It was a cool, gray, rainy day for spring – great to reading and relaxing. We discovered that SciFi was having a marathon of Ghost Hunter episodes. It would make a nice background as we cooked dinner, did laundry, and worked on other things.
I love a good ghost story. I especially like those that might have a hint of veracity – something tied to the true history of a locale, rather than the generic Snopes type of haints. Headless horsemen? Nah. Give me tales of Alice at the Hermitage or The Gray Man any day.
I’m a skeptic. I can’t say I believe in ghosts. Even if such things are real, seems like it would be contrary to any concept of a conscious afterlife. However, while growing up in our creaky old house, we used tell of a ghost we called "Homer", who would walk around upstairs. As an adult, I lived in that house by myself for nearly five years, and never had any of the experiences we claimed as children.
Anyway, back to the show. The power of suggestion is very strange, and can be quite strong. I hear the following phrases on Ghost Hunters all the time…
It feel’s strange in here.
I feel an oppressive heaviness.
It feels like a cool spot over here.
It sounded like…
…and as soon as one person says it, the others will invariably say, "Yeah, me too." Suggestion. I suspect that could account for the majority of the reported "experiences" on the show.
TAPS is supposed to have affiliate organizations all over the the US. I went in search of those that might be located in our area, and did find some. I’ve listed some links below, along with their websites:
- South Carolina Ghost Hunters – Columbia
- Ghost Hunters of South Carolina – Columbia
- Shadowlands – a cool listing of haunted places in SC
- Upstate Ghost Hunters – Spartanburg
- Carolina Paranormal – Myrtle Beach
- South Carolina Paranormal Activity Research Association (SCPARA)
I found several things in common with all these groups. First, they all have crappy websites – self-designed and full of cliche’s such as white writing on black backgrounds. Secondly, they all have discussion fora. Thirdly, they seem to be antagonistic toward each other, usually because of comments made on each others’ fora. Fourthly, they all love to make lists of their equipment – EMF detectors, proton packs, ecto-containment systems, etc., etc. And finally, most of them seem like nutjobs. Here’s an example – apparently the Greenville group dissolved because it was taking time away from the leader’s Dungeons and Dragons activities. So much for serious research.
I may touch base with several Upstate historians to see if there are some good ghost stories around here.
One final note: As I was typing this up, and before it was posted, someone hit the RandomConnections website through Yahoo search using the search phrase "paranormal activity for greenville, sc."
[tags]ghosts, ghost hunters, paranormal[/tags]