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Oct-06-2007 22:10TweetFollow @OregonNews
Ghost Hunting: An Increasingly Popular InterestTim King Salem-News.com
Real or not real? Ghosts are something some people believe exist, others scoff at the notion. But have they ever had to live in a haunted house?
(SALEM, Ore.) - "Ghosthunting" has an undeniable appeal as a word, but it probably isn't the best description for those who investigate the undead in earnest.
I have spent my time in this unusual pastime. I find the pursuit of ghosts compelling, humbling, a little unnerving, and sometimes very sobering. There is also a level of inherent sadness that accompanies each story I have investigated.
If in fact ghosts do exist, then they are the remnant of a living, breathing person, who possessed thoughts and feelings and need and demands. Alive or dead, they deserve our respect, and that often is the best tool and basis of understanding for a person who investigates haunted locations.
I have known a number of people who work in this area over the years. Some are Christian, some have no religion, and a couple of people I know well are Wiccan. They all are fascinating people because they go to a good deal of effort to document hauntings and all types of related activity.
I will admit that I have had the hair on my arms stand straight up a couple of times, I've felt the room get suddenly very cold, and I've recorded a few things with my television camera over time that some people would call convincing evidence.
My role has always been just what it is now; that of a reporter and photographer. I do not claim to have any psychic knowledge or anything like that, so I am an unbiased source. When I do witness things that are hard to explain, things that are... ghostly, I simply try to record the moment.
The people who investigate haunted houses and locations vary greatly. They range from high-end scientists who are well funded, to the person who participates in a ghosthunter group as a hobby. In the middle you have people who are active in the field, often media savvy, who are able to convey and communicate what they do very well. They become authors, Web publishers, TV and radio personalities and more.
As we approach Halloween, I will put together a few stories from my personal experiences and if possible, generate new video reports on the various haunted locations I have visited. To give you an idea, that ranges from Southern California, to Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Arizona and Tennessee, to places like a haunted Afghanistan castle, and the battlefields of WWI and WWII in France.
In the end, it leaves me feeling very convinced that human spirits do indeed sometimes linger. It almost always is connected with a sudden or unexpected death, when a person is not prepared or apparently willing, to go.
The most impressive paranormal investigators are those who approach the subject with the goal of helping a spirit move on. They all seem to agree in general on a number of things, and one of those is that all spirits they may encounter are not ghosts, and that spirits can have bad intentions, while ghosts are generally harmless.
Exceptions to that rule include poltergeists which are known for being able to move and throw objects, to stories like the "groping ghost" near an Irish castle archeology site where a pesky spirit constantly grabbed the female archaeologist's rear ends.
There is a lot to know and while most of it is for the sake of intrigue, I hope people seeking answers, (and they know who they are) can find answers to questions they are seeking. Houses with unexplainable occurrences are not exactly a rarity, and a broader understanding of just what might be going bump in the night helps everybody.
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