Posts Tagged ‘Ghost Hunters’

poltergeist-1982

Remember when the parapsychologists in Poltergeist tell the Freelings about a fantastic poltergeist experience they’d had just before they see what’s going on in Carol Ann’s room? It goes like this:

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Yes, Ryan photographed an extraordinary episode on a case in Redlands.

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A child’s toy, a small matchbox vehicle, rolled seven feet across a linoleum surface. The duration of the event was seven hours.

STEVEN

Seven hours for what?

RYAN

For the vehicle to complete the distance. This would never register on the naked eye, but I have the event on the time-lapse camera.

Poltergeist (1982) has a number of realistic incidents (mixed with many not-so-real ones) in the first portion of the movie – even the chairs stacked on the kitchen table are not far off from the more spectacular of documented poltergeist incidents. (In fact, Tamara witnessed something similar – but far less artistic – in an anomaly-laden house, not once, but three times in succession.)  

The most realistic thing in Poltergeist is the investigators’ excitement over that little Matchbox car moving by itself. In reality, assuming the floor was level and there were no other factors that might affect it, that movement would be pretty amazing – unless you believe everything you see on shows like Ghost Hunters.

The truth is, anomalies don’t perform on command, and for something truly anomalous to happen while a TV crew is filming, would be truly jaw-dropping. Reality TV is entertainment, pure and simple. Oh, there’s no doubt episodes are based in true stories and experiences, but we guarantee you that real events caught on camera on a weekly series, are about as likely to happen as water turning into wine.

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Recently, someone asked us why nothing “big” happens in Five Nights in a Haunted Cabin, our account of our stay in an allegedly haunted little house in the woods.  We were surprised by the question because we were trying our best to recount what really happened and didn’t want to exaggerate the events for the sake of entertainment. Rather, we wanted to document them. We had been given a specific duty: to investigate and report. We were not there as a TV-style ghost hunters.

That’s why we went in with as little knowledge of the history of the cabin as possible. We didn’t want to have any expectations because the mind plays tricks, makes connections, and leaps to conclusions when you’ve been fed information, and that leads to inaccurate reporting.

That said, we were pretty amazed by what did happen. We even conceived of The Cliffhouse Haunting during our stay and were inspired by several events we witnessed.

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But as far as reality goes, Tamara has spent many hours in allegedly haunted locales over the last thirty years and has been fortunate enough to witness a handful of anomalies that are pretty impressive. But the cabin was the gift that kept on giving. We saw, heard, and felt things in and around it that were peculiar – and occasionally quite frightening. While we can find possible explanations for most – if we try very hard to dig some up – we can’t explain everything we experienced. We were, to put it mildly, impressed.

Compared to the ghost-of-the-week TV reality shows, our experiences are pretty tame, but from the moment we walked in, there were minor anomalies that would thrill a serious non-entertainment-oriented ghost hunter. They certainly excited and inspired us.  

We hope you enjoy our account for what it is – a realistic look at a “haunted” house.  We admit that going back in and reliving it while we prepared it for publication gave us both the shivers, but we’ll tell you up front that neither of us levitated, spoke in tongues, or spotted any demons. However, we did experience some things that made us wonder if we’d ever agree to go back.

We probably would, but we’re just crazy that way.

And speaking of ghosts, don’t forget that our Gothic Horror novel, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, is available now for just .99!

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You’ve seen her on Ghost Hunters… now listen to her on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! Join us this week where we talk about all things ghosts with author and paranormal expert, Sylvia Shults. I love this lady…

Just click the link on Thursday at 9 pm Eastern, 6 Pacific: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authorsontheairbookstoo/2015/01/16/sylvia-shults-joins-thorne-cross-haunted-nights-live

Sylvia Shults has been a paranormal investigator for several years. She began her career as a ghost hunter
as a result of doing the research for her nonfiction book Ghosts of the Illinois River (Quixote Press, 2010). Her
fascination with ghosts dates back to her childhood, as she is an avid reader who was raised on Grimm’s Fairy
Tales.

A few years ago, Shults was inspired to write a collection of people’s supernatural experiences at the Peoria
State Hospital in Bartonville, Illinois. This project quickly swelled into Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the
Peoria State Hospital. The book incorporates the history of the asylum as well as the many ghost stories that have
arisen out of the asylum’s abandonment. In an effort to separate fact from fiction, Shults thoroughly explores the
true history of the hospital.

“It’s fascinating,” she says. “The Peoria State Hospital was a place of great advances in mental health
care. Was there agony there? I don’t doubt it. Mental illness is an agonizing thing. So is alcoholism. So is TB.
But that’s not nearly the whole story of this remarkable institution. There was also incredible tenderness and caring.
Dr. George Zeller was responsible for unprecedented reforms in the field of mental health care. I feel incredibly
fortunate to have been able to write a book that not only tells some really unnerving ghost tales, but also the
true stories of Dr. Zeller and his dedicated staff.”

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Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital is a result of years of research. Shults spoke to
dozens of people who have had paranormal experiences at the abandoned asylum. She has also done many investigations
of her own. The book, and Shults’ research, was featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters (“Prescription
for Fear”, which aired January 30, 2013).

Shults lives in Illinois with her husband. She works at the Fondulac District Library, mostly in order to
feed her book addiction. She also serves as the Publicity Director for Dark Continents Publishing. In addition to
nonfiction, she also writes romance and horror. She is the first to admit that there is a fine line between the two.

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