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Subject: ALT.FOLKLORE.GHOST-STORIES FAQ
This article was archived around: 22 Jul 2000 17:05:13 GMT
Welcome to alt.folklore.ghost-stories!
Alt.folklore.ghost-stories is for the discussion of, well... ghost
stories! If you've been visited by ghosties, ghoulies, long-legged
beasties, or things that go bump in the night, a.f.g-s is the perfect
place to tell the world about your experiences. In fact, if you've
heard any ghost stories at all lately, feel welcome to post them here.
Of course, like all newsgroups, a.f.g-s has its share of frequently
discussed topics. Thus, the alt.folklore.ghost-stories FAQ. I've
tried to make the FAQ as comprehensive as possible, without getting
too bogged down in useless rhetoric. It will probably be most useful
to those new to the group, but hopefully there's something in it for
even long-time readers.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please don't
hesitate to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org (that's me!) or post them
to the group. There's always room for improvement! And speaking of
improvement, this FAQ would not have been the same without the advice,
suggestions, and contributions of the following people:
Arthur Anderson email@example.com
Brian Bethel firstname.lastname@example.org
Noah Broadwater email@example.com
David Chorley firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Czaplinski email@example.com
David Fluker firstname.lastname@example.org
Joel & Lynn GAzis-SAx email@example.com
Jay Gitomer firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Grotenhuis email@example.com
Jason Hoffman Jason.Hoffman@nopc.jaxx.com
Matt Hucke firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Johnson email@example.com
Leesa Kern firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Korneluk email@example.com
Mark Korven Mark_Korven@goodmedia.com
Roberto Labanti firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Little-Reynolds email@example.com
Susan Lynds firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph W. Metcalf email@example.com
Prabal Nandy firstname.lastname@example.org
Eugene Orlando Ouija@ix.netcom.com
Alan Peschke email@example.com
Arturo Sanchez Arturo.Sanchez@ericsson.com
Nikki Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Wilton email@example.com
A very special thank you goes out to Susan Lynds. She contributed to
the section on the Wendigo and sent me oodles of info on will o' the
wisps. She was also invaluable as a proofreader and constructive
criticizer. In fact, a few of the sentences you'll read come directly
from her. Many of the books you see in the Interesting Reference
Material section were also sent to me by Susan. To sum it up, we
should all bow down in deference to Susan for making this FAQ a better
document to read.
A note on quotes: I have enclosed quotes from authors or people on
the net in quotation marks ("). [These parts might be edited a bit
for clarity or grammar.]
This FAQ is posted on the 20th of every month to alt.folklore.ghost-
stories, alt.paranormal, alt.paranet.paranormal, alt.answers, and
news.answers. This FAQ is also available via anon FTP at the
An enhanced version of the FAQ is also available via the World Wide Web:
NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT: This FAQ may not be reproduced for profit, or in
a published work that is sold for profit, without permission from the
author (firstname.lastname@example.org). It may be distributed in NON-profit
endeavors as long as the header information, author credit, and
copyright are kept intact.
Here's the outline of the FAQ. To try to make the FAQ easier to
search, I've used the following key:
A = Answer
Q = Question
S = Subject
I. Some Posting Guidelines
Q1.1 Are all the stories posted to alt.folklore.ghost-stories true?
Should they be true?
Q1.2 Do I have to be some kind of paranormal nut in order to post here?
Q1.3 Which topics are appropriate to post about?
Q1.4 I have this great ghost story! Should I post it?
Q1.5 I'm writing a book/article, and I'm reaping the net for stories and
ideas. You don't mind if I steal yours, do you?
Q1.6 How do I spell _____?
II. The Ouija Board
Q2.0 What is a ouija board?
Q2.1 A lot of people on this group say the ouija board is evil, and
to stay away from it. Is this true, and should I stay away?
Q2.2 Where can I buy a ouija board? Failing that, how can I make one?
Q2.3 Are there any 'rules' I should follow when using the Ouija board?
Q2.4 What does "ouija" mean?
Q2.5 A Brief History of the Ouija Board
III. Famous Hauntings and Spooky Spots
S3.1 The Amityville Horror
S3.2 The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
S3.3 The Bell Witch
S3.4 Borley Rectory
S3.5 Haunted Universities
S3.6 Haunted Theatres
S3.7 The Tower of London
S3.8 Winchester Mansion
S3.9 The Chase Vault
IV. Urban Legends
S4.1 La Llorona
S4.2 Three Men and a Baby
S4.3 Mary Worth/Bloody Mary
S4.4 The Vanishing Hitchhiker
S4.5 Haunted Traintracks
S4.6 The Blair Witch Project
V. Miscellaneous FAQs
Q5.1 What is the Wendigo?
Q5.2 What are will o' the wisps?
Q5.3 How did that girl in -Poltergeist- die?
Q5.4 What are some different categories of manifestations?
Q5.5 Who are Ed and Lorraine Warren?
Q5.6 What is "Old Hag"?
Q5.7 Are cars really rolling uphill in that graveyard near my town?
Q5.8 What is the best way to photograph a ghost?
Q5.9 Can't you sue if your new house is haunted, and no one told you about
Q5.10 What are some theories of what ghosts are/why they exist?
Q5.11 What is a caul?
Q5.12 What is an incubus?
VI. Non-alt.folklore.ghost-stories Resources
S6.1 Other USENET groups that a.f.g-s reader may enjoy
S6.2 Some interesting reference material
S6.3 Good Supernatural Fiction
S6.4 Other Net Resources
S6.5 Paranormal Organizations (brought to you by Brian Bethel!)
And now, away we go... it's the official
I. SOME POSTING GUIDELINES
Are all the stories posted to alt.folklore.ghost-stories true?
Should they be true?
It is highly doubtful that everything posted to a.f.g-s is true,
or even meant to be true. However, unless you mark your story as
fiction, readers tend to assume you are telling a tale you believe to
be true. Hence, it is considered polite in these parts to MARK
FICTION AS FICTION. People may otherwise assume that you're trying to
pull the wool over their eyes, or else take the story at face value
and start giving you advice. It's also common to start out "true"
tales with "This really happened to me," or "This is a true story,"
although technically it's not really necessary, as any unmarked story
is considered to be true.
CASE IN POINT: In the fall of 1994, someone posted a rather fantastic
concoction about a spirit which he said had been attacking him for a
good part of his life. He pleaded with the readers of a.f.g-s for
help with his dilemma. Many kind readers responded with sympathy and
advice, while one or two others posted their doubts about the story.
The original poster acted hurt that someone didn't believe his story,
insisting that it was true. A flame war ensued. Eventually the pos-
ter admitted the story was made up, and the people who had believed
and defended him felt hurt, betrayed, and/or embarrassed. This all
could have been avoided if the poster had marked his story as fiction
in the first place.
Do I have to be some kind of paranormal nut in order to post here?
No. Although there are lots of people here who believe in
paranormal activities, certainly not everyone does. Many people like
reading the stories, but generally take them with a grain of
salt. Everyone is welcome here, but remember: Flaming someone because
they believe or don't believe in something is *not* welcome.
Which topics are appropriate to post about?
Obviously, ghost stories (preferably true ones) make up the most
appropriate posting material. However, I've also seen great threads
about guardian angels, mysterious monsters, psychic phenomena, and of
course ouija boards. I don't see any reason why we can't discuss
these things here in a.f.g-s, as long as it doesn't degenerate into a
flame war or something. This is a friendly and relatively flame-free
newsgroup, and I'm sure everyone would like to keep it that way.
General discussion of ghosts (e.g. "What are ghosts?") is also
welcome. Basically, if it's paranormal and scary, you're on pretty
sturdy ground (I would, however, discourage UFO posts, as there are
already plenty of groups for those).
I have this great ghost story! Should I post it?
YES! If you have a good story to tell, please don't hesitate to
post it. There's nothing more frustrating to a.f.g-s readers than a
post containing nothing but the words "Something scary happened to me.
If there is enough interest, I'll post the story." We *want* to hear
your story... honest!
I'm writing a book/article, and I'm reaping the net for stories and
ideas. You don't mind if I steal yours, do you?
Most people would like to maintain copyright over their stories
(true or fiction), so you should definitely obtain permission *from
the original author* before publishing a story for profit. It's OK to
use someone's stories if you have written permission from the person
and/or are paying them in some way. It might also be a nice idea to
*give* a story for each one you take. Just a few things to think
How do I spell _____?
Here are some commonly misspelled words that pop up frequently on
alt.folklore.ghost-stories. You, too, can be a good speller!
Correct: WEIRD Incorrect: WIERD
Correct: SEANCE Incorrect: SAYONCE
Correct: OUIJA Incorrect: WEEJA
Correct: SUCCUBUS Incorrect: SUCUBUS
Correct: CEMETERY Incorrect: CEMETARY
II. THE OUIJA BOARD
The ouija board is a hot topic around here, and everyone seems to
have a strong opinion about it one way or the other. I've tried to
summarize those opinions, and also some questions about the board that
get asked a lot.
What is a ouija board?
A ouija board is a game in which messages are supposedly
communicated by the dead to or through the players of the game.
[Note: some people consider the ouija to be "more than just a game,"
but it is marketed as a game, and for purposes of convenience it will
be referred to here as a game.] The playing pieces consist of a game
board (like a Monopoly board) and a pointer, called a planchette. The
game board has all the letters of the alphabet written on it. The
numbers 0-9 are also usually included, along with yes/no and
hello/goodbye spaces. The layout of a typical board looks something
|A B C D E F G H I J K L M|
|N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
| 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 |
The pointer is made of plastic or glass, and either points to the
letters with one end or has a clear window embedded in it through
which one can view the letters.
To play, two or more people lightly touch the pointer and
concentrate on a question. The pointer will (hopefully) move and
point to letters and numbers which will provide answers to your
Ouija boards are also known as "witch boards" and "talking boards."
The nickname "ouiji" or "weejie" is also used quite a bit.
A lot of people on this group say the ouija board is evil, and to
stay away from it. Is this true, and should I stay away?
Since it's nearly impossible to merge the two views on this topic,
I've tried to accurately sum them up here:
* The ouija board is not any more evil than your Monopoly board.
It's just a toy, a piece of cardboard, and any "evil" force you
feel emanating off it is purely a result of your imagination.
Yes, the pointer does work, but that's the result of tiny
involuntary physical movements, and the messages you see are coming
from your subconscious or psychic mind.
* The ouija is in fact a powerful tool, and its powers cannot, and
should not, be written off entirely as your subconscious.
Inexperienced ouija users are especially prone to being affected by
malevolent forces which communicate through the board, often
masquerading as a departed loved one. The best way to avoid this
sort of thing is not to use the board at all.
Where can I buy a ouija board? Failing that, how can I make one?
You can, in the U.S. anyway, find a ouija board in a toy store or a
game store. You might also be able to find one in a large bookstore.
Parker Brothers make a nice, relatively cheap, model.
To make a board, arrange all the letters of the alphabet on a
smooth surface. You might also want the words "yes", "no", and
"goodbye", as well as the numbers. Use something that glides easily
over the surface (like a glass) to use as a pointer. Now, place your
fingers (this works best with a friend, by the way) gently on the
glass and concentrate. Hopefully the glass will start to move and
point to various letters, which will form words and sentences. Oh
yeah, it helps if you ask a question first.
Are there any 'rules' I should follow when using the Ouija board?
If you consider the Ouija board as just another toy, then there are
no hard and fast rules to follow. Holding on to the pointer helps,
If you believe that you are really contacting spirits through the
board, you might want to follow a few basic guidelines. Here are some
that I've gleaned off the net and from other sources:
* Use a silver coin as the planchette (pointer), or wear an article
made of silver. The silver is supposed to protect you from harmful
* To improve "reception", use a solid wood board, and work in male-
* Draw a circle around you and the board, or make a circle of candles.
Concentrate on creating a safe, protected place as you do this.
Some people believe that spirits must stay outside this circle.
Also, a well-lit area is said to drive away evil spirits.
* Always say goodbye to the entity you are talking with when you want
to end a session. If you don't say goodbye, and the spirit doesn't
reply in kind, he may be trying to stick around, maybe to make your
life miserable. Additionally, do not explicitly invite the spirit
to enter someplace, since this will make it hard to get rid of him
* It helps to have one additional person (not touching the
planchette) present to transcribe the session. Sometimes the
pointer starts moving too fast for you to read and process the
words it's spelling out. The transcription might also be helpful
later on so you can look back on what happened. Another way to
transcribe is to have someone call out the letters to a tape
* Don't take anything the spirit says literally. Ouija boards are
famous for lying or otherwise giving false information.
What does "ouija" mean?
The word "ouija" is actually a combination of two words, the french
word "oui" and the German word "ja." Both words mean "yes" in english.
A Brief History of the Ouija Board
From email@example.com (Thomas Grotenhuis):
The ancient Egyptians used a device LIKE a ouija board. They used a
ring attached to a strand of thread, held over a circular table with
symbols on it, and the ring would strike the table to spell out answers.
The Ouija board, the kind we see in toy stores today, came about in
1889 when William Fuld of Baltimore, Maryland, and his brother Isaac,
marketed Ouija boards to the American public. They had a small
operation and the board was the hottest item they would ever produce.
People bought the board not as a game, but as a device with which they
would talk to their loved ones killed in battle (note the two World
Wars happening; this was where the board's popularity really soared).
During this time, the fad spread, and so did Ouija's notorious
reputation as being more than just a "game."
Finally in about 1960 or thereabouts, Parker Brothers approached
the two Fuld brothers since they were having trouble making enough
boards to satisfy the demand for them. PB then took over the rights
to the ouija board and the rest, as they say, is history.
Ouija came about as kind of a by-product of the whole spiritualist
craze that was all the rage in the early 1900's, and during Houdini's
time as he debunked many 'mediums'. Table-tipping was being done back
then, and a Frenchman, who's last name was "planchette", produced a
device that looked like a small table like a ouija pointer, that stood
on two small stilts and a pen or pencil at the third point. The
operator would sit with his hands as lightly as he could resting on
the planchette, this device named after it's inventor, and the thing
would move, producing writing.
Ouija replaced the messy planchette (the writing was messy cursive
scrawls) when a board was used in place of the sheet of paper, and all
three stilts on the planchette were covered with felt enabling it to
slide in any direction. This made the communications fast, clear, and
easy. And specifically meant to be done with a partner, "gentleman
and lady preferred."
Eugene Orlando <Ouija@ix.netcom.com> adds:
"William Fuld died in 1927, Isaac in 1939. Since Parker Brothers didn't
take over the William Fuld company until 1966, it would have been
quite a trick to take it over from the brothers. But then it is
alt.folklore.ghost-stories isn't it? Actually, Parker Brothers saw a
bargain when they saw one and bought the business from William's kids.
They had moved the factory into a smaller building and sold out not
because there was so much demand for the ouija, but just the opposite.
Ouija sales had never been worse. It took a Parkers advertising blitz
to put the popularity back in the Ouija board."
III. FAMOUS HAUNTINGS AND SPOOKY SPOTS
Following is a brief rundown of the most popular hauntings discussed
on alt.folklore.ghost-stories. Note that these are all relatively
famous hauntings, and not urban legendish or my-aunt-Edna's-house type
S3.1 The Amityville Horror
The Amityville Horror, although now considered a hoax, is one of
the most famous "hauntings" of all time. The house in
Amityville, New York was made famous in the mid-70s when George and
Kathy Lutz told the media of bizarre happenings which were alleged to
have taken place at the house during the month they lived there.
These happenings included such things as flying demented pigs with
glowing red eyes (my personal favorite), walls that oozed blood, an
infestation of flies in the attic, and a pit to hell in the basement.
Supposedly, whatever had tormented the Lutzes was also the thing
that had driven Ronald DeFeo to shoot and kill his entire family in
that house in 1974.
S3.2 The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
The Brown Lady is famous mostly as being one of the most reliably
photographed ghost in history. [The picture can be found at my web
page or FTP area.] Although she has not been seen since 1936, she is
said to wear a long brown dress or cape. No one knows who the Brown
Lady is, or how she is connected to Raynham Hall.
The first sighting was reported in 1835 by a house guest, Colonel
Loftus. He actually viewed her twice. He said she was wearing a
brown satin dress and had only black empty sockets for eyes.
Another sighting was made by Captain Frederick Marryat. He inten-
tionally slept in the "haunted room," but instead caught a glimpse of
the Brown Lady an upstairs hallway. His description was the same as
Loftus', except this time the Brown Lady was carrying a lantern. Mar-
ryat happened to have a gun with him, and fired point-blank at the
figure. The bullets, of course, passed right through the ghost.
The ghost was not reported again until 1926, at which time it was
viewed by two little boys. In 1936, the famous photograph was taken
by photographers Captain Provand and Indre Shira during a shoot for
the magazine -Country Life-. Shira saw the ghost on the stairs, and
instructed Provand to take a picture. [Note: In -The Encyclopedia of
Ghosts-, Daniel Cohen notes that this photograph could have been
easily faked. It is a fascinating picture nonetheless.]
S3.3 The Bell Witch
"The Bell Witch" haunted the Bell home in Tennessee in the early
1800s. The "witch" was actually a poltergeist, which did lots of
annoying things like throw things around and scream/knock loudly at
all hours. John Bell, the father, died during the Bell Witch's
tenure. Some claim he was poisoned by the Witch. Betsy Bell, John's
daughter, is suspected of having faked the whole thing. Reliable
records are lacking, so we'll probably never know whether the Bell
Farm was truly haunted.
Interestingly, the Bell Witch story has been merged with the Bloody
Mary legend in parts of Kentucky and Tennessee.
A more complete account of this haunting is available on the ghost
stories web page (see section 6.4).
S3.4 Borley Rectory
Borley Rectory is often called "The most haunted house in England."
The site of the rectory originally held a monastery, which was
inhabited by Benedictine monks. Subsequent to this, the monastery
came under the ownership of the Waldergrave family, who occupied it
for three centuries. In the late 1800's a descendant of the Walde-
graves, the reverend H.D.E. Bull, built a new rectory on the site of
the old monastery. It was not until after the new rectory was built
that strange things started to happen.
One of the spectres that was said to roam the grounds was a nun who
in the 13th century fell in love with and tried to elope with a monk.
According to legend, the nun and monk were caught in their get-away
horse and carriage. As punishment, the monk was hung and the nun was
walled up alive in the rectory. Some people reported seeing the
ghostly form of the horse and carriage in addition to the nun.
The reverend Harry Bull, who died at Borley, also was reputed to have
haunted the rectory. He would appear dressed in the grey jacket in
which he passed away.
In the late 1920s, the house was owned by a reverend (Lionel A.
Foyster) and his wife who reported poltergeist-like phenomena.
Supposedly the prankish spirit locked the wife in the bedroom, and
other times threw her out of the bed. There were also pebbles thrown
at the windows, and mysterious writing which would appear on walls.
Harry Price, a famous ghost hunter, investigated Borley Rectory in
1929, and again in 1937. He supposedly witnessed some of the
activity, including the ghostly nun. Although Price spent a great
deal of time in the Rectory, his research is generally considered to
be biased and therefore flawed.
Unfortunately, Borley Rectory burned down in 1939, taking its secrets
with it. In 1945, human remains rumored to be those of the nun were
found on the site, and were given a proper burial. But the legend of
Borley has not died yet; people still visit the site today to see if
they can spot the ghostly nun.
3.5 Haunted Universities
There are many stories of college hauntings. If you wish to read of
them, you can ftp to my alt.folklore.ghost-stories archives (see
address at the bottom of this FAQ). Relevant files include:
cmu.children mary.reed kale*.contact
cmu.haunting phantom.typist kenyon.haunting
ghost.elevator und.haunting marquette.haunting
haunted.dorm upei.haunting asu*.ghost
I haven't run across any university hauntings that are well known
outside of one particular school but if anyone knows of any, let
me know and I will include it in this section.
S3.6 Haunted Theatres
Mike Czaplinski (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes the following about
the ghost of Drury Lane Theatre:
"Drury Lane Theatre. From my fuzzy recollection, the ghost is
described at various times as a soft green glow, or a handsome young
man. I seem to recall there being an entry on this particular
haunting in THE BOOK OF LISTS (circa 1980). According to the entry
(again, subject to my faulty memory), during renovation in the late
1970's, they stumbled on a skeleton with the remnants of a grey riding
coat with a knife sticking out of its ribs.
The folklore is that whoever sees the ghost is destined for
theatrical greatness." <end quote from Mike Czaplinski>
Further details (provided directly from -The Book of Lists-, Bantam,
1977): The ghost is that of a young man who was murdered in 1780.
J. Wentworth Day, a ghost hunter, reported seeing a moving blue light
in the theatre in 1939.
If anyone knows of any other famous haunted theatres, I would be
happy to hear about them. There are a few files in my archives that
are about haunted theatres: lyric.theatre, playhouse.ghost, and
S3.7 The Tower of London
The Tower of London has a long and bloody history, and of course many
ghostly legends are associated with the Tower. In 1483, two young
princes were murdered in the Tower, and their ghosts were reported to
have haunted the tower until the year 1674, when their bones were
found and buried in a proper ceremony.
The most famous and most often reported ghost in the Tower is
Anne Boleyn. She was beheaded by her husband, Henry VIII, in 1536.
Other Tower ghosts include Sir Walter Raleigh, Guy Fawkes, and even
the apparition of a bear. In 1816, a palace guard who was on duty
spied the bear. Not realizing he was facing an apparition, the guard
attempted to lunge at the creature with his bayonet. The guard repor-
tedly later died of shock.
In 1864, a soldier saw a ghost and again attempted to use his
bayonet. The soldier fainted when he realized his antagonist was a
ghost, and was later court-martialed for neglecting his duties (hard
to guard the castle when you're fainted dead away). However, the
charges against the soldier were dropped when two witnesses came
forward to support the soldier's ghost story.
S3.8 Winchester Mansion
The Winchester Mansion, in San Jose, California, was built by Sara
Winchester, the widow of William Winchester. Sara visited a psychic
who told her that she must build a house large enough to house the
souls of all those who'd been killed by Winchester guns, and Sara
spent the remaining 36 years of her life (until she died in 1922)
doing just that.
The mansion's construction is just as odd as Sara's personality.
There are stairways and doors that go nowhere, secret rooms and
passages, and elevators that only go up one floor. Some believe
that Sara had the house built in a confusing way so that the sprits
wouldn't be able to find her and seek revenge. The number 13
is prevalent throughout: 13 bathrooms, stairways with 13 steps,
and so on.
There is a rumor that Sara would never give her workmen the day
off, because she was afraid that the day she stopped building she
would die. One day, however, after many complaints, she finally
gave her staff a day off, and that is the day she died.
S3.9 The Chase Vault (AKA The Moving coffins of Barbados)
Contributed by Matthew Hucke (email@example.com):
In Christ Church cemetery on the island of Barbados there is a
burial vault of unknown origin. The earliest records call it the
"Chase vault". It was first used for the burial of a Mrs. Goddard in
1807, followed by two-year-old Mary Ann Chase in 1808 and her sister
Dorcas in 1812, a probable suicide. A few weeks later, Dorcas' father
Thomas Chase died. When the vault was opened, all the coffins had
been moved from their original places. It was thought that thieves
had been in the vault, but the concrete seal of the tomb was still in
Two more burials were made in 1816. In both cases, when the vault
was opened, the coffins already present had been moved about. The
casket of Thomas Chase was of lead, weighing 240 pounds, far too large
to be moved by a single vandal. In each of these burials, the wor-
kers returned the coffins to their proper places and sealed the mauso-
leum with cement.
It happened again in 1819. This time, the Governor sprinkled sand
on the floor (to show footprints), and pressed his personal seal into
the fresh cement. In 1820 the tomb was opened again, and the coffins
were again out of place, even though no footprints showed and the
concrete seal was undisturbed. The governor ordered the coffins
removed and the vault left open; the mystery has never been solved.
[ information taken from Daniel Cohen's _The Encyclopedia of Ghosts_,
Avon Books 1984.]
IV. URBAN FOLKLORE AND LEGENDS
Urban legends are stories which are passed by word of mouth (and more
recently email and fax). The stories are untrue, although some have
a kernel of truth to them or seem like they *could* be true. Each
legend generally has myriad variations, and is told as having happened
to a distant-but-not-too-distant acquaintance. For more on horror
legends and ULs in general, visit Snopes' site at http://www.snopes.com/.
S4.1 La Llorona
La Llorona is the legend of a woman who has lost her children, and
who can be heard, and sometimes seen, weeping in the night. La
Llorona (the name means "She who weeps" in Spanish) is in most stories
said to be Mexican, although sometimes she is a woman who lived in the
American Southwest. As with most urban legends, there are many
variations of La Llorona, but the central plot remains intact: The
woman has lost her children, usually because she herself has killed
them because she wants to marry a man who doesn't want any children.
She is so anguished over the depressing circumstances that she kills
herself as well, and is thus doomed forever to roam her native land,
weeping and wringing her hands. Sometimes she is said to be searching
for her children, and sometimes she is said to appear only as a
warning to those who see her.
Here is a typical version of the La Llorona legend by Proserpina
"Sightings abound throughout the Southwest. Supposedly she drowned
her children in the acequia (irrigation ditch,) and now she roams the
ditches looking for her, or any, children. Usually the story is told
with the intentions of keeping kiddies away from the ditches, so they
-The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits- by Rosemary Guiley tells a
more traditional Mexican version, which occurs in Mexico City around
1550. According to legend, an indian princess fell in love with a
Mexican nobleman. The nobleman promised to marry her, but betrayed
her and married someone else instead. The ultimate result of this
bit o' treachery is that the princess murdered her children in a fit
of rage, with a knife given to her by the nobleman. Afterwards, she
wandered the streets crying for her children, and was eventually
hanged for her sins. Since then her ghost has been searching for her
Another interesting feature of the La Llorona legend is that it
appears to have merged with the Vanishing Hitchhiker legend (see
below). La Llorona is reported by some to hitch a ride on a road
near to the place where she drowned her children.
S4.2 Three Men and a Baby
If I had to pick just one topic from this FAQ to post, this would
be the one. There is a scene in the movie -Three Men and a Baby- in
which some people claim to have seen the ghostly figure of a small boy
who was killed in the house in which the scene was filmed. In some
variations, the boy's parents are said to have sued the movie studio,
or the owners of the "house", for letting their boy's name be released
to the press. There are also tales of other ghostly objects being
seen throughout the movie, most notably a rifle pointing at the head
of the "ghost boy".
That is the legend. Here are the facts. The scene in question
was not shot in a house, but on a soundstage in a Hollywood studio.
The "ghost boy" is in fact a life-sized cardboard cutout of Ted
Danson (who stars in the film), which had been left in the background,
presumably accidentally, by a crew member. This cutout is seen in
full view in another scene in the movie.
There is no ghost boy. No boy ever died on the set, and no one
involved with the movie was ever sued by the mythical parents of
said ghost boy. No one appears to know how the legend started.
Some have suggested it was a promotional scheme perpetrated by the
producers of the film to get people to buy/rent/go see it. Most
likely the flub was simply noticed by one or more innocent movie
goers, who told a friend, or perhaps a newspaper...
S4.3 Mary Worth/Bloody Mary
Here is a popular legend which many remember from their childhood.
The Mary Worth (also known as Bloody Mary, Mary Margaret, etc) story
is popular at sleepovers. As the story goes, a beautiful young girl
named Mary Worth was in some sort of terrible accident (or
occasionally the wounds are inflicted purposely by a jealous party),
and her face was hideously deformed. From then on, she is shunned by
other people, and she sometimes becomes a witch.
Now for the scary part. Supposedly if you say Mary Worth's name
three (or five, or ten... it varies) times while looking into the
mirror, Mary Worth will appear and scratch your face off or kill
you. She is exacting a hideous revenge on the undeformed people
who made fun of her in life.
There is a great Clive Barker movie, -Candyman-, based on this
sort of legend. The Bloody Mary legend has merged with the local
mythology in some areas. For instance, in Kentucky and Tennessee,
she takes the form of the Bell Witch (see FAQ 3.3).
S4.4 The Vanishing Hitchhiker
This legend is probably familiar to most readers. It is a dark and
stormy night. A person driving sees a forlorn figure at the side of
the road and decides to give him or her a lift. Usually the
hitchhiker is a young woman in some sort of trouble... her prom date
dumped her, or her car broke down. The driver gets to her house only
to discover that his passenger has disappeared without a trace from
the back seat of his car. He knocks on the door to the house, maybe
to make sure the girl is ok, and the door is answered by the girl's
parent. Eventually it comes out that the girl died some years ago,
and every year on the anniversary of her death (or her birthday), the
girl hitches a ride back home with a stranger.
There are *many* variations of this legend. Sometimes the girl
appears to make it home safely, but the driver finds something the
girl left behind in his car, and goes back to return it, thus lear-
ning the truth about the girl. Sometimes the driver lends the girl
his jacket or sweater, and goes back the next day to retrieve it.
Often, he finds his jacket hung over the grave of the dead girl.
It is interesting to note that this legend has made it into many
regional folklores. In Hawaii, for example, the hitchhiker is often
said to be the goddess Pele. It has already been mentioned that
La Llorona has also been connected with the story. In the Chicago
area, the vanishing hitchhiker takes the form of Resurrection Mary.
S4.5 Haunted Traintracks
Occasionally a reader will post the following story, usually
attributing it to a local site. Once, there was a tragic accident on
a set of traintracks:
A busload of children was crossing the tracks, and could not get
out of the way in time to avoid the approaching train. Now, if
your car stalls out on the tracks, it will be pushed over the tracks
to safety before the train hits you. The ghosts of the children
have saved you, and sometimes you can see their small handprints
in the dust on your car.
The most well-known example of this urban legend are the haunted
traintracks in San Antonio, Texas.
For an explanation of how things can appear to move "uphill", see
S4.6 The Blair Witch Project
"The Blair Witch Project" is a movie (released summer 1999) based
on a Bell Witch style mythos invented by the film's director/writers
Dan Myrick and Ed Sanchez. To make their movie, which was shot in
pseudo-documentary style, seem more real and thus more scary, Myrick
and Sanchez created a legendary figure called the "Blair Witch."
They even crafted an elaborate history to surround the Witch. They
then gave this invented legend to some hired actors, set them loose
in the woods with a minimal supply of food, and filmed the actors
(who ad-libbed all their lines) as they reacted to scary surprises
set up by the two directors. The result is a quite frightening, and
quite FICTIONAL film.
As word of the movie and its mythos spread, however, many people
began to believe that the Blair Witch was a real legend and that
the film footage was an actual documentary shot by students doing a
real project. This is NOT the case. The actors starring in "The
Blair Witch Project" are alive and well. There is not and never has
been a Blair Witch legend in or around Burkittsville, Maryland.
A town called Blair has never existed in that spot.
This is an interesting urban legend because it has unfolded before
our very eyes. It is both frustrating and amusing to watch it happen.
There is no doubt that the popularity of the Bell Witch legend (see
FAQ 3.3) has contributed to the spread of the Blair Witch story. It
is probable that the two mythologies will become intertwined in the
future; indeed, some believers have already concluded that the Blair
and Bell witches are "related." For more information about the Blair
Witch Project, see the list of links at http://www.ghosts.org/faq/4-6.html.
V. MISCELLANEOUS FAQs
What is the Wendigo?
"The wendigo is a Canadian entity, half phantom, half beast, who
lives in the forests and preys on human beings, particularly chil-
dren. The belief in this horror dates back to the earliest Indian
legends and it is said that the wendigo will eat the flesh of its
victims. According to R.S. Lambert in "Exploring the Supernatural"
(1955), 'Wendigos (who might be women as well as men) were believed
to have entered into a pact with evil spirits, lurking in the for-
est, who helped them kill their victims.' The legend of this crea-
ture has been immortalized in Algernon Blackwood's short story "The
Wendigo" (1907). In W.T. Cox's "Fearsome Creatures of the Lumber
Woods" (1951) a number of other Canadian "wood horrors" are listed,
including the hodag, the whimpus, the hoop-snake, the celofay, and
--A Dictionary of Ghost Lore, by Peter Haining
Noah Broadwater (firstname.lastname@example.org) adds:
"The posting on 'Wendigos' or 'Wendegos' (there are two spellings) is
quite interesting and accurate from a folk point of view. Anthropologic-
ally, however, a different definition exists. 'Wendigos' are people who
have a psychological problem. This occurs to people who starve out in the
sub-arctic region. This hunger often causes a psychological imbalance.
The person becomes cannibalistic and tries to eat other humans or
anything that will provide food, including rotting animals. This often
begins at night during sleep where the afflicted will turn in their
sleep and attempt to eat whomever is next to them. The Inupiak (sp?)
Native Americans are the most affected by this due to their migratory
lifestyle and harsh environment. Currently Canadian hospitals are
treating people affected by this phenomena."
What are will o' the wisps?
Will o' the wisps are a natural phenomenon that never the less
appear ghostly in nature. The wisps, which are actually ignited
pockets of swamp gas, hover over swamps and swampy areas and glow
blue. They can move (carried by breezes and air currents), and many
observers have noted that the wisps seem to mimic a person's
movements... when the observer moves forward, so does the wisp. Will
o' the wisps can appear as one glowing ball or as many tiny flickers.
Will o' the wisps have also been called such fanciful names as
"corpse candles", "fox fire", and "elf light". The phenomenon is
also knows as "ignis fatuus", which means "foolish fire". Some
believe the mysterious floating lights to be portents of bad luck
or even death. Researchers believe that many people have mistaken
will o' the wisps for the ghostly lanterns of trains and/or their
How did that girl in -Poltergeist- die?
Contributed by Christine White (email@example.com): According
to People magazine February 15, 1988:
"It happened so fast. At 9:25 am, Monday Feb. 1, only hours after
developing what appeared to be flu symptoms, Heather O'Rourke, child
star of the Poltergeist horror films, was rushed from her home in
Lakeside, Calif., to the hospital; she was in septic shock and cardiac
arrest. An hour later she arrived by airlift, alive but in critical
condition, at Children's Hospital and Health Center in San Diego.
There she was operated on for intestinal stenosis, an acute bowel
obstruction, a congenital condition neither her mother nor stepfather
had suspected. At 2:43 pm, Heather died on the operating table. She
was 12 years old."
Subsequent issues of People tell how doctors first diagnosed and
treated her for Crohn's disease. The parents sued the doctors for
wrongful treatment, but I don't know what happened to the suit.
What are some different categories of manifestations?
Ghostly visitations fall into several distinct categories. Here
are a few of the most common.
* Crisis Apparitions -- These ghosts appear most often to their
loved ones at a moment of great crisis or death. Typically, the
ghosts appear only once to a special loved one who may be many
miles away at the time of the accident.
* Doppelgangers -- Doppelgangers are ghostly doubles of living peo-
people. Often the doppelganger is not visible to the person him-
self, and will simply follow the person around. In some cases a
person will come upon his own doppelganger who is typically engaged
in some future activity. Doppelgangers are traditionally consid-
ered omens of bad luck or even death.
* Repeated Actions -- Many apparitions are always viewed repeating
the same motions or scenes. Many classic hauntings fall into this
category. An example of this type of haunting is The Brown Lady of
Raynham Hall, who was always seen moving down a hallway with a lan-
tern in her hand. Usually these ghosts pay little or no attention
to the observer.
* Poltergeists -- Poltergeists are the only spirits who leave immed-
iate physical traces. Poltergeists are best known for throwing
things about and producing rapping sounds and other noises. In
fact, the word "poltergeist" means "noisy ghost" in German. Pol-
tergeists often occur where there are children on the brink of
puberty, and often interact with people.
* Ghostly Sounds and Lights -- Sometimes a haunting will consist en-
tirely of the sound of footsteps or ghostly music. There are also
many legends of ghost lights, which are often said to be caused by
someone's ghostly lantern or by a spectral motorcycle or train.
* Possessed Ojects -- Sometimes inanimate objects are said to be
cursed or possessed. A very famous example of a supposed cursed
object is the Hope Diamond. Sometimes a particular piece of furn-
iture will refuse to stay in place, even moving in front of the
Who are Ed and Lorraine Warren?
Ed and Lorraine Warren are a husband and wife team who investigate
paranormal activity. Their most famous case is probably the Amity-
ville horror. The reliability of their research is considered ques-
tionable by many. The Warrens currently make a living by travelling
the lecture circuit and releasing the occasional book.
You can visit their website (The New England Society for Psychic
Reasearch) at http://www.warrens.net/.
What is "Old Hag"?
From the alt.dreams FAQ, maintained by Olaf Titz (firstname.lastname@example.org.
"3.1. What causes sleep paralysis?
"A. Conventional wisdom: REM atonia is a normal function of the body.
The muscles that move the body are "turned off" during REM sleep,
which prevents you from acting out dreamed actions in rea- lity.
Non-REM sleep paralysis after waking up ("old hag") is caused by a
failure to re-activate the muscles immediately. Nor- mally this
condition lasts only a few seconds, but sometimes it can go for a
minute, which causes a very scary feeling. You are damn sure you're
awake now but you can't move. This is extremely unpleasant but at
least not dangerous." <end quote from alt.dreams FAQ>
Symptoms of old hag include hearing footsteps, seeing a presence
(often an old woman, from which the name derives), and a feeling of
not being able to breathe or move.
Here is a typical Old Hag experience. This was posted on a.f.g-s.
From: email@example.com (Penny)
"... I turned out the light and settled down to go to sleep. As I
was lying in bed thinking, I became aware of a rustling sound emanat-
ing from the turret. I focused on the sound, trying to determine its
origins. A breeze over papers? A mouse? As soon as I dismissed
these possibilities the rustling sound stopped and was replaced by
the sound of stealthy, shuffling footsteps that were headed in my
direction. The sense of a presence was suddenly so strong that it
filled the room. I was terrified. The critical detail here is that I
clearly remember pulling the blanket over my head (I was lying on my
back.) The next thing I knew I was paralyzed--I couldn't move a fin-
ger. The footsteps continued their approach and the next thing I
knew, a tremendous weight settled on my chest, forcing me into the
mattress. I felt that there was a menacing presence. [...] It was
nasty! The intense, dreadful weight continued to press down on me,
almost like a large animal settling itself on my body. I thought I
would go through the mattress. I knew that I was awake, I was not
dreaming, and that something evil was in the room with me. Somehow,
my childhood years of Sunday School paid off and I prayed to be re-
leased. In that instant, it was over."
Next time you read a book of true ghostly accounts, keep the old hag
phenomenon in mind. Most likely you will find a few classic old hag
experiences (especially by authors who are unaware of the phenomenon)
which the victim assumed were paranormal.
Are cars really rolling uphill in that graveyard near my town?
There are some places where the land is shaped in such a way that
it can sometimes appear that things are going uphill when they are
really going down. Some people attribute this type of activity to
Jason Hoffman (Jason.Hoffman@nopc.jaxx.com) explains it this way:
"This was explained very simply on a TV show several years back.
There is a place known as "Gravity Hill" where the road is on a slight
decline. But the trees on the side of the road, instead of being
vertical, lean down the hill. So that if you are standing sideways on
the road, with the down side to your left, the trees `should' appear
to lean to the right, but actually lean to the left. This makes the
downward side of the hill seem to be the up side of the hill. The
grade is so slight that it throws off your balance, so you become con-
"This has been illustrated in fun houses at amusement parks...'The
Leaning Room'. After being in the room for a minute, your natural
sense of balance tries to correct itself. Then, you try to roll a
ball down some parallel bars, but the ball rolls up instead."
Here is another explanation by Paul Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org):
"The brain uses a collection of techniques for deciding which way is
up. The balancing organs in the inner ears only work when you stand
still, so for most purposes the brain uses visual rules-of-thumb.
"Amongst these are:
1: The ground is, on average, horizontal.
2: Walls are vertical.
"So these mystery spots are usually on broad, empty plains with a
slight slope. The slope isn't noticable, and rule 1 is applied by the
brain to get a wrong answer for the horizontal. Hence any slight
lessening of the slope looks like a slight upward rise on a flat
plain, even though it is actually still downhill. So things rolling
down the slope look like they are rolling uphill.
"Sometimes locals exploit rule 2 by putting up buildings that conform
to the visual horizontal instead of the actual one. This reinforces
the illusion quite strongly.
"If you are ever shown one of these spots, check a map with contour
lines drawn on to find out how flat it really is."
What is the best way to photograph a ghost?
The following information was provided by David Fluker
"If anyone out there is interested in attempting to photograph para-
normal activities or spirits, here is how to do it right!!
1. You need to purchase 35mm Kodak HIE-135/36 film. This is B&W
Infrared film used for this and other more scientific purposes. You
can either purchase the film at a local professional photo shop or
order it direct from Kodak at 1-800-242-2424 in Rochester, NY. The
roll costs around $10.00 each including shipping.
2. Once you have the film in your hot little hand, you need to ask
your friendly photo-pro at the shop for an 87 filter to use with it.
(if he/she doesn't know what this is, have them call the 800# above
and get Kodak to tell him/her.
** the reason for the 87 filter is to eliminate all existing light du-
ring photography and only to have the IR on the film. (Even though it
may be dark in a room, there is still existing light that will effect
your exposure so use the 87 filter!!)
3. Once you have captured you entity on film, either send the film
back to Kodak or get it processed at the best quality lab in your area.
It needs to be processed under three types...hc110, d19, or d76. The
best for supernatural purposes is d76 as this gives the most normal
overall exposure. You can also have it processed HC110 but this is a
much higher contrast index and used mainly for special scientific pro-
jects." <end quote from David Fluker>
In addition, David Chorley notes that HIE 135-36 needs to be loaded
and unloaded in a darkroom, because the little felt light trap is not
impervious to IR.
Yet more info provided by Joseph W. Metcalf:
1. HIE can not be used in cameras that have a "window" on the back to
see the film-type & exposures printed on the film cannister nor can it
be used in cameras that use an infrared film-transport sensor or IR
focus system. (In other words, get out the old manual-everything SLR.
(In addition, I would be very wary of using HIE in cheaper point-and-
shoot type cameras. The light seals just ain't all that great.)
2. Some type of plastic developing tanks can leak IR light. The best
bet for developing is Kodalux or a major pro lab. Find a lab that you
trust and ask questions!
3. The #87 filter will completely block visual light. A #25 (red)
filter can also be used with HIE to block everything except the red-
visual and infrared spectrum. (Makes focusing a bit easier if you have
the light to work with.) HIE is also sensitive to UV light and can
get the same type of haze from ultraviolet as daylight film does.
HIE with the #87 filter can be used to photograph through fog (or
darkness, of course.) It is possible that anything similar to fog
could transmit the IR light instead of reflecting it and would not
show up on the film.
4. A flash will work with HIE, although I think it would be most
effective for this application with an #87 filter of it's own. (We
wouldn't want to scare anyone away.)
5. There is no recommended film speed for HIE. A good starting point
is 50 or 100 ASA for D-76 processing. A test roll, with exposures
logged, is recommended.
6. IR light requires a focus adjustment from visible light. Some
manual-focus cameras will have an infrared focus mark to indicate the
offset. If not, experiment. The difference is small, but it could be
7. HIE has a "salt and pepper" grain. It is a nice artistic effect,
but the resolution is not the same as conventional films.
8. And, yes, the film is light green!
Can't you sue if your new house is haunted, and no one told you about
Mark Korven (Mark_Korven@goodmedia.com) gleaned the following quote
from the book -The Scandal Annual 1991-.
"A Wall Street bond trader sued for return of a $32,000 down payment
he made on a $650,000 Victorian mansion on the Hudson River in Nyack,
New York. The Reason: he said nobody told him that three Revolutionary
War ghosts haunted the dwelling. The owner of the house had refused to
return the money, saying that the ghosts were very friendly. The judge
ruled in her favor, stating that the law can't take supernatural enti-
ties into consideration.
"That ruling panicked lawmakers in neighboring Connecticut, which evi-
dently has more than its share of spooks. Legislators pushed though a
"Ghostbuster" bill, making it mandatory for all home seller to disclose
any spiritual phenomena related to the property."
What are some theories of what ghosts are/why they exist?
There are many theories of what ghosts (if they indeed exist) are.
Some people believe that ghosts are the residual energy left behind by
an emotionally strong person or event. This theory holds that more
energy/electrical impulses are expended during periods of high stress
or excitement, and that the energy lingers for a long time.
Freud thought that ghosts are actually the visions of people who
are afraid of death. In this sense, ghosts would not be real at all
but rather a projection of our subconcious mind.
A somewhat plausible theory is that ghosts are telepathic images.
That is, a sensitive person would pick up past vibrations from the
area they were in and witness an event or person as it appeared many
years ago. This would also explain instances where a person sees a
loved one at or near the moment of the the loved one's death, since
the loved one could be unconsciously projecting their thoughts to the
Ghosts might also be the result of time slips, if time is nonlinear.
An event that happened in the past might be seen briefly in our time
because of a fluctuation in time/space.
On his show -Mysterious World-, Arthur C. Clarke has speculated that
our minds might play images to our eyes (the same way our eyes relay
messages to our brain, but in reverse), almost like a movie screen.
In this way ghosts would be bits of our imagination come to life.
What is a caul?
A caul is a piece of the fetal membrane that covers the heads of
some babies when they are born. This occurrence is relatively rare,
and because of this folklore says that a baby born with a caul
possesses psychic powers. In the past, people would keep cauls and
placed great value upon them as good luck charms.
What is an incubus?
An incubus is a demon which assumes male form and lies on people
(usually women) and has sexual intercourse with them in their sleep.
The female version of an incubus is called a succubus.
VI. NON-alt.folklore.ghost-stories RESOURCES
S6.1 Other USENET groups that a.f.g-s reader may enjoy:
alt.binaries.pictures.cemetaries For photographs of cemetaries
alt.folklore.urban discussion of urban legends and their varia-
tions and meanings
alt.folklore.suburban moderated discussion of urban legends
alt.horror discussion of horror films and literature
alt.magick magick stuff
alt.pagan wicca and other non-christian religions
alt.paranet.paranormal discussion of paranormal phenomena
alt.paranet.metaphysics discussion of metaphysics
alt.paranormal discussion of paranormal phenomena
alt.society.funerary For discussions of funeral customs
alt.support.grief For those dealing with the loss of a loved one
sci.skeptic debate on the validity of strange phenomena
S6.2 Some interesting reference material:
There is a bibliography at the a.f.g-s web site:
Please note: Cable stations change their schedules around so much that
I've given up on trying to keep up with the timeslots for these shows.
Check your local listings, or try http://www.clicktv.com/.
-Unsolved Mysteries- Reruns are shown on Lifetime
-Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World- Shown on the Discovery channel
-In Search Of...- A&E; [Note: -ISO- seems to be on hiatus at the
-Sightings- Sci-Fi Channel
-The Unexplained- A&E
-The Legend of Boggy Creek- A quasi-documentary about a bigfoot-
like creature roaming the Louisiana bayou. (1972)
-Sightings: The Ghost Report- Cases from the TV show (1995 Paramount)
-Ghosts- CD ROM game with lots of (true) information on ghosts, famous
hauntings, etc. Nifty! (Media Design Interactive)
-The Unexplained- Reference CDROM with info on paranormal topics.
S6.3 Good Supernatural Fiction
Anson, Jay -The Amityville Horror- Flies in the attic!
Walls that drip blood! Pigs that fly! (And you thought your
faulty plumbing was a problem.)
Dickens, Charles -A Christmas Carol- A good ghost story any time
of the year.
King, Stephen -The Shining- Lots of ghosties.
-The Twilight Zone- Umm, do I really need to explain this?
-The X-Files- Two FBI agents investigate paranormal stuff.
A great show! (FOX, Sundays 9PM E/P)
-Scooby Doo- Teen sleuths and their dog investigate eerie
-Candyman- Clive Barker movie inspired by Mary Worth-type
urban legends. Tres scary! (1992)
-The Changeling- George C. Scott stars in a chilling yarn about
a house haunted by the spirit of a murdered
-The Entity- Barbara Hershey plays a single mom who is being
tormented by a rowdy spirit. (1983)
-The Exorcist- A modern story of demonic possession. Linda
Blair vomits pea soup. (1973)
-Ghostbusters- Comedy about ghost-catchers in New York City.
-The Haunting- A classic tale of a haunted house. Based on
-The Haunting of Hill House- by Shirley Jack-
-Poltergeist- A family experiences otherwordly activity cen-
tered around their young daughter (Heather
-The Shining- Based on the Stephen King novel about an old
hotel haunted by lots of mean ghosts. (1980)
-The Uninvited- A classic haunted house story set in pre-war
Cornwall, UK. (1944)
-Witchboard- Tawny Kitaen is tormented by an evil spirit
conjured up with a ouija board. Actually a
fairly good movie despite a somewhat low
S6.4 Other Net Resources
This FAQ, some stories taken from alt.folklore.ghost-stories, pictures,
links, and more
Ghost Stories Mailing List -- receive one true ghost story every day
send mail to email@example.com. In the body of your
message type "subscribe" (without the quotes). See the following
URL for more information: http://www.ghosts.org/listpage.html
There are thousands of paranormal sites on the web now. The
following URLs are a tiny sample of what's out there. For MANY
more links, go to Obiwan's UFO-Free Paranormal page at
-- The Shadowlands http://theshadowlands.net/ A very well done page
on many aspects of the paranormal, including an extensive section on
ghosts and hauntings.
-- The Unofficial alt.folklore.ghost-stories Web Site
http://www.members.dandy.net/~ertharp/afgs/ Information about the
newsgroup and its members, as well as some links.
-- Ghosts: The Page that Goes Bump in the Night
http://www.camalott.com/~brianbet/ghosts.html Lots of true stories,
a chat forum, links, and more from a long-time, respected a.f.g-s
-- Ghosts Channel of the Undernet http://www.pinn.net/~royaloak/
All about the #ghosts channel on IRC, true ghost stories, and links.
S6.5 Paranormal Organizations (brought to you by Brian Bethel!)
Research/Counseling for Paranormal Experiences (AKA where to go for
help, counseling and possible investigation into your Thing That Goes
Bump In The Night.)
The following is a list of the most prominent research organizations
devoted to the science of parapsychology. Many of these groups can
refer you to local professionals in your area. Several of these enti-
ties, such as the American Society of Psychical Research, are member-
ship-based societies but may share resources with non-members.
Several of these societies also publish journals in the field of
parapsychology. Full information concerning services offered is avail-
able through each organization.
To contribute, add, or delete from this portion of the FAQ, e-mail
Brian Bethel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Several of these listings are old
and possibly out of date. Your help in maintaining the most current
list possible is deeply appreciated.
American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR)
5 West 73rd Street
New York, NY 10023
Society for Psychical Research (SPR)
1 Adam & Eve Mewes
Kensington, W8 6UG
Psychical Research Foundation
c/o William G. Roll
West Georgia College
Carrollton, GA 30118
Parapsychological Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 12236
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
228 E. 71st Street
New York, NY 10021
Parapsychology Research Group
3101 Washington St.
San Francisco, CA 94511
Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man, Institute for Para-
Durham, NC 27708
Institute of Noetic Sciences
Sausalito, CA 94965
Graduate Parapsychology Program
Department of Holistic Studies
John F. Kennedy University
Orinda, Ca. 94563
Division of Parapsychology
Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Center for Scientific Anomalies Research (CSAR)
P.O. Box 1052
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Society for Scientific Exploration
c/o Dr. Henry Bauer
College of Arts & Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
(CSICOP, skeptical society)
1203 Kesington Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14215
alt.folklore.ghost-stories FAQ, Copyright 1994-1999, L. Krause
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