Ghosts - research, evidence, and discussion.
Newsletter Subscription:
Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter:

Features Archive:

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
2008 Archive:
Spirits of Christmas and Holidays Past By Edward Shanahan
December 19, 2008

Don't Bark At Me, I'm Not The Dog In The Mirror - by Lee Prosser
December 14, 2008

Column - regular feature

Welcome to Your Psychic Life By Tiffany Johnson
December 1, 2008

Fresh Paths to the Paranormal By Beth Brown
November 26, 2008

The Journals of Willard David Firestone: American Indians - by Lee Prosser
November 21, 2008

Column - regular feature

The Haunted Cemetery - Ghost Chronicles
November 12, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Jeff Belanger and Who's Haunting the White House? - Ghost Chronicles
October 24, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ectoplasm - by Lee Prosser
October 20, 2008

Column - regular feature

Salem Witch Shawn Poirier - Ghost Chronicles
October 15, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Most Famous Phenomenon by Jeff Belanger
October 8, 2008

Haunted House Diary - Ghost Chronicles
October 1, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Paranormal Journaling: A First Step by Jeff Belanger
September 30, 2008

More Horrific Predictions - by Lee Prosser
September 26, 2008

Column - regular feature

Francis Thompson (1859 - 1907) - by Lee Prosser
September 18, 2008

Column - regular feature

Evolution of an Entity by Danielle Lee
September 12, 2008

Into the Abyss: Ancient Rites of Exorcism by Bishop Daniel Garguillio
September 2, 2008

Lee Prosser and Jill Peacha - by Lee Prosser
September 1, 2008

Column - regular feature

An Open Letter to the Paranormal Community by Peter James Haviland
August 28, 2008

Return to Mystery Hill - Ghost Chronicles
August 20, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

The Ghost of Cameron Mitchell at Branson, Missouri - by Lee Prosser
August 8, 2008

Column - regular feature

Confessions of a Grief Councilor - Ghost Chronicles
August 6, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

The Residual "Jiggle" by Jack Roth
July 31, 2008

Farwell to Chris Balzano - Ghost Chronicles
July 23, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

A Matter of Respect by Patrick Burke
July 21, 2008

Economic Collapse and Depression in the United States - by Lee Prosser
July 14, 2008

Column - regular feature

The Portsmouth Lighthouse - Ghost Chronicles
July 9, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Legends Set in Stone by Beth Brown
July 3, 2008

Investigating the Pukwudgies - Ghost Chronicles
June 25, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Sensitive - by Lee Prosser
June 20, 2008

Column - regular feature

Ghost Hunting Etiquette 102 by Danielle Quinlan Lee
June 13, 2008

Allup, Leiru, Ligil, Uriel, Pulla - by Lee Prosser
May 23, 2008

Column - regular feature

Ohio's Haunted History by Sherri Brake-Recco
May 19, 2008

Weird Massachusetts - Paranormal Journeys
May 9, 2008

Paranormal Journeys - webcast

Water Ghosts: Theory of the Bobbing Heads and Floating Bodies - by Lee Prosser
May 9, 2008

Column - regular feature

The Shadows Know by Edward Shanahan
May 2, 2008

Weird Massachusetts with Jeff Belanger - Ghost Chronicles
April 23, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

American Negro Civil War Ghosts - by Lee Prosser
April 14, 2008

Column - regular feature

Landmark Ghosts By Beth Brown
April 3, 2008

The Lizzy Borden House - Ghost Chronicles
April 2, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghosts of Hollywood - Ghost Chronicles
March 19, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

On the Nature of Group Dynamics By Rick Moran
March 19, 2008

Billy The Kid - by Lee Prosser
March 12, 2008

Column - regular feature

Women in the Paranormal: Donna LaCroix
March 5, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: Amy Bruni
March 2, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: Ursula Bielski
February 28, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: L'Aura Hladik
February 25, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: Allison Andrews
February 22, 2008

Haunted Cape Cod and the Islands - Ghost Chronicles
February 20, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Women in the Paranormal: Rosemary Ellen Guiley
February 19, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: Lorraine Warren
February 16, 2008

The Ghosts of Tombstone - Paranormal Journeys
February 14, 2008

Paranormal Journeys - webcast

Valentine's Day Special - Ghost Chronicles
February 13, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Magick and Magic, What is the Difference? - by Lee Prosser
February 13, 2008

Column - regular feature

My Theory on Spirits of the Paranormal by Edward Shanahan
February 1, 2008

Investigating the Sance with U.K. psychic Gavin Cromwell - Ghost Chronicles
January 30, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Electronic Voice Phenomena is affected by Solar Weather by Tom Ginther
January 21, 2008

The Concord Colonial Inn - Ghost Chronicles
January 16, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghost Cat - by Lee Prosser
January 15, 2008

Column - regular feature

The Lizzie Borden House - Paranormal Journeys
January 11, 2008

Paranormal Journeys - webcast

Russian Ghosts - Ghost Chronicles
January 9, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Shadows Of Evil by Rick Hayes
January 4, 2008

Haunted Devon, UK - Ghost Chronicles
January 2, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Magickal Rings - by Lee Prosser
January 2, 2008

Column - regular feature

February 25, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: L'Aura Hladik

L'Aura Hladik - Women in the Paranormal. In 1998, L'Aura Hladik founded the NJ Ghost Hunters Society, the largest paranormal investigating organization in the Garden State. L'Aura has appeared on many local radio and cable TV programs including CN8's Family Talk and Cablevision's Neighborhood Journal as well as NJ 101.5 FM radio and WNNJ FM radio. She appeared on the nationally syndicated television show Montel Williams for the Sylvia Browne Halloween special on October 31, 2006. In March of 2007, L'Aura and Brian Sandt, NJGHS Techie, were featured on the Treasure HD Network show Magnificent Obsessions for the investigation of Eastern State Penitentiary. Currently, she is writing a book on ghost hunting in New Jersey, which is due out Fall 2008 and has written articles for NJ History's Mysteries on Ringwood Manor and the Antoine LeBlanc murders.

Given L'Aura's longevity in this field, and her ability to manage such a large organization, wanted to get her perspective on the role of women in the paranormal.

How did you first get interested in the paranormal?

My Dad introduced me to The Twilight Zone television series when I was a kid. Some of those episodes terrified me, and yet completely held my attention and fascination. My Mom worked in a haunted restaurant as a bookkeeper and told me the ghost stories related to it when I would be there on days I had off from school. Of course, finishing out 8th grade living in a haunted rental house, took my interest to the level of research and my senior term paper was on "ESP & Its Psychic Relations" and it included a chapter on ghosts.

I went away from the paranormal in early adulthood to concentrate on school, career, marriage, and starting a family. I came back to it fully in October 1992 when I took a ghost tour at the famously haunted Spy House Museum in Port Monmouth, New Jersey. By 1993, I was out investigating cases, and in 1998 formed the New Jersey Ghost Hunters Society.

Do you feel that because you're a woman you have had to overcome some hurdles in your pursuit of the paranormal? If so, what were they?

Being a woman has no impact on investigating the paranormal, thankfully. Yet I do notice a significant difference in the attitude of others, whether it be the media, owners of places I want to investigate, or other investigative organizations with males at the helm. Twice now I have witnessed firsthand this attitude or treatment.

First was when my husband and I divorced and I went on to run the NJGHS myself. Granted, I was operating and growing the organization all along, but he had billing as "Co-Founder." Having that male energy there was the ticket for the media to interview us, me primarily, as credible professionals in the field. Once I was the only name on the business card or fax, it truly was an uphill battle to get cooperation from the media for something as simple as publishing an upcoming meeting announcement in the local newspaper.

Second, I tried for a couple of subsequent years as the sole leader of the NJGHS to get into a certain historic landmark to investigate it. I left countless messages on voice mail and with administrative assistants. I never received a return call, not even a polite "blow off" call. Finally, one day, I decided to test my theory that I was dismissed simply because I was female. So I asked the NJGHS "Tech Guru", Brian Sandt, to place a call for me. Interestingly enough, he received a return phone call 45 minutes after he left his message. The gentleman representing the historical landmark explained that the site was off limits in the paranormal respect, but appreciated his interest.

What unique challenges do women face in the field of paranormal research today?

Honestly I can't think of any "unique" challenges in this field as compared to any other for women. It appears to me that we're seen as "less than," have to work twice as hard to gain credibility and respect as a man would, and must maintain a cover of Vogue appearance at all times while men can go bald and gain weight with no impact on their career. One only has to flip channels through the news hours on television to see this best exemplified. The news women are young, beautiful, and lately a lot more provocatively dressed than 10 years ago. The news men are in their tried and true suits, gray hair-if they have hair, and severely weathered skin.

The "Old Boys Network" is alive and well in all sections of industry. An interesting news clip on illustrates how many business deals are struck on the golf course at the same rate, if not more frequently, than in a board room. Networking is key for success, and yet, in the paranormal field it is sorely lacking. Some investigators are hoarding their evidence and seeking the limelight to be next "Jason and Grant" of SciFi fame.

Have you encountered certain instances during your work where you feel that being a woman has helped you in your research?

I honestly can't say that I had any advantages on a case or in doing research by being female.

What is the biggest misconception about women who are interested in paranormal research?

We're all psychic and emotional. Most paranormal teams that I've seen on television who incorporate psychics as part of their "gear" almost always have the female in that capacity. And worse yet, she is the one exhibiting all sorts of hysterics and dramatics. It's interesting to note that when a team has a male psychic, he is presented with more grounded capability -- no tears, no fears. I have yet to see on television a female in the Team Leader position. The women are relegated to the administrative positions of "Case Manager," "Historical Researcher," etc. The media is feeding the misconception that women are not strong enough to take on the leadership role.

You run the largest ghost investigation team in New Jersey. What's the percentage mix of women to men in your group? Have you seen an increase in the amount of women who want to join the NJGHS?

Looking at the database of members, it appears to be a slim margin of 55% women and 45% men. If one attends our monthly meetings, it appears to be about 60-65% women in attendance. Yet, it is the men who primarily pursue their Certified Paranormal Investigator status via the hands-on course we offer at Eastern State Penitentiary.

As for an increase in women joining the NJGHS, it's about the same. Typically it's the wife who joins because she has a slight interest and is looking for a social outlet from the daily home making and work. Eventually she drags her husband along to a meeting, and from there, I see them "hooked" and vying to be on the investigative teams.

Do you think women are becoming more prominent in the paranormal compared to five years ago? How much is still left to be done until you think there's truly an equal footing?

I do think women have gained a little more ground in terms of credibility and being taken seriously as investigators in the paranormal field as compared to five years ago. Personally in that time span, I've grown the NJGHS to over 500 members. It's amazing to see the correlation between the size of the NJGHS and my acceptance by the media. The larger the NJGHS grew, the more easily I got press releases published and the more the media sought me out for interviews beyond the "spooky Halloween" slant. Conversely, much smaller groups headed by men have landed the television series and other deals more readily. It seems to me, that just like in any other occupation, the woman has to be twice as good and/or work twice as hard to equate her male counterpart.

A study in Working Woman magazine years ago showed how even in "traditional female" jobs such as secretarial, a male secretary earned on average 6% more annually than the female in the same job.

I have two Team Leaders who are women, Laura Lindemann and Dina Chirico. I have one married couple as Team Leaders, Gregory and Sherry Irish. I can honestly say that I have just as much confidence in dispatching a team headed up by a female as I do a male. I think women out there need to give themselves a little more credit and step up to the leadership roles rather than buying into the propaganda the media sells.

On September 20, 2008 L'Aura and several other authors and leaders in the field of paranormal study will present workshops at the Paranormal Intensive 2008 in Hackettstown, NJ. For more information and to register to attend this event, visit

You can visit the NJGHS Web site at:

Evoice: 908-325-0140

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