The Truth About Ouija Boards

The Truth About Ouija Boards

It is likely that at some point in your life, you will be faced with a Ouija board. Whether it be at a sleepover, a Halloween party, or just out of curiosity, a lot of people consider the Ouija board as scary but harmless entertainment. The Ouija board was in fact patented in 1890, and intended to work as a ‘talking board’ building a bridge from our world to the spirit world. Those who have used a Ouija board simply for fun have reported strange and often frightening experiences, and as a result, even sceptics know that the Ouija board is not something to be taken lightly. Of course, not everyone has a negative experience with a Ouija board, I know people who have been able to connect with deceased loved ones, and had a very profound experience doing so, but there still seems to be a lot more horror stories than happy ones.

Mediums and spiritual researchers assure that it is not the board itself that is dangerous – so having one sitting in your attic is harmless. Rather the type of communication in which you are inviting someone from the spirit world back into the psychical realm poses the real danger. The spirits that normally communicate through the board are those who are trapped in the lower astral plane. These spirits have not been able to fully detach from the psychical world because of a tragic, potentially violent death that has left them with unfinished business on Earth. Understandably, these spirits pose more of a threat because they are often angry and filled with negative energy. There are numerous stories of a Ouija board being used and unintentionally summoning demons, who then torment the players, sometimes for the rest of their lives, with tragedy following them wherever they go. Some stories even detail how participants of the board would finish the Ouija session only to discover unexplained scratches and bruises on their skin. I know my own grandmother was badly shaken following her use of a Ouija Board in a deaf school she used to work in. Apparently, one night when the children were sleeping, my grandmother and several of her colleagues decided to use a Ouija board only to  summon a violent spirit who threw the planchette across the room. Needless to say, Ouija Boards are now banned from my house.

Whilst it seems sensible to stay away from Ouija Boards all together, curiosity does get the better of us, so here are some important guidelines to follow if you do choose to use one. Firstly, once everyone involved is sitting around the board, state clearly that you are surrounding yourself with positive, protective white light, and that negative entities are not allowed to enter the circle. Once communicating with a spirit, do not ask for any psychical signs. A lot of people will ask for the spirit to blow out a candle, knock on the table, or touch one of the participants, unknowingly giving the spirit permission to enter the psychical world and cause havoc. It is much safer to interact only through the board. Keep the conversation respectful and lighthearted- whilst it may seem funny at the time, you do not want to provoke an already potentially angry spirit. This last step is perhaps one of the most essential . When you feel as though the session has came to an end, you must remember to close the board, thus closing the bridge between our world and the spirit world. You can do so by stating allowed that the session is over, and moving the planchette to goodbye, which should feature on every Ouija Board.

I believe that it is best for those using a Ouija board to err on the side of precaution, and personally I would never use one in my own home. Let me know what you think – are Ouija boards real, or nothing more than a game surrounded by urban legends? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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Robert the Doll

Robert the Doll

You may have heard of Robert the Doll, arguably one of the world’s most famous haunted dolls, currently residing in Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida. At first glance, you would see Robert for what he is. A doll created in the early late 1800’s/early 1900’s, wearing a little sailor’s suit, holding a dog, with a sinister looking smirk on his face. We would consider a doll as an inanimate object – however this doll is a little different. The doll is allegedly possessing a curse, that makes the doll come to life, even causing divorce, disease, and death.

So what is Robert the Doll’s story? The doll first belonged to Robert Eugene Otto – a gift from his grandfather during childhood following a trip to Germany. At first, the relationship between Otto and the doll appeared very innocent – it is not out of the ordinary for a young child to become attached to one toy in particular and take it everywhere with them. But Otto really was inseparable from Robert the doll, and Otto’s parents even recalled hearing Robert talking to the doll (once again completely ordinary for a child of his age), however were worried to hear a deep voice answering their son back. Almost nightly, Otto’s parents would hear their son shouting, furniture overturning, and toys being ripped apart. Whenever they entered his bedroom, Otto could be found huddled in the corner of his room or under his covers, shaken and frightened. If asked what had happened, Otto’s only response would be ‘Robert did it’.

Eventually, when the situation became too strange, and the parents finally dismissed the idea that this was simply their young son acting out and blaming the doll, Robert the doll was banished to the attic of the family home by an aunt – an aunt who passed away that very same night. Servants who worked in the home would then promptly leave their jobs, and during the night footsteps and the sound of furniture moving could be heard from the attic. The doll could even occasionally be heard giggling. After many years passed and Otto finally entered adulthood, Otto chose to keep Robert and kept him on the windowsill of his house – despite the obvious fear he had of Robert during childhood. People walking past the property or looking up at the window at which Robert sat often reported seeing the doll move, or vanish before their eyes. Otto’s wife, also, like the aunt in his childhood home, insisted the doll be moved into the attic. Strangely, Otto declined his wife’s request, instead keeping Robert in the Turret room of the house, where he often would sit with the doll, and talking to him until his death in 1974.

After Otto’s death, Robert was moved to a museum,  and kept inside a locked glass case. Unfortunately, that has not been enough to put Robert’s antics to rest. Museum staff say that Robert moves around within the case, and that when closing up the empty museum for the night, footsteps can be heard. Visitors are even given advice on how they should approach the case where Robert now resides – being told to address him politely, not to photograph him, and to treat him respectfully. Many visitors come away from the museum and experience bad luck and unsettling experiences. Guests send letters of apology to Robert, detailing the misfortunes that have cropped up in their lives since their encounter with Robert, and the museum displays and keeps a record of all of these, with Robert even being blamed for divorces, car accidents and deaths.

Would you be brave enough to pay Robert the doll a visit?

Theories: What is Déjà vu?

Theories: What is Déjà vu?

Déjà vu describes the feeling we get when we believe we have experienced the present moment or situation before. When this occurs, you can usually predict what is going to be said or done next. There is no definitive answer as to what Déjà vu really is, but countless fascinating and thought provoking theories have been suggested, and here are just a few.

A theory often used to explain Déjà vu, although having little scientific evidence to support it, is the idea of parallel universes. Parallel universe theory suggests that there are an infinite amount of universes, each one containing its very own version of yourself. In each universe, a different possibility is played out, for instance, in one universe you are at the airport waiting to board a flight, in another, you have just found out your flight has been delayed,  and in another you have been upgraded to first class. This is where the role of Déjà vu comes into this theory. Déjà vu has been attributed to a cross over of these parallel universes, so a version of yourself in one of these universes is actually having a similar experience to yourself in this universe, and the two align. This is why you feel as though you have experienced the situation before, because technically you have… just a replica of yourself in an alternate universe. This theory became greatly popularised in the late 20th century, particularly in books, films, and television. With growing scientific advancement and space exploration, who knows whether there could actually be any truth to this theory.

Another  mind-blowing, if not far-fetched theory is the idea of a ‘glitch in the Matrix’. The theory states that déjà vu isn’t in fact occurring in your brain, but instead of glitch within a programmed universe. This programme is being controlled by computers – almost as if we are actually living within a computer simulation. When a glitch occurs the code of the Matrix is changed and altered, and this causes us to feel as though we have experienced a moment before, because the time stamp of the event is altered. I think of this in terms of the game “The Sims”. In the sims you are ultimately controlling the lives of the characters you have created, but what if you forget to save the game? Then you may go back into the game and make them carry out their lives the same way they did before, a second time, and therefore your sim is technically experiencing déjà vu. The 1999 film ‘The Matrix’  also demonstrates this theory quite well.

The next theory is the hologram theory, which despite its name perhaps suggesting otherwise,  is actually very logical and scientific. The premise of this theory is that one element or stimulus of our environment, such as taste, smell, sound etc. will remind us of an experience we have had previously, and through this one element, our memory is triggered and we feel as though we have had the experience before. One example is that you may smell a perfume that you recognise from a past experience, and whilst this is only one element of a previous memory, your brain is tricked into thinking that everything in your present situation is also familiar and has been recreated. This is done outside of your conscious, and explains why you feel as though you have been in the exact same situation before.

These are definitely the most out there theories about déjà vu, but also the most interesting and thought provoking. Countless scientists and theorists have tried to come up with a scientific and rational explanation for the phenomena, but until there is definitive proof, I think it is good to think out of the box, and not allow ourselves to be limited. What do you think causes déjà vu, and what are your weirdest experiences of it?

 

 

Bigfoot – Myth or Reality?

Bigfoot – Myth or Reality?

Bigfoot (also known as Sasquatch in some areas of the world), is believed to be a large, ape-like creature thought to inhabit forest and mountainous areas, particularly in the Pacific North West. Most people dismiss Bigfoot as nothing more than folklore, with any evidence presented considered hoax material, yet numerous people report sightings of this mysterious creature.

Many people who believe in Bigfoot can agree – a lot of sightings of Bigfoot are hoaxes, and many of these can be quickly discredited. Some images and footage of Bigfoot however, are very difficult to prove as fakes. A perfect example of this is the Patterson-Gimlin film, a short film that appears to capture a Bigfoot back in 1967. There have since been countless attempts to debunk the video. The film was taken at Klamath River. The two men spotted the figure crouching, and both men described how they experienced mild shock when they first sighted the creature. They described the creature as being between 6 and a half or 7 foot, hairy, and ape-like. They then followed the creature to capture the famous footage, with a gun in hand in case they needed to protect themselves.  Both men involved in capturing the footage both strongly asserted that the footage and the creature they saw was real. Gimlin even avoided discussing the event until 2005, 30 years on from the event, but eventually began making appearances at Bigfoot conferences. Due to this, I think it is evident that these two men were not just creating a hoax video for some sort of profit or media attention. The film has been analysed by numerous academics and researchers, with body language experts being unable to recreate the movements of the creature using human subjects – arguing that no human in a Bigfoot suit would be able to move like the creature.

Other sightings are much more likely to be discredited, but I do think it is interesting that Bigfoot sightings are usually only ever reported in the Pacific Northwest, West Virginia, and Kentucky.  Most scientists dismiss the idea that Bigfoot exists, although the sighting described above is the only sighting that has stumped many experts so far, so perhaps their is some truth behind it. Despite the lack of real evidence, the legend of Bigfoot continues to grow, so what do you think? Is it simply a combination of  folklore, hoaxes and wishful thinking, or does Bigfoot really exist?

Do You Have a Poltergeist In Your Home?

Do You Have a Poltergeist In Your Home?

A poltergeist differs from your average ghost, as is better thought of as a ‘noisy’ spirit. It can however, be difficult to distinguish between ghost activity and poltergeist activity. So how do poltergeists make themselves known? Here are some key signs that you have a poltergeist on your hands.

  1. Objects move without any logical explanation. A door slams shut. Something is knocked over, or moves across a table without any reasonable explanation. There is no breeze, and the object moves in a strange way – more as though a person is behind its movement rather than a sudden gust of wind. I have had this experience myself – In my old home I found a bauble from my Christmas tree in the hallway, meaning that the bauble at the far end of my living room had rolled across the entire room in a right direction, before taking a sharp right out of the door, and rolling down my very long hall. I was spooked to say the least – it was impossible for the ball to have rolled and changed direction multiple times around corners to arrive in my hallway.
  2. Objects mysteriously disappear. No, your not going crazy, you put something down, turn your back, and then its gone, only to reappear where you originally left it later on.
  3. This is similar to objects moving without a rational explanation. You may notice things are not quite how you left them, although many times it is subtle, and makes you doubt yourself. Once again I have my own personal experience of this. In my old home we had all of our shoes on a shoe rack in our hall – about 15 pairs in total. We would always put the shoes toe first into the rack. After returning home after a late night out, the shoes were all facing the other way, as though placed in the rack heel first. None of us had accidentally put our shoes in the wrong way, or else only a couple of pairs would be turned- and we noticed it immediately as we walked in the house because it looked odd to how we usually had it.
  4. You hear strange noises. A lot of people put this down to the house ‘settling’, and yes it is normal for houses to creek and respond to temperature changes within the home. However, with a poltergeist the noises are much more unsettling, you could here unexplained footsteps, despite everyone being fast asleep in bed or in the home alone, scratching on the walls, and even more sinister, hear voices. If you start hearing disembodied voices, either through the radio, the television, or even just in the air, it could very well be a poltergeist trying to send you a clear message.
  5. Electrical disturbances. Poltergeists are known to love flickering lights on and off, turning off your appliances in the middle of your favourite television programme. Batteries seem to drain quickly, although just being charged up.
  6. Strange scents and odours with no apparent explanation. The smells are usually unpleasant, such as smoke and in a lot of cases sulphur, a scent associated strongly with the paranormal. If you experience these scents you may find that they are stronger in certain parts of your home, and this could indicate your homes’ residing poltergeist.
  7. Unexplained scratches and physical injuries. Do you suddenly spot an unexplained scratch, bruise or bite mark but have no idea of its origin? If this occurred as a one off, you could dismiss it as an accident, but if this happens to you frequently, it very well could be due to poltergeist activity. In serious cases some people even report being aware of the attack from an invisible source.

I don’t think every poltergeist has malicious intentions, rather they are trying to get our attention and let us know they are there. You may even find them helping you – I know someone who’s poltergeist used to fold their clothes for them! If it does seem to escalate and move towards violence, you may want to consider leaving the home if you can. Have you had a poltergeist experience? I’d love to hear about it!

Who Are The Men In Black?

Who Are The Men In Black?

You may have heard of the movie “Men in Black” starring Will Smith, but the alleged real Men in Black are much more sinister. So who are the Men in Black? The men in Black are described as tall men dressed in black suits, appearing expressionless, emotionless and cold. What do they do? They claim to be government officials, threatening those who have witnessed UFO’s or have evidence of alien life, alongside people who are very involved in  researching UFOs and spread alien propaganda (i’m a little bit worried about writing this post). Some people even believe that the men in black are aliens themselves because of their icy persona.

Those who claim to have came into contact with the Men in Black describe how they use bullying and harassment to keep people from speaking out. The first person to report seeing the Men in Black was a man named Harold Dahl in 1947. Dahl was sailing with his son and dog when he witnessed six round shaped objects flying in the sky. One of the objects exploded and rained debris onto Dahl’s boat, which killed his dog and injured his son. Dahl claims that he did take photographs after the event as proof, documenting the debris that had fell, but said that a Man in Black had blurred the images, and warned him not to speak out about what he had seen.

A second encounter occurred in 1967, when a man named Robert Richardson claimed to have collided his vehicle into a UFO. Following the collision, the UFO vanished into thin air, and Richardson retrieved a small piece of metal he believed had came from the UFO as evidence. A short while later, he was visited by two Men in Black suits posing as secret organisation members, who requested he hand in the piece of metal. Richardson told them that the metal had already been handed in to authorities to be tested, leading to the Men in Black threatening to harm his wife if he did not return the piece of metal to them. After this encounter Richardson did not see them again.

Another encounter in 1968 actually produced photographic evidence of one of the Men in Black, which I will insert below:

This image surfaced when Jack Robinson, a UFO investigator said that he and his wife were being harassed by a man in a black suit who stood outside their apartment block. They also believed that their home had been rummaged through, and attributed it to this suspicious man. When the man had stood their for three days, a friend (Timothy Green Beckley) of the Robinson’s offered to take a photo of the man, the photo above shows a close up of the strange Man in Black. The man was never seen again after that.

There have been multiple sightings following these, but the most recent one caught the eye of media, and happened in 2008 – you may have heard of it before. Hotel manager Shane Sovar and a security guard believed they had witnessed a UFO outside the hotel. A group known as the Aerial Phenomenon Investigations Team visited the hotel shortly after to investigate the incident, and within two weeks of their visit, two unidentified Men in Black arrived at the hotel. These men asked for Shane Sovar and the security guard, frightening hotel staff and visitors, who described them as tall men in black suits, with identical faces, pale skin, and no eyebrows or eyelashes. Both Sovar and the guard were not in the hotel at the time, but were able to review the security footage that actually captured the men entering the hotel. I was unable to put the video in the post, but here is a still image taken from that very video –  even though you cannot see their features clearly and how staff and visitors described, it is certainly chilling.

What do you think about the Men in Black? Do you think they are aliens or just government officials working to keep people quiet about UFO sightings? Personally, I do not think these men are aliens, but that doesn’t make them any less frightening. I do however think their appearance is purposely altered to make them appear more intimidating and to make people think they are otherworldly to scare people. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Are Ghost Tours Worth it?

Are Ghost Tours Worth it?

I have been on two ghost tours in recent years – one in London with my Father, and one in Durham with a close friend and her Mum. This type of ghost tour refers to the walk about tours, rather than the ghost tours that are located in one place, and usually involve an overnight stay in an old building. Walk about ghost tours are growing in popularity in the UK, especially in old, historic cities such as London, York, and Edinburgh.  They involve a guided tour around the city at night, stopping off at all the most notorious haunted locations, whilst the tour guide (rather animatedly) tells the story of each place.

Firstly, despite being unlikely to have any first hand experience with a ghost on a tour like this, there is still something quite atmospheric and eery about walking around a city late at night, stopping off at spooky locations. The tour guide really adds to the experience, often dressed up in Victorian clothes, and having a captivating way of story telling that draws you in. On the London tour I was on, the guide was very involved with the rest of the group, at one point coming right up to my face so that we were nose to nose (really creepy, but this is a ghost walk so you can expect the unexpected). The London tours can be quite pricey, but you really get the value for money, as we stopped off at around 20 locations, and ended the night in a haunted pub we were able to discuss the nights events with the other people on the tour, which was really lovely and a nice touch. I also appreciated that on both tours I went on, they didn’t just get straight into the ghost stories of each location, but gave its history so that you had the full context.

Ghost tours are good fun and definitely worth the money, as long as you have a realistic expectation that you are unlikely to have a paranormal experience when you are in such a large group of people, and at times surrounded by the public also. In the future I definitely want to do an overnight stay in a haunted location – although the ones I have looked at are £400 per person so it is quite a step up in price from the ghost tours I’ve been on. Of course, you don’t need to pay for a tour to explore many haunted locations, and some places you can visit for free – but I always do my own research about a place before I go if I am not going to have a guide giving me more information. Have you been on a ghost tour? What did you think?