It was brought to our attention, that a certain paranormal site in southwestern Ontario published an article on their website called "Haunting of DARTS Bus 955". The article specifically detailed the Webmaster's personal experience and chance photo of a spirit on a bus taken November 8, 2002 at 6:15 a.m. while at work. He happened to be driving and investigating this particular bus after several reports from his co-workers claiming that the bus was haunted. To put it directly into the webmaster's words:
"I stood there in the back of the bus and I could feel a definite presence of some sort near me. Then I heard the clicking noise again. When I had heard this noise earlier while driving the bus I passed it off as something to do with the bus while it was running. But this time the bus was shut off and the clicking noise started again near the side seats behind the driver's seat.
It was really cold all of a sudden and the spider web effect was all over my face. I then took another picture and I was surprised to capture what appears to be the spirit of an old lady sitting in the seat.
She seems to be about 75 years of age wearing a kimono, with a sad look to her face. What is really amazing is that she appears to be holding a gun in her left hand. Was it the chamber of the gun I heard making clicking noises????
I know that this bus had nobody that died in it. My theory is that this lady had either committed suicide by shooting herself in a car or she had died of carbon monoxide poisoning. I would suspect that the car she had passed away in, her spirit would be bound to that car. The car then would have been recycled and the recycled material from the car was implemented into the material used for the bus."
His obvious intention was to relate his personal experience and offer proof through a genuine ghost photo that he himself captured. The problem with this is that the man used an image lifted from a site called "Getty Images" to create his 'genuine spirit photo'.
He did indeed photograph the bus, however he superimposed the Getty Image photograph on his photograph and dared to call it a personal capture of a spirit. The founder of yet another group in Ontario spotted the hoax.
It is beyond my imagination to even try to figure out what his purpose was other than to blatantly try to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. The man has done incredible damage to our area of research. There is a whole society of researchers out there, including ourselves, that takes this very seriously and they are just as outraged as I am.
When this certain webmaster was called on the obvious fraud, his reaction was to delete all the objections to his hoax from his guest book and message board, and then simply make the photo and article disappear. No explanations. I guess he thinks we'll all just forget about it and the boomerang effect will just go away. To make matters worse, one of his associates, is steadfastly denying, on his behalf, that the photo was a fake and insists he took it down "because they did not want the publicity." Hey give me a call I have a bridge in Brooklyn I am willing to let go for half price.
Update: Some of the fans of this disreputable site accused the person who discovered the hoax of framng their webmaster in order to discredit him. First problem with that reasoning is that, if this were so, the particular webmaster would have had absolutely no reason to delete his article, comments or his photo. The Second problem occurs in that quite a few of us saw the actual hoax photo for ourselves on this guy's site before he removed it. I do not depend on others to draw my conclusions and this editorial would never have been written had I not seen the hoax photo on the guy's site myself. What I saw on his site was indeed the above photo faded out and superimposed on his photo of the inside of the bus.
This is one of our field investigators. He is not a ghost, just a fault of the camera because of his quick movement. The camera caught the original shot showing the background and then caught part of our invetigator moving while the appurture was still open. This is not subject to just 35mm cameras. This particular photo was taken with a digital.
We have here what looks like an orb light whizzing through the air, I could call it that and few would question it, however what it is, is our investigator holding a flashlight as he moved out of camera range. What you see is the light from the flashlight, but no investigator. Nothing paranormal in this pic.
Here we have a nice black blob which I have seen in millions of paranormal photos described as black ecto. Again, there is nothing paranormal here. It's Lloyd again moving quickly through the woods, as well as me moving while I took the photo. The bit of red you see to the right of the black blob is Lloyd's flashlight.
Is The Proof In The Photo?
We must look at thousands of photos that people send to us that look like paranormal anomalies. My favourites are the orbs and ectos. Most of the time it can be explained as camera movement or camera flaws of some kind. We can never be sure. We have caught several "anomalies" ourselves, but 99% of the time we can explain our own photos as camera quirks. We have come to the conclusion that even if we capture a full blown apparition on film or digital, it will prove nothing except to us. So why do we keep doing this you ask?
We have been fortunate in compiling a team of people in our organization that are enthusiastic about what they do, regardless of their opinion with respect to spirits/ghosts. Some of us are believers in the afterlife and some of us are still questioning whether spirits exist at all. It makes for a good balance with respect to what we do. Although we have, as a group, seen various phenomena that are indeed questionable, we still process it differently. I have no doubt as to the existence of spirit whereas Steve will have to be smacked in the head by a spirit in order to quench any doubts he has and even at that I have my reservations on whether or not he would accept that as proof.
We enjoy sharing our views and opinions with the public through our website and we, at no time, ask you to believe what we present or report. It is totally up to you to come to your own conclusions. We do these investigations to answer our own questions, which are obviously numerous and vary because of the number of people on our team. We simply try to report our findings on this site as best we can and share with you what we have found as accurately as possible.
We have come to the realization that even if we were to post a photo of a full-blown apparition that we have seen with our own eyes, as a group, there would still be those out there that would say "balderdash" and not in any way believe what they are seeing. So what it comes down to is that no matter what equipment and/or gadgets that we use in an investigation, the public is not going to be convinced that our evidence is real. We however will know what we have captured and it will be up to any individual reader to accept or deny what we share.
We do not wish to 'convince' anyone that ghosts do or do not exist. We believe that we have relayed that precise message to our readers, in that we have yet to receive any mail that takes us to task for insisting that ghosts either do or do not exist. The bottom line is that we know what we have experienced as a group and as individuals and we draw our personal conclusions from those experiences. Although we go to great lengths to report what we find accurately, we do not ask anyone to believe us. It is entirely up to you to review this website as the truth, fiction or plain entertainment. We can't control what information you wish to use or discard.
Although we have been asked to expand and franchise our organization in Vancouver and Alberta, we have declined to do so because we do not want to lose our initiative or the controls we use to attain the information we do gather. We do this to provide ourselves with answers to our questions. What about the media? Yes, we have used it to get our opinions across, but we will never be one of the big sites because of it. We realize that there are a million new ghost sites out there offering all sorts of things. Some are in it for the money; some are in it for the prestige, others to be the biggest and best known but a lot of the websites are there for the sake of research, as are we. We are in it to satisfy our own curiosities and in the meantime share what we find with you. If others don't agree with that we aren't particularly worried about it.
We do however, encourage you to go to as many and varying websites on the paranormal and read whatever you can get your hands on. Use whatever information you see fit. Keep in mind that no one has a definite answer in this game, as it is all speculation in the end whichever way you want to dress it. To be armed with knowledge of all kinds is the best way to draw a conclusion you can live with and there is definitely no shortage of information out there on the paranormal. Use it to your satisfaction.
Check out our links page for other sites. Some of the sites you will find there are excellent, others not so great, however there is information for you to peruse on all.
This image from Getty Images was used to perpetrate the hoax and can be found at their site by clicking here
Psychics; Charlatans or For Real?
A psychic's personal rant
I watched yet another news article on television the other night about some poor gullible woman getting fleeced out of $450.00 U.S. That's what got me started on this rant. I sit back and watch this stuff and can do nothing but shake my head. This particular woman was having financial difficulties and figured a psychic could remedy everything. Heads up people, THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES.
Unfortunately there are those people out there that have a sign on their forehead that says, "take advantage of me" and there are those who zero in on them. If you were having a hard time financially, why in the world would you hand over money that you don't have to a complete stranger and expect it back? I feel bad for desperate people who will try anything to remedy their problems, but the truth is a little common sense goes a long way.
When a psychic asks for money, especially large sums, it is no different than a stranger coming up to you and asking you to support them because basically that is what they do for a living, con people into supporting them. If you are curious enough to go to a psychic and have the spare change to pay for a $50.00 reading, then go ahead but look at it as entertainment, not a life altering plan to erase all your troubles.
I don't have a problem with a psychic setting up a booth and charging for readings because what they are doing is right there on the table and you know what you are purchasing before you lay your money down. However, if they proceed to tell you the age old tale that "you have a curse over your head" and that the only way to clear it is to have them "clean your money and lift the curse", have a good giggle and walk away. If these psychics could actually do such a thing, don't you think it would be all over the news? If they had the answer to all your problems and could fix them that easily, wouldn't they be famous and running the country? Please, please, please question anyone who throws you a quick fix, regardless of what it concerns. It comes down to the old adage: "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is."
I have been a sensitive (I hate using the word psychic, because of the negativity attached to it these days) all my life and there is no set, solid pattern to it. I have heard various psychics say they can call up your passed-over loved ones and give you definite answers to definite questions on demand. Baloney.
I have heard psychics say they can tap into any spirit's mind at any time on demand. Baloney
I have heard psychics answer every question asked of them without hesitation as if they have a direct link anywhere or to anyone they wish, at anytime. Baloney
This 'gift' works randomly. Sure I can ask a question but there is no guarantee I'll receive an answer, nor can I call up my lucky lotto numbers. If alleged psychics could do that, they wouldn't be looking to con you out of your money would they? I only wish it did work that way, I'd be driving a new truck every six months and letting someone else cook my meals and do my laundry.
As an experiment, a friend placed a photo I had never seen before on a table in front of me, picture side down. There were three other witnesses in the room. He proceeded to ask me what was in the photo. I accurately described almost every detail in the photo with no problem; however, I can't tell you from where the information came. I can't honestly say whether I pulled it out of the universe, from a spirit guide or simply gained the information from him through ESP. I have been doing things like this since I can recall, but I still can't tell you how it works with any solid and absolute certainty.
While investigating haunted locations, I use my gift, as does my daughter, however we like to caution people that what we pick up is not fact unless we can validate it through good old fashioned research at the library or from interviewing people with personal knowledge of the location we are investigating.
Again I can't say with absolute certainly where the information comes and neither can anyone else. I know that when I think I have contact with someone who has passed over, I can usually see them mentally, but is that who I am communicating with or am I getting that information from someone still alive and in possession of the information that I am receiving? Could I be getting the information from the person I am doing the reading for?
While on investigations, I am always, without fail, asked if I am "picking up anything" however I can't always answer "yes". Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I can't turn it off and on (although I can block things out when I wish) every time I want to utilize it. It just doesn't work that way. It comes when it comes. I have, however seen psychics who feel they must perform even when they are picking up nothing, just because they are labeled psychic. That bothers me.
You can see why I doubt those who claim they have full control and can give you definite answers with respect to psychic impressions. I also have a problem with psychics who claim that what they see in your future is absolute fact. Again, baloney! Things can change and often do. There is no set scheme of events that HAS to take place. People change their paths all the time. What I see, when someone's future is presented to me, is a probable outcome, not the undeniable outcome. This is also one of the many reasons why I do not do readings anymore. I don't like influencing someone with respect to how they will handle their life or the path they will take, that's not my responsibility. Some people take psychic impressions far too serious. I will admit that occasionally I will do a reading for the sake of entertainment only and I keep it light. When it starts getting into too many facts, I'll cut it short and find some other form of entertainment.
I personally know of one case locally wherein a man broke up with his girlfriend and fiancé of 6 years simply because a psychic told him it wouldn't work, no other reason. Unfortunately this man will not take responsibility for his own life and doesn't make any decisions without first going to his psychic, who by the way, should know better. However she's making good money off of him by throwing him this garbage.
So the bottom line is;
1.If you do have a reading done, don't take it too seriously.
2.If any psychic asks for money, immediately run the other way.
3.The only person who can alter your future is you.
4.Always have a good healthy skeptical approach to the unknown and remember
to be skeptical does not mean to completely dismiss, it simply means to question.
5.If you are concerned about your future or problems you may have, then do
something about it; don't rely on someone else to handle it for you.
6.No one has the power to orchestrate your life unless you give him or her that power.
Ghost Busters, We Ain't
by Dee Freedman
Recently we have been inundated with emails asking us to how to bust ghosts. I don't know if it is because we are a month away from Halloween or if people are just jumping on the ghost bandwagon because it's trendy.
It is written on our index page and I will say it again: WE ARE NOT GHOST BUSTERS! Our intention is to collect data. Admittedly on one occasion we did try to send a poor spirit on its way, however that was not our goal initially. So please, please, please do not write to us asking how to get rid of your ghost before it is even determined that you may even have one.
Many times, people will write to us and tell us they heard a door creak, or that the light in their bedroom went out, therefore they must have a ghost. Certain things have to be eliminated prior to determining whether or not you have a haunting. Was the bulb in the lamp ready to go or was it defective? Did the door creak because a breeze caught it? Have you documented or kept a record of the occurrences to determine if there is any pattern? If the same strange noise you hear happens every morning at 3:00 a.m., have you determined whether or not there may be a work crew in the area, or whether the area train goes by at that particular time? Is your cat knocking stuff down in the kitchen?
I'll give you an example. At my mother in law's house, throughout the night the bed shakes. It is very disconcerting when it starts happening when you are in a sound sleep. It is a rather rude awakening. The fault, however, is the Salter Street bus, which goes by at odd hours of the night and which is only about 70 feet away. It just so happens that there are a group of coincidental circumstances, which line up perfectly to cause the bed in that particular room to shake when the bus goes down Salter Street. There is a vibration from the corner of Salter, which runs through the storm drains to my mother in law's street then hits that portion of her house directly under that very bedroom window. If they ever fix the street (which hasn't seen a work crew in at least 12 years) or storm drains it will probably never happen again, unless the circumstances allow it once more.
If you think you may be having paranormal activity, please find yourself a writing pad or notebook and start documenting what is happening. Be sure to address the time of occurrence, where, what was the mood of the household occupants, temperature, weather, condition of the home, what did you see, what did you hear, could you account for it in any other way at the time of the occurrence etc. etc.
If you have been keeping records and cannot explain what is happening after looking over all your notes, then you may have a case. With respect to getting rid of a ghost and without knowing what has been happening, our best suggestion is try talking to it out loud, asking it to leave. Believe it or not this works a lot of the time. The next suggestion we can offer is to contact your clergyperson and have your home blessed.
Some of you may be convinced that you need a psychic to rid your home of a ghost, however I must warn you that there are a lot of con artists out there quite willing to part you with your hard earned money. If a psychic approaches to help you then asks for cash, keep walking. The same advice holds if you approach a psychic who asks for cash. Although it is your call and your money, there are those out there that truly want to help or assist and do not require cash. It should go without saying that it would be a nice gesture to offer them traveling expenses or gas money or any other expenses they incurred to get to your location. When I did clear homes for people (and note-I DO NOT render that service to the public anymore, no exceptions) my fee was for them to donate any amount of money they wished, to their favorite charity large or small. Might I also add that I could not offer guarantees either. Anyone who says they can guarantee the removal of spirit needs to be seriously questioned. You might as well believe that the government will guarantee no tax increases.
So please document your suspicions and go over them thoroughly eliminating any possible physical explanations before jumping to the conclusion that you may have a ghost. With respect to having research teams look into it, their job will be to collect data and document their observations, NOT get rid of the haunting for you. To find a research team in your area, use a search engine and use the key words: GHOST RESEARCH, HAUNTING RESEARCH or PARANORMAL RESEARCH. Once you have found a few sites, look them over very carefully and determine if you want these people in your home and if they can meet YOUR needs and requirements and not theirs. If they would like to publish their data with respect to your case naming specifics AND it's ok with you, make sure that the report keeps your address and name anonymous. We, in particular, do not publish private home investigations very often and ALWAYS change the subject name and area.The last thing you need are strangers standing on your front lawn pointing at your house. So please take common sense precautions in choosing an active plan with respect to your haunting should you indeed have one.
Well a colleague and associate inspired me to do an editorial on the following subject. Of course he seems to have more faith in my writing than I do. If you saw my english marks from school, you would cringe.
A very good question and debate ensued on a colleague's message board some time ago. Someone had asked or suggested (innocently, mind you) that maybe someone should investigate a specific spot in Metro Toronto that is famous for it's tragic circumstances. It raised quite a few comments and opened up not only one, but a few arguments.
The first argument arising from this posting was "should we as researchers/investigators dive into an investigation involving fresh and highly emotional events?"
It took me absolutely no time at all to answer this one. We will not at HRG investigate a recent mishap just because there may be a 'good ghost story' behind the tragedy. There are just too many emotionally spent and heart-broken people involved in recent events to name names or specific places.
To put this into perspective, as a mother and grandmother, I would certainly not want to be reminded of how one of my loved ones was murdered after having their names spread throughout various newspapers and media. Outside of the so called 'normal' reminders (police, courts etc.) I most certainly would not want to see it displayed once again, all over the internet or anywhere else. I would not want to know that someone was 'looking' into it because there may be a good ghost story out there somewhere. These wounds are just too fresh for survivors of the deceased, even after a decade or two, depending on the circumstances. The 'ghost' you may be trying to investigate was someone's daughter, son, parent or grandparent and it takes very little to put such a family back into emotional turmoil. It is simple common respect and decency to leave it alone.
The next question arising from this posting was "how long do you leave it alone?" As long as it takes, although there are considerable circumstances to weigh this question. Any public tragedy that happened within that last 30 years means there are sure to be living relatives who can be hurt by it if names and specific locations are revealed. There are instances however where hauntings caused by more recent tragedies will be investigated, however when reporting the facts behind the haunting, should it be fairly recent, we do not give the actual location, nor do we use names, in order to leave those that are involved in anonimity. If the case was highly publicized, we don't touch it regardless of keeping names and locations anonomous.
Well "what about the holocaust? It was over 50 years ago". Unfortunately there are underlying circumstances with respect to the holocaust that need to be addressed. The holocaust is still very much in the news even though it was over 50 years ago and yes there are still survivors of this horrible and unquestionably inhuman tragedy, however in this case the survivors don't want you to forget what happened. It is a situation that needs to be remembered so that it NEVER happens again. I will say however again, that I would not mention names.
Now I have to admit that I agree with this reasoning, however, that doesn't mean you will find me looking for 'spirits and ghosts' at noted concentration camp locations to publish on this website. It is bad enough that the survivors have to live with these memories everyday in order to educate the world, without putting a ghost hunting spin on it. I did not say however that I would not research this with respect to paranormal studies, if you could prove to me that there is any basis to conduct paranormal research at all in connection with this tragic piece of history.
IF, I found enough evidence to substantiate conducting paranormal research into a holocaust site, the information that I obtained would not be published for public viewing, it would be shared and available only to those colleagues that were willing to keep it confidential within the realms of and for the sake of finding answers, in this respective field.
That brings me to the next question. "Does tragic circumstance equal a haunting or ghosts?". Just because something sinister or violent occurred at a certain location does not mean it is haunted! I will admit that there is a possibility and the circumstances may be conducive to such a haunting, but it does not mean that there is definitely a ghost floating around. I am not going to waste my time running to every ancient murder scene just because there may be something there. Show me some kind of evidence on which you based your suspicions and I may consider it. This is not a game. When someone can give us something substantial to work with, then we will talk.
"Should we stay away from investigations of all tragic circumstances, regardless of when they happened?". Not necessarily. Tragic circumstances surrounding a haunting of the War of 1812 or the Civil War, if evidence warrants it, can be and probably will be investigated. We are not saying that tragic or violent cases should not be investigated at all. But use common sense and some compassion.
Which brings me to the next question. "What will you investigate?". There are so many cases out there and reported hauntings wherein the subjects involved are willing to be investigated that we don't have to go looking for ghosts in closets. There is a wealth of paranormal things out there to get involved in. We are not here for the purpose of sensationalizing people's tragedies, but to answer some of our own questions about the paranormal. There are many cases that we have or will investigate that you will never hear about, because we have conducted such a case in confidence. Our purpose is to conduct research, not provide the public with an entertainment venue. We do share a good portion of our findings and investigations with you however, because many people want to educate themselves with respect to this field and they also want their own answers to personal experiences. We may, in sharing certain information, be able to help some of you form your own opinions.
tol'er-ance (noun)~1. a being tolerant of others beliefs, practices etc. 2. to allow and respect others beliefs, practices etc without sharing them 3. to put up with
Webster's New World Dictionary (c) 1979
It came to my attention a few years ago, through a friend (I'll call Sara) that her neighbours (whom I will call the Evans) had stopped talking to them except very occasionally. When the Evans first moved in, they talked to Sara and her family everyday and visited regularly. She thought this change in attitude, therefore, a little peculiar and tried to figure out what she or her husband could have possibly said or done to make the Evans avoid them. Sara is one of those people that get along with most everyone without any problem.
Upon going over the matter in her head, she began to realize that they really hadn't talked to them much since the last halloween had passed. So what did she do on halloween that could have offended them? A few things were soon confirmed to her, by some of her other neighbours. That particular halloween was the first halloween for the Evans family in their new neighbourhood.
Each halloween, my friend Sara and her family decorate their home with all kinds of weird and wonderful things and sounds, for the enjoyment of the neighbouring children. She and her daughter do quite a job, let me tell you. The children that come to Sara's door just love it. After all, it's a night for them to go out and see the decorations, soak up the ambiance and more importantly, collect candy! There are some children in our area and hers that do not go out on halloween because their various religions or their parent's safety issues do not allow it. I can certainly understand this and of course there are other things that parent's can do to entertain their children on this particular night. Not every one does halloween or Christmas or Easter for that matter. In our home we do both the Christian holidays, the Jewish holidays, as well as practice native ceremonies. We are a very integrated family, mind you.
Sara celebrates the Christian holidays with her family, but in fact she is a Wiccan. Now just to educate those who think "oh my", let me tell you that her faith as a Wiccan does not allow her to harm ANYONE or ANYTHING on this earth. Her practices include honouring and preserving nature and being respectful when it comes to the earth and its inhabitants. There is, of course, much more to this belief than I am mentioning here, but you get the drift. One of their laws include the "Three Fold Law" which states that anything that you are likely to do, will come back to you three times stronger. In other words if you are compassionate and respectful of others you will get the same back, three fold. On the other hand, if you disrespect someone or do them harm in anyway it will come back three fold and bite you on the backside (my expression, not hers).
It is sad to note that being a "Wiccan" to some, means devil worship, sacrificing babies and other ridiculous things. Unfortunately people that think this way get all their information from too many Hollywood movies. It is also unfortunate that once the Evans saw the halloween display (their children are not allowed to participate in halloween) and then found out she was a Wiccan, jumped to the conclusion that she was a Satanist. Not only did they assume she was a Satanist, but took the next step and labelled her entire family. Sara is the only Wiccan in her household. Her husband does not practice Wiccan ways, neither do her children, who have been exposed to all religions, just as mine have.
Sara is extremely familiar with the Bible, more so than some Christians I know. She does not disagree with its message. She is respectful of all religions and beliefs because that is her way. I am of the same school as Sara. Being raised in a home that practiced a few different beliefs, I was taught that you do not have to agree or even like the beliefs of others, HOWEVER, I was also taught that I MUST respect them. I was taught that vengeance was not mine to deal out; that would be looked after by the universe. You know the old saying "what goes around, comes around", well again that is the Three Fold Law that Sara follows and the Ten Fold Law that I follow.
There is obviously a lesson here. If you don't like how your neighbours conduct their lives, fine, you don't have to. But you have to respect their right to live that way. as long as they are not harming someone else, it's not your business. That brings me to my next comment. If they are beating their children or starving their pets, yes, it is your responsibility as a fellow human being, to contact the authorities so it can be dealt with. It is not up to you to deal with it, that is why we have the police, Children's Aid, the Humane Society etc.
If you do not understand your neighbour's beliefs, don't instantly condemn them. Try asking them about their beliefs. I'm sure they would be willing to explain them to you. If you do not want to ask, visit your local library and educate yourself. There are too many people in this world to expect everyone to agree with "your way" of life. My motto has always been "if it works for you, it benefits society and makes more understanding adults of our children, then do it."
There is one basic rule here that falls into all religions and beliefs; Treat everyone and everything the same way you would want to be treated. Not really that hard when you come to think of it, is it?