Huff Paranormal Didn’t Contact Robin Williams’ Ghost…

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The tagline on the Huff Paranormal website states ‘Pushing The Boundaries Of Spirit Communication’ so that you know from the start that they’re completely biased in their research which mainly involves the use of ghost box and similar pseudo-scientific ghost “communication” devices.

I visited their website specifically because it is claimed that the spirit of Robin Williams spoke to them via a ghost box.

… I was doing a spirit box session and heard his [Robin Williams] voice come through after I asked for him. For the following week I was able to connect with, what I feel, is the spirit of Robin. Of course, it may not be but some of this REALLY sounds like him, and the last message I was able to receive about the light and being with his Dad was very emotional for me when it came in. After that last message nothing else came in. That was it and for me it sounds like he has crossed over, and I feel 100% that he has.

This obviously raises a number of questions; what evidence supports the claim that these devices allow communication with the dead? Why would Robin Williams communicate with this guy in particular? Do ghost hunters have no shame these days?

Anyone who has attended one of my public talks will likely have seen my own ghost box and how it operates. No doubt you will have also seen me running around the room trying to pick up on a good radio reception for my demonstration because that is what the Ghost Box relies on. It is a pocket radio with a simple scanning function which searches through the airwaves until a broadcasting station is discovered. Most people would stop on that station and listen to it, but ghost hunters disable that function so that the device constantly scans through different stations. The resulting chatter and noise is allegedly used by spirits to communicate.

Essentially it is total baloney and ghost hunters are making sense out of random snippets of noise from various sources, seeking meaningful patterns where there are none. It isn’t at all surprising that while scanning through multiple broadcast channels these ghost hunters heard what sounded like Robin Williams because in the days following his death people were sharing his work left, right and centre in celebration of a man that touched a lot of people with his work… the problem is though that none of their “evidence” of communication with Williams’ sounds very much like him at all.

I’ve embedded the video below – you need to skip forward to eight minutes and thirty seconds in because the first  eight and a half minutes are an at times defensive justification from the Huff Paranormal researcher. There are four alleged communications from Robin Williams and I’ve outlined them below for those who don’t want to watch the video.

Huff Paranormal: Are you there Robin?
Alleged response: ‘We’re waiting’

Huff Paranormal: Are you with the angels Robin?
Alleged response: ‘That’s up in heaven’, ‘Fuck’, ‘I must have got it wrong’

Huff Paranormal: Robin, if you’re there can you come through?’
Alleged response: ‘can Robin come?’ ‘I’m dead’

Alleged message: ‘there is light’, ‘I’m here with dad’

Suffice to say I don’t hear anything that much resembles what they are claiming the spirit of Robin Williams said to them and I’m not unconvinced that they’re hearing random sounds and are making sense out of them when there is none to be made.

It has to be said that there is something incredibly selfish abut making the tragic death of a well loved public figure into something that is all about you. I am no longer shocked at this sort of behaviour from pseudo-scientific ghost hunters but it does pull into question their agenda when in their video they talk of Robin Williams perhaps regretting taking his own life.

“maybe he is stating he got it wrong, as in, taking his own life or maybe what he is seeing o where he is…’

Nobody has the right to put that guilt or that regret on a dead person even if they have “four years of spirit work” to their name and are just speculating. That really crosses a line and I think they should be ashamed.

Perhaps their website tagline could be updated to ‘Pushing The Boundaries Of Spirit Communication And Taste’?

Most Haunted Is Scary And Here’s Why

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On Thursday evening at 10pm I sat down to watch the return of Most Haunted. My intention was to tweet along with the show and counter any pseudo-scientific claims that they made during the broadcast, and yet I need not have bothered. There was no use of EMF Meters, laser grid pens, thermal imaging equipment, dictaphones or thermometers throughout the whole show. The most “exciting” things to occur were a “strange” humming noise that totally wasn’t a team member (honest), and a roll of cable tape that mysteriously followed the team around the building before vanishing at random moments. No, really…

I’d expected the show to be tedious to watch but when the end credits rolled I turned to those I was watching with and asked “are you fucking kidding me?” and equally baffled faces stared back.

I’ve shared my thoughts on the influence that Most Haunted and similar shows have had in previous posts The Day That Ghost Hunting Died and Television Clones: When Ghost Hunting Goes Bad but to summarise, Most Haunted and its ilk has inspired hundreds and hundreds of fans to start their own amateur ghost hunting teams across the country (me included). These people copy the techniques and methods the show once promoted before it was taken off of the air in 2010. The methodology is unquestioned by fans whose main aim is to speak to ghosts and the influence stretches even as far as the team structure with teams normally having a psychic, a lead investigator, a camera-man, a skeptic and a techie just like pre-2010 Most Haunted.

As silly as this may seem these groups should not just be shrugged off as the ethical behaviour of such teams is concerning and the majority of amateur ghost hunting outfits inspired by the likes of Most Haunted do not have a code of ethics that they base their work around. This should be concerning for everyone.

As a paranormal researcher myself I can confidently say that anyone who becomes involved with paranormal research will come into contact with potentially vulnerable adults, youths and children on a regular basis, and without an ethical framework in place the harm that can be caused by people out to find ghosts in any way they can is scarily unimaginable.

I once interviewed the chairman of ASSAP Dave Wood and respected researcher C J Romer about the ethics of paranormal research and you can read what they had to say on the subject here. Some of the unethical things they’ve encountered from other investigators are horrendous to hear about and match my own experiences with the work of others that I’ve stumbled upon in the decade I’ve been a paranormal researcher.

Every weekend ghost hunting fans enter allegedly haunted business and homes across the country and parrot the bullshit they hear on these reality paranormal television shows as though it’s factual when it isn’t. So although a roll of tape stalking Yvette Fielding through a theatre is laughable the monster that Most Haunted and similar shows have created in their wake rages on. It’s the stuff of nightmares and the worst thing is that there’s no stopping it.

So, mock Most Haunted all you like but I personally eye it with extreme caution because I’ve seen the damage it causes and it is no laughing matter.

Live-tweeting Most Haunted

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Most Haunted is back. Tonight. At 10pm on Really (Freeview 17 Sky 248 Virgin 267).

As much as I moan about paranormal reality television I have a secret love for Most Haunted because it is the show that prompted me to become a naive but hopeful ghost hunter when I was Eighteen. I get frustrated at the bullshit they spout as factual, but it also makes me laugh.

With this in mind I will be live-tweeting and countering any nonsense claims they make.

I’ll use #mosthaunted on my Twitter account here.

The problem with such shows develops when people think they are factual and treat them as training when they’re actually just for entertainment.

So… will you be watching?

I’m Giving Away Books To Help A Friend!

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I'm a bit excited but you can't tell...
I’m a bit excited but you can’t tell.

Above is a photo of me at the tomb of the McKenzie Poltergeist in Greyfriars, Edinburgh. I’ve always wanted to knock on the door of the tomb to see what would happen ever since I heard about the McKenzie Poltergeist when I was a little girl. Secretly I wanted to be punched just so I knew either way what was what. A few years ago I got to make that goal actually happen – no, I didn’t get punched, but I got to knock on the door and shout at the poltergeist. With me in that photo is Alex. He’s a friend of mine who is currently looking for help to make a life goal of his become true and I am here to ask you to help.

Alex has won a place on a Masters Acting program at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Arts Educational Schools which is fantastic news. The course is based on the Meisner technique which trains actors to react to stimuli as a lived character rather than by accessing the actor’s emotions which is the best way to train if you have ADHD and Asperger’s.

When Alex graduates he is going to use his new skills to develop training to help other people with ADHD which is a fantastic cause but he needs to raise funds to make attending possible.

I have made a donation to his efforts as a friend but I want to do more, so I have a collection of books on various paranormal topics to give away and all that you have to do to win this bundle is donate at least £5 to Alex by midday on October 31st. I will then compose a list of all of the people who have made a donation and one of you will be drawn at random to receive the books.

>DONATE HERE<

How will I know that you qualify? When you make a donation Alex will get an email with your details. Simply add your name to your donation, mention ‘via Hayley is a Ghost’ in your donation comment and we will know that you need to be added to the draw. You will receive an email to let you know you’ve won once the draw has taken place.

Why donate? Fantastic books up for grabs obviously, plus I’ll throw in a mystery prize of my own… but also as Alex says himself

Fresh talent comes from all walks of life, but without funding only the very well off could afford to attend drama school and start a career in film and theatre. Helping an actor pay for drama school means you are ensuring actors come from all walks of life and succeed based purely on skill and talent and being really really really ridiculously good looking.

So please get donating! Alex is a talented guy who has worked really hard to achieve this opportunity and it’d be great if we can support him in his venture. Up for grabs from my personal book collection:

The Complete Book of UFOs by Peter Hough and Jenny Randles
Tracking the Chupacabra by Ben Radford
Where The Ghosts Walk by Peter Underwood
UFOs, Werewolves and the Pigman by Lee Brickley
The Skeptics Guide to the Paranormal by Lynne Kelly
The Outer Limits of the Twilight Zone selected writings of John A Keel, by Andrew Colvin
Paranormality by Richard Wiseman
A Mystery Prize from yours truly

>DONATE HERE<

Comment Policy: Clarified

Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil

I try really hard to encourage good debate and discussion in the comment section of my blog and, about 9 times out of 10, the comments left by my readers (you, you lovely people) actually add to the topic being discussed. I sometimes learn things from people who leave comments and I think that’s fantasic! Yay comments!

…but with all that greatness there has to be a badness some woe and that woe comes in the form of people who abuse my comments policy.

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Blog Comment Policy

  1. Comments deemed to be spam or questionable spam will be deleted. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments should be relevant to the post topic.
  2. Comments including ad hominem and other attacks on individuals, and those comments that are long rants, or that do not keep the comment thread on topic will be deleted at my discretion.
  3. If your comment could be a blog post in itself (e.g. it’s very long, it goes off on tangents etc.) then I will not approve it, and recommend you to write a shorter comment that stays on topic.

There is my oppressive comment policy. Scary, huh?

I basically just ask that people are nice, stay on topic and don’t derail the conversation. Usually if someone writes a comment that I think is a little OTT I actually take time to email them and say ‘hey, your comment is a bit long/ranty/goes off on tangents, do you want to shorten it or write it elsewhere and link to your thoughts?’ because a) I’m not an asshole (no, really) and I like to hear what other people think and, b) I want people to have a say but I want them to say it in a way that doesn’t derail the comment section.

I’ve visited lots of blogs where long comments stop me from reading on and often the next comment gets ignored and I want to discourage that from happening on this blog where possible.

I totally understand that some of the topics on this blog are touchy subjects where feelings can run strong but I do not think that excuses abusive comments to myself or other people who leave comments. I accept that there are people who do not agree with what I write and I encourage people to share their thoughts but a difference of opinion on a subject does not give you the green light to be abusive.

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I recently asked some people who read my blog what they thought about abusive comments and one person said that their visit to a blog isenhanced by not reading useless hate. I much prefer a positive or at least respectful debate in the comments.’ That’s something that I can appreciate and that is why my comment policy is in place.

I also understand that I have people who lurk on my blog looking for an excuse to tell me what a horrible person I am and I think that’s very sad. I get that some people don’t like me and I’m not particularly hung up on that anymore, and lurking on my blog just to leave derogatory comments again and again and again… well, it’s just not a way to live really, is it?

…oh, and a word to the wise for those of you who write ‘I bet your don’t even approve this comment because you are a coward/are living in a fantasy world/are closed minded/don’t want people to know what people really think of you’, your comment didn’t get approved because it doesn’t comply with the comment policy and you know it. Challenging me to approve your rude, abusive or derailing comment really, really doesn’t work.

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