by Dale Kaczmarek

What is a ghost?

A ghost is a disembodied spirit of a once living person that hasn't quite made the transition from this world to the next usually due to an untimely death such as murder, suicide or an accident.

What is a poltergeist?

Poltergeist is a German word meaning "noisy ghost". Poltergeist phenomena is often associated with the movements of objects, strange sounds and even pyrokinetic activity (fire starting). The phenomena, however, is not usually caused by ghosts, but the psychokinetic or PK ability of adolescents going through their puberty stage in life. Their own subconscious or unconscious mind causes a "mental temper tantrum" that effects physical objects and teleports them across an area through what is commonly called "mind over matter."

What is a haunting?

A haunting is an event that happens over and over again for a period of weeks, months or years. Most hauntings are Residual in nature and usually depict an event or even a death scenario of a person.

What is EVP?

EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomena is typically described as the ability to record spirit voices or sounds through the use of ordinary tape recording devices. First discovered by Dr. Konstantine Raudive and Professor Hans Bender, many organizations and individuals have devoted their lives researching this event including Sarah Estep of the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena (AA-EVP). The voices when they are being recorded are not heard to the experimenter at the time of the experiment and only discerned when the tape is played back. Sometimes spirit voices will be recorded in reverse, while other times they will answer questions or even call the experimenter by name.

What is an Orb?

Orbs are round often semi-transparent balls of light that are frequently photographed. Many believe these orbs to be the spirits of the dead, however most orbs are captured using digital cameras and are nothing more than digital flaws caused by lack of pixilation due to very low-light situations. There is absolutely no valid evidence that they are ghosts or the dearly departed. Over 95% of current orb pictures taken and displayed on the Internet were extracted from digital cameras.

What are vortexes?

Vortexes are streaks, lines or curves that are seen in the developed product and usually not when the pictures were taken. They are usually very bright white in color and sometimes transparent. A great number of vortexes have been presented on the Internet as positive proof of ghosts.

The great majority of vortex pictures are nothing more than accidentally photographing ones camera strap. The camera is often tilted 90 degrees to the left or right and since the camera strap is usually affixed on the left and right of a camera, it can dangle into the lens and be photographed. The strap is very white because it was the closest image to the camera and the flash unit and was often in motion causing the semi-transparency of the image.

Use caution when tilting the camera from the horizontal to the vertical and either remove the strap or make sure it's around your neck and not dangling freely.

Are there evil ghosts?

While Hollywood has often portrayed some spirits as evil or malicious, I have not come across anything harmful in my 30+ years of research. For the most part, ghosts are playful, mischievous but not harmful. I personally believe that a ghost cannot be any more harmful than the person was in real life. If that person was a mass murderer or evil being, then perhaps his spirit could be somewhat negative.

When I get a call for a haunted house investigation, how far will I travel to investigate a troubled home?

We prefer to travel only in the upper Midwest; northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area. Since we do not charge for our services, to travel any further then those designated areas isn't cost efficient. We do take free-will donations for our services and will travel a bit further than those areas if our expenses are covered by the client.

Can you tell me where I can get a copy of G.E.I.S.T. for myself? I am a Ghost Researcher and would like to buy one.

G.E.I.S.T. is made up of several home-made devices and a software component that interfaces with them as a system. Since the system is still a work in progress, and changes constantly, being incorporated, there are no plans at this time to release it to the public.

How do I know if my house is haunted?

First of all, any of your senses can be effected by a haunting or ghost. You don't necessarily have to see one to know one is around. Sounds are most often reported if there is a spirit about. Footsteps, rapping sounds, musical notes, voices, EVP or crashes of dishware or furniture. You can also sense a ghost through smells which can range from the pleasant to the disgusting such as: floral scents, perfume, cologne, cigarette or cigar smoke, rotten eggs or even excrement. Sensations such as coldness in the air, a rush of wind through a closed room and sometimes the feeling of being touched or brushed past are other ways to discern a ghost. Of course, visual sight is the most convincing but least reported phenomena. If you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, your house might be haunted and you should contact a research group or paranormal investigator.

Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
© 2005 Dale Kaczmarek. All rights reserved.
Web site created by Dale Kaczmarek