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Stomp Team went hantu-hunting with Singapore Paranormal Investigators

The Stomp Team met the the Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI) on 24 March 2017, to find out more about supernatural occurrences in Singapore and how his team go about making connections with those in the afterlife.

Source :  http://www.stomp.com.sg/realife/stomp-team-goes-hantu-hunting#xtor=CS1-2

 

 

 

Singapore Paranormal Myth – SPI

 

Watch Paranormal Zone season 3 on Syfy channel. With Singapore Paranormal Investigators, SPI

 

Singapore Paranormal Investigators Vidcast

 

 

 

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What’s your Singapore ghost story?

By Kai Fong | Singapore Showbiz – Sun, Aug 12, 2012 2:35 AM SGT

 Source :
 http://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/blogs/singapore-showbiz/singapore-ghost-story-

 

The Old Rifle Range Club in Bukit Timah (SPI photo)
The Old Rifle Range Club in Bukit Timah (SPI photo)

He claims he doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but till this day, there remain things, or sightings, he can’t explain.

Forty-year-old Desmond Wong, a member of the Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI), was only 16 when he met the “shadowman” in school.

It was about 3am at night, he recalled. Wong was at an overnight school camp and, try as he might, he couldn’t sleep a wink.

Armed with a torchlight, the adventurous student decided to get out of bed to roam the school.

“That was the first time I met the shadowman,” said Wong, who had initially mistaken the dark figure for a human being.
'Shadowman' caught on video at the Old Commando Camp in Changi (SPI photo)

Shadowman’ caught on video at the Old Commando Camp in Changi (SPI photo)

“It appeared along the corridor of the science block in school. I was at the other building, looking across,” he added.

Curiosity soon got the better of his fear. Wong whipped out his torchlight and shone towards the ambiguity.

He was surprised to see it move.

“I think I wasn’t expecting it to, but it moved. The shadowman disappeared right through the wall,” he said.

“I felt a chill run down my spine,” Wong recalled. “What was that?”

Over the years, Wong claimed he’d met a few more shadowmen, although he could never be sure if they were the same “person”.

It happened again in 2005, this time at the infamous “Suicide Tower“, an observation tower at the Pasir Ris Park’s mangrove swamp where a person was rumoured to have jumped to his death many years ago.

Out on a “ghost hunt” at Pasir Ris Park, where he and his friends had booked a chalet close by,
Wong and his companion soon found themselves climbing the steps of the much-talked-about tower.

“My friend and I went up and then I saw it again — the shadowman. It walked past us very quickly just as a sudden gust of wind hit us,” he recalled.

A shot taken below the 'Suicide Tower' at Pasir Ris Mangrove Swamp (SPI photo)

A shot taken below the ‘Suicide Tower’ at Pasir Ris Mangrove Swamp (SPI photo)”

Wong’s spooky tale, complete with photographs and recordings, will be featured in an upcoming episodic documentary series “My Ghost Story Asia“, which retells eyewitnesses’ accounts of their encounters with the supernatural at reportedly haunted locations in Singapore and Malaysia.

The first season in this original production will also see Malaysian stars Daphne Ikling, Mandy Chen and SooWincci sharing their deep and personal paranormal experiences.

‘We’re no ghost-busters’

Wong, an enrichment trainer by day, joined the SPI in 2006 because he “wanted to find out more about the paranormal world”.
Desmond Wong, an enrichment trainer by day, joined the SPI in 2006 out of curiosity. (Yahoo! photo)
Desmond Wong, an enrichment trainer by day, joined the SPI in 2006 out of curiosity. (Yahoo! photo)

Founded in 2001, the SPI is Singapore’s first and original paranormal group, Wong claimed.

He said that the 20-member strong group makes it a point to meet at least once a month.
Equipped with high-definition night vision cameras, digital audio recorders and other high-tech gear, they would attempt to “capture” unexplained phenomena as they explored places like nature reserves and haunted buildings.

“There were times when all our equipments, including our handphones went down at the same time when no doubt, they were fully charged,” said Wong, whose team had visited abandoned blocks like the Old Changi Hospital and the old Commando camps. “Things like these happen many times.”
The Old Changi Hospital (SPI photo)

The Old Changi Hospital (SPI photo)

Wong added, “Sometimes, one or two members will say they hear voices, see images and even feel pokes into their backs…  and most of the times, we’d hear panting noises in the recordings.”

But despite all that he and his team had experienced over the years, Wong insists he doesn’t believe in the supernatural.

“I’m a non-believer,” he said. “I like to find out things to explain things.”

“People perceive us as ghost-busters but we don’t going around catching ghosts in public.
We investigate so that we can explain things using scientific methods — physics, temperature, electromagnetic field factors… all of these can affect your way of thinking, your way of seeing and hearing things.”

“It’s hard to believe sometimes but mostly, these phenomenons can be explained,” Wong added.

“People think we’re very superstitious or illogical, but we’re just trying to do as much as we can to gather and collect data,” he said.

“And in terms of whether there is or there isn’t… the evidence is there — you decide for yourself.”

Do you have your own spooky tale to share?
Write in to the producers of My Ghost Story Asia to have your paranormal experience featured in the next season.
Visit biochannelasia.com/myghoststoryasia for more information.

My Ghost Story Asia premieres 16 August, every Thursday at 10pm on The Biography Channel (StarHub TV Ch 404).

 

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Fri, 24 Aug 2012 06:35:45 GMT

5 ways Hungry Ghost Month can interfere with your love life

How to keep ghosts and spirits from complicating your relationship

Source :
http://lifestyle.xin.msn.com/en/sex-relationship/5-ways-hungry-ghost-month-can-interfere-with-your-love-life#page=0
Text: Denise Ngo
Photos: AP and Singapore Paranormal Investigators

ghost story

In case the joss paper bins and puppet shows haven’t tipped you off, the Hungry Ghost Festival started last week. According to Chinese tradition, the gates of hell are opened during the seventh month of the lunar year, meaning that during those weeks, ghosts and souls from the spiritual realm are free to roam the earth.

We’re pretty well-acquainted with practices that will appease the ghosts, such as not sending out wedding invitations during the seventh month, but what happens to people who accidentally attract a bad spirit? In light of the festivities, we asked Desmond Wong, a member of the Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI), about some of the spookiest local haunts, as well as the ghosts he’s encountered during his six years in the organization.

Suffice to say, we were totally creeped out by his tales of spirits, which he will talk more about on My Ghost Story Asia on The Biography Channel. Since the only thing more thrilling than a ghostly encounter is a whirlwind romance, we’ve organised Desmond’s insights into a guide to keeping supernatural forces out of your love life during this especially mystical month.

To celebrate the Ghost Month, here are the top five ways that paranormal activity can interfere with your relationships:

baby tombs (© Baby tombs at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery)Baby tombs at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery

1. Going on dates in haunted locations

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. If you don’t want a ghost to follow you and your boyfriend home after a date, don’t visit the Bukit Brown Cemetery, also known as Kopi Sua (Coffee Hill). You should also avoid the forested areas around Bukit Timah.

To study supposedly haunted areas, paranormal investigators use a variety of gadgets to measure disturbances in electric frequencies (we’ll get to that in a moment). But when Desmond and his friends set up camp at Bukit Timah, the batteries in multiple pieces of equipment suddenly drained without explanation.

In general, going anywhere with a lot of trees and seclusion is a bad idea. Desmond says that one frequent SPI collaborator spotted a ghostly figure standing in the trees during a barbecue at a chalet, which followed her home – even taking the bus – despite all of her attempts to avoid him.

Our recommendation: Stay away from trees, old buildings, and secluded chalets

ghost month

2. Overlooking your unlucky numbers
Couples love travelling abroad, but just because your hotel is located outside of Chinese country doesn’t mean it’s immune to the forces that can plague you at home. Take the story of a Singaporean flight attendant who travelled to London for a few days with friends. She booked a single room, only to wake up several times in the middle of the night with the blanket on the floor. Then she noticed that the colour of the light bulb changed from warm yellow to light blue. She looked over the bed, and completely freaked out upon seeing a bushy hand emerge from under the bed. Straightaway, she ran to the lobby, where she ran into friends. Of course, none of them believed her story – until they went to the room, and saw a person sitting on the bed with his back facing the door. And in true horror movie fashion, his head turned 180 degrees when he heard them talking.

Here’s the real clincher: the number of the hotel room was 444, which is extremely unlucky as the word for ‘4’ in Chinese sounds like the word for ‘death.’ Was it ghosts? Was it drugs? We don’t know, but during this month in particular, maybe it’s better to book a room on a different floor.

Our recommendation: If you really must travel at this time of the year, book room 888, not 444.

plugs

3. Leaving on your appliances
The trope of ghosts using technology has gotten pretty popular over the decade, thanks to movies like The Ring and One Missed Call, but for those who’ve made paranormal investigation their profession, recording otherworldly activity on scientific devices is a very real thing. According to Desmond, there are theories that ghosts cause fluctuations in electromagnetic fields. There’s also some research suggesting that strong electromagnetic fields cause hallucinations. Those who subscribe to far-out theories have even postulated that ghosts ‘use’ electromagnetic fields to communicate with people.

Our recommendation: Want romance? Unplug everything, turn off the lights, and enjoy a candlelit dinner.

desmond wong (© HISTORY)HISTORYDesmond Wong, SPI

4. Using black magic to fix your love life
You know, there’s a reason why folk stories around the world warn against using potions, spells, or genies to make someone fall in love with you.

Desmond recalls one case involving a young woman who visited a black magic practitioner in hope of finding a means to repairing her broken relationship. After going home, the woman began hearing voices from unseen men who were leering at her.

As if that weren’t scary enough, she frequently woke up at night feeling as if she were being molested, even though she was sleeping alone. After discovering what looked and felt like physical symptoms of sexual assault, the woman visited a doctor, who confirmed that she exhibited typical signs of rape. She then consulted the police, who visited her house but found no evidence of intruders. Finally, she reached out to SPI, who could only chalk up the strange encounters to medicines and substances she was taking at the time.

Our recommendation: Consult the self-help books, not the ‘magical’ ones.

forested area at sembawang road (© Forested area at Sembawang Road - can you spot the ghost?)Forested area at Sembawang Road – can you spot the ghost?

5. Date someone who is a magnet for ghosts

Unlike most of the people who consult him, Desmond maintains a sceptical view of the supernatural. Still, he acknowledges that some people are simply more sensitive to such encounters than others.

One woman who went along with his crew to Pasir Ris Swamp not only saw little non-human children running around them, but apparently she was so ‘powerful’ that the teams gadgets went haywire around her.

So why are some people magnets for ghosts and others aren’t? Most of the extra-sensitive people he meets come from a long line of family members with psychic powers. These people are also ‘very weak by nature,’ as they easily fall ill. Almost all have had the ability to see ghosts since childhood.

‘In today’s world, if you want to define an encounter, you must work [from] a belief system,’ Desmond said, reiterating the importance of putting people’s experiences in context.

So if you suddenly start seeing and feeling a lot of ghosts after dating someone, it wouldn’t hurt to ask him a little about his family background – who knows, maybe his mother was an accomplished medium. Or maybe his house just has way too many gadgets plugged in at the same time.

Our recommendation: Are ghostly encounters a dealbreaker? Either find someone new, or gently ask your S.O. if he would mind meeting an exorcist.

Old Brunei Hostel (© Old Brunei Hostel)Old Brunei Hostel

BONUS: For couples who want to take their dates to the next level

Non-SPI members frequently volunteer to test out haunted houses with the organisation. If you and your honey are feeling particularly brave this month – or are simply bored and in need to add a little spice to your relationship – consider staying overnight in an abandoned hotel or a location of ghostly repute. Desmond says that SPI will let you sit alone (or together, if necessary), in an empty room with hidden equipment like CCTVs. You will then be free to ask either ask questions to the spirits or wait for them to come around. Once you share your experience with SPI, they will check their recordings and EMF detectors to see how those readings compare.

Desmond recalls one instance where two Vasantham hosts visited the Old Brunei Hostel, which has been abandoned for two decades. While sitting in a room, they heard people singing, crying, and laughing – if that doesn’t sound like an opportunity to hold someone tight, we don’t know what is.

My Ghost Story Asia premiered on 16 August and will show every Thursday at 10 pm on The Biography Channel (StarHub TV CH 404). Desmond Wong will be featured on Episode 5: Pasir Ris Suicide tower.

 

THE STRANGE CASE OF SQ006


Written by SPI Research team: Scapula and Portagee


Yuiiko has taken this strange photo by chance in the flight cabin;
Is it an anomaly or a camera fault?

Recently the crash of Singapore Airlines flight SQ006 in Taipei in 2000 was mentioned in the SPI public forums. According to the story, the crash of flight SQ006 may be caused supernaturally by an earlier tragedy that involved the Singapore Airlines (SIA); the murder of a SIA flight stewardess in Los Angeles. This story has been circulating on the Internet since 2001. It has gained popularity in Singapore and has even become an urban legend amongst flight crew members in SIA. Since the anniversary of both events is drawing near, SPI has decided to take a closer look at the story.

Murdered SIA Stewardness Came Back for Revenge?

Background information provided by the author sets the tone of the story:

Singapore Airlines (SIA) have removed SQ 006 permanently from their timetable. The flight number is now replaced by SQ 030. The return flight of SQ 005 is now SQ 029. From now on, SQ 006 is history. The flight numbers were changed after the SIA investigating team and management found something spooky happened on the SQ 006 final flight. Believe it or not? If you recall, a few years ago on the date that SQ 006 crashed, there was this Taiwanese SIA stewardess who was murdered in a hotel in Los Angeles. The murder suspect was her fellow colleague, an Eurasian guy.

Her naked body was dismembered and hidden in a cupboard. Do you know that she was wearing red when she was flown back to Singapore on SQ 006 via Taipei and wore red when she was buried? Her mother wore red too to receive her body at the Changi International Airport. Exactly one year (31st October) later on her death anniversary, the plane crashed in Chang Kai Shek International Airport in Taipei. Coincidentally, this was also the day the Eurasian steward was released from prison.


Memories of flying with SIA flights

Something Spooky Caused the Plane Crash?

The author of the story claims that the flight number, SQ006, was permanently removed from the SIA flight timetable after the crash investigations were completed. The story suggests that the reason behind this was because “something spooky” was discovered in the events leading to the doomed flight. However, the flight number SQ006 was changed after the accident because the flights had been re-routed to that of SQ030; the flight number was not replaced but discontinued. What had permanently changed in SIA after the crash was the discontinuation of painting any SIA aircraft with a promotion livery. At the time of the accident, the Boeing 747-412 9V-SPK aircraft that had operated on SQ006 flight was painted with a “Tropical” livery instead of the standard SIA livery. The “Tropical” livery was part of the airlines’ marketing exercise promoting its new First Class and Business Class seats. There was only one other SIA aircraft that was painted with a similar “Tropical” livery; the sister aircraft of the plane involved in the crash: 9V-SPL. After the accident, it was re-painted with the airlines’ original colours and SIA discontinued the use of any promotional livery on its aircraft, possibly in memory the tragedy.


1. Every airacraft carries a registered number, like a license plate on automobile;
this one is 9V-SRK. It looks like 9V-SPK which was the SQ006 plane from a distance
2. This one is 9V-SYL. Aircrafts that are registered in Singapore all start with prefex 9V by the international codes

SPI Debunks the Fallacies

The author of the story attempts to link another tragedy in the airlines’ history to the tragedy of SQ006. The murder of Chang Yu, an SIA stewardess, in 1995 received considerable media attention in Singapore. She was murdered by her SIA colleague who was later arrested in Singapore and extradited to the United States to face trial. According to the story, key dates in the murder case and the SQ006 crash looked like they are strangely and coincidentally related. However, when these coincidences were compared they become questionable. The crash of SQ006 took place on 31 October 2000, but the murder of Chang occurred on 25 October 1995; it was neither “on the date that SQ006 crashed” nor was the crash “exactly one year later on her death anniversary.” Finally, the air steward (whose name is Zaini Jeloni and there was no mention that he is an Eurasian), was released in the US on 8 January 2001 after serving a prison sentence for causing Chang’s death, not coincidentally on the same date of the SQ006 crash. The only coincidence that linked the two tragedies was the year when Jeloni was released from prison was also when this story was first circulated on the Internet.

The story claims that Chang’s body was found “dismembered” in a closet in her hotel room when in actual fact he body was found strangled with evidence of blunt trauma wounds to her head and stomach. The author went on suggest that the aircraft which repatriated Chang’s body back to Singapore was the same plane that crashed on 31 October 2000: “She [Chang] was flown back to Singapore on SQ 006 via Taipei� Exactly one year (31st October) later on her death anniversary, the plane crashed in Chang Kai Shek International Airport in Taipei.” The aircraft involved the accident, Boeing 747-412 9V-SPK, was delivered to SIA in January 1997, two years after the murder of Chang in Los Angeles. It could not have been the same aircraft that repatriated Chang’s body back to Singapore.


In year 2002, Hong Kong released a ghost movie “The Stewardess”. The ghost of the air stewardess was also wearing red


The storyline consists of elements of affairs, murder, body dismembered, and the ghost returned for revenge
Such are typical stereotyped attributes for ghost story


Dressing in red color upon death has a certain influence in Chinese culture

The author of the story also claims that both Chang and her mother were dressed in red when Chang’s body was repatriated to Singapore. For this claim we can only rely on the author’s research. Information of such nature is usually classified. It is worth mentioning that there is a popular belief in Singapore that if a deceased was dressed red at the time her dead or burial, she would return to seek vengeance on those who caused her death. The author had interestingly made special mention of this detail in the story. Clearly the author did not just casually mention the colour of their dresses; he/she was writing to a readership that would understand its connotations when he/she continues the story to suggest that the crash of SQ006 may have been caused by supernatural forces:

The SQ 006 TPE/LAX sector was scheduled to leave TPE at 10:55pm. As there was an approaching typhoon, the SQ 006 Captain and his crew decided to board the plane and depart 15 minutes early. The Left 1 and Left 2 doors were not closed until 10:55pm (the original departure time). The reason was that, the number of passengers did not tally with the passenger lists in economy section. One of the junior stewardess counted 5 times and advised her colleague that she could not tally the passengers in the economy section. Both of them then counted the passenger again and confirmed an extra passenger in the cabin. When they recounted the passengers with the chief stewardess again, the number of passengers was correct. The junior stewardess advised her chief stewardess that one of the lady passenger sitting in 40A (front section of the economy class) was not there and they could not locate her in the lavatories either.

The flight received push-back clearance as scheduled. The two junior stewardesses were among the casualties in SQ 006 where none of the passengers in the front economy section survived the crash. The chief stewardess only suffered slight injuries as she was sitting in the business class section.

While preparing the flight for LAX ( Los Angeles ) in the business class section, one of the male in-flight supervisor who could “see things” happen, saw a lady flipping through the passenger list which was placed on one of the first class cabin table. As there were cleaners in the cabin, he did not shout at her but when he walked to the first class section, there were no signs of this lady. The male in-flight supervisor was among the survivors left unscratched in the crash as he was sitting in the back section of the economy class. This story was brought up during an investigative interview with the SQ 006 crew.

There was suspicion that the murder a year ago could have involved more than one person but it was not pursued further. It was believed that the (Eurasian guy, who was also a SIA steward) accomplices could have been in the SQ 006 flight. It was also understood that one of the male in-flight steward who died in this crash was a buddy of the Eurasian guy. The flight number was immediately changed after the interview.

Loop-holes of the Story

The main concern and key factor that influenced the flight’s departure time was the approaching Typhoon Xangsane, which was making it increasingly hazardous for aircraft taking off or landing at the airport. The author of the story mentioned the typhoon and claimed that the pilot and flight crew had “decided to board the plane and depart 15 minutes early”. Commercial flights can only be delayed and they do not leave before the scheduled departure time. Imagine the chaos and confusion that it would cause to passengers and ground staff if a flight’s time of departure was determined solely by decisions made by the pilot and flight crew.

The official findings and reports of the SQ006 crash did not mention changes to the flight’s scheduled time of departure due to discrepancies with the passenger list and a headcount of passengers by the flight crew. If there were any discrepancy in the headcount would be reported immediately to the cockpit. The cockpit voice recorder recovered after the crash did not contain any communication between the pilots in the cockpit and the flight crew over any inconsistency with the passenger list and the passenger count.


1. A Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400 in its normal livery.
The airline removed the tropical livery given to SPK’s sister ship after the disaster of SQ006 (Image source: Public Domain)
2. Artist’s rendition of 9V-SPK lined up with taxiway NC during Typhoon Xangsane (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
3. The wreckage of SQ006 (Image source: iasa.com.au)

According to the author of the story, the first half was told from the experiences of two junior stewardesses and a chief air stewardess just before the flight took off. In the story, the two junior stewardesses did not survive the crash. Of the four flight crew members who did not survive the crash two were flight stewardess, one however, was a Leading Stewardess, not a junior stewardess as the story had claimed. The second half of the story claimed that the male in-flight supervisor could “see things” and prior to the accident, he saw something that was amiss on the plane; a “lady flipping through the passenger list” who was not supposed to be there. The author implied that the in-flight supervisor may have seen a vision of a lady, possibly a vision of the flight stewardess murdered years earlier. These were revealed, the story went, during an interview with the in-flight supervisor who “was among the survivors left unscratched in the crash” because he was seated “in the back section of the economy class”. The official investigation reported that “Crew duty time, flight time, rest time and off-duty activity patterns did not indicate influence of pre-existing medical, behavioral, or physiological factors of the flight crew’s performance on the day of the incident. [1]” All interviews with surviving members of the flight crew after the crash were primarily focused on the emergency evacuations procedure of the flight. There was no account of an in-flight supervisor’s “visions” mentioned in the report. Moreover, a SIA flight crew servicing a Boeing 747 is led by one in-flight supervisor. During takeoff or landing, the in-flight supervisor usually takes his seat in the middle of the plane near the stairs leading to the upper deck, not at the rear of the plane in the economy class. And the in-flight supervisor on SQ006 on 31 October 2000 did not survive the accident. He could not have been interviewed by crash investigators.


Diagram of 9V-SPK illustrating crew and passenger seat locations:
0: Fatality (location unknown), 1: No injury, 2: Minor injury, 3: Serious injury, 4: Fatality, 5: Child on lap (fatality), 6: Fuselage break
(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)


Diagram of Chiang Kai-shek International Airport and the taxi path of Singapore Airlines Flight 006.
The dotted green line indicates the correct path to Runway 05L.
The green arrow indicates the path to Runway 05R. The red path indicates the fatal takeoff path.
(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

SPI Separated the Truths and the Lies

The story contains a number of questionable points. There are no links between the murder case in 1995 and the crash of flight SQ006 that can even be considered coincidental. The story was also based on interviews and survivor accounts that did not exist. This is at best a fictional story with supernatural themes. However, creating a fictional story based on two tragedies, not to mention one that is also rather recent, trivialises these painful events and diminishes the memory of the victims. Of the two stewardesses who died in the accident, the Leading Stewardess survived the impact of the crash and returned into the plane wreckage to try and rescue survivors. She did not return alive. Her family and friends have known her to be passionate about her career with SIA. The in-flight supervisor of SQ006 who died in the accident also reacted heroically after the initial impact of the crash. The official reports showed that he survived the impact of the crash and went up to the business class section on the upper deck to look for survivors. He did not return from the plane wreckage. The story claimed that in-flight supervisor survived the crash and was interviewed by crash investigators, ignoring his courageous act, sense of duty and responsibility. Finally, the story reminds of the tragic death a SIA flight stewardess who was killed at a young age and on her maiden flight with the airlines in 1995. It also mentions the release of her murderer in 2001 after serving a prison sentence in a medium security prison in the United States. In a Singapore where convicted offenders of serious crimes are usually given stiff sentences, or in some cases the death penalty, some Singaporeans may find the release of Chang Yu’s murderer and his return to Singapore questionable.

For families affected by the tragedy of these two traumatic events, their pain and loss is unimaginable. While the story circulating on the Internet may help keep the tragedy of these two events in the public mind, it does not remember the victims and survivors in a deservingly manner.

References:

[1] Findings of the Aviation Safety Council, Taiwan, Republic of China after the investigations of the crash of flight SQ006. This paper acknowledges that the ASC report was disputed by the Singapore authorities with regards to probable causes leading to the crash.



Some reference photos of an air stewardess in a hotel – she of course is not Chang Yu

Related News:
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/364835/

Possibly one of the original and earliest “sources” of the rumour posted:
Spooky revelations of SIA crash, posted 17th July 2001, 10:02
http://www.pprune.org/spectators-balcony-spotters-corner/35989-spooky-revelations-sia-crash.html

Photo Gallery of SQ006 Crash by Zaobao:
http://www.zaobao.com/special/sia/siacrash_photo.html

 

Bottles Tree: The Mystery of Tree Worship at Tanjong Pager

A so-called sacred tree man-made or by supernatural power?

Written by SPI team, edited by John Kwok, PhD candidate, History researcher

“Sacred” Trees in Singapore

In 2007, a road accident involving a roadside African Mahogany tree at Jurong in Singapore was published in the local press. The focus however, was not the tragedy of the accident, but the tree after its bark was stripped off as a result of the accident and revealed what looked like the head of two monkeys. Local Singaporeans interpreted it to mean a deity living in the tree. Dubbed the Monkey Tree, it inspired local cults to worship at the tree for good fortune, especially praying for winning lottery numbers. Devotees left offerings at the tree and the crowds of people to gather to make them often resulted in human and traffic congestion, much to the displeasure of the residents neighbourhood.

The Monkey Tree was popular in Singapore, but it was by no means a unique phenomena. SPI has discovered that another tree in Singapore, while not as popular as the Monkey Tree, featured evidence of tree worship. This tree was located in the heart of Singapore’s CBD at the junction of Kepple Road and Anson. It was not difficult to spot this tree for it stands at a busy junction. Of the many trees that line the Tanjong Pagar Complex, this one in particularly, near some office buildings and a hawker centre, was donned with dozens of water bottles hung from its branches. SPI agents made some enquiry from passers-by and office workers nearby. Surprisingly, most did not pay much attention to it or failed to notice the strangely decorated tree entirely. Indeed, it begs the question, why was this tree decorated in such a manner?

Observations

Each water bottle was connected to another by a long strip of orange coloured string. Each pair of bottles was hung from branches on the tree and was neatly spaced out; they were not clustered in one bunch. Each bottle was also filled and capped with a clear liquid, believed to be water. There were 32 bottles altogether – strung into 16 pairs. The conditions of the bottles suggest that they were all put up at the same time; there were uniform levels of corrosion on them. Furthermore, from physical examinations of the bottles, it appeared that they were recently strung up and hung on the tree. Further indications came from the contents of the bottles; the liquid was clear and showed only minute traces of contamination by pollution and weathering. This indicates that the bottles were all hung at one effort, possibly even by the same person or organisation. However, when empty bottles and string were found tucked and hidden away behind the tree, it suggests that more bottles would be progressively added to it, possibly in stages.

In addition to the hanging bottles were several decorated bottles placed near the tree. One in particularly featured detailed flower patterns and made to resemble a lantern. Another, in contrast, also resembled a lantern but was crudely made with plastic rings cut from mineral water bottles and joined together. At the foot of the tree was a strange object made from metal wire. The wire was skilfully woven into a circular object with the ends left sticking up, resembling a pair of pointed horns. A red make-shift tassel was attached to each end of the horns. In front of this strange object were burnt joss sticks stuck on the ground. There were also traces of joss papers and evidence that a large scale type of offering ritual had been performed at the tree. It reminds one of the offerings made to spirits during the Hungry Ghost festival. It is likely that the wire-framed object was representative of a tree deity or powerful spirit. But while tree worshipping or the making of offerings to spirits at nature objects is commonly performed in Singapore, the main feature of the tree, the practice of hanging filled bottles on a tree is not.

The Investigation

The bottles, filled liquid and hanging from the branches of the tree, reminds some SPI agents of the famous Wishing Tree in Hong Kong. Kenny recalled during a previous case that took him to visit the Wishing Tree in Hong Kong years ago:

The minute we alighted from our vehicle, crowds of aunties rushed up to me asking to buy their joss-sticks. They thought that we wanted to see the Wishing Tree and to toss on it a pair of oranges, tied together by a long red string, for good luck. We quickly and successfully avoided them and instead made our way directly to a make-shift counter set up near a large joss-stick urn.

A devotee at the counter quoted me several categories of prices for their iconic wish-making oranges that come with a stack of joss papers for burning as offerings. The prices reflected the types of wishes one would like to make i.e. individual blessings, family blessings or blessings for success in business. Each type of blessing commands a different price. And they did not come cheap. Blessings start at HKD88 and could climb to HKD1388. I was astonished that a pair of oranges and a small stack of joss papers could command such prices and wondered if I could bring my own offerings. After all, it’s the same kind of offering we are making to the same tree.  

It is unfortunate that making a wish or requests for blessings have been turned into well-oiled money making scheme at the Wishing Tree. Elsewhere, making wishes were accompanied by a simple gesture of tossing a coin into a well or fountain. Fortunately, however, recently I have heard that the Hong Kong Wishing Tree is now better regulated with the emphasis on preserving it as a unique local cultural tradition.   

When Kenny saw the filled bottles hanging from the tree in Singapore, he immediately drew parallels with the Wishing Tree in Hong Kong.

1. Evidence of burnt offerings at the foot of the tree reinforces the notion that this tree is recognised as auspicious or special like the Wishing Tree or the Monkey Tree mentioned earlier.

2. Oranges are regarded as symbolic representations of wealth, prosperity and good fortune. These are also popular wishes made by believers at the Wishing Tree. There is also a popular belief at the Wishing Tree that the higher the throw and the higher the orange is caught on the tree branches, one’s wishes would be better heard by spirits and the greater possibility that that one’s wishes would be fulfilled.

Singaporeans may have also adopted the tradition of tossing auspicious items on an auspicious tree. Instead of tossing a pair of oranges strung by a long red string up the tree for good luck, local Singaporeans toss instead bottles of water. A former SPI Cultural specialist believes that these bottles were a symbolic representation of a vessel that hold the dreams and wishes of one making the offering. However, there is a more plausible explanation that stem from the symbol of the oranges in Hong Kong; water in local Chinese culture represents wealth and fortune.

The person or organisation who hung the bottles on the tree in Singapore was very likely mimicking practices from the popular and famous Wishing Tree in Hong Kong. The Money Tree in Hong Kong proved very popular in terms of tourism dollars and the bottle tree in Singapore could be an attempt to reproduce similar results in Singapore.

The Consequence

However, the creators of the bottle tree in Singapore may not be aware that their activities have broken the law on littering in Singapore. According to the Environmental Public Health Act, it is an offense to litter at any public place or public street. The items left on and around the tree can be interpreted as litter. Littering as an offence in Singapore carries a maximum fine of S$1,000 for the first offence and S$2,000 for a subsequent offence. The offence may be compounded for S$150 if it is a first offense – the offender must attend a 15 minute briefing on how littering can harm the environment. In 1992, the EPH (Corrective Work Order) (CWO) Regulations was passed, under which litterers may be required to clean up a public place. As from Feb. 2, 1996, the power to arrest those who litter was extended to operators of public vehicles. In 1999, the number of hours which a person may be required to work under a CWO was increased from 3 hours to a maximum of 12 hours, but not exceeding 3 hours per day.

Will the creators of the bottle tree in Singapore return and continue what they started? Or have they realised the gravity of their activities in terms of breaking the law? SPI will keep you updated with these strange hanging bottles. 

Tree worship is a cultural belief that worshippers will receive blessings from spirits. Such spirits may directly reside in trees or through the tree they can be communicated in other realms. The spirits can reward worshippers of material requests such as winning lotteries or other wealth. Sometimes the tree spirits can give protection, for example healing illness or safety in transportation.

Tree worship is a matter of worshipping physical objects that is deemed nothing but superstition in skeptics’ eyes. Chinese religious folk beliefs are full of such magical stuffs. In ancient times, when indigenous people did not understand science, plus the fear from the natural environments around them, they placed huge respects on things that are larger than life or relate to their daily survival, such as thunder, rain, moon, sun, mountains, trees etc. Such respects became the primitive elements of shamanism and animism for hoping of some supernatural power would protect them against threats and dangers, that later evolved into a cultural practice. They worshiped most if not all natural substances from stone idols to biological plants and animals (ox, tiger, monkey, snake gods), often in admiration of their physical strengths.

Such physical strengths that appear greater than that of human which might be not understood (or explained) scientifically, were imagined to carry supernatural powers by our ancestors in the old days.

Unidentified Flying Objects Observed in Singapore Skies

Strange sightings at Woodlands, Sengkang and others
Written by Portageek and Chlorophfil

Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) stories have always been associated with Alienvisitation to Earth. Whenever a UFO is mentioned, the conversation tends to lead to a discussion of ‘Do they exist?’

Media itself portraysthis concept, as seen from the many movies, such as CloseEncounters of the Third Kind, The Abyss, The Brother fromAnother Planet, Alien, and lately, The Fourth Kind. The UFOsmovies always depict that the visit is for a reason: conveyinga message for the inhabitants of �this backward planet� tochange behaviour (e.g. reduce wars and wastage of naturalresources) or be exterminated.

Hence, it is notuncommon for people who see UFOs to want an investigation intothe matter.  Background Asearly as January 2010, there have been forum postings and muchdiscussion of eye witness accounts of bright lights in the sky

By RaveAngel  http://spi.com.sg/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13817  (Feb 6)

By Rosieelah http://spi.com.sg/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13772  (Jan 18)

By Angel-X http://spi.com.sg/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13741  (Jan 8)

Not only have forum members been seeinglights in the sky, members of the public have similarlyreported sightings. The hype of seeing lights in the sky haseven prompted a call in to STOMP with enlarged posting ofphotographs of the UFO sighting (See STOMP report)

SPI received email from two members of the public sharingtheir accounts of their experiences. Both have video clips tosubstantiate their sightings. One sighting occurred inWoodlands and the other in Sengkang. SPI agents went down tolocation and met up with the witnesses, to try to solve thecase of �strange lights in the sky�.  UFOReport on Stomp STOMPer James has a hard timefiguring out what these strange unidentified objects he sawhovering above a multi-storey carpark in Woodlands.

Said the STOMPer:

“I’m having problems identifying these flying objects whichI spotted on Friday night while collecting my vehicle at amulti- storey carpark in woodlands.

 

“There are three of them with colourful lights around them.

“One of them was much bigger than the other two.

“During the 20 minutes of obversation, they didn’t movemuch.

“At some point, they were even covered by clouds.

“The bigger one was like a 5 cent coin at such a distance.

“The actual size may be bigger than a truck.

“I don’t believe in UFOs, so it may just be kites or airballoons. “But for a kites to be able to covered byclouds, it must have reached great heights.”

 

Haunted House Explained (Part 1)

Spaces of Transition: New Light on the Haunted House

by David Taylor



“Your house is your larger body. It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; and it is not dreamless” – Kahlil Gibran

What I hope to do in this article is question, as a “ghost hunter”, how we interpret ghosts and more specifically the “haunted house”. I do not profess to have any answers, but hope to open up a subject that has remained on the fringes long enough. Respected psychical researcher, A.D. Cornell, is more than aware that we need to take a new look at ghosts and hauntings. At the 1997 Fortean Times UnConvention he said: “You have got to put forward ideas, its no good taking a safe line all the time in case you get criticised” [1]. For too long now most psychical researchers or, as the tabloid press still insists on calling us, “Ghost Busters” have concentrated on the “nuts and bolts” approach to hauntings, with the use of various pieces of recording equipment with, it must be said, very limited results. What has been overlooked in the past has been the cognitive aspects of hauntings, and that is because the haunted house still remains the domain of the amateur investigator, while the professional parapsychologists are more concerned with repeatable psychokenesis and extra-sensory perception experiments in their ivory towers, which is a shame because with their help we have a greater chance of reaching a better understanding of hauntings. The “Ghost Hunters” also do not seem to be coming up with the goods, as it were, tending instead to stick with the same old beliefs in “spirits” or “place memories”.

Every community in every corner of the world has a “haunted house”, a building that has become a strong cultural icon both within our conscious and subconscious minds. Novelist and folklorist Andrew Lang observed that haunted houses “have been familiar to man ever since he has owned a roof to cover his head” [2]. The haunted house as a traditional folklore narrative motif has long been recognised. If we look at the haunted house from a folklore/psychological angle we can begin to see that it represents an arbitrary sign within the collective unconscious of the community. Its metonymy transforms the house, in the eyes of that community, into a modern representation, all be it in bricks and mortar, of a sin eater. It begins to take on and absorb the fears and concerns of that community. In extreme cases, where a violent murder has been committed in a house, that building may become derelict or, in the case of Cromwell Street, Gloucester, local and national feeling demands that all trace of the building should be destroyed, reinforcing, I believe, the very real and strong reactions and beliefs we have about houses. The possible act of cognitive dissonance applied to the local haunted house may also reinforce psychological theories about our feelings and views of ourselves and the world around us. But this belief, a form of internal projection, in effect brings about a communal re-creation of that internalised belief and may even externalise it.

Haunted Houses – Transferring Tensions

As a psychical researcher, I come into contact with many cases of haunted houses. The archetypal haunted house may very well be a council house, and indeed many are but, by the same token, many are not. These cases are not confined to any one social class or structure, and there are common motifs in all these cases. One case which comes to mind concerned a family who lived in an affluent suburb of Birmingham. The recurring phenomena which they reported occurred at night, and involved the mother and daughter hearing footsteps walk across the patio at the rear of the house, then enter the house (no doors were heard to open) and then walk up the stairs and stop outside the teenage daughter’s bedroom. Upon investigation no one was there. The family made discreet enquiries with the neighbours about the history of the house. They were told that no one ever stayed there long. When I visited them it was clear that the present occupants believed that a past resident, who they believed had died in the house, was responsible for the phenomena. These occurrences, they believed, had apparently also been experienced by previous occupants of the house with the result that no one ever stayed long in the property. An hour in the local records office soon showed that, despite what the neighbours had told them, a normal number of families had stayed in the house over a reasonable period of time and, even though past occupiers may have died, there was no evidence to suggest that they had died in the house. This I feel illustrates the point – faced with apparently unexplained phenomena the family believe that the only explanation can be the “spirit” of a past resident who died in the house. Their belief is reinforced by neighbours who appear to have “invented” a history of the house.

Even when faced with such contradictions the family were convinced that a death must have taken place in the house. As Peter Rogerson has pointed out: “To the new occupant, the ‘incomer’, the haunted house has a ‘history’ or a ‘reputation’ in a personal, almost sexual way. The house is not a ‘virgin’. It has been violated by the presence of other human activity…” [3]. And, while we cannot say with any certainty that the family in question had any problems, certainly no more than “normal” families anyway, their neighbours certainly seem to have projected their concerns onto the house. The house had become a sort of psychic scapegoat. We can then get entangled in a chicken and egg situation. Rumours that a house is haunted could lead the family to turn normal “bumps” and “bangs” into a tormented “spirit”, and before you know it the entire family is convinced the house, which prior to the rumours everyone was happy to live in, is haunted.

I investigated a similar case some time ago. Again the occupiers were concerned that someone had died in the house, and that their “spirit” was responsible for the phenomena experienced. Despite the scientific research undertaken which strongly indicated that an electromagnetic phenomenon was responsible for the experiences in the house, the occupiers still desperately believed that a supernatural explanation was more probable. This case also illustrates a very important, and an often overlooked aspect of hauntings. The family in question have since moved house, and now live in a small rural community. Both parents have since developed a healthy attitude to ghosts and are now both actively involved in various aspects of healing. After enduring what they have described as a living nightmare, the family has emerged stronger for it. Psychologist Julie Milton has also found similar cases which show that a more positive outlook on life and any possible life after death is also shared by some witnesses to the paranormal [4].

An obvious motif that emerges in most cases is the apparent link between hauntings/poltergeists and children going through puberty and family problems. As Gauld and Cornell have observed: “The most common themes in the resultant diagnosis have been repressed aggression and tensions within the family….This consideration provides substantial evidence for the view that poltergeist phenomena not uncommonly express emotions and emotional conflicts denied access to the agent’s ordinary stream of consciousness” [5]. These sentiments have been shared on the other side of the world by Brazilian researcher Andre Percia De Carvalho: “Apparent paranormal occurrences are always reported near the high points of crisis in a disturbed environment” [6]. Although we do not as yet have enough data to make any concrete statements, I am at this point tempted to speculate, from various observations I have made that, along with these factors, we are also dealing with frustrated and suppressed creative tendencies, the frustrations from which, due to increased external and internal factors, can be projected onto the immediate environment.

The stress involved in a case, particularly a poltergeist case, may also occasionally lead the witness to become “actively” involved without being aware of it. Such an observation was made as long ago as 1938 by Dr Nandor Fodor. His most celebrated case involved a 35 year-old housewife who he called Mrs Forbes who appeared to be at the centre of a poltergeist outbreak. Fodor soon came to suspect that Mrs Forbes was responsible for the poltergeist activity. The turning point came while they were out walking one day. Quite suddenly, and without warning, Mrs Forbes opened her handbag, took out a small stone and casually threw it over her shoulder. When Fodor questioned her about it afterwards, she indignantly denied having done such a thing. Significantly, Mrs Forbes seems to have been at least half-aware of what she was doing. In the aftermath of the stone throwing incident she told Fodor: “Sometimes I feel that I am not here, that I am not really alive. It seems to me as if another person has taken control of my body….Last Monday my cat had an accident….I have a horrible feeling that I did it without knowing….” [7]. It is difficult for those who have not lived in a haunted house to appreciate the emotions and stress involved, so is it any wonder that the witness finds it easier to believe that “spirits” are involved rather than something much more closer to home?

But we should not be surprised at these deeply rooted beliefs in the haunted house and spirits. In the ancient world, it was a common belief that every dwelling had its own spirit or genus loci that was honoured and respected. Neglecting to honour and make offerings to these guardian spirits of the home would almost certainly result in havoc breaking loose. What we would today classify as poltergeist activity was in the past often attributed to the fairies [8]. Today we consider ourselves far too civilised to believe in fairies and goblins, but the belief in spirits is obviously far too deeply rooted. So far I have yet to come across a case where the occupiers thought that their house was haunted by an elemental spirit.


Haunted Houses – Universal Symbols

The acquisition of a house has become a symbol of power, and an important rite of passage in our culture. It shows we are ready to stand on our own two feet and face the world and its responsibilities. The acquisition of land has always been a potent image often relating to supernatural powers and feats of strength, whether it be through the traditions of carrying fire round the perimeter of the land or the well known ox-hide myths. Peter Rogerson [3] may be right when he says that the council house is today’s archetypal haunted house, and offers a tantalising explanation that this is due to a lack of bonding between occupier and the property simply because as a council house it belongs to someone else. Maybe our houses are haunted because we have lost touch with them, not in a physical sense, but in a deep spiritual sense? Author and researcher Nigel Pennick has suggested: “The personality of a house, expressed by its name, is denied by numbering. It is reduced to an object, defined only in terms of its relationship, spatial or otherwise, to other objects classified similarly. Its character is no longer recognised” [Pennick 1993]. This interaction between memory, emotion and home has been explored by the artist Pam Skelton: “We construct a sense of who we are, what our identity is, through our recollections of places and people – ghosts and symbols from the past which haunt us both in the present and the future” [9]. You only have to look at reports of recent legal battles between once friendly neighbours over boundary disputes to see how entrenched these feelings are.

This interaction is not only confined to our perception of the house but to how we perceive ghosts. As Bob Trubshaw has outlined [10], Our attitudes to ghosts, from classical Greece to Victorian England means that, to each generation, ghosts appear for a variety of reasons and purposes. An audience in classical Greece, familiar with vengeful spirits would scarcely comprehend the “Grey Lady” as she flits through Victorian graveyards [11]. Our own sensibilities and constraints of the Victorians have not only silenced us but our ghosts as well. Death within popular Western culture is seen as a contamination. Our denial of death reached a peak with the Victorian era. But within Indo-European creation mythologies the act of death inevitably leads to life. The sacrifice of the primordial god leads to the formation of the world [12]. Even today, anthropologists have documented tribal cultures that believe that the ancestors have power over the living and can endow it with fertility [13]. In traditional cultures, the cosmos, temple, house and human body are all linked [14]. This means that we are intrinsically linked in a supernatural relationship with the land that the house is built on.

From the annals of folklore, an intriguing aspect of this symbiotic relationship between death and houses can be glimpsed in the customs and superstitions still centred around screaming skulls. These are either actual human skulls or carved stone heads which have been kept in a property or passed down through the family, and which occupy a specific place in the house. Removal of these “skulls” often leads to screaming and other poltergeist type activity until the “skull” is returned [15]. The location of these “skulls” and other ritual artifacts, in geomantic weak spots, such as windows, over doors and chimneys is said to keep away unwanted ghosts [16]. So here we glimpse archaic vestiges between house, spirits and death, traditions which, even though greatly diluted, are still an important and deep-rooted aspect of modern culture in the form of those who believe their house is haunted. How many people do you know whose attitude would change if you told them that a person had died in the chair which they were sitting in, or the bed in which they slept? That chair or bed suddenly takes on a new meaning. It is viewed differently. It is still a chair or a bed, but it has now taken on a liminal quality, it has a symbiotic link between the living and the dead. And, as we have seen, in extreme cases such as Cromwell Street, that relationship cannot be tolerated.

As we can see from any good ghost story, ghosts are always perceived to occupy liminal areas, such as crossroads, graveyards, moorland, and, as we have already seen, liminal objects are associated with death [17]. I am also intrigued by the many reports I have come across, and the observations I have made, where ghostly apparitions/presences have been encountered on every-day liminal thresholds such as doorways. Some of these experiences may be deeply rooted in Neolithic superstitions about doorways and death [18]. Once again, as Peter Rogerson has perceptively pointed out: “Ghosts, haunts and polts then are the signs of the Liminal zones between being and not being” [3].

Haunted Houses – Dreaming the Sacred

The developments between consciousness research and “earth mysteries” has led to “Project Interface”, the latest phase of the Dragon Project Trust, which was established in the 1970s to research so-called “earth energies” at ancient sites. This new phase has centred around volunteers sleeping and dreaming at selected ancient sites to see if any transpersonal, site-specific motifs will emerge which can shed new light on these sites [19]. Now this raises an interesting point – by the simple act of defining some areas as “sacred sites”, what we are in fact doing is saying that some sites are not “sacred”. We are taking the sacredness away from the land and our lives [20]. What makes some locations any more sacred than others is not the primary concern here. However, it is an interesting possibility that the research by Paul Devereux suggests strong correlations between stone circles and geological faulting [21] may be applicable to cases of hauntings. Dr Michael Persinger has also done a great deal of work linking geomagnetism, altered states of consciousness and anomalous phenomena [22], and we must not overlook the influence of man made electromagnetic fields on the human mind [23][24].

If the work of Project Interface tells us anything about sacred sites, could this research be applied to the study of haunted houses? One of the underdeveloped areas of parapsychological research is the interaction of human consciousness at haunted locations. Writing in the 1920s, Jung made a pertinent observation: “One of the most important sources of the primitive belief in spirits is dreams” [25].

I ask this question simply because a few months ago I came across the following case of a haunting, in which one of the witnesses was having vivid dreams, dreams which only occurred in the house, never while she was away. In the dream, the dreamer is woken by a knock at the front door. She opens it, and is greeted by her recently dead brother who was killed in a car crash. He tells her that he was “hoovered up” after the accident, taken to the top of a tall tree, put back together again, and has come to give her a message. A strange aspect of this already strange dream is the fact that the dead brother has no skeletal structure. The dream ends when he opens his eyes, revealing nothing but blackness, at which point the dreamer screams and wakes up.

If we look beyond the obvious personal and emotional aspects of this dream we can begin to possibly glimpse some transpersonal details with strong shamanistic elements. The being taken up to a [world] tree, the putting back together, the supernormal powers (no skeletal structure), and a message for the living, are all apparent in shamanic practices [26][27]. But this is just a dream, and so tends to get overlooked by most psychical researchers, which is a shame, because I have a hunch that here is the key to unlock a Pandora box of answers. Jung had similar thoughts: “….the primitive speaks of spirits, the European speaks of dreams….I am convinced that if a European had to go through the same exercises and ceremonies which the medicine man performs in order to make the spirits visible, he would have the same experiences. He would interpret them differently, of course, and devalue them….” [25]. Maybe in cases of haunted houses we can glimpse the emergence of a much-neglected strand of shamanistic experience. After all, if we placed these experiences within any other context than a modern Western one, dreams and visions of “spirits” was the domain of the shaman. If this dream had occurred at a stone circle, burial chamber or holy well, we would all be jumping up and down, excited and expectant at what it would tell us about our relationship with sacred sites. But this dream occurred in a council house in a suburb of Birmingham, and as we all know, these are not sacred sites….are they?

Haunted Houses – Healing the Haunted

Haunted houses certainly have a lot to tell us. H.H. Price, Professor of Logic at Oxford University and past President of the Society for Psychical Research, seems to have been aware that when investigating ghosts and hauntings we are faced with a dual problem: “….neither mental or physical, but betwixt and between” [28]. Very few cases show any evidence of direct, conscious hoaxing. The majority of cases are reported by genuine people who are struggling to come to terms with what they have experienced. They are more often than not scared by these experiences, and are confused and a little embarrassed at talking about them. It is up to psychical researchers, psychologists and folklorists to help people in this situation to come to terms with their experiences. It is certainly tempting to engage in what Jung would have called the “Transcendent Function” in cases of hauntings in an attempt to bridge the conscious and the unconscious minds with the “spirit of place” of the house through its mythopoetic projections in an act of self healing. Whether we realise it or not, myth has a key role to play in unravelling the enigma of the haunted house. “Myths recount the actual workings of the supernatural, and because they do so, whenever they are retold or re-enacted, they are deemed to release or set in operation that supernatural activity….Myth preserves a sense of the sacred. If a society has no use for the sacred it will probably have no use for myth either, except perhaps as a euphemistic term for indicating what it takes to be a lie” [29].

As I stated at the start of this article, this is in no way intended as a cohesive argument for a well-packaged theory, but rather the musings of one ghost hunter who ?after countless long cold nights in haunted castles, pubs, factories, manor houses, council and private houses ?feels that it is about time we made a move and followed the suggestion of A.D. Cornell quoted at the beginning of this article, and put forward new ideas. Most paranormal investigators will resist this, but that is no surprise for new ideas are seldom liked or encouraged. When investigating ghost/haunting experiences we have to remember that we are dealing with human experiences. We have in the past I feel, overlooked the human element in all this in favour of the apparent non-human. There is certainly a lot to be said for physical readings and measurements with scientific equipment in cases of hauntings, and I would be the first to champion that line of research, but also we have to be careful that we do not neglect the other, more cognitive aspects of these cases and what they may tell us about the world around us and more importantly, about ourselves.

Glossary

Arbitrary Sign: We know the meaning of a sign without considering other possibilities.

Cognitive dissonance: Theory that, when faced with contradictory information or viewpoints, the mind seeks out messages that confirm choices or verdicts previously reached.

Communal recreation: Urban legends that are changed in the re-telling.

Icon: A sign that, through frequent repetition, gains a central position in the communication systems of the culture and thereby acquires rich and relatively stable connotations.

Liminal: Derives from Latin, and means “boundary” or “threshold”.

Metonymy: The use of an object to represent the person or organisation which uses it.

Motif: A traditional narrative unit, such as character, object or action that serves as a building block of folk stories of all kinds.

Mythopoetic: Myth-making imagination.

Transcendent Function: Archetypal process that mediates opposites and enables a transition from one attitude or condition to another. It arises in an attempt to understand the elusive meaning of images. It has a healing effect by bridging consciousness and the unconsciousness.

Transference: Projecting emotions onto the environment or other people.

Bibliography

[1] CORNELL, A.D., 1997, “What Are Ghosts”, Fortean Times UnConvention
[2] LANG, Andrew, 1897, “The Book of Dreams and Ghosts”, London
[3] ROGERSON, Peter, 1987, “And the dogs began to howl”, Magonia No. 27 p7?0
[4] MILTON, Julie, 1992, “Effects of ‘paranormal’ experiences on people lives: An unusual survey of spontaneous cases”, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol.58, No.828
[5] CORNELL, A.D. and GAULD Alan, 1979, “Poltergeists”, Routledge & Kegan Paul
[6] DE CARVALHO, Andre Percia, 1992, “A study of thirteen Brazilian poltergeist cases and a model to explain them”, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol.58, No.828, p302?13
[7] FODOR, Nandor, 1958, “On the Trail of the Poltergeist”, Citadel Press
[8] BORD, Janet, 1997, “Fairies – Real encounters with little people”, Michael Oara
[9] SKELTON, Pam, 1990, “Groundplans”, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
[10] TRUBSHAW, R.N., 1998, “Fairies and their kin”, At The Edge No.10
[11] FINUCANE, R.C., 1982, “Appearances of the Dead”. Junction Books
[12] STONE, Alby, 1997, “Ymir flesh – north European creation mythologies”, Heart of Albion Press
[13] CHILDREN, George and NASH, George, 1997, “Smoking, exposing and disposing the ancestors: the emotion of death and mortality during early prehistory”, 3rd Stone, No.26 p11?5
[14] TRUBSHAW, R.N., 1997, “Cosmic Homes”, At The Edge No.5 p13?6
[15] CLARKE, David and ROBERTS, Andrew, 1996, “Twilight of the Celtic Gods”, Blandford
[16] LLOYD, Virginia, 1997, “Ritual house protection”, Folklore Society News, No.26 p7? [and pers.com. Dec 1997]
[17] TRUBSHAW, R.N., 1995, “The metaphors and rituals of place and time”, Mercian Mysteries, No.22 p1?
[18] CHILDREN, George and NASH, George, 1998, “Rites of passage and the cultural life of the doorway: An expression in metaphor and social statementing”, 3rd Stone, No.29 p29?3
[19] DEVEREUX, Paul, 1994, “Of Dragons and Dreams”, The Ley Hunter, No. 122 p26?8
[20] TRUBSHAW, R.N., 1991, “Tune in and turn Earth on”, Mercian Mysteries No.7 p8?0
[21] DEVEREUX, Paul, 1982, “Earthlights”, Turnstone Press
[22] PERSINGER, M. and LAFRENIERE, G., 1977, “Space-time transients and unusual events”, Nelson-Hall
[23] BUDDEN, Albert, 1994, “Allergies and Aliens”, Discovery Times Press
[24] BUDDEN, Albert, 1995, “UFOs Psychic close encounters: The electromagnetic indictment”, Blandford
[25] JUNG, Carl, 1982, “Psychology and the occult”, Ark Paperbacks
[26] KELLY, Karen, 1996, “The world tree in classical shamanism”, Sacred Hoop, No.12 p20?3
[27] ELIADE, Mercia, 1989, “Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy”, Penguin
[28] PRICE, H.H., 1953?, “Six Theories About Apparitions”, Proc. of the Society for Psychical Research, Vo.50 p153?39
[29] SYKES, Egerton, 1993, “Who who: non-classical mythology”, Dent

This article first appeared in At The Edge magazine No.10, 1998

Ghost Explained (Part 4)

Plasma and Psychospheres

by Marinus Anthony van der Sluijs

A Field Phenomenon

Perhaps one of the most intriguing mysteries to make it into the 21st century without ever having been resolved is the ghost phenomenon.[1] Such a vast literature has been written on the subject that I will not expound on anything in this brief paper, but straightforwardly introduce a possible working hypothesis that may guide us in future investigations.

In every ghost apparition essentially two participants can be identified:

• the percipient is the one and sometimes the group undergoing the experience;
• the agent is the ghost itself or the person who is represented by the ghost, himself often deceased.

The most fundamental issue at stake in the ghost phenomenon appears to be the question who or what triggers the apparition: who takes the initiative? Subjective theories argue that the percipient himself initiates the apparition, for example as the effect of his unconscious on his sensory organs. Objective theories, on the other hand, advocate the view that there really is physical substance and actuality in the apparition, in other words, that the ghost itself may really operate on the percipient.[2]

Taking all the evidence together it would seem that there are certain arguments in favour of both explanations. Given the strong neurological resemblance between ghost apparitions and hallucinations, for example, it sounds likely to assume that the ghost apparition is essentially a between-the-ears process. Yet other considerations vouch for the physical existence of the ghost:

• the ghost is frequently observed by more than one person, all in their right minds, and appears to each of them in the correct perspective;
• the percipient generally does not even remotely expect to see anything of the kind, as most ghosts come completely ‘out of the blue’;
• many percipients have skeptical views of the paranormal and are greatly surprised by what they see;
• the ghost often appears opaque, blotting out objects behind it;
• the ghost is sometimes reflected in a mirror;
• the ghost often looks exactly like the agent, wearing clothes or having physical characteristics that are by no means known to the observer;
• the ghost is occasionally seen by animals as well, who sometimes even point the apparition out to the human percipient.

Thus, on one hand there is no denying that the ghost apparition is connected with hallucinatory processes in the brain,[3] whilst on the other hand there really appears to be some sort of external trigger. It seems warranted, then, to assume in the final analysis that both objective and subjective explanations play a part in the process. Now, how could this be envisioned?

I think a theory of ghosts could greatly benefit from the use of a field model. Field theory is especially common in physics, where it is used to account for the simultaneous presence or operation of certain forces in different places at the same time. The best known fields are the gravitational and the electromagnetic fields. Fields have a number of basic properties which will turn out to be of great help in a theory of ghosts:

#1. A field is typically generated by a single object.

#2. Fields can only be felt or experienced if you are properly attuned to them.

#3. Two or more different fields can overlap if they are close enough or the spheres are large enough. The resulting force in the overlapping area will be the sum of the forces of the overlapping fields.

#4. The field radiates outwards from this objects with a gradual decline in strength. The strength of the field declines in space and time – in space, because the further you are removed from the centre the weaker the field becomes, and in time, because the longer after the original generation of the field, the weaker the field becomes.

These characteristics seem to make sense of many aspects commonly involved in ghost experiences:

#1. A large class of ghost apparitions, most notably the deathbed and near-death apparitions and so-called crisis apparitions, take place on occasion of extreme emotional stress, usually of a negative kind, but occasionally of a delightful nature. It would seem, then, that the psychological crisis experienced by the agent generates a field of some kind, which forms the basis of the apparition. I will provisionally call this field a psychic field or a psychosphere.[4]

#2. Many people never see ghosts and it even occurs that some people in a group see it, but one in the group misses it. There appears to be a selection of people who can observe a ghost. This could be explained by a field model, in which persons whose senses pick up the right wavelengths can see a ghost. This notion bears a close resemblance to Rupert Sheldrake’s suggestion of morphic fields, which convey information relevant to select groups of individuals, as well as to theories of telepathy. As a rule of thumb you could say that people who are closely related or know each other well seem to be better ‘tuned in’ to each other and that might help explain why so many ghosts are identified as family members of the percipient, dead or alive.[5]

#3. The discrepancy between the objective and subjective theories of ghosts could now be overcome by invoking the principle of an overlap of fields. If we might posit for the moment that every human being – or every animal with a brain – has his own psychosphere, then all types of non-verbal, non-visual and distant communication could be understood as the result of an overlap of psychospheres,[6] facilitated if the persons involved are tuned in to the same wavelengths. Thus, if someone sees a ghost it is neither enough to suppose that the agent is sending out signals nor to suppose that the percipient is hallucinating, but both are true at once, as it is a mutual process triggered by this overlap of psychospheres. The agent, typically on occasion of crisis, broadcasts strong signals constituting his own psychosphere, which are picked up by the percipient if he is tuned in properly.[7] The psychosphere must somehow be supposed to convey all the necessary information to ‘make a ghost’ and ‘deliver a message’, for which issue see below.

#4. The gradual decline of a field in time and space works well for the ghost phenomenon. Naturally, you would expect that the psychosphere is at its strongest close to the agent and at the moment of the crisis itself. This is, of course, why deathbed apparitions are such a common class of ghost observations. The two other dominant classes of ghost apparitions are haunters and crisis apparitions. Haunters and to a lesser degree revenants are classes of ghosts who are bound to one particular place and appear more than once in that area for an extended period of time. Many people can see the same haunters, including people who have no idea who the haunter is. Unlike haunters, crisis apparitions are ghosts who are seen in a different place than the place of trauma, often far removed from it, but this time almost exclusively by close relatives and friends of the agent. Thus, haunters and crisis apparitions appear to be each other’s opposites in terms of distance and familiarity:

location: seen by:
haunters: same place anyone
crisis apparitions: anywhere close family and friends

These observations receive an excellent explanation in terms of a field, as the two classes of ghost apparitions correspond to the peaks of field strength in space and time respectively. That is, whilst the field strength gradually declines after the crisis it can still be picked up either by being close to the centre of the field, where it was generated (haunters) or by being well attuned to the correct wavelength (crisis apparitions). If you are far removed from the source and are not tuned in to the particular person you will miss the signals.

This explanation requires, almost as a corollary, that a psychosphere imprinted by someone in mental crisis can linger on after the person’s death. This imprint could then be identified with a ‘soul’ or ‘astral double’, if you like.[8] It supposedly forms a double of the agent in crisis himself and sometimes even of his environment.

What Type of Field?

The upshot is that a field theory of some sort would seem able to make sense of the communication aspect of the ghost experience. The next step from here would be to determine what type of field this is and how exactly it can convey information about the form, the behaviour and the message of the ghost. In the large majority of cases the ghost turns out to look exactly like the agent, often displaying features of which the percipient was by no means aware. Does the field somehow contain a three-dimensional image of a visual type, so that the percipient’s brain, receiving these data turns them into a hallucinatory vision, giving the percipient the feeling that he has actually observed the ghost with his eyes and other senses?[9]

A first step towards the answer is to remember that the human brain and nervous system are of an electric nature.[10] The impulses sent from our eyes, ears, nose and skin to our brain are electrical signals transported through our nerves. Thus, the information constituting a ghost experience always ends up in an electric format in our brains, but if we want to find out whether the ghost is merely a set of field parameters picked up by our brain or a real observed object, we need to know if the psychosphere itself could be an electromagnetic field. Now, interestingly, there are telling clues that ghosts do indeed have a close connection with electromagnetic phenomena:

A neighbour boy enlisted to the Marines, and was serving in the Pacific. His parents heard nothing for about six weeks, his mother was wild with anxiety. One morning I stood looking across our yard toward our neighbor’s mailbox thinking ‘If only Bob’s mother could get a letter’. As if in answer to my prayer, there stood Bob, right near the mailbox, in his Marine uniform. He and his uniform appeared pale in colour and fuzzy in outline. He neither moved nor spoke … After Bob stood there for a minute or two impressing his thought on my mind, his ‘body’ started to rise. It stretched out longer and thinner – not straight into the sky, but at an angle of perhaps 30 degrees from the vertical. When the head and shoulders were perhaps 3 metres above where they had been at first they suddenly turned into (or went into) a bright shaft of light, like a very bright electrical bolt. The balance of the figure followed the head and shoulders into the light and disappeared. The bolt appeared about a metre long and 12 centimetres in diameter. The queer thing was the sparks of blue and green light that appeared to radiate from the lower edge of the bolt, and the yellow and red sparks that came from the upper end … Bob’s last two letters came that day, and in September came a ‘missing in action’ telegram.[11]

Filmed for a television documentary, investigators headed by William Roll and Andrew Nichols, both of them professors of parapsychology in American universities, found significant electromagnetic readings in houses where hauntings were claimed.[12]

Eastman, Chief Engineer at the Rhodes Electrical Company, London, was working with his colleague Harold Woodew in a darkened room, arranging high-tension wires to form a magnetic field. To their astonishment, a luminous blue sphere began to form over a dynamo revolving near them. Then, as the light grew brighter, they saw a form resembling a human hand appear in the centre of the sphere. They watched it for several minutes, until it faded away. For four days, the two men worked to re-create the conditions in which the phenomenon had occurred. When they eventually succeeded, the sphere again appeared, but this time the form which appeared in the magnetic field resembled a human head, white in colour and slowly revolving.[13]

During an apparition the percipient’s hair is often raised and the person frequently feels a chilling passing wind as well:

Percipients quite often tell us they have a feeling of something strange before they actually see their ghost … At one point during the Cheltenham case, Rosina Despard notes, ‘I felt a cold icy shiver’ when the ghost bends over her while she is playing the piano. On another occasion five of the witnesses feel ‘a cold wind, though their candles were not blown about’.[14]

Ghosts sometimes produce Poltergeist effects, such as lifting tables, or closing windows or doors. These observations could be explained in terms of electromagnetism as well.

It would seem, then, that the psychosphere is an electromagnetic field or at least has an influence on electromagnetism. But how could an electromagnetic field possibly take on the visual appearance of a ghost? This question has to my knowledge never been answered in existing literature and it is at this point that I would like to introduce plasma as the possible key to decipherment of the ghost enigma.[15] A plasma is an ionised gas, which is by definition located in an electromagnetic field. The particles of the plasma rearrange themselves according to the field lines of the magnetic field, so that a plasma in a field with a sufficiently strong current becomes a visible manifestation of the magnetic field. The shape a plasma takes on, therefore, is the shape of the magnetic field. It is now generally acknowledged that plasma accounts for 99.9 % of the universe; well-known examples of plasma formations are stars, the sun, the auroras, lightning, and fire. I would now propose the following working hypothesis for a new theory of ghosts:

A ghost is a plasma formed when the percipient’s electromagnetic field overlaps with the electromagnetic ‘psychosphere’ of the – often distant – agent and the combined field strength ionises the gas particles in the air.

This hypothesis could be tested by a detailed comparison of the morphology of ghosts with plasma physics. Although I am in no way a specialist in plasma physics, a general reading of literature would support the following observations:

• Ghosts often glow or are visible in the dark. This is a property of plasma.
• Ghosts run the gamut of sometimes being completely transparent and sometimes being completely opaque. Opacity is a function of the density of the plasma.
• Ghosts occasionally produce sound, but they often have difficulty with it, fail to say something, or merely utter an eerie cry. Plasmas, such as auroras and lightings, are frequently accompanied by sound.
• Most ghosts are stationary, but some are engaged in some activity or move around. Plasmas could be either stationary or mobile.
• Ghosts are sometimes seen passing through walls, but often open doors like ordinary people. There would be no boundaries for moving plasmas, although it appears that the agent urges the plasma to react as a living person would do.
• Ghosts never leave physical objects behind. Plasmas are simply ionised gases.
• Many ghosts start off as a ball, then become a ring or a humanoid form. Witness the following examples:

A party of young people and myself determined on All Hallow’s Eve to play at the childish game of sitting separately in dark rooms, with supper laid for two, with the intention of awaiting the appearance of a future husband or wife. Thinking the whole thing a joke, and not in the least expecting to see anything, I distinctly saw, first, a flimsy cloud which rose up at the other end of the room, then the head and shoulders of a man, middle-aged, stout, with iron-grey hair and blue eyes – not in the least the picture which a young girl would imagine she saw on such an occasion.[16]

Frau Schmidt-Falk is climbing alone, when she happens to miss her way: ‘… Having started a little late for the return, and light beginning to fade, all of a sudden I found myself in a really dangerous position … All of a sudden I noticed a sort of a big ball of light, and this condensed to the shape of a tall, rather Chinese looking gentleman … The gentleman bowed, spoke a few words, led me a small path to the tourists’ way, and disappeared as a ball of light.[17]

When we were about five, Aunt Sarah died … About two weeks later, Bud and I were playing by the side of the house at twilight (sic!). I happened to look up and saw a cloudy, swirling vapour. It became Aunt Sarah, standing there by the house.[18]

(While working with medium Marthe Béraud) ‘I see something like a white vapour, about 40 centimetres from me. It is like a white veil or handkerchief on the ground. This whiteness rises, becomes rounded. Soon it is a head, level with the ground: it rises further, grows, and becomes a human figure, a short man, wearing a turban and a white robe, with a beard …[19]

I was lying on a divan, reading, at about 5 p. m., when I saw at the doorway a little luminous circle, like the reflection of a mirror. I could see nothing that would cause such a light. The luminous circle became larger, and when it was as big as the door itself, a kind of dark shadow appeared in the middle of it. A human figure formed more and more distinctly, then detached itself from the wall and advanced towards me.[20]

Other than the visible plasma, the intruding psychosphere might contain additional electromagnetic information to be read by the brain of the percipient, which could perhaps account for the missing information, important advice, correct hiding place and so forth transmitted by the ghost in many ghost experiences. Needless to say that the investigation has only just begun.

Appendix

The following is a very brief extract of the findings of Hilary Evans’ detailed study of ghost apparitions:

Types of ghosts[21]

#1 from the past:
#1a revenants
#1b deathbed and near-death
#1c haunters
#2 of the present:
#2a crisis apparitions
#2b living ghosts
#2c autophany and bi-location
#3 of the future
#4 out of time:
#4a aerial battles and other events
#4b archetypal ghosts

Characteristics of ghosts[22]

#1 a ghost is generally life-like in appearance;
#2 a ghost is usually ‘seen’ in much the same way as if it was real;
#3 a ghost may be seen either collectively or selectively;
#4 a ghost may change its appearance during the sighting;
#5 a ghost generally adapts to its surroundings (by minding doors and so on)
#6 a ghost may appear by forming from a luminous or misty shape;
#7 a ghost is generally dressed naturally … but sometimes not;
#8 a ghost may be clearly defined … or fuzzy;
#9 a ghost may be seen in whole or in part;
#10 a ghost’s appearance may contain details unknown to the percipient;
#11 a ghost may be opaque or transparent, may reflect or not, cast a shadow or not;
#12 a ghost may or may not be seen by its own luminosity;
#13 ghosts can make sounds;
#14 a ghost may perform a physical action … but if so, the action is trivial;
#15 a ghost may be touched and felt … but lack material substance;
#16 a ghost may respond to the percipient or act as though s/he isn’t there;
#17 a ghost generally makes a once-only visit … but sometimes returns;
#18 a ghost may appear in two places simultaneously, or within an impossibly short space of time;
#19 a ghost may depart naturally, or vanish abruptly, or simply fade away;
#20 a ghost never leaves any souvenir, memento or trace;
#21 a ghost may be seen by the ‘wrong’ person;
#22 a ghost frequently fails to establish its identity;
#23 ghosts are frequently sensed.

Purposes of the ghost experience[23]

#1 apparitions offering comfort, counsel, help
#2 apparitions requesting comfort, counsel, help
#3 apparitions warning of danger
#4 apparitions seeking to complete ‘unfinished business’
#5 apparitions manifesting malevolence
#6 apparitions as messengers of doom.

Marginally related phenomena[24]

#1 dreams
#2 hallucinations
#3 religious visions
#4 battlefield helpers
#5 folklore entities
#6 angels and women in white
#7 demons and men in black
#8 bedroom visitors
#9 extraterrestrial beings
#10 séance-room materialisations

Those who have the ghost experience[25]

#1 exceptional people
#2 sensitive people
#3 ‘encounter-prone’ people
#4 exceptional states
#5 mystical states
#6 exceptional circumstances
#7 violent death and reincarnation
#8 immediate circumstances
#9 geophysical parameters.

So, if a person experiences a severe electric shock, or his house is built on clay, or he is susceptible to thunderstorms, or he is laid low by fever, or eats the wrong food or no food, or dallies with drugs or abuses alcoholic beverages, or pushes himself too hard at the office, or drives alone at night or sails alone across an ocean, or undergoes a spiritual transformation or quarrels with his partner at the breakfast table – in these or a hundred other situations, he may be rendered more likely to have a ghost experience.[26]

Conclusions

• Because we know that the subconscious … can visualize a hallucination, we may accept this as the process whereby an apparition is perceived, the suggestion either originating in the individual’s own subconscious, or suggested to it by an external agent.

• Because we know no limits to the creativity of the human mind, we may accept the possibility that many ghosts … are visualizations, exteriorized by the percipient’s own subconscious and accepted as real by his conscious mind.

• Because we know that the mind is occasionally capable of remote viewing we know that psi exists, and because the mind can be capable of precognition, we know that super-psi exists; and because we know no limits to super-psi, we may conceive it possible that the mind can obtain unlimited access to information of every kind.

• Because we know that projection takes place, we know that the extended self, or something like it, must exist. If so, it is a likely candidate for many types of apparition, notably living ghosts and those which seem to involve bi-location.

• Because the extended self, in the course of projections, displays memory, awareness and other indications of intelligence … we may accept that these faculties can exist apart from the physical body.

• Because the extended self, possessing awareness, intelligence and memory, can seemingly exist apart from the physical body, we may further conceive that it could survive the death of the physical body, and even continue to display signs of individual personality.

• Because we know that ghosts sometimes communicate information known to no living person, and utter veridical warnings, we know that whatever causes them enjoys seemingly unlimited access to knowledge; this could be the percipient’s own subconscious, or the extended self of the surviving dead, using super-psi.

• Because there are cases in which more than one person sees the same ghost in natural perspective, we may conceive that the subconscious, or the extended self, or the two in collaboration, can create a short-lived apparition which has some degree of material substance.[27]

References

[1] Along with a host of closely related phenomena such as UFOs, saintly visions, battlefield helpers, folklore entities, angels, demons, women in white and men in black, extraterrestrial visitors, séance-room materialisations, and bedroom visitors, see H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 130-165

[2] Compare: We have basically two models for the experience: • The subjective model, originating with the subconscious of the percipient. Either of its own accord, or in response to information obtained via psi or super-psi – comprising telepathy, clairvoyance, and unlimited access to information including precognition and retrocognition – the subconscious initiates a visualization process whereby it exteriorizes an image which can be perceived consciously by the percipient, and perhaps by others, as an apparition. • The external model, originating with an external agent – by which we generally mean the extended self of a person still living, or the surviving extended self of a person once living but now dead – which is able either to manifest as an apparition, or to impose an image by suggestion on to the subconscious of the percipient(s) and cause it to exteriorize an apparition … in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 235f.

[3] Compare: Psychological variables of many kinds are the building blocks of the ghost experience: hallucination is no more than the process which enables them to find visual expression as the devil, an extraterrestrial alien or Aunt Jane’s ghost, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 137

[4] William Roll calls this a psi field: Because the ‘telepathic charge’ of a haunted house is similar to the magnetic, gravitational, and other fields that surround physical objects, I have used the concept of psi field to describe psi phenomena that seem to depend on such objects. We can think of the psi field of an object, whether animate or inanimate, as a pattern of associations … In the same way as a magnet may magnetize another piece of metal and then be destroyed without affecting the new magnet, so may the images, ideas, and so on of a person continue to exist as part of the psi fields of objects with which he was once in contact, after he has gone. The image of a person seen in an apparition, whether this image was produced by him or someone else, may survive his death without being inhabited by his consciousness, William Roll, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 250

[5] James Crenshaw has toyed extensively with the idea of different realities with different wavelengths, as the following quotes show: Aside from the considerations of pure spirit, the same kind of vibrating energy, the same kind of dancing wave patterns that we encounter here are to be found there. Only the wavelengths, the incredibly rapid rate of vibration – frequencies of high orders unimagined in our world – appear to be different, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 271. The residents of the next world are able to take on a lower frequency, allowing them to manifest in our space and time. This is like a different radio or TV frequency, to which you need to be attuned if you are to receive the signal, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 271

[6] Compare: What happens when a witness perceives a haunter, in Price’s view, is that there takes place an ‘overlapping or interpenetration of two psychic atmospheres, the one which surrounds the percipient’s body and the one which pervades the room’ (which he supposes has been, as it were, left behind by the haunter after her death), in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 232

[7] Compare: One way of accounting for the crisis apparition would be if our subconscious is continually scanning the cosmos, like the radar scanner at an airfield, and picks up on happenings relevant to itself …, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 233

[8] Adolphe d’Assier in 1887 deemed this the ‘post-sepulchral spectre’: It is the phantasmal replica of all the organs of the human body. It has been seen, in fact, to move, speak, take nourishment, accomplish, in a word, the different functions of animal life. The molecules which constitute it are evidently borrowed from the organism which gave it birth. It may then be defined as a gaseous tissue offering a certain resistance, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 258

[9] This view is defended by Hilary Evans: It is attractive to suppose that the subconscious of some percipients – those that are, as it were, on the same wavelength as the psi field – may pick up a message from the psi field and externalize it as an apparition, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 250

[10] Compare: Like any brain process, hallucinations are essentially electrical; so in principle they can be recorded, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 142

[11] Pearl Ullrich, Bellingham, Washington State, 3 July 1944, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 88f.

[12] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 187

[13] Eastman, Woodew, London, circa 1930?, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 188

[14] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 92

[15] James Crenshaw’s theories came very close, but James had apparently never heard of plasma. He postulates fields of force as the basic building blocks of the universe: the particles which make up reality as we know it are merely ‘evanescent indicators’ of the emergence of these fields of force into our physical world of space and time. It is these fields which control the kind of growth and development exemplified by, say, the directive process of cell division, and – I suppose – the whole forward-progressing course of evolution. Crenshaw suggests that similar processes may result in apparitions and materializations: ‘the apparition appears to be made up of the same kind of transitory, emerging matter. It appears and disappears, can sometimes be seen and felt before disappearing, occasionally moves objects and leaves material traces …’ in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 270

[16] Mrs Gordon Jones, Anerley, England, Autumn, 1881, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 70

[17] Elsa Schmidt-Falk, Bavarian Alps, 1950s, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 109f.

[18] De Leon, Bonham, Texas, 1889, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 127

[19] Charles Richet, Villa Carmen, France, 1904, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 163

[20] N. Heintze, Moscow, Russia, 15 April 1884, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 163

[21] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 13-57

[22] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 58-94

[23] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 105

[24] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 130-165

[25] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 192-214

[26] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 213

[27] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 273

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