Stone Tape video lecture

I did a video lecture on the Stone Tape theory. It’s based on research documented in these two posts: The “Stone Tape Theory” of hauntings: A geological perspective Haunted rocks: The Stone Tape theory If you ever see paranormal investigators touting this as a “scientific” theory, whack them with this link.

Coming soon: A directory of “Professional Paranormal Services” and a paranormal TV network

A new site has launched offering listings for “professional paranormal services”: ParanormalPages. I did a double-take at the use of “professional” as I always do when this is mentioned with respect to amateurs who use blinky gadgets and get their “training” from TV shows. They have marched steadily into American consciousness and convinced many people…

A foray into psychical research and faith

Continuing on my quest to find clues to the Stone Tape idea, I was pointed to Shane Leslie’s Ghost Book of 1956. This prior to Lethbridge’s Ghost and Divining Rod (1961) which much more flamboyantly (and conceitedly) trots out the idea about emotional recording in mysterious “fields” to be played back later to a receptive…

Sidgwick’s 1885 seed of an idea

I’m currently working on a piece for Spooky Geology. Such topics typically involve diversions, tangents, sidebars and rabbit holes. What I think is going to be a direct list of references and ideas to answer a question about where some concept came from never turns out to be that. Instead, I find incomplete leads from…

Visiting the Fringe

“Hello, Ms. Hill,” said the man at the registration desk before I had a chance to give my name. “We’re glad to have you here.” So much for flying under the radar. I’m the skeptical one at the Fringe New Jersey one-day conference. I’m used to this, though, having gone to several paranormal-themed events. Why…

Scottish poltergeist story is highly questionable, even if the police say they saw something

A story about a family in Rutherglen, Scotland, who called in police to report paranormal phenomena, rode the media wave yesterday into today. The original source was the local Rutherglen Reformer paper that appears digitally on the Daily Record (UK) website. Here is the main story: Rutherglen family call in police after witnessing paranormal activity A desperate Rutherglen…

Well-worn paranormal paths go nowhere: When to give up

Gary Campbell is the keeper of the Official Sightings Register at Loch Ness. In an article today in the Daily Record, he says that even after 20 years of this project, sightings still continue. Gary Campbell, keeper of the register, said the fascination of Nessie was showing no signs of abating. He accepted five sightings for…

A Guide to Ghost Hunting Guidebooks: NO MORE! Please!

This might come as a shock to the millions of ghost enthusiasts out there: The scientific consensus is that ghosts are NOT spirits, remnants of the dead, recordings of energy, or supernatural entities. Our existing knowledge about nature does not point to a conclusion that ghosts are a single definable thing, paranormal or normal, that you…

Beware the prowling ghost (Book Review)

Regarding paranormal research, there is no comparison between the work that comes out in print (paper or digital) and the mostly crap posted online from paranormal groups or the media. You are hard-pressed to find anyone online who knows what they are talking about when it comes to solid paranormal scholarship and writes well. Here’s…

A ruse by any other name still stinks

As one who runs a website about weird news, it’s been a crazy start to the year. A number of hoaxes proliferating around the media the first week of this year. They are passed on almost with the same respect as actual news. If you resolve to do anything this year, resolve to doubt the…

Vampires in Serbia. What’s up with that?

On November 24, a story appeared in the Austrian Times relating fear of a vampire roaming the remote village of Zarozje,Serbia. That seemed odd. Vampires aren’t something we assume people actually believe are real. The story, however, was legendary. According to Serbian folklore, a man, Sava Savanovic, lived in a wooden house near a mill…

Your friendly neighborhood mon$ter

In a recent post on Skeptoid blog, I suggest that paranormal-based tourism, such as ghost tours and monster festivals, which are growing in popularity, border on fraud. “Even if there are long-standing legends of strange events occurring at some location, to suggest that a place is haunted just to freak people out is contemptible.” “Ghost…

On the shoulders of giants: Using references

Science as knowledge is cumulative. It is built upon that which was discovered by those that came before. The profession of science relies on getting (and giving) credit where it’s due and demonstrating you know what the heck you are talking about (1). Good nonfiction books (not just science books) have references to show that…