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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

October 11, 2006

Fooling the Ghost Hunter

By Richard Senate

Richard SenateMany who believe that ghosts do not exist make the claim that ghost sightings are simply mistakes of the eye or out-and-out frauds. In truth, most sightings are made by real people who experience unexpected and strange events. Sometimes these can be explained away as natural phenomena. In this way we ghost hunters share much with our fellow UFO investigators. Not all sightings are unexplainable. Sometimes the strange light is caused by a passing car or a reflection. The idea that a majority of sightings are caused by out-and-out fraud is ludicrous. Still, one must admit that a few reported ghostly events are caused by fraud. In my two decades of psychic research I have come across several hoaxes. Perhaps by informing others I can point out what people do to fool the ghost hunter. 

Case in Point. File Number 563. An Oxnard home was haunted by a poltergeist that set dishes tumbling out of cupboards and flew pictures from the walls. The center of the haunting was the young wife and her two sons. The wife was terrified of the events that seemed to happen when she was left alone in the former farm house. Not only were the kitchen items affected, but objects seemed to vanish into thin air. These included a hair brush, a set of keys, and an envelope full of $300 in cash. The keys were found in the back yard, but the money was never recovered. In visiting the house the psychic with me felt nothing except a great deal of stress. I went over the house with an electro-magnetic field meter and found nothing out of the ordinary. A week passed and things seemed to get worse. The woman said an apparition had pulled on her toes and she found out that a terrible murder had once happened at the house. She saw the ghost, and described it as a tall man wearing a red shirt. I tried to find out where she got her information. She only said it came from a neighbor. When I asked the name of the person to confirm the tale, she said she didnt know. She was in her yard doing some gardening one day when this man came up and told her about the murder. She didnt know his name but she believed he lived somewhere in the area. I began to smell a rat. When I came back to take her story down in detail she said that the ghost woke her up by pulling on her foot and that he had on a yellow shirt (somehow the story had changed from red to yellow). 

As many of the events took place at about ten at night, I took a team to spend some time at the house to see for ourselves. The family was understandably upset about the strange events going on. I took down their accounts and took photographs. Just before ten, I saw a large, hard-bounded book inch out of the bookcase and fly to the floor. It was the strangest thing I ever saw. I was at the bookcase in a flash. The book was a Steven King novel. As I picked it up, I glanced at the spot where it came from. I saw a black thread stuck in a sliver of wood on the edge of the bookcase. The thread was looped so someone could pull it and use it to propel the book out of the case! The thread had caught, and snapped, leaving some of it behind. 

In looking over the investigation I tried to find a motive for a hoax. The wife didnt like the house and wanted to move. The husband was a large, dominating man who refused to think of a change of residence, that is, before the place became haunted. In time, to escape the ghost, they did move to another community. The wife had used the ghost, and me, to get her way. Sometimes finding a motive is almost impossible because there are people who delight in causing a hoax. Fooling the ghost hunter is reward enough for such people. 

Case Number 871 involved a family haunted by a ghostly poltergeist. The small house in Santa Barbara was beset by mysterious happenings. Such things happened as items being moved (two candlesticks were removed from the mantel and placed on the floor) and strange tapping sounds heard. The most persistent event was the fall of stone. Rocks would hit the roof at all times. The wife was in terror over the evil spirits that haunted the place and she was convinced it was because their land was on an Indian Burial Grounds. I asked if they had found bones or artifacts on her property? Nothing was ever dug up that would imply the place was ever used by the Native Chumash people. Her belief in the burial ground theory was based on the word of a psychic friend who came to the home once. I visited the older home on a large plot of land just outside the city limits of Santa Barbara. It was an older place built in the 1930s. I focused in on the 16 year old son. Every one of the odd events happened when he was home. He liked to spend a great deal of time with his friends in the back yard. From what I could piece together, the mysterious rocks came from that direction. While I was visiting the house, I heard the rocks fall. I glanced out the window and saw several small pebbles come down as the majority of them clattered off the wooden shingles. The wife went into a fit, fully convinced the spirits were angry I was there. I was out the side door and saw the loose gravel. They didnt match the kinds of stones on that side of the house. I picked up a handful and when back in the house. The son and his two friends were there, calming the mother down, but I noticed a smirk on the face of one of the high schoolers. The son was very cool, and ask me a great many questions about the evil spirits, in fact he asked me too many questions. At that point I baited the hook for an experiment. I told them that if it was really the ghost of a long dead Chumash chief he would act up if I performed the sacred Wa-how wah ceremony. There is no such thing, at least to my knowledge. I went to my car, got out an old rag I used to check the oil, a stick, and a piece of string. I returned to the house and tied the rag to the stick and began chanting sounds that sounded like a Native American song. I was waving the Shamans Wand around in a dramatic way, all the while, trying to keep from laughing.

The three boys went to the back yard to see where the rocks were coming from. As soon as the back door closed, I went to the window, gesturing for the mother to come along, quietly. We peeked out and saw all three boys pick up a hand full of rocks from a graveled walkway and throw them toward the house. We had found our poltergeists. I took my wand and left as the mother began screaming at her son. 

People find creative ways to try and fool the ghost hunter, but so far I have discovered the attempts and unmasked the tricksters. It does warn us all to be wary when we investigate the unknown, because sometimes the explanation exists with the living residents and not the dead. 

Richard Senate is a California-based author and lecturer and a regular contributor to 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