The Truth About Ghosts and Ghost Hunting Recap  

Friday, November 23, 2007

Well, first it was nice to meet Fate and put a name to a face. About 18 people showed up and even though it was a little confusing finding the right room, it was worth it, especially on a cold, sort of snowy night. It was our first snow of the season, though it was just a dusting. But the temperature dropped from the 70's to the 30's within a day, so it was a noticeable change. I wasn't really ready for winter.

Ben started out informally, not part of his official talk, by showing some photographs and sharing some stories of ghost hunting investigations he's been involved in. Then he started the talk officially.

I didn't do a great job of taking a lot of notes, but I wrote down a few really good points that he brought up.

* Why are ghosts perceived differently over time? For example in the Victorian era ghosts were seen and heard rattling chains, something we have very little reporting of these days. Also, ghosts used to be photographed as full images of people and now ghosts mainly show up as orbs of light. It shows that perception of ghosts are largely an artifact of culture.

* He talked about a show on Court TV called "Haunting Evidence," and one of the investigators is Patrick Burns, who debated skeptics at Dragon Con. The premise of the show is psychic investigators helping police solve unsolved mysteries, murders and such. So far after one season and part of a second not a single case has been solved due to the psychic investigations. The show claims they helped solve one, but it was in fact solved by a DNA match.

I had never heard of "Haunting Evidence," but I'm going to see if it's still showing on Court TV and watch what's left of season two. Ben has an article in the next issue of Skeptical Inquirer about the show.

Afterwards about half of us went out for Mexican food. I got to talk a bit to Karyn, who is the president of the Midwest Skeptical Society. It seems like a really good group and I'm going to try to go to more events now that I know a few people.

Ben and I talked a little bit about Dragon Con and he's thinking about offering a skeptical workshop next year, which sounds interesting. From what I saw at Dragon Con and what I've heard since there might be a skeptical track emerging out of the science track since it's been so popular.

All-in-all I had a really great time. If you get a chance to see Ben, I'd definitely recommend that you do.

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1 comments: to “ The Truth About Ghosts and Ghost Hunting Recap

  • mamacita chilena
    Friday, November 23, 2007 at 7:18:00 PM CST  

    That sounds cool. I have never really thought about society's perception of ghosts before, but you're right. Back in the day, chains rattled, bells in the tower sounded, things like that. Now our perceptions are of things that are harder to qualify as "real."

    A ghost, a UFO, Jesus-all a flash of light, I swear I saw it/him/her.

    Hearing footsteps seems to be one common and consisten throughout time when it comes to ghost talk. My husband's family all thinks their house is haunted because of footsteps on the stairs they hear going up and down at night.


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