What is a ghost?

By Robin Harmon

What is a Ghost?
A: The continued essence, soul or spirit of a person that exists after death, including animals and other non-human life.

What is a poltergeist?
A: It is a noisy ghost, with no visible manifestations. They are not seen. They are not malevolent or evil as portrayed in movies.

What is an apparition?
A: Any kind of spirit that is visible, this may include ectoplasm mist. It is rare to see a full bodied apparition due to the amount of energy it has to produce to be seen.

What is Psychokinetic activity?
A: The ability to move an object without the apparent use of physical means, and not related to the paranormal.

What is sleep paralysis?
A: A medical disorder. The person experiencing this sleep disorder feels something pressing them down or heavy on their chest, this makes breathing difficult they feel like they are fighting a presence not seen to them. This is not related to the paranormal.

Why are some ghosts confused?
A: They may not accept they are dead and attempt to carry on as if they are still living. They try to communicate with the living, at times confused why they get no response. So they may try to communicate by moving objects or making noise.

What is our fear of ghosts a result of?
A: We fear the unknown. Our fear is a lack of knowledge concerning the world of the dead, known as departed spirits. Also, fear from misrepresentation from the media and movies.

What are the dangers of using a Ouija board?
A: It is believed to work as a portal and invites malevolent spirits into the lives of the people using them. These malevolent spirits are believed to be the lowest of the spirits such as rapists, murderers, thieves, and those who used people and then discarded them as garbage.

Do animals have spirits? How do we know?
A: Yes, if our animals loved us in life, they will love us in death. They will continue to be by us as they were in life. There have been reports of people experiencing events as if their beloved pet were still living. EVPs have also been captured.

What happens to a person who commits suicide?
A: In their disembodied state they are unable to resolve the issues leading to suicide, as well as having to view the unfortunate consequences resulting from their acts. They remain in “limbo”. Although, I do believe they have been forgiven. They may experience remorse for their deed. They see the effects done to family members, and they still are unable to resolve the original problem. This could keep them earthbound.

How can a violent death be an anchor to keep spirits earthbound?
A: Victims appear on or near the scene of the crime trying to expose the perpetrators. Victims may try to contact people by means of dreams. They will do whatever it takes to get the attention of the living, by knocks, taps, raps, rattling or the touch of an icy hand. Some have reported blankets pulled off the bed at night.

What is a malevolent spirit?
A: They have destructive behavior patterns that will try to harm a member of a household. And take pleasure in hurting others.

What is a EMF meter and how does it work?
A: Researchers discovered that tangible physical changes occurred when paranormal events happened. First the electromagnetic fields were modified, altered, or disrupted when a supernatural event happened. Electrostatic energy fields were being reported that suggests the spirits of the dead were in some way associated with the electromagnetic spectrum. An EMF meter measures the electrostatic pressures. The electromagnetic field meter changes in the presence of a energy source. EMFs should spike between .7 & 7 milligauss. Normal background levels are from 0.1-1.0. EMFs should be swept side to side and top to bottom. Readings beyond 7.0 are usually man made sources.

What is the relationship between temperatures and ghosts?
A: Researchers correlated that temperatures plummeted significantly whenever paranormal events occurred. Cold spots were being reported by witnesses to ghostly events. The 30 to 60 degree drops were beyond the normal expected range of the ambient temperature.

Why can ghosts be photographed?
A: It is their energy field that is captured on film. Talking to them, and asking their permission has proven to be effective. Remember, they may differ in appearance, such as a mist to ectoplasm, or shadows.

What kind of camera will capture spirits on film?
A: Any kind will work as long as it has a flash. The camera does not have to be expensive, even simple disposable cameras can give good results, yet sometimes can be grainy. Special infrared cameras are not necessary and the film ls more costly to develop and process.

What is the best film to use?
A: Any 400 or 800 works well. Kodak films are sensitive towards the red end of the spectrum. Fuji films are sensitive to the green end of the spectrum.

What are the benefits of using a digital camera?
A: With a digital camera or digital recording device, you can see where the anomalies are. Digital has as good or better resolution than conventional film cameras. Digital cameras should not be used exclusively. Always use a film camera and digital together. It never hurts to have a back-up.

What is a thermal scanner and how does it work?
A: A thermal scanner is a passive device that measures Infrared (IR) radiation emitted by an object to determine temperature. Determining the average temperature of a room before the investigation should be done. Valid paranormal events will have a temperature drop that averages between 30-60 degrees. A thermal imager will let you see an otherwise invisible object that has a different temperatur than it's surroundings. It can see an image of a person in a totally dark room, for example, by diplaying thermal emissions from various body portions.

What are EVP and how to record voices of the dead?
A: EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena and is the method of recording the voices of the dead onto audio tape. This can be done with standard recorders or digital. Turn up the volume and record. External microphones can be used, but experiment first. It is not uncommon to pick up gear sounds from the recorder.

How can weather conditions affect your results?
A: If it is raining, misting, or if it is snowing, do not take photographs - they will appear as orbs, and be misleading. Avoid dusty roads and dusty areas as walking along may kick up dust. Foggy conditions may also give results that are not anomalies. I personally like cemeteries that are in the country, and I am never afraid to climb in a dirty old abandoned building. Just let the dust
settle a while.

What should be expected and followed in cemeteries?
A: You should always be respectful and show reverence to those buried in cemeteries by avoiding making judgments and condemnations directed towards anyone buried there. Avoid laughing at a name. Walk carefully around tombstones, do not damage or deface any tombstones. Smoking should always be avoided. Collect any trash to dispose of properly.

What are some other seasonal elements that can affect photographs?
A: Spring and summer are great for pollen and ragweed, often mistaken as orange orbs "orbs” on photographs.

What is fogging?
A: Fogging is unintentional exposing of either the negative or photo paper with light, heat, radiation, or stress. If a camera has been left in a hot car, sent through an x-ray machine used by airports, had the back opened even slightly, or if the film has been tugged on.

What are lens flares?
A: Always avoid shooting toward a bright light, such as the sun, moon, or stark artificial light. Doing so can produce lens flares. A lens flare is when the light reflects back and forth between the lenses in the camera. The results can look like six-sided orbs. Digital cameras will show lens flares as a red diamond shaped anomaly.

What is the maximum distance a camera flash is effective?
A: Most flashes are only good for 9-12  feet beyond the camera and anything outside that limit has th light intensity reduced at an inverse-square law ratio, which translates into washed out pictures.

When is the lunar cycle best for spirit photography?
A: The best time is either 2-3 days on either side of the full moon. The lunar cycle relates to the intensity of the geomagnetic fields. Also when there is an electrical storm, when the electrostatic energy is strong.

What is the best way to determine if particles are present in the air?
A: Shining a one million candlepower spotlight in the air you will be able to see particles. If there are many particles, your pictures will have false results.

Revised, 5/18/2009

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