation starts recording AFTER sound begins, which means an EVP can be cut off, or completely missed.  Many EVP's are too quiet to be picked up by the voice activation feature.

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Intelligent Ghost Hauntings & Weird Electrical Activity

I've received a number of questions about intelligent ghost hauntings, so let's tackle some of these questions.

What is an Intelligent Haunting?

greencorridor.jpg An intelligent haunting is the rarest type of haunting. (Residual hauntings are far more common.) In this type of haunting, you are dealing with an "intelligent" presence that can communicate with you, and interact with you in a seemingly "intelligent" way.  This ghost is best (and most simply) described as the personality of a person who once lived and who has stayed behind in our world.

A good example of an intelligent haunting can be seen in the movie, "The Sixth Sense." The main character in "The Sixth Sense" could hear, see and speak with the ghosts around him.

The ghosts portrayed in the movie were actual human spirits that had not yet crossed-over, and had some unfinished business with a living person (or a message they wanted to deliver before crossing-over). Some intelligent ghosts are too emotionally attached to their loved ones that they refuse to cross-over.


Are Intelligent Hauntings Dangerous—Should I Be Concerned?

Intelligent ghosts are not "evil" or "dangerous," as some people would have you believe. "Intelligent" ghosts are simply human personalities, and if the spirit was a kind and caring person in life, the spirit will most likely be the same way in death. Likewise, angry and mean people will usually keep those same negative character traits as spirits.

What Are the Signs of an Intelligent Haunting?

An intelligent haunting can be very annoying because the spirit/ghost seeks to get the attention of living people. The ghost can be compared to a child seeking attention. To get attention, the ghost may try turning things on and off, hiding objects, moving things, and other annoying or nuisance behaviors.

Some possible signs of an intelligent haunting include:

- Objects are hidden from you, furniture or small objects are moved, doors open and close, and things turn on and off (such as lights, faucets, radios, TVs).
- Slamming doors, and unlocking doors and windows.
- Strange sounds (that are not residual or repetitive in nature).
- Cold chills and a strong presence.

The ghost/spirit may be looking for assistance to pass over or for assistance to accomplish a certain task. The spirit may also be seeking company with the residents. The key factor in an intelligent haunting is that the ghost can interact with you (communication—it responds and notices human beings).  If the ghost does not notice you or other human beings, and cannot interact or communicate with you, it's not an intelligent haunting.


Subscriber Question –
Voices & Weird Electrical Activity

473721_the_light_shines_through.jpgI received a question from a subscriber named Mary, who is experiencing some strange activity in her home. Mary claims that she has heard unexplained voices, and the radios in her house turn on automatically (one in the basement, and one in the kitchen), one right after another, with no plausible explanation. Mary says this happens mostly at night and sometimes during the day, and that neither radios are set to "alarm," so they should not be turning on randomly.

Mary's case might be an intelligent haunting.  First, Mary should check to see if there are natural causes that could explain the weird electrical activity in her home (short circuits, electrical wiring problems, etc.).

If no natural/scientific explanation can be found, then it's possible that Mary might have an intelligent spirit/ghost in her home.  If it is an intelligent haunting, it seems that Mary's ghost is playful. Sometimes close relatives who have recently died can attempt to communicate with their loved ones by turning things on and off, and acting in this manner.

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8 Common Ghost Hunting Mistakes – What NOT to Do

Do you make these 8 ghost hunting mistakes?

1.  Trespassing.

Always get permission before investigating private property. Several years ago, there was a news story about a ghost hunter who trespassed on private property to investigate a haunted house. The person who lived in the house thought the ghost hunter was a burglar, pulled out a gun, and shot him. (Fortunately, the ghost hunter was OK.) This is NOT a situation that you want to experience, so always get permission before exploring private homes.

privateproperty.jpgIf you are exploring a cemetery, be sure to follow the cemetery rules. If the cemetery is closed after dark, abide by the rules, unless you have received permission to break them. You do not want to be fined (or arrested) for breaking the law. 


2.  Being fearful of ghosts.

There's no need to be fearful of ghosts.  Ghosts cannot hurt you (with the exception of poltergeists who could possibly throw things at you).  Ghosts are just people living in another dimension, or perhaps on another plane. They have no superhuman powers (with the possible exception of enhanced telepathy).  They cannot "curse" you or physically harm you.  In most situations, ghosts will not follow you home (unless you purposely invite them to).

Ghosts haunt a location, particularly cemeteries, for a reason. If they could leave, they wouldn't be at the cemetery (or house, or battlefield) in the first place. Usually, ghosts remain on Earth because they're fighting reality, and want to change an event from the past.  In other cases, they may have a message to pass on, or a small task to accomplish.  Other ghosts are emotionally attached to a particular person or place, and have a hard time releasing this attachment.

It's important to remember that ghosts do not exist to cause destruction, harm and evil.  Unfortunately, Hollywood portrays ghosts as harmful creatures—which causes people to irrationally fear ghosts.  You should be far more concerned with the human beings you might encounter when ghost hunting (i.e. a group of deer hunters who do not want you around), than with the ghosts you might encounter.  An irrational fear of ghosts will prevent you from experiencing amazing things, and learning more about the paranormal.


3.  Ghost Hunting Alone.

Never ghost hunt alone. Some haunted locations are secluded—so you should always take precautions. An ideal ghost hunting group is a team of 3-6 people. At the very minimum, make sure you have one other person with you. What would happen if you fell, twisted an ankle, and there was no one available to help you?

hauntedhouse2.jpg
4.  Investigating a haunted location without telling someone where you are headed.

Always make sure someone at home (or at work) knows where you are headed. This way, in case something happens, your friend knows where to find you.  What could possibly happen?  I know one ghost hunter who was investigating an abandoned house, and he fell through a hole in the floor (rotten flooring).  Fortunately, he had a team of people with him, and his friend called for help.  Another smart idea—bring a cell phone in case you need to contact someone.

5.  Drinking, smoking, or starting a fire at the ghost hunting location.

A ghost hunt is no place for cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, or fire. Cigarette smoke can look like ghostly apparitions in photographs, and alcohol can distort your senses. Also, stay away from lit barbeques and open campfires. You do not want to accidentally set something on fire, or give mischievous ghosts something dangerous to play with (flames).


6.  Taking pictures while facing the sun or moon (or at a right angle to the sun or moon).

Avoid taking pictures while facing the sun or the moon. The light can flare off the camera lens and create a false anomaly. A bright or full moon can cause flares too. For best results, try to have light sources behind you when snapping a photo. Be very careful when shooting pictures indoors. Many objects can reflect off your flash, creating orbs or ghostly apparitions.  Windows, TV's, metal items, glass, polished furniture, and polished floors can all reflect off your flash.


7.  Daring or threatening spirits/ghosts to appear.

Never dare or threaten spirits to appear. You might get your wish, and spirits aren't always friendly if you have threatened them.  Always show respect for others around you – this includes ghosts/spirits, and property owners.


8.  Ignoring your intuition or gut feelings.

Don't ignore your intuition when ghost hunting. If you think you should explore a certain area, follow your intuition. If you feel upset or disturbed in a particular room, there's probably a reason for it. Investigate. This does not mean that everything you feel is true. However, following your inner guidance can help you in certain situations.

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Residual Hauntings Explained – Ghosts in an Old Farmhouse

One of my subscribers, Brian, is dealing with a ghost in a farmhouse that he and his wife recently bought.  Brian writes:

I've been seeing a male ghost (dressed in old fashioned clothes) coming down the stairs repeatedly. He is in a hurry and does not seem to notice me or my wife.  We just purchased an older farmhouse (built in 1932) and although the ghost seems harmless, I'm wondering if I should do something to make him leave. Is he harmless? Could we try to make him leave?

Residual Hauntings

It appears that Brian and his wife are witnessing a residual haunting.  A residual haunting is the most common type of haunting, and can be described as a playback of a past event (sometimes at a designated time).  The apparitions are not intelligent spirits, but rather "recordings" of a past event.  Residual hauntings are simply expressions of stored energy.  These types of hauntings are not always visual – instead they can be "replayed" as sounds or noises that have no explanation. Usually the sounds and images are related to traumatic events which took place at the location.  These traumatic events created a "psychic impression" or "psychic disturbance" on the atmosphere of a particular place. This may explain why so many battlefields and prisons are famous for their residual hauntings.

staircase2.jpgIn other residual ghost hauntings, the images have been created by actions/events that were repeated over and over again. This may explain why there are so many haunted staircases–the huge number of times that people travel up and down staircases, and the amount of energy expended in doing so creates a psychic impression and energy fingerprint.

In a residual haunting, ghosts will not notice the living people around them, and they will usually repeat the same actions over and over again.  This is consistent with the scenario that Brian describes.  Residual hauntings are harmless and sometimes stop naturally on their own.  Once the stored energy dissipates, the playback (and hence the ghost) is no longer there.  The ghost that Brian describes seems to be harmless residual energy.  Brian does NOT need to worry about trying to make the ghost leave. In fact, if it is a residual haunting, Brian would be unable to communicate with the ghost, since the ghost is merely stored energy, and not an intelligent entity.

Situations where you can communicate with ghosts are referred to as "intelligent hauntings." These ghosts will unlock doors and open windows, run the faucets and can interact with you directly because they are an "intelligent" presence—the personality of a person who was once alive but who has stayed behind, rather than passing over.

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Orbs – Are they paranormal & what do colored orbs mean?

Many of my subscribers have questions about orbs.  Some people question whether orbs are solid evidence of paranormal activity.  Other subscribers want to know why orbs appear in many of their photographs.  Meanwhile, other subscribers want to know why certain orbs have different colors (red, blue), and if there is a meaning to these colors.

So, let's tackle some of these questions…

What is an Orb?

An orb is a solid or transparent "ball" of energy or light.  Some parapsychologists believe that orbs are spirits, or lingering energy from deceased entities. No one truly knows what orbs are.  Orbs can appear in many different shapes and colors, with white orbs being the most common. Here are a few examples of orb photographs:

orb.jpg orbs_crescent.jpg


Are Orbs in Photographs Really Paranormal?

Not all "orbs" that appear in photographs are paranormal. In my experience, many of the orbs that appear in photographs can be explained by the flash reflecting off dust, particles, insects, or moisture droplets in the air in front of the camera.

In my opinion, witnessing orbs with your own eyes (in person) is far more credible, and harder to debunk than mere photos of orbs.

If you see a bright, glowing orb with your own eyes (in person, not in a photograph), there's a good chance that it may be paranormal. However, I would be very cautious when classifying orbs in photographs as paranormal – it's simply too easy for the "orbs" in a photograph to be caused by dust or moisture, reflecting off the camera lens (or the flash).


Why Are Some Orbs Different Colors, and What Do the Colors Mean?

Another subscriber wants to know why certain orbs are different colors. Dee writes:

I have seen a red orb before. What is the difference between colors? Does one [color] have more energy or [is it more] negative [than] the other?

colors.JPGThere are several different theories that may explain the color differences in orbs…

Theory #1 – Color difference in orbs is caused by "chromatic distortion" which is a fancy way of saying that our eyes perceive different wavelengths and shapes as varying colors.  If a particle happens to be of a certain makeup or shape, it will tend to absorb certain wavelengths of light and reflect others, thus giving the perception of a certain color.  Paravision has an interesting page on the anatomy of an orb.

Theory # 2 – Orb color difference is caused by the energy of the spirit who is represented by the orb.  For example, some ghost hunters believe that red and orange orbs represent a spirit who is angry or in need of healing.  Other shadow chasers claim that red is a color associated with an energy that seems to be on guard duty (often watching over a last outpost, or a loved one who has died).

Dee asked whether a red orb should be considered negative or harmful.  There is no evidence to suggest that red orbs are harmful or more negative than white orbs.  The color difference may simply be a reflection of the spirit's energy at the time of his death—or the color may be caused by the shape/frequency of of the orb (wavelength theory #1).

Do you have a theory on why certain orbs are colored?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Update: I've found an excellent page (by Gettysburg Ghosts) that lists the possible meanings of colored orbs.

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