Paranormology for Halloween

Hunting Ghosts for Hallowe’en?

It’s October, as if you hadn’t noticed, and what better time to get the infra-red cameras out, place a few sound recorders about, switch off the lights and listen to the noises of a creaky old house?

As a Friday night thing, Joey and I kick back to watch an episode of Ghost Hunters or two. Now, the thing about Ghost Hunters is that it’s primarily a television show. This means it is edited for the audience of a television. Too dry, too scientific, and you’ll lose the mainstream. As such, there’s drama in there. Jump-cuts when Steve Gonsalves freaks out over a spider. Liberties taken when identifying anomalies. I get it. It’s supposed to be fun.

At the same time, some of the ideas they put forward make a lot of sense. Try to debunk stuff before wildly calling it a haunting. Find alternate explanations and, if you can’t rule them out, at least bring them up and make the client aware, so that the client might, themselves, figure out if it’s natural or supernatural.

That’s what I would consider to be a modern day style of investigation. Better equipment. Motion sensors. Digital photography. Thermal imaging. Rapid feedback to events, so that false positives can be eliminated faster. There is a lot of emphasis on the video and audio component.

What we don’t really see is actual measurements taken (apart from fleeting reading from an EMF meter). Were we to conduct a more rigorous investigation into the nature of the Paranormal, I would expect to have a data set, a full run-down of things like temperature, pressure, relative humidity, charge, multi-axis EMF readings, ambient light, etc. all marked against a rolling time. Wouldn’t be so hard to knock up an Arduino or Raspberry pi with a multitude of sensors, flick the switch and let it record.

With such information, audio and visual events at particular times might then be correlated with environmental conditions which would then, over time, determine if anomalies correspond with ambient conditions. If a correlation could be determined with confidence, we’d be looking at a more serious dive into Paranormology.

Now consider the same situation, only it’s in Victorian times. You don’t have fancy gizmos and thermal what-nots and digital frim-frams. You have lanterns, candles, plate cameras, notebooks, your senses and, of course, the good old brain.

That’s where the Paranormology Series is at. The Professor is a staunch advocate for using scientific methodologies and statistical analysis to test hypotheses, fighting against the University for validation and funding, battling hoaxers, and wrestling with the ghosts themselves to find that elusive and utterly necessary site: A regular, repeatable haunting that can be used as a control.

Don’t worry. It’s not as dry as it sounds. To prove it, up until Hallowe’en, you can get each episode of Paranormology Autdiobooks for only $1.99 on Chirp. Not good enough? OK. On Google Play books, a bunch of the ebooks are now free. Grab ’em while they’re hot.

To top it off, Devon Cove Ghost, the seventh book of the series, is released on Hallowe’en!

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