Facebook Changes… and more

After some thought, I’ve deleted my personal Facebook account. I’ve barely used it since around 2014. Maybe earlier.

(One of my publishers runs the Fiona Broome Facebook fan page. That will remain, and I will post there, occasionally.)

Here’s the short version…

The world has changed. The pace of daily life has changed, and so has the nature of the Internet.

As of 2017 (and perhaps earlier), social media and websites might not be my best way to share theories and research.

So, I’m reducing the time I spend, online. That means deleting some accounts,  websites, and so on.

Leaving Facebook was just one of several changes ahead. I’m also redesigning my websites, editing older books, and working on new ones.

Here’s the full story…

Things changed over a year ago, when my Mandela Effect theories (and website) went viral. Suddenly, I was in the spotlight.

For me, this work has always been about the research. I’ve never wanted to be famous.

Having my work recognized was enough.

So, I’m not sure when I finally said, “This isn’t as much fun as I had in mind.”

Facebook was involved. As the ghost hunting audience shrunk in size, bickering started among famous friends, and those who wanted to be famous.  (I’m sympathetic. Those who depended on TV success needed to maintain or even defend their popularity.)

Add the online political frenzy of 2016 & 2017, and I found all kinds of excuses not to visit Facebook.

But it wasn’t just Facebook. My Mandela Effect site was part of the problem.

I’ve discussed that in the past. Around 2015, that website stopped being a fun conversation among friends and fellow researchers. It started attracting all kinds of off-the-wall comments, plus the DDoS attacks, etc.

It’s why I never joined the Mandela Effect discussions at Reddit.

So, I’m bowing out of Facebook, and rethinking what I’m doing with my websites.

That’s not because of the insults.

It’s about the spotlight.

(Really, if I was interested in fame, I’d have taken it — with a nice paycheck — when I was offered my own TV series in 2004, and again in 2005, and in 2006, and so on.)

Book news

I’m editing — actually updating & radically rewriting — most of my books.

And, I am planning to write more books.  At least one will describe what I’ve observed from behind the scenes at MandelaEffect.com. It’s been fascinating.

At this point, books make more sense than ever-expanding websites.

Where websites fail

In 1999, when I left GeoCities and launched HollowHill.com (my first paranormal website), people would spend hours reading one article after another. Usually, they seemed to read them in sequence, or at least figure out where the conversations started.

Today, people are more likely to land on an article that’s in the middle of a series. They’re busy and they’re looking for specific information.

Sequential website articles aren’t the best way to share my discoveries. They’re too easily taken out-of-context.

Note: This isn’t my own realization. It’s eloquently explained in a Kindle book called, Kill Your Blog. (Yes, that’s a harsh title, and the author’s pen name is regrettable. But, his logic and advice are sound.)

So, I’m changing how I manage my time, and how much I’m online.

Why Now

When my children were little, we lived in Florida for a few years. We visited Disney World regularly… an average of twice a week.

We’d notice when the kids were starting to fade, and leave Disney while everyone was still (mostly) happy.

Later, we’d remember those visits with a smile. (Those memories might not be so happy if tantrums and meltdowns had been involved.)

This is the right time for me to leave Facebook. And, it’s the right time to make other changes.

Stay tuned for updates. I’ll share them here.

Please, Ignore the Trolls

a very tired woman at her deskI’m posting this in multiple places, because it’s just too ridiculous. And, I’m dealing with a deluge of concerned emails that are so very sad.

Oh, I’m tremendously grateful to have so many friends, fans, and supporters.

But… trolls are creating controversy where there shouldn’t be any. Worse, they’re taking up your time and mine. Trolls deserve neither.

Here’s part of what I posted at Facebook (at my fan page):

This is getting silly. The Mandela Effect is science, opinions, and (perhaps fanciful) speculation. It was intended to be a fun topic of discussion.
 
It’s not magic, nothing spiritual, and my site was never intended as a disinformation site.n.
 
Trying to portray my research as anything other than curiosity (albeit quirky) is laughable.
 
I appreciate the emails about how I’m being portrayed, but please, ignore the trolls who want to stir up controversy. They’re playing silly games. If you don’t play along by choosing a “side” in their arguments, they’ll find something else to do.
And, the rest of us will have time to focus on happier, more interesting things.

Ghost Hunting Isn’t Over – 2016 Rebound

I study ghost hunting trends, just as I study patterns in paranormal research. And, the current ghost hunting trends look better than you might expect.

But, before I get into that topic, maybe I should explain a few things.

You probably know that my thoughts can seem like a weird mix of “what if…?” speculation, and hard facts.

Sure, I believe in things we can’t yet explain. That includes ghosts. But, I also study trends and patterns in every aspect of what I do.

Nobody was happy when, in 2010 (and earlier, but more quietly), I said that the ghost hunting fad was in a decline. It had been faltering since around 2004.

(Okay, a few rabid, skeptical critics were thrilled by the prospective demise of ghost hunting. They missed my real point, but I’m okay with that.)

This weekend, examining the trends and stats of October 2016, I’ve seen something interesting.

Not quite the demise of ghost hunting

Take a look at the following graph. It shows the popularity of Google searches for the phrase “ghost hunting,” from January 2004 to Halloween 2016. (The blue line and grey horizontal bars are from the original. Everything else — the orange dots and black arrows, for example — are mine.)

2004 - 2016 ghost hunting trends
“Ghost hunting” search popularity – a graph courtesy Google Trends

As you can see, the most recent popularity of ghost hunting peaked in 2004. That’s not news.

The subject has been in a decline for years.

Look at the dots

The orange dots mark each October’s search figures. They’re most of what I look at. I see where the peaks are.

Of course, around Halloween, I expect that my website traffic will trend upward, and my book sales will surge.

That’s when I study the trends, to be sure I understand readers’ interests. And, to be certain I’m staying current, I track my numbers against others in the field.

Every October, if my books sell at least as well as other long-time ghost hunters (like “Ghost Hunters” star, Jason Hawes), I figure I’m doing okay.

(Sorry, Jas, but you know I’m always honest. And often tactless. But there it is.)

However, like Jason (and others), I built my first ghost-related website around 1998 (maybe earlier). It was kind of a hobby site, to start with.

And, like the Jason and the TAPS team and other “old-timers,” I’ve never been involved in paranormal research because it was trendy. I do this because I have a passion for it.

But, well, bills must be paid. I need to adjust my priorities and shift my focus so my income continues.

So, I study the trends. In the field of paranormal research, I can share a lot of insights. It’s just a matter of understanding what people want to know, so I prioritize to meet their needs.

Where I get my numbers

To track my readers’ interests, I use a variety of tools, and Google Trends is one of them. That’s what you’re seeing in the graph, above. The line from 2009 to 2014 made clear: during those years, the interest in ghost hunting was fading.

In fact, if you look at the general trend from 2004 to 2014… well, it didn’t look good.

It’s no surprise that ghost hunting TV shows have been cancelled. Ghost hunting websites are vanishing from the Internet, as teams close their doors.

To be honest, my October 2016 website traffic (for EncounterGhosts.com) was 50% higher than it had been in September. I’m pleased to see that kind of traffic.

But book sales…? Not so great. So, I need to make some changes there.

Why I’m optimistic, anyway

Here’s what I’m excited about, the day before Halloween 2016:

Halloween pumpkinComparing ghost hunting searches between October 2014 and October 2015, the line went up.

It’s only a slight increase in interest — you can barely see it — but it’s still an increase.

For those of us who earn a living from work related to ghost hunting, that’s a good thing.

The portion of the Google Trends graph that really excites me is the trend between October 2015 and throughout 2016.

It’s the first year-long “ghost hunting” uptrend I’ve seen in some time.

(Yes, this October’s Halloween-specific search figures are down. I see that. What I’m looking at are the long-term trends… what interests people the rest of the year. And, when it comes to ghost hunting, those numbers are trending up. For the first time in several years.)

I’m not entirely sure what it means, but I have some ideas that I’m exploring, right now.

Of course, the field is changing. That’s a given. It’s normal.

But, over the past few months, I’ve seen some dramatic shifts in interests, related to ghost hunting.

Things are changing in interesting ways

A lot of my friends and fans are still as enthusiastic as ever. I’m grateful for that. (Thank you!)

Many (most?) of the really dramatic shifts are coming from new people in this field. They’re asking really different questions.

(That’s why I stopped selling my 2014 “101 Ghost Hunting Questions, Answered” book, and started posting its contents — free — as articles at Ghosts101.com. All of the articles will be at that website by mid-December 2016.)

For me, this is energizing. (Right now, I have six tabs open on my browser, as I compare results from various research & trend-related sites I use.)

I know that a lot of people left ghost hunting (professionally, at least) when the in-fighting and exploitation (online, on TV, and in podcasts) became too tawdry and upsetting.

I sat it out, myself. I had no problem being a wallflower during that particular dance. (Growing up geek-y, I’m used to it. <– I’m saying that with a smile.)

But now, the tide hasn’t just turned… the tide is coming in again. And, the long-term search trends at Google prove it.

So, if you thought ghost hunting was taking its last virtual gasp, think again.

Are you making the most of what’s changing?

silly ghost costumeWe can’t do ghost hunting the same way we did back in 2004, or even in 2014.

Well, I suppose some can, and probably will.

Me…? I’m not interested in reliving the “good old days.” The memories are great, but the future beckons.

If you’re involved in ghost hunting — especially as a professional — take a good look at what’s happening.

This is more than just exciting. It’s exhilarating.

Happy Halloween (and happy Samhain, if you celebrate it)!

2017 is going to be a good, fun year for ghost hunting. I’m getting ready for it, right now. There will be changes, and some of them will be abrupt.

For me, the time between Halloween and early February are my “rest, review, and plan” months. I see where I’ve been, what’s working (and isn’t), and what changes I’ll make in the upcoming year.

What are your thoughts? I’m interested. Leave a comment, below.

A Beginner’s Guide to Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries

If you’re a beginner interested in investigating haunted cemeteries, I’ve written a book for you.

It’s short. It gets straight to the point. It tells you what you need to know to get started in ghost hunting, especially at haunted cemeteries.

It’s my first book in a planned series specifically for beginning ghost hunters.

Here’s what happened in 2016

This year, I started a new “Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries” book series. I’m writing it for intermediate and advanced investigators. That series explains how to get the research results that experienced ghost hunters want.

In each of those books, I skip the basics.

Instead, I explain the best ways to find and investigate eerie, off-the-beaten-path cemeteries.

But then…

A Beginner's Guide to Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries, by Fiona BroomeAlmost immediately, several readers asked me to write something for beginners.

They’re first-time ghost hunters.

They need short, clear, how-to guides to get started. They’re reading my websites, like Ghosts 101 and Encounter Ghosts, but they want more focused, how-to information.

They want location-specific instructions that will produce genuine results.

So, I’ve written A Beginner’s Guide to Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries. It’s a quick-start guide.

This is a short book, around 7,500 words. Most people can read it in about two hours, maybe less.

At its release in October 2016, it’s 99 cents in Kindle, and free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. (That may change in the future. If you want the lowest prices on my books, leap at the 99-cent price while it’s available.)

In this book, I explain…

  • How to assemble an informal team.
  • Where to find a good cemetery to investigate.
  • Easy ways to get the best results from your first ghost hunt in a haunted cemetery.

Find it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and other Amazon booksellers.

How to Find Haunted Cemeteries

Do you want to find haunted cemeteries?

You probably know that I’ve written a lot about haunted cemeteries. I’ve been researching them for over 20 years.

Here are a few of my articles on the subject:

The first book in my new series, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries, is at Amazon.

This new series is based on my previous book of the same name. It’s for intermediate & advanced ghost hunters.

For this series, I’m breaking topics into individual, shorter books with a narrow focus and lots of information.

I expect to write most of this series during 2017, but the first book is available in time for Halloween research in 2016.

How to Find Haunted CemeteriesPlanned titles include:

  1. Ghost Hunting: Why Cemeteries?
  2. How to Find Haunted Cemeteries
  3. How to Evaluate Haunted Cemeteries
  4. How to Find Haunted Graves
  5. How to Investigate Haunted Cemeteries

Each is a stand-alone book. You can read them in any order, and skip any that don’t interest you.

My publisher releases them in the order they’re ready for print. (At the moment, the guide to finding haunted cemeteries is in the Kindle bookstore.)

When they’re first released, each book will retail for 99 cents — free for Kindle Unlimited readers — except for “Ghost Hunting: Why Cemeteries?”

When the series is complete, all of the books will be available individually.

But, they’ll also be compiled into a box set for Kindle, as well as a print edition.

Buy it now at Amazon.comLearn more about How to Find Haunted Cemeteries at:

101 Ghost Hunting Questions Answered

I’m revising 101 Ghost Hunting Questions, Answered. It’s a major project.

It’s 2016. In the past few years, ghost hunting has changed. A lot.

People are asking different questions. They expect different answers.

Meanwhile, the contents of my 2014 book — listing 101 ghost-related questions, with answersis arriving at Ghosts101.com.

opening doorEach question is a new article.

The questions are divided into four categories: ghost hunting, ghostly encounters, ghosts and other spirits, and haunted places. That way, you can read what interests you, and skip the rest.

I’m adding the articles gradually, making minor edits as I go along.

Every few days, you’ll see one or two new articles at Ghosts101.com, until all the Q&As are there.

  • In most cases, the contents are are same as the 2014 book.
  • I’m revising references and updating anything really outdated.
  • Also, I’m replacing irrelevant questions, mostly related to TV shows. I’ll fill in with other questions & answers. (I have several that wouldn’t fit the original “101 questions” book limit. So, I’m adding them as I delete others.)

Meanwhile, I’m working on a new series of questions & answers, for a new series of short and focused “Ghosts 101” books.  The first book should be available in Kindle, late in 2016.

Divider graphic

Here’s the original article that appeared at this website:

As of October 15, 2014, the new, larger, updated edition of 101 Ghost Hunting Questions, Answered is available.

I’ve made many changes in this book, and I’ve added more current insights. I think I caught most typos and repaired them. (If you find a new one, let me know.)

101GHQs-O14-250hThe original book was written, in haste, in 2012. I wrote it to answer the top 101 questions I’ve been asked in comments and email. Many are beginner-level questions. Others are intermediate-to-advanced.

I focus on getting started in ghost hunting, choosing equipment, and which locations are best for beginners (and a few best for those with nerves of steel). I talk about the popular side of ghost hunting, sharing insider views of TV shows, movies, and books.  Also, I’m honest about what we don’t know… and questions we may never be able to answer.)

I share my views of what’s next, and offer some radical, kind of geeky suggestions. ( Such as: Blinking flashlights might lead us to our biggest breakthroughs, if technology proceeds as predicted.)

In most cases, I answer questions very seriously. Others include humorous, slightly sarcastic comments. I hope the difference is clear.

If you’ve wanted to become a ghost hunter — for fun or as a career — you’ll find useful insights among the answers in this book.

EMF, Tinnitus, and Doors

If you’ve followed my ghost hunting theories, you know that I’ve annoyed a lot of people by insisting that some (or even all) EMF surges aren’t actually ghosts.

Oh, I still believe in ghosts. I have no doubt that something odd is going on at haunted places, and — at many of those sites — the answer really is ghosts.

However, I think those EMF surges are actually electromagnetic leaking into our world, or otherwise signalling when the “veil between the worlds” (whatever you want to call it) is opening.

Remember the old TV series, Quantum Leap? Do you recall the door (or really big window) that appeared when Al was about to make an entrance or departure?

I think it’s something like that, but we can’t actually see it. We can measure it with EMF devices, and maybe with tinnitus. (Maybe. The latter needs far more testing.)

I’ve been describing my EMF/haunted places theory for years. Almost every time I do, I’m met with stony silence. If people hadn’t been so polite, I’m pretty sure they’d have declared, “Heresy!”

(Yes, I’m joking. However, my EMF theories — which may include orbs, as well — were not well received.)

Fast-forward to late November 2015…

Heading into 2016, I’m about to expand that concept, big time. It’s an evolution based on one of my conversations with Mike H. at the Mandela Effect site.

And, I think this is very cool.

As I see it, one of my most “out there” theories might have far wider implications than I’d realized.

This is going to be very, very fun.

Sidereal Time and Paranormal Research

old-fashioned clockLately, I’ve talked a lot about sidereal time, and the edge it can give us in paranormal research.

A few people have paused and raised an eyebrow. They wanted to know what I was talking about.

Since those were real-life conversations and I didn’t have the key information at hand, I promised to post it online… so, here it is.

Basically, a quirky (but impressive) study has shown that sidereal time may affect anomalous cognitions — aka: the accuracy of psychics and mediums.

The abstract and summary at Association Trans Communication explains:

“The essence of the article we are referring to is that scientists have found a direct correlation between the sidereal time of day and success in psychic ability experiments.”

David Wilcock has talked about this, and published his own paper at Scribd, in which he “shows you how to find your local sideral time, so you can meditate at 13:30 LST to increase your psychic abilities by 400%.” [sic]

Can’t access Scribd? You’ll find nearly identical information at this Project Avalon link.

In one of Wilcock’s audio blogs, he explained:

Sidereal time is the time that it takes the Earth to orbit once, relative to the center of the galaxy, rather than to the Sun.

Basically, the peak time is 1:30 PM, Local Sidereal Time. That’s not necessarily 1:30 PM, where you are, and it’s not a time you can calculate in your head, based on GMT or anything like that.

To make the most of peak psychic sensitivity, today, use LST software to calculate the exact time for today. (Tomorrow, it’ll be about four minutes earlier, and it’ll be earlier again the next day, and so on.)

For accuracy, you’ll probably use the longitude of the nearest city that’s in your time zone.

Here are some links that will tell you the Local Sidereal Time where you are:

The actual window — with ~400% better psychic accuracy — about 15 minutes before 1:30 PM, Local Sidereal Time, and continues until about 15 minutes after that time.

So, how do we use this in ghost hunting and paranormal research? We schedule our psychic investigations for times that will include the 30-or-so minutes when psychic receptivity may be highest… around 13:30 LST.

Of course, most of us investigate haunts all year ’round. But, as an example, let’s look ahead to Halloween 2016.

For Halloween/Samhain (31 Oct 2016), if you’re in the same time zone as New York City, you’ll want to start your investigation no later than 10:15 AM, since 13:30 LST will be at 10:44 AM. In fact, to give everyone time to be where they’re supposed to be, with equipment set up and in a receptive frame of mind, you should probably arrive no later than 9:30 or 10 AM.

(In England, 13:30 LST will be at about 7:50 AM, so you’ll need to arrive at 7 AM or so, to be ready.)

I haven’t tested this enough to say it definitely helps with ghost research. Nevertheless, the supporting evidence is convincing enough to recommend trying this with your research team.

If you do, I hope you’ll share your results in comments at this site.

If you want to read the full, original study, it’s titled “Apparent Association Between Effect Size In Free Response Anomalous Cognition Experiments And Local Sidereal Time.” The author is S. James P. Spottiswoode. [PDF]

Interested in Ghost Hunting Books?

Isolated boats on a dark and stormy night.In paranormal fields, authors seem to work in greater isolation than other fiction and nonfiction authors do.

I’d like to help change that with projects involving readers and fellow authors.

Beta readers

I’m looking for a few people who’d be interested in reading my ghost-related books before I publish them. At the moment, I’m looking for intermediate or professional ghost hunters, for some of my more advanced books.

If you’re selected, you’d agree to a few things:

1. Read the book (in PDF format or digital format) and give me an honest evaluation, including what works and what needs better explanations.  And, do this within a week or so of receiving the file.

2. Not share the file with anyone.

In return, you’ll be acknowledged in the book, and receive a free digital copy of the finished book.

You’re not making a commitment, right now. However, I’d like to know what your interests are and why you might be a good beta reader.

When I’m ready for beta readers, I’ll contact you first. Upcoming books include my revised ley lines research book and my paragenealogy book.

Fellow authors

In addition to the usual exchange of cover blurbs, I have a few ideas for collaborative projects.

If you’re writing ghost-related books, or you’d like to: Let me know.

How to contact me

Use the Contact Form at my FionaBroome.com website.

Thanks!

 

Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries

beginnersghhc-250h
(Above: One of Fiona’s 2016 books about haunted cemeteries.)

The 2015 edition of Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries: A How-To Guide by Fiona Broome, is out of print.

She’s writing a new, related book series. Learn more at her article, How to Find Haunted Cemeteries.

Or, if you’re a beginner, learn more in the October 2016 book, A Beginner’s Guide to Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries.

Here’s the original book description, from 2015:

Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries is the kind of book that belongs on every ghost hunter’s bookshelf. It’s a how-to manual and an important reference book.

Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries, by Fiona BroomeBeginners will learn how to find local haunted cemeteries that are free (and legal) to visit. New ghost hunters will discover the tips & tricks that professionals use to find the most haunted cemeteries — and the ghosts in them — quickly and easily.

In a way, this book is a quick (but thorough) course in ghost hunting at haunted cemeteries, taking readers from absolute beginner to confident researcher in a short amount of time.

Professionals will discover Fiona’s best-kept secrets to identifying the most active, haunted cemeteries and the “hot spots” in them. Ms. Broome shares tips to locate “sinners’” graves at church and community cemeteries. She also explains two fast & easy ways to find some of the most active graves as soon as you walk through the cemetery gates. Whether you’re conducting your own research, training a team, or conducting a ghost-related event, you’ll find useful tips and tricks in this book.

Used copies may be available
at Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk — and other Amazon booksellers.

More information: Since the first edition came out in 2009, this has been the go-to book for anyone interested in haunted cemeteries. Fiona Broome has been investigating haunted places for more than 20 years. She knows what she’s talking about.

However, most ghost hunters focus on haunted houses, hotels, battlefields, and eerie abandoned sites. They’re overlooking important haunted sites in most communities: haunted cemeteries.

Fiona’s book is vital reading, whether you’re interested in a ghostly encounter for a “good scare,” for paranormal research, or as a spiritual calling to help trapped souls “cross over.”

Remember, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries is a how-to guide, not a set of stories. Though Fiona describes some of her eerie experiences at haunted cemeteries, most of this book focuses on the nuts-and-bolts of successfully investigating haunted cemeteries in your community.

First, you’ll learn about the different kinds of cemeteries. Fiona explains which are most popular among ghost hunters and people sensitive to ghostly energy.

Do you know the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery? Today, most ghost hunters use these words interchangeably.

Traditionally, a “graveyard” was connected with a church, but a “cemetery” has always been a public place of burial. If you’re a researcher, that kind of trivia can help you understand which cemeteries — and their ghosts — may produce the best results.

After discovering how to find the best local haunted cemeteries, you’ll learn what to look for when you visit them. Fiona explains how to identify haunted graves. She also talks about something different: other areas in and near the cemetery where ghosts may linger. Fiona describes where to investigate to find “forgotten” graves and their displaced headstones.

You’ll uncover great tips about where to look — and what to look out for — if you want a memorable ghostly encounter.  Photos will show you exactly what the best locations look like.

Of course, not all ghost investigations are planned. Have you ever stumbled onto an unexpected cemetery and your “gut feeling” told you it was haunted? This book tells you what to do if you only have time for a brief visit, but you want to find the most active spirits and eeriest graves.

If you’re investigating ghosts, it helps to know why they remain in our world. With those insights, you have a far better chance of making contact. Throughout this book, Fiona explains the ingredients that make many cemeteries haunted, and the very personal reasons why some ghosts linger by their graves.