The phenomenon, or phenomena- plural, which we know as "ghosts" is, or are, far more common than you might think. Most people you know in your social life would be able to tell you their own personal ghost story... if they're reassured that you won't laugh at them. Some places are more prone to this kind of activity than others; these are the places we call a "haunted". Factors that can induce a haunting are a major or recurring amount of human suffering, fear and death; hospitals, battlefields and murder scenes therefore score high on that list. Old buildings are more likely to be the chosen residences of ghosts than newer ones, case in point:
. Don Philips of GSI
Paranormal UK is one of the top paranormal investigators in this much-neglected
field of research and he and I have collaborated on projects several times
before, for example see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/hauntings-best-evidence-by-don-philips.html
In a forthcoming film he and his team target Woodchester
Mansion to see what they can find
out about the strange goings on reported there, see here for the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgZ_tgJA1fI.
The cellars are most often nominated as a location of odd goings-on, as indeed Don's team found out. In fact their investigation proved to be one of GSI's most alarming ever. Voices, breathing sounds and loud banging noises emerge and, as you can see in the trailer, the participants flee from the cellar screaming! One of them was so upset that she needed to be temporarily removed from the investigation. Meanwhile, Don and the others were patrolling the upper floors trying to find evidence of spirit intrusion, and they succeed; there was a remarkable incident in the bathroom where voices once again spoke out of thin air. The film is atmospheric and well as informative and is definitely worth watching. I recommend seeing it as soon as it's available. Keep watching the GSI Paranormal
website for details of its launch: http://www.gsi-paranormal.com/.
Don is a very controversial figure in the realm of paranormal investigation and
is regularly criticized for his unorthodox methods, both from the Skeptic and
non-Skeptic sides. One of his most determined detractors is Hayley Stevens,
The points she makes about electronic voice phenomena- EVP, are that the entire
technique is useless because the only sounds gathered are random noise caused
by a recorder's auto-gain system. This is a function that raises the
microphone's sensitivity when the ambient sounds drop, like when people all sit
still when waiting for a spirit voice. The human brain interprets these random
noises as recognizable words because our brains are hardwired to pick patterns
out of chaotic white noise; this is called apophenia
and Trystan Swale has written about the subject here: http://thehighgatevampire.co.uk/leavesthatwither/2014/01/22/when-the-dead-start-speaking/.
Another source she claims causes Don's "AVP's" are external
interference, nuisance electronic signals which inadvertently cause sounds to
appear on the track. Both these arguments are false. In this HPANWO Show Don
and I explain why: http://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/programme-76-podcast-don-philips.html.
In this radio show I challenge Trystan himself on this matter, see: http://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/programme-79-podcast-trystan-swale.html.
Apophenia is simply an audio equivalent of pareidolia, the way our brains'
visual centre fools us into thinking we see an organized shape in a meaningless
matrix. However it's an explanation that can easily lead to fallacy, see here
for details: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/pan-pareidolia.html.
Interest in paranormal research is increasing at the moment; some of this is
due to unprofessional popularization on disreputable TV shows and outright fraud,
but not all by any means. I hope we're on the verge of a breakthrough, but I
know there are forces of reaction at work too. Nevertheless I'm confident that
Don is determined to persevere. If a breakthrough does occur it may well be Don
who is behind it.