Hayley is a Ghost

Another paranormal conference, another heap of hassle

Posted on: June 24, 2011

*edited to remove a ‘third party’ name who wasn’t involved and may have been made to look so*

I was scheduled to speak at the ‘GhostFest South West’ Paranormal conference being held as St Braviels castle to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy on June 18th/19th. I had been asked by the organiser, Wendy last June when I spoke at  Bristol Skeptics in the Pub.

I had to pull out of the conference at the last-minute because I had no way of getting to the conference because the organisers didn’t tell me I had to organise my own travel and, if I wanted, accommodation.

Every event I have spoken at in the past has automatically done this for me, I thought it was common procedure so didn’t think to question it. Perhaps I was wrong not to do so, I don’t know – I’m not a professional speaker. Paranormal research, the podcast, my talks etc. are not my professional job. I have a career aside from all of this in my life that pays my wage.

I realised, a week before the event, that I didn’t know what time I was going to be speaking, what equipment I would need to take (laptop etc.), or how I was getting to the venue. I knew there were no train stations anywhere near the castle and I would have to get a taxi quite a distance from the nearest station to the actual venue and, as the organisers hadn’t been in touch with me, I dropped a message to Wendy via facebook asking her what was going on.

This morning it was brought to my attention that a post had been made on facebook by Wendy that made certain accusations about me that I was to address here.

Petrol money and accommodation was offered after I had backed out of the event. By the time it was offered it would have been too late to organise anything, plus, as I stated to Wendy in a message when I pulled out, I had no money available to pay for train tickets to the event because I was short of money due to starting a new job and having a month without any money going into my account.

Had I known in advance I would have needed to pay for my own travel I would have put money aside in advance, a year ago, when I was first asked to speak. I would have been happy to do that had I been told I needed to. That wasn’t communicated to me.

Offering, at the last-minute, to reimburse travel costs was kind, but there were no funds I could have put towards train tickets and a taxi to have gotten there, that could have then been paid back to me. So it was a pointless offer.

As for the unprofessional comment… I did call Wendy unprofessional in a message because of the sarcastic tone she used in numerous messages to me after the event. It was the way in which Wendy handled the situation and communicated with me that I called unprofessional. Messages I cannot share due to other people being mentioned in them that were not aware their conversation had been shared with Wendy had been shared.

Rather than just accepting that maybe there had been a communication breakdown between us, and moving on, Wendy saw fit to compare my situation with that of another speaker who is high-profile, who apparently told her he’d never had expenses paid for him.

Not only that, but I’m sure the speaker in question would agree that they would benefit even if they didn’t get thier travel costs reimbursed to then through book sales etc.

I felt I had to write this because I did not like the idea that I was being accused of being unreasonable and uncharitable and rude without being able to defend myself especially as I was extremely sad that I couldn’t get to the charity event to speak for them. Pulling out of the event wasn’t a decision I made lightly and I even asked my own family if they could lend me the money to get to the event that I would then pay them back once I got paid but this wasn’t an option.

I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed anybody, and I genuinely am sorry I couldn’t make it to the event. I’m also sorry that Wendy sees it fit to make such silly comments on her private facebook page where I cannot respond. Perhaps if she hosts another event in the future she’ll be sure to communicate with her speakers much clearer…


3 Responses to "Another paranormal conference, another heap of hassle"

Well, she certainly hasn’t done much to disprove the “unprofessional” part by making this public.

Whereas posting my ‘private facebook’ status along with my photo on your ‘Public’ blog is so professional??? I think not.
Firstly, that is in breach of my privacy unlike my status which was nothing I hadn’t already said to you in a private message….as you well know. If I have anything to say, I will say it. I wont hide behind a one sided blog.
I didn’t post the expletive you put on your status did I ? I replied to you foul mouthed comment in a private message.
Secondly, the ‘third party’ you speak was someone who was actively involved with Ghostfest…..unlike Mick who was definitely not anything to do with the event whatsoever, only heard your side and yet his post was left on here. Mmmmm…I wonder why?
As always, someone says or does something to upset you, it ends up in a one sided blog on here where you decide exactly what people see so they don’t get the full story.
I did give you the itinerary back on 20th April ( I still have all the messages!!) and in fact, you contacted me back 2 days earlier because you had forgotten the talk you had told me you were giving at the event. As with all my other Guest Speakers details, I had kept everything documented in word so I was able to remind you about your talk. Did you forget you forgot this or is this yet another fact you conveniently failed to mention to everyone???
Seems I’m not the only forgetful person.
Communication is a two- way thing Hayley and had you informed me that you need money up front for travel, I would have been more that happy to send you a cheque. As it was, you left me with 5 days to try and find someone who was travelling from your neck of the woods.
In the days leading up to the event, I had yet another sarcastic message that you were pulling out because you hadn’t heard from me. And yet, in the previous message I had said to you I will try my hardest to get you a lift. The fact remains; anyone would have been hard pushed to find someone to give you a lift in that time.
The ‘last minute’ offer of petrol and accommodation would have been offered had you turned up anyway. Three guest speakers stayed overnight courtesy of Ghostfest, One stayed and paid ( his insistence) and the other three went home after the talks and would not take payment. One was reimbursed for his train fare and as you well know this was agreed last year when I booked him. Everyone’s needs were different but all of them communicated what they wanted…..all accept you that is.
Our guest speakers were more than happy to make their own way to the Castle. They insisted….all 6 of them!!!! In fact, one Guest speaker was so grateful for the overnight stay with breakfast, he sent me a donation for Muscular Dystrophy.
I was overwhelmed with all the positive feedback from Ghostfest. The guest speakers thanked me and yet they were the ones who were doing us and the charity the favour. I am not blowing my own trumpet here (although, I’m sure anyone who posts in my defense will be deleted….if this post isn’t deleted anyway!) you will be hard pushed to find anyone who didn’t enjoy the event.
Not bad for someone who had told you that I am not, nor profess to be a professional event organiser and that this was the biggest event that I had organised. I decided to hold a charity event through my ‘hobby’ as a Paranormal Researcher (Yes, I earn money elsewhere too…as a Manager in fact)
Since your blog slating me I have been contacted by several people who had all been let down by you at the last minute…like you, I wont mention names.
All of which say that you have tried to say it was them at fault. Seems I am not the first person you have let down at the last minute and I’m guessing I wont be the last either.
Perhaps next time you agree to give a talk make it clear from the outset that you need either a lift to the venue and back or money sent to you for petrol/train fare in advance.

Firstly, Wendy, the only other people I’ve let down are the LAPIS conference for reasons that I’ve already covered, so anyone else is lying 🙂
Secondly, you’ve ignored what I’ve written – if I’d known I needed to I would have been happy to pay my own way. It was something I over looked, but also something you over looked.

All the future talks I have agreed to do have not needed me to clarify I need travel costs covered because that really is a standard practice at most events.
I’m glad your event went well and I apologised for letting you down.

This blog is not ‘slating’ you at all, by the way, I was simply putting forward my side of the story after you publicly shared with your friends and followers what I had said to you in a private message. Not nice is it?
You’re just repeating in the above comment things you’ve already said to me and you haven’t taken into consideration what I’ve written in my blog post. You’ve simply gone on the defence.

Also worth noting is, I only delete comments that are abusive or don’t actually add anything to the topic being discussed…

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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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