Hayley is a Ghost

A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose

Posted on: July 12, 2011

At the weekend I blogged on the 4th anniversary of me becoming a skeptic with a resource of useful information for new skeptics. One thing I wrote about was how four years ago on that day I had finally accepted that ghosts probably didn’t exist and that a lot of the things I believed in were wrong.

Sharon Hill, better known as ‘Idoubtit‘ asked me what is was that led to me making that decision and that she thought it would be an interesting story, so I said I’d write about it in the hope it helped people to understand why I think what I think.

Truth is that there isn’t one specific thing that led to me changing my mind and becoming more skeptical in my approach to my research. There was a whole collection of things that ultimately piled upon one another and weighed heavily around my neck; a bit like the ancient mariner but without the albatross and with more table tipping.

There was the time we visited a pub and the landlord tried to fool us into thinking we’d witnessed paranormal phenomena and we caught him – you can read about it here at the ‘Bad Ghosts’ site. The whole experience made me consider what other things I had fallen for.

In fact, Bad Ghosts.co.uk and it’s parent site, the now extinct Bad Psychics had a lot to do with the way I am now. Discussions held with Jon Donnis and Bob Dezon led me to question my beliefs a lot more. The funny thing was, when I did table tipping and seances I actually thought I was open minded, and it wasn’t until Jon pointed out that such things were the opposite of open minded that my curiosity was piqued and I wondered if I had been fooling myself all along.

The thing is, it’s difficult to let go of such beliefs straight away – especially if you’ve invested a lot and stand to lose a lot by letting go of them.

The doubt put into my mind by people like Bob and Jon, both of whom I still hold a lot of respect for, led to me wondering what would happen if I took away the mysterious stuff from the paranormal investigations. What if I stopped the team I worked with using table tipping and seances and dowsing and trigger objects? Would anything change?

I held off from doing so for quite some time until an investigation at a pub in Warminster, Wiltshire, where I decided to trial the new approach and I didn’t allow anyone to use the techniques we had been using for so long, and nothing happened.

Well, actually… something DID happen. The majority of the team ignored me and went to the large function room in the pub and did a seance; Why? Because they got bored with nothing happening.

That is when reality slapped me in the face – they weren’t there to find honest answers, they were there for themselves. They had something to prove to themselves and I had unknowingly been doing the same without considering the negatives. Suddenly I wasn’t a member of the team any more and was instead an outsider looking in. Looking in with sheer horror.

The next day I contacted the team to ask what had happened and why people had gone against what I had asked and that is when everything kicked off and people left – it was claimed by some that I had turned evil, that I had turned my back on my spiritual journey and had a negative aura…

They created their own team and, in their spare time took to belittling me on internet forums and websites. Months later their team disbanded and all these years later here I am still doing what I always intended to do from the age of 18 – investigate the reality of seemingly paranormal occurrences. I just got a bit lost in-between then and now.

It’s not that exciting, but it was an exhausting change to make. Sometimes to stay curious you have to keep an open mind, and to keep an open mind you have to question yourself just as much as the world around you.

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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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