Lots of Projects… and Fun Ahead

Well, this year, I thought I was going to be so well-prepared for “ghost hunting season” (around Halloween)… but, as you’ve seen, that’s not what happened.

If you’d prefer to listen to this post, here’s the podcast recording:

Fiona’s December 2019 News

Fiona Broome explains why she’s been so quiet lately, what she’s been working on, and what’s ahead for 2020. Ghost hunting, books, fiction, Mandela Effect, and something new. Text version plus links:  https://fionabroome.com/projects-fun/

Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries
Click image to download and start reading.

So, anyway…

I did revise and update my most popular book, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries. It’s in Kindle right now, and we’re working on a printed edition, too.

Also, I’ve been sharing news – and news stories – with friends and fans via social media. I’m still posting there – usually several times a week – with news stories and comments, mostly related to paranormal research.

You can find me at Facebook (“Fiona Broome News”) and at Twitter.

The Mandela Effect site took center stage starting in early September, when it was featured in Readers Digest and Good Housekeeping magazine. I guess it’s safe to say that the topic has gone mainstream now.

More recently, the Mandela Effect has been confused with a horror movie of the same name. (It’s mentioned in The Mary Sue, and I was pleased with the Hollywood Reporter’s review of it.)

I had nothing to do with the making of that movie. The producers have never contacted me about it, and – since I’m not a fan of horror movies – I’m unlikely to see it.

But, all of this adds up to far more website traffic than the Mandela Effect site can handle. So, to keep the site online, I’ve been scrambling to reduce how much bandwidth it requires.

Mandela Effect Book 1
Click image to download and start reading

That means putting the content into books – books that are free to read in Kindle Unlimited. So far there are 11 books of mixed comments from the original “major memories” page. (There will be 15 books in that series.)

And frankly, since each book features between around 200 to 450 comments… well, they’re easier to read in books, so you don’t lose your place if you stop reading, part-way through. Instead, you can bookmark where you left off.

Eventually, the entire site will be in books, so the information remains complete and readily available. (This is a very big project, but – for me – an important one.)

But, those aren’t the only books I’ve been involved with.

Gallo Family Spirits ghost hunting bookA few years ago, I contributed to several books – including several books  in the Weird U.S. series.

And then there was Ghost Hunting in Tilton, New HampshireIt includes ghost stories, some history, and several locations in that area.

(If you’re interested in NH ghost hunting, I also recommend Haunted Hikes of New Hampshire. Author Marianne O’Connor has assembled a great list of eerie and haunted places you can hike to, and there’s a new/second edition of this book with fresh information.)

More recently, I wrote the foreword to Bobby Gallo’s book, Family Spirits: The Adventures and Evidence of Gallo Family Ghost Hunters. It’s a fun mix of true ghost stories and how-to advice.

Then, Jake Camden – the son of a friend – asked my advice with his new books. His first was The Amityville Haunting of Carl Fitch. It’s a short book that I consider fiction. But, according to him, it’s based on a true story.

It’s a light, fast read, and I’m encouraging him to write more. I think he’s a natural storyteller.

Haunting of Obedience ghost horror storyBut… Jake also co-authored a book that I’d describe as paranormal horror. And frankly, I think it’s a little campy… which can be a good thing (or not), depending on your taste in stories.

The book is loosely based on a case I investigated several years ago. (That case was enough to make me very uneasy about houses with corn fields in the backyard. That’s all I’ll say about the actual case.)

In real life, the experience was creepier than I’m used to. It was a mix of weirdness, to be honest.

But some of the story – as Jake and co-author Abby tell it, anyway –  is clearly fiction. (You should be able to spot the made-up parts, right away.)

And – to answer a question Jake & Abby asked – no, as far as I know, the related TV episode never aired. Frankly, it’s probably better that way. It was a very weird case.

If you’re interested, the book is called The Haunting of Obedience.

For 2020, expect changes at most of my websites, including Hollow Hill and Hallowfields. Also, Ghosts 101 is being revised and updated, and will be published as a book, again.

In the next month or so I hope to be able to announce a project that’s involved lots of travel. It’s not 100% related to ghost hunting, but there is some overlap. So far, it’s been fun and a nice break from everything else I’m working on. And, I’m still working on it.

Anyway, I hope this explains why I’ve been relatively quiet at my websites and in podcasts. Oh, I’m having fun, but yes, it’s been a busy few months.

I hope your holiday season is merry and filled with all good things.

Ghosts & Paranormal Trends – Jan 2019

Ghosts and paranormal trends - January 2019 reportIn recent months, ghosts and paranormal topics have been trending in interesting directions.

(Note: I use specialized software for this research. It’s not just Google Trends.)

In general, global interest in ghost hunting is starting to increase, but with an emphasis on personal experience and how-to information.

In the US – and globally – people are still very interested in Ghost Adventures. Both Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted attract fresh searches, as well.

The spike that occurred with Netflix’s Hill House has been more about “hidden” ghosts in the series.

Also, people want to know what happened to Nick Groff (which many spell as “Nick Goff” when they’re searching), and they’re still asking, “Is Ghost Hunters real?”

In the UK, “Are ghosts real?” is the question most people are asking. And, they’re interested in watching Most Haunted, Paranormal Lockdown, Ghost Adventures, and old/full episodes of Ghost Hunters, not necessarily in that order.

Trending Interest in Ghosts & Paranormal Topics – 30 Days

Here are some graphs representing mid-December 2018 through mid-January 2019.

First, here’s the only topic trending in the UK, among searches focusing on the word “ghosts.” (And eliminating searches related to the PS4 game, “Ghosts Call of Duty.”)

Ghosts trends in the UK - Jan 2019

Here’s what’s trending for “ghosts” in the US. Aside from “what room do ghosts avoid?” (probably a gaming question), searches doesn’t show much interest in ghosts, per se.

Trending searches for "ghosts" in the US

Trending Searches – 90 Days

Three-month trends show something different. However, remember that these include searches starting in mid-October, just before Halloween.

The first shows worldwide searches that focused on “ghosts.” Obviously, The Haunting of Hill House dominated those trends. But, they were interested in finding “hidden” ghosts in the Netflix series.

The Ghosts of Christmas Eve searches could be about the 2018 Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert, or about the 1999 movie, or both.

Worldwide searches for "ghosts" - 90 days (Jan 2019)

The next breaks down similar online searches, but only in the UK. Again, Hill House’s “hidden” ghosts captured interest. (In a US-only study, the results were nearly identical to the graph above.)

I was surprised to see people ask “how many ghosts visited Scrooge?” Related searches continued to spike after Christmas, as well. (If you count just the main ghosts, there were four: Marley, and the ghosts of past, present, and future.)

Searches for "ghosts" from UK browsers - Jan 2019

Paranormal Searches

Stepping back a bit, here are 90-day results for “paranormal” searches in the US. Paranormal Activity continues to hold interest, with Paranormal Lockdown attracting attention, too. Regional interest in Paranormal Cirque spiked, and then vanished as the show continued its tour.

Searches for "paranormal" in the US - Jan 2019

In the UK, the 90-day “paranormal” trend is about the same, minus the Paranormal Cirque interest.

90 trend for UK searches on "paranormal"

Ghost Hunters Searches

Narrowing my research focus, I checked 90-day searches, worldwide, for “ghost hunters.” Clearly, Saturday Night Live’s parodies are popular, and people still want to watch Ghost Hunters’ full episodes.

But… people still ask if Ghost Hunters was fake. And, in related trends, Ghost Adventures seeps in, as well.

90-day trend "ghost hunters"

Compare that with “ghost hunting” searches, worldwide. They want to go ghost hunting, or at least learn about ghost hunting equipment.

Venues offering ghost tours might do well to lend ghost hunting tools to visitors. (Even wire coat-hanger dowsing rods can be useful. Just be sure to curl the wire ends, so no one is jabbed by a sharp point.)

Search trends for "ghost hunting" - Jan 2019

(In a future article, I’ll elaborate on the increasing interest in ghost hunting events, vigils, and tours.)

Ghost Adventures Searches

Ghost Adventures seems to hold its audience – and thrives in searches, worldwide. Further down the list (not on this screenshot), people were searching for “what happened to nick in ghost adventures” and “ghost adventures halloween special.”

(The question about Nick isn’t a surprise. At one of my websites, the most popular article of 2018 – even after all these years – answers a similar question about Grant Wilson and Ghost Hunters.)

Search trends for "ghost adventures" - Jan 2019

Most Haunted Searches

Most Haunted is gaining moderate traction in worldwide searches, too. I’m pleased to see their 2019 shows present ghost hunting in a more realistic context. Somehow, Hill House turned up in related searches. And, of course, people are asking “is Most Haunted real?”

However, I was surprised to see a surge in questions about “the most haunted town in America.” I’m not sure if that’s related to a Travel Channel series, or something else. (If you know, leave a comment.)

And maybe someone should contact John Zaffis‘ team, since “most haunted object in the world” has a few search spikes.  (Oh. Wait. That search was probably about Post Malone being “cursed” by a haunted object.)

"Most Haunted" search trends - Jan 2019

Summary

Both Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters remain popular in Internet searches.  Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House may have been a short-lived trend, and mostly about clever imagery.

In Season Two, they may bring more depth to the story. There’s plenty to explore, and leads to follow from Shirley Jackson’s original book.

In ghost hunting – and ghosts, in general – trends seem to favor ghost hunting equipment, and how it works. I’m not sure if those searches are by aspiring ghost hunters, or people who want to understand what they’re seeing on TV.

I think ghost hunting is rebounding after some YouTube videos, TV shows, and movies took things to a ridiculous extreme.  (Did anyone really believe that “shadow people” hide under your bed, and might kill you…?)

For those who continue serious paranormal research… well, we’re still rebuilding credibility.

Recently,  Most Haunted’s Eden Camp episode was helpful; it showed a more accurate view of ghost hunting, while still including some thrills to hold the audience’s interest.

I’m optimistic about ghost hunting in 2019, and trends suggest a good year for haunted sites that offer “ghost tours” or overnight stays.

In terms of TV shows, I think there’s a fresh audience for ghost-related programming. But, to get the best ratings, producers will need to understand what’s changed in ghost hunting, over the past couple of years.

Fresh angles and new approaches can bring viewers back to ghost hunting shows, but producers will need to make sweeping changes without sacrificing what intrigued people back in 2003.

In general, I believe innovators will be the winners in 2019.

In my next article, I’ll explain why Google trends suggest an uptick in popularity for ghost tours and ghost hunting events… and how this field can deliver what ghost enthusiasts are looking for: 2019 – A Good Year for Ghost Hunting Events, Tours, and Vigils.