Ghost Hunting Qualifications: What’s The Deal?

Not too long ago, I wrote a piece on this blog called Has Parapsychology Had Enough of Experts? which was about Steve Mera and the so-called Stellar University through which it was claimed people could study accredited courses which instructed them on how to become good paranormal investigators. Many of the claims being made by Mera were questionable and if you’re not familiar with the case I’d recommend you read that article before continuing. You may or may not be surprised to learn that following my blog post several other people reached out to indicate that they- like Dr Novella -had not given permission or their names to be used on the website as ‘contributors’ to the course materials. Continue reading Ghost Hunting Qualifications: What’s The Deal?

Are 2% of Ghost Reports Genuinely Paranormal?

Peter Underwood once suggested that 98% of the reports of hauntings were likely to have rational explanations, but that he was most interested in the 2% that could be genuine (Underwood, 1983). This is a sentiment that ghost investigators often repeat, sometimes with variation. 99% is explainable, or maybe it’s 80%? Those who say such things often then add that it’s the smaller number that interests them the most, that 1% that could be paranormal in origin… but are they missing the bigger picture? I think they could be for a number of reasons. Continue reading Are 2% of Ghost Reports Genuinely Paranormal?

Are Ghost Orbs Really Still a Thing?

In 2012 I delivered a talk about ghost research at a CFI UK conference at Conway Hall. Unknown to me, a man towards the rear of the hall became visibly angered during my talk and during the Q&A session he stood up and accused me of mischaracterising ghost researchers. Why? Because a small portion of my speech touched upon orb phenomena which many ghost hunters class as the first stage of spirit manifestation. Ghosts, it is often said, then manifest in other forms before becoming an apparition. However, my critic was having none of it and to paraphrase him, “ghost hunters do not believe that. Only those on the very fringes present orbs as evidence.” Continue reading Are Ghost Orbs Really Still a Thing?

Biased Ghost Research: Is Seeing Really Believing?

When ghost hunters attempt to research ghosts in a scientific way one of the first mistakes that they will make is insisting that although their methodology might look unscientific to the outside observer, this simply isn’t the case. Ghost hunters often conduct their investigations in the dark, use pieces of equipment that have no real use in ghost research (such as EMF meters, REM pods, Dictaphones and similar), may employ the use of psychics and mediums, and use spirit communication techniques because they claim that they are attempting to experience the occurence reported to them by the eye-witness. Continue reading Biased Ghost Research: Is Seeing Really Believing?