Hayley is a Ghost

Education* is the key to banishing ghosts, not exorcisms

Posted on: January 3, 2011

04/01/11 Update: At the time this blog post was written I was not aware that the newspaper that originally wrote about the ‘poltergeist’ contacted the home owner and not the other way around. I also did not know that the home owner didn’t claim to have a poltergeist or that the team didn’t conduct a traditional exorcism, just a ‘spiritual cleansing’. I could only go on what the paper had reported.

I have no criticism for Holly, the home owner, as I wouldn’t with anyone who is witnessing strange goings on. My criticism lies with the paranormal investigators and their methods.

My points in the blog post about the ethics involved were speculation as I did not know the relationship between the investigators and the home owner. I hold my hands up and admit I should have found out first, but this does not detract from the fact pseudo-scientific methods were used and assumptions were made based on flawed research.

Education is the key to banishing ghosts, and by that I mean the idea of a ghost being responsible for something scary that is happening.

*When I say ‘Education’, I mean education about paranormal investigation methods and logical causes of phenomena. Not the education of the people witnessing strange phenomena.

I don’t want to banish the idea of ghosts existing because I’m always open to the suggestion that a ghost (whatever one of those actually is) is the cause of reported phenomena, but I also know it is more likely that something more logical is the cause of what has been experienced.

It is these things that any decent researcher of paranormal phenomena focusses on when dealing with a report.

Encouraging those who are witnessing odd phenomena to think rationally and to try to work out rational causes for what they’ve witnessed is a great way to banish the idea that everything odd was caused by a ghost.

However, not every paranormal researcher is interested in doing that. They may claim to be rational, to be ‘researchers’, to use science on their cases – but aren’t and wont, and actually just let their biases rule their investigations. They are more interested in finding ghosts than finding the true cause for what has been witnessed.

Which is fine, until they enter somebodies home – especially when that person is terrified and confused.

Recently I was made aware of this article about Holly Taylor who after moving into her current home started to experience odd stuff such as:

Dishes flying out of cupboards, lights turning on and footsteps keeps the young mother awake at nights.

She had gone to the media in the hope she could find someone who could provide an exorcism to get rid of the ghost that she felt was causing these things. It’s likely she was actually just after someone who could provide her with answers about what was happening.

I only wish I had thought to ask a BARsoc member to get in touch with her to help reassure her that there was probably a perfectly rational cause to the stuff she witnessed. Alas, it’s too late…

I’ve just read this article about Dead Connections Paranormal Investigation Team who visited Holly in her home to help her and claim they have successfully exorcised the home.

On their facebook group they describe themselves as:

…a serious group and are all searching for the same thing, we ask you join us with respect and decency for all who attend be it living or spirit 🙂 we can have a laugh and a giggle and are no means boring “train spotters” but we are serious investigators and like to get a job done properly.We have regular meetings to discuss where and when our next investigation is and are open to any suggestions you may have, we don’t bite….HARD!!
so come along and join us if you think you got what it takes to be scared out your wits 🙂 thanx.

I am appalled at what they did. I’m not going to hide this fact with fancy writing. Let me break down their investigation and why I am appalled.

[the team] spent the night in the flat with a variety of technological instruments including an electromagnetic field meter (which at times almost went off the scale despite being nowhere near electrical appliances), and a voice recorder.

The team heard breathing and clicking noises and also a series of tappings by which they attempted to communicate.

The taps appeared to be coming from Willow’s bedroom which was empty (the youngster was sleeping in another room).

And as the questions they asked about who was there were answered, the meter would leap from green to red.

Lets stop right here.

Firstly, it takes more than one night to really get to the gritty details of a case. They spent ONE night there – how do they know what is and isn’t normal in the location?

The meter leapt from green to red because it was picking up the electromagnetic field in the building. You don’t have to be sitting next to a socket to pick up EMF.

The team have gone into the home of this young mother who is so scared she has gone to the media to ask for an exorcism and they have already decided in their minds that there is a ghost in the home.

Why else would they aim to communicate with a ghost?

Biased investigations like these are unethical, misleading and shameful.

The tapping noises could have been caused by a number of things (I don’t know for sure, I wasn’t there) but do I really need to point out that even if they couldn’t find a source for them, it doesn’t mean it was a ghost?

As for hearing breathing… that is their interpretation of a noise, there is no way they can be certain it was breathing – they have gone into this ladies house with the preconceived notion that there is something paranormal there and everything that has happened has been forced to fit that notion.

They also used what is known as a Frank’s Box, which picks up radio station white noise and occasional words.

The Frank’s box, or ghost box as it is often referred to, is one of the most ridiculous pieces of equipment on the ghost hunting market. They even say in the article that it picks up on radio stations and white noise – the clue to the ‘words’ they are hearing is right there they’ve just ignored that fact.

…through these two forms of communications, Emma and her team concluded that they were talking to a woman who had died in a fire and needed help to “cross over” – although, perplexingly, the name Simon kept coming through too.

Again, this is their interpretation of the noises they had coming through the Frank’s box, and they have the preconceived notion there was a ghost there – their investigation was flawed and biased from the word go.

Photographs taken during the night also showed grey orbs, about the size of tennis balls, floating in the air which no one had seen at the time.

…and the icing on the cake is the fact that they have made the decision that orbs, the most debunked ‘phenomena’ out there, is proof the place had a ghost there.

These investigators have conducted what I consider to be an unethical investigation and have unintentionally misled Holly into thinking they have removed the entity that is responsible for the things she witnessed.

It’s likely she wont experience what she had before because in her mind the ghost is gone, a bit like a placebo effect of sorts. However, all it takes is for one dish to fall out of the cupboard, or for one noise to be heard and she is back to square one.

Only this time, in her mind she has the knowledge that this team have contacted the ghost of a woman who died in a fire, and so in her mind everything is 100% because of a ghost.

Their entire investigation was based on flawed understandings of the tools and methods they were using and their own biases towards a ghost being the cause of the phenomena.

The worst thing about this whole thing is that they didn’t just mislead themselves, they went into a stranger’s home and misled her too.


186 Responses to "Education* is the key to banishing ghosts, not exorcisms"

I’m fascinated by the idea of ghost hunting, largely taking a similar to view of that of Joe Nickell, but I’m flabbergasted and appalled at the conclusions these alleged investigators jump to based on an absolute absence of data. I know a lot of people who believe every woo meme they come across whole heartedly so I understand that many of these investigators truly do believe that they really found what they think they do, I just have a hard time making peace with that fact. I have to actively restrain myself from just calling them all intentional frauds.

hello, as part of dead connections team, i can clearly say that we did not invade hollys house, we have got to know holly through mutual friends even b4 the paper article ,as far as the term “EXORCISM” goes, that was the papers interpretation of what happened.

we in no way shape or form told holly we could get rid of what may have been there and yes you are right in saying that these situations are sometimes and commonly caused by mass hysteria… hence one person hearing a pin drop and putting it down to paranormal!!!

we are fully aware of this…we are not thick!!

we told holly from the start after her asking us!!! that we would say a simple prayer of protection and used smudge sticks of sage.

if you are a “paranormal researcher” then you would no this is not an exorcism!!!!.

john who is our parapsychologist ran through all of this and its what they wanted so i guess you could call this free will!

if you dont mind me asking where exactly have you studied? or have you just spent time on google? d.c.p.t

You’ve replied to Matt’s reply to the post, but I think your comments are aimed at me.

Okay, I didn’t know how you know Holly so could only speculate and I take that point.

However, if we replace ‘exorcism’ with ‘spiritual cleansing’ or whatever you wish to term it my points still stand regarding the unethical investigation and flawed and biased investigation methods.

I haven’t ‘studied’ anywhere, I’ve been a field based researcher since 2005 and a member of ASSAP for a majority of those years. By reading journals and research articles that are peer reviewed I have reached the conclusions I present on my blog and in my research.

Where has your member who is a parapsychologist studied?

ahhh i see so then you have no right to comment on what you have no idea about…i do apologise…john is on my page, ask him im sure he would have hours upon hours to teach you something!
also are you aware that dead connections paranormal team has insurance against slander?
fraud is a very very bad word to use……either take it down or get a solicitor…i will be back in touch. thanx

I’m not going to be dragged into a debate, and I have every right to comment. I had hoped you would have responded to this criticism in a rational manner, but obviously not.

Maybe John could teach me something, though I’m pretty sure that if he has a degree in parapsychology he has the same sort of conclusions as I do. Mine are, after all as I’ve already mentioned, based upon peer-reviewed journals and studies.

As for the slander, there is no slander. Just a person stating what they would like to say, it’s their personal opinion and I’m not going to remove that.

fraud is a bit of a harsh word rev! i will be passing on to my insurance company that covers us against slander, seen as its your page hayley i would expect a response directly to you…

No slander has taken place. Rev. Matt didn’t imply you were fraudulent, he was stating his opinion.

Dear dcpt

There has been no allegation of fraud against any person. There was a mere expression of opinion by a commenter.

Accordingly, your allegation of “slander” (actually, libel) is without any foundation and is misconceived.

In the event any proceeding are formally threatened or commenced against my friend Hayley, I shall help in defending them. You may wish to consider your position very carefully before taking your threat further.

And, as you may be aware, your baseless legal threat is covered by the rule in Arkell v Pressdram, which applies to your position similarly.

I quite specifically stated that I did NOT call ghost investigators intentional frauds.

Assuming the unusual activity was real before the investigation team went in, I’d love a follow-up to the story – did dishes continue to fly out of the cupboard, were strange noises still happening? And if they did, were they then interpreted as normal because there was no longer any reason to believe in a paranormal source?

Just to note that “real” parapsychologists are members of the Parapsychological Association and a list is available on their website. http://www.parapsych.org/member_index.html If someone claims to be a parapsychologist and *isn’t* a member of the PA, then that’s a bit naughty…

That is a good point, Wendy. There certainly isn’t a John Strickland on that list. Hmm. That’s worrying.

this is because john strickland is not our parapsychologist hunni…yes that would be silly i agree

Who is your parapsychologist? On your facebook group you list your members as:

Emma Butler: Events coordinator and Management.
Robyn Davies: Secretarial and business management.
John Strickland: Equipment and Tech.
Adam Butler: Research and Evidence coordinator.

You referred to ‘John’ as your parapsychologist and I only see one John listed.

Parapsychologist isn’t a protected title, so anyone can call themselves a parapsychologist, same as anyone can call themselves a nutritionist (such as Ms McKeith).

If you want to pursue someone for the tort of libel, there is a very specific protest to follow, which typically doesn’t involve engaging with them in a public forum. The Singh and British Chiropractic Association case highlighted the role that opinion plays in the free exchange of ideas, which I suspect may mean that any action would be unsuccessful.

Fraud can be an interesting word though – deception to gain an advantage. I’d argue that anyone who offers a service for which no evidence can be adduced to prove the action has occurred is deceiving themselves as much as other people – it’s an interesting question as to whether the self-delusional can have intent to deceive others.

Finally, “the solution is education” is an interesting assertion. Typically science communicators are moving towards the 3Ds – debate, dialogue and discussion and away from the need to educate people. I’d be really interested to find out why people settle upon supernatural explanations and if there’s an effective way to engage with people who hold such beliefs. Ultimately though, I wonder whether placebo events – such as an exorcism (or whatever you want to call it) – may help people to deal with what’s happening in their life in a way which is consistent with their beliefs (provided that such event doesn’t involve people exploiting others).

exorcisms work right up until the moment the oddity occurs again after the clearing. Then it’s likely the person will become extremely worried and scared.
I don’t think it’s a case of people exploiting others either, however, it is certainly a case of people having a false authority that others don’t question due to a lack of knowing any better.

would you put your full address up on this page???? i think not, as this info goes with personal info i am not that silly…if you look hard enough and research it is not hard to find…this is what you are good at isn’t it?

…or you could just supply his name, unless there is a reason you don’t want to? You are, after all, the one who brought his parapsychology into the conversation. It doesn’t really bother me one way or another, my points still stand.

anyway i have an investigation to prep so i will be leaving you on your merry rant now…happy researching and good luck

have you found it yet sherlock?? come on i want to see how good you research skills are????

As another member of DCPT, I have the right to state my opinion on this silly, very deterministic, and one sided article. How can you or anyone say our investigation was biased and unethical when you have no knowledge of it apart from a DRAMATISED media version of events? You claim you are apalled by what we did? Well what an apalling way to address your opinions. As a journalist you should know better. It’s hypocritical, to say that we jump to conclusions and misled Holly, when you are jumping to conclusions about what we did and misleading your readers.
To put you straight, I must tell you that we did NOT visit the location for one night, we were sure to visit Holly before the investigation to get a good idea of her thoughts and exactly what she had been experiencing. We talked her through possible non-paranormal explanations for what may be happening, but when one puts oneself in Holly’s position one can see how offensive it would be to turn around and put it all down to her. She’s a grown woman, and it’s just not ETHICAL for us to just say “oh it’s all in your head hun, there’s clearly scientific reasons for what’s going on here” which, quite frankly, there isn’t. She asked for our help, as paranormal investigators, which we do for enjoyment and because it interests us, and that just wouldn’t be helping now would it.
It seems that no person can do anything they enjoy without people attacking them, but it’s alright because these things always happen to the best in the business : ) at least we’ve got attention which is a positive ; )
Omg, i’m not even done yet!
I welcome skeptics, i’m not a complete believer myself, but you claim to be open minded, which, based on this bloody ESSAY you wrote about us just jumping to the conclusion that there is a ghost in her apartment, seems like a total lie. You can’t comment on something you know absolutely nothing about, i.e. our investigation style. Yes, we have various equipment which we enjoy using, but we NEVER jump to conclusions from it. I shouldn’t have to explain, but i’m going to anyway because i’m fuming with you. An EMF meter does fluctuate randomly at times, but MOST of the time we don’t put it down to the paranormal, it is only when we get direct responses to direct questions on a regular basis throughout the night that we say it could possibly be paranormal. As for Holly’s case, we thought it amazing that all the different things she has experienced just went away after we cleansed the apartment. Where is your notion of lightheartedness? That’s all the artile in the news was meant to be. You’ve taken it way too seriously. Like I said, we do this for enjoyment, our disclaimer forms (that Holly read and signed) state that cearly. As a result, we have made an even closer friend of Holly herself.
You’ve contradicted yourself in this writing, saying you’re open minded and then saying that there is scientific explanations for what Holly has experienced in her own home. She is not stupid, and neither are we. We do know to look for possible reasons for taps and other stuff. It is the very last conclusion that we come to when we say things are possibly paranormal. Not the first.
We always go into investigations with much knowledge, as we always research the claims beforehand.
I have so much more to say, but i’ll leave it there because in actual fact, I feel like i’m rising to it when I shouldn’t let it bother me. It’s just ultimately ridiculuos and pathetic. You put a link to this article on our facebook, so this is clearly what you wanted. Well done. And happy researching.

“It’s just ultimately ridiculuos”.

Isn’t globalisation fantastic. Apparently Native American sage smudge sticks are just as effective in Wigan as Wyoming.

I am so annoyed with this article, honestly! I just can’t believe you are trying to tell US what we were thinking at the time.

I am a psychologist in training, and I am wise to the fact that people may be beguiled, which is why I go into every investigation with an open mind and dubiety, and why I always explain the cognition and perception of paranormal events beforehand.

It was Holly’s belief that there was a poltergeist in her home, before we even spoke to her. We never led her to believe that. Our lead investigator researched for hours and came to the conclusion that she wanted to use sage. I have to admit, that kind of thing I really was skeptical about, but who am I to say (open-minded attitude)? I was willing to take part for Holly’s sake. She knows her own flat, and that stuff stopped happening after we did it. I was amazed, taken totally by suprise! We were so happy for her.

I knew I shouldn’t have come back on this article lmao! I keep spotting things I didn’t spot before.

Who ever said that we came to the conclusion that orbs were ghosts? Of course, that would be a ludicrous claim!

David, I find it extremely offensive that you would say that people who settle on paranormal explanations can’t hold a proper conversation. Well, you didn’t say those words exactly but that’s how I took it. I will fully stand up for those who truly believe in the paranormal, as everyone has their right to a certain belief. Even I, as a person who certainly does not always settle for paranormal explanations (I guarantee that on every investigation we go on we will debunk many claims), am disgusted at that comment. You imply that people who believe in such a thing are of low intelligence… I strongly, profoundly disagree. There are many things I don’t believe, but I will never question somebody elses belief. Lastly, I am not delusional, nor is any member of DCPT, and I find your comments too personal, deterministic and downright nasty.

Hayley, we didn’t go into Holly’s flat with authority either, we went as friends. Somebody to talk to, somebody who really would listen and somebody who wouldn’t try to tell her she is wrong. Yes, we tried to debunk, straight away we told her about the effects of hysteria, we even researched conversion disorder for her memory loss. But she most definately does NOT show signs of any of these. Many people have had experiences in her flat. Without knowing about her experiences, before you counter that with the argument that Holly telling them there’s a ghost has an effect on visitors too.

I don’t mind people questioning our investigations, we get it all the time. But to attack our methods in such a way, when you don’t know the proper facts, and then to post it on our facebook just to get a rise, has been a right vexation!!!

I posted it on facebook so you could respond, actually. I couldn’t find another way to contact you.

Also, I am not telling you what you were thinking at the time. I commented that the noises that come through ghostbox/franksbox are more likely to be caused by the things outlined in the article I linked to and that the EMF meter was more likely to be picking up EM fields rather than being caused by a ghost communicating with the team as was suggested in the article.

I’m not the one who made claims to newspapers about what happened, somebody from your team is – I simply went with the information that was made public by your team.

hayley….my team made no such comments…as the post by my team member stated it was a dramatisation of the story by the press,i MYSELF!!! rang the paper for the sake of following up the fantastic outcome….THE FACT THAT HOLLY WAS NOW AT PEACE AND HAPPY!!! you put it on our page to get an argument…come on we all no that!!! i call it butting in other peoples life and causing trouble!!! my team promotes helping others and as a matter of fact is aimed at the younger audience,we have a young lady in my team who had suffered immensely over the past year and needed to socialise and get herself out meeting new people as a result of my team helping her and bringing out her confidence again is everything we aim for!!! as the same with holly…you cant just go around putting people down in life…im sure one day you will come across a time in life when you just need to talk to someone and they listen instead of judging. this is what we have done for her!!! maybe one day someone as nice as us will help you and you will change your views.it comes to us all…………..

It’s great that you made Holly feel at peace and it’s great that your team member is feeling more confident etc. as you mentioned above, but you still use pseudoscienctific methods of investigation.

well said!!!!!!!!!!!! people obviously cant handle the fact that it makes others happy and gives them peace….just someone to listen and not JUDGE!! unlike the other side of the fence where getting a rise and trying to put people down is everything to them!! pffffft. i no my place in this life and i am extremely happy..shame others cant behave this way! mind you i suppose you aint lived enough to know any better. probably never even been on a paranormal investigation…maybe spend to much time on google and reading papers!

” they have already decided in their minds that there is a ghost in the home.”

How is that not saying what we were thinking at the time?? You don’t know this, so you shouldn’t say it. Yes, like i said, we went to the paper in ight-heartedness. One can tell that its not supposed to be deadly serious.

And exactly, you didnt need to contact us at all.

You entered the home and used methods that are designed to contact a ghost. Why else would you use those methods unless you had gone there to communicate with a ghost? That is the point I was making.

i would like to know where my comments are going???? i have replied to many of these and miraculously they are vanishing!!! maybe you cant handle that we too have an opinion?

I haven’t removed any comments. I think you’ll find I can handle you have an opinion. Read the comment policy. However I am getting rather fed up with your lack of spelling and grammar.

hahaha cheap!! sounds like maybe you cant handle us after all…mind you i am quite persistent.

Listen, these comments you are making really aren’t adding to the discussion here – if you read my comment policy you’ll see I only approve comments that add to a discussion.

Please also do not make the mistake of thinking I ‘can’t handle you’, I have dealt with much nastier people in the past who couldn’t handle criticism, and they didn’t bother me much either.

haha scraping the barrel…i see that you have nothing else better to say!!! i think i can now successfully say that argument went in our favour!!

put the comments back up i have posted an i will carry on your argument! do you really think i have time to sit here and argue with you when my point is not being seen by everyone else!!! are you scared of being put in your place?

I haven’t removed any comments.

Oh wait, there was one comment in the spam filter that I’ve just approved. That was it.

if you read my comment policy you’ll see I only approve comments that add to a discussion. YOUR QUOTE HAYLEY!!!! AND FOR THE INFO OF EVERYONE ELSE THIS IS THE SECOND TIME I HAVE PUT THIS UP…I AM MAKING COPY`S OF ALL OF THIS.

your comments keep going into my spam folder, I just found the first version of this there. Yes, that is my quote and as I said before, your comments are currently not adding to the discussion in any constructive form.

I think your original post painted then in a far more positive light than their own comments have done. Aggressive, posturing, threatening and grammatically challenged yelling does not convince me that a person has a rational point to make. Rather quite the opposite.

HAYLEY…However I am getting rather fed up with your lack of spelling and grammar.

HAYLEY…your comments are currently not adding to the discussion in any constructive form.YOUR QUOTE ALSO HAYLEY…


REV…” haven’t got anything unless I have Christ”…am i wrong in saying this is a quote off your profile rev…should you really be associating with an atheist and somebody who denies the existence of god and that does not believe in your religion and criticises its every word…am i right Hayley…it does state that you are atheist on your facebook doesn’t it?

Er, yes you are quite wrong in claiming this is a quote off my profile. I am an atheist as well. You might be surprised to find out how many reverends, ministers, and pastors don’t actually believe in any sort of god.

bull…its right up there on your profile haha.. so a liar as well. you should be ashamed to call yourself a rev!!!

oh hang on a minute rev… i just thought of something else here.. you are a reverend yeah? aint that somebody who preaches a certain religion.. tries to be a leader….using methods that have not been proven…just basically read from a book??? sounds a tad like what we are being accused of!!!! hayley i am ashamed that you can pick and choose who comments on your beliefs…hang on people maybe if we start siding with her then maybe she will side with us….hmmmmm i am sorry hayley i take it all back…

@d.c.p.t: provide me a URL where I make any such statement. My profile has none. Reverend is a legal title afforded me by completion of requirements to be ordained by the Universal Life Church, a church which does not require any belief in god or any supernatural. The sermons I give are written by me and focus on ethics and morals from an atheist perspective.

Calling me a liar with no evidence might be called slander by some.

Heh, yes it would be libel. I was making a joke about someones eagerness to throw around the word slander at the drop of a hat 🙂

Ah… over my head it went.

As the actual resident of the home I too would like a say in the argument above.
Firstly I would like to point out and make crystal clear that I DID NOT contact the newspaper. I was in my home when the reporter in question rang my door bell and told me he had been in touch with my letting agent about a haunting in the building. He asked if he could come up and ask a few questions about the situation.
Note: It is therefore clear that other people are aware of the paranormal goings on in the building as I was not the initiator of the article.
After asking questions he then asked if a photographer could take a photo. Not wanting to dissapoint I obliged. I want to point out that I never said it was a poltergeist or that I requested an exorcism and was mortified to see my daughter and myself on the front page of the paper.

However whether you choose to believe me or not, or maybe put it down to my lack of education, regular and disturbing goings on occured in the apartment. It is not only myself who sees and hears this. My daughter, who is only just two tomorrow, woke up screaming most nights, would look horrified at empty spaces where nothing was visible and be extremely uncomfortable with the various bangs. Willow is not of an age to even be taught this response to the activity- and it was this which shocked me the most. The fact that my baby was scared of something I could hear and not see terrified me, so don’t you dare blame it on my mind creating the events as it is insulting and demoralising. Furthermore I am furious that you think you have a right to discuss whats going on in my mind and put it down to a placebo affect, I simply hope one day you can experience the terror of listening to your own daughter scream as doors bang and toys clatter in her bedroom. Maybe then you can tell yourself its all in your own mind and gain comfort from this.

Secondly it was a number of weeks before I was in contact with d.c.p.t and in no way, shape or form did they mislead me. Emma and her team have become dear friends of mine because of their commitment to making me feel safe in my own home. When burning sage around the house I was extremely sceptical and even voiced this to my boyfriend. But sure as eggs are eggs, the very same night the fire alarm stopped test beeping, the clock on the wall resumed ticking, and my daughter slept through the proceeding nights with ease. Tell me your explanation for these things from a scientific perspective please, I am all ears to hear your version.

Finally I would like your explanation as a skeptic for the various events that have happened to numerous people in the apartment.
1. An alarm which consistently beeps from 12pm even though batteries and wiring have been checked (by the fire department my I add.)
2. pools of water appearing in odd places
3. vases, coffee jars, biscuit barrells, and even walls being cracked or smashed.
4. the reaction from my daughter.
5. lights switching on and off infront of me and others
6. footsteps in the hallway.

I think you may have intended to cause upset for myself and the team, and for this you should feel embarrased. As a non biased ‘friendly skeptic’ maybe you should have thought of asking myself or the d.c.p.t team about the night before slandering us in your little article.

Firstly Holly, I cannot offer you explanations for the events that occurred in your home without actually getting to know your home – how can I tell what i abnormal without knowing what is normal? My aim wasn’t to cause upset for you or the team – I didn’t know they would get you to read and comment here.

I’m glad that you don’t feel they have misled you, however, the methods they used are still misleading and pseudoscientific overall.

I have not blamed you for the activity or for being worried, and I certainly haven’t discussed what was going on in your mind – I have simply shown how the methods used by the team were bad methods and how they can lead to people thinking they are communicating with a ghost when it’s unlikely that is the situation.

I am not denying that these strange things have taken place in your home or that they have now stopped, I haven’t denied that was possible at all. My problem has not been with yourself or the things you’ve reported and experienced, or the things you have done.

I understand that you feel the team have helped with the situation and I’m glad that things are calmer for you now, however, my original points about the methods used on the investigation still stand (points that were not levelled at you) and, although they have helped you, those methods used in your home are dubious at best.

I’m sorry that you have been dragged onto my blog to read this article that, actually, wasn’t criticising you. I would love to be able to offer some alternative explanations for what happened in your home but unless I (or my team mates) actually visit your home, it’s only going to be guesses.

ahhh so now it all comes out.hayley see`s us in the paper..gets envious and wants the publicity….its all coming clear now.just a fame hungry busy body…nice try hun.

Seems to be that there are three issues here. The first issue is around the skeptical questions which need to be asked about paranormal investigations, the need for reliabilty, repeatability and the need to identify other explanations and biases. These are entirely reasonable questions which deserve answers and should be taken seriously.
The second is around the value judgements, ethics and reasonableness of the approach to the woman concerned and subsequent media reporting. We actually know very little about this and, it seems to me, that speculation and making value judgements about details which are vague, probably not likley to be proveable one way or another, is not helpful and detracts from the important skeptical issues.
Finally, the response of making personal attacks, naieve threats of litigation and consequent and understandable self defence removes the chance of rational debate. My feeling is that, when faced with irrational threats of litigation and irrational argument, there is no need to respond. Don’t feed the trolls!

You make some good points, Bill. Regarding the ethics, I could only speculate about the ethics of the case and approaching the media and going into a family home etc. as I had as much info as the next person. However, from the comments left on my blog I’m happy to hold my hands up and say that I may have been slightly wrong with my initial judgement of the ethics of this case.

I am about to write a small update at the top of this blog post that covers this.

cant wait 🙂 you started this love!!! i personally dont care for anyone else’s comments now, im just focused on you hayley and i still want to meet you to discuss this further!!! ???

Well I’m not going to be meeting you. Any questions you have can be asked directly here or via email. I certainly hope you’re not trying to intimidate me at all, as I mentioned before, I’ve dealt with much nastier people who couldn’t handle criticism, and they didn’t bother me either.

I may have ‘started’ this, but my points are valid, the resonses from the D.C.P team have simply been backing up the points I made. Instead of accepting the criticism and making your points and showing evidence that your claims and methods are not flawed, you and your team have just been rude, mocking and childish in your commenting. Many people have been commenting to me that they are shocked by what has been written here by members of D.C.P.T and that the comments ‘speak for themselves’.

I’m not going to be responding to any more comments from your team as the comments aren’t adding anything to the debate. I will approve future comments though as, like observers have commented, they speak for themselves.

How have i been rude, mocking or childish? Please explain to me, and i will appologise. But i’m not convinced you will be able to find an example of this.

I do recall a comment being made about grammar that was very childish.

I said that the two other commenters have been rude…

And also, every single one of my comments has been regarding the blog topic, and the blog topic only. It is only now, when i’m being told i’m being aggressive when i’m actually not, that my comment topic has been defending my manner.

Well said, Bill. It is that third point which causes me to wonder about the commitment to factual accuracy of the investigators in endeavors such as this. Critiques of methodology are not de facto personal attacks nor should they cause one to become so wildly defensive but rather should be addressed rationally and dispassionately in order to get closer to a complete understanding of the world in which we live.

Matt, I’m sure you are aware that I wouldn’t respond to your posts in a way that was determined by what religion you may follow. Right? Your religion didn’t even cross my mind at any point.

Hayley, I’m well aware of that. Your focus has consistently been on the content of the posts not the person behind the content. I think that d.c.p.t might have been misled by my moniker. A quick glance at my website, an example of the most basic sort of research, would have disabused them of that notion.

hahaha what a fake!!

don`t worry love…we`re not feeding them 🙂 !!!!!

Rev Matt, I would LOVE to know why my comments have been grammatically challenged! How low can you get anyway? That’s just disgusting! Just because somebody types in a certain manner does not make them any less intelligent!
Like I said, i’m a psychologist in training, and I know what an aggressive manner is! I thought most people did, but clearly not if you think this is being aggressive in any way, I am just defending my team.
The methods we used are only flawed methods if you don’t believe, or if they fluctuate randomly. I’m sorry, but I will refuse to put direct responses on a k2 meter down to coincidence.
You’ve completely just took the equipment we used and just created this idea that just because we used that equipment we were flawed. I agree, it’s ludicrous to say that just because you’re picking up a EMF it’s paranormal. I have said once and I will keep saying it, it’s only when it appears like it is being manipulated. I am not stupid, I know when something looks deliberate and when something is a coincidence.
Also as I put above, which I don’t think anyone has actually read, of course I can take criticism, even my Dad critiques me! It’s when the person doesn’t get their facts right and jumps to conclusions about me from the tip of the iceberg.
Hayley, OF COURSE we went in there with equipment to contact a spirit!! We are paranormal investigators!! That is what we do, try to debunk claims and see if anything manipulates our equipment, and I can tell you, we often get EMF meter fluctuations, and we often put it down to just electrically charged particles in the air. But when it is more that a coincidence, personally, that’s enough for me to say it’s possibly (POSSIBLY!) paranormal.

Suggest to us what equipment we should use please? Every piece of equipment to try and contact the paranormal can be criticised because it can’t be proven, so i’ll stick with what we’ve got thank you very much. Of course we know the criticisms, but we also won’t ignore the fact that on this occasion, our team was getting responses to questions that were asked more than once and worded differently. And we asked questions to try and debunk too, sure enough whatever happened to the k2 during certain questions, stayed the same.

Once again, you have taken this way too seriously, burning sage may not have worked, you’re right, but it APPEARED to, and that is why it was so strange. Emma thought it would make a lovely follow up to Holly’s previous story. Clearly, you have a problem with it.

The methods we used are only flawed methods if you don’t believe, or if they fluctuate randomly. I’m sorry, but I will refuse to put direct responses on a k2 meter down to coincidence. You’ve completely just took the equipment we used and just created this idea that just because we used that equipment we were flawed.

Your methods are flawed if you believe or not. Simply having a belief in something doesn’t suddenly make scientific fact void. As for your refusal to put “direct responses on a k2 meter down to coincidence – I think that speaks volumes. As for taking your equipment and creating the idea that you are flawed because you use it – that is exactly my point, yes, and it’s a valid one that many people agree with.

Hayley, OF COURSE we went in there with equipment to contact a spirit!! We are paranormal investigators!

…believe it or not, a paranormal investigator doesn’t HAVE to go into a building to contact a spirit. That’s a biased approach.

Suggest to us what equipment we should use please? Every piece of equipment to try and contact the paranormal can be criticised because it can’t be proven, so i’ll stick with what we’ve got thank you very much

So called paranormal equipment doesn’t detect ghosts. EMF meters measure EMF, thermometers measure the temperature and so on. Personally, the only tools an investigator should use are their five senses, and we can’t even trust those.

My references were to the poster d.c.p.t.

You state that the equipment you use can’t be proven to contact the paranormal, and I will extend that to clarify that neither can it be proven to detect the paranormal. Knowing that you have no idea if your equipment is doing what you claim it does why on earth do you insist that it does do just what you admit you know that it can’t? Why continue to use what you acknowledge to be completely unproven equipment? You could get as meaningful results using a sundial or astrolabe or dowsing rod.

You say that burning sage appeared to work. Explain what you mean by that. What phenomenon was observed prior to the use of it that ceased once the sage was brought into play?

rev like i said your opinion does not count…i don’t agree with you calling yourself a “rev” then calling us frauds its just laughable…

You can be a licensed reverand without being religious and that isn’t fraudulent.

didn’t say he was a fraud. he said we are!!!

No the original blog wasn’t about Holly, no. But what you have said is that we mislead her. That is a lie. We did no such thing.

Have you not stopped to think that we burned sage JUST IN CASE, in the hope that it JUST MIGHT WORK? It’s awful to see a terrified mother uncomfortable in her own home, and to hear a poor little toddler screaming, clearly terrified.

Anything that any paranormal team does can be deemed as “dubious”, because there is no proof for the paranormal, but as for our team, i know the things that have happened, and i won’t let some head wobbler sat behind a computer screen tell me that those things can be down to science.

I’m not claiming they are ‘down to science’ I’m saying there may have been logical causes for them that were overlooked. As for burning sage because it might work, have you thought of wearing tin foil hats because it might stop aliens from reading your brain? Or perhaps offering a human sacrifice to the aztec gods, because the same argument applies. They also might work.

well i tell you what hayley why dont you go and try it…seems you like talking alot and to be quite honest no very well…..i would love to meet you face to face and argue it out as i see this as just petty trouble making…i am open to offers…..I WOULD LOVE IT??????????

Although I should point out that our investigation would be more than just a few weeks long, and there would be no media involvement.

Well it’s a bit far for me to travel, though I probably have a team member that is within travelling distance that would be happy to help Holly if she wanted them to. Always happy to help.

no heyley i want to deal with you direct? this is all you are going to get out of me from now on, either back yourself up or shut up!!

I would be very interested to read what the members of DCPT believe they have accomplished in reality.
Do they think they have rid an apartment of a ghost or cleansed negative energy or something else?
DCPT2 – you said “There are many things I don’t believe, but I will never question somebody elses belief.” This attitude interests me. Do you mean you would never question or challenge someone else’s dearly held belief? What if they strongly and emotionally hold to the belief that the white race is superior to any other? Or do you mean would wouldn’t question someone else’s beliefs if you deem them to be un-harmful? (In which case you’ve already made a value judgement)

Please read my posts Rev, i’m sure you will see, that my points have been very rational.
Not trying to keep you happy, but i’m an intelligent girl, and won’t have anybody make out that I am not.

Interesting that they want to browbeat, bully and quote authority, but don’t seem to want to engage with a discussion about the validity of their methods and indeed confirm their bias towards presuming paranormal source for any events.


I did

“The methods we used are only flawed methods if you don’t believe” –
Bloody hell, really? I’m struggling to get my head round what a stupid statement that is.
I have a question, Was any money / payment involved by any of the parties involved including the newspaper?

…..also don’t let this discussion descend in to a critic of spelling and grammer, (I would lose) and to me its just a way to belittle people.

I doubt money was exchanged, I could be wrong. As for the comments about the grammar, it has been difficult to get my head around her posts, that’s why I made the comments.

Excuse me, Dalradian, but every time I have come onto this blog I have responded, with dignty and maybe too much pride, about the fact that this says our methods are flawed, those last three posts were all done one after the other. I have argued my side accordingly.

Nckysixpence – With regards to questoning others beliefs, I still stand by that even if you are going to be petty and bring such contraversial topics into it. I may not agree, but if it’s their belief then let them believe it. You just can’t argue with somebody’s beliefs. I suppose there are times where you just think, well that belief is ludicrous, but regarding something such as this… something so vague, it divides the nation.

Hayley, your point is taken, but i’m not an alien investigator am I? If I was, and somebody came to me for help, then maybe I would consider such things! Sounds ridiculous, but yes, if research pointed towards that being effective then sure enough, I would try it out.

Rev Matt – You said this: “Knowing that you have no idea if your equipment is doing what you claim it does why on earth do you insist that it does do just what you admit you know that it can’t? Why continue to use what you acknowledge to be completely unproven equipment?”.
What exactly did I say our equipment does do? When did I say our equipment proves anything? I’m not saying that, far from that! I said that if used in the right way, it can appear that pieces of equipment such as the ones mentioned are being manipulated. I know what a coincidence is, and what we were getting back seemed like it was more than just that. I have never claimed that our equipment definately does contact spirits, don’t know where you got that impression. I said we enjoy using it, yes. I have never used the word “prove” with regards to what our equipment does. I continue to use it because I enjoy it, and like I said, the theory is that they can be manipulated. I like to see if this appears true. I have always been unsure myself, I don’t know what to believe. I don’t care whether you think that we weren’t getting responses that night, all that were present know.

We don’t just see an EMF fluctuation and say “oh, that’s a ghost”. I have said all this previously, the very LAST conclusion that we come to is that it MAY be paranormal, when it can’t be explained any further. Holly was present that night, so she was able to tell us what was “normal” and what was “abnormal”.

Rev Matt, Holly has already explained what happened beforehand that stopped afterwards. It’s not even just physical things that stopped either. Holly explained that her daughter never slept through the whole night beforehand, after the sage burning her daughter was able to sleep through uninterrupted. It was just a light-hearted story!

I said of course we went in there with equipment to contact a spirit, how dare you twist my words! I know what a paranormal investigator does BELIEVE IT OR NOT! Seriously, read what I have said! I mentioned that we always try to debunk claims, and that is usually what we do! Especially me, as the one who still isn’t sure what to believe! Many a time our team have put to rest claims of paranormal by detecting the explanations for them. This is just one case which you know nothing about.

Regarding this comment I made: “The methods we used are only flawed methods if you don’t believe, or if they fluctuate randomly”, if somebody believes that a k2 meter contacts spirits, and there is no proof to counter that, then it is not flawed, it’s just somebody’s belief. What “scientific fact” does that make void? There is no scientific facts to explain why somebody recieves direct responses to questions on a k2 meter.
I know what the equipment does, so you don’t need to remind me. But these types of equiment can be used to detect unexplained phenomena ALSO, it could be paranormal, it might not be, but i’m happy enough to say that it’s unexplained. I am aware that cold spots do occur, I am aware that EMF can be anywhere, and meters fluctuate randomly anyway, but all I am saying, is the stuff I have seen cannot be explained, take it from me. How would explain the very clear voices we captured on normal, everyday recorders, when everybody was accounted for?

My approach is very central, like I said, I go into every investigation with my skeptic head on. But you can’t tell us that there are logical reasons for what happened to us that night. I genuinely hope, and, as a professional, I probably shouldn’t say this, that you are one day scared out of your wits by something whhc cannot be explained. You said it yourself, use your senses as equipment. Well, we did just that.

Rev Matt, how has Hayleys focus been solely on the comments, when she made such a low, nasty comment about my colleagues manner of typing?
There have been personal attacks. I can’t change what I am offended by.

D.C.P.T, I stumbled upon this rather interesting discussion and would like to ask you if you have written any form of report summarising your findings, etc in this particular case? Sorry if I have missed it somewhere – there is rather a lot of comment here. I would be very interested to read, in full, your version of events and the conclusions that you have drawn from what happened. I should be very grateful if you could point me in the direction of these.
Many thanks,

Hi Julie, yes we have written a formal report, but due to confidentiality we have to keep it with us. When we do investigations, clients and team members sign disclaimer and other types of forms which state that this group is for entertainment purposes only, and all information is kept confidential, within our team. If you are interested in knowing findings to our investigations, the only way is to join.
As for conclusions, we never make solid conclusions, we just gather together all odd/unexplainable happenings.

confidentiality includes newspaper articles?

Obviously, Holly was asked first, because she got in contact to tell us it seemed to have worked, and she knew it was light-hearted.
If you’re trying to catch me out it won’t work, i know what i am talking about.

Thanks. How would one go about ‘joining’?

You enjoy using the equipment while acknowledging that it isn’t actually proven to work. To what purpose to you even use it then. If it provides no useful information then it is just a prop for show.

The effects experienced by Holly and her daughter can as easily be explained by the placebo effect. The fact that someone paid attention to them and went through some sort of ritual that they believed would help could certainly explain why her daughter was able to sleep.

“all I am saying, is the stuff I have seen cannot be explained, take it from me.”
Ah, that wouldn’t be very rational of me now would it? You can’t explain it does not mean it can’t be explained. I’m inclined to say that “I have no other explanation, so I’m going to say it’s paranormal” is woefully inadequate. The proper construct would be “I have no explanation, so I’m going to say I don’t know what it is.”

“You said it yourself, use your senses as equipment. Well, we did just that.”

Only use equipment if you can demonstrate that you’re getting useful information from it. Otherwise you are at risk of deceiving yourself and others.

I won’t speak for Hayley on the issue of communication, but I will say for myself that if I must spend more than a few seconds parsing a sentence to make any sense out of it at all then I find it safe to assume the person has nothing worth saying. Sentence fragments, all caps, poor grammar and spelling, all to me are indicators of sloppy thinking. I need not bother with such.

Holly’s daughter is way too young to understand what we did. How dare you try and say that it is the placebo effect. I have said this in another comment, that other people experience things, without even knowing about anything.

The equipment seem to work sometimes, when it appears to be manipulated. Read my comments, i have said this before. I will only come to the conclusion that it COULD BE paranormal when it appears that way. I’m still a bt of a skeptic myself. But i am OPEN MINDED, and so willing to use the equipment that has the theory behind it.

Once again i will say that i have never once said that we come to conclusions that something is paranormal. I said we come to the conclusion that it COULD BE paranormal.

We can use equipment for our own enjoyment if we want to, we don’t have to demonstrate anything, how ridiculous is that? We are not fooling ourselves, as we never come to solid conclusions, like i have also said before, abot three different times.

Yes, well my colleague is most definately not a sloppy thinker, she is just fuming with the amount of bullying that is happening on this page. I won’t let her be spoken to in such a demeaning way. To comment on poor grammar, even if that is your opinion on it, is just a low blow, very nasty, incredibly unprofessional and childish. It is irrelevant to this conversation and it offends me that people would speak to her in such a way. She is only trying to defend what she believes in, but she has stepped into the enemies firing zone, and so have i. We are not going to agree, so this may be my last post.

“people experience things, without even knowing about anything.” Yes, and that’s how the placebo effect could be working on Holly’s daughter even if she’s too young to understand what you did. And at two years old she’s probably much more aware than you are giving her credit for.

“The equipment seem to work sometimes”
I do a lot of testing, particularly of hardware and software. It’s how I make my living so I know a thing or three about it testing methodologies and testing equipment. The great thing about testing equipment is it’s binary. It either works or it doesn’t. If it ‘works sometimes’ that’s semantically the equivalent of ‘it doesn’t work’. Equipment can either detect paranormal phenomenon or it can’t. Until it’s demonstrated that it can predictably and consistently then any results from the equipment must be discarded as meaningless.

“I said we come to the conclusion that it COULD BE paranormal.”
That I have no argument with. That’s not how the newspaper article presents it, but that’s the fault of the reporter. If I were you I would complain to the paper about being misrepresented.

You say you use the equipment for your own enjoyment and don’t have to demonstrate anything, then on what basis do you call yourself investigators. Either you take it somewhat seriously and intellectually honestly or you don’t. If it’s all just having a laugh that’s fine but then why get so upset when it’s pointed out that equipment you’re using doesn’t actually do anything?

A persons ability to communicate effectively is always relevant when the goal is to communicate. It is neither unprofessional nor childish to critique a communication style if it is impeding the discussion. Ideas must be distinct before logic can operate on them, as Thomas Jefferson said.

I have just had a chance to read this entire blog as today is my daughters second birthday and I have therefore had more pressing matters.

I feel like you and your colleagues are belittling me trying to tell me that what I am seeing/hearing and feeling is a placebo effect.
How dare you assume what my own daughter is capable of! Do not under any circumstance try to lessen the seriousness of what has happened to myself or my child. My daughter can barely distinguish the colour yellow from pink so unless you now have a degree in child developmental psychology do not to tell me she is creating placebo affects in her own mind, as this I am certain Willow is not capable of. She is a completely innocent party, totally non biased, and I don’t care what your blog is questioning, or trying to prove but the fact that you are saying a baby is psychologically creating paranormal events and then forgetting them (when she didn’t even know about the blessing!) then I think your own argument is completely ludicrous.

And just to clarify things, I thought the comment policy was to only publish comments which contribute to the discussion, so how is criticizing others grammar constructive to this argument? The argument where you are trying to tell me that all of the things that have happened are in my mind and the mind of various people in my life!

Do you not think I have tried to come up with some scientific explanation! There are too many things for it to be coincidence! Like I have said, in no way did DCPT take advantage, mislead, or use me, the complete opposite. Wether you question their methods or not, something they did was bloody right!

In future it might be wise to do a bit of background research before writing your blogs. You have basically questioned my state of mind, maybe you all think its time for me to be sectioned?

No, there was no money involved. And I explained that comment in the previous post.

sorry I was reading the replies from a phone and missed that post.
With regards to the “The methods we used are only flawed methods if you don’t believe” – thing, Can d.c.p.t please clarify where they draw the line?

….so aslong as I believe my method for walking on water will work.then……etc

We do this because we love it. Not to get money out of it. We are a non profit team.

Also, you keep using the word pseudo-scientific, i agree with you, the types of methods used are pseudo-scientific, but we never came to any definate conclusions, we never do! That is why I say it is not flawed, we used other methods than just the equipment mentioned, and never came (or for that matter come) to any conclusions from it. The SOLE reason why we went to the paper, to follow up the original story, was because it was supposed to be completely complacent. As in, not serious, in jest, just jokingly self-conceit, and blithe because it seemed to work!

the thing is, every question that they have asked us has been answered…i just don’t think they are reading them…i want to meet hayley face to face to discuss this further…you said you get asked to show up..well i am asking you to show up for us because on here we are in your territory and quite frankly its called bully tactics,we will not get our side listened to or by the looks of it even looked at.so what do you say? if you are willing to go to hollys then i literally live 2 mins away so im sure you would be willing to come here?

I’m not interested in meeting you in person. There is nothing I could say to your face that I haven’t said here.

I was referring to the methods used for paranormal, not methods as a universal term.

I actually say that in the sentence – “the methods we used”. Sorry for any confusion!

The point he is trying to make is that saying certain methods only work if you believe in them is illogical.

The thing is, that wasn’t my full sentence nor was it my full point. You have just chosen to ignore the last part. I was actually saying that if science cannot counter the beief that those types of equiment can contact the paranormal then who’s to say their belief is wrong? There is no proof either way it swings.

I admit, i could have worded that better.

Funny, though, how everybody jumps on that one argument. What about the rest of the stuff i wrote? Not willing to accept the fact that i make some god points?

Well then you’ve proven that you don’t understand how proof works. If you claim the kit you use can detect a ghost, the burden of proof lies with you, and not anyone who challenges that claim. The evidence that these pieces of kit do NOT detect ghosts or paranormal presences is overwhelming in contrast.

I’m sick to death of people saying DCPT have been nasty and aggressive! I have NOT, I reapeat, NOT, been aggressive in any way, and my comments on this blog have all been fair comments!!

And again, Hayley, you twist my words. I never said this equipment contacts the paranormal!!!!!!!!

The report from your team suggests it does. Communication on a K2 meter? You said yourself that you wouldn’t accept it was a coincidence or random…

You may not have been rude and antagonistic in your posts, but the two other members of your team have, and they represent your team just as much as you do.

I have answered this question already again. You, once again, have chosen to ignore what i said after that. Also, you have totally read what i said wrong, go and find it and copy and paste it. I actually said i am aware that k2 meters fluctuate randomly, and i accept that, i said it is the last conclusion we come to and it’s only when we get DIRECT RESPONSES to DIRECT QUESTIONS that have even been reworded. That is more than just a coincidence, like i said i know the difference between coincidence and manipulation. The equipment you mention was not the only equipment we used. And so our methods were not biased.

Listen Hayley, i keep repeating myself, and you and your friends on this forum just read snippets of the argument and just follow you, because this is your comfort zone and ultimately, we are fighting a losing battle because this is your blog. We are being attacked from every angle, all i have done is respond to comments and questions put forward by you and your clan, and been ignored many times, and told i have nothing constructive to say. Well all i can say is, to everyone who wants to questions us, read my comments.

Hi Hayley,

just so you know – I for one (& I believe many of us) understand and agree with your position.

It’s a shame when realistic observation is met with hostility. Genuine scientific enquirers might respond somewhat differently in my opinion.



Stuart, i would love to know how i have been hostile. Like i said before, i am repeatng myself again and again, i have just replied with dignity and pride. There has been no aggressive exchanges on my part.

well then hayley if you are not willing to meet then i am not willing to comment any further…i do not need to hide behind a screen. no it is not a threat!!! i am simply asking for you to remove yourself from your comfort zone world of blogging and step into the real world. my world!?

I am nowhere near Wigan. However I do have colleagues in Manchester who may be willing to discuss the points I raised. In fact, I’ll be in Manchester in February as I’m speaking on a panel about ghost research at the Q.E.D conference alongside Professor Chris French and Trystan Swale. Perhaps you should come along to the conference and we could have a discussion about it then? Wigan is, what, 30 minutes or so from Manchester on a train?

yes it is hayley so you could easy get yourself down here, like i said i am not willing to step into your bully circle as i have on here…so either come on down or let it go…we will never agree on this and to be honest you should just keep it to yourselves as do we, a debate is not one sided and you are asking us to agree with you, we never will, we are human beings at the end of the day and it is only natural that we will defend ourselves like you clearly wanted in the first place, we have answered every question fired at us and your readers have chosen not to read them so therefore how will they know the answers? or maybe just read what they want to read and interpret it into what they want , bit like a placebo affect like you have said yourself.we will never agree so im going to say goodbye and good luck in your future research. no hard feelings and all the best..d,c,p.t

Why do you have the same IP address as the person commenting under the name ‘d.c.p.t’?

i am d.c.p.t 2, i merely put 3 at the end so i could keep track of my many comments!!

but all the comments read like different people, and also you have two different IP addresses. What is the point of using three different names with different writing styles? Just confusing.

Also worth pointing out to you that I have been made aware that you’ve only been working as a team for eight weeks. Go away, do some research into the things you are doing, and come back when you make sense.

I’m getting tired of the nonsense you are writing on my blog. It’s boring, repetative and makes no sense.

Difficult though it may be to assess the validity of investigations from only sketchy reports, it is however easy to draw conclusions from knee-jerk responses that include unwarranted threats of litigation and unnecessary condescension. Couple that with claims that investigations are merely “lighthearted” and it’s clear how little rigour is likely to be applied in those investigations.

I never mentioned litigation.

What I have gained from the dctp comments:
Anything might be true if you can’t prove it’s not;
You shouldn’t argue with peoples beliefs.
You can use as many dots as you like in an ellipsis.

This is DCPT 2 on DCPT’s computer.

Think you are clever by using big words like ellipsis? Well i know exactly what an ellipsis is pal, and i have never used more than 3 dots. Thank you : )

I didn’t know ellipsis was considered a big word. I guess if I was trying to be clever I would have managed to get supercallifragilisticexpialidocious into a sentence somewhere.

Oh wow, aren’t you a funny one : )
You know you are trying to be clever, and it doesn’t wash with me.

PaulJ – I picked that up too. Being reproached for a lack of “lightheartedness” in an investigation where there is a terrified mother and screaming child seems incongruous.

There is also the argument along the lines of ‘ it’s all a bit of innocent fun.’
While I dont have a problem with that per se, the underlying implications are massive. If there are ghosts, if objects can move without any known force exerting an effect, if burning sage leaves can reverse such astonishing phenomena then several thousand years of learning and reason go out of the window. It therefore is not simply an issue of what you choose to believe, it comes back to that great truism that extraordianry claims require extraordianry evidence. We aint seen it yet and I dont think it was seen in Wigan on the basis of what we have heard.

Well, if I had a case in Wigan I certainly wouldn’t want to call in Dead Connections, given their unprofessional manner here.

It also seems curious that although they did not engage in any kind of exorcism, they are happy to have photographs of the newspaper heading which says “Exorcised” on their Facebook page (see the album “d.c.p.t the team”), when you would have thought it would be in their interest to distance themselves, and perhaps even write to the newspaper with a correction. This looks like having your cake and eating it.

They never told us they would publish the heading “exorcised”. We were just happy. If i’d of known this would have happened, maybe i would have tried to write for a correction.

well we are safe to say you would never have a case seen as you don’t believe anyway mate!!

My comments have been very professional, and i think i have held myself very well considering i have unknowingly got myself into a bully circle.

Funny though, how Hayley’s unprofessional manner when talking about my colleagues typing style, has been completely ignored.

This is what i meant when i just replied, you all pick out snippets of the argument, and go along with it. I ask you read my comments first before you draw conclusions from them. The conclusions you have made from what i said sound ridiculous, and thats because you haven’t read it properly.

Carry on your debate without the presence of DCPT, i just wish that we weren’t trying to get our point across on your territory, which i find very narrow-minded and similar to a dictatorship. You can dish out the criticism, but you refuse to even hear the defence. I refuse to be bullied any more.

I have listened to your points and defence but it doesn’t make any sense. That’s the problem.

It makes perfect sense, you’re just narrow minded and aren’t willing to accept it.

The unethical groups such as the one here attempting to defend the indefensible are a major reason why I stopped attending paranormal investigations. Offering prayers and using sage is (1) a throwback to superstition (2) groundless as an ‘effective’ investigation/protection method and (3) gives out the signal that there may be a ghost on the property. What is needed in such circumstances is an effective investigation into the causes of the individual phenomena. That involves reasoned experimentation and not divining using a K2 meter that is of no use whatsoever.

Always the way though; be unethical, get some publicity and then fail to understand why you are attracting perfectly valid criticism.

Isn’t it time paranormal groups started to understand how unethical they often are and the real harm this can do?

Oh, hello Trystan. I wondered how long it was until a comment from you surfaced 😀

DCPT2 you seem to be confusing not reading your comments and not understanding them with reading them fully and not agreeing with them. It was interesting to see how quickly the talk of litigation stopped, now that’s what I call bullying. STOP IT OR WE’LL SUE

please do…i think seen as we have been called frauds and you are technically agreeing to it as you have just stated ,it would probably go in our favour.

Given that David Allen Green is a lawyer whose legal specialism is within the field of new media (including libel) I would suggest you think again. Additionally, do you realise how costly it is to bring a libel (not slander) case against an individual? Again, nobody has made an allegation of fraud.

Oh dear dear dear, I was refering to your group threatening to sue Haley if you would care to read again you might understand my post

Just to comment that yes anyone *can* call themselves a parapsychologist, but not everyone can be a member of the Parapsychological Association (you generally need a PhD , publications & references to establish some reputability). Equally, anyone can call themselves a “psychologist” as it is also not a legally protected title in the UK . Specific titles such as “clinical psychologist” or “health psychologist” are legally restricted tho’ and not everyone can be Chartered as a Psychologist by the British Psychological Society (BPS). So, if someone claims to be a “psychologist” & they’re not on the BPS register here –> http://tinyurl.com/39gfl8n any claims they make about their knowledge of psychology or their professional capabilities should be viewed with some suspicion. As for the term “psychologist in training” er..doesn’t that just mean “student”? 😉

Overall, the DCPT appear to be utterly convinced that their self biased, evidence-poor “investigation” methods are valid.

Additionally, they are happy to state that they are for entertainment purposes.

Welcome to the DCPT circus show that exploits genuinely scared people and makes a mockery of their situation by “playing along” with peoples’ concerns.

DCPT, you are arrogant about your action, and ignorant of it’s implications.

You are dangerous.

Our methods are valid, boy. I wonder how many of you have actually been on a paranormal investigation, or experienced anything out of the ordinary. Skeptics are people who are supposed to sit on the fence, and see things from all angles. You lot are just clearly so narrow-minded that you can’t see from another point of view. None of you are even trying to accept our views, so you are just a non-believer. That is all. Not a skeptic. Who are any of you to tell us that our methods are not valid. You don’t know that for fact. You’re all approaching this from a scientific point of view, as opposed to a skeptical view. How many of you are scientists? I would love a conversation with a scientist, so that they can explain to me what the phenomenon we have experienced is.
Now get on with your sad little lives behind a keyboard, i have a proper life to live.

I was going to refrain from commenting, but I have to say that I find the DCPT comments to be very strange. Leaping around, one person using different usernames – that’s called sock puppeting and can get you banned from numerous forums. It is also borderline trolling.

I have a few observations- Hayley has admitted when she has been wrong here but the DCPT don’t seem to acknowledge when they are being seriously flawed. Why, may I ask, are you using EMFs and the like if you know they do not contact the dead, what is the point of them? I’m sorry if you’ve already answered that, but there is an abundance of comments here!

I find DCPT 2 (and clearly she is also “3”) and her comments to be a little “off”. You say you are a “psychologist in Training”? Well as has already been mentioned does that not mean student? but also what type of psychology? What level is it at?

When I was 16 I could have called myself “A marketing executive in training” as I studied business for a while, but that didn’t mean I had the capability to comment on professional business and marketing strategies.

One important issue is that you as individuals haven’t been attacked, or called frauds. Your quite frankly questionable methods and your instant leap toward a threat of litigation, combined with constantly accusing others of misunderstanding your words whilst simultaneously misunderstanding others does not speak positively in your favour, nor does this constant barrage of anger- which you may feel is justified, however you must understand that in skeptical groups we don’t attack individuals (well, there are exceptions to that rule but they are specific and usually justified) we address the ideas and methods used- by saying you are wrong, unethical or misinformed or whatever people may or may not be saying is all addressed at your actions, behaviour and most importantly methods. Not you as individuals.

If you had instead decided to address Hayley’s criticisms of your methods in a mature and sensible manner this whole sad situation would not have arisen. You have shown yourself to be, in my opinion, quite unprofessional in your actions here.

Feel free to respond in a mature fashion, education is the key, but some people do not like to admit they lack knowledge or ability. I lack it in many areas and am willing to learn. Are you?

I am DCPT 2 and DCPT2 only.

DCPT and DCPT 3 are the same person.

There is one person I feel really sorry for in all of this and that is Holly. It seems clear that Holly and her daughter are troubled by something in their own home. Holly, if you are reading this what you need is someone who will look at each of the events you are experiencing in turn without jumping to conclusions that they are all linked. Investigating each, one by one, will help make more sense of them. It may even be something you can sort yourself and it was this approach that has helped me solve a number of hauntings involving closing doors, footsteps, moving objects and similar. I don’t expect you to take my offer of assistance but I am willing to help or, at very least, signpost you to someone who can.

Yes, as I mentioned before BARsoc (http://www.barsoc.org) are always happy to help, and yesterday I located numerous people in the Wigan area who may be able to help too.

To say the least, a very interesting thread.
I know through experience that many “investigative” groups would like nothing more then to have their work validated by sceptics. Some of these groups I have dealt with, although don’t like me, after my critique, at least have acknowledged my concerns and have made strides in correcting problems that have been pointed out with their investigations.
Coming onto a skeptic website, and complaining about not being treated fairly is just silly.
D.C.P.T and whatever random numbers that are here. May I recommend picking up the book Scientific Paranormal Investigation by Ben Radford. It may just help your organization with it’s investigations, especially if you are wanting your work to be validated by the likes of us.

Actually, hayley dangled it infront of our faces, i never even knew about ths article untill she posted it for all to se on our page.

I posted it on your facebook page to offer you the chance to reply. If I wanted to ‘dangle it in front of your faces’ I could have posted it on the wall of ‘Wigan Paranormal’ and other local teams.

I think you’ve had “dealings” with them…

anyway hayley i would like you to explain exactly what you mean by “dealings”? for your info every team uses the same equipment…after all i was with this team and many others as stated in another comment…and was taught by them!!! so do you believe every team is flawed? come on its a genuine question i would like you to answer?

yes we are close friends of every team, seen as we live in wigan you nut job!!! i must admit though the phone call was a tad sly…hayley, you think your tough sat there behind your blog..please please do me a favour shut up and get a life haha sad little girl…

I have just been made aware of this video which states, and i quote “people shouldn’t be persecuted for what they do and do not beieve in”


Take your own advice hayley, and don’t persecute paranormal investigators for what they believe in.

I didn’t ‘persecute’ you for your beliefs. I picked you up on your sloppy research and methods of investigation.

You think THIS blog post has PERSECUTED you? You have no idea what being persecuted is like. Get real.

aww what a shame this is one debate you DID NOT WIN heyley lol.pick on someone your own age from now on…your out your depth love 😀

d.c.p.t 3
January 4, 2011 at 7:28 pm

i am d.c.p.t 2, i merely put 3 at the end so i could keep track of my many comments!!
d.c.p.t 3
January 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm

This is DCPT 2 on DCPT’s computer.

Think you are clever by using big words like ellipsis? Well i know exactly what an ellipsis is pal, and i have never used more than 3 dots. Thank you : )
D.C.P.T 2
January 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I am DCPT 2 and DCPT2 only.

DCPT and DCPT 3 are the same person.
Reading these three statements :
From comment 1 DCPT3 is DCPT2
From comment 3 DCPT and DCPT3 are the same person

Conclusion: DCPT, DCPT2 & DCPT3 are the same person.

This is reinforced by comment 2 “This is DCPT 2 on DCPT’s computer”

Case solved!


I decided to approve this one. Just for the lols.

It certainly serves as a compelling rebuttal to my comments on effective communication 🙂 I stand chastised and corrected.

Approve this last comment please, i will then conform and not comment any more.

By saying “this is DCPT 2, she meant “this is DCPT too”.

I am DCPT2, and i am a seperate person. I think it is only fair that i get that across.

I will tell you, that DCPT2 is me, robyn davies. And i don’t even care about throwing my name out there, because i have nothing to hide. I was at my colleagues house last night,and we both were commenting, as seperate people, from her computer, then she came to my house and we were both commenting, as seperate people, from my own computer. We are cose friends. Even though, i shouldn’t have to explain myself, there is my explanation. Mind you, this comment won’t even get put up because of hayleys selective approval.

So just to be perfecctly clear about this …..
DCPT2 is Ms Robyn Davies
DCPT (or DCPT1 who is also DCPT3) is, as you state, a female friend. Having visited your Facebook page I presume this is Emma Butler.
Reading all your vicious rants on this page I jumped to the misguided conclusion that you were male. Please stay in Wigan …. I’d hate to bump into either of you on a dark night!


To be honest, I think this conversation has been done to death and no more comments need to be added. I will approve this one, but if you keep writing all in cap locks, I will mark you as spam so I don’t have to deal with your comments again.

A well reasoned, professionally presented, and very mature way of expressing yourself. I applaud your mastery of interpersonal communication and the effectiveness of your communique. I shall in the future aspire to such levels of erudity. Thank you so much.

As a straight-talkin’ Aussie, I’ll say it.

DCPT – You are, as demonstrated by your comments, utterly oblivious to your logical fallacies.

# Ad hominem
The consistent attack on people on a personal level, presuming that a person is wrong about x because they are y.

You even go to the extent that you call someone a boy as an attempt at being condescending towards them.

# Ad ignorantiam
You have claims of what you vaguely call “manipulation” of the direct output of a k2 Meter, and present the argument that because you don’t what it is, then it might be paranormal.

This is flawed. Why? Because if you had bothered to apply Occam’s razor, you’d investigate and find there are a number of reasons that could account for what you call “manipulated”.

Citing that you “know” when the k2 meter is being “manipulated” isn’t science based. It’s biased, and as far as we know – unfound. You’ve not cited how you “know” this.

Unless you have a confirmed method of MEASUREMENT that something OTHER than an EMF is the cause of it, then you cannot “know” the meter is being manipulated.

You use equipment of which, you know next to nothing about – And you do so at the mental expense of the people involved in what you call a paranormal investigation.

# Argument from authority
” I wonder how many of you have actually been on a paranormal investigation, or experienced anything out of the ordinary.”

“Who are any of you to tell us that our methods are not valid. “

“You don’t know that for fact. You’re all approaching this from a scientific point of view, as opposed to a skeptical view. How many of you are scientists? I would love a conversation with a scientist, so that they can explain to me what the phenomenon we have experienced is.”

Speaking from Authority does NOT make your claim correct. Nor does speaking from what one has “experienced”.

Simply being a scientist doesn’t make you right, either.

It’s not because of WHO we are that makes us correct, it’s the EVIDENCE that supports what we’re saying that demonstrates it.

# Straw Man
” Skeptics are people who are supposed to sit on the fence, and see things from all angles.”

No, Skeptics are not “supposed to sit on the fence” – Skeptics will view evidence and make judgment, if they feel they can make any at all. If they feel they can not, or there is not enough EVIDENCE to support a position, they are content in saying : “I don’t know” — Something DCPT has a problem with.

Skeptical People are simple those that have doubt about what is proposed, and apply critical thinking to question, explore, and discover.

DCPT questions, makes fun of the situation by using tools they “enjoy”, and decide to “cleanse” a house based on no CREDIBLE evidence of paranormal activity.

Rather than saying “I don’t know what is affecting my K2”, you have decided “It COULD be paranormal” and doesn’t investigate the ACTUAL cause.

Again, try applying Occam’s Razor.

# Style over substance fallacy
“You lot are just clearly so narrow-minded that you can’t see from another point of view. None of you are even trying to accept our views, so you are just a non-believer. That is all. Not a skeptic.”

This is where you’ve continued to completely ignore all substance of the articles and play possum.

.. and finally..

“Now get on with your sad little lives behind a keyboard, i have a proper life to live.”

Now see, you’re just being a bully here.

By the way.

Keep smiling.

Rev Matt have you nothing to say about my reply to your above comment?

I didn’t realize it was directed at me.

If your daughter at 2 years old cannot distinguish between yellow and pink that’s cause for concern and you should consult your pediatrician immediately. While I am not any more expert on children than any other parent, two of my closest friends have between them two masters and one PhD in early child development, my mother taught preschool and kindergarten for 50 years and my sister is in her tenth year of doing so. I also have three daughters under 7 years old. So I’m fairly familiar with what a child of that age is and is not capable of doing.

No one ‘creates placebo affects’ in their own mind. The placebo effect is a fairly well understood and entirely repeatable psychological phenomenon regardless of the age of the subject. If one of my children were to wake up in the night scared by a noise or a nightmare I might make a show of turning on the lights, checking under the bed, looking in the closet, reassuring her that everything was OK. That activity would calm her down and make her feel safe and thus she would be able to sleep again, much as what happened with Willow after the investigation.

You are entitled to believe whatever you want about what DCPT did, but the fact remains that their methodology is unsound and they have in my opinion no idea what their equipment does or even if it works though at least some of them appear to admit that it doesn’t work.

Just so you know i am commenting from a computer at my university library, before you start chekcing up on my IP address lol : )

Just wondering Matt, how do you suppose Holly reacted to her daughters terror beforehand? Completely get what you mean about Holly’s behaviour after we did the cleansing having a psychological effect on Willow, therefore creating the placebo effect, you are quite right. But what if Holly reacted in a way that was no different after we did what we did than before?

We do understand what our equipment does (or doesn’t) do, but we also take into account the theory behind them. We will never agree, you believe our equipment is flawed because it can’t actually prove anything, which is also quite right, but i believe that our equipment isn’t flawed because there is no proof against the theory. It presents outcomes, sometimes, that are quite spectacular, and quite astonishing. Nobody can convince me that those outcomes can be logically explained, i know that what i have seen goes completely against logic. And unless, you were actually there, you would never know just what i am talking about, and as a result, can’t comment on our findings, you don’t know what they actually were. Afterall, it is other extraordinary happenings, and the use of our senses, not just the equipment we use, by which we base our investigations.

I already mentioned the fact that we did the spiritual cleansing because we did research, and even though a few of us, even Holly, was skeptical about it, much research suggested that this was the easiest, least time consuming and cheapest thing we could attempt (we pay for everything ourselves, never charge). We thought that because it seemed to work, even if it completely didn’t, it would make a lovely follow up story to the previous one. We told the paper the basics and they printed this story. If we knew it was going to offend, then yes, we would have corrected them, that is the last thing we wanted to do.

Holly was convinced she had a haunting before we went in, so we never misled her to think that. We did try to debunk, and like i said tried to explain about the psychology and cognition of it all.

But still, there are many teams out there, who genuinely do believe that this equipment can contact the paranormal, and if it is their belief then who are we to question that?

Also, Rev Matt, how do you explain people going into Holly’s flat who don’t even know anything about it experiencing strange things too?

Let’s change this atmosphere for a general debate. Because i genuinely do want to know your opinions and answers. I really hope that this comment goes up!

Emma wanted me to ask, because her comment has been ignored further up there ^^^ : do you believe that every team who used the same equipment is flawed, or are you just targetting us? Emma was with Wigan Paranormal and it was them who taught her a few things about equipment, they even asked her to be a lead investigator at one point, but Emma had her mind set on creating her own group. So yes, one can say we have had dealings with them. This is a very valid question which we reeeeeally would like an aswer to, if possible.

“how do you suppose Holly reacted to her daughters terror beforehand”

Having not observed her either before or after I really can’t say. I think it’s safe to assume for the sake of argument that Holly’s knowledge of the cleansing led her to even in some sibtle way alter her behavior that signaled Willow that she (Holly) was calmer and thus Willow responded in kind.

“We do understand what our equipment does (or doesn’t) do, but we also take into account the theory behind them. We will never agree, you believe our equipment is flawed because it can’t actually prove anything, which is also quite right, but i believe that our equipment isn’t flawed because there is no proof against the theory. It presents outcomes, sometimes, that are quite spectacular, and quite astonishing. Nobody can convince me that those outcomes can be logically explained, i know that what i have seen goes completely against logic. And unless, you were actually there, you would never know just what i am talking about, and as a result, can’t comment on our findings, you don’t know what they actually were. Afterall, it is other extraordinary happenings, and the use of our senses, not just the equipment we use, by which we base our investigations.”

This is a logical fallacy. The equipment isn’t demonstrated to work. Just because it hasn’t been proven *not* to detect paranormal activity is no reason to believe that it *can*. My pencil hasn’t been proven to not be capable of independent flight, so I choose to believe that it can fly. I would be curious to see an example of what you consider a spectacular outcome from the equipment. If you truly don’t believe that it can be explained logically then further discussion is pointless as you’ve subscribed to a dogmatic belief that cannot be changed by evidence.

“I already mentioned the fact that we did the spiritual cleansing because we did research, and even though a few of us, even Holly, was skeptical about it, much research suggested that this was the easiest, least time consuming and cheapest thing we could attempt”

What research led you to the conclusion that this cleansing would be effective? It seems to me that until you have demonstrable proof that there truly is paranormal phenomenon, as opposed to unexplained phenomenon, then any sort of cleansing or remedy is premature. If you don’t know what you’re treating the medicine may actually make the condition worse.

“But still, there are many teams out there, who genuinely do believe that this equipment can contact the paranormal, and if it is their belief then who are we to question that?”

If you’re not willing to question the beliefs of others unsubstantiated by evidence then that’s not much of an investigation. Many people believe many things that aren’t true. I’ve yet to encounter any equipment that can be demonstrated in any way to actually contact the paranormal. If you have research you can point to that contradicts this I’d be happy to reconsider my understanding of the technology.

“Also, Rev Matt, how do you explain people going into Holly’s flat who don’t even know anything about it experiencing strange things too?”

I don’t have an explanation, I don’t have enough information to intelligently comment. I’ve not seen the full report, only the news story which as you note incomplete and not entirely accurate. It is a far stretch to go from “people experienced strange things” to “we know it was paranormal”. You may suspect it was paranormal. That is not proof. I don’t claim that it wasn’t paranormal, only that it’s not yet been convincingly demonstrated to be such.

I appreciate your interest in discussing this all reasonably, and my interest is in helping to improve investigative techniques. Every well done phenomenon investigation adds to our understanding, even if only of human psychology. I have lesser hopes for improving the quality of news reporting.

“do you believe that every team who used the same equipment is flawed, or are you just targetting us?”

I don’t believe the equipment is inherently flawed, I believe that it’s simply irrelevant as it doesn’t have a demonstrated ability to detect what many paranormal investigators believe that it can, as I’ve noted above as well. I am certainly not just targetting you.

Speaking of which, it appears that Wigan Paranormal seems keenly interested in distancing themselves from DCPT, which I find rather interesting.

“But still, there are many teams out there, who genuinely do believe that this equipment can contact the paranormal, and if it is their belief then who are we to question that?”

I really want to address this again. Questioning is the most fundamental tool an investigator has. Don’t simply take someone else’s word that object X does what they say. Find independent confirmation from an unbiased source, or do some experiments on your own, talk to a disinterested third party with relevant expertise (a physicist, for example). If you’re not willing to question unsubstantiated claims then investigating of any sort, let alone the paranormal, is a waste of your time and that of everyone else.

We just wanted to clarify that Wigan Paranormal have nothing to do with DeadConnections. As for being taught by us, they were members of our team for 4 weeks and attended one event and one meeting and by no stretch of the imagination friends.

it was just shy of a month and was 3 invests and 2 meetings in total we came to… .pagefield and old springs which are wigan`s invests and mill street that was not your actual invest but you attended.we used all the same equipment on all 3 invests!

Sorry I have been corrected, they were team members for 2 weeks, not 4 weeks as previously stated.

thanx rev, this is now becoming a much better debate.i think it just takes a while to calm down and get points across with out pointing fingers for everyone.i wanted to ask the question about the other teams as we all use the same equipment. i mean i will hold my hands up to safely say i did not even no what a franks box was before i became a member of wigan with 2 other members of my team…i don’t particularly rate the franks box, i will hold my hands up to that! and to be honest again another team member asked if they could use it, it is not up to me to say no! anyway i would like to add that yes wigan don’t have anything to do with us after i was asked to be lead investigator for them, but wanted to venture off on my own AS A HOBBY! so after all im not all that bad….i do this because its a hobby i absolutely love but i do understand that this is job to them and like always i wish them all the very best as i do everybody 🙂 we ALL use the same equipment at the end of the day, that’s the point here.

just a few quotes off the wigan site…
Nicola has worked in the paranormal for a number of years and is a confident and dedicated member of the team.

She has worked with all kinds of scientific equiptment in her hunt of the paranormal, as well as having a passion for old fashioned table tipping.

Diane is our team sensitive and provides us with protection.

A valued member of the team, Diane brings a vast amount of experience to Wigan Paranormal.

Elaine is our vigil specialist. Using the most up to date recording equipment and her ears and eyes, Elaine is happy to spend time alone in some of the most haunted location.

She will also set up anyone else wishing to hold a vigil and ensure they are safe and well equipped.

tech page and equipment used by wigan and to be fair, some of it we use…
digital cameras…
used to collect photographic evidence such as..orbs,manifestations and unusual light anomalies which could lead to evidence or paranormal activity.

dowsing rods…
there will be dowsing rods and dowsing crystals used over the course of the investigations ect ect.

emf and k2 meters..
used to pick up spikes in the emf .the emf is a physical field produced by electrically charged objects IF THERE IS NO OBJECT PRESENT then this could be paranormal…

used to monitor fluctuations in temp,
it is believed that spirits draw the energy from the air to use for manifestation…

oh and franks box that is not up on the site as i can see but as a full fact i know they use because i have used it on the invests i have been on…

trigger objects is self explanatory,night vision cameras,evp`s

as dcpt we have never claimed that we use our quip to defiantly contact spirits or ghosts, its not even on our site, what the paper said as u no by now was a load of rubbish and was twisted to sell papers.
we go into invests with a open mind and me personally would love to witness something that says omg that is DEFFO paranormal. i never have,
i am simply searching for something i would love to believe is beyond this life, i lost half of my entire family in the space of 2 years due to cancer and have ever since tried to make some form of contact with them just to at least no they are ok and happy…

just to clarify also we don`t use “mediums” or sensitive`s in our group because not everybody believes or has ever had any hard personal evidence to sway them into believing that what they are picking up on is not down to cold reading or true.as far as i know we are the only group that does not use them.

around our area i mean…

Hi again guys, please excuse my typos, i have just got a new laptop and i’m still not used to the keys!

I can’t comment about the fact that Wigan Paranormal want to distance themselves from us, because i don’t know them and have never been on an investigation with them. All i know about them is that they asked Emma to be one of their team leaders, and it got a bit hostile when she declined to start her own team (from my understanding). Emma has been a very close friend of mine for years, and that, aswell as the fact that i have a deep interest in this area, is why i decided to take her up on her offer of helping her out with this team.

I do think you make sense with what you say, i truly do. But i also think that i make sense too. I think if you were to actually come with us on one of our investigations you would gather a whole different view about what we do and us as people, i mean, it’s difficult to portray oneself in the way one wishes to through a keyboard.

Like i said, 9 times out of 10 we will put a clients mind to rest by actually going in, looking at their claims, and finding the source for those claims. Sometimes, and quite a lot of the time actually, somebody will hear a noise and completely shit themselves (lol) and then from that point on put every slight noise or “happening” down to the paranormal. Even just a a mild case of nyctophobia or claustrophobia may play a huge part when it comes to claims of paranormal. I said earlier, even i am skeptical, i just think the theory behind these pieces of equipment is intriguing, and yeah, that night it really did seem like something was communicating. It’s okay if you wish to repudiate that claim, but it’s seriously not often i say that. We mainly use ourselves as equipment anyway.

By saying that we shouldn’t question others beliefs, i wasn’t saying i agree with them, i just mean i don’t think it’s fair to tell somebody that what they believe is irrelevant. I will always question myself, in order to better myself, infact, im quite fed up of having to be critical with bloody uni assignments haha, so i’m quite used to sitting on the fence. When it comes to other people, however, i’m quite happy for them to believe what they believe. I may question it personally, for my own research/investigations, but never to them. I will discuss my stance on the matter though, i think there is a vital difference there.

My dad is the perfect example, he is my biggest challenge when it comes to this sort of debate. Forget being skeptical, he just believes the paranormal is a load of rubbish, and quite often me and him get into these comical debates about it! But when i told him about this night, about the kinds of questions we asked, and how we reworded them, and about how long this went on for, even he was like “that’s pretty cool” (even though he said it with a smirk, which spoke a thousand words!!).

Still though, i would never claim that we found proof or empirical evidence of paranormal manipulation and activity that night, because to be frank there is no proof, but it was most definately interesting stuff. It certainly would be a far stretch to say we know it was parnormal.

One member of our team has strong spiritual beliefs, and so the spiritual cleansing excited him. Given though, this person is no longer a member of DCPT, because we are willing to try new concepts to better ourselves, but we don’t tend to use spiritualists or mediums anymore as we weren’t convinced nor did we think it was contributing to our “sitting on the fence” approach to our investigations. We generally gather research from journals, books and the internet, this is where we found information about what to do.

We don’t necessarily believe that the spiritual cleansing worked, that’s why it was a light hearted story. The news paper made it out like that was our claim. The more i think about it the more i think, that article is actually a bit embarrassing. As long as holly was at peace, who cares whether it worked or not? The main thing is that Holly and Willow aren’t terrified anymore. That was our point. Everyone knows how newspapers dramatise.

Holly already believed that there was something paranormal in her flat, and this is why our team wanted to perform something such as that, even if what happened didn’t happen, we would have still done it just in case. Being totally honest, we didn’t think something that was believed to “get rid” of bad energy would make things worse. We just didn’t think about it. I’ll hold my hands up to that. But unlike medicine where there are millions of conditions to treat, there was only two conditions; something paranormal as opposed to something not paranormal (with regards to the spiritual cleansing).

Also, i meant the responses weren’t logical, not the fact that our equipment was detecting things (by things i mean EM fields and such). Just to clear that statement up a bit. I don’t think that’s dogmatic, personally, i’m just saying it was out of the ordinary.

I much prefer it when it just feels like a general debate rather than a full on slanging match lol!! : ) Rev Matt, I appreciate the fact that you have taken on board what i wrote.

Just one last thing too, i promise it’s just a dead quick point!

People asked me about what level of psychology i’m at and that anyone can call themselves a psychologist but not everyone can be a member of the BPS, i did respond to those comments but they went missing, i am a student, that is correct. Not all psychologists are members of the BPS, that is just one organisation. I am doing a masters degree, i have studied childhood and developmental psychology and am training to be a filial therapist. I currently work voluntarily for the BAPT and aim to work for CAMHS when i leave uni until i have enough experience become a therapist.

I’m not being egotistical, i promise (well, maybe a bit hehe!), i just really want to address this as i was asked about it somewhere along the line, twice, and it looked like i ignored them when i didn’t, my replies didn’t make it up : )
I will shut up now, same ol’ robyn, talk talk talk talk talk!

heyley, i would like you to add these comments and responses…they are fair and it seems you have tried to cause a hate campaign against us here by smearing our name over other teams!!! i have snapped all these comments, even the ones u have not added as proof that you are being unfair and unreasonable.a debate does not expire until every person on it has had there say.you have ignored the reply`s made by us and added only the parts you know will start a rift and go against us.you should not be in this job if you cannot play fair and also take criticism back!!! i am asking you to put up my comments again and to be fair? if not i will seek legal advice and have also got screen shots and other copy`s of this entire debate, including the comments you will not add.
emma butler .dcpt

Emma, I don’t think Hayley is in any way trying to run a hate campaign against you, DCPT or anyone else. She has just made observations about your methods. That is what she is entitled to do. If someone, including me, questions your techniques that is perfectly fair.

The only defence you seem to have against the slightest critisism is to rant and threaten legal action.

You should, instead, be putting forward some arguments to support your cause but you seem incapable of doing this. I could suggest that you are ‘getting your knickers in a twist’ and I know from my many years in electronics that this could generate a voltage of at least 30Kv! Yes that’s 30,000 Volts if they happen to be constructed of man-made fibre … and no, I don’t want to check, thanks 🙂

If you, or someone you know, has ever bought some extra memory, a plug in card, Hard Drive etc for a PC then you may have noticed that it came in either a metalized plastic bag or a pink plastic one; both types are treated with ant-static coating. On electronic production lines the workers are often to be found sitting on anti-static chairs above anti-static carpet and are connected to the anti-static coated work bench by an anti-static wrist band. The reason for this is that it’s quite easy to generate a voltage large enough to damage the input circuitry of modern semiconductors (chips) and render them useless; allthough modern ones are more tolerant than those a few decades ago.

I am sure that you’ve taken off a jumper over your head and noticed the sparks that can be generated. Likewise a ballon can be made to stick to the wall or ceiling by rubbing it on a jumper. This is static electricity. I don’t know how sensitive your EMF meter is, or whether it responds to static fields at all (I hope you know!) but just handling it could cause erroneous readings. [As for other causes of erroneous readings see my other post.]

I have witnessed ball lighting bouncing through the trees into a clearing on a Scout camp. Yes, it was a dark and stormy night. Many of us saw it as we were lying with our heads out of our tents watching the storm. It was ball lightning, it was a sphere, it shone pinky-purple, it hissed and it moved slowly and erratically down the field. If this had happened just a few hundred years ago we would all have thought it was some sort of apparaition …. but due to our education we knew it was ball lighting.

This particular blog of Hayley’s is called “Education is the key to banishing ghosts, not exorcism” …. that is the topic we should be discussing. Not having a RANT!

If your group is trying to do proper research then you need to know AND understand BOTH the capabilities AND the short comings of whatever equipment you are using. I doubt this is the case. Do any of your group have any scientific training? Carrying a few impressive looking boxes around would have impressed my great grand parents but they don’t impress me.

I could build you a box with some very intersting and technical looking circuitry inside, a few flashing lights, and even a built-in alarm if you wanted. I could sell it to your group for a few hundred £ sterling, or more as you seem to be quite gullible 😉 , and because it would have ‘GHOST DETECTOR’ printed in large letters across the top I’m sure you would be very impressed. I can’t guarantee it would perform all the time but, now and again, at purely random times it would produce a fantastic indication that a ghost was indeed present and, if this coincided with a relevant moment in one of your investigations, you would, I’m sure, be delighted. Soon all your friends would want one.

Perhaps you saw Derren Brown’s show ‘Enigma’ last night on Channel 4. Very impressive …. lots of ghostly activity … but, sadly, no ghosts!

There’s an old saying “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

As an electronic design engineer, and for a period of my life a licensed radio amateur, I would like to throw into the pot my observations on EMF detectors, thermometers and other ‘ghost-busting’ boxes.

If an EMF detector indicates a change it could be caused by a whole host of quite normal events. How about a taxi radio emitting a 75 Watt signal just down the road? A mobile phone ‘logging’ into the local cell? A radio operated garage door opener or the plethora of similar devices that now clog the ether. You have to be able to rule all these out before you can say there is a paranormal cause.

You could buy a wide band spectrum analyzer for quite a few thousand £ Stirling. But then you would be hard pressed, perhaps, to spot the relevant peak in the displayed waveform so you would probably want to interface it with a decent computer on which you could run some complex custom written software. But as all the signals would be changing all the time it would be hard to spot the likely cause of local sporadic anomaly. Any way, this sort of kit is completely out of range of your local amateur ‘spook hunting’ group.

As for the ‘ghost voice boxes’ …. I admit I have no direct experience of these but have watched a few Youtube videos; these seem to just grab random pieces of radio transmission or noise out of the ether. If hearing the odd word from some radio stations excites you then enjoy the fun but don’t assume it’s in any way a proof of anything other than some one is making a good living out of selling silly black boxes to very gullible folk.

I have a lot of experience of electronic temperature measurement having designed quite a few instruments over my employed years. Like any piece of electronics these can be prone to erroneous readings due to strong intereference from the same sort of signal that could cause an EMF meter to indicate. The instruments I designed had to be stringently tested with generated interfering signals over a wide frequency range and also, in the case of mains equipment, large voltage spikes injected on the power input. Even though they were well designed and filtered they would still react to very strong interference.

Anyone who has lived near to a local radio transmitter, or have had a taxi or other mobile radio equiped vehicle drive past their house, may have experienced breakthrough on their Hi-Fi. Nowadays, with less AM (amplitude modulation) and FM (frequency modulted signals) and more digital and frequency hopping signals the cause may not be immediately obvious. The interference is caused by some non linear circuitry in your Hi-Fi. In effect part of the circuitry is acting as ‘crystal set’ and then your Hi–Fi/Radio/TV is amplifying the resulting audio output.

For a test switch off your mobile phone. Place it on or near your bedside radio and switch the phone on again. The noise you hear on your radio is your phone ‘logging in’ to the local network Cell. Sometimes you hear such a noise on radio and TV broadcasts when someone has a mobile phone too near the mike or sound equipment. Send a text and you will get the same sort of noise. The bedside radio isn’t designed to pick-up the phone signal but, at the same time, it isn’t designed to reject it either.

In the same way a cheap thermometer can indicate an apparent ‘temperature change’ that coincides with a rise on an adjacent EMF meter. This will be due to the non linear (rectifying) effect in the thermometer. As some cheap thermometers used diode-like detectors this is hardly surprising. Other forms of input probes are thermistor, themocouple and resistance thermometer but the input cicuitry in the instrument will still be prone to EMF interference (the electronic cold junction compensation in the case of thermocouple instruments and/or the input amplifier cicuitry) that can give a increased or decreased reading.

There are also optical thermometers based on Infra Red measurement. They are, in effect, measuring light just below the visible spectrum and so the image can be effected by reflection off surfaces in the area. Decent IR equipment is also quite expensive.

The correlation of an indicated EMF anomaly at the same time as an indicated temperature change can not be considered as proof of the existence of ‘ghostly’ or other paranormal activity. All other causes have first to be exluded and by using cheap basic equipment this is just not possible. As for boxes that grab random radio signals out of the ether … that’s just what they do…. don’t waste your money!

hi d.cohen,
i have to say i agree with you here, i totally understand what you are saying, like we`v said so many times now we honestly never claim our equip contacts ghosts or spirits, its a hobby and its fun to go walk round old dark buildings and get scared out our wits 🙂 we love it…all the quotes earlier on was off wigan paranormals site…thanx for your imput. xx

Thanks D.Cohen, we take on board what you have said, i admit, i didn’t know that even just garage doors and things can interfere with equipment. We do know, though, that there are many many things that will make an EMF or K2 meter fluctuate or flash. I have just discussed this with Emma, and have decided to make all of our guests and members aware of this on future investigations.

Like i said, those pieces of equipment are our least favourite anyway, we use our own senses more : ) the only thing i will say though, is that, your explanations of what makes our equipment go off, i just think on those very very very rare occasions that we get direct responses to questions, even when we reword the questions, and try to ask questions in order to confuse, still getting the same answers to me is just unexplainable.

There was actually one investigation we went to and we got an EVP of a very clear voice of a child, you can hear what it says and everything, i have to say that terrified me, because i have never heard anything like that before. There are some EVP’s that you hear people say “THIS IS AMAZING!” at, and you just think, well that can be explained by anything, but i would love for all the sceptics in the world to hear that EVP : ) we were there, and we know that recorder was on it’s own the whole time. It’s an amazing voice, but still, there is that doubt there and we know it’s gullible, and a huge leap to say it DEFFO is paranormal.

Thanks for that though, it’s a big help and it does develop our knowledge further, so i am grateful for that!

Hi Emma and Robyn

I didn’t know what an EVP was so I Googled and found an explanation and a Youtube recording of a little child supposedly a ‘Ghost Child’. My simple rebuttal of this is to point out that there are such things as baby monitors. Although there are modern versions that use technology similar to DECT phones (digital) or some simple form of scrambling for privacy purposes (it would be embarrassing if the neighbours picked up sounds of your bedroom antics over their monitor) there must be lots of older alarms out there. They are no more than transmitters, sometimes two way (ie transceivers), that would be quite capable of causing breakthrough on a tape recorder orany other electronic device. I don’t know the typical output power of such a device but I see that some boast a range of 300 metres ….. that’s quite a distance. There are also cheap transceivers used by parents to keep in touch with their children, used by children themselves or hiking/cycling groups. All these possibilities MUST be taken into account. You can buy a pair of cheap walkie talkies on Amazon for under £20 Sterling that have a 3Km range!

It’s strange that ‘ghost hunters’ or charlatan mediums have always tried to use the latest technology of the time. When old fashioned, plate photography, was invented there was a plethora of photographs showing mediums emitting ‘ectoplasm’ from their mouths. There were also clever double exposures …. even photographs of fairies! With digital photography we have ‘orbs’. These are artefacts of the camera/lens system and/or dust, pollen or small out of fucus objects illuminated by the flash.

Now we see people using electronics to ‘prove’ the existence of ghosts. Instead of complaining that the sceptics out there just don’t want to believe …. it would be better if you, yourselves, adopted a much more sceptical approach to whatever you think you see, hear or experience.

I would like to set you a little thought experiment. I want to take you back to the middle ages. You live in a clearing in a very large forest. It’s a small community with very little contact with the outside world. The whole village believes that the forest is full of strange creatures, elves, gnomes and the like. The village witch doctor tells everyone that the trees are inhabited by ‘tree sprites’. Everyone believes this. Everyone is told that the wind is caused by the trees waving their branches. All the tree sprites communicate with each other and wave the tree branches in unison. Sure enough, when there are strong winds the forest trees are waving about madly …. it’s always been that way.

There certainly is a correlation between the trees waving their branches and wind blowing in to your forest clearing. But is the wind caused by the tree sprites?

As an aspiring young skeptic I hope you have your doubts so I ask you, Emma and Robyn, what logical thought processes you will use to arrive at a practical method or philosophical argument(s) to prove that it is actually the wind that causes the trees to flex and not vice versa?

One practical approach you could adopt would to be build 4 wind-proof fences and surround a particular tree. The outcome of this experiment would show that the tree no longer swayed although the wind still blew strongly outside you fences. Case Proved!

But the local witch doctor would counter this argument by saying that, by surrounding your particular tree with fences, the tree’s sprite is no longer able to communicate with the other tree sprites in the forest. This is the same sort of argument used by spoon benders and psychokinesis practitioners who are unable to reproduce their tricks under laboratory conditions.

The ‘all-knowing’ witch doctor could take you to the ‘King tree sprite’ and if you surrounded that particular tree with your fences you would then see that it alone waved about whilst the rest of the forest trees were still. As we know the witch doctor can’t do that but more importantly he won’t do that he has no evidence that would prove his case.

I will leave you to work out how to debunk the tree sprite theory.

Now let’s get back to ‘ghosts’. There are many people making a good (shouldn’t that be bad) living performing on stage as mediums. Let’s say you waste your money and go to a performance. The medium says that a man called Charlie, who has recently passed over, is coming through and asks if that ‘means anything’ to any members of the audience. You don’t have, and never have had an Uncle Charlie but you stick up your hand and ‘claim’ the contact. You say it’s your uncle who passed away last year. The medium asks you (note: she isn’t telling you) if there have been recent discussions about the choice of a colour. You say YES, and proffer the information that you have recently had your bedroom redecorated. The medium now tells you that Charlie likes the colour of the walls nad likes the way you have furnished you bedroom.

As you don’t have an Uncle Charlie and have been lying as much as the medium there is nothing to worry about other than you have unmasked a fraudulent medium.

But what if you were a gullible member of the audience who did have an Uncle Charlie who has recently died? You go home to you apartment happy in the ‘knowledge’ that Charlie is safely in the ‘Spirit World’. But hang on a minute …. as you lie in your bath sipping a glass of chilled white wine dwelling on the thought of Charlie …… a horrific thought enters your mind. If Charlie was capable of being present at the theatre, and he knows the colour of your bedroom walls, has he managed to make it back to your apartment? Is he watching you now as you lie in your bath! 😮

In your bedroom, cuddled up with your partner, you wonder is Charlie watching … is your Grandmother and all your other dead relatives watching too. And, what about all your partner’s dead relatives? A spooky thought for all you believers!

Emma, you say “.. it’s a hobby and its fun to go walk round old dark buildings and get scared out our wits 🙂 we love it… ”

But why are dark places more ‘spooky’ than light ones. I must admit that I too would find a cemetery more frightening at night. But if there are ghosts surely they are there during the daytime too. There appears to be something ‘hard-wired’ into the primaeval parts of the brain that have been honed over years of evolution for the benefits of self preservation. This seems to be present in other higher life forms. If you lived in that forest clearing you would probably have an aversion to snakes, spiders etc that could be life threatening. At night the forest could be a very much more dangerous place to be. There would be strange noises and shadows and your brain would be triggering the generation of several hormones. You probably are getting a hormone high equivalent to going on a long jog followed by a bar of chocolate and a good session in the sack!

Have fun in the dark but PLEASE be more sceptical about what you THINK you see, hear or experience.

Hello again cohen,
firstly i would like to clear up why i put that comment up,
i had replied to every comment on here and not had my comments approved and i was getting quite sick of it.
i am a very strong woman (not a man) haha although like i had said in an earlier comment that never got put up to you that us girls have been known to get a tad feisty hehe 😉

of course its fair to have you say,as it is mine and believe it or not i can take criticism. the first comment i saw on this blog was frauds…i think i reacted the same way anybody in my situation would.anyway enough of that, im not dwelling.
the other thing was that hayley should have really asked us was it true before writing it up for debate.

I think i am very capable of explaining myself and to be perfectly honest prefer to speak out loud rather than use a blog.its hard to get your point across through an essay…well for me personally anyway. i love to speak, its what i do haha and some would agree maybe just a little to much 😉 but ah well thats just me 🙂
but yeah anyway as i was saying…

the methods and equipment we use…
firstly as i keep saying and will keep on saying have never said our equipment deffo contacts ghosts or spirits.. that’s just silly.
please point out were we have said this?
secondly the methods we use are simply calling out, listening and asking questions…
what’s wrong with that?
then, if on a regular basis we get a reaction and response on the k2 to a direct question over and over again throughout many hours (the same question) we then put it down to very strange and coincidental NOT PARANORMAL!!! believe it or not and i have only just realized this that we actually never put anything down to paranormal on our invests…lol we always just look at each other and go hmmm interesting haha.
maybe we should change our name to dead connections hmmmm ^.- team lmao.
I would really love for you guys to just be able to come on one of our invests just to see how we work…
i think you would be pleasantly surprised.
because if one thing we have in common is that we always have an explanation to everything that happens and if we cant explain it then we say…its “unexplainable” lol simple.

*If your group is trying to do proper research then you need to know AND understand BOTH the capabilities AND the short comings of whatever equipment you are using. I doubt this is the case. Do any of your group have any scientific training? Carrying a few impressive looking boxes around would have impressed my great grand parents but they don’t impress me.

i have asked this question myself…does anybody on here also have this training?
or is it just reading up and researching like we do?
i am not saying we are geniuses or super scientific brain boxes because we are not and we don’t carry around big shiny impressive boxes either lol we also aren’t hurting anybody…we are having fun and enjoying our hobby.
i don’t see anything wrong with that.
anyway i have 2 kids to see to so another reason i cant stay focused on this and again as always wish you all the best.

The EVP we caught was in a run down old building, though, and at the time we were a couple of rooms down, it was just quite something. All that talk about electricals just blows my mind, my brain can’t cope with it lmao! As for the orbs, at DCPT we never talk about orbs at meetings or investigations, and we never put orbs in our case findings. I don’t know what Emma told the newspaper about the particular picture with the orb in it, but i can assure you i know she wouldn’t have referred to it as paranormal. Maybe Emma can shed some light on that. I remember us going on an investigation with a different team to an old, almost derelict, building, and one member of that team said to me and Emma “look at this picture i got, look at all those orbs!” in an excited manner. After the person left me and Emma just looked at each other and almost in unison said “it’s a run down old building, it’s full of dust!”. I don’t think they knew very much about what causes orbs…

I wouldn’t say that i’m a believer, although i am probably a bit too hopeful, i’m just trying to find out at the end of the day, but i still try my best to go into every investigation with an open mind and septical. I like to think to myself “right, these claims have been made and let’s find out the source of these claims!”.

We are all victims of natural selection 🙂 i think for us adrenalin junkies (right emz? Haha!) it’s just that feeling of not being able to see clearly infront of you, i mean what it comes down to is that you don’t know what’s around the corner! And natural seection has made humans this way. It’s that classic fight or flight response! Some people just love using their adrenalin, some just bolt 🙂 When i do lone viduals i just think to myself “it’s no different than when it’s light!” which is SO true! You’re right, whatever may be there will still be there if it’s light! But even though we enjoy it, we do take it somewhat seriously, we do really want to experience something that can be definitive proof of ghosts. It ay be a waste of time, but it’s fun! I will only be a true beiever once i have met a ghost 😀

I went to a spiritualist church the other week, with Emma and the team member i mentioned with spiritual beliefs, i just thought i’d give it a try. The whole time i was there i felt quite uneasy. The medium was saying things (i thought) that could relate to anyone, and she would say something vague like “the person that has come through is telling me that you have been quite stressed recently”. That statement, even the least stressed person could pull some recent memory of being stressed out of their brain. And it’s amazing what pressure and conformity can do to people, just have a look at Solomon Asch’s classic study – fascinatng. People can twist things just to comply, and even unknowingly lie about their lives! I have to say, i’m not convinced nor do i believe in mediums or sensitives, and i won’t change my mind until somebody really does convince me but i doubt that will happen. Still though, many people do beieve in that kind of thing, that’s fair enough. Some people believe in crazy stuff!

The tree sprite theory; are you getting at the fact that the only way those people will gain a good knowledge of correlation and causation is if they step outside of ther comfort zone? Because thats like us, we must use stuff like this very forum to better our own knowedge and understanding.

Yes, science is amazing! Over the past few centuries, mankind has begun to understand how things work. From that knowledge, slowly built up like a wall, one brick at a time, (as the expression “On the shoulders of giants” so well declares) we are now able to use such things as electricity with all its spinoffs that have given us, power, light, the telephone, transportation, radio, televison, computers and this marvellous thing by which I am now communicating …. the Internet, and so much more.

So, Robyn, when you say “All that talk about electrical just blows my mind…..” I presume you mean that you don’t have any understanding of how they work. That’s fair enough. I don’t understand how modern medicines work but I’m happy to take a pill if a doctor insists it will make me better. Let’s face it the doctor doesn’t know how the pill works either! The people who MAY know are the research chemists who designed it.

I don’t KNOW what an electron really is. Does anyone? I don’t KNOW what gravity is, neither does anyone else. But we know enough to make use of what understanding we have. We have theories as to what or how things COULD be, and how they react. We know that if we push an electron down one end of a wire (using a battery) it will pop out of the other end …. so we come up with a theory. We then find the wire gets hot so we do some experimenting and we get Ohm’s Law. At the same time we come up with a theory about how this ‘battery thing’ we discovered works and that enables us to improve it and design better and smaller batteries. All these steps have resulted in a world full of amazing discoveries and inventions. This all done slowly, step by step …. but we may not know, or have to know, exactly what an electron is.

As I said, I don’t know how gravity works but I understand enough to not bother screwing all my furniture to the floor! You see, stuff like gravity has always been there. So has electricity (lightning, electric eels, your nervous system etc) but we have enquiring minds that shouldn’t accept that a lighting bolt is something thrown by a storm god up in the heavens just because a religious leader tells us so.

In the world of electronics, we have designed devices like valves, cathode ray tubes, transistors and integrated circuits. All based on equations, developed from theories, proven by experimentation that, if we do X in this set of circumstances the likely outcome will be Y. Most of the time things seem to obey our ‘laws’ but sometimes, if we find an anomaly, we have to have a rethink. We never truly know but we do have some understanding; we could call them beliefs … if you like. I could demonstrate my ‘beliefs’ to you. I could build a simple battery using fruit or a potato; make a simple motor, a crystal set radio and a spark transmitter. I could ‘PROVE’ that certain things appear to follow a ‘law’ by demonstration. A cause and effect.

Some intelligent people with enquiring minds will do ‘pure research’ like the scientists at CERN; they hope to push forward the boundaries of our knowledge but in doing that discover new things that raise further questions. In the process we reap the benefit of useful technology like body scanners. In your words, Robyn, what they do at CERN blows my mind too!

For a slight diversion I’d like to go back to the subject of this EVP thing. I don’t know what type of recorders you have used but I would like to point out some likely causes and effects of using a cassette recorder.

I hope, for a start, that you never use a cassette recorder/radio. These will have circuitry inside that is ‘just asking’ to pick-up radio signals. Radios (superhets) often work by mixing the received signal with the output of an oscillator in a piece of circuitry called a mixer. This results in all the wanted signals being converted to one fixed frequency as the radio is ‘tuned’ by changing the oscillator frequency. (For the purists there is a 2nd frequency caused by the mixing. The 2 frequencies being S+O and S-O) This allows the majority of the amplification to be done efficiently at that fixed intermediate frequency or I.F. I once had an old 405 line black & white TV which received ‘ghostly’ Spanish voices. This happened rarely, only when the ionised layers were in the correct condition for shortwave reception at the IF frequency. So I’m afraid, as a sceptic, I would ban the use of any thing but a simple recorder.

But then I’m sorry, I’m going to insist that you stick it in a metal biscuit tin! As I’ve explained in earlier postings the recorder will be prone to picking up signals from your local taxi cabs, baby alarms and a host of other sources. Use only batteries; any mains adaptor/charger will allow signals to get in too. And, yes there are devices that use the mains wiring to communicate.

So we have the recorder in the tin and it’s now both electrically and magnetically screened. But you need to get the sound in. Don’t have a microphone on a lead coming out of the tin as this will just act as a very efficient aerial! Leave the microphone inside and either glue it to the side or lid of the box. Don’t use blue tack … if the microphone falls off someone is bound to declare it was a ghostly knock! To let the sound in you need to make a patch of small holes in the tin in front of the microphone. These shouldn’t be too big. Have a look at the door of a microwave oven. That’s the size you need; that way frequencies up to over 1Ghz won’t be able to get in. I’m sorry if all this electromagnetic screening stops your ‘ghosts’ communicating but you will just have to persuade them that, if they don’t want to speak into the microphone then, perhaps they would like to pop into the box through your small holes and communicate directly that way!

Now, the mechanism of the recorder is going to make quite a bit of noise. In there you have motor(s), cogs, belts, wheels and things called slipping clutches. What is a slipping clutch? Well, the tape is transported across the erase and record/play heads by being pinched between a polished metal capstan (connected to the motor possibly by rubber bands) and a large rubber roller called, not surprisingly, a pinch wheel. The tape has to move at a constant speed BUT, as the tape moves from one reel to the other, the speed at which the feed and take-up reels rotate has to change …. that’s where the slipping clutches come in. This is a likely source of ‘spooky’ sounds.

The tape has to move over guide pillars in both the tape cassette and the tape recorder. Sometimes there can be friction, grease or something similar on part of the tape and with the parts of the mechanism pulling at different speeds this can cause the tape to vibrate and result in the recording of ‘phantom’ sounds. An over zealous take up spool could also cause problems.

While on the subject of extraneous sounds. A recorder in a tin box doesn’t make the best recording studio. So you need to reduce the sound transmission between the box and the recorder. To do this you would need a pad of some sort; possibly made up off a sandwich of carpet felt, expanded polystyrene, rubber foam etc. stuck together with spots of PVA glue. It would also be a good idea to have another such pad stuck to the bottom of the tin.

Now let’s look at how the recording is made. To make a recording the tape first passes the erase head. This will be feed by powerful signal from an oscillator to demagnetise the tape. The tape then passes the record/playback head to which is sent the amplified signal from the microphone to which a small amount of the erase signal is also added. This added signal is called the bias and its purpose is to ‘activate’ the magnetic domains on the tape to facilitate proper recording.

On playback, only the record/playback head is in operation and the erase/bias oscillator will be turned off.

Now a word about head alignment. If the erase head is not positioned exactly in line with the rase head relative to the edge of the tape, then the erase head may not entirely remove the audio signals recorded on the tape. So, If you do a new recording and play that back you could be hearing some remnant of audio from previous sessions. Things could be even worse if you play back and/or record on different machines where head alignment probably could be quite different. Start with a brand new tape in a machine and only use in that machine. You could check head alignment by recording some loud music and seeing whether you can still hear it faintly after it has been erased. In the early days there were some cheap cassette tapes that had been produced by slitting 1 inch wide, used once studio recorder, tapes down into four 1/4″ tapes so make sure there is nothing on your tape.

If you really want to do a controlled experiment have two identical recorders, and they MUST be identical, one inside the tin and one outside.

Now to end with let me go back to Cause & Effect.

You write:

The tree sprite theory; are you getting at the fact that the only way those people will gain a good knowledge of correlation and causation is if they step outside of ther comfort zone? Because thats like us, we must use stuff like this very forum to better our own knowedge and understanding.

I say:
It’s nothing to do with comfort zone. You have to use your brains and think! Query everything. If something seems strange or wrong …. think! You don’t need to understand electronics to use, for example, a cassette recorder, but if you hear a strange sound or voice on a tape then you have to eliminate all the other possibilities before you can say it was caused by a ghost, fairy, angel or any other supernatural cause.

As for my Tree Sprites it seems to me that you’re still stuck in the clearing of my very large forest. Are you truly lost? I’m trying to get your brain working.

I want you to think of some rational arguments and demonstrations that you could put to the rest of your mediaeval villagers that would prove to them that it’s the wind that causes the trees to sway and not the other way round. And, by the way, it’s a VERY LARGE forest so you can’t reach the coast or any open land.

Long live the Tree Sprites!

Stumbled on this today. I know it’s old now but I’ll comment anyway. I found this amusing at first and then sadder and sadder. The vitriol and ignorance of these DCPT people is typical. I love the way these people always seem to be studying something although a grammar course should be their first destination.
I enjoyed D.Cohen’s comments and agree. If no-one had a phone or a radio they’d be a lot less ghosts I’m sure. As an aside I was a photographic consultant for many years and once the digital camera became a household item the amount of ghost pictures and orb pictures I had to look at went insane and I imagine with the cameraphones it’s worse. There were always two types of people when I explained what was happening: the relieved and the indignant. No-one really wants to believe in the ghost-in-the-machine. Where’s the “fun” and “enjoyment” in that?

[…] done to the general public, where hauntings are based on folklore stories that are really old. Yet some of those locations will be private houses, they will be places where employees will be too scared to work alone, where children live in fear […]

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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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