Review – What Are Ghosts Made Of?

A recent article at Higgypop attempts to answer the question, “What are ghosts made of?

While no one can answer that with complete confidence, the Higgypop article covered some interesting theories. I agree with most, but not all of them.

Here are some excerpts from that article, with my thoughts:

…if people are able to sense the presence of a ghost, detect them with ghost hunting gadgets, or even see an apparition, then there must be something measurable and tangible that creates them.

What are ghosts made of?My reaction…? Yes, and no.

If we assume that spirit (God, the Universe, Deity) creates matter, I’m not sure we need to (or even can) assume that God has a physical body that we can measure.

And, if people are created in the likeness of their creator, I’m not sure each has to retain some physical form after death, in order to create energy in this reality/world/realm.

The article then explains the difference between “intelligent hauntings” and “residual hauntings.” (Many of us use different phrases for them. I’ve discussed this at length at HollowHill.com.)

About residual hauntings, the Higgypop article says:

The phenomenon is known as “stone tape theory” due to the belief that energy is captured and stored like a video recording in the surrounding bricks, woodwork, stone and possibly even the soil. When the conditions are right, these materials release this energy and you sense or see the event occur in exactly the same position as it did years ago.

That’s a pretty good summary.

Also, I like this about ghosts and spirits:

When it comes to intelligent hauntings it’s a little different. These types of hauntings are the classic “ghost”, they can reportedly move objects, push or touch people, slam doors and even throw objects across a room. So clearly when they manifest there is some kind of physical force behind them.

But then the article says something that – to me – seems like it goes a little too far out on a limb.

Many paranormal researchers believe that when someone dies, they continue to live on outside of their body as a form of electromagnetic energy, similar to the electrical impulses in the human brain. It’s thought that it is this EM energy that is responsible for ghosts. This is why ghost hunters often use electromagnetic field meters to detect the presence of ghosts.

Perhaps some paranormal researchers think all ghosts are a form of electromagnetic energy. Do most researchers think that…? No.  (I’m guessing that “many” falls between those two extremes.)

But personally,  I’m not willing to conclude that. Not at this point in our research.

I think they may (or may not) be in an environment where EMF exists and functions different to how it does in our reality.

So, I freely admit: I haven’t a clue why we measure EMF surges that correlate with activity we call ghostly. (I have theories, but they’re merely guesses spanning a wide range of paranormal phenomena. It’s important to keep an open mind.)

Despite my disagreements with the article – most of them minor (and some, admittedly, just me being too picky) – I’m nodding in agreement with the conclusion:

While some ghost sightings can be written off as hoaxes, the majority of ghost sightings come from people who genuinely believe they have seen something supernatural. So whether ghosts are electromagnetic energy, a reflection of the past, or a trick of the mind, you can’t take the experience away from someone who has witnessed a ghost.

read the full, original article I quoted:

https://www.higgypop.com/news/what-are-ghosts-made-of/

I’m interested in your opinions and insights, if you’d like to leave a comment at this article.

Misinterpreting the Mandela Effect

Right now, I’m working on a book series about the Mandela Effect. The first book – which has been my main focus for the past few weeks – is going to be a quick overview for those with a casual interest in the topic.

Misunderstanding the Mandela Effect. Fiona muses about news reports. For me, it’s another reminder that people don’t always “hear” text the way it was intended. But, as I’m researching others’ explanations for this quirky phenomenon, I’m also seeing some bizarre interpretations of things I’ve said online.

Oh, it’s not news that snarks, hyperbole, and sarcasm rarely convey clearly in text.

In the case of the Mandela Effect, I’ll have to include musings and “what if…?” speculation to that list.

For me, the Mandela Effect is like other paranormal topics I’m studying. I have absolutely no doubt that something odd is going on.

Also, I’m fairly sure that the Mandela Effect – like ghosts, faeries, and related subjects – can’t be explained (or shrugged off) with just one, all-purpose explanation.

In the case of the Mandela Effect, too many disparate reports match up in eerie ways.

  • They can’t be dismissed as just one or two people (or even a troll collective) submitting prank reports.
  • The “false memory” label doesn’t fit the reports, universally.
  • Nor can I attribute something as widespread as the Berenstein Bears’ issue as a literacy problem, or any of the myriad other explanations skeptics like to insist upon.

However, as much as I like the parallel realities concept – and feel that, in a way, it’s kind of an Occam’s Razor answer – I’m not going to insist on it.

In a February 2018 article in the British newspaper, The Independent, I read this:

Broome explains the Mandela effect via pseudoscientific theories. She claims that differences arise from movement between parallel realities (the multiverse). This is based on the theory that within each universe alternative versions of events and objects exist.

That’s too funny. Of course I don’t claim that. I offer the multiverse theory as one speculative, fun explanation. But – even if it’s among my favorite, “what if…?” theories – it’s only one of many.

And, if I were discussing the Mandela Effect seriously, the multiverse would be far down the list of most likely explanations.

(For starters, I usually tell people to research everything they can, related to the alternate memory they seem to recall. Maybe there’s a logical answer to the mystery. Perhaps it started as a simple misunderstanding, some troll-ish mischief, or an April Fool’s joke that someone thought was serious.)

Oh, back in the early days (2009- 2010), Mandela Effect conversations were different. We were a small group – maybe a dozen or so people – sharing thoughts via comments at my website.

I’m pretty sure all of us knew the difference between when someone was serious, and when they were having fun with “what if…?” speculation.

By April 2011, far more people had joined the conversation. Some took the topic more seriously than others. In general, the tone was still “what the heck is this, anyway?” as we tried to sort the evidence and possible explanations.

In other words, few people – including me – locked into just one reason for the Mandela Effect.  Our conversations were sincere, but also light in tone. Most of us recognized how strange it all sounded, even to us.

Then, in 2015 after the Berenstein/Berenstain Bears topic went viral, I guess my whimsical tone of voice didn’t convey well in what people read. Or they didn’t go back to see the wide range of theories and banter we’d already shared.

So, some mistakenly think I take everything very seriously, and insist on just one Mandela Effect theory.

For example, in a 2015 article at Psychology Today, I see this:

Broome believes memories that are out of sync with recorded history occur because our minds get entangled with alternate universes. According to the “Many Worlds” hypothesis proposed by quantum physicists Hugh Everett and Bryce DeWitt, the world splits into parallel universes every time a quantum event happens. Thus, while Nelson Mandela did not die in prison in the 1980s, at least in this universe, there is some other universe in which this did occur. And Broome’s memory of the event is proof that her mind has come into contact with that alternate universe!

Umm… no. My own late 1980s’ memory could be badly flawed. It could be a mish-mash of several funerals in TV news reports. I’ve never claimed otherwise.

In fact, that’s why I’d never mentioned that memory until someone else (Dragon Con’s security manager, Shadow) brought up the topic. I was absolutely amazed that anyone else shared that weird, unsupported memory… much less thousands of people.

In fact, it’s probably an understatement to say I was amazed. Utterly stunned and flabbergasted might be better terms.

But even (or perhaps especially) knowing that others share the memory of Nelson Mandela’s funeral in the late 1980s, “normal” explanations elude me.

A few things really baffle me. They include others’ reports with details (that I’d omitted from public posts, deliberately) that matched my memories of the Mandela funeral, 100%.

Also, I’ve never found other funerals from that era with details that I could have conflated.

Yes, most critics insist I’m remembering Steve Biko‘s funeral, but that was in 1977, when I lived in northern California. The funeral I recall was on the TV when we lived in Florida, so that places it between 1987 and early 1990. Also, the TV coverage continued for days, at least two and possibly three.

But, being somewhat skeptical by nature, I’m still not certain that my memory of the Mandela funeral is accurate. I’m open to other explanations.

As a Mandela Effect researcher, I try to keep an open mind. Also, in addition to trying to explain my memory of that funeral, I’m looking for an explanation for the thousands of other people who seem to share that quirky memory.

Like me, they seem to recall several days of TV coverage, the outdoor speeches under a big tree, the emotional widow and her bodyguard, the odd assortment of folding chairs, and so on. Lots of details that usually (but not always) match my memories. That still seems very odd, and I’m still hoping for a simple, non-weird explanation.

But, that’s very different from claiming that my “mind has come in contact with [an] alternate universe.”

Of course, the person who wrote that article might have written it as humor. Again, text doesn’t always convey tone of voice.

It’d be kind of cool if I did feel confident that I’d crossed time, space, or dimensions, and ventured into an alternate world. That sounds like tremendous fun.

Alas, I don’t have that kind of confidence, though I love the parallel realities explanation. Among all the options, it’s easily my favorite, and it seems to resonate with many of my friends and fans.

Even better, quantum studies seem to suggest that parallel realities are, well, real. So, that could be the best, single explanation for my “alternate” memories, and others’.

But… yes, I’m still looking for patterns that will explain paranormal phenomena, including the Mandela Effect. I’d love simple, single answers.

Meanwhile, I’m in a world where writing books still involves research, putting words on a page, editing those words, and then publishing them.

But hey, if anyone knows the gateway to a universe where thoughts go directly to printed words and then magically appear in books, let me know. 

(And, just in case a reporter mistakes that for a serious request: Yes, I am laughing as I make that request, but I also know we may not be far from achieving some of that. That’s the fun of “what if…?” speculation: Sometimes, it actually becomes real.)

April Update – 2018’s Paranormal Trends

Recently, TV producers have been asking me for insights about paranormal trends. Some already have a good idea for a TV series. Others want me to suggest ideas, locations, or possible cast members.

Here’s what I’ve seen as of April 2018. If you have additional ideas, or disagree heartily, I hope you’ll post a comment at this article. (Include your site link if you’re willing to talk with interested TV producers.)

Also, I’ve created a free, eight-page report (PDF) explaining these trends in more detail. Click here to download Paranormal Trends – April 2018.

2018’S TRENDS, so far

Paranormal trends - your thoughts?

  1. People are less interested in the adrenaline spike (“Dude, run!”), all by itself. It’s fun but, they also want more information, like exactly what is going on, and perhaps why it’s happening. They still want thrills, but they want to feel assured that what they’re seeing is real.
  2. They’re revisiting the concept of haunted/energized objects. That covers “cursed” objects as well as weird things that keep landing back at the local second-hand shop. This is a more in-depth interest than in the past.
  3. The topic of demonic activity keeps cycling around, and it’s emerging again now. But, like point #1, above: viewers want deeper insights. (I’m not convinced this is suitable as “entertainment.” I’m just talking about trends I see in the ~500 emails I receive, daily, from friends, fans, and followers.)
  4. “Okay, it’s haunted. What now…?” That’s a comment I’ve been hearing as people joke about past TV shows. I’m not sure if they want a “where are they now?” segment about past show locations (and their owners), or if they want something that goes into really dealing with haunted houses.
  5. “What else is haunted/weird near [location]?” Or, “is there another place that has the same kind of weirdness as [location]?” Instead of a series of episodes that hop all over the landscape, people want a cohesive connection between the episodes. Think of it in terms of a scripted series, and each episode ends on a connected cliffhanger, not just a “Next week, on this show…” preview.

The Trend I Didn’t See

Over a week ago, I asked several respected friends to share their thoughts and comments on these trends (and others that they see).  I even put a request at HollowHill.com, my most popular ghost-related website.

I several great suggestions, which are going into a free report I’m writing, today. But, fewer than five people were willing to talk with TV producers, even if it might mean starring in a TV series.

Wow. That’s a trend I never saw coming.  If I’d posted this same article just three or four years ago, I’d have been deluged with “I want to be a TV star” messages.

At this point, I have to shift my attention back to my current projects: the free ghost hunting courses, my books, an upcoming appearance on George Noory’s radio show, and so on.

But, don’t worry. You didn’t miss your opportunity altogehter.

If you have a strong background/interest in paranormal research, and you’d love to share your ideas with TV producers, you can still do that.

Leave a brief comment (with a link to your website) at this article. I’ll point TV producers to it, so they can contact you directly.

Comment with your views about paranormal trends in general, in real life and on TV, and what you’d like to see on TV (or even be involved with).

Every few days, I’ll approve all non-spam comments, and – time permitting – reply in comments of my own.

A Weird Kind of Fame – Mandela Effect

As someone who’s always preferred a quiet life, I’m always astonished (or perhaps aghast) when something I do attracts attention.

This week, it’s the X-Files.

HollywoodLife.com illustration

Really, they created an X-Files (reboot) episode around the Mandela Effect.

* blink, blink *

I’m not kidding.

I think it’s Season 11, Episode 4, “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat.”

I’m about to watch it on Hulu, and try not to act like a hyper-protective parent, as if the Mandela Effect is entirely mine.

Of course, my Mandela Effect website kind of started it all. Do most people know that? I haven’t a clue.

I mean, yes, I popularized the phrase… but the truth is: I had the help of a few hundred thousand (or more) people who’ve had something to say about the topic, regularly. And at least several million more who’ve shown interest.

So, it’s not like it’s entirely “mine,” as if nobody else gets to use the phrase. I didn’t trademark it; that’s not my style. I guess I’m part of that “information wants to be free” generation of idealists. I never wanted to see the Mandela Effect commercialized. (Things like the X-Files episode don’t count. Like many of their shows, that’s parody, and it’s fun.)

But still, seeing the Mandela Effect featured in an X-Files episode, for heaven’s sake… that’s just surreal. And, I’ll admit, kind of cool.

It’s like a part of my life, and it’s on the TV screen. I can’t seem to grasp that this is happening. Even if the show is tongue-in-cheek parody/humor.

At the moment, I’m stunned. And kind of chuckling over how weird this is. And then I’m back to blink-blink mode, kind of overwhelmed.

And, because this is how my mind works…

Since that TV show will bring a lot more attention to the Mandela Effect, I threw together some free iron-on designs that fans can use for DIY t-shirt printing. They’re linked in my MandelaEffect.com article, That X-Files Episode.

Hallowfields Ghost Hunting Academy

Hallowfields Ghost Hunting Academy is my newest website. I’ve been working on this project since mid-2017.

HallowfieldsThe concept is simple: It’s an educational site for paranormal researchers, with entirely free courses.

Initially, I’d planned a generic name: Ghost Hunting Academy. One of my publishers secured that URL for me, and we set up a basic website.

Then I realized the name was too generic. It could be forgotten easily, or  confused with similar names like “ghost hunting school,” and so on.

After a few weeks’ thought, the name Hallowfields sounded good to me. It’s a little of Halloween, mixed with fields of paranormal study.

I decided to launch the site shortly before Christmas/Yule, and settled on today – December 15th – for the opening of the site. (It sounded good at the time.)

Well… it looks like I was a little too optimistic about the work involved. But, I launched the site today, anyway.

Full moonThe text for the first course, the 2017 edition of Introduction to Ghost Hunting, is complete and at the Hallowfields site.

The course has many new, free downloads – mostly worksheets – as well.

So, students can start the course immediately, and complete it. They’ll even receive a printable certificate/diploma at the conclusion.

But, that course doesn’t have all the bells & whistles I’ve envisioned. In fact, I’m currently working on videos to supplement it.

Those videos will probably start arriving at the website next week.

A software glitch delayed today’s video recording. But, I finally found the problem. Now, the first video – a very short one – is in the first lesson of the course. It’s a start. I’m feeling victorious.

I’ll add more free worksheets in the next couple of weeks, too.

At the start of 2018, I’ll be juggling books – mostly updates/revisions of my older books – and adding more articles and videos at HollowHill.com. I’ll create more courses for Hallowfields, and… I’m still not sure what I’m doing with the Mandela Effect site.

Mostly, I’m excited about the coming year, as I look ahead to 2018. I have the feeling it’s going to be a fun year.

I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, and a joyous… well, whichever holiday/s (if any) you celebrate at this time of year.

New Freebies Are Here

GhostbatFor Halloween, I hope to update all of my freebies. They include reports, checklists, and worksheets for ghost hunters. I’ve also updated some of my fun handouts from past Dragon Con presentations.

Most of them are ready now, and the files are at Google Drive. Anyone can download these freebies, so it’s okay to share those links with friends.

The list of 2017 freebies (with links) is at this site, on my Free Downloads page.

The same list is at Hollow Hill, as well, at http://hollowhill.com/downloads/

I’ll continue working on the remaining updates, plus some new freebies for this year. (Most of those won’t be available until late October 2017, because I’m also updating some of my books. And giving media interviews. And investigating more haunts. Yes, it’s a busy time of year, and tremendous fun!)