Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do You Believe In Ghosts . . .?

Research shows that 1 in every 3 Americans do.  Whether on television, over the internet, ghost tours or the spookier ghost hunts, people have become fascinated with the paranormal.  I know, roll your eyes and say I'm crazy - but it's one of my obsessions!  At my house, I have a regular Wednesday night date with Ghost Hunters on the SyFy Channel.  The ghost shows on television run the spectrum of scary to ridiculous, but Ghost Hunters is my personal favorite.  Jason and Grant (two former Roto-Rooter plumbers!) and the other colorful members of the T.A.P.S. family approach a case by first trying to disprove the claims of haunting. They check physical aspects of the location such as wiring, pipes and the structure of the building to see what could be causing the events. Sometimes they can disprove . . . sometimes they cannot; but whether they find solid evidence or not, they always entertain strictly because they don't take themselves too seriously.

(Photo courtesy of

Other ghost hunting shows include Paranormal State on the AandE, in which The Paranormal Research Society (which was started by a college student at Penn State as a club), investigates different cases and is very serious and sometimes scary, but like some of the others, can be a little too intense for my liking. But if intense, serious, no nonsense ghost hunting is your thing, check out Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel - the narration of the "adventure" borders on the ridiculous - an example of ghost hunting taken a little too seriously!

When traveling to another city or during the Halloween season, I can be counted on to drag some family member on a ghost tour.  Most cities have these excursions and they are usually family friendly.  When on a Ghosts and Gravestones tour in Boston around Halloween, there were some scary stories, and a walk in Copp's Hill Burial Ground was a little spooky in the moonlight with the rustling leaves on the trees, but the "characters" that were featured on the tour were the real stars.  They told stories of the macabre with humor, and even taught us a little history along the way!

The Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley, Copp's Hill Burial Ground in Boston's North End and our guide!

The Original Ghosts of Williamsburg  in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia was a little bit scarier.  Imagine being in an old house on a street straight out of the 1700s (it was supposed to be a walking tour but it was "cold" the night we were there - it was 40!), sitting by a roaring fire.  There we listened to stories of ghosts that had appeared in the buildings surrounding us, as well as the one we were in.  One of the stories involved a woman who appeared to an adjoining room - the two rooms were connected by a door to the right of the fireplace.  My older son would not even look in the direction of the door, fearing that the woman was going to make an appearance (I didn't have to worry about my younger son being afraid - he fell asleep before the historian even began telling his tales; the cider and donuts provided for the guests were enough for him!)

I must have been too busy being scared; this is the only photo I have of the Williamsburg Ghost Tour!

I look forward to having my own "ghostly encounter".  Local groups such as New England Paranormal, Mass Paranormal, and East Bridgewater's Most Haunted make it easy for an amateur ghost hunter to get some actual experience with the paranormal.  Maybe someday I will contact them when I can find someone to go with me - I'm a little afraid to go alone!

Taken on a ghost walk in Plymouth - they tell you to randomly snap photos in the hope of  catching something in the picture.  There was nothing visible to the eye where the orb of light appears - my own little paranormal experiment!

For now, maybe I will just visit Middleborough Town Hall . . . it's haunted!!

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