Tuesday, January 27, 2009
We'll be chatting about some of our ghost investigation adventures, what's coming up in the future, and maybe, just maybe, I'll squeeze in a bit of UFO talk as well.
If you can't catch the broadcast live, then you can listen to it at the X-Zone archives at a later date.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Again, as with UFOs, there may well be myriad answers. The one that most people latch onto right off the bat is that ghosts are the spirits of deceased people who remain in touch, somehow, with our plane of existence. The other popular answer that I hear most often is that what we think of as ghosts are, in at least some cases, demons of some sort.
Perhaps. But what if ghosts are something else? Could it be possible that what we see or experience as a ghost represents a break in the continuum of time? In other words, if we view time as not a linear construct, but rather a wave, or even a loop, could we be looking backwards (or perhaps even forwards) in time when we observe a ghost, or similar phenomena? The person we see or experience, assuming that they are from the past, is in all likelihood dead (although if it's the recent past they may well still be alive, in our time), but as we observe them it is as if through a portal, fleeting though it may be, to the past - in short, they are still alive when we are looking at them, at least in their time.
This strikes me as just as plausible an answer for ghosts than the "spirits of the dead" idea (although the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive). Religious scholars have always spoken about some manifestation of an "eternal now". Scientists now openly speculate that human-initiated time travel in some form or another might be possible. But what if the "time travel" is occurring naturally, as opposed to the human-created forms we usually dream about?
Maybe, just maybe, when we see a manifestation of someone dressed as if they were in the 1890s, they really are still in the 1890s... even as they are, for a moment in time, also in 2009.
Friday, January 23, 2009
One such experience happened this past weekend, in St. Andrew's, New Brunswick, at the old jail. Built in 1832, the jail was where people sentenced to death would serve out their time until sentence was carried out, which was done on a gallows right next to the jail. The last person hanged in St. Andrew's was Tom Hutchings, an RAF sergeant convicted of murdering a local girl in 1942 while he was stationed in the area. According to witnesses, Hutchings has never left the jail, and continues to haunt his old cell.
As with all things paranormal, I'm an open-minded skeptic. I don't believe in ghosts, and I start any investigation by looking for logical answers to what people have seen or experienced. However, I'm unable to explain to my own satisfaction what happened to Holly and I this past Saturday evening in the jail.
In each episode, we tape a segment that we call "spooky hour", where Holly and I hang out in a particular spot in a haunted place, with the camera rolling but with the crew sent away, to see if we can experience anything. We have audio recorders and EMF meters with us, as well as the HD camera and a stills camera. In the first five episodes we filmed, there may have been some things caught on audio or that happened which will require further analysis, and Holly felt some things, but nothing happened to me personally.
That changed on Saturday night, as we sat in Hutchings' old cell, with the door locked and the lights off (except for the camera light and a small blue light). It was cold in there, because the building wasn't heated, and it was about -20 C outside, so we were bundled up, but my neck was not. As the hour went along, Holly and I were joking about Hutchings (well, mostly I was joking), and I was "challenging" him to appear if he really was there as a ghost. For several minutes, I had even hung a real noose around my neck as I sat there. Then, all of sudden, in one of those moments when Holly and I were being quiet, I had this feeling that the air around my throat had gotten noticeably colder - much colder than the room even. It was as if, to borrow an old song lyric of mine, the night wrapped around my throat. There was no choking sensation, but it was definitely an abnormal feeling.
Just as I was about to turn to Holly and say something, she whispered, "Holy f***" - at the same time as I had been experiencing the cold sensation wrapping around my throat, she had seen a shadowy shape against the wall - and the EMF meter had gone from its base reading of 0 to full, and then returned to 0 again. Now, there is no way that my feeling could have been influenced by either Holly or the EMF meter - I was looking away from Holly when it happened, and couldn't see the EMF meter in any event, as it was blocked from my view by Holly's body.
We immediately started to talk about what had happened, and decided, as "spooky hour" time wasn't done, to stay in the cell. About seven minutes later, the same sensation wrapped itself around my throat again - the camera caught me bundling up my coat against my throat... at the exact same time as the EMF meter spiked again!
Holly and I stuck it out for a few more minutes, and then had the crew release us from the cell. Once outside, we related our experience to one of our first-hand witnesses, a researcher who gave tours of the jail and the courthouse next door. She smiled, and said that she hadn't told us anything about what people reported happening in the cell, because she wanted to see if anything happened to us and she didn't want to influence us, but one of the experiences that had been reported is cold air wrapping around people's throats.
What makes this incident really interesting to me is that both Holly and I had a weird experience at the same time as the EMF meter spiked, and then my experience was repeated shortly thereafter with another EMF spike. We have yet to review the audio or video recordings to see if anything was picked up by those devices, but I can't help but feel that I may have had a brief meeting with Sergeant Hutchings, over sixty-six years after he was dispatched from this mortal coil.