Hayley is a Ghost

Posts Tagged ‘talk

Back in February I was on a panel with Professor Chris French and Trystan Swale at the QED conference in Manchester. The panel was called ‘Ghost Investigations Today’ and that was exactly what we were talking about.

The QED team have made the talk available via Youtube and it can be watched below. I cannot watch myself talk so I have no idea what it’s like. I was great fun though and I just want to say thanks again to Mike, Marsh, Janis, Andy, Rick and the rest of the team for the chance to take part. I can’t wait until QED in March.

Photo credit: Gammy


Suddenly the countdown to Halloween is upon us and I’m vaguely aware of the fact that I’ve been planning for this month for a long time because of the various talks I have coming up. However this week is the week in which my first October talks take place and I’m all awash with excitement and pure terror.

I’ve planned for months to refresh my ‘skeptics in the pub’ talk to include newer content and to take feedback from past talks I’ve done and improve the whole thing. Yet, like always, I’ve left it to the last minute to actually implement the changes. I guess I must have known it would happen because I booked this whole week off of work so that I could ‘prep for halloween’ – it’s a good job my employers know about the paranormal research thing I do or they’d think I was a bit odd. Actually, they probably think that anyway but that’s swings and roundabouts…

On Wednesday I am travelling to Edinburgh as I am speaking for Edinburgh Skeptics in the Pub on Thursday – my talk is actually taking place inside the part of the vaults apparently, which has this ghost geek hugely excited. I’m then hanging around in Edinburgh until Saturday morning when I shall travel home again – there is a lot I want to see in the city and this is the perfect chance to do so.

Cork Skeptics PosterWhile I am there though, I will be giving another talk on Friday, this time for the Cork Skeptics via the wonder of Skype. Along with Ashley Pryce and Patrick Fisher the talk will cover all sorts of weird and wonderful things that sit under the term ‘paranormal’. The coolest part though is that we’re doing it via Skype while the attendees are sitting in a castle. They have frickin ‘Skeptics in the Pub’ not in a pub but in a frickin castle! Also, check out the poster. Just…. just check it out >>

Then I’ll be back at work, but the Halloween fun doesn’t stop there – oh gosh no, gosh no indeed! For on the 27th I will be zooming across to Bristol to deliver a talk to the lovely Bristol Skeptics in the Pub people. It will be the second talk I’ve done for them. They were the second group I ever spoke for so I figure I do owe them a talk in which I actually make sense and don’t look like a deer caught in headlights…

Oddly enough, they’ve completely sold out of their tickets already which makes me wonder if there is another Hayley Stevens involved in paranormal research who they’re expecting. Awesomely, their talks take place in a theatre! A THEATRE!

Okay, I’m pretty sure it’s in the bar area or greenroom area or something, but still, a theatre… how haunted is that place going to be?!*
Someone will be live tweeting the event – I don’t know the hashtag yet, but if you check my twitter feed on October 27th I’ll be sure to tweet what the hashtag is so that you can follow it.

Then comes the talk that I am REALLY LOOKING FORWARDS TO which will be taking place in Westminster for Westminster Skeptics in the Pub on October 31st – the night of all nights for any self respecting ghost geek. There are people attending the talk who I am really looking forwards to meeting – in some cases for the first time, in other cases, for the second time.

I have been told that my talk may be made available online shortly after it is finished on the evening of Halloween. This includes my slides – so if you’re one of those lovely people I talk to who aren’t from the UK, or are but have never seen my talk and are always telling me to come and talk for you, this is a great chance to watch and hear my talk on Halloween! how fun is that?! The good thing is that my talk is always changing – the talk I did for Oxford Skeptics was different than the one I did for Birmingham Skeptics, which was different for Newcastle and so on… so even if you’ve seen my talk before, you might still find it interesting!**

I don’t know the technicalities of how that’s going to work, or even if it is definitely happening – but I was asked if it would be okay and I thought it was an awesome idea. When I do find out I will blog about the details.

So, yes. Today I have locked myself in my room and set myself the task of finishing off my slides and working out if I’m allowed to take the Ghostbox on a flight or not.

In other news, the winner of the first Free QED ticket was Alex Gray. The others winners will be drawn on October 31st.

*not very, I expect…
** or you could go to the pub

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

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

It was pretty awesome.

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

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

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

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

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

They even laughed at my jokes and stuff.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Over the next few months I am giving my final two talks of 2010 and I’m really excited about both.

The first event is in two days time at The Swindon Ghost Fest. I will be talking on Tuesday 26th at 7:30pm at the Swindon Central library.

The event is completely free of charge and you can just turn up on the evening, I will be talking about my exploration of Wiltshire’s paranormal folklore – from hellhounds with no heads to the ghost that haunts a bus stop…

It’s certainly going to be interesting, especially as I’ve never done this talk before. Eek!

Find more information here.

Event number 2 is taking place on December 16th with the Merseyside Skeptics Society for their ‘Skeptics in the Pub’ event. I will be delivering my ‘I’m a ghost hunter; get me out of here!” talk, with added footage and content.

The talk looks at the paranormal research field and the stuff most people don’t see like the paranormal politics, the dreaded paranormal curse, fake ghosts and the people who talk to them and THE GHOST BOX!

You can find out more here.

I’m really looking forward to these events and I hope to see some of my blog readers there!

I have loads of interesting events coming up in 2011, from skeptic conferences and ‘skeptics in the pub’ to various paranormal conferences.

Many of the talks I will be giving in 2011 will be brand new and I really cannot wait. I will add more detail on here as the events approach. It’s also worth mentioning that if you should want me to deliver a talk for your event I will certainly consider it whether you are a skeptical audience, or one that is more likely to be “pro-paranormal”.

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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