Resurrecting the Spiricom (Hoax)
I’m going to make this clear up front: I am not a fan of ghost hunting shows. However, as they still capture the public’s interest, I will occasionally watch an episode that alerts my skeptical radar either from a dubious history or an overhyped video of a “ghost.” This time around, my attention was called …
Psychic Jeanette Wilson’s Spirit Photos … or Misguided Assumptions?
I was not familiar with “medium” Jeanette Wilson prior to receiving a message from my friend Susan Gerbic (of the Guerilla Skeptics on Wikipedia project) one morning. Gerbic explained that she had organized another psychic sting operation, code-named Operation Purple Pinecone Pie, which focused on gathering information about Wilson’s alleged psychic healing abilities and her …
Investigating Psychic Predictions in a Missing Persons Case
In January 2020, my friend and colleague Ben Radford asked if I would be interested in an investigation project for his podcast Squaring the Strange, which he cohosts with Celestia Ward and Pascual Romero. The podcast tackles various myths and mysteries from a skeptical and scientific point of view, and I’ve been a guest several …
Investigating Artifacts at the Archive of the Afterlife
On September 28, 2019, many of my paranormal enthusiast friends celebrated the unofficial “National Ghost Hunting Day,” taking part in nighttime ghost hunts at various historical locations throughout the country. On this night, hundreds of ghost hunting teams streamed live videos of their investigations, sharing their adventures with the entire world via social media. Investigating …
The ‘Ghost Writer’ Mystery: New Developments in the Zak Bagans Scandal
On January 29, 2020, my review of the book Ghost Hunting for Dummies by Zak Bagans was published. Much of the article covered extensive suspected plagiarism from various uncredited sources, including almost an entire chapter taken from Joe Nickell’s book Camera Clues: A Handbook for Photographic Investigation. Among other examples I provided, there was one …
Ghost Loop Review: Stuck in the Same Routine
Not long ago, I saw a preview for yet another new ghost hunting show set to air on Travel Channel. The newest addition, called Ghost Loop, is produced by Essential Media & Entertainment and follows a group of five ghost hunters who collectively call themselves “The Spirit Hunters.” Travel Channel’s website claims the team members …
Ghost Hunting for Dummies by Zak Bagans—and Many Others
I really did not want to read the book this article is about. I know that will likely give away the tone of this overall piece, but it’s just my honest reaction. When I saw the first announcements on social media that semi-celebrity Zak Bagans was releasing a new book titled Ghost Hunting for Dummies, …
‘Real’ UFOs in North Carolina Shown to be Flares
On September 18, 2019, a video titled “2019 Real UFO Sighting” was uploaded to YouTube by William Guy, an Indiana man working on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. The video, which is thirty seconds long, shows fourteen bright yellow lights clustered together hovering in the sky. It didn’t take long for the video to go viral, …
Correcting the Conjuring House History
On June 21, 2019, a new couple purchased a fourteen-room farmhouse on eight and a half acres in Harrisville, Rhode Island, for approximately $439,000 (Mroch 2019). Normally such an event wouldn’t be a big deal—much less make news—but this was not an ordinary house. This was the infamous residence known to the world as “The …
Analyzing an Alleged Ghost Recording
In September 2019, the Center for Inquiry (CFI) was asked to investigate an alleged audio recording of a ghost, commonly referred to as electronic voice phenomenon. For those not be familiar with this term, the best description I’ve found comes from Stephen Wagner: “Electronic voice phenomena, more commonly known as EVP, is a mysterious event …
Triboelectric Ghost Hunting Device
Over the years, I’ve taken a closer look at various ghost hunting devices, from K2 EMF meters and the Xbox Kinect (Biddle 2017) to Maglite flashlights and repackaged cat toys (Biddle 2019). My process often involves breaking down the devices and taking them apart to see what is inside. This helps me gain a better …
Over the past twenty-plus years, I have been involved in the “paranormal community,” a large group of enthusiasts with varying levels of belief and disbelief, all looking into claims of ghosts, UFOs, monsters, and more. I’ve come across many gimmicks that attempted to place one person (or group) above the rest, singling them out as …
New Paranormal Show Claims They Caught an ‘Apparition’ on Video
Yet another new “ghost” show has debuted on the Travel Channel: Ghosts of Morgan City, which takes place in Morgan City, Louisiana, and stars local paranormal investigator Jereme Leonard, former FBI agent Ben Hansen, and psychic medium Sarah Lemos. The show is produced by MAK Productions, the same company that produces Ghosts of Shepherdstown and …
Dobby the House Elf Was Not Caught by a Home Security Camera
In early June, I was sent a link to an article claiming a security camera captured an “odd creature” (Brown 2019). I took the (click)bait and watched the video, which shows the driveway and walkway outside the front door of a house. There is a sedan parked in the driveway and a light illuminates the …
Devil’s Chair Blamed for Exhibit Shutdown
A new exhibit at Zak Bagans’s (Not) Haunted Museum apparently had to be shut down after some alleged paranormal activity got a bit too overwhelming for the TV star. The focus of the new exhibit, a rocking chair that is said to have played a part in “The Devil in Connecticut” demon possession case, was …
Investigating a Spirit Communication Device—A Cat Toy
Ghost hunters love their gadgets. From EMF meters and REM pods to motion sensors and SLS cameras, if it beeps, lights up, or gives an alternate view of the world, they seem to be all over it. One such device recently being marketed to ghost hunters turned out to be a rebranded cat toy. Rebranding …
‘Groundbreaking’ Ghost Experiment Breaks No Ground
Over the years I’ve come across a plethora of both so-called “ghost hunting equipment” and “methods” that boldly claim to detect, communicate with, or capture spirits. If a device or method catches the interest of a para-celebrity (a well-known individual within the paranormal community, usually with a TV or internet show), such things usually become …
Michigan Nanny Cam ‘Ghost’ Most Likely Mom or Dad
After seeing surveillance footage from their nanny cam a few weeks ago, they now believe that it is haunted.
Celebrity Ghost Hunts at Historical Locations
I had the opportunity to tour the USS North Carolina twice and wasn’t familiar with any ghost stories, so I decided to take a closer look.
Undercover at a Psychic Group Reading
I attended a psychic gallery reading at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Pennsylvania to see just how gifted the psychic host was.
The Provenance of Captain Smith’s ‘Haunted’ Mirror
A super exciting, new haunted item from the Titanic
The Dibbuk Box
As luck would have it, this is another one of the “Big Four” haunted objects in Zak Bagans Haunted Museum.
A Closer Look at the Bela Lugosi “Haunted” Mirror
In this column, we will be investigating the first of the “big four” cursed objects in Zak Bagans’s Haunted Museum (see the previous column): the Bela Lugosi cursed mirror.
The Not-So-Haunted Museum of Zak Bagans
The website boasts that guests “will venture down creepy winding hallways and secret passages into more than 30 rooms that rival scenes from Hollywood horror films.
Did a Psychic Uncover a Fifty-Seven-Year-Old Murder?
According to the story, “bones found in a Long Island basement were discovered after a family consulted a psychic and paranormal investigators.
Is an Oregon Marijuana Shop Haunted? Not likely.
KGW8 in Oregon City reported on a spooky video from a local marijuana shop, Five Zero Trees.
App-aritions Are Still Causing Trouble
There is an app for just about everything, including adding ghosts to your photographs.
Challenging Claims of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)
In May 2018, I spent the night at the White Hill Mansion in Fieldsboro, New Jersey.
‘Breakthrough Ghost Photography’ Falls Short of a Breakthrough
Investigating alleged ghost photographs and offering rational explanations for them has been a focus of mine for well over a decade.
Ghost Crashes? Nope.
The car crashes are typical of what can be viewed in hundreds (if not thousands) of videos on YouTube, collected from traffic cameras and dash cams from all over the world.
A Closer Look
The first major paranormal case I took a closer look at was a well-known haunted house called Whispers Estate, located in Mitchell, Indiana.