What Did We Actually Achieve While Hunting Ghosts At A Haunted Former Hospital?
Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a ghost hunt at a reputedly haunted former hospital. The event, organised by a paranormal events company, welcomed enthusiasts with varying levels of belief in the supernatural. I left the six-hour-long event questioning what we'd actually achieved as investigators during that time.
I found it interesting that many guests felt the night was filled with paranormal activity, despite my personal experience of perceiving very little. Assuming for the sake of argument that the perceived paranormal occurrences were genuine supernatural phenomena, then what, if anything, did we achieve during the investigation?
If we accept the premise that all perceived paranormal activity that night was indeed supernatural, what can we conclude about the haunting? On a supposedly active night like this, one might expect to determine conclusively whether contact was made with spirits of the dead.
To analyse the investigation thoroughly, I revisited an audio recording of one vigil from the night. I transcribed every request, command, and question directed at the spirits, as well as the corresponding responses, or lack thereof. This process allowed me to examine the perceived paranormal evidence objectively, searching for patterns and information to establish a conclusion. So, what did we truly accomplish during our night at the haunted hospital?
The ghost hunt was pretty typical. It involved lots of time sitting in the dark, calling out to spirits, a method employed by many paranormal investigators. During this time, the majority of the requests we called out were ignored. There were responses to others, and it is these that we will assume are definitely paranormal for the sake of analysing our findings and achievements from the night.
In total, the investigators present called out 57 times and seemed to get responses to 18 of these requests. This included lots of responsive knocks and several instances of ghost hunting devices lighting up straight after the command was called out to the spirits.
The first response came after an investigator asked the spirit if it could light up one of the ghost hunting devices. However, the spirit didn't; instead, it knocked once. If we accept that this and all other perceived paranormal activity is real, then this would suggest that the spirit was making its presence known despite not being able to trigger the device.
Next, someone asked, "if that was you, do it again." This was followed by two self-explanatory knocks. Based on this response, an investigator called out, "if that was you tapping, can you make it louder." The spirit obliged with two more knocks, but they weren't any louder; they were identical. Perhaps the spirit couldn't make the sound louder. The investigators asked two more times for the spirit to make a knocking sound, and knocks were heard each time. Someone then asked the spirit to knock twice; only one tap was heard in response.
The next time someone asked for the spirit to knock, it didn't, but instead lit up a K-II meter. If we're presuming that this is paranormal activity, then the only way to really explain this is that the situation had somehow changed, and the spirit was now able to trigger the device. Perhaps it had grown in power, that it had only just found the device, or that it had learned how to do it.
So far, this activity hadn't in any way improved our knowledge or given us anything we could form a conclusion on. The next set of questions were intended to find out a little more about the spirit who was tapping for us.
First, someone asked, "if you're a female, can you knock once, if you're a male, can you tap twice?" One knock was heard in response, which seemed to indicate the spirit was female.
The next guest at the event flipped the question around and asked, "if you're a male, can you do one knock, if you're a female, can you do two knocks?" The spirit knocked once again, which this time suggested it was male.
The investigator then called out, "I'll ask you one more time. One for female, two for male." This time, the spirit knocked three times in response. The group agreed that this suggested they were in communication with several spirits. This led to one of them asking, "could you tap, please, to show how many spirits are in the room?" This time, there were six knocks in response.
This seemed to imply that we were dealing with six spirits, at least one male and at least one female. Up until this point, we'd called out 27 times and had 14 responses. So, about a 52% success rate. From this point on, that percentage dipped. We asked a further 30 questions but only got four responses. Perhaps the spirit was growing weary, or its energy was somehow decreasing.
The first two of these final responses came as an impressive pair. An investigator asked, "do you like us being here? Tap once for yes, two for no." There were two knocks in response. The investigator asked for confirmation, "do you like us being here?" and again, two knocks were heard. A repeatable response is stronger evidence than other responses we'd heard until now.
It was at this point that the spirit fell quiet. The next request it responded to was, "bang on the wall, please." But it didn't respond by banging; it responded by causing a ghost hunting device to light up. The final response came after someone asked, "can you light it up again?" And the spirit obliged by performing the action.
Our investigation at the haunted former hospital provided us with a fascinating experience, but it left us with more questions than answers. While we were able to gather some evidence that suggested that the area we were investigating was haunted by six spirits - at least one of which was male and at least one female, the information we obtained was not sufficient to draw any concrete conclusions about their identities or histories. Our success rate in eliciting responses also varied throughout the night, which could be attributed to several factors, such as the spirits' energy levels or willingness to communicate.
As paranormal investigators, it's crucial to approach such experiences with an open mind, but I don't feel that our time spent in the dark at the haunted hospital has any positive impact on our understanding of the complexities and uncertainties that surround hauntings.
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