Thursday, 15 November 2012

Seriously dramatic ghosts!

Sky lanternThere is still time to get a ticket for the Seriously Unidentified UFO conference in Worcester on Saturday at a discounted rate online. If you turn up on the day without a ticket, you'll have to pay full price.

The theme of the Seriously Unidentified conference is that ufology is no longer moving forward as a subject. All the 'classic' cases, like Rendlesham and Roswell, are in the past. Now the majority of reports of UFOs appear to be of sky lanterns and mylar balloons! Interest in ufology has declined as a result.

By contrast, interest in ghosts has soared in recent years. But it isn't on the back of recent dramatic cases. We have had no new extraordinary ghost cases recently to match the Cheltenham Ghost, to name but one. Before I became an active ghost researcher I read many books about hauntings avidly. The cases described were dramatic and appeared clearly paranormal. I couldn't wait to start investigating for myself. When I did, what I actually found was the equivalent of 'sky lanterns and mylar balloons'! The cases appeared relatively undramatic and most were explainable by natural causes. Talking to other investigators, it became clear that my experience was far from unusual. Where had all the really dramatic cases of yesteryear gone?

All of this makes the huge rise in the popularity of ghost research appear odd, at first sight. However, the 'ghost hunting boom' has very little to do with ghost cases, dramatic or otherwise. Instead, it revolves around holding ghost vigils, a relatively unimportant optional add-on in traditional case work. And the assumption-led methods used would produce 'positive' results anywhere, whether haunted or not. So the dearth of dramatic ghost cases is of little consequence to this 'boom'.

Why aren't there any dramatic ghost cases anymore? Has something changed in the world of ghosts themselves? Or is there something different in the way we investigate? Perhaps we should have a conference to discuss these matters too!

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. I would definitely be there!

    It was Raymond Moody who first commented that, in our culture, the paranormal tends to become entertainment. I think that is indeed what has happened with ghosts, and assumption-led methods have been used to deliver those entertaining experiences.

    Furthermore, 'entertainment' does not entail having traumatic experiences that challenge one's view of reality, which might also account for how the experiences people report today as 'ghostly' are in fact (on the whole) so very, very lame and mundane.

    'Seriously Spooky', then? Next Halloween, perhaps? ;-)