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Creepy and Unusual Names Wanted

GPC is not only interested in supernatural events, we are also interested in anything remotely paranormal, ie. folktales, superstitions, etc.  One of the most interesting elements in this project is that of bizarre, unusual or supernatural sounding place names or street names.  Many of these names can be found on maps, but there are always locations or roads known only to locals.  Please submit any interesting names to ghostprojectcanada@gmail.com or on this site. Please also include location information of the place or street.  Thanks!  #bizarre  #paranormal  #supernatural #ghosts

Examples:

  • Devil’s Elbow, Yukon
  • Deadman’s Bay, Newfoundland
  • Bogart Lake, Nova Scotia
  • Fairy Glen, Saskatchewan

 

A Point by Point History of Ghosts

HISTORY of GHOSTS

Ghosts have been identified for thousands of years. Over that time, our beliefs and opinions of them have changed dramatically. This is not so much a result of ghosts changing their behaviour, in general, but of our ideas of their motivations. Our interpretations of ghosts are affected by our religious beliefs, cultural mores, literary influences, and more recently, media effects. Until the 19th Century, most ghost reports were made by religious figures, then intellectuals. Not until the end of the 1800s did the common man’s perceptions become paramount. The following is a summation of the changing factors regarding ghosts in bullet form, taken from one of my classes in Parapsychology that I teach. This is the most efficient way and less arduous way to gain the information than a horribly text heavy blog post. Many of this was taken from the excellent book, Ghosts: Appearances of the Dead and Cultural Transformation, by R,C, Finucane, 1996, perhaps the best book on ghosts ever written. Though it is loaded with detail, that never interferes with its readability.

CLASSICAL GHOSTS

  • Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey set standard for ghosts

  • They were passive, harmless creatures

  • Living ignored them for the most part

  • Ghosts seen as impotent, irrelevant, unless needed for advice or information

  • Witch of Endor called upon the ghost of Samuel in the Old Testament

  • Ghosts could only be called within 12 months of death

  • If ghosts appeared, usually they were concerned about proper burial rites

  • Rare stories of vindictive ghosts

  •  

EARLY CHRISTIANITY/EARLY MIDDLE AGES

  • Many beliefs of pagan times carried on for a time into the early Christian era

  • Eventually assimilation and accommodation gave way to a more combative stance which ultimately led to the Witch Craze

  • St. Augustine led the charge after a life pf pagan hedonism

  • Ghosts got a makeover to bring them more in line with Christian theology

  • The concept of purgatory was ‘invented’; from the Judaic concept of Sheol

  • Augustine said the souls of the dead ‘lived’ in a special place (undefined) and inassessable to us

  • However, our prayers could help the dead, even if we couldn’t see them or they us. (Augustine)

  • The concept of Demonology was largely unformed at this juncture

  • However, the idea of postmortem retribution was born (created) by Christian writers

  • In Later Christianity, battles with paganism ebbed and Celtic/Germanic influences spread

  • Communication with the dead increased and became mainstream

  • Death Warnings became more common, but concern about burial rites remained strong

  • Purgatory became enshrined and thus the assessability of souls from there

  • Ghost stories were concern with ‘establishing and emphasizing Christian teachings’

LATER MIDDLE AGES

  • The optimism of the early middle ages (with a celebration of death) gave way to pessimism and a fear of death

  • The Black Death, major famines, internal church disputes and warfare all contributed to this

  • Demonology became a staple of church teachings and fire and brimstone replaced a glorious afterlife

  • Good and bad deaths, alleviation of souls in purgatory, and common communication between the dead and living

  • Some debate as to whether ghosts occurred in dreams or a result of a vision

  • Ghosts were concerned with warning people about confession, last rites and absolution

  • Attoning for sins was another major theme by Christian writers

  • Seven and thirty days became the usual time-period for visitations, with none after 12 months when decomposition is complete

  • The dead could return from hell to warn the living

  • The dead could also come back to ask forgiveness and prayers

  • The dead of hell would come back bearing marks of their suffering

  • These ghosts looked like paler, sadder versions of themselves

  • No physical contact between living and dead

  • Most ghosts were male, 75%, with 75% of percipients being male as well

  • Most receivers of ghostly visitations were religious figures

THE REFORMATION

  • The Catholic Church became under attack by the Protestant Reformation and secularism

  • Protestants believed that the dead were illusions, demons, or angels (no purgatory for the dead to come from)

  • Catholics believed that the dead were returning souls

  • Reports of knockings and poltergeists become less rare, but won’t become common until the 18th Century

  • Shakespeare formalizes belief in ghosts and their visitations to the living

  • This leads to a revamping of literary ghosts of the Roman times. From observers to participants.

17th CENTURY

  • Religion was divided to various camps of the Right, Left and Center.

  • These camps each had strong views on visitations of the dead.

  • Ghosts became weapons in ecclesiastic wars

  • Mainly though, ghosts became a weapon of all religions to combat the rise of atheism

  • The ghost who appears to give evidence in his murder makes his first appearance in the literature

  • Provision for heirs or announcing an impending death also main reasons for visitations

  • Poltergeists ‘proved’ the existence of demonic forces

  • Death pacts came into vogue

  • Most ghosts were known to their viewers

  • They are normal in appearance, voice and behaviour, open doors, even knock.

  • Main distinction of 17th Century ghosts were their freedom from purgatory

18th CENTURY AND THE AGE OF SCIENCE AND ENLIGHTENMENT

  • Many of the mundane reasons for visitations continued into the 18th Century

  • First, brief, belief in the Devil reanimating corpses

  • These reanimated/manipulated corpses resemble Eastern European Vampire tales

  • These tales merged with Vampires and faded away

  • Poltergeists became common

  • Science developed and an understanding of Nature and God was felt to be in one’s grasp

  • Arguments about ghosts changed to debates about miracles and violations against the laws of nature

  • Ghosts appeared less to the upper classes at this time, though an increase in belief in spiritual forces increased

  • In the lower classes however, ghosts remained popular and were reported often

  • First folktale collections were started

19th CENTURY AND THE ROMANTIC PERIOD

  • Science was the dominant darling of the upper classes and intellectual thought

  • The Industrial Revolution changed the lives and living conditions of most people

  • This led to a yearning for the ‘lost innocence’ of earlier years

  • Reason gave way to a resurgence of romanticism

  • Fears of premature burial replaced ghost visitations as important indicators of death beliefs

  • Gothic horror stories became very popular and affected beliefs of ghosts and their behaviour

  • The idea of an energy force, first coalesced around Mesmerism, was born

  • Spiritualism was officially born by the Canadian Fox sisters in Hydesville, NY

  • Seances became very popular, with most mediums and guests being women

  • The SPR and ASPR were founded in the late 1800s

  • The scientific investigation into the afterlife culminated with Census of Hallucinations and Phantasms of the Living

  • Commoners were encouraged to write with their stories for the first time

  • In the early 19th Century, ghosts carried on with mundane tasks, but by the late 19th Century, their visitations seemed to have little or no reason (reflecting the general populace’s experiences with ghosts) T

  • Moment of Death visitations became more common and occurred in silence

  • Dull stories abound, but this reflects an increase in ordinary occurrences being lumped into ‘hauntings’

  • Ghosts tend to wear black, and prefer a specific venue

  • The new religion of Spiritualism began to fight with Christianity

  • Victorian ghosts were insubstantial, often accompanied by a dull luminescence, vague, clothed in black or gray and melancholy. Most are unknown to their viewers and do not appear to tell of buried treasure, murders , revenge or legacies.

20th CENTURY

  • Spiritualism flourishes and then collapses after the First World War

  • Science and a changing culture killed it

  • Ghosts and their behaviour in the early 20th Century little changed from 19th Century

  • With the advent of the Internet and dawn of the 21st Century, interest in ghosts reaches a fever pitch

  • Many more insignificant events are lumped into tales of hauntings

 

21st CENTURY

 

  • The internet made access and distribution of information on ghosts easily available to anyone who wanted or needed to understand more about ghosts.
  • Unfortunately, the internet soon was corrupted by negative forces and facts and truth became subsumed by opinion and philosophy.
  • The rise of the DIY movement was eagerly embraced by those who wanted to obtain facts on ghosts with first hand experience on demand. No longer were experts needed, any old plumber could become a celebrity with absolutley no training in the tools necessary to understand and interpret hauntings.
  • The rise of the paranormal reality TV show, still a dominant factor 20 years hence, has skewered beliefs of ghosts and changed their nature and behaviours. Gone are the apparitional ghosts, now we have unintelligible murmurings recorded on audio devices and the presence of cold spots in obviously drafty old buildings to ‘prove’ ghosts exist and are present at any particular location chosen by any ignorant amateur.
  • The creation of ghosts as a business model has rendered useless the collection of ‘haunted’ sites since truth is shrouded in generally fun exaggeration of ambiguous sensory input for the sake of customers and the bottom line.
  • Ghost tours, as well as history tours, now are tainted by entertainment and monetary gain rather than careful documentation and dissemination of actual hauntings and folktales.
  • The once respectable field of research into ghosts by respected, highly intelligent and scholarly people has been reduced to fools crawling into dirty old basements or attics and screaming for the ghosts to appear or talk to them. On camera of course. These shows don’t even bother to pretend it is reality that the viewer is seeing, and having worked int he TV business and had a ghost series myself, I can assure you it is all FAKE.

Our Mission (updated)

Welcome to Ghost Project Canada. This project is a multi-year effort to collect and analyze all supernatural events in Canada statistically and geographically. Questions pertaining to clusters of events; locations; timing; weather; cultures; time of day and year; belief systems; and effects of media, as well as other factors will be investigated and the results made public. The final report(s) will be submitted to the appropriate provincial and federal archives for use by future folklorists, social scientists and independent researchers. It should be noted that Canada is just first in this process. Next will be the United States and then the UK, with Europe following in good time. Collection and collating of stories, myths, folklore, urban legends and beliefs in these countries has already begun. Therefore, we encourage anyone to submit their favourite story, personal experience or idea from any of these countries. We thank you for your interest and hope you will participate. Your submission will be confidential unless otherwise indicated. Multiple submissions are welcome and encouraged, either by individuals or research groups. Thank you for checking out Ghost Project Canada.

ghostprojectcanada@gmail.com  Facebook: @GhostProjectCanada     902-454-4745

Ghost Stories: The Science Behind Sightings

https://www.seeker.com/ghost-stories-the-science-behind-sightings-1767991664.html

There is no scientific evidence of a supernatural explanation for ghost sightings. But the parapsychologists have their arguments, too.

Published On 10/29/2013
9:00 AM EDT
| Elisa Lazo de Valdez/Corbis
| iStock
| iStock
In an illustration from 1874, Anne Morgan — said to have been dead for two centuries — reveals herself under the name of “Katie King,” through spiritualistic mediums to ghost seekers in Philadelphia | Corbis
Taken in Norfolk, England, in 1936 by Capt. Hubert C. Provand, the so-called “Brown Lady Ghost” photo was published in Country Life magazine. | Wikimedia Commons
| iStock

Legend Tripping: Ghost Hunting Made ‘Real’

https://www.seeker.com/legend-tripping-ghost-hunting-made-real-1767404900.html

While many ghost hunters may claim to be seriously seeking spirits, folklorists have another term for it: legend tripping. ->

Published On 04/12/2013
5:01 PM EDT

Most of us have seen groups of ghost hunters, both on television reality shows and in real life. Nearly every city in the country has at least one local ghost-hunting group that periodically ventures out into cemeteries and other reputedly haunted locations seeking spirits on moonlit nights.

While many ghost hunters claim that they’re doing scientific research exploring the boundaries of science and the supernatural, folklorists have another term for this behavior: legend tripping.

“Many types of legend trips are common in the United States,” explains folklorist Bill Ellis in the American Folklore encyclopedia. “Often a baby is said to have died or been murdered, frequently at a bridge, and its ghost is said to cry at certain times. Or a person – man or woman – was decapitated in an accident, and a ghostly light lingers at the site of the tragedy.”

Legend Tripping

“Travel on legend trips is usually by automobile to a spooky location that is remote,” writes Jan Harold Brunvand, in his Encyclopedia of Urban Legends. “Legend trips function both as informal tests of the claims made in supernatural legends and as verification of the courage of the teens themselves, who may try to act out the legends they have heard by blinking the car lights a certain number of times, calling out for the ghost, or sitting on a cursed gravestone.”

The point, Brunvand notes, is not to do any real investigation but to simply have fun, and whether anything spooky happens – from a ghost appearing to a bird fluttering by in the night sky – doesn’t matter. The fun is in the pretending: “Even if nothing happens, the stories associated with legend-trip sites continue to grow and develop as they are passed in the oral tradition of several generations of teens.”

The legend of “Bloody Mary” is a common example, in which people (typically teenage girls) are dared to enter a dark room, either with or without a lit candle, stand in front of a mirror, and call Mary’s name a specified number of times to summon a dead woman’s spirit.

Depending on which version of the story is being told, Mary’s ghost may suddenly leap out and attack the person who looks in the mirror. It’s an obvious myth, but that does nothing to deter generations of girls from participating in the experience. In fact it’s one of the most popular urban legends in the world.

Ironically most ghost hunters aren’t familiar with folklore and don’t realize they’re engaging in legend tripping. To them it has all the trappings of a “real” ghost investigation or spirit hunt, and they claim to take it seriously.

“The stated purpose of such activities is not entertainment but a sincere effort to test and define boundaries of the ‘real’ world,” notes Bill Ellis in the book Aliens, Ghosts, and Cults: Legends We Live. “And even the most jaded participant in a legend-trip may be genuinely frightened by a sudden, unexplained happening.”

Thousands of ghost hunters have spent decades trying – and failing – to find hard evidence of ghosts. Surely real proof of life after death would be more likely discovered by scientists than amateur ghost fans walking around a cemetery at night with an electronic gadget they bought at Radio Shack.

Experience Not Evidence

If ghost hunts or legend tripping were about evidence, they would have been abandoned long ago. Instead the purpose is to have a fun time with friends being scared – or pretending to be scared – by things that go bump in the darkness. The same suspension of disbelief allows people to enjoy movies, books and video games. This intentional blurring of the lines between fact and fantasy is part of the enjoyment, of course. It’s more fun to pretend to expect ghosts to pop out than to acknowledge it’s all myth and legend. After all, everyone loves a good ghost story.

Though legend tripping and ghost hunting is mostly pretend and playacting, it does have its perils. But the danger doesn’t come from angry ghosts.

In 2006, an Ohio girl was shot while exploring legends about a haunted house near a cemetery. She and a friend were trespassing, and she was critically wounded when the house owner mistook them for vandals and shot at them.

A North Carolina man died in 2010 while legend tripping with friends. They gathered on a rural bridge hoping to see the ghost of a train that crashed there over a century earlier. Legends said the ghost train would materialize on the anniversary of the accident. No ghost train appeared, but a real one came around a bend and killed one man who couldn’t get out of the way in time.

Does Fear Drive Kids’ Paranormal Experiences?

https://www.seeker.com/does-fear-drive-kids-paranormal-experiences-1767211910.html

A new study may explain why some children report paranormal experiences with ghosts, fairies and monsters. –>

Published On 02/18/2013
4:35 PM EST

Ghostly syllabus for new degree

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4753861.stm

Students are to investigate the existence of ghosts as part of a degree course looking at people’s experience of the paranormal.

Coventry University is offering the chance to look into haunted houses, extra-sensory perception and “the survival of bodily death”.

Tony Lawrence, director of the two-year parapsychology course, said it would be “controversial yet thought-provoking”.

The focus will be the “middle ground” between religion and science, he added.

Sightings

The 15 post-graduate students starting the first course this autumn will look at the paranormal using several scientific methods.

For instance, some will investigate haunted houses, looking at statistics on which parts of buildings provide the most sightings.

Extra-sensory perception – where two people seem to communicate without using sound, vision, touch or smell – will also be looked at.

Ghost

The vice-chancellor was never the same again

Dr Lawrence said: “We’ve got to look at what people are experiencing.

“No one has bothered to look, so people’s view of the world has been divided into two components: the secular and humanist, and the religious.

“We’ve got to look at the middle ground, otherwise all you have is Richard Dawkins (professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford University) or the Pope.

“Both have probably not quite got their finger on the real pulse. People out there are having interesting experiences and no one is really following them up.

“It is less about Hammer House of Horrors and more about proper methodology.”

If you were to ask anyone what fascinates them, you can guarantee that the one thing they would all like an answer to is if there is life after death
Tony Lawrence

The course also looks at people’s interest in the spiritual and paranormal, as seen on TV, in films and in books.

It promises “an honest, open systematic examination of the evidence for these exceptional human experiences”.

Student will use yoga and meditation “to extend or enhance their personal development”.

‘Not always answers’

Dr Lawrence said: “A lot of what we do will be controversial yet thought-provoking.

“There is always a fascination with the unknown and we will be exploring the paranormal and trying to explain why things happen, but sometimes, there won’t be answers.

“If you were to ask anyone what fascinates them, you can guarantee that the one thing they would all like an answer to is if there is life after death.

“It is not going to be a course that will tell students what they should believe and it is not a course that will expect the student to practise any particular religion either.”

It is hoped some of the students of the Master of Science course in parapsychology will go on to write doctorates on the subject.