Sunday, May 31, 2015

Children are Impressionable

I can say with confidence, that every private investigation that Ghost Vigil Investigations has conducted that involved children experiencing the paranormal, the children had watched a number of Ghost Hunters episodes or some other paranormal television show.

I am not saying that ghost-television causes children to experience or imagine paranormal experiences in every case. Clearly that’s not true, because children have been experiencing paranormal phenomenon long before ghost-television. But, children are impressionable and imaginative.

When I was a child, there were scores of television shows and movies about Big Foot. I could hardly go into the woods, without imagining that big hairy lug being around the next bend on the path. One time there was a loud sound while I was in the woods, and I breathlessly ran a full mile home...sure that Big Foot must be right at my heels.

It is important when interviewing a child that has experienced the paranormal, to keep in mind the influences on the child, and to what subject matter in media (television and internet) the child has been exposed.

Mark Stinson
Ghost Vigil Investigations

Paranormal Amusement Parks

There are reported paranormal hot-beds (old asylums, tuberculosis hospitals, abandoned prisons, homes where people were murdered) around the country that charge for people to come and investigate the paranormal. We used to joke that these places were the equivalent of “Paranormal Amusement Parks.”

I don’t mean to say that these places are fake, or that no paranormal activity takes place in these locations. But, with the popularity of ghost television shows, a paranormal industry sprung up. Incredibly scary looking locations with dark histories were commercialized, and turned into tourist destinations for the many paranormal investigation groups that began springing up.

I don’t necessarily think it is a bad or negative thing, but I’m unsure it is a good thing either. It can lead to claims of paranormal activity that have their origins in marketing strategy, rather than credible evidence.

Mark Stinson
Ghost Vigil Investigation

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ghost Vigil 2015

Ghost Vigil (minus Tara who was in Jamaica) on our May 2015 investigation at the 1859 Jail in Independence, MO.

Mark Stinson
Ghost Vigil Investigations

Fear of the Unknown

A fear of the unseen, or the unknown, must have its origins in the very beginnings of mankind. The terror of what you don’t understand...what you can’t anticipate or prepare for...and all things outside our normal experience. Modern humans are no different, and have not escaped this fear.

So when a modern individual or family experience things in their home that they do not understand, it is natural and understandable that fear results. The purpose of a paranormal investigator or consultant is to help with this fear. The unexplained phenomenon should be analyzed and explored. The possible explanations should be described and articulated. Possible ways to prepare for future phenomenon and how to deal with it should be shared.

And the individual or family should be reassured that possible paranormal phenomenon, while unsettling, is in almost every case - physically harmless.

Mark Stinson
Ghost Vigil Investigations

Friday, May 29, 2015

Visual Expert Article: Night Vision

An interesting article on night-vision, and the various forms or modes of vision the eye employs to adapt the the level of light it is encountering. It is much more complex than just rods and cones.

Click Here for the Article

Considering the low light conditions that many paranormal investigation groups find themselves in, it is important to understand how night vision works.

Mark Stinson
Ghost Vigil Investigations

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ghost Vigil Television Pilot

Way back when, a production company approached Ghost Vigil Investigations about shooting a pilot for a television show. The producer had also produced Ripley's Believe it or Not for television, and was interested in producing a paranormal television show.

We went to the Strawberry Hill Museum in KCKS with the film crew, and shot pilot footage. In the long run, the production company ended up not producing the show. But, it was an interesting experience for us...and gave us some idea of what it must be like to have to produce a whole season worth of interesting ghost-television footage...

Mark Stinson
Ghost Vigil Investigations

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Photographic Orbs

The fact that photographic orbs are caused by brightly lit particulate matter close to the camera’s lens, played into the error in thinking that caused orbs to be considered paranormal in nature for so long. In everyday photography (birthday parties, kids in the backyard, photos of scenery on family vacation), there are not that many opportunities for orbs to appear in photos.

But, on a paranormal investigation...the conditions are almost always perfect. Paranormal investigations usually take place indoors at night, and require a flash to take clear photos. Paranormal investigations often take place in older homes or historic buildings, and these places are usually rife with dust that can be stirred up. In addition, a lot of photos are taken in basement areas, attics, and unused portions of the building, which are even more susceptible to having lots of dust. So, we see more orbs in photos taken on paranormal investigations, because all of the conditions required to cause photographic orbs are present.

Even cemetery investigations at night are opportune moments for capturing photographic orbs in our pictures. One of the following is almost always present on an cemetery investigation: pollen in the air, dust kicked up from the road or ground, or moisture in the air. This prevalence of photographic orbs in investigation photos and their rare appearance in every-day photos, helped spark and maintain the false belief that orbs in photos and video have a paranormal cause.

Mark Stinson
Ghost Vigil Investigations

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Orb Anecdote

Several years ago, I was giving a workshop on the paranormal, and explained the mundane cause of photographic orbs. So prevalent was the belief in a paranormal cause for orbs at the time, that an attendee of the workshop loudly challenged my theory, stating that orbs were indeed paranormal, and I was just being too skeptical.

I pulled out a camera right there, and took a flash photograph of the audience. No orbs. I then stomped on the carpet in the room, and stirred up a bunch of dust in the air. I took a second photo of the audience, and it was full of photographic orbs.

I passed the camera around and let everyone take a good look at the orb-less and orb-filled photographs, and that seemed to quiet down the protest against my mundane explanation of photographic orbs.

Mark Stinson
Ghost Vigil Investigations

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dust Orbs on Video

Orbs also appear in video recordings made with both tape and digital recording devices. Again, all that is needed is particulate matter (dust, moisture, lint, etc.) in the air close to the lens and the light on the camera. The particulate matter is brightly lit by the camera’s light, and since the particulate matter is in front of the lens but completely out-of-focus is appears as moving balls of light in the video recording.

Potentially, a video camera with its light turned off could still capture orb imagery, if there is a flashlight, over-head spot, or some other source of bright light capable of shining on particulate matter close to the lens. Again, orbs appearing in video recordings have a completely mundane cause, and can be recreated time and again through experimentation.

Mark Stinson
Ghost Vigil Investigations