Ghosts - research, evidence, and discussion.
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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

July 24, 2006

Perceptual Stratigraphy: Making Sense of Ghostly Manifestations

By John Sabol

Each of us lives in a patterned world in which we uniquely perceive, experience, and interpret our interactions with others and our physical surroundings. Perceptual stratigraphy is
that sequence of events and activities experienced by an individual. Each stratigraphic layer has its own ghostly memories that "haunt" us throughout our lives. At physical death,
the ghosts inside of us survive and are free to haunt the locations one experienced during life. This ghostly phenomena is an interactive and interrelated multi-directional system that may (in the case of interactive apparitions) respond to specific environmental stimuli. The goal of the ghost researcher is to isolate, identify, map, and analyze the haunt patterns of these individual sub-personalities contained within a ghostly haunting.

I had come to understand (and appreciate) the importance of an interactive sensory system while growing-up in the anthracite coal region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here my perceptual world was continuously stimulated throughout the seasonal cycles by a bombardment of visual, auditory, and olfactory variations. The rich ethnic traditions of the region provided a variety of natural stimulants. The sources were many and varied. Each of these experiences deposited a sensual layer of awareness that helped to develop my own sense of importance. At the same time, I became aware of the large, complex, and inter-related haunted stratigraphy of the Mahanoy Area landscape. They were:

1.)- The flavorful weekend summer bazaars of the ethnic churches and volunteer fire companies. Two things were constants: the ethnic food and the beer. Many of these 
festivals also included ethnic bands and music;

2.)- The traveling food vendors: the donut truck, the vegetable truck, the ice cream truck, and (now) the frozen foods truck. Each of these trucks would traverse, street by 
street, through the town. Each one had a distinct horn or musical tune to announce its arrival;

3.)- The coal delivery trucks and the ice man: In my youth, this was the same individual, shapeshifting functions depending upon the season of the year. The sound of coal descending down the "shoot" into the cellar bin continues to echo frequently in my mind. The contrast between perceived cold and sensed heat produced conflicting sensory

Does this perceptual stratigraphy, accumulated through years of experiences, end at physical death? If ghosts do indeed exist, do the sensory manifestations at haunted locations attest to the continuing existence of the ghost's perceptual stratigraphy? If so, how can we objectively record, analyze, and interpret this stratified perceptual world? First, we need to understand that what we are observing, recording, and measuring (after all "natural" causes have been exhausted) is the perceptual world of the interactive apparition (or ghostly residue).

It is the apparition's conceptualization of, and reaction to, the environmental stimuli that they experienced during their lifetime. Our perceptions, as investigators, at these haunted locations, can only be based on the perceptual world of the ghost. We have to understand that we are observing a multi-layered stratigraphic world with at least three different cultures that are simultaneously interacting at a haunted location (if this is a multiple haunting and occupation from different time periods, there may be more than three cultural traditions that are interacting):

A).- We have the cultural tradition into which the ghost perceived their environment while alive. This is what I call the "emic" view, derived from cultural anthropology. It is the
"ghostly" view;

B).- We have our, the investigator's, perceptual view, based on our cultural traditions. This is called the "etic" view;

C).- We also have what I call the "investigative culture" of methods and procedures into which we sort, label, and organize our data for interpretive analysis.

Is it any wonder that we encounter multiple, and confusing, sensory stimuli when we visit, occupy, or investigate locations of long occupational history and diversity, and/or sites of
tragic or traumatic events. We are encountering a similar bombardment (as I experienced in my youth) of sensory manifestations. Our goal is to analyze and interpret our findings based on the "emic" view of the ghost. How can we do this objectively, without integrating (and incorporating) an "etic" view to the haunting phenomena, thereby "mixing" conceptual stratigraphic layers?

The analysis of cultural and ethnic traditions, such as those I experienced throughout my youth in the Mahanoy Area, is a key investigative ingredient. Why? One should be aware that what is perceived (as a strange sensation or feeling) in one culture or ethnic tradition ("etic" view), may be quite "normal" or "natural" in another culture. Consider this: that other culture may be the "worldview" of the ghost we are investigating. Our perception of that "worldview", manifesting as sensory phenomena, should be viewed in that "emic" light! We need to temper our field perceptions with reflective pauses and analyze what it is that we are "really" perceiving. Is it the ghost's world? It certainly isn't ours! More importantly, we need to differentiate between our conceptions of ghostly phenomena (derived from whatever source), and the sensory phenomena that we are observing, both in terms of cultural and ethnic traditions and historico-technological development. When we consider this, we become aware of and react to other sensoria, albeit in a different way than our contemporary "etic" view. Through an "emic" view, we discover not only other perceptual worlds (not supernatural or even paranormal), but other ways of lives lived. It is a living history capsule of the past, one more fully developed and conceptualized than any history book. We become chroniclers of a "living" ongoing history, as evidenced by the continuing sensory manifestations of our ghosts.

If a major part of one's perceptions is environmental observations, do physical changes in the environment lead to a change in ghostly manifestations ("emic" view)? Do our investigative perceptions ("etic" view) change? Does one affect the other? Does an interactive apparition adapt to change? To analyze these possibilities, an investigator has to conduct in-depth (stratigraphic), contiguous, long-term investigations to determine changes in perceptual worlds of both the ghost and investigator; and, at the same time, not allow the "etic" view of the investigation to confuse the analysis.

Most investigations detect and record at least (hopefully) "bits and pieces" of potentially more complex sensory assemblages, largely because of the use of unobtrusive field methods ("walk watch and wait"). The field investigation is usually not intensive (multi-variate), perceptually stimulating (to the interactive ghost) I.e., no resonating elements, or temporally-extensive or time-sensitive explorations of a haunted location. We, in the final analysis, should be focusing on the "emic" perception of hauntings as interactive systems of sensory attributes, not as individual sense manifestations. Furthermore, the sensory manifestations we are attempting to record and measure are etically conceived within too narrow a focus (usually visually or auditory), lack complexity, and are treated as isolated phenomena, having "etically" assumed that the manifestations are unrelated to one another. Furthermore, some important perceptual sensory elements in "etic" analysis have largely been ignored. These include the equilibroceptive (the sense of perceived balance), the proprioceptive (the sense of perceived movement), and the nocioceptive ( the sense of perceived "wellness"). Instead, we rely too heavily on "instrument sensing".

We need to use a form of multimodal sense integration to combine the three perceptual worlds of our investigative universe. This includes the interpretation of an haunting event in its sociocultural context ("emic" view), irregardless of the contemporary spatial parameters, utilizing both individual perception ("etic" view), and instrument measurements and recordings ("investigative culture"). Finally, we have to complete this stratigraphic framing by identifying which sensory manifestations were absent. The search continues for ghosts, so should our understanding of the senses of importance. 

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., and is a regular contributor to His organization can be reached at: C.A.S.P.E.R. Research Center, 725 East Mahanoy St., Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania 17948, USA. Visit his Web site at:

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