Hayley is a Ghost

So, there I was in Liverpool…

Posted on: December 17, 2010

…and five or six people were stood in front of me, holding hands and going “ommmmmmm ommmmmmm ommmmmm”.

I was talking for the Merseyside Skeptics Society and I had started with a demo to make people understand the things I had experienced in the past that had turned me to skepticism – this time I had chosen to use the chanting séance demo and, to my surprise, people had actually volunteered to be ridiculed to help me make a point.

It was pretty awesome.

It was the fourth talk I have done for a ‘skeptics in the pub’ group and I am happy to tell you that it was the best group I have ever spoken for.

If you run a ‘skeptics in the pub’ group, or if you are thinking of setting one up I think you should go to Liverpool and attend one their talks or social events because what they do is almost magical and unlike any ‘skeptics in the pub’  I have attended or spoken at before.

The organisers had to deal with a huge mess up with the room they normally use, (it was double booked), and it was out of their control, but as I stood at the edge of the room I was going to have to talk in instead and watched them set everything up it was clear to see they were in control of the situation (or at least made it seem that way).

The talk itself was a joy to deliver because the audience were so friendly and chatty and they actually smiled. SMILED. There is nothing worse that looking out into a sea of blank faces.

Not only that but the people there were willing to get involved when I handed pieces of ghost equipment around – normally people seem a bit reluctant to touch the ouija board, but there were the Mersey skeptics, communicating with someone called ‘Treb3’ through the ouija board. It was fab.

They even laughed at my jokes and stuff.

The thing that also stood out for me was the time after the talk had finished. It was brilliant! Normally after a talk for a skeptics group everyone heads off to do their own thing and I’m on my way home by 10pm, but that wasn’t the case this time.

There was lots of good, fun chatter, someone brought out a very faulty wallet, I learnt about AJ’s obsession, I got to see Joe Nickell’s wooden nickel business card WHICH WAS AWESOME! There was also terrible humor (as expected), and lots of people coming up and saying hi. Basically, the evening felt as though my talk was a small part of a bigger social event and that is exactly what I think ‘skeptics in the pub’ events should be like. People felt at home there, that much was clear, and because of that I felt at home too.

There was no awkward ‘I’m the speaker’ feeling that is often obvious at such events. It was great (even learning about AJ’s obsession despite the fact that it got more and more disturbing…)

Basically, I can’t wait until the QED conference because the people who are behind the Merseyside Skeptics Society are also behind QED (as are the Manchester skeptics too) and, if last night was anything to go by, QED is going to be amazing.

Thank you to everyone who came along to my talk last night. Thank you for laughing and for joining in and for asking honest questions – I only hope I gave you the answers that you needed.

Thank you to the person wearing the ghost busters T-shirt. I saw it, I just didn’t get a chance to say so.

Thank you Marsh, Mike, AJ and Colin for making a talk so much fun.

Next year my talk is going to be going nearly bloody everywhere – check out the ‘talks and stuff’ page on this blog for information on where and when I’ll be talking. It could be a pub near you!

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4 Responses to "So, there I was in Liverpool…"

Thanks for doing the talk. It was amusing, interesting and more importantly, informative!
I’m still googling for wax-cylinder voice phenomena! 🙂
I hope I manage to make it to QEDCon to hear you talk again!

It was a real pleasure to have you come speak for us, and to stick around and chat, drink and generally have fun after the talk. Glad you appreciate what we’re trying to do – to make our speaker nights a great excuse for people to come together, chat, socialise and make new friends. QED should be in exactly the same mould, but BIGGER!

Hi Hayley,

We all enjoyed seeing you as much as you evidently enjoyed being with us, so thank you for coming!

You’re right about the great atmosphere, in fact weirdly I personally felt it was better than usual last night, which I’m sure was mainly down to your fun and entertaining style of presenting and also, in part, the determination and spirit of MSS to put on a good show no matter what was thrown at them, not to mention the willingness of the rest of us – and of course, you especially – to carry on as though nothing had happened. The awkward layout/size of the room and the sound of the band didn’t put you off your stride one bit, which is to your credit.

I also loved the fact that you allowed us to be hands-on with the items you brought, as audience participation is always good for fostering a fun atmosphere and again, that all added to the experience.

It was a fab evening, I really enjoyed it.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Merseyside Skeptics, QED Con and Michael Marshall, Hayley Stevens. Hayley Stevens said: BLOG: So, there I was in Liverpool… http://wp.me/pTazw-dg (feat. @merseyskeptics @qedcon) […]

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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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