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Features Archive:

2006 Archive:
The Winchester Mystery House - Ghost Chronicles
December 28, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Investigating Jane Doherty - Ghost Chronicles
December 20, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Shadow People - by Lee Prosser
December 16, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Westford Knight - Ghost Chronicles
December 15, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Haunted Real Estate by Richard Senate
December 13, 2006


Traditions Behind Christmas By Vince Wilson
December 8, 2006


The Haunted Dibbuk Box - Ghost Chronicles
December 6, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Have Ghosts? Will Travel: A Ghostgeek's Guide to the RMS Queen Mary By Jen Brown
December 4, 2006


Thanksgiving: A Day of Forgiveness - by Lee Prosser
December 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

America's Stonehenge - Ghost Chronicles
November 29, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC) - by Jeff Belanger
November 16, 2006


Ghost Hunt Seminar - Ghost Chronicles
November 15, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghost Photography: Orbs by Robbin Van Pelt
November 9, 2006


Pet Ghosts - Ghost Chronicles
November 6, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghosts Haunt the Inn by Richard Senate
November 3, 2006


Japanese Woman Artist - by Lee Prosser
November 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Ghosts of the Windham Restaurant - Ghost Chronicles
October 30, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

The Salem Witches - Ghost Chronicles
October 23, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Homan House, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: A Preliminary Report by John Sabol
October 20, 2006


What Does Halloween/Samhain Mean to You? - Compiled by Jeff Belanger
October 16, 2006


That is the Way of It - by Lee Prosser
October 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Fooling the Ghost Hunter by Richard Senate
October 11, 2006


Jack Kerouac - by Lee Prosser
October 2, 2006

Column - regular feature

Civil War Re-enactors and the Ghost Experience - by Jeff Belanger
September 15, 2006


Who Goes There in the Shadows? - by Lee Prosser
September 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Engagement and Data Analysis in Symmetrical Field Investigations by John Sabol
September 11, 2006


Occult Warfare by Richard Senate
September 6, 2006


Cats and Other Critters From Beyond the Grave - by Lee Prosser
September 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

Chicago's Strange Angles and Haunted Architecture by Ursula Bielski
August 25, 2006


I Have a Hunch: A Look at Psychics, Mediums, and Clairvoyants - by Jeff Belanger
August 16, 2006


Geof Gray-Cobb - by Lee Prosser
August 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Orbs: Have They Become that Boring? by Tuesday Miles
August 14, 2006


A Night on Char-Man Bridge by Richard Senate
August 7, 2006


Five Union Soldier Ghosts - by Lee Prosser
August 2, 2006

Column - regular feature

A Visit With Author and Witch Kala Trobe - Interview by Lee Prosser
July 26, 2006


Perceptual Stratigraphy: Making Sense of Ghostly Manifestations by John Sabol
July 24, 2006


The Trouble With Witches - by Lee Prosser
July 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

A Look at Our Haunted Lives - by Jeff Belanger
July 13, 2006


An Active Ghost Hunt at a Haunted Bed and Breakfast by Richard Senate
July 7, 2006


Lee Prosser, 1969 - by Lee Prosser
July 4, 2006

Column - regular feature

My Theory on Spirits by Edward L. Shanahan
June 28, 2006


Ethnoarchaeoghostology: A Humanistic-Scientific Approach to the Study of Haunt Phenomena by John Sabol
June 19, 2006


Christopher Isherwood & Lee Prosser in 1969 - by Lee Prosser
June 16, 2006

Column - regular feature

ESP, M&Ms, and Reality - by Jeff Belanger
June 15, 2006


A Duel on the Airwaves by Richard Senate
June 5, 2006


Marjorie Firestone and Her Dream Predictions - by Lee Prosser
June 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

Until Death Do Us Part? by Rick Hayes
May 31, 2006


Part Four: the Conclusion: Primrose Road - Adams St. Cemetery - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
May 22, 2006

Column - regular feature

Folklore, Folklore, Folklore with Dr. Michael Bell - interview by Jeff Belanger
May 16, 2006


Swami Chetanananda and Lee Prosser - by Lee Prosser
May 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Theatre, Sance, and the Ghost Script: Performances at Haunted Locations by John Sabol
May 5, 2006


Willard David Firestone and the River Ghost - by Lee Prosser
May 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

When the Spirits Held Sway at the White House by Richard Senate
April 25, 2006


Part Three: Investigation: Primrose Road - Adams St. Cemetery - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
April 20, 2006

Column - regular feature

Talking Reincarnation with Dr. John Gilbert - interview by Lee Prosser
April 17, 2006


Billy Bob Firestone and the Ghosts of Pythian Castle - by Lee Prosser
April 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Cryptobotany: the Search for Lost Plants by Richard Senate
April 7, 2006


The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 4 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
April 6, 2006


Vedanta and Durga - by Lee Prosser
April 2, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 3 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
March 30, 2006


Ritual, Resonance, and Ghost Research: The Play in the Fields by John Sabol
March 27, 2006


The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 2 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
March 23, 2006


Celtic This, Druid That, Saint Patrick Hit Me With a Wiffle-Ball Bat - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
March 21, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 1 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
March 16, 2006


Christopher Isherwood, Time Loops, and Ghosts - by Lee Prosser
March 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Druids - by Lee Prosser
March 3, 2006

Column - regular feature

Natural Selection and the Involution of the Gettysburg Ghosts by John Sabol
February 28, 2006


Part Two: Investigation: Primrose Road - Adams St. Cemetery - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
February 20, 2006

Column - regular feature

Lights, Camera... Action! by Brian Leffler
February 16, 2006


Divination and Geomancy - by Lee Prosser
February 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Spirit Messages from a Murderer by Richard Senate
February 8, 2006


The Ghosts of Springfield, Missouri - by Lee Prosser
February 3, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Ghost Storyteller: A Dinosaur Among Lemmings? by Charles J. Adams III
January 23, 2006


The Fools Journey: A Magickal Roadmap to Life - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
January 20, 2006

Column - regular feature

Tarot and Spiritual Alchemy - by Lee Prosser
January 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Demons from the Dark by Chip Coffey
January 9, 2006


Spooky - by Lee Prosser
January 3, 2006

Column - regular feature



March 27, 2006

Ritual, Resonance, and Ghost Research: The Play in the Fields

By John Sabol

We are both onlookers and actors in the great drama of existence.
- Niels Bohr

"If one wishes to understand ghostly phenomena, one should examine a range of phenomenon that falls outside the traditional scope of psychical research."
-George P. Hansen


In a previous article ("Natural Selection and the Involution of the Gettysburg Ghosts"), I had alluded to the "restimulation" of haunted locations through the process of resonance. Here, I will illustrate the process involved in the resonation of past activity fields. Before beginning, however, I would like to give a little background info concerning the technique and its application to field investigations. To understand "bleeding" from the past (i.e. ghostly phenomenon) we have to be aware of the cultural traditions in which the ghostly activity and/or event was originally conceptualized. It is vital to understand that the phenomena one, as an investigator, is encountering represents a meaningful conceptual aspect of the society in which the individual (ghost) participated and lived.

If we are to change ghost research and investigation from a dominance (and reliance) on individual "collections mentality" (digital "orb" photos; emf/temperature readings; EVP "bits and pieces" recordings), we need to focus on the reconstruction of field events and activities in their context. This would provide the first step in a long series of steps, toward the explanation of sensory manifestations as an integrated-interactive-systematic assemblage at haunted locations.

This is where the use of dramaturgy as a field investigative technique, becomes important. Dramaturgy centers on individuals as performers. The ghost investigator would not only observe but would participate in the recreation of events and activities at the location as well. We have a "play" being performed by the actor-investigator at the field location, and the audience is the particular ghost or ghosts associated with the location, and to whom the performance is being presented. The actor-investigator is the center of attention and the
focus of the investigative process. As Edward T. Hall (1998) has stated: "You (the investigator) are the instrument of research... There is no way to get answers unless you immerse yourself in a situation and pay close attention. From this, the validity and integrity of patterns is experienced..." It is the restimulation of these patterns, through the actor-investigator playing a part in the recreated activities, that stimulates "bleeding" to occur from the past. This is the process of resonance. How does the actor-investigator accomplish this? It is through the performance of rituals in the field. The "play" is in the rituals. Rituals, and associated activities, are specific procedures that target a specific audience through the "recall" of specific events and/or activities. At haunted locations, we "recall" those events and/or activities that are the causal factors that produced the ghostly phenomena. This implies extensive research into the historical and socio-cultural background of the haunted location and the specific individuals involved. This research, though, is essential to understanding the haunting. The key is the ritual of contextual accuracy in recreating the event and associated activities.

Rupert Sheldrake (1995) referring to rituals, has stated: "People deliberately do things in as similar way as possible to the way they were done before: the same words... the same
smells, the same places, the same gestures, the same food..." He further goes on to say that this is "...deliberately recreating a particular pattern of activity or event.... in order to connect with those who have done it before." If ghosts (and associated sensory manifestations) are a "kind of memory... of what has happened there" (at the haunted location), then we can use ritual to recall these past event and activity fields particularly associated with the haunting. This assumes we can interact, at that particular haunted location, with the ghost.

The characteristics of this ghost ritual resonant process should involve:
1. The ritual as an event or a set of activities that expresses the cultural values and traditions in which the ghost had lived and experienced in their lifetime;
2. An emphasis centering on the recreation of the event and/or activities as a totally-integrated and inter-related process;
3. The use of "framing." This involves activities that are initiated in order to obtain responses to the dramatic actions taken. These activities are repeated (in different audio-visual formats), formalized (set sequences), intentional (targeted to individuals), and consist of sensory stimuli directly related to the past event and/or activities associated with the haunting and the location's original physical characteristics;
4. The "framing" conducted as accurately as is possible within the socio-cultural and historical context of the haunt;
5. The ritual conducted within a clearly-defined spatial area (isolated in the preliminary investigation) and the spatial parameters and sequence of activities are conducted under controlled conditions;
6. A goal that is both emergent and effective, i.e. it solicits a response that is observable and recordable;
7. A ritual process that creates the foundation for resonance because it "duplicates", as much as possible, the original ambient socio-cultural and physical environment.

These investigative field rituals are part of an evasive methodology, of an overall comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach, that I have been using in field investigations at haunted locations in the Gettysburg area. The ritual itself is meant to penetrate the strategraphic layers of accumulated fields deposited at multi-level haunted locations. This method contrasts with those non-evasive approaches characterized by such field activities as "walking the grounds" with electronic equipment in order to detect possible anomalies; taking random photos and videos; or doing a "ghost watch." It also contrasts with non-directed EVP recording sessions (Is anyone Here? ...etc.) as well as in those investigations where digital recorders are left in empty rooms, in the hope of recording something.

This ritual resonating procedure is not meant for all ghost field investigations. For example, the technique should not be applied to those locations containing a residual haunting. Ghostly manifestations, in these contexts, may not be dependent upon the resonating process, and the ritual process is unnecessary. Future articles will give specific applications of this process
to actual cases investigated in these fields of drama. 


References:
Hall, Edward T. E-Journal of Inter-Cultural Relations 1998 Vol. 1(3) "Gifts of Wisdom"
Sheldrake, Rupert , "Nature as Alive: Morphic Resonance and Collective Memory". The Journal of Primal Psychology. Vol. 1(1): Spring, 1995.




John Sabol is the founder and principal investigator for the Center for the Anthropological Studies of the Paranormal for the Eastern Region C.A.S.P.E.R. Research Center, 725 East Mahanoy St., Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania 17948, USA.



2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!


Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014