Hayley is a Ghost

Too much stupid for too long

Posted on: September 24, 2010

Firstly, I have neglected this blog a bit which is rather naughty, but I have been quite busy recently.

Last week I took the decision to disbanded Wiltshire Phenomena Research. Well, I say disbanded, what I really mean is that it has become a bigger project – British Anomalistic Research Society, or BARsoc. It was Bob Dezon who gave me the nudge in that direction, which I am thankful for.

There are a few reasons that I made this decision and I felt compelled to write a post here detailing them to stop people speculating or, more commonly, bullshitting behind my back 🙂

As a lot of people know, WPR got tangled up in a mess with a supposed leopard hair that was found in Longleat Forest when two members of our team went tracking there with three members of the Four-Teans group.

I had stated, as the founder of WPR, that WPR’s position on the hair was that the case was inconclusive due to a lack in the knowledge of the case that WPR team members had.

The final nail in the coffin of WPR’s involvement with this particular case came when an article was written in the Fortean Times magazine that named WPR, and named people as members of WPR without speaking to me first.

I wrote a clarification blog post detailing our official position on the case and things turned a big ugly with accusations being thrown at me in private email.

This was the case that made me realise that something needed to change because I had the overwhelming sense that WPR were just kicking up dust and not really getting anything worth while done.

Not only that, but previous to our involvement with the Longleat Forest case, both me and my mum volunteered our time to help run the Weird Investigation events as part of the events that surrounded the Weird paranormal and UFO conferences that are based in Wiltshire.

These were supposed to be rational paranormal investigation experiences for the general public, but it was very rare if we got more than eight people on an event.

It was very frustrating, not only because of the poor turn out, but because it also seemed that the rational approach we were supposed to be promoting was just a tag line. We would often find ourselves table tipping or holding seances.

The pressure was always on to perform and to entertain, and although educational investigations can be fun, they can’t in that sense. I now realise that the people on an education investigation need to be there because they want to learn, not because they’ve seen Most Haunted or Ghost Hunters and want to give it a go.

Now, the spiritual methods were my idea because I wanted to show people the rationale behind them. I had a “three section event” plan where we would look at spiritual methods, then gadget-driven methods and then a scientific method.

This never really happened though because, after all, they were paying customers and if they wanted to run off down a dark corridor like Most Haunted then it was their choice. They weren’t members of my investigation team that I could talk to if they acted inappropriately or irrationally. They were members of the public.

I would often get the chance to introduce controls to things like table tipping, or, one of our un-chosen team members favourite – glass divination.

Many a-time I would get the people doing glass divination to ask “it” to use the glass on the table to draw the shape I had written down. Or to stop moving when I counted from 1 – 10 and said the number of fingers I had held up behind my back.

This was because I wanted people to see that when I removed their knowledge of the correct answer, the answer was very rarely right. However, it never worked like that.

It couldn’t because the people who were attending the events alongside us didn’t care because those “sciene-y” ideas of mine didn’t fit their beliefs.

I mean, one of our “team” of investigators claimed to be skeptical and would then tell you in the next breath that they had once contacted Madeline McCann through a ouija board. Which is, in case you didn’t know, just sickening.

It was also quite easy to spot when certain regulars would be moving the glass. It was often fun to catch them out without them realising it. I once made the ouija board spell ‘fuck’ for example. Out of boredom more than anything.

The very last of these events I took part in ended with me sitting in one part of a haunted pub with three of the paying guests while the rest of the crew sat in the dining room eating their packed lunch.

I was volunteering my time and I genuinely wanted people to understand the facts behind ghost hunting tools etc. – so to discover them just sat there eating, when it was them who had wanted these events to go ahead was infuriating.

It was shortly after the Weird ’10 conference took place that I decided to leave the crew because of the way certain people in the crew were treating other members of the paranormal research community.

When I had voiced my concern I got rounded on and then decided to leave. After that the very people who were supposed to be friends and fellow investigators turned against me and remaining WPR members and started acting like twelve-year olds with silly comments on facebook walls and statuses.

Behaviour that has just been ignored by me because, you know, I’m not twelve. However, what this behaviour did make me realise was that I had been tolerant of way too much stupid for way too long.

This coupled with the whole Leopard hair situation made me realise a change was in order. After a long discussion with Bob we realised that BARsoc could work and would work if we really wanted it to.

I spoke to Sharon, the co-founder of WPR and it was agreed. BARsoc was born. After wasting two years of investigation and research by giving my time to the Weird conferences and Weird events and weird people, things are now back on track.

The British Anomalistic Research Society is already going from strength to strength and has some great, respectable people involved already.

No longer do I feel like I have to put up with people with ridiculous beliefs and ideas because they’re the only choice. I am now working alongside the cream of the crop to help build and maintain a great resource for rational information about the paranormal and paranormal research.

Not only that but we will be offering to investigate cases at locations if the need arises, and I know I can count on my team mates and colleagues to be professional and to understand where I am coming from with my rational approach and my respect for the scientific method.

What a refreshing change.


3 Responses to "Too much stupid for too long"

Agreed. I’m not really sure ‘they’ knew how pathetic and childish they made themslves looks quite recently. Ah well.

Yes, it’s quite surprising.

You’re not stupid… you’re just really patient! Anyway, something great has come out of it all so it has a happy ending. BARSoc rocks! 🙂

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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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