GHOSTVILLAGE.COM NEWSLETTER #75 - November 16, 2007

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Dear Ghostvillagers,

Have you ever looked up at the clouds and seen a face? How about the man on the moon? Have you ever heard a series of sounds and thought maybe it was a voice? If so, you've experienced pareidolia. What does pareidolia have to do with paranormal research? Plenty.

The actual term "pareidolia" was first put forth in 1994, but the concept goes back much further. In 1921, psychologist Hermann Rorschach developed a series of ink blots on cards. He observed that when he showed the same series of ink blots to individual children, they noticed many shapes looked like animals or other figures found in nature. When Rorschach showed his now-famous cards to normal, cognitive adults, they mainly picked out human features: arms, legs, and often faces. Rorschach came to the conclusion that humans seek the familiar when faced with imagery and audio that is vague. Our brains force us to fit stimulus into something we can understand.

Ever heard the expression, "I never forget a face?" Most of us don't ever forget a face. We have an incredible human ability to remember faces. The same is true of sounds. When we hear human speech, the sound goes to the highest levels of our brain -- even if we don't understand the language being spoken. If we do understand the language, our brains process the speech. If we hear the words and recognize that it's a language foreign to us, our brains will lower the processing of the sound and turn it into background noise. We're hard-wired to do this because faces and speech are critical to our survival, our networking, and our well-being.

Pareidolia has come to be almost a derogatory term in paranormal research. It's come to mean we were mistaken when we saw a face in an anomalous photograph. But, if we can better understand the limits and abilities of our own perceptions, we can become better tuned to what's paranormal and what's pareidolia. Perception and pareidolia is the topic we'll be exploring more in-depth this month on Ghostvillage.com. You're all invited to join the discussion and contribute your own thoughts, ideas, and images on the subject.

There's also a new feature we added this month on Ghostvillage.com. I started hosting a program called Paranormal Journeys that offers a multi-media view into the strange, the haunted, and the paranormal. You can watch our first Webisode here: http://www.ghostvillage.com/resources/2007/pj_11122007.shtml.

This past October was the busiest month of my life. I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of great people at lectures, conferences, and on many radio and television programs. I'd also like to thank Lisa Reyna and the Nevada Spirit Seekers for putting on a great conference in Virginia City, Nevada, two weeks ago. It was a great opportunity to explore a very haunted Old West town, and I look forward to speaking at Lisa's next event in Tombstone, Arizona, in February. And I'm also looking forward to speaking at the Ghost Rush Conference in Volcano, California, in March.

Now that the October media blitz is over, we can get back to what we love: researching the unexplained. I'm looking forward to sharing the journey with you. Enjoy the rest of the newsletter below.

Supernaturally yours,

Jeff Belanger
Mayor of Ghostvillage.com



Monthly Contest
Congratulations to Anthony Feller of Lehighton, Pennsylvania, who was last month's winner of an autographed copy of Jeff Belanger's new book, The Ghost Files, a Ghostvillage.com window sticker, and a Ghostvillage.com t-shirt!

This month, we're doing the contest again, but we ask that you first click this link: http://www.ghostvillage.com/index.shtml#winner. If it says, "The search is on" then we don't have a winner yet and go ahead and send in your answer. If you see today's date and "We have a winner!" that means you weren't the first to email us. Sorry, please try again next month.

On to this month's question: This question can be answered by reading a page on Ghostvillage.com. The first person to reply to this email with the correct answer will win this month's prize.

Who does Brian Leffler think will not win the Super Bowl this year?

Once we have our winner, we will announce them on our home page as soon as possible. Good luck! (Only Ghostvillagers who have not won a prize from us in the last year are eligible.)

This month's prize: We're giving away an autographed copy of Jeff Belanger's latest book, The Ghost Files, a Ghostvillage.com window sticker, and a Ghostvillage.com t-shirt!


Didn't win? Want to buy a copy? Click on the graphic.



Supernatural Calendar
The Supernatural Calendar is the place where thousands will learn about your events of interest to the supernatural world. The service is only available to registered members of the message boards, and it's free! Ghostvillage.com now syndicates our calendar of events so other Web sites can also display these supernatural happenings at no charge! To learn more about installing our calendar of events RSS feed, please visit our syndication page. Adding your own local events to our calendar is more important than ever!

November 28: Jeff Belanger on APSR Radio
December 12: Jeff Belanger on Notes From A Ghost Writer

Who's Who in the Village?
Get to know some of your fellow Ghostvillagers.

>>Amylew<< - member since August 7, 2007

What is your name?
My name is Amy.

How old are you?
43, but I like to say 34.

Where do you live?
I live in Spencerport, New York, near Rochester.

What do you do for a living?
I work in the Special Ops department for a security company.

What's the name of your furry friend in the picture?
That's Mable. I lived on a dairy farm several years back and heard a horrible noise coming from the edge of the pond. We had some rabies in the area, and I was afraid it was a rabid raccoon. It turned out to be a tiny ball of fluff that grew into her. She's been pretty quiet ever since.

What got you interested in the paranormal?
I had some experiences growing up, then became interested again as an adult when my ex-husband died, but didn't go away...

How many ghost encounters do you feel are actually genuine?
This is a tough one to answer. Sometimes people are so frightened or excited, they want to call everything an encounter (I have a local paranormal group in mind as I write this). They truly believe it but are sadly misguided. Others like to practice their fiction writing skills. How can we tell? Sometimes it's obvious and easy to find an outside explanation, but a lot of the paranormal is closer to a whisper in the wind than a neon sign. With the exception of a few experiences with a little poltergeist, even I question my own perception and memory.

What is your all-time favorite children's book?
The Harry Potter books, of course.

Last Month's Theme - Featured Content
Our last month's theme was Halloween/Samhain. Here's what you missed if you haven't checked in since last month:

Discussion: Well? How Was Your Halloween?
Features Archive: The Ghost Storyteller: A Dinosaur Among Lemmings? - by Charles J. Adams III
Discussion: Official Halloween Thread
Feature: Halloween 2007 - by Lee Prosser
News: Global Halloween Ghost Hunt and Live Broadcast Coming to Ghostvillage.com
Feature: Jeff Belanger's Halloween Spell
Features Archive: What Does Halloween/Samhain Mean to You?
Features Archive: The History of Halloween


Shopping at Ghostvillage.com
Have you checked out our Ghost-Mart and Ghostvillage U.?

Ghostvillage U.: "Professor Paranormal" Loyd Auerbach and the HCH Institute's Distance Learning Certificate Course on Parapsychological Studies is now available through Ghostvillage.com. Ready to take paranormal investigation to the next level? Check out the online courses.

Ghost-Mart:
Digital Voice Recorders: Going for EVP? Think DVR.
Paranormal Books: Ghost-Mart has many of the leading paranormal titles.
EMF Meters: Check out our line of EMF meters from cell sensors to tri-field.
Closed Circuit TV: From inexpensive to the high end, we have them all.


Supernatural Library
Ghostvillage.com's book reviewer, Lee Prosser and the staff have brought you several new book reviews and author interviews since our last newsletter.

This past month's Library additions:

Ghosts: Minnesota's Other Natural Resource by Brian Leffler [Author Interview]
Haunted Missouri by Jason Offutt
Children of the Grave by the Booth Brother [DVD]
The Return of Sacred Architecture by Herbert Bangs
Mystery of 2012 by Gregg Braden, Peter Russell, Daniel Pinchbeck, et. al


Ghostvillage.com Advertising Opportunities
Each month Ghostvillage.com reaches tens of thousands of people interested in the paranormal. We offer the most effective and best-valued advertising and sponsorship packages of any paranormal media outlet. Please visit: http://www.ghostvillage.com/advertising.htm for details.

If you're ready to put Ghostvillage.com to work for your company or organization, send us an email to get started.

Recent Encounters
We receive personal encounters from all over the world. Many are scary, some are touching, but they are always profound. If you would like to share your own experience, please click >>here<<. Since our last newsletter, we added the following new encounters:

My Brother's Abilities - Poulsbo, Washington

A Dissipating Girl - Northwest Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Haunted Staples Receipt? - Woonsocket, Rhode Island [PIC]
The Ghosts of Harrison House - Columbus, Ohio
Lights in the Woods - Mechanicsville, Virginia
The Shadow Monster - Bronx, New York
The Haunted Room at River's Edge Plantation - Fayetteville, Georgia
Ghost Lights By the Church - Southampton, England
The Phantom Stage Coach - North West Ireland
Glowing Red Eyes - Savannah, Georgia
A Warning of Earthquakes - Cleveland, Tennessee
Mists Around Jesus - Milton, Florida [PIC]
Our Haunted Car - Queensland, Australia


News
This is the place to find press releases and news items on paranormal happenings around the world. If you have a news item you'd like to submit, please see our guidelines.

WANT THESE HEADLINES ON YOUR SITE FOR FREE? Syndicate our news! If you have a Web site or blog, you can syndicate our news feeds to your site for free. Join the growing list of Web sites who carry our news by visiting our syndication page.

San Francisco Conference: Proof of an Afterlife?

Ghost Caught on Tape at Gas Station
CNN - Parma, Ohio - November 14, 2007
[External News]
Paranormal State - A&E's New Real-Life Series Chronicles the Case Files of Paranormal Research Society of Penn State University

Halloween Highlights Asia's Supernatural Links
AFP - October 30, 2007
[External News]
Local Paranormal Investigators to Scour Virginia City for Activity
Lahontan Valley News - Fallon, Nevada - October 30, 2007
[External News]
Tales of Paranormal Activity Abound in Tri-Cities Region
Kingsport Times News Kingsport, Tennessee - October 28, 2007
[External News]
Global Halloween Ghost Hunt and Live Broadcast Coming to Ghostvillage.com
Haunted Houses: A $300 Million Dollar Industry
Some Hotels Have Very Spirited Guests
MSNBC October 23, 2007
[External News]
Night Vigil Will Detect Spooks
Redditch Advertiser Redditch, UK - October 22, 2007
[External News]
Some Seek Ghosts, Spirits, Magic
Oshkosh Northwestern Oshkosh, Wisconsin - October 21, 2007
[External News]
Corpus Christi Ghost House?
Corpus Christi Caller Times Corpus Christi, Texas - October 18, 2007
[External News]
Do You Have an Astounding Paranormal Story to Share on TV?
The New Jersey Ghost Hunters Society Hits 500 Members



Features
Our "Features" section is a place for editorials, research articles, open letters to our readers, and other content of interest to Ghostvillagers. If you have a topic on your mind, agree or disagree with something you read recently, we want to hear from you! For guidelines, click here.

New features added since our last newsletter:

Stone's Public House - Paranormal Journeys - November 12, 2007 [Paranormal Journeys Webcast]
The Ghosts of Dartmouth College - Ghost Chronicles - November 7, 2007 [Podcast]
Halloween 2007 - by Lee Prosser - October 30, 2007 [Column]
Jeff Belanger's Halloween Spell by Jeff Belanger - October 26, 2007
John Kachuba - Ghost Chronicles - October 24, 2007 [Podcast]
Haunted Australia - Ghost Chronicles - October 17, 2007 [Podcast]
Stepping Into the Dark World of The Vampire of Sacramento: Richard Trenton Chase by Paul Dale Roberts - October 17, 2007


Jeff Belanger's Upcoming Events
This is the place to find out where author and Ghostvillage.com founder Jeff Belanger will be speaking on the subject of the supernatural. If you're interested in booking Jeff for a conference or other event, please email us for more information.

Events Scheduled:

Tombstone Ghost Conference - Tombstone, Arizona - February 7-9, 2008
Ghost Rush 2008 - Volcano, California - March 28-30, 2008



Hot Threads and the Ghostvillage.com Community
In the past month, hundreds of new people registered for free to join our supernatural discussion! Have you?

If you have registered for our message boards but haven't validated your account yet, it's simple to do! Look for the email that was automatically sent to you when you registered and click on the account activation link in the email (note: some bulkmail filters may block this email, so you'll need to check your bulkmail folder if the validation email didn't immediately come through). There are always great discussions going on in our huge message board community. We hope you'll get involved. It's free to register if you're not already a member. Here are some of the hot topics this month:

Demon in wedding photo?
http://www.ghostvillage.com/ghostcommunity/index.php?showtopic=21668
A strange image in a photograph from a wedding anniversary turns a man's life around.

Spawn Of The Jersey Devil
http://www.ghostvillage.com/ghostcommunity/index.php?showtopic=21686
Mysterious creature found in a school house.

Activity on the Rise
http://www.ghostvillage.com/ghostcommunity/index.php?showtopic=21718
The rising level of noticed activity over the decades.

Real Haunted Houses List
http://www.ghostvillage.com/ghostcommunity/index.php?showtopic=21575
A great list of supposedly "real" haunted homes. Is there one in your home town?

Thanksgiving Is Coming, What Are You Thankful For?
http://www.ghostvillage.com/ghostcommunity/index.php?showtopic=21799
What are you thankful for?

Skeptics
http://www.ghostvillage.com/ghostcommunity/index.php?showtopic=21698
Does a lot of poor evidence equal good evidence?

Personal Encounters
http://www.ghostvillage.com/ghostcommunity/index.php?showtopic=21003
Haunted high school gym.


Board of the Month -- Pareidolia
http://www.ghostvillage.com/ghostcommunity/index.php?showforum=27
Is it just a face in the clouds or something more?

Ghostvillage.com Quick Stats:
247,340 Messages in the Town Square Message Boards
19,098 Members in the Town Square
702 "Personal Encounters" published on Ghostvillage.com
863 Paranormal Web sites in the Ghost Links directory
32,423 Subscribers to this newsletter
12,819,457 Total Web site "hits" for Ghostvillage.com in October


Support Ghostvillage.com
Ghostvillage.com is the Web's largest supernatural community, the central place where people come to share their experiences, thoughts, and research. Please help us continue to grow by buying a copy of The World's Most Haunted Places, Communicating With the Dead, The Encyclopedia of Haunted Places, The Nightmare Encyclopedia, Our Haunted Lives, Ghosts of War, The Ghost Files, or shopping in Ghost-Mart. Every little bit helps run our servers and helps the site get bigger and better! Please also click on our banner ads and support our advertisers -- when you do business with someone who advertises with Ghostvillage.com, let them know you saw their ad with us and thank them for the support.

Please email us anytime at info@ghostvillage.com. Your comments, questions, and feedback are always welcomed.


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