Hayley is a Ghost

Going back to my roots, a shock laid in wait…

Posted on: April 4, 2011

Back in 2002/2003 I hadn’t yet become involved in paranormal research but had started to explore the interest I had in ghosts, paranormal phenomena and hauntings. I did this through watching television shows and reading books.

Then one day my mum discovered a website called ‘AsylumCam‘ (now known as AsylumsGate) on which the owner of a supposed haunted house allowed people to watch webcams placed around his house in the hope that they might capture something ghostly in the house.

I joined up and formed fast friendships with the other members there. We would chat for hours and hours in the chatrooms and the forums and it was like a home away from home. I even have a t-shirt with the website slogan on it somewhere.

Here are some examples of images caught and believed to be paranormal by the majority of people on the site:

A ghostly face? Or pixels?

'The soldier' was a 'top cap'

After a year or so on the site my belief in ghosts strengthened, confirmed by what the people on the website chat and forums were telling me were facts. They were experts, or at least spoke as though they were and there were some members who were sensetive to spirit. I was naive and believed their claims and their ‘facts’ and soon went on to start investigating the paranormal as part of my own team (in 2005) using the ideas presented to me via that website and its members.

Then, around 2006 or 2007 I became more skeptical of what I was doing and being told and the things I believed in as a result. I ‘came out’ as atheist and stopped the research team from using pseudo-science on investigations. This wasn’t as a direct result of being Atheist, but as a result of the rational way I was now able to see things in.

I was soon banned from the ‘Asylumcam’ website by the main moderator ‘MoeBanshee’ (who now actually owns the website in question) for being openly skeptical and Atheist on the forums and in the chat.

Roll on a few years, and a couple of weeks ago I was invited to join a group on facebook called ‘Ex-asylumnites’ for people who used to frequent the website but had since stopped.

In the years since I was banned I have changed a lot and have developed my understanding of the phenomena I investigate. My stance and take on things is completely different to what it was in 2007 and I presumed that the people in that group would be the same.

However it has become evident that this isn’t the case at all. Many members of that group conduct pseudo-scientific paranormal investigations, with some members gushing over orb photos and EVP recordings.

There are posts from people who say they’ve just encountered something ghostly – a door opened when it was locked (I’d say the lock was faulty, they say it’s their resident ghost) – and there seems to be a general worshipping of the television show ‘Ghost Hunters’ that followed TAPS around from place to place.

The TAPS team in question use pseudo-science, a bad definition of science, night vision camcorders and demonists to conduct their scientific investigations…

I’ve been non-vocal about my skepticism and rational stance in the group, until the other day when I commented on a post about an episode of ‘Ghost Hunters’ that the TAPS team aren’t actually very scientific at all.

I thought perhaps the people there might be interested to know what I based my ideas and beliefs on and I was surprised to discover that actually, despite me providing them with links and sources for rational information, they weren’t interested at all. In fact, they were actually keen to dismiss science as being on par with belief led investigations (suggesting they don’t know the difference between theory and scientific theory…)

It genuinely shocked me that after all this time the people I had once considered the authority on the subject were so closed minded, even when provided with the sources for the research that showed a different conclusion to the one they had reached in their mind.

It strenghtened my belief that it is important to make the correct information available to people, but you can’t make them accept it unless they’re willing to. It also showed me that age has nothing to do with knowledge.


2 Responses to "Going back to my roots, a shock laid in wait…"

It’s a classic case of Cognitive Dissonance which has plagued both “New Age” and “Paranormal” beliefs since they began.

Tough to change minds.


The idea that science is simply a belief system like any other has been thrown at me on a number of occasions, presumably to reduce the dissonance. Doesn’t stand up to testing though 🙂

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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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