Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Variations on a ghostly theme

Giving recommendations to tweeters on Twitter on haunted places in London reminded me of some of the alternative ways ghosts make their appearance. Seeing a ghostly figure walking through a wall is not the only way you can experience a ghost!

Ham House was known for the smell of Roses - specifically Attar of Roses which was a rare flower. The smell was experienced by the Ghost Club on several occasions but unlike normal scents that gradually fade in intensity this seemed to almost 'switch off' one minute it was there next minute gone! What always surprised me most at Ham, were the objects that would appear and disappear as if by magic. One night we searched everywhere for a coin that was placed flat as a trigger object. Suddenly it reappeared sticking upright from between the floor boards. A dowsing rod also played the same trick. The largest object that moved around was a wheelchair (see picture above) that journeyed around a locked room late at night - very strange.

Sound is another way that an echo of the past can make itself evident. During my years of investigating I have heard an assortment of knocks and raps but most spectacular was the sound of footsteps thumping on the landing above in a haunted council house. I also heard a voice say "Do you want me?" in the Waterstone's bookshop in Guildford but was a trick of my hearing? I was impressed at the time. However as with a lot of ghostly phenomena trying to get this recorded can sometimes be problematic. Usually at the time of the ghostly noise the tape recorder will malfunction or the batteries will drain even if they were new at the start of the investigation. More evidence of ghostly sounds will hopefully be coming to light very shortly as the Society for Psychical Research has recently completed a study that shows that ghostly knocks and noises have a different soundwave pattern to those created by normal means. This may be some of the most exciting research to emerge on the paranormal for a very long time. Certainly ghostly noises are being taken seriously. I know a man who did his PHD on the phenomena of ghostly music earning himself the title of Para-musicologist. Sounds impressive to me!

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