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Ghost hunting is the process of investigating locations said to be haunted. A ghost "hunting party" will involve 4-8 individuals who work as a team to collect evidence of paranormal activity. Ghost hunters usually record data in a scientific manner, making observation using electronic equipment of various types, such as; EMF Meters, digital thermometers, infrared and night vision cameras, handheld video cameras, digital audio recorders, and computers. Organized teams of ghost hunters are also called paranormal investigation teams.

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Critics of ghost hunting say there is a total lack of scientifically testable and verifiable evidence in favor of the existence of ghosts, despite centuries of interest in the subject. And of course a personal experience that the person who encounters a real ghost or proof never forgets.

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Ghost hunting is practiced by many paranormal investigation groups whose members sometimes promote their findings on the web as proof of hauntings. These findings are generally challenged by skeptics as wishful thinking, pareidolia or the product of scientifically unsound practices and beliefs. Critics question ghost-hunting's methodology, particularly its use of instrumentation, as there is no scientifically-proven link between the existence of ghosts and cold spots or electromagnetic fields.[

The Ghost Club, founded in London in 1862, is believed to be the oldest paranormal research organization in the world. Famous members of the club have included Charles Dickens, Sir William Crookes, Sir William Fletcher Barrett and Harry Price.


Early "ghost hunter" Harry PriceIn the mid 1880's, William James, philosopher and founder of the American Psychological Association and brother of Henry James suggested applying scientific method to paranormal questions such as the existence of ghosts or spirits. He found allies in England such as Alfred Russel Wallace, Cambridge philosopher Henry Sidgwick and his wife, Eleanor, Edmund Gurney, and others to form the core of the Society for Psychical Research to collect evidence concerning apparitions, haunted houses, and similar phenomena. The investigators gathered case studies, attended séances, designed tests of claimants' veracity, and ran what came to be known as the Census of Hallucinations, which counted apparitions of persons who were said to have made spectral appearances on the day they died
Similar investigation into hauntings was undertaken by Harry Price through London's National Laboratory of Psychical Research during the 1920s, and later in the 1950s and 60s by American independent researchers such as Hans Holzer and Ed and Lorraine Warren. Other paranormal and parapsychological investigators like Loyd Auerbach, Christopher Chacon and William Roll were each independently conducting field and laboratory investigations in the 1970s and 80s, long before reality TV cast a spotlight onto this subject matter.

Ghost hunting among part-time hobbyists began to be popular in the late 1970s with the founding of the Chicago area Ghost Tracker’s Club, which became the Ghost Research Society (GRS) in 1981. The popularity of the Ghostbusters movie of 1984 may have boosted the proliferation of such "ghost clubs".

In the last decade, the term "paranormal investigation" has increasingly been adopted by hobbyist and professional groups who do not investigate any other aspects of the paranormal such as Extra-sensory perception and Psychokinesis, but whose sole purpose is ghost hunting.

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Ghost Hunters is a reality television series produced by Pilgrim Films featuring Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, Roto-Rooter plumbers who investigate claimed hauntings and ghosts as the creators of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS). The show debuted in October 2004 on the American Sci-fi Channel.

It should not be confused with the original 1996 Inca Productions show Ghosthunters produced for the Discovery Channel. The format was sold to the US to become Ghost Hunters. The only remaining link between the two shows is presenter Ian Cashmore who anchored the UK/Europe show. Cashmore piloted the US show, but chose not to remain part of the US venture after he filmed the promos.

Hawes and Wilson, along with other team members, investigate locations of interest by using electronic equipment which they feel is capable of detecting paranormal activity. TAPS's equipment includes digital thermometers, EMF (electromagnetic field) scanners, infrared and night vision cameras, handheld digital video cameras, digital audio recorders, and laptop computers.

When investigating a location, TAPS team members first survey the property with its owners, who describe their experiences at the site. Next, the team sets up electronic equipment in the apparent paranormal "hot spots." The TAPS team then spends several hours taking EMF and temperature readings, recording audio for EVP, and filming with digital video cameras. Afterwards, the team spends several hours analyzing all of the data for signs of possible paranormal activity.

A few days after reviewing the information, Hawes and Wilson discuss their findings with the location site owners, offer suggestions for dealing with any apparent activity, and answer any questions the owners may have.

Since the show began airing, TAPS has recorded thousands of hours of audio and video data. Most investigations, according to TAPS, turn up cold with very little, if any, paranormal activity occurring. The ghost hunters claim to have several good recordings of strange mists, odd lights, moving objects, and shadowy figures that manifest before the camera and disappear quickly - all highlighted at the end of the show.

TAPS does not believe every piece of evidence gathered is proof of the paranormal. To lend credibility to their investigations, the team tries to debunk what they find and look for reasonable explanations for things such as "cold spots" (that may be drafty windows), "moving objects" (that may have been accidentally bumped or tugged), "phantom lights" (that may be reflections of light from a passing vehicle), and "strange noises" (that may be a thumping branch or vermin in the walls).

In addition to the investigative aspect, the show highlights personal conflicts and relationships among members of the TAPS team, which may be why the SciFi network categorizes the show as a docu-soap.

Haunted Books

 

WHAT GREAT BOOKS ARE ON THE TOP OF EVERYONES READING LIST THIS MONTH? WELL LOOK NO FURTHER

TOP TEN HAUNTED BESTSELLERS

1. Haunted Pennsylvania: Ghosts And Strange Phenomena of the Keystone State
2. Shadows of the Dark
3. Louisiana's Haunted Plantations
4. How To Be A Ghost Hunter
5. Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures
6. Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War: Authentic Accounts of the Strange and Unexplained
7. Ghost Hunting: How to Investigate the Paranormal
8. Windy City Ghosts II
9. Hanz Holzer's Travel Guide to Haunted Houses: A Practical Guide to Places Haunted by Ghosts, Spirits and Poltergeists
10. Ghosts of War: Restless Spirits of Soldiers, Spies, And Saboteurs 

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Trick or Treating should be one of the great adventures of Halloween for kids! They can get dressed in scary costumes and go door to door, begging "Tricks or Treats!" from neighbors or at the local mall. Lots of towns have a Harvest Festival so kids can Trick-or-Treat safely. But going door to door is the stuff of childhood memories! It should be a fun time, without trouble and pain, so following some easy tips can keep your child safe every Halloween.

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