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April 18, 2002
6:41 PM   Subscribe

Since 1995, a growing number of researchers have hunted ghosts across 4 states as South Jersey Ghost Research. Their website claims a long list of equipment. Are they huckstering hoaxers or the real deal? A 1999 New York Times article didn't make the call. What's everyone's opinion? [via gillan.blogspot.com]
posted by will (27 comments total)

 
I am convinced they are the real deal because their seven years of research has provided to the world the scientific evidence needed to prove the existence of ghosts. Could any of us doubt their work in light of their mountain of solid evidence?
posted by fleener at 6:50 PM on April 18, 2002


well, being in some of the same places they have, yeah, i say they're legit.
posted by jcterminal at 7:03 PM on April 18, 2002


Duh na na nuh na nuh na nu
Da na na na na

I ain't afraid of no ghost

Trust me, when someone proves ghosts exist, you'll be reading about it on page one.
posted by Settle at 7:09 PM on April 18, 2002


jcterminal, care to share any of your experiences?
posted by will at 7:11 PM on April 18, 2002


Funny, but I found them a couple years ago at another site, The Shadowlands, and enjoyed looking through the ghost pictures. I did a whois check and it seems that South Jersey Ghost Research and The Shadowlands are run by the same guy in Philadelphia. The difference between the two sites is pretty stark. While some of the 'ghosts' in the pictures on the Shadowlands page appear to be either the smoke from a Benson & Hedges or digital noise caused by insufficient light for exposure, some of them are kinda kinda spooky, and a few downright horrifying.
posted by evanizer at 7:12 PM on April 18, 2002


AAAH! Spongebob! Run away! Run away!
posted by yhbc at 7:17 PM on April 18, 2002


Damn evan, a little warning, huh? Those last two are definitely not worksafe.
posted by eyeballkid at 7:17 PM on April 18, 2002


I believe in ghosts for no other reason than I've seen them with my own eyes. But I won't get into that.

I will just say that I think, logically, how can you capture proof of something that supposedly exists on plane B with equipment designed to be sensitive to the nature of plane A?
posted by tomorama at 7:17 PM on April 18, 2002


Those pictures aren't healthy for children and other living things...

I don't mean to belittle the ghost thing, as I've always been fascinated with the subject, and I've heard Kathryn Howard with my own ears...
posted by evanizer at 7:33 PM on April 18, 2002


It is this sort of thing that has added to Jersey's reputation as a state to be laughed at. self-disclosure: lived there for some 7 years.
posted by Postroad at 7:35 PM on April 18, 2002


"I will just say that I think, logically, how can you capture proof of something that supposedly exists on plane B with equipment designed to be sensitive to the nature of plane A?"

Do you think that we, (i.e. humans) are attuned to be able to capture experiences from plane B? Genuine question.

"I believe in ghosts for no other reason than I've seen them with my own eyes. But I won't get into that."

If you think it's for lack of interest, please re-consider.
posted by lucien at 7:41 PM on April 18, 2002


o <- Orb
posted by fnord_prefect at 8:08 PM on April 18, 2002


I love a chance to self-link. I interviewed Dave Juliano two years ago. I have to say that, in my opinion, there's just a little too much mumbo-jumbo and wishful thinking there for me. They can't replicate results, simultaneous exposures are inconsistent, and they run a hodge-podge of Christian mythos, new age channelling, and dime-store science.
posted by Perigee at 8:12 PM on April 18, 2002


I don't believe in ghosts, spirits, the afterlife, God, trolls, fairies, the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, but I'd probably be *very* scared to be alone in any of the places shown at Darkpassage.com. Paticularly frightening are the asylums listed under "Darker Cells."
posted by skwm at 8:23 PM on April 18, 2002


Do you think that we, (i.e. humans) are attuned to be able to capture experiences from plane B? Genuine question.

I would say it's possible - the human mind & senses designed by a higher being/thousands of years of evolution are more complex than any kind of computer or camera we invent ourselves.

As for my ghost story, I was working at something in upstate NY about 5 years ago with some friends from school. There was rolling around in the bunk bed atop mine where nobody was sleeping, which led to visions of ghostly appendages coming through physical objects, followed by my bed sheets being pulled right off - all while I was wide awake.

Take it as you may, but I see my story as genuine, first-hand experience. You had to be there to really get a feel for the events.
posted by tomorama at 8:39 PM on April 18, 2002


the human mind & senses designed by a higher being/thousands of years of evolution are more complex than any kind of computer or camera we invent ourselves.

Not really. We understand quite well how our senses work, particularly our eyesight and our hearing. We don't understand how our brain interprets sensory input into subjective experience, but that doesn't mean that when we see or hear something weird that there is anything "supernatural" about it. It is much more likely to be an artifact of our ad hoc mental systems for dealing with input. We don't know how these systems work, but we do know that while they are "good enough" for most situations they do have some pretty weird bugs, sort of like Microsoft products.
posted by kindall at 8:47 PM on April 18, 2002


Tomorama, thanks for sharing. Did you consider any factors that could have contributed to you seeing something? Or are you confident that you experienced of what you perceived?
posted by will at 8:55 PM on April 18, 2002


I'm going to have to agree with kindall. Our brains are pretty easily tricked. Just look at how common drugs like LSD play with the senses.
posted by geoff. at 9:16 PM on April 18, 2002


I find this entire field fascinating. I certainly believe there are things that happen in this world that we do not yet understant.

Sadly, paranormal investigations are:

1. So full of charlatans that almost no one takes them seriously anymore. That's why if there were proof of anything, it likely wouldn't hit mainstream.

2. Overburdened with a priori assumptions. For example, from the second investigation: "The SJGR team did detect spirit activity in the house during this investigation." Spirit? That's a mighty big leap.

I haven't dug deeply enough into the site to determine if they have psychics on the team. I'm betting they do, which for me is another point against. When you're conducting science, you don't bring in someone with really good eyes to make observations. You make the phenomena visible to all.
posted by frykitty at 9:36 PM on April 18, 2002


tomorama thanks. I haven't had a similar kind of experience myself. But for what it's worth I take yours at face value.

If asked if I believe in ghosts, I simply say that I haven't experienced any first hand evidence of them. I agree that there are a lot of charlatans out there. But when somebody who doesn't have anything to gain by relating something that has happened to them shares that experience, I listen.
posted by lucien at 10:02 PM on April 18, 2002


> how can you capture proof of something that
> supposedly exists on plane B with equipment
> designed to be sensitive to the nature of plane A?

Your eyes are physical equipment made for plane A. So are your other senses. If they can sense something, there is mechanical equipment that can sense it better.

Conveniently for proponents of "plane B" and the like, there is never any good evidence left to confirm or deny their claims. However, there is plenty of evidence that people everywhere have had and continue to have vivid dreams, hallucinations, and imaginations, and plenty of evidence that people sincerely believe that imagined things happened.
posted by pracowity at 11:43 PM on April 18, 2002


And people call the kitty church lady odd?
posted by HTuttle at 11:51 PM on April 18, 2002


"It is this sort of thing that has added to Jersey's reputation as a state to be laughed at. self-disclosure: lived there for some 7 years."

i was born and raised there. and it's laughed at out of uncomfortable fear from the rest of the union.

yeah, i'll share stories. i'll write something up later tonight.
posted by jcterminal at 4:44 AM on April 19, 2002


lived there for some 7 years.

Still here. *cries*

For the record, though, it must be stated that south Jersey is an entirely different world than the rest of the state. With the pine barrens (yeah, pinnies!) and such, it is a very strange breeding ground. Kinda like PA between Pittsburgh and Philly. So, this doesn't surprise me at all.
posted by adampsyche at 5:43 AM on April 19, 2002


Deaf schizophrenics "hear" messages, which means that in some way we must be wired accept auditory (and probably visual) hallucination. Also, schizophrenics will often intermediate sensory perception via hallucination, so that when hearing someone coming toward their room, a hallucination appears saying, "someone's coming toward your room." And lo' teh hallucination was prophetically true.

I can't say that I believe in ghosts, but more importantly I disagree with everyone here about the urban legends giving Jersey a bad rap. I think they make Jersey great. Having grown up there, I can tell you that there's often nothing more interesting to do than to drive to check out some haunted spot an hour or so away.

Want more NJ urban myths and legends?.
posted by xammerboy at 10:38 AM on April 19, 2002


xammer, you have just made my entire summer. It's time to go out 'sploring.
posted by Perigee at 11:40 AM on April 19, 2002


Tomorama, thanks for sharing. Did you consider any factors that could have contributed to you seeing something? Or are you confident that you experienced of what you perceived?

I'm confident that I experienced exactly what the story says. I was wide awake, hadn't been drinking or anything else, and I never believed in ghosts until that day.
posted by tomorama at 12:43 PM on April 19, 2002


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