As part of the talk I deliver to Skeptics in the Pub groups I often touch upon how modern ghost hunters are often just upgraded seance participants of the past whose main aim is to talk to ghosts. The only thing that has changed is the medium they use to communicate with them through. In times gone by that medium would be a table (for table tipping perhaps), a seance circle, a Ouija board, a person who claimed to have the ability to communicate with spirit, or perhaps a glass that the spirit would push around a surface (this was sometimes replaced with a top hat or similar).
Although people still use such Spiritualist methods today, ghost hunting has become much more hi-tech in the last few decades with devices being used to both rule out naturally occurring causes for phenomena witnessed, and for pseudo-scientific reasons such as detecting fluctuations in Electro-Magnetic Fields alleged to be caused by a ghost manifesting. Yet, there’s another purpose these devices are used for that doesn’t set modern ghost researchers apart from the antique ghost hunters of the Victorian Seance Parlour. Continue reading Unenlightened spirit communication – ‘yes or no’ devices
When I was Ten nobody asked me what I thought about politics and the influence that it has upon personal identity and freedom. I like to think that if they had I would have provided them with answers or ideas that were as brilliant and as insightful as those I heard offered today in the ‘Philosophy for Children’ session I was allowed to sit in on at Camp Quest UK. I was invited to give a talk at Camp Quest about the things that make us mistakenly think we’ve seen a ghost. I approached this subject by talking about the two things that often make eye witness testimony impossible to trust as a true account of what took place. Continue reading My trip to Camp Quest: Engaging with children
Back in February I was on a panel with Professor Chris French and Trystan Swale at the QED conference in Manchester. The panel was called ‘Ghost Investigations Today’ and that was exactly what we were talking about. The QED team have made the talk available via Youtube and it can be watched below. I cannot watch myself talk so I have no idea what it’s like. I was great fun though and I just want to say thanks again to Mike, Marsh, Janis, Andy, Rick and the rest of the team for the chance to take part. I can’t wait until QED in March.
Suddenly the countdown to Halloween is upon us and I’m vaguely aware of the fact that I’ve been planning for this month for a long time because of the various talks I have coming up. However this week is the week in which my first October talks take place and I’m all awash with excitement and pure terror. I’ve planned for months to refresh my ‘skeptics in the pub’ talk to include newer content and to take feedback from past talks I’ve done and improve the whole thing. Continue reading by the pricking of my thumbs…