In Search of the Elusive Ghost

by Dale Kaczmarek

Ghosts, apparitions and things that go bump in the night have always fascinated and sometimes scared people at the same time.  The possibility of the existence of this phenomenon seems to be what really interests those whom have had that "brush" with the supernatural.  The first initial reaction if fear; followed by awe and wonderment and then usually curiosity.  The witnesses, or victims, of these unusual events begin to seek answers to how something like this could occur to them and why.  Science does not yet recognize parapsychology as a true science and therefore has its doubts about its existence or provability.  So, in steps the professional ghost hunter or psychical researcher, who through years of experience of on-the-spot investigations and dealings with ghosts and spirits, can sometimes determine what is going on, and in many cases, stop the phenomena completely and totally.

The first thing that must be done in all cases is to rule out any possible natural explanations for the various phenomena taking place.  Many natural causes can contribute or actually create ghostly manifestations to occur in the first place.  These include: house foundation settling, humidity coming from structural leakage, citizens band radio transmissions, buses or heavy trucks rumbling past a residence, electric or magnetic anomalies.  These and others must be investigated and ruled out first!  Many different kinds of sophisticated equipment are sometimes used, such as: magnetometers, spectrum analyzers, infrared recording devices, diode tape-recorders, microwave leakage detectors, etc.  When these possible natural causes are eliminated, then further progress and testing can be undertaken.

The next step is to interview fully all witnesses to the said phenomena and retrieve as much information as possible about past residents of the building, medical histories (to see if the phenomena is perhaps psychosomatic), ESP testing and any undue stress the family or persons might be under while the phenomena is going on. Many times this can be caused by living agents and not "earthbound entities".  Built up emotional and/or mental/physical stress can cause "poltergeist" type activity.

The term "Poltergeist" is a German word meaning noisy ghost but the actual phenomena may not actually be caused by a discarnate entity.  Current theories on poltergeist phenomena centers on adolescents between the ages of 13-20 years of age which may be some pent-up emotions that they cannot express verbally.  These individuals are also going through bodily changes both physically and chemically called puberty. Their inability to verbalize, in theory, just continues to charge their psychic battery until there is, what researchers would call, a "psychic explosion".  Paranormal events such as the movement of objects, strange lights, rapping or knocking sounds and the sudden appearance or disappearance of material objects (Apports) can occur.  So, wherever there are young adults present, this must be taken into consideration.  However, where there are visual apparitions, this is an entirely different story.

Additional information about the area where the building is standing must be performed to determine what, if anything was originally on that specific location before.  Many times, if it is a haunting, the phenomena might be due to something or someone who lived at that locale long ago, or perhaps it is due to something that happened long ago.

The next step is to make an appointment to visit the house with a team of other Ghost Research Society members and actually go room to room to see if anything can be discerned.  The use of 35MM cameras equipped with both high-speed and infrared film, to be used in documentation of either visible or invisible activity, is a must.  Simultaneous snapshots are taken of given areas where psychics believe a ghost or spirit may reside.  Later the photographs can be compared to see if anything registered on either film.  If it's a visible reflection or something natural, then both films should pick it up.  However, if the phenomenon is invisible in nature, then only the high-speed infrared film will register it even though simultaneous snapshots were taken.

We would employ different types of equipment such as Tri-Field meters, Gauss meters, Geiger Counters, Field Strength meters, Negative Ion Detectors, Night-vision Cameras, and a device known as G.E.I.S.T. which stands for Geophysically Equipped Instrument of Scientific Testing.    The computer program and hardware was designed by Stan Suho, a long-standing member of the GRS.  G.E.I.S.T. is actually launched from a laptop computer through what=s called a >polling device=.  Different instruments can be attached to the polling device and the whole contraption can be placed in a single room or spread throughout a house for monitoring purposes.  If and when a device detects an anomalous reading, a signal is sent through the polling device and registered in a file on the hard drive of the laptop computer.  A simultaneous picture can also be taken automatically by G.E.I.S.T. without anyone being present.

 If the problem is a poltergeist then usually counseling is advised for the adolescent to discover any deep-seated emotional problems that he/she may have and correct them.  If, however, the problem is an actual "earthbound" spirit then some form of communication between the spirit and the medium may be necessary to find out why the ghost is there and to try to help it "move on", through its own accord.

Many different types of communication are possible, such as: Ouija board, automatic writing and séances - none of which we use or would recommend to anyone, especially a novice!  The best means available is direct telepathic contact through an altered state of consciousness such as a trance.  A light trance is best because through this state the medium can still retain partial awareness with the physical world and, at the same time; act as liaison to the spirit world.  However, in most cases we do not employ the use of psychics or mediums but prefer to stay at the scientific end of the spectrum through the use of high-tech electronic gadgets that come, in some cases, tell the researcher if something out of the ordinary is afoot.

 Usually the problem is a violent or sudden death such as a suicide, murder or accident.  Other possibilities include a longing for more physical life, to give a message, contact a loved one for reassurance, or a simple unwillingness to let go of physical life.  Compounded on this, often the ghost doesn't realize that he/she has passed on and would continue to do things he/she did in their normal life.  This is almost always due to a very sudden or untimely death where the life-force was literally ripped away very violently, suddenly or tragically.

Certain patterns may develop in a haunting such as dishes rattling in the kitchen at 7 am. Maybe the spirit is that of a female housewife and she is still, even in death, making breakfast for her family in the early morning hours.  This is why a diary of events pertaining to the haunting is of utmost importance.  Witnesses should keep this up to date for the investigators arrival.  The sounds and noises may be random in location and time, but at times will occur at specific hours of the day or night and in certain areas of the residence.  A log listing the room, time, date and occurrence should be kept for reference purposes.  Include with that all names of other witnesses to the phenomena and a brief description of the events.

Once it has been proven that the disturbances are being caused by an earthbound spirit, then through the use of a medium, we can usually help him/her along its way.  It's always as simple as convincing the ghost that he/she is dead, doesn't belong in this world and asking them to look for the white light and friends or loved ones who are waiting to help guide them.  If you follow these simple procedures, your success rate will be very high.

The most important thing to remember about ghosts is that cannot harm you physically.  We have never come across an unfriendly ghost or harmful spirit.  There are other "things” that can be very harmful, fringing on the demonic, but that's less than 2% of the cases reported worldwide and are only rarely encountered.

If you believe that you have a ghost or just begin to see and experience strange or unusual phenomena, the best advice I can offer you is to be calm, cool and observant.  Do NOT attempt to communicate with it yourself, invite it into your home or family or try to exorcise it in anyway.  Depending on your religious preference, a general house blessing is sometimes beneficial both psychologically and emotionally but frequently useless against stubborn entities.

Call in a professional ghost hunter, parapsychologist or psychical investigator.  Ask their opinion and let them handle the situation.  You will obtain better and more thorough results and may be somewhat safer because of their experience and knowledge in the field.  But by no means should you be afraid or fearful of this very frequently reported phenomenon.  It's just another area of science that most people do not fully understand but which truly does exist!

For further information about ghosts, hauntings, poltergeists or life after death or to locate someone in your immediate are for additional assistance, contact:  The Ghost Research Society, c/o Dale Kaczmarek, PO Box 205, Oak Lawn, IL., 60454-0205 USA or call (708)425-5163.

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