A Word About Skeptics
Since the beginning of time the world has always had skeptical people. These people are skeptical about many things & this is not always a bad trait.
Especially in this day and age where frauds and scammers are everywhere, it often pays to be skeptical.
But the important thing is to not allow that skepticism to cause you to become narrow minded.
Once you`ve narrow minded your conscience, you close all avenues within your scope of understanding which allows you to accept that there is in fact things in life that you cannot explain.
Christopher Columbus sailed the world in search of new lands, but everyone told him that the earth was flat & that he would face certain death by falling off the edge of the planet.
Those people were skeptical ...AND THEY WERE WRONG!
The earth is not flat & if Columbus had listened to those skeptics, we may have never known the truth.
In the world of the paranormal all of the above information applies. People have experienced paranormal incidents since the beginning of time & there`s tons of documentation of that. Look at the Bible, it`s filled with paranormal occurrences.
Although this has been happening since the beginning of time, the world of paranormal investigating & proof, is still in it`s infancy. But we`re getting better proof that things occur everyday with the use of modern technology.
In the past fifty years we have learned that paranormal incidents have energies and conditions that are associated with it.
We`ve learned that spirits do alter the electromagnetic waves & this can be confirmed by the use of EMF, also known as Electromagnetic Fields. Spiritual activity has caused unexplainable cold spots in locations & this can be proven with thermometers & thermal detecting equipment.
These spirits have also been visibly recorded using thermal detecting video & film. Cameras have even produced anomalies that simply cannot be explained.
There have been many anomalies caused by processing errors during development & faulty film that can be explained & has fooled some people over the years, but with technological improvements this is becoming less frequent.
We now have digital cameras that don`t use film that are still picking up these unexplainable occurrences, which helps rule out the faulty film & processing error theory.
There`s literally thousands of documented evidence featured on this web site & in the history books that is proof that there is phenomena that we simply cannot explain & gives us strong evidence that we are not alone.
There are several atmospheres and energies that we cannot see with the human eye that are there.
Electricity, natural gas, propane, & radio waves are an excellent example. They do exist, but are not visible to the human eye.
Just because you cannot see something doesn`t mean that it isn`t there or does not exist.
Being a wiccan & during my course of study in the paranormal, I have dealt with hundreds, if not thousands of sceptics & found that the majority have a common trait.
Regardless of any physical evidence you show them, whether it be photos, recordings, or readings with electronic equipment, they insist that there is no such thing.
They always discount any evidence you present to them by insisting that the equipment was faulty in some way, but they fail to research their stance on the issue & explain why.
Rather than review each case individually & attempt to rule out any common explanation, they choose to clump all unexplainable facts into one category with a simple claim that the photos or equipment were faulty.
But they cannot prove their theory that it was faulty with any solid evidence, nor are they ever willing to attempt it. They just give you a generalized statement with no factual information whatsoever.
We can at least prove by our equipment readings, photos, & sound recordings, that these anomalies exist & these items are factual proof of that.
The skeptics say that these documented items are in no way any proof of the unexplainable, but ironically they cannot prove that they are not.
These skeptics are not even willing to admit that there are unexplainable things in our world, but they have absolutely no evidence to support their claims.
This is skepticism to the extreme, because this is called being narrow minded.
These narrow minded people are cheating themselves out of an education by not accepting that there are things in life they can`t explain & they are unwilling to expand their minds by learning of it.
They won`t even be honest with themselves by admitting that some things exist whether they understand it or not, so how can we believe that these people will be honest with you & I? Skeptics often laugh at people like me, but what they fail to see is that I`m actually laughing at them & their ignorance.
If all people thought like they do, we would still believe the world is flat & we`d be living in caves with no electricity.
For Those That Try And Scientifically Debunk Paranormal Investigating
Many skeptics that are untrained in paranormal study will try & quote scientific terms to debunk our research.
Here`s a classic argument used by skeptics followed by answers to these common claims. So before you skeptics go jumping up & down celebrating & giving each other the old "high five" thinking that you successfully debunked a field in which you haven`t even bothered to familiarize yourself with, READ THE ARGUMENT BELOW!
Remember that science is NOT law & is constantly being updated.
Here`s an article published by blogger Brian Dunning in which he believes he has blown the lid off of the paranormal investigators and the equipment that we use. After reading this blog you will begin to see that Brian has never conducted any investigations and is not even familiar with how the equipment is used.
Ghost Hunting Tools Of The Trade
By Brian Dunning
Television shows about ghost hunting have been popular for over 50 years, and though the basic concept is the same, recent decades have seen the hunt become less about psychics and séances and more about electronic detection gear. Just about every TV show about ghost hunting sends a crew of investigators into a building, armed to the teeth with all sorts of equipment.
The use of any kind of measuring equipment to detect ghosts is fundamentally, and completely, bogus. How can I make a blanket statement like that? Measuring equipment detects what it is designed to detect, whether that's light, heat, electromagnetism, or whatever. Thus it will only detect things that emit measurable amounts of those energies. For us as viewers to accept that some piece of handheld measuring equipment has a useful function in detecting a ghost, we must base our acceptance on the premise that ghosts are known to emit those types of energies in measurable amounts. If there were any truth to this, science would have discovered it long ago. Hospital operating rooms would have ghost detection equipment built in. Mortuaries and crematoriums would have ghost detection equipment at the top of their list. Search and rescue crews would use ghost detection equipment. If ghosts did exist and were detectable, you can bet that there would be huge industries behind it. I can't think of anything that would attract more venture capital dollars from Silicon Valley. However, no rigorous research has ever shown that ghosts can be reliably detected with hardware. It's easy to disbelieve me, but it's much harder to disbelieve the lack of interest from greedy corporate America.
So now let's look at the popular tools of the trade of ghost hunting. The important takeaway is to understand what these devices are actually detecting when the ghost hunters point them around the room, and why their crazily jumping needles and indicators are perfectly consistent with, and explained by, the absence of ghosts.
are the most blatantly misused of the ghost hunting tools, so are a great place to start. These handheld devices measure the temperature of the object they are pointed at. They work exactly like your vision, except that they are sensitive to far infrared instead of the visible spectrum. They measure surface temperatures, just like your vision measures surface colors. If you can see something, an IR thermometer can measure its temperature. However, ghost hunters use these devices to detect what they believe are cold spots in rooms. IR thermometers are not capable of detecting something without a visible surface. In fact, an IR thermometer is even less likely than your vision to see a hazy apparition. Firefighters use infrared because the longer wavelengths of infrared penetrate smoke more effectively than the shorter wavelength of visible light; so if there were a hazy invisible apparition floating in the middle of the room, infrared is perhaps the worst technology to detect it. Variations of IR readings inside a room are merely showing temperature gradations on the walls, caused by heating and AC, insulation variances, studs, wiring, or pipes behind the wall, radiant heat, recent proximity of another ghost hunter, sunlight, temperatures in adjacent rooms, or countless other causes.
Infrared motion detectors
work on the same principle. If the amount of IR radiation striking the sensor changes, an alarm can be activated. Such a change is caused by a sudden change in temperature within the detector's field of view, or a significant movement by an object with a visible IR signature. A ghostly cold spot moving within a room could not be detected, unless it also cooled the walls or floors enough to trip the activation threshold.
are devices that measure ionizing radiation. The most common particle detectors are Geiger counters, also called halogen counters. These work by measuring cascade effects caused by incoming particles that strike molecules of halogen gas inside the detection chamber. Typically, alpha, beta, and gamma particles are detected by these. It's not the most common of ghost hunting tools, but occasionally you will see someone pointing a Geiger counter around the room, though you may hear them describe it by any of several fancier and more high-tech sounding names. It's a Geiger counter. For a ghost to emit ionizing radiation, it would have to be an awfully sick ghost; or be composed largely of unstable radioactive metals. Ionizing particles don't just appear out of thin air, they are emitted by the decay of unstable isotopes that are typically heavy and have significant mass.
are perhaps the favorite tools. EMF meters detect electromagnetic fields, and are used in ghost hunting on the premise that ghosts emit electromagnetism, though this claim is rarely supported by any suggestion of what the power source might be. There are many different types of EMF meters. More affordable units, such as those typically used by television performers, need to be held precisely for a period of time at each of the three axis to get a reading, and so they are clearly not used on television in a manner that would produce any useful result. When they are, or when a more expensive three-axis meter is used, they are designed to detect the operation of electrical appliances or wiring.
Ghost hunters are usually thoroughly accessorized with every electronic gizmo under the sun: radios, cell phones, flashlights, cameras, TV cameras, and other ghost hunting accessories; and all of these will produce a result on the EMF meter. Building wiring or appliances will also be detected. But, even in an environment with no electrical devices at all, the presence of the TV camera alone renders the EMF readings totally useless. Even without ghost hunting equipment, electrical wiring, or a TV camera, a sensitive meter can even detect the oscillation of a steel filing cabinet vibrated imperceptibly by footsteps. In the midst of all the absurd amounts of EMF pollution on a TV ghost hunting set, the pretense that the alleged EMF field of a ghost (who's not carrying any batteries) can be identified, is foolish.
are interesting animals. The few commercially available ion detectors are available online almost exclusively through ghost hunting and alternative wellness web sites, which gives some clue of how useful they actually are. Ions occur naturally in the atmosphere from a variety of sources: solar radiation and weather being the main ones. Also, if you go to a part of the country where radon gas is an issue, an ion detector taken into the basement can go crazy sensing airborne ions created by radon decay. Ghost hunters prefer to regard this reading as indicative of the presence of a ghost. Ion detectors can also sense the presence of static electricity, so if your ghost is carrying a large static charge, you ought to be able to see it scuffing its shoes across the carpet.
By IR thermometers and motion detectors. Cameras of different types are used by ghost hunters. Sometimes they'll take a conventional visible spectrum camera and snap away, in the hope that spirit orbs or other manifestations will appear on the processed film. Since this phenomenon has already been thoroughly discussed in our episode on orbs, there's no need to repeat it here. Suffice it to say that all such images are well established artifacts of photography and of cameras, and well understood by knowledgeable photographers. They happen every day in photographs that have nothing to do with ghosts. Near infrared photography is the monochromatic "night shot" video that you see all the time, and that your home video camera probably offers. The light source is an infrared bulb on the camera, similar to the invisible light source inside your TV remote. These cameras record only what near infrared light is reflected from the subject, and of course they also record other near infrared sources, which are relatively common. Far infrared photography is the thermal imaging discussed previously. It's simply a visual display of the same heat sources detected
are probably the least controversial of ghost hunting tools, in that increasingly few people accept that they have any useful function. Yet ghost hunters still employ them. And why not? A self-described psychic's untestable verbal reports are under the psychic's complete control. They cannot be tested, measured, or duplicated by others — they say only exactly whatever the psychic wants to say. Dowsing rods simply give the dowsers another way to communicate whatever they choose to communicate. Since the rods are held in the dowser's own hand, they move only when the dowser wants them to move, and do not move when the dowser doesn't want them to. No form of dowsing has ever passed any type of controlled test, and no dowser has ever proposed any plausible hypothesis suggesting that dowsing might be an actual phenomenon. It is among the most childish of pretended ghost detection methods. The only thing you can learn from dowsing is which way the dowser wants to swing his dowsing rods.
Audio Recording Gear
is used when the ghost hunter hopes that EVP. or electronic voice phenomena, will appear on the recording. EVP's are discussed often enough to warrant their own Skeptoid episode, and we'll be discussing them in detail in the future. An EVP is said to be the voice of a ghost, and the claim is that ghosts can talk perfectly well but can only be heard on an electronic recording. This means that recording gear has the ability to convert inaudible frequencies into audible ones. Engineers do not design this capability into most recording gear, since a change of frequency of perhaps tens of thousands of hertz would render all recordings completely useless and horrible to listen to. So, like they tend to do with all the electronic gear they carry, ghost hunters completely misunderstand, misuse, and mischaracterize the functions of these instruments.
When you turn on the television and you watch people pointing their gizmos around the room, acting all dramatic and pretending to detect ghosts all around them, any intelligent adult should laugh out loud. Or better yet, change the channel. Of course an intelligent adult should be free to watch whatever they want, and that's fine — but one place I will draw the line is the point where you let your children watch one of those shows and allow them to accept the silly claims as fact. Watch it and enjoy it as entertainment, if you find those people truly engaging and clever enough to be entertaining; but please, explain to your kids the science behind what they're seeing. Or, as the case may be, the lack of science behind it.
My Response to Mr. Dunning`s Claims
Now here`s logical answers to Brian`s claim. After reading this below, you`ll see that Brian is mistaken pretty much on all points. He should have educated himself before he published this article. This is a common trait amongst the rash of people out there acting like experts & trying to debunk the paranormal community..
The field of Paranormal Investigation is not just about proving or disproving the exsistance of ghosts...it is wholly about investigating the paranormal. The paranormal is anything not normal, and almost everyone has experienced something they could not consider normal and could not explain, even those who say they dont believe. If these television shows had people going in and investigating using only their senses, the skeptics would be fired up about them not using tools. We can not use tools to prove or disprove the exsistance of God, but yet over 2 billion people believe.
Which is immaterial because it says nothing about whether or not God actually exists.
You can not discount a persons experiences, and their desire to use all the tools they can to understand those experiences and expose them to others. The study of the paranormal does not only mean the study of ghosts. It's a wide gulf of the unexplainable, or the yet to be explained. "Paranormal" defined according to Webster is "not scientifically explainable." Well, science is not law, it is a constant update - what we call fact one day can be falsified the next or embellished upon for further understanding. Much of what we explore and/or take for granted today in a number of scientific studies was once paranormal as there was nothing more than hypotheses to account for the subject matter.
You went to great length to list the "tools" of ghost hunters and say that the items are misused and that each instrument is useless for such a field of "research."
First, misuse, well that can be debated depending upon circumstance and the awareness of the "researcher" in how the instrument is meant to function. I won't dispute that a number of people purchase these devices and lack the knowledge in utilizing them properly -- but that cannot account for an entirety.
Secondly, if you are absolutely steadfast in your assumption that the devices are useless, then please, by all means, provide a list of possibility and under what context/use they can be managed. If spirits exist and can possibly be measured or registered legitimately by some fashion, until we know what defines them we must allow for trial and error in researching them. Much like all sciences, it is a progress report which evolves through study
Your statement about ghosts emitting EMF is incorrect. Previous experience suggests that an energy or spirit may cause fluctuations in a location, but as far as research shows, no one has ever said "Ghosts emit EMF". Also incorrect is your claim that cameras, radios, and other electronics account for any EMF readings. Yes electronic devices give off EMF, but investigators take base readings at the beginning of an investigation to note what is caused by appliances and what is not. Your statement that all electronic devices are the cause of EMF readings is also incorrect because as long as you keep the EMF detector a reasonable distance from the EMF producing devices, the detector will NOT pick them up. If you used these devices you would know that. Quite clearly you have never used these devices.
Ion & Radiation
No one has ever claimed that a high ion count is a ghost. That tool is used to debunk a haunting because a high ion count will cause hallucinations.
Contrary to your claim, Audio recorders DO pick up sounds from frequencies that are indetectable by human ability. Most EVP`s are under 500 hertz & normal human voice is above 500 hertz. Also contrary to your claim, sometimes disembodied voices can be heard with the human ear.
Although 95% of all orb photos are camera artifacts & flaws, some are simply not explainable with logic. I suppose you`re going to imply that apparitions & shadow images caught on film are camera errors too? Not!
IR thermometers that use the laser beam will measure surface temperatures, but some research has suggested that a mass of energy between the surface & the device will cause changes in readings. But there are also IR thermometers that do not use a laser, but they use an infrared sensor that has a limited range. Plus, some devices are limited in range & cannot always pick up a surface, so what would be your explanation for fluctuations with that? How would you explain a rapid drop in temperature of ten degrees or more? When you point an IR thermometer to a location where the surface is hundreds of yards away & out of range, or to the sky which has no surface, how would you explain that reading, Brian?
You approached this with scientific theories, but science has never agreed with subjects of this matter & to date has never been able to explain nor debunk the abnormal readings. Clumping everything into one category like you did is both convenient & a cop out. You must examine each case individually & study the evidence. then lets see you explain it.
Paranormal Research Alliance
There have been many misconceptions by people attempting to debunk how investigators use them
so now Let`s Examine How IR Thermometers Work
How ghost hunters use Infrared Thermometers
How do infrared (IR) thermometers work?
IR thermometers capture the invisible infrared energy naturally emitted from all objects. Infrared radiation is part of the electromagnetic spectrum which includes radio waves, microwaves, visible light, ultraviolet, gamma, and X-rays. Any object warmer than absolute zero emits energy somewhere within that range.
How does this apply to ghost hunting?
IR thermoemters read the surface temperatures of things. The wall above is giving off an infrared heat signature of 78 degrees and the IR thermometer picks it up. If something invisible to the naked eye gets in between the wall surface and the thermometer and it has a lower IR heat signature, you will get a colder temperature reading. This is “impossible” but we do record these anomalous temperature drops in haunted locations and that’s why they are so significant, they can’t be explained.
Can the object or product being measured be moving?
Yes. Measuring moving targets is one of the benefits of using non-contact infrared thermometers.
Do IR thermometers send out any beams?
No, the IR thermometer just receives infrared heat signitures coming off any surface you point it at. Some models do have a laser but this is not needed in ghost hunting. The laser pointer help mechanics using a IR thermometer to pinpoint an exact part they need to check the temperature of.
How close do I have to be to an object to take its temperature?
Distance does not affect the measurement. However, infrared sensors measure the energy from a circular spot on the target, and the size of that spot is a function of the distance between the sensor and target. The farther away from the target the sensor is, the larger the spot. Consequently, distance is only limited by the size of the object you want to measure. Most IR thermometers have a maximum measuring distance of approximately 100 feet (30 meters), depending on atmospheric conditions. High humidity can reduce the effectiveness and accuracy of IR Thermometers.