Friday, June 24, 2011

The Angry Ghost Hunter featured in Ghost Voices magazine.

Due to The Angry Ghost Hunter being picked up by Ghost Voices magazine, I will be withholding my new blogs until after their publication. Sorry for the inconvenience to my followers. However, feel free to keep updated with what I’m doing through my new website at

Thanks again for your support,
Ross Allison - The Angry Ghost Hunter

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Too many rules and not enough fun

3, 2, 1 ready or not, here we come! To most, it almost feels like a game of Hide & Seek. The ghost hunters or investigators are always wandering through creepy darkened rooms, searching under the beds and in the closets looking to find that hidden proof that spirits roam about. As you peer around corners you find yourself expecting to hear that startling “BOO!” to be uttered at you from the ghost himself. But most ghost seeking adventures leave us empty handed with no evidence to show we had found what we were looking for.

It is with this popular Hide & Seek concept that so many choose to venture off in search of ghosts. For most it appears to be a game, an adventure, a thrill ride, that feeling of reconnecting with our childhood. Ghost hunting takes us into a different realm, where we can easily cross that line between our own imagination and reality. Unfortunately it’s these ideas that make us question, "Where’s that fine line when it comes true scientific research or just simply child’s play?"

Throughout my years of running a volunteer organization I have found many people who wanted to join AGHOST looking for that exact thrill seeking experience. "When is the next spook show going to start? Will I be touched by a ghost? I can’t wait to see a ghost tonight!" When folks go into the field of paranormal research with this kind of attitude, their focus will not be on the bigger picture, but on that single, anticipated encounter and, sadly, this is where we as investigators begin to lose ALL credibility.

There has always been a gray area in how we proceed in the field of paranormal research. Due to this, we are constantly struggling to produce better ways in supporting or disproving popular beliefs. In doing so, we have to put protocols in place to help us produce better investigations and even better evidence. However, many groups don’t have rules of conduct in place or, when they do, members bitch and complain that there are too many rules and not enough fun. (insert record needle sliding across a record) WHAT THE HELL! If people are pursuing documented proof that ghosts could very well exist, then why can’t they understand the reasoning and purpose in having rules and protocols in place? It all goes back to the false ideas, due to television shows and media, which most people have in their heads when walking into this field.

Protocols were not created to satisfy the whims and desires of those who created them. Protocols are a necessary evil. Although many members do not enjoy following established protocols or perhaps do not understand their purpose, we must continue to follow them in order to ensure the credibility of our findings.

Following the rules is not about telling people what to do, but rather they are to regulate how we do things, ensuring that how we get from the beginning to the end of an investigation adheres to the practices agreed upon by specialist such as professors, scientists, crime investigators, and some of the big names in the paranormal field. Their research has made clear what is expected to produce solid evidence to support the idea of paranormal encounters. One thing these professionals ALL agreed on is you need data, data, data. There is no such thing in having too much data.

Due to the lack of protocols in our line of work, the ghost investigators are not collecting enough data to support any and all evidence. It is so important to note that protocols are not about how we run the group. Protocols are about how we present ourselves and our data to the world. This limited resource in protocols only continues to allow us to constantly question one another's evidence any time we encounter the oddities out there.

So what if members are not having enough fun when going out and doing investigations. If that’s the case, do you really need them assisting you in trying to produce evidence? Really think about it; are you really trying to learn from it all or just experience it all? That really is a question only you can answer.

Also ask yourself: Are you spending more time entertaining your members or are you truly focused on the research? Do you find yourself making sure your members are happy and willing to bend the rules just to make it easier on them and yourself?

If people are coming to you to learn on how to be a paranormal investigator, should you be redoing the protocols to fit their needs? If so, then you are basically taking people who watch COPS (the TV show), and allowing them to tell the police how to do their job. Unfortunately, living in a society that offers us so much freedom, we tend to do this in just about everything we do. We, as individuals have our own ideas in how things should be run or how we’d like to do them and have no problem expressing our opinions. But in all honesty, I believe we tend to forget why these rules are there in the first place.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Without the PAST, we have nothing to learn from

Today, we no longer have to cover our mouths denying our beliefs in the oddities that are all around us. It’s ok to scream from any rooftop or crowded street “I’m A GHOST HUNTER! And I LOVE TO DO IT IN THE DARK!” Or proudly carry your Ghost Lover’s membership card and say, “YES! I am an official member” without retreating to the nearest closet. The battles have been fought, and now as the smoke clears, we stand among the survivors, taking for granted the acceptance of our love affair with the things that go bump in the night.

Before there were hit ghost hunting shows polluting our minds; paranormal podcasts filling the air; or the dim glow of a green infrared screen lighting our way through the darkened halls of a haunted site; before any of this was even heard of, we the living, breathing ghost hunters hid in the dark, not only in search of ghosts, but hiding from YOU.

It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when the topic of ghosts or hauntings was such a hushed thought among most people. Anyone caught peeking into a ghost book on the dusty shelf at the library was sure to be one of those outcasts in society. But just like most controversial beliefs or ideas, there were folks out there searching for the truth.

A few names like: Hanz Holzer, Harry Price, Loyd Auerbach, Dr. Barry Taff, Peter Underwood, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ed and Lorraine Warren or Joseph B. and Louisa Rhine, pushed their ideas publicly. And if you don’t know who these people are, then how dare you call yourself a ghost hunter, SHAME ON YOU! These are “and were” our soldiers, the ones fighting when fewer than one in ten believed in their quests, at a time when skeptics would slaughter us publicly.

The problem is, so many are looking to what’s hot now; they are not looking at how we got here in the first place. Let’s NOT forget where this all started. NO! Jason & Grant of “Ghost Hunters” fame did not launch the idea of ghost hunting; they just kicked the door open. The pursuit of seeking out ghosts has been around for centuries.

So, to run towards the future of ghost hunting, you have to be able to look back and know our paranormal past. Before the digital age, many paranormal researchers captured oddities on film and on tape, which I personally feel should remain in use on investigations today. However, we are now seeing so many new faces claim the title “Ghost Hunter” and I question whether they deserve the title.

Some of these ghost hunters are stepping into the field so young that they still have their mother’s breast milk on their breath. HELL!, if they get any younger we’ll be throwing fetuses into haunted houses with EMF detectors strapped to their backs.

If people are going to be venturing off into the unknown, I feel they should be better prepared than simply watching last night’s episode of Paranormal State. There is so much more to understanding the strange goings on than what we are finding on TV. First and foremost is education. And without our past, we have nothing to learn from. So let us take a moment and reflect on those who have cleared the path for us, those who pursued this constant challenge all their lives and some who died without recognition. It is their ideas that I have learned from; their efforts that drive me, and their endless quests that inspires me throughout my life.

Ghost Hunters of the past, I salute you.

Your legacy will not be forgotten.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

To Know or Not to Know, that is the question.

It was on this very dark & stormy night, 70 years ago, that Lady Miller took her sewing sheers from her purse and stabbed her secret lover in the heart 26 times. One for each and every lie he told her throughout their scandalous love affair. She then marched into her husband’s office covered in her lover’s blood. SHOCKED, her husband Edward cried out from behind the day's Wall Street Journal. “Martha! What happened?” She replied, “I’m sorry Edward, I don’t love you, I never loved you. I only loved your money.” She then took a wine glass from the nearby bar, smashed it against the wall and proceeded to force the freshly broken stem across her throat. Edward jumped to save her only to hold his dying wife in his arms for the last time. In tears, he could only wonder why, why would she do such a thing?

It was these past events that led to this mansion’s hated hauntings. Many will say it’s her lover, furious at her deed in taking his young life. Others strongly believe it’s Martha herself, pacing the halls in fear of what hell awaits her if she should try to move on. I myself believe that it’s Lord Miller who lurks forever in the darkened rooms. Soon after her death, he too died but from a broken heart.

So Scobby Do Gooders, it is now up to you to solve these mysterious hauntings that leave new owners running in fear just months after moving in. Find out why Lady Miller’s perfume is picked up late at night in the master bedroom. Why does the office, in which the suicide took place, always drop to freezing levels just before midnight? And why do the sounds of passionate breathing echo down the halls each and every night….

An opportunity like this is every ghost hunter’s dream. The more dramatic the haunting or history is, the more EMF-carrying ghost hunters want to pack up their gear and move in. But the question is, do we already know too much? We see this quite often on ghost hunting shows, where ghost hunters go in knowing their target and then focus their attention on what we call the HAUNTED HOT SPOTS. But is this the correct way to proceed into the world of paranormal research?

It has always been questioned whether knowing information about a haunted location is more helpful when conducting an investigation. Some would say that knowing too much affects your judgment, which could produce false encounters or even evidence. Whereas knowing too little keeps the investigator on a not-so-narrow path and won’t be so quick to judge. To be objective or unbiased towards any type of reported activity is to really go in with un-suggestive material.

The human mind has proven its capability of amazing things. Our will is greater than our physical strength. But yet, we are only as mentally capable of what we already know. Someone who may be well diverse in an abundant of facts, knowledge, and beliefs can easily find themselves lost in making the simplest decisions due to the different facts, contradictions and personal beliefs collected through the years. We can produce information and process a world of complex data. This is where phycology can easily take over our perception when confronted by our beliefs and knowledge. Knowing too much just builds the psychological belief that if you build it, they will come. This means that if you believe or know it’s there, you will encounter it. Here where the simplest explainable things can easily become powers of the paranormal persuasion.

In the case of NOT knowing, in which a team goes in cold. This is a practice my team of investigators are accustomed to. If they cover all their bases and find interesting reported activity in areas where they had no clue were activity was reported, don’t you think this builds the credibility needed in this line of work? What sets me off is folks are too eager to know what’s going on rather than to step into the unknown blindfolded. This only proves to me so many are in it for the rush of the hunt and NOT the true science needed to prove these encounters.

Some will argue that knowing everything prior to the investigation will allow the team to focus their attention to the active areas. But who’s to say while you’re focused on the bedroom, the ghost isn’t hanging out in the hall.

So here is a challenge I’m offering my fellow ghost hunters out there. Let’s take two teams to the same haunted location. Now this should NOT be a site where it’s public knowledge of it being haunted. The best scenario would be a client’s home if possible. One team will know everything about the site, such as history and even activity, and the other team will know nothing. Now, let’s see which team picks up the most activity. Were they all personal encounters or are they picking up real recorded evidence?

Is knowing too much affecting our perception or is knowing too little keeping us from finding the truth?