Ghosts are big business. For entities that may or may not exist, they seem to be everywhere, especially during Halloween. They are in books and on television shows, such as CBS’s “The Ghost Whisperer” and NBC’s “Medium.” Dozens of “ghost hunter” organizations exist across North America, small groups of self-styled ghost buffs who lurk around reputedly haunted places, hoping to glimpse or photograph a spirit. The most famous ghost hunters are two plumbers who moonlight as paranormal investigators, seen in the popular Sci-Fi Channel reality show/soap opera series “Ghost Hunters.” They go to haunted places and find “evidence” of ghosts such as cold spots, photographic anomalies called orbs, and other such spookiness. The two featured investigators, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, are proudly blue-collar workers, not egghead Ph.D. scientists, which adds to their strong “regular guy” appeal.
While one doesn’t need to be a scientist to search for ghosts, the pair (like most ghost hunters) could benefit greatly from a little critical thinking. They claim to be skeptics but are very credulous and seem to have no real understanding of scientific methods or real investigation. (Audiences don’t seem to wonder why these “expert” ghost hunters always fail: Even after two seasons and over ten years of research, they still have yet to prove that ghosts exist!)
Though most ghost investigators’ worst crime is wasting time, sometimes they make nuisances of themselves and even break the law. In October 2005, three ghost hunters in Salem, Massachusetts, were arrested for trespassing on private property in search of ghosts. They had entered an abandoned hospital reputed to be haunted. The group was so busy looking for spirits they failed to notice the police station across the street; all three were arrested, fined, and sent home. Trespassing or vandalizing ghost hunters have also been arrested in cemeteries in Illinois, Connecticut, and other states.
When it comes to searching for ghosts, you’d think that only the most reliable methods would be used in an attempt to get solid evidence for something as mysterious and elusive as a spirit. Yet in ghost hunting, often the less scientific the methods and equipment, the more likely a researcher is to find “evidence” for ghosts.Ghost hunters use a variety of creative—and dubious—methods to detect their quarry’s presence, including psychics. Psychics not only claim to locate ghosts but also to communicate with the spirits, who unfortunately don’t provide any useful or verifiable information from the afterlife.
Virtually all ghost hunter groups claim to be scientific, and most give that appearance because they use high-tech scientific equipment such as Geiger counters, Electromagnetic Field (EMF) detectors, ion detectors, and infrared cameras and sensitive microphones]. Yet the equipment is only as scientific as the person using it; you may own the world’s most sophisticated thermometer, but if you are using it as a barometer, your measurements are worthless. Just as using a calculator doesn’t make you a mathematician, using a scientific instrument doesn’t make you a scientist.
Devices that don’t work
In 2003, while I was investigating a haunted house in Buffalo, New York, the owner of the house asked me what equipment I planned to use. He had glanced in my duffel bag, which contained two cameras, a tape recorder, notebooks, a tape measure, a flashlight, and a few other items. Perhaps he was expecting to see a Negative Ionizer Ghost Containment backpack like the kind Bill Murray wore in Ghostbusters.
An EMF meter is among the most common devices used by ghost hunters today. I spoke to Tom Cook, of TomsGadgets.com, a British purveyor of “scientific” paranormal kits for the enterprising (and gullible) investigator. Starter kits begin at £105 (US$180) and reach up to £500 (US$850) for a custom ghost-hunting kit. (Negative Ionizer Ghost Containment packs were not listed.)
I asked Cook what, exactly, the scientific rationale was behind the equipment he sold. “At a haunted location,” Cook said, “strong, erratic fluctuating EMFs are commonly found. It seems these energy fields have some definite connection to the presence of ghosts. The exact nature of that connection is still a mystery. However, the anomalous fields are easy to find. Whenever you locate one, a ghost might be present…. any erratic EMF fluctuations you may detect may indicate ghostly activity.” In the final analysis, Cook admitted, “there exists no device that can conclusively detect ghosts.”
The uncomfortable reality that ghost hunters carefully avoid—the elephant in the tiny, haunted room—is of course that no one has ever shown that any of this equipment actually detects ghosts.
The supposed links between ghosts and electromagnetic fields, low temperatures, radiation, odd photographic images, and so on are based on nothing more than guesses, unproven theories, and wild conjecture. If a device could reliably determine the presence or absence of ghosts, then by definition, ghosts would be proven to exist. I own an EMF meter, but since it’s useless for ghost investigations—it finds not spirits but red herrings—I use it in my lectures and seminars as an example of pseudoscience. The most important tools in this or any investigation are a questioning mind and a solid understanding of scientific principles.
The ghost hunters’ anti-scientific illogic is clear: if one area of a home is colder than another, that may indicate a ghost; if an EMF meter detects a field, that too may be a ghost; if dowsing rods cross, that might be a ghost. Just about any “anomaly,” anything that anyone considers odd for any reason, from an undetermined sound to a “bad feeling” to a blurry photo, can be (and has been) considered evidence of ghosts.
I was even at one investigation where a ghost supposedly caused a person’s mild headache. Because the standard of evidence is so low, it’s little wonder that ghost hunters often find “evidence” (but never proof) of ghosts.
The whole idea of ghosts runs into trouble as soon as a little logic is applied. There’s not even agreement on what ghosts are—or might be. A common claim is that ghosts are spirits of the dead who have been wronged or murdered. Let’s inject some real-world statistics into that assumption and see what we get.
If murder victims whose killings remains unsolved are truly destined to walk the earth and haunt the living, then we should expect to encounter ghosts nearly everywhere. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, roughly a quarter of all homicides remains unsolved each year. (In fact, fewer homicides are solved now than in the past; in 1976, 79 percent of homicides were cleared, down to 64 percent in 2002.) There are about 30,000 homicides in America each year. Using the most recent numbers, that’s about 11,000 unsolved murders per year, and 110,000 over the course of only ten years, and probably well over million over the course of the twentieth century in America alone.
Where are all the ghosts?
And why aren’t they helping to bring their killers to justice, with so many crimes unsolved? Why would they hang out in scary mansions instead of directing police to evidence that would avenge their murders? For that matter, why are ghosts seen wearing clothing? It’s one thing to suggest that a person’s spirit has a soul that can be seen after death; but do shoes, coats, hats, and belts also have souls? Logically, ghosts should appear naked. The fact that they don’t suggests that people’s ideas of what ghosts are—and what they look like—are strongly influenced by social and cultural expectations. (For an excellent discussion of this, see Richard Finucane’s book “Ghosts: Appearances of the Dead & Cultural Transformation.”)
If ghosts exist, why are we no closer to finding out what they really are, after so much research? The evidence for ghosts is no better today than it was a year ago, a decade ago, or a century ago. Ultimately, ghost hunting is not about the evidence (if it was, the search would have been abandoned long ago). Instead, it’s about having fun with friends, telling ghost stories, and the enjoyment of pretending you are searching the edge of the unknown. (It’s also about making money selling “Ghost Hunters” T-shirts, books, and videos.) Ghost hunters may be spinning their wheels, but at least they are enjoying the ride.
In 1881, Sarah Winchester, the widow of famous gun maker Oliver Winchester, became convinced that she needed protection from the evil spirits of all the people killed by Winchester rifles. A psychic advised her to continually add rooms to her San Jose, California, mansion to confuse any ghosts that may try to find her. (It’s not clear why ghosts, which can supposedly move through walls, would be confused by the rooms, but anyway…) She did so for nearly forty years, adding over 100 rooms and staircases, until her death in 1922. After Sarah’s death, her own ghost was said to haunt the halls of her mazelike home. Today the mansion remains a popular tourist attraction, a bizarre monument to superstition and paranoia.
2) The Amityville Horror
On November 13, 1974, six members of an Amityville, New York, family were killed by one of the family’s sons, Ronald Jr. (“Butch”) DeFeo. In his legal defense, DeFeo claimed that demonic forces in the home drove him to kill. The new owner of the home at 112 Ocean Avenue later claimed a variety of ghostly phenomena, and the story was later further fictionalized into a best-selling novel and horror film. Yet the supernatural events were never verified, and DeFeo’s lawyer admitted that the story was a hoax.
The San Francisco Bay’s resident rock, and perhaps the most famous prison island in the world, Alcatraz has captured the public’s imagination in many films and books. The prison, a cold, dank hellhole, saw many murders, riots, and suicides during its twenty-nine years of service. Along the way it spawned tales of inexplicable sounds, cell doors closing on their own, disembodied screams, and scary apparitions.
4) The White House
The Washington, D.C., home of America’s presidents has surely seen untold tragedy through the centuries, from being burned down in 1814 by British troops to several assassinations and attempted assassinations. Among the White House’s spooky stories include the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s widow, Mary Todd, dabbled in the occult and held séances in the White House. Other reputed ghosts include Andrew Jackson, Dolley Madison, and Abigail Adams, though they are rarely seen today.
Though less well-known than the other haunted places, the Fox Sisters cottage is perhaps the most important haunted house of all, since the phenomena here in many ways set the standard for later hauntings and even launched a religion. In 1848 Hydesville, in Western New York, two young sisters named Maggie and Katie Fox began communicating with the ghost of a murdered peddler. The sisters, in a sort of crude séance, would ask questions of the spirit, who would answer back with mysterious knocks or raps. Many people, including their mother, were amazed at what seemed to be genuine contact with the dead. Both sisters eventually admitted that they had actually faked the sounds—there had been no murdered peddler, it had all been a prank. The women even demonstrated how they had done it. But by then the belief had taken on a life of its own as a religion called Spiritualism, which is still practiced today.
INVESTIGATOR BENJAMIN RADFORD PUTS THE LEGEND TO REST AFTER FIVE YEARS OF RESEARCH
Scientific paranormal investigator, Skeptical Inquirer magazine managing editor, and Discovery News columnist Benjamin Radford has definitively solved the mystery of the chupacabra—a previously-unexplained creature thought to drain livestock of blood throughout Latin America and the Southwest United States.
Mr. Radford has investigated the chupacabra for over five years and assembled eyewitness accounts, field research, and forensic analysis into the most comprehensive study of the chupacabra mystery to date.
“There are basically two forms of the chupacabra,” Radford explains. “The first and most widely known is that of a bipedal creature with spines along its back, long limbs, and large dark eyes. The second reported form of the chupacabra is that of a canine-type creature, often hairless—usually found in the American Southwest.”
Radford reports that dead bodies of the canine form of the chupacabra have been subjected to numerous biological and DNA tests and in every instance the body has been identified as a dog, coyote, racoon, or other common mammal—usually stricken with mange or another parasitic infection that causes the animal to lose its fur and take on a gaunt, monsterous appearance.
“The real mystery has been the origin and nature of the Type 1 chupacabra—the bipedal, spiky-backed, alien-looking creature which has captured the world’s attention and become the third most popular unexplained creature besides Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster,” said Radford. “This is where I focused my research over the past five years.”
Radford traced the origin of the creature to a single eyewitness, a type of “patient zero” whose account of the chupacabra went “viral” in 1995. Her name is Madelyne Tolentino, a homemaker living in Canóvanas, Puerto Rico and it was her August 1995 sighting that became the basis for all other accounts of the creature.
Because Ms. Tolentino offered such a detailed description of the chupacabra: bipedal, dark eyes, long limbs, and spiny-like protrusions along its back, Radford’s first research objective was to determine if there existed any similar depictions—from other eyewitnesses, in the historical record, or in popular culture. He discovered that Tolentino’s description of the chupacabra was remarkably similar to an alien in the 1995 science fiction film Species. Further research, including an extensive in-person interview with Tolentino in 2010 revealed that not only did Ms. Tolentino’s description match up with the alien in Species, but she admitted seeing the film just a few weeks before her chupacabra “sighting.”
“I don’t believe that Ms. Tolentino was deliberately trying to engineer a hoax,” explains Radford. “She simply confused a movie monster with real-life, and inadvertently spawned the chupacabra legend.”
Radford concludes, “There are no remaining chupacabra mysteries. Case closed. We may not yet have a definitive answer to Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster, but this chupacabra vampire has been slain.”
Radford published his preliminary theories into the chupacabra mystery in late 2010 in his book Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. An expanded version of his research, including new findings, extensive background material, and a study of the chupacabra in popular culture has just been published in his new book Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore (University of New Mexico Press, 2011).
One of the most popular sites on the Web for discussions of ghosts, haunted houses, and spooky things is Ghostvillage.com. The founder, Jeff Belanger, has built a cottage industry of ghosts, having written several books on the topic. I interviewed Belanger about his site and his (thus-far fruitless) search for ghosts.
Benjamin Radford: How did you get the idea for Ghostvillage?
Jeff Belanger: Before starting Ghostvillage, I was writing for and editing a newspaper in northern Fairfield County, Connecticut. Around Halloween, the media seeks out the ghostly stories and we were no different. I had the chance to interview Ed and Lorraine Warren (two ghost hunters and authors who originally rose to prominence after the Amityville case in 1975). This was back in 1997, in the early days of the Internet. That article was on our newspaper’s Web site and generated more hits than all of the other pages combined. Sadly, the newspaper went out of business and the Web site faded away. That year I was asked to research and write a documentary film on Dudleytown, Connecticut’s infamous “ghost” town. I really got into this project, interviewing people who claimed they saw things in the woods, had been slapped by an invisible hand, and so one. I also explored an alleged “curse” placed on the Dudley family and interviewed people who live at the edge of Dudleytown who claimed there is nothing going on in the woods at all. The more people I spoke with, the more I wanted to examine every angle.
To make a long story short, the documentary never received funding. So I had this research and the interview with the Warrens. In 1999, I also wanted to teach myself HTML, so I built a little six-page Web site and named it Ghostvillage.com, partially based on Dudleytown, and because I wanted to create an online community where we could explore every angle of this subject—the believers, the skeptics, the religiously inclined, even the atheists. Back in 1999 I placed a line of text on our homepage that said, “Tell us about your ghost experiences,” and the site grew from there.
BR: What in your background drew you to this subject? Have you always been interested in ghosts?
JB: I grew up in an old New England town called Newtown, Connecticut, and from a young age I had friends who claimed their centuries-old houses were haunted. I was completely intrigued by their claims. So we would have sleepovers in some of these houses and break out the Ouija board and have our little ghost hunts around the building. I’ve been interested in the many different facets of the ghost experience ever since.
BR: Do you think that ghosts exist? What do you think they are?
JB: Yes, I think ghosts exist. I have this gut feeling that won’t go away. Plus I’ve had the opportunity to interview many hundreds of people about their experiences, and thousands of others have emailed me with their own personal accounts. I just can’t believe that they’re all crazy or lying. There’s a word for ghost in every language, there’s an understanding of the concept in every culture, and I find the collective eyewitness evidence overwhelming in support of the existence of ghosts.
BR: So what do you think they are?
Well, that’s the million dollar question. One theory is that ghosts are a type of psychic impression left on a location. For some reason, some people are able to tune into these place memories and get a glimpse of the past. Another theory is that ghosts are a type of thought projection by the living—the idea is that some people can cause bumps or move objects with their mind, maybe even project some kind of vision, or hologram, if you will, that other people can see. There’s also the traditional discarnate soul theory (i.e., an intelligent, interactive sentient being who was once a living person but died in physical form, yet their consciousness survives and is hanging around for a myriad of different reasons). And finally, there’s the theory that ghosts are simply a hallucination of the witness (a witness who may be on drugs, overtired, or suffering from some kind of mental debilitation). With the many people I’ve interviewed about their ghost experiences, I’ve heard of many examples that could fall in each of these categories. Some “ghosts” are simply a hallucination. I have no doubt of that. But I don’t believe every case can fall into that category. It’s those other three categories that keep me driven to learn more.
BR: If researchers have such widely different ideas about what ghosts are, how will they prove ghosts exist?
JB: I can’t speak for all researchers; I can only speak for myself. I’m not out to prove that ghosts exist. I believe they do, I’ve seen evidence to support this idea, and I’m happy to publish and discuss all of that evidence. My hope is that people look at the evidence objectively and decide for themselves.
BR: Do you consider yourself a ghost hunter, or a ghost researcher?
JB: Those are just labels, I don’t get hung up on them. I’m a writer and researcher, and I often go looking for ghosts. When I’m working on a book or article that involves interviewing someone about their alleged paranormal experience, I usually introduce myself as a writer working on a story. Ghost hunter, ghost researcher—you can even call me a skeptic if you like.
BR: What insights into ghost hunters/investigators did you get from meeting them and writing your books?
JB: Up until the early parts of the twentieth century, one didn’t need a Ph.D. nor tons of academic training to be a scientist or scholar. Then something happened along the way where it was socially acceptable for only certain types of people to pursue any kind of academic studies. The field of paranormal investigations has never been seriously considered or studied by the academic or scientific community—and nature abhors a vacuum. Enter the ghost investigators.
I think we all have a drive to learn something new and to try and leave some kind of mark behind. With ghost investigating, people can be white-collar workers or even plumbers by day, and pursue a field of study at night and on weekends. There’s no way to possibly categorize all ghost hunters, but I do appreciate anyone who asks questions of the world around them and seeks their own answers. Some investigators are very esoteric and take a psychic approach to the investigation, while others are only interested in the numbers their slew of instruments give off in an alleged haunted location. Others try to combine the scientific and the spiritual. I’ve met ghost hunters who are police officers, firemen, psychologists, Ph.D.s, housewives, doctors, ministers, plumbers, and software engineers. These are folks who are out to find proof, even if that proof is only for themselves.
BR: And yet that proof remains elusive. There are dozens of ghost investigation groups out there with thousands of members, and people have been searching for evidence of ghosts for decades or more. As yet, ghosts remain unproven, and investigators can’t even agree on what they are. How do you explain that? Judged solely by results, ghost hunters seem to have failed spectacularly at even proving that what they study actually exists.
JB: I disagree that ghosts remain unproven. I’ve spoken with hundreds and received emails from thousands more who had the existence of ghosts proved to them. They had the experience, and now they believe.
Again, I can’t speak for all ghost investigators, but my objective is to document and discuss my findings surrounding this experience. I’m interested in the history, the eyewitness testimony, and any other evidence that may be left behind. I know I’m not the only person who approaches the research in this way.
BR: As you know, I approach the topic of ghosts and hauntings from a skeptical, scientific perspective. I take ghosts seriously and make a genuine effort to explain and understand the phenomenon. How are skeptics such as myself viewed within the ghost enthusiast community?
JB: There are many ghost investigation groups who count skeptics among their members. These are people who don’t believe in ghosts at all who go along during investigations and try to point out everything they can that can explain phenomena reported in a location. They’re also present to review any evidence that may be collected. Skeptics are an important part of the research and discussion. When you bring a skeptic along, it stops you from going into a situation operating under the assumption that any given thing must be a ghost.
The problem is that some self-proclaimed skeptics aren’t really skeptics at all. Some skeptics are actually atheists who are subscribing to a rigid belief system complete with dogmas and ritual. These folks are not constructive to the furthering of any cause whatsoever. An atheist claims to know exactly what happens after we die, even though they have never died before. This group of people is also operating under the assumption that science is finished—that today we know everything there is to know about the universe. This is a ridiculous position to take, of course, because science makes discoveries all of the time that makes old ideas moot. There was a time when science said the world is flat, and that the Earth is the center of the universe. Not that long ago, science believed the speed of light to be a constant, but we learned that incredible gravitational forces (like the forces around a black hole) can bend light and slow it down as it passes by. When someone says, “Ghosts can’t exist, because the idea is against the law of physics,” that’s really not a good argument. It would do us all well to review the definition of “skeptic.” We should all have some degree of skepticism.
BR: I’d agree with that, which is why I think it’s important to actually investigate these things. But I don’t know of any skeptics or scientists who say that science knows everything. After all, one of the defining characteristics of science is that it is open to revision when better evidence comes along. I think that if ghosts exist, science will be the best way to prove them—not psychics or eyewitness accounts, but hard science.
JB: You’re correct. No one actually says we know everything, but some of the comments being said by people who claim to be skeptics operate under that assumption (i.e., “Ghosts can’t exist because it’s against the law of physics.” It’s against our current understanding of physics—there are certainly some interesting developments in quantum physics that may change some of these views. New theories and proofs enter science on a regular basis and render old ideas moot.)
BR: Do you think that TV shows like Ghost Hunters, Ghost Whisperer, Medium, etc. are good or bad for ghost hunters?
JB: Anything that brings the subject of the supernatural into the mainstream is a good thing to some degree. These television shows allow people to stand around the water cooler at work and say things like, “Hey, did you see Medium last night? Boy, was that weird, but you know what? Something like that happened to me once…” The more regular people talk about this subject, the more we can take it out of the realm of the bizarre. We’re all going to die one day and need to come to grips with that. Ghosts offer us the opportunity to explore our own mortality and spirituality.
I would hope that audiences can remember that television programs exist for one reason only: to sell commercial time. That’s it. Most people are smart enough to ask their own questions, and they will quickly figure out where science fiction ends and a serious study begins.
BR: I have noted that “The evidence for ghosts is no better today than it was a year ago, a decade ago, or a century ago.” Do you agree?
JB: No, I disagree that the evidence is no better than it was. First, society has diversified its beliefs and its idea of spirituality. A century ago, it was a lot more difficult to discuss the topic of ghosts in the mainstream without serious ridicule. Today, ghosts are in the mainstream, which allows us to collect data more quickly after an event happens. For example, it wasn’t too long ago that people hardly ever talked about their ghost encounters for fear of ridicule. Today, there are radio and television talk shows, Internet sites like mine, and books and magazines where people can discuss the vivid details of their experiences shortly after it happens. I’ve received many e-mails and phone calls over the years that begin with, “This just happened a few minutes ago…” This removes the “fuzzy memory” part of the equation.
Also, we have more advanced environmental monitoring equipment today than ever before. If objects are moving in a location, then we should be able to monitor some change in the environment. I know of one organization in the UK that is measuring every corner of a room for electromagnetic activity in an allegedly haunted location in Muncaster Castle. Researchers are finding correlations between electromagnetic field fluctuations and ghostly activity. Now, is it possible that these fluctuations are causing the brains of the witnesses to see something that may not be there? Sure. But we won’t find out for sure unless we keep exploring these theories and see them through to their conclusions.
BR: I don’t understand; how has the evidence for ghosts improved? Do you mean that because the number of ghost reports has gone up with the Internet and public acceptance, that is somehow good evidence for ghosts? How are a dozen ghost stories any better evidence than one ghost story?
JB: Our understanding of psychology and human behavior has greatly improved in the last century. We’re able to better quantify perception and experiences. We also understand that human memory can be trusted when it comes to profound and/or traumatic experiences. I also believe that a dozen ghost experiences are easily better than just one because the greater number of documented experiences shows that this event isn’t just a fluke. In the case for anything, a dozen credible eyewitnesses are better than one.
BR: If you think that the evidence for ghosts has improved, what are some facts that we know about ghosts now that we didn’t know about them a hundred years ago?
JB: The theories have evolved and improved. Because we can monitor the environment, we’re seeing correlations between electromagnetic fields and temperature and this experience. Because we understand human behavior and psychology better, we know the role perception and memory can play in the experience.
BR: So do you think that ghosts will be scientifically proven to exist one day?
JB: Ghosts (in the sense of the discarnate soul) won’t be scientifically proven any time soon because some people have rigid belief systems that won’t allow them to accept it—kind of like if some group within the scientific community came forward tomorrow and said, “Hey, you know what? We miscalculated. Two plus two is actually six.” Even if they went over the math with you hundreds of times, people just wouldn’t accept it.
BR: So the existence of ghosts comes down to belief instead of evidence? Are you saying that there’s good scientific evidence for ghosts, but the problem is that those with rigid belief systems reject it?
JB: Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. There’s good scientific evidence for ghosts, but the problem is that those with rigid belief systems reject it.
BR: Do you think that it will always come down to controversial and ambiguous evidence like sightings and orbs?
JB: I’ll grant you orbs are and probably will continue to be ambiguous (at best), but I disagree that eyewitness sightings are ambiguous. Witnesses perceive the ghost event as real. It changes their lives in many cases. If I produced a witness who claims to have just seen the ghost of his grandmother who died many years ago, and this person could pass a lie detector test, could pass a drug test, and a psychological screening, there are plenty of people who still wouldn’t believe them even though they weren’t present at the time of the witness’s sighting.
BR: Of all the places you’ve been, what two or three are you most certain are haunted?
JB: My definition of a haunting is this: similar unexplained phenomena that has been experienced by multiple witnesses over a period of time. It also helps quite a bit if said witnesses have nothing to gain financially by the ghosts. I’m always leery of pub owners who start telling me ghost stories…
I have many favorites, but two that stand out are the Tower of London—a place with great history, some gruesome executions, and ghostly legends in every corner. I believe it’s haunted because of all of the stories that come in about it. I’ve interviewed some of the people who live and work in the tower—these are military officers, and many had some kind of unexplained event occur to them. One sergeant I spoke to in passing said his first night in his new quarters, he laid down to go to bed when he watched a teddy bear he’d had since childhood float out off the shelf it was on to the middle of the room, and then drop to the floor.
The other location I’m sure is haunted is Gettysburg. I have heard accounts come in from every corner of the battlefields and even from some of the buildings in town. Whether it’s an understanding of the history of the battle that triggers something in visitors or if the carnage of 51,000 dead or wounded men left a permanent mark, I’m not sure. But I do know that people have many sightings in this location.
For more on Belanger and Ghostvillage, visit www.ghostvillage.com.