Weakly Ghost Bulletin #3

WEAKLY GHOST BULLETIN HEADER

At the end of each year I compile a ‘The Worst Ghosts of…’ list and 2014 was no exception. The #1 spot on the 2014 list went to the stupid Black Eyed Kids sightings coming out of Cannock’s Chase at the hands of paranormal author Lee Brickley and at the end of the list for last year I made a prediction, as follows:

I predict that in 2015 Slenderman will be seen in Cannock’s Chase and will have a baby with the so-called PigMan hybrid monster. You heard it here first.

This wasn’t an instruction, doofus.

Spooky Slender Men spotted in Cannock

The Birmingham Post (what’s with this paper?) reports ‘A paranormal probe has been launched in the Midlands following FOUR sightings of Slender Men – long, stick thin spectres feared around the world. Each of the chilling close encounters took place in the Cannock area, and now X Files investigator Lee Brickley is trying to fathom why the ghoul has descended on the Staffordshire mining town.

Slender Men have been a part of global folklore for centuries. They may be known by different names, but their harrowing, elongated appearance remains the same around the world.’

Firstly, no they have not been global folklore for centuries as Slenderman is a product of online forum Something Awful. Secondly, grow up, Lee Brickley. Your attention seeking is just embarrassing. I actually cringed when I read this stuff. I am still cringing. I am cringe-blogging and it’s all your fault.

Investigators ‘make contact’ with spirit in Armley Mills

Well done, Yorkshire Standard, you have given an events company some uncritical free advertising. According to the article ‘A spirit has supposedly been captured on video trying to communicate with paranormal investigators in the famous Armley Mills in Leeds. Simply Ghost Nights, an events company which hosts ghost hunts throughout the UK, conducted the investigation with guests on 17 January. They recorded a video taken during a séance in which guests urged a spirit named Mr Grimes to move the table. After urging the spirit to make contact, the table started shaking.’

Yes, they moved it either intentionally or unintentionally through ideomotor responses where they unconsciously moved the table to create positive responses that matched what they were expecting to hear from “ghosts”, most probably prompted by local ghost folklore legends. It’s sort of scientifically proven that this happens, but why let facts stop you?

Also, can I just comment on the table tipping practice here? I used to believe table tipping was a legit form of spirit communication and I led dozens and dozens of table tipping sessions and you are not supposed to all shout over one another and ask multiple questions at the same time because a) this is annoying as hell, and b) how are you supposed to tell which questions the table is being moved in response to? Duh…

Well, now I’m just in a bad mood. Come back next week for more Weakly Ghost Bulletin goodness. Hayley out.

Thoughts On The “End” of Page 3

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Update: At the time of writing this post (Jan 20) it seemed Page 3 had come to an end. Today (Jan 22) it seems that this wasn’t the case and that it continues to exist. Sneaky.

It seems that The Sun newspaper have discontinued the tradition of including a topless woman on Page 3 (update: no, they haven’t.) There have been some odd reactions to this with the main one in my Social Media timelines being comparisons between this and Charlie Hebdo.

Let me just say this: Comparisons being made between the apparent recent victory of the No More Page 3 campaign to the attempts to stifle religious criticism by extremists who murdered cartoonists and members of the public in Paris are bizarre and really rather naive. It is important to recognise the different between saying “I do not think it is appropriate to have semi-naked women in the a national newspaper” to “no newspaper should print photos of naked women or else”.

There.

The discontinuation of Page 3 is cause for celebration but also, I think, reflection.

I had issues with the way supporters of the No More Page 3 campaign expressed their support and in the past I have highlighted these concerns, I’ve always been worried by people who claim to have the best interests of women at heart but demonstrate this by painting certain groups of women as bad women or the problem. In fact just voicing these concerns got me labelled as “an attack dog for the menz” by one supporter of the campaign which was quite bizarre.

A free press is vital, yes, but semi-naked women inside a newspaper isn’t topical and it is a very old fashioned view of the contribution that women can (and do) make to world news. This doesn’t mean that women who pose naked or semi-naked are somehow unworthy, or the cause of the issue and it is sad that some people who supported the discontinuation of the Page 3 in The Sun newspaper often conflated these points. In fact, acting concerned on behalf of women who pose naked and insisting you are protecting them from being objectified can often disempower that woman and her choice to pose naked which turns you into the one objectifying her.

That said, Page 3 is not the only way in which women are routinely objectified in newspapers or wider media and the discontinuation of soft porn on Page 3 of The Sun makes only a small contribution to the tackling of this gigantic problem. The No More Page 3 campaign has at times demonstrated how easy it is for people to fall into the trap of forgetting that there is still much more progress to be made beyond the campaigning against Page 3 and objectifying women who have made empowered decisions about their own body out of concern for them.

I also think it is important to have a good understanding of where censorship begins when it comes to the banning of pornographic magazines and other media. Such actions have already happened as a direct result of spin off campaigns from the No More Page 3 campaign and that is cause for alarm. There is a thin line to tread here and you’d better take great care if you decide to walk it.

The Weakly Ghost Bulletin #2

WEAKLY GHOST BULLETIN HEADER

Last week I launched a new feature on the blog called the Weakly Ghost Bulletin and you can read WGB #1 by clicking here.

Here is the Weakly Ghost Bulletin #2! 

Man Captures Sleep Paralysis Ghost on Camera!

The video above shows a ghost hovering over the bed of someone who suffers with sleep paralysis, apparently.

‘Is this a ghost caught on camera or perhaps its the infamous “old hag” that is often described by sufferers of sleep paralysis‘ ask Your News Wire. Well, no. It isn’t. Those who experience sleep paralysis are not being hounded by the spirits of dead people, or by an old hag – it is a sleep disorder. The “apparition” in the video looks questionable at best, dodgy at worse. It looks like a shadow being cast against the wall- potentially from behind the camera -and there is absolutely nothing to support the notion that this is a ghost.

Is this a school’s ghost caught on Camera? 

Grainy footage? Check! Footage filmed by a secondary source making it impossible to investigate? Check! Blurry nothingness being labelled as a ghost? Check!

Apparently people have experienced other weird things at the school and so in the true nature of jumping to baseless conclusions they’ve decided that it must all be linked in some way. Also, despite all of the issues with the footage that I mentioned above,nationally-renowned paranormal experts and co-founders of the Scientific Paranormal Investigative Research Organization John and Lisa Brian were sent in to investigate after multiple reports came in that someone had been tampering with the lights” and referred to it as “a really great piece of footage.”

Oh brother…

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I’m sure I have missed some stories that have been in the media from this week’s bulletin. If you see a rather rubbish ghost story in a newspaper or on a news website feel free to send a message with a link, send me a tweet about it, post about it on the Facebook page or email boo at hayleyisaghost dot co dot uk

The Demonic Humanists and the Insecure Christians

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In December the British Government blocked the legal recognition of humanist marriages because it was seen as a ‘fringe’ issue.  Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association called this decision an insult, pointing out that ‘under this government, Scientologists have been added to the list of religions that can perform legal marriages, joining Spiritualists, the Aetherius Society (which believes in aliens and that the Earth is a goddess), and dozens of other religions. To describe the legal recognition of humanist marriages as a “fringe” issue insults the many couples – much larger in number than these many small religious groups – whose planned marriages next year will not be able to go ahead if Number 10 blocks this change.’

Today on The Big Questions aired by the BBC (available to view here for the next 29 days), one of the questions for discussion was “Should humanists have equal rights to religions?” and this, apparently, was just way too much for some of the guests to handle.

Taiwo Adewuyi of Discuss Jesus jumped straight in and described Humanist weddings as “entirely demonic.” He said “It all goes back to the origins of humanism, humanism is the cancer of thanksgiving, it is the devils PR, it is a first class ticket to the sea of Wantonness and debauchery.”

He explained that humanism is apparently attempting to knock god off of his throne, just as Lucifer himself attempted, explaining that “the issue with humanism is that it tries to knock God off of the throne. The bible talks about lucifer, whose name is The Devil and his attempt to ascend to the most high, and basically replace god.”

“Humanism” he explained a bit later “is a 1st class ticket to the very hyper-sexualised society that we are now seeing.”

Perhaps he has been to a few Humanist orgies that the majority of us were not invited to? Not sure, but I think that Adewuyi has a very perverse view of the non-religious around him. I wonder what it is about us that he finds so repellent?

I think the answer lies with an insecurity in his belief system that is knocked so badly when someone who doesn’t agree with it asks for equal representation in society. After all, Adewuyi himself suggested that two people who identify as non-religious getting married in a non-religious context could overpower his god. It seems he doesn’t think his god is that mighty after all.

I also think that the question being discussed should actually have been “Should the religious have more rights than non-religious people?”

This might have been too much for Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin to process though because she apparently couldn’t even get her head around why non-religious people would want to get married.

In fact, Hudson-Wilkin who is the Speakers Chaplain in the House of Commons didn’t even seem to understand what humanists were, mistaking us for some anti-religious group rather than just people who are a-okay without religion.

She said “I am puzzled why a group that is anti-religion is then trying to keep the religious practices. Marriage is a sacred act. We see it as a gift from god, so it is not something we think anybody just gets up and, stands in front, and says I’m marrying you. If humanists are anti-religion I don’t understand why you want to keep and do all of the things that religion does.”

Well, that’s a good point Rose, you’ve totally got us there except MARRIAGE PRE-DATES RELIGION ACTUALLY SO BE NICE AND SHARE.

Interestingly Hudson-Wilkin would not provide an answer when asked by other guests if she would attend the Humanist wedding of a friend if invited, or if she would attend a Muslim wedding ceremony if invited. It was extremely uncomfortable to watch her battle with whether or not to commit herself either way. Perhaps she was afraid that her words would be used as rope to hang her with by people on either side of the debate at a later point? Either way, how insecure must you be with your position on a subject that you’re so afraid to admit or deny that you’d attend a ceremony that was conducted away from your personal religious traditions?

Taiwo Adewuyi finished off by explaining that he isn’t exactly happy with the way in which humanists are trying to force their doctrine down other peoples throats (more evidence of secret humanist orgies?), he said “They’re trying to copy the very thing the bible does. I think teaching young people about humanism, that there is no god is a problem. I think the teaching of evolution is a lie. If we are evolving what are we evolving to. If we are subject to matter, time and space then if it is finite then when did it come to be?”

Wow. Yeah… I don’t think we have any reason to even pretend that Adewuyi is a man to be taken seriously, or even a man to be given the position of speaking on behalf of other Christians. Especially considering he shouted “POL POT!” at Andrew Copson for no apparent reason.

However, to be serious for a moment, doesn’t it speak volumes that when humanists- or even non-religious people who don’t identify as humanist -ask that their beliefs are given the same treatment as the beliefs of religious people one of the main reactions is absolute panic, fear and confusion? What a great indicator of how privileged the religious are in Britain. What a great indicator of how much this needs to change.

The Weakly Ghost Bulletin #1

WEAKLY GHOST BULLETIN HEADER

I’ve decided to trial a new feature on my blog called The Weakly Ghost Bulletin. It will be a week by week update on any ridiculous and weak ghost stories that have made it into the mainstream news in the past seven days. As this is the first bulletin of 2015 I am going to include the last ten days.

Watch Terrifying Ghost Pursue Car

This video shows what looks to be a hunched over figure wearing a long white robe with lanky black hair hobbling after a car from which it is being filmed in the dark on a road or dirt between Blackburn and Belmont. This, according to the media, is a terrifying ghost. The occupants of the car do sound genuinely distressed as they reverse away from the figure but this doesn’t mean it is a ghost. I’d suggest this is someone playing a prank on passing traffic, or it is indeed staged by those who are filming. Interestingly, the alleged apparition has the appearance of something you might find in Asian ghost folklore, so goodness knows what it is doing in Lancashire.

The Lancashire Telegraph contacted a local ghost hunter, Simon Entwistle, who reckons this ‘could be a monk who was executed in Turton Tower by Civil War troops.’ Yeah, or it could be, like, not.

Ghost Pushes Antiques Off Shelves In Britain’s Most Haunted Shop

Everyone claims that their shop, pub, hotel or office is Britain’s “Most Haunted” at one stage or another, but the Barnsley Antiques Centre seem to really believe that they are being haunted by a poltergeist. They’ve made the news because of footage from their CCTV system that shows a picture falling off of a shelf. This happened as they were talking to someone in the shop who claims they are a Spirit Medium.

Any good ghost researcher would tell you that this only seems significant because of the timing. When you think of a dead loved one and there’s a noise in your house at the same time it is easy to think that these two occurrences are related when they’re actually just coincidences. Remember: Correlation does not imply causation.

What’s interesting is that previously footage of a glass cabinet exploding for “no reason” at the same shop made the mainstream news las year and they’ve also caught footage of orbs and alleged apparitions in the shop. Watch all of the previous “evidence” that this shop is haunted below:

 

When this is all added together it seems compelling but it isn’t. What we are seeing is secondary footage- the original footage has been recorded using a handheld device -this detracts from the quality of the original footage and makes it very difficult to determine what we are actually seeing. This is a good way to cover up staged or edited footage but my gut is telling me that this isn’t what is happening here. I think that this shop genuinely think they have a ghost but I’m not convinced that any of this evidence is actually substantial. When you convince yourself that you have a ghost it becomes really easy to fall into the trap of attributing any odd thing to the ghost and the “evidence” just starts mounting.

…and that concludes The Weakly Ghost Bulletin #1! Thanks for reading, make sure you sign up for email updates to catch future editions.