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ALT.FOLKLORE.GHOST-STORIES FAQ


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Archive-name: folklore/ghost-stories
Last-modified: 1999/07/21
Posting-frequency: Monthly

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Welcome to alt.folklore.ghost-stories!
  Alt.folklore.ghost-stories is for the discussion of, well... ghost
stories!  If you've been visited by ghosties, ghoulies, long-legged
beasties, or things that go bump in the night, a.f.g-s is the perfect
place to tell the world about your experiences.  In fact, if you've
heard any ghost stories at all lately, feel welcome to post them here.
  Of course, like all newsgroups, a.f.g-s has its share of frequently
discussed topics.  Thus, the alt.folklore.ghost-stories FAQ.  I've
tried to make the FAQ as comprehensive as possible, without getting
too bogged down in useless rhetoric.  It will probably be most useful
to those new to the group, but hopefully there's something in it for
even long-time readers.
  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please don't
hesitate to send them to obiwan@ghosts.org (that's me!) or post them
to the group.  There's always room for improvement!  And speaking of
improvement, this FAQ would not have been the same without the advice,
suggestions, and contributions of the following people:

Arthur Anderson        aca3@netaxs.com
Brian Bethel           brianbet@camalott.com
Noah Broadwater        lseifer@usa.net
David Chorley          chorley@vms.ocom.okstate.edu
Mike Czaplinski        mike.czaplinski@washingtondc.ncr.com
David Fluker           df0328@aol.com
Joel & Lynn GAzis-SAx  gazissax@best.com
Jay Gitomer            jgitomer@metamosh.clubfed.sgi.com
Thomas Grotenhuis      thmsgrtn@dordt.edu
Jason Hoffman          Jason.Hoffman@nopc.jaxx.com
Matt Hucke             hucke@sumter.cso.uiuc.edu
Paul Johnson           paj@gec-mrc.co.uk
Leesa Kern             lkern@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu
Lisa Korneluk          korneluk@eagle.navsses.navy.mil
Mark Korven            Mark_Korven@goodmedia.com
Roberto Labanti        labanti@iol.it
Laura Little-Reynolds  u0ab9@wvnvm.wvnet.edu
Susan Lynds            sel@noaacdc.colorado.edu
Joseph W. Metcalf      regis@alpha2.csd.uwm.edu
Prabal Nandy           nandy@u.arizona.edu
Eugene Orlando         Ouija@ix.netcom.com
Alan Peschke           alandp@flash.net
Proserpina             proserp@duckmail.uoregon.edu
Arturo Sanchez         Arturo.Sanchez@ericsson.com
Nikki Taylor           taylorn@kenyon.edu
Dave Wilton            dwilton@ix.netcom.com

  A very special thank you goes out to Susan Lynds.  She contributed to
the section on the Wendigo and sent me oodles of info on will o' the
wisps.  She was also invaluable as a proofreader and constructive
criticizer.  In fact, a few of the sentences you'll read come directly
from her.  Many of the books you see in the Interesting Reference
Material section were also sent to me by Susan.  To sum it up, we
should all bow down in deference to Susan for making this FAQ a better
document to read.

  A note on quotes: I have enclosed quotes from authors or people on
the net in quotation marks (").  [These parts might be edited a bit
for clarity or grammar.]  

  This FAQ is posted on the 20th of every month to alt.folklore.ghost-
stories, alt.paranormal, alt.paranet.paranormal, alt.answers, and
news.answers.  This FAQ is also available via anon FTP at the
following addresses:

ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/alt.folklore.ghost-stories/
ftp://ftp.ghosts.org/FAQ/

  An enhanced version of the FAQ is also available via the World Wide Web:

http://www.ghosts.org/faq/faq.html

NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT: This FAQ may not be reproduced for profit, or in
a published work that is sold for profit, without permission from the
author (obiwan@ghosts.org).  It may be distributed in NON-profit
endeavors as long as the header information, author credit, and
copyright are kept intact.

Here's the outline of the FAQ.  To try to make the FAQ easier to
search, I've used the following key: 
A = Answer 
Q = Question 
S = Subject

I. Some Posting Guidelines
 Q1.1 Are all the stories posted to alt.folklore.ghost-stories true?
      Should they be true?
 Q1.2 Do I have to be some kind of paranormal nut in order to post here?
 Q1.3 Which topics are appropriate to post about?
 Q1.4 I have this great ghost story!  Should I post it?
 Q1.5 I'm writing a book/article, and I'm reaping the net for stories and
      ideas.  You don't mind if I steal yours, do you?
 Q1.6 How do I spell _____?

II. The Ouija Board
 Q2.0 What is a ouija board?
 Q2.1 A lot of people on this group say the ouija board is evil, and
      to stay away from it.  Is this true, and should I stay away?
 Q2.2 Where can I buy a ouija board?  Failing that, how can I make one?
 Q2.3 Are there any 'rules' I should follow when using the Ouija board?
 Q2.4 What does "ouija" mean?
 Q2.5 A Brief History of the Ouija Board

III. Famous Hauntings and Spooky Spots
 S3.1 The Amityville Horror
 S3.2 The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall 
 S3.3 The Bell Witch
 S3.4 Borley Rectory
 S3.5 Haunted Universities
 S3.6 Haunted Theatres
 S3.7 The Tower of London
 S3.8 Winchester Mansion
 S3.9 The Chase Vault

IV. Urban Legends
 S4.1 La Llorona
 S4.2 Three Men and a Baby
 S4.3 Mary Worth/Bloody Mary
 S4.4 The Vanishing Hitchhiker
 S4.5 Haunted Traintracks
 S4.6 The Blair Witch Project

V. Miscellaneous FAQs
 Q5.1 What is the Wendigo?
 Q5.2 What are will o' the wisps?
 Q5.3 How did that girl in -Poltergeist- die?
 Q5.4 What are some different categories of manifestations?
 Q5.5 Who are Ed and Lorraine Warren?
 Q5.6 What is "Old Hag"?
 Q5.7 Are cars really rolling uphill in that graveyard near my town?
 Q5.8 What is the best way to photograph a ghost?
 Q5.9 Can't you sue if your new house is haunted, and no one told you about
      it?
 Q5.10 What are some theories of what ghosts are/why they exist?
 Q5.11 What is a caul?
 Q5.12 What is an incubus?

VI. Non-alt.folklore.ghost-stories Resources
 S6.1 Other USENET groups that a.f.g-s reader may enjoy
 S6.2 Some interesting reference material
 S6.3 Good Supernatural Fiction
 S6.4 Other Net Resources
 S6.5 Paranormal Organizations (brought to you by Brian Bethel!)

And now, away we go... it's the official

ALT.FOLKLORE.GHOST-STORIES FAQ
------------------------------

I. SOME POSTING GUIDELINES
 Q1.1 
 Are all the stories posted to alt.folklore.ghost-stories true?
 Should they be true?
 A1.1 
   It is highly doubtful that everything posted to a.f.g-s is true,
 or even meant to be true.  However, unless you mark your story as
 fiction, readers tend to assume you are telling a tale you believe to
 be true.  Hence, it is considered polite in these parts to MARK
 FICTION AS FICTION.  People may otherwise assume that you're trying to
 pull the wool over their eyes, or else take the story at face value
 and start giving you advice.  It's also common to start out "true"
 tales with "This really happened to me," or "This is a true story,"
 although technically it's not really necessary, as any unmarked story
 is considered to be true.
   CASE IN POINT: In the fall of 1994, someone posted a rather fantastic
 concoction about a spirit which he said had been attacking him for a
 good part of his life.  He pleaded with the readers of a.f.g-s for
 help with his dilemma.  Many kind readers responded with sympathy and
 advice, while one or two others posted their doubts about the story.
 The original poster acted hurt that someone didn't believe his story,
 insisting that it was true.  A flame war ensued.  Eventually the pos-
 ter admitted the story was made up, and the people who had believed
 and defended him felt hurt, betrayed, and/or embarrassed.  This all
 could have been avoided if the poster had marked his story as fiction
 in the first place.

 Q1.2 
 Do I have to be some kind of paranormal nut in order to post here?
 A1.2  
   No.  Although there are lots of people here who believe in
 paranormal activities, certainly not everyone does.  Many people like
 reading the stories, but generally take them with a grain of
 salt. Everyone is welcome here, but remember: Flaming someone because
 they believe or don't believe in something is *not* welcome.

 Q1.3 
 Which topics are appropriate to post about?
 A1.3  
   Obviously, ghost stories (preferably true ones) make up the most
 appropriate posting material.  However, I've also seen great threads
 about guardian angels, mysterious monsters, psychic phenomena, and of
 course ouija boards.  I don't see any reason why we can't discuss
 these things here in a.f.g-s, as long as it doesn't degenerate into a
 flame war or something.  This is a friendly and relatively flame-free
 newsgroup, and I'm sure everyone would like to keep it that way.
 General discussion of ghosts (e.g. "What are ghosts?") is also
 welcome.  Basically, if it's paranormal and scary, you're on pretty
 sturdy ground (I would, however, discourage UFO posts, as there are
 already plenty of groups for those).

 Q1.4 
 I have this great ghost story!  Should I post it?
 A1.4  
   YES!  If you have a good story to tell, please don't hesitate to
 post it.  There's nothing more frustrating to a.f.g-s readers than a
 post containing nothing but the words "Something scary happened to me.
 If there is enough interest, I'll post the story."  We *want* to hear
 your story... honest!

 Q1.5 
 I'm writing a book/article, and I'm reaping the net for stories and
 ideas.  You don't mind if I steal yours, do you?
 A1.5
   Most people would like to maintain copyright over their stories
 (true or fiction), so you should definitely obtain permission *from
 the original author* before publishing a story for profit.  It's OK to
 use someone's stories if you have written permission from the person
 and/or are paying them in some way.  It might also be a nice idea to
 *give* a story for each one you take.  Just a few things to think
 about.

 Q1.6 
 How do I spell _____?
 A1.6 
   Here are some commonly misspelled words that pop up frequently on
 alt.folklore.ghost-stories.  You, too, can be a good speller!
  Correct: WEIRD          Incorrect: WIERD
  Correct: SEANCE         Incorrect: SAYONCE
  Correct: OUIJA          Incorrect: WEEJA
  Correct: SUCCUBUS       Incorrect: SUCUBUS
  Correct: CEMETERY       Incorrect: CEMETARY
        
II. THE OUIJA BOARD
 The ouija board is a hot topic around here, and everyone seems to
have a strong opinion about it one way or the other.  I've tried to
summarize those opinions, and also some questions about the board that
get asked a lot.
 Q2.0 
 What is a ouija board?
 A2.0
   A ouija board is a game in which messages are supposedly
 communicated by the dead to or through the players of the game.
 [Note: some people consider the ouija to be "more than just a game,"
 but it is marketed as a game, and for purposes of convenience it will
 be referred to here as a game.]  The playing pieces consist of a game
 board (like a Monopoly board) and a pointer, called a planchette.  The
 game board has all the letters of the alphabet written on it.  The
 numbers 0-9 are also usually included, along with yes/no and
 hello/goodbye spaces.  The layout of a typical board looks something
 like this:
                         _________________________
                        |                         |
                        |A B C D E F G H I J K L M|
                        |N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
                        |    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  |
                        |YES/NO             HI/BYE|
                        |_________________________|
 
 The pointer is made of plastic or glass, and either points to the
 letters with one end or has a clear window embedded in it through
 which one can view the letters.
   To play, two or more people lightly touch the pointer and
 concentrate on a question.  The pointer will (hopefully) move and
 point to letters and numbers which will provide answers to your
 questions.
   Ouija boards are also known as "witch boards" and "talking boards."
 The nickname "ouiji" or "weejie" is also used quite a bit.

 Q2.1 
 A lot of people on this group say the ouija board is evil, and to
 stay away from it.  Is this true, and should I stay away?
 A2.1
   Since it's nearly impossible to merge the two views on this topic,
 I've tried to accurately sum them up here:
 * The ouija board is not any more evil than your Monopoly board.
 It's just a toy, a piece of cardboard, and any "evil" force you
 feel emanating off it is purely a result of your imagination.
 Yes, the pointer does work, but that's the result of tiny
 involuntary physical movements, and the messages you see are coming
 from your subconscious or psychic mind.
 * The ouija is in fact a powerful tool, and its powers cannot, and
 should not, be written off entirely as your subconscious.
 Inexperienced ouija users are especially prone to being affected by
 malevolent forces which communicate through the board, often
 masquerading as a departed loved one.  The best way to avoid this
 sort of thing is not to use the board at all.

 Q2.2 
 Where can I buy a ouija board?  Failing that, how can I make one?
 A2.2  
   You can, in the U.S. anyway, find a ouija board in a toy store or a
 game store.  You might also be able to find one in a large bookstore.
 Parker Brothers make a nice, relatively cheap, model.
   To make a board, arrange all the letters of the alphabet on a
 smooth surface.  You might also want the words "yes", "no", and
 "goodbye", as well as the numbers.  Use something that glides easily
 over the surface (like a glass) to use as a pointer.  Now, place your
 fingers (this works best with a friend, by the way) gently on the
 glass and concentrate.  Hopefully the glass will start to move and
 point to various letters, which will form words and sentences.  Oh
 yeah, it helps if you ask a question first.

 Q2.3
 Are there any 'rules' I should follow when using the Ouija board?
 A2.3
   If you consider the Ouija board as just another toy, then there are
 no hard and fast rules to follow.  Holding on to the pointer helps,
 though. :)
   If you believe that you are really contacting spirits through the
 board, you might want to follow a few basic guidelines.  Here are some
 that I've gleaned off the net and from other sources:
   * Use a silver coin as the planchette (pointer), or wear an article
   made of silver.  The silver is supposed to protect you from harmful
   spirits.
   * To improve "reception", use a solid wood board, and work in male-
   female pairs.
   * Draw a circle around you and the board, or make a circle of candles.  
   Concentrate on creating a safe, protected place as you do this.  
   Some people believe that spirits must stay outside this circle.
   Also, a well-lit area is said to drive away evil spirits.
   * Always say goodbye to the entity you are talking with when you want
   to end a session.  If you don't say goodbye, and the spirit doesn't 
   reply in kind, he may be trying to stick around, maybe to make your 
   life miserable.  Additionally, do not explicitly invite the spirit
   to enter someplace, since this will make it hard to get rid of him
   later.
   * It helps to have one additional person (not touching the
   planchette) present to transcribe the session.  Sometimes the
   pointer starts moving too fast for you to read and process the
   words it's spelling out.  The transcription might also be helpful
   later on so you can look back on what happened.  Another way to
   transcribe is to have someone call out the letters to a tape
   recorder.
   * Don't take anything the spirit says literally.  Ouija boards are
   famous for lying or otherwise giving false information.

 Q2.4 
 What does "ouija" mean?
 A2.4
   The word "ouija" is actually a combination of two words, the french
 word "oui" and the German word "ja."  Both words mean "yes" in english.

 Q2.5
 A Brief History of the Ouija Board
 A2.5
 From thmsgrtn@dordt.edu (Thomas Grotenhuis):
   The ancient Egyptians used a device LIKE a ouija board.  They used a
 ring attached to a strand of thread, held over a circular table with
 symbols on it, and the ring would strike the table to spell out answers.
   The Ouija board, the kind we see in toy stores today, came about in
 1889 when William Fuld of Baltimore, Maryland, and his brother Isaac,
 marketed Ouija boards to the American public.  They had a small
 operation and the board was the hottest item they would ever produce.
 People bought the board not as a game, but as a device with which they
 would talk to their loved ones killed in battle (note the two World
 Wars happening; this was where the board's popularity really soared).
 During this time, the fad spread, and so did Ouija's notorious
 reputation as being more than just a "game."
   Finally in about 1960 or thereabouts, Parker Brothers approached
 the two Fuld brothers since they were having trouble making enough
 boards to satisfy the demand for them.  PB then took over the rights
 to the ouija board and the rest, as they say, is history.
   Ouija came about as kind of a by-product of the whole spiritualist
 craze that was all the rage in the early 1900's, and during Houdini's
 time as he debunked many 'mediums'.  Table-tipping was being done back
 then, and a Frenchman, who's last name was "planchette", produced a
 device that looked like a small table like a ouija pointer, that stood
 on two small stilts and a pen or pencil at the third point.  The
 operator would sit with his hands as lightly as he could resting on
 the planchette, this device named after it's inventor, and the thing
 would move, producing writing.
   Ouija replaced the messy planchette (the writing was messy cursive
 scrawls) when a board was used in place of the sheet of paper, and all
 three stilts on the planchette were covered with felt enabling it to
 slide in any direction.  This made the communications fast, clear, and
 easy.  And specifically meant to be done with a partner, "gentleman
 and lady preferred."
   Eugene Orlando <Ouija@ix.netcom.com> adds:
 "William Fuld died in 1927, Isaac in 1939. Since Parker Brothers didn't
 take over the William Fuld company until 1966, it would have been
 quite a trick to take it over from the brothers. But then it is
 alt.folklore.ghost-stories isn't it? Actually, Parker Brothers saw a
 bargain when they saw one and bought the business from William's kids.
 They had moved the factory into a smaller building and sold out not
 because there was so much demand for the ouija, but just the opposite.
 Ouija sales had never been worse. It took a Parkers advertising blitz
 to put the popularity back in the Ouija board."

III. FAMOUS HAUNTINGS AND SPOOKY SPOTS
  Following is a brief rundown of the most popular hauntings discussed
on alt.folklore.ghost-stories.  Note that these are all relatively
famous hauntings, and not urban legendish or my-aunt-Edna's-house type
tales.
 S3.1 The Amityville Horror
   The Amityville Horror, although now considered a hoax, is one of
 the most famous "hauntings" of all time.  The house in
 Amityville, New York was made famous in the mid-70s when George and
 Kathy Lutz told the media of bizarre happenings which were alleged to
 have taken place at the house during the month they lived there.
 These happenings included such things as flying demented pigs with
 glowing red eyes (my personal favorite), walls that oozed blood, an
 infestation of flies in the attic, and a pit to hell in the basement.
   Supposedly, whatever had tormented the Lutzes was also the thing
 that had driven Ronald DeFeo to shoot and kill his entire family in
 that house in 1974.

 S3.2 The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
   The Brown Lady is famous mostly as being one of the most reliably
 photographed ghost in history.  [The picture can be found at my web
 page or FTP area.]  Although she has not been seen since 1936, she is
 said to wear a long brown dress or cape.  No one knows who the Brown
 Lady is, or how she is connected to Raynham Hall.
   The first sighting was reported in 1835 by a house guest, Colonel
 Loftus.  He actually viewed her twice.  He said she was wearing a
 brown satin dress and had only black empty sockets for eyes.
   Another sighting was made by Captain Frederick Marryat.  He inten-
 tionally slept in the "haunted room," but instead caught a glimpse of
 the Brown Lady an upstairs hallway.  His description was the same as
 Loftus', except this time the Brown Lady was carrying a lantern.  Mar-
 ryat happened to have a gun with him, and fired point-blank at the
 figure.  The bullets, of course, passed right through the ghost.
   The ghost was not reported again until 1926, at which time it was
 viewed by two little boys.  In 1936, the famous photograph was taken
 by photographers Captain Provand and Indre Shira during a shoot for
 the magazine -Country Life-.  Shira saw the ghost on the stairs, and
 instructed Provand to take a picture.  [Note: In -The Encyclopedia of
 Ghosts-, Daniel Cohen notes that this photograph could have been
 easily faked.  It is a fascinating picture nonetheless.]

 S3.3 The Bell Witch
   "The Bell Witch" haunted the Bell home in Tennessee in the early
 1800s.  The "witch" was actually a poltergeist, which did lots of
 annoying things like throw things around and scream/knock loudly at
 all hours.  John Bell, the father, died during the Bell Witch's
 tenure.  Some claim he was poisoned by the Witch.  Betsy Bell, John's
 daughter, is suspected of having faked the whole thing.  Reliable
 records are lacking, so we'll probably never know whether the Bell
 Farm was truly haunted.
   Interestingly, the Bell Witch story has been merged with the Bloody
 Mary legend in parts of Kentucky and Tennessee.
   A more complete account of this haunting is available on the ghost
 stories web page (see section 6.4).

 S3.4 Borley Rectory
   Borley Rectory is often called "The most haunted house in England."
 The site of the rectory originally held a monastery, which was
 inhabited by Benedictine monks.  Subsequent to this, the monastery
 came under the ownership of the Waldergrave family, who occupied it
 for three centuries.  In the late 1800's a descendant of the Walde-
 graves, the reverend H.D.E. Bull, built a new rectory on the site of
 the old monastery.  It was not until after the new rectory was built
 that strange things started to happen.
   One of the spectres that was said to roam the grounds was a nun who
 in the 13th century fell in love with and tried to elope with a monk.
 According to legend, the nun and monk were caught in their get-away
 horse and carriage.  As punishment, the monk was hung and the nun was
 walled up alive in the rectory.  Some people reported seeing the
 ghostly form of the horse and carriage in addition to the nun.
   The reverend Harry Bull, who died at Borley, also was reputed to have
 haunted the rectory.  He would appear dressed in the grey jacket in
 which he passed away.
   In the late 1920s, the house was owned by a reverend (Lionel A.
 Foyster) and his wife who reported poltergeist-like phenomena.
 Supposedly the prankish spirit locked the wife in the bedroom, and
 other times threw her out of the bed.  There were also pebbles thrown
 at the windows, and mysterious writing which would appear on walls.
   Harry Price, a famous ghost hunter, investigated Borley Rectory in
 1929, and again in 1937.  He supposedly witnessed some of the
 activity, including the ghostly nun.  Although Price spent a great
 deal of time in the Rectory, his research is generally considered to
 be biased and therefore flawed.
   Unfortunately, Borley Rectory burned down in 1939, taking its secrets
 with it.  In 1945, human remains rumored to be those of the nun were
 found on the site, and were given a proper burial.  But the legend of
 Borley has not died yet; people still visit the site today to see if
 they can spot the ghostly nun.

3.5 Haunted Universities
   There are many stories of college hauntings.  If you wish to read of
 them, you can ftp to my alt.folklore.ghost-stories archives (see
 address at the bottom of this FAQ).  Relevant files include:
    cmu.children       	mary.reed         kale*.contact
    cmu.haunting        phantom.typist    kenyon.haunting
    ghost.elevator	und.haunting      marquette.haunting
    haunted.dorm 	upei.haunting     asu*.ghost
   I haven't run across any university hauntings that are well known
 outside of one particular school but if anyone knows of any, let
 me know and I will include it in this section.
 
 S3.6 Haunted Theatres
   Mike Czaplinski (mcc@nsscmail.att.com) writes the following about
   the ghost of Drury Lane Theatre:
  "Drury Lane Theatre.  From my fuzzy recollection, the ghost is
 described at various times as a soft green glow, or a handsome young
 man.  I seem to recall there being an entry on this particular
 haunting in THE BOOK OF LISTS (circa 1980).  According to the entry
 (again, subject to my faulty memory), during renovation in the late
 1970's, they stumbled on a skeleton with the remnants of a grey riding
 coat with a knife sticking out of its ribs.
   The folklore is that whoever sees the ghost is destined for
 theatrical greatness." <end quote from Mike Czaplinski>
   Further details (provided directly from -The Book of Lists-, Bantam,
 1977): The ghost is that of a young man who was murdered in 1780.
 J. Wentworth Day, a ghost hunter, reported seeing a moving blue light
 in the theatre in 1939.
   If anyone knows of any other famous haunted theatres, I would be 
 happy to hear about them.  There are a few files in my archives that
 are about haunted theatres:  lyric.theatre, playhouse.ghost, and 
 theatre.ghost.

 S3.7 The Tower of London
   The Tower of London has a long and bloody history, and of course many
 ghostly legends are associated with the Tower.  In 1483, two young
 princes were murdered in the Tower, and their ghosts were reported to
 have haunted the tower until the year 1674, when their bones were
 found and buried in a proper ceremony.
   The most famous and most often reported ghost in the Tower is
 Anne Boleyn.  She was beheaded by her husband, Henry VIII, in 1536.
 Other Tower ghosts include Sir Walter Raleigh, Guy Fawkes, and even
 the apparition of a bear.  In 1816, a palace guard who was on duty
 spied the bear.  Not realizing he was facing an apparition, the guard
 attempted to lunge at the creature with his bayonet.  The guard repor-
 tedly later died of shock.
   In 1864, a soldier saw a ghost and again attempted to use his 
 bayonet.  The soldier fainted when he realized his antagonist was a 
 ghost, and was later court-martialed for neglecting his duties (hard 
 to guard the castle when you're fainted dead away).  However, the 
 charges against the soldier were dropped when two witnesses came 
 forward to support the soldier's ghost story.

 S3.8 Winchester Mansion
   The Winchester Mansion, in San Jose, California, was built by Sara
 Winchester, the widow of William Winchester.  Sara visited a psychic
 who told her that she must build a house large enough to house the
 souls of all those who'd been killed by Winchester guns, and Sara
 spent the remaining 36 years of her life (until she died in 1922)
 doing just that.
   The mansion's construction is just as odd as Sara's personality.
 There are stairways and doors that go nowhere, secret rooms and
 passages, and elevators that only go up one floor.  Some believe
 that Sara had the house built in a confusing way so that the sprits
 wouldn't be able to find her and seek revenge.  The number 13
 is prevalent throughout: 13 bathrooms, stairways with 13 steps,
 and so on.
   There is a rumor that Sara would never give her workmen the day
 off, because she was afraid that the day she stopped building she
 would die.  One day, however, after many complaints, she finally
 gave her staff a day off, and that is the day she died.

 S3.9 The Chase Vault (AKA The Moving coffins of Barbados)
   Contributed by Matthew Hucke (hucke@mcs.com):
   In Christ Church cemetery on the island of Barbados there is a
 burial vault of unknown origin.  The earliest records call it the
 "Chase vault".  It was first used for the burial of a Mrs. Goddard in
 1807, followed by two-year-old Mary Ann Chase in 1808 and her sister
 Dorcas in 1812, a probable suicide.  A few weeks later, Dorcas' father
 Thomas Chase died.  When the vault was opened, all the coffins had
 been moved from their original places.  It was thought that thieves
 had been in the vault, but the concrete seal of the tomb was still in
 place.
   Two more burials were made in 1816.  In both cases, when the vault
 was opened, the coffins already present had been moved about.  The 
 casket of Thomas Chase was of lead, weighing 240 pounds, far too large
 to be moved by a single vandal.   In each of these burials, the wor-
 kers returned the coffins to their proper places and sealed the mauso-
 leum with cement.
   It happened again in 1819.  This time, the Governor sprinkled sand
 on the floor (to show footprints), and pressed his personal seal into
 the fresh cement.  In 1820 the tomb was opened again, and the coffins
 were again out of place, even though no footprints showed and the
 concrete seal was undisturbed.  The governor ordered the coffins
 removed and the vault left open; the mystery has never been solved.
   [ information taken from Daniel Cohen's _The Encyclopedia of Ghosts_,
   Avon Books 1984.]

IV. URBAN FOLKLORE AND LEGENDS

Urban legends are stories which are passed by word of mouth (and more
recently email and fax).  The stories are untrue, although some have
a kernel of truth to them or seem like they *could* be true.  Each
legend generally has myriad variations, and is told as having happened
to a distant-but-not-too-distant acquaintance.  For more on horror
legends and ULs in general, visit Snopes' site at http://www.snopes.com/.

 S4.1 La Llorona
   La Llorona is the legend of a woman who has lost her children, and
 who can be heard, and sometimes seen, weeping in the night.  La
 Llorona (the name means "She who weeps" in Spanish) is in most stories
 said to be Mexican, although sometimes she is a woman who lived in the
 American Southwest.  As with most urban legends, there are many
 variations of La Llorona, but the central plot remains intact: The
 woman has lost her children, usually because she herself has killed
 them because she wants to marry a man who doesn't want any children.
 She is so anguished over the depressing circumstances that she kills
 herself as well, and is thus doomed forever to roam her native land,
 weeping and wringing her hands.  Sometimes she is said to be searching
 for her children, and sometimes she is said to appear only as a
 warning to those who see her.
   Here is a typical version of the La Llorona legend by Proserpina
 (proserp@duckmail.uoregon.edu):
   "Sightings abound throughout the Southwest. Supposedly she drowned
 her children in the acequia (irrigation ditch,) and now she roams the
 ditches looking for her, or any, children. Usually the story is told
 with the intentions of keeping kiddies away from the ditches, so they
 won't drown."
   -The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits- by Rosemary Guiley tells a
 more traditional Mexican version, which occurs in Mexico City around
 1550.  According to legend, an indian princess fell in love with a
 Mexican nobleman.  The nobleman promised to marry her, but betrayed
 her and married someone else instead.  The ultimate result of this
 bit o' treachery is that the princess murdered her children in a fit
 of rage, with a knife given to her by the nobleman.  Afterwards, she
 wandered the streets crying for her children, and was eventually
 hanged for her sins.  Since then her ghost has been searching for her
 children.
   Another interesting feature of the La Llorona legend is that it
 appears to have merged with the Vanishing Hitchhiker legend (see
 below).  La Llorona is reported by some to hitch a ride on a road
 near to the place where she drowned her children.

 S4.2 Three Men and a Baby
   If I had to pick just one topic from this FAQ to post, this would
 be the one.  There is a scene in the movie -Three Men and a Baby- in
 which some people claim to have seen the ghostly figure of a small boy
 who was killed in the house in which the scene was filmed.  In some
 variations, the boy's parents are said to have sued the movie studio,
 or the owners of the "house", for letting their boy's name be released
 to the press.  There are also tales of other ghostly objects being
 seen throughout the movie, most notably a rifle pointing at the head
 of the "ghost boy".
   That is the legend.  Here are the facts.  The scene in question
 was not shot in a house, but on a soundstage in a Hollywood studio.
 The "ghost boy" is in fact a life-sized cardboard cutout of Ted
 Danson (who stars in the film), which had been left in the background,
 presumably accidentally, by a crew member.  This cutout is seen in
 full view in another scene in the movie.
   There is no ghost boy.  No boy ever died on the set, and no one
 involved with the movie was ever sued by the mythical parents of
 said ghost boy.  No one appears to know how the legend started.
 Some have suggested it was a promotional scheme perpetrated by the
 producers of the film to get people to buy/rent/go see it.  Most
 likely the flub was simply noticed by one or more innocent movie
 goers, who told a friend, or perhaps a newspaper...

 S4.3 Mary Worth/Bloody Mary
   Here is a popular legend which many remember from their childhood.
 The Mary Worth (also known as Bloody Mary, Mary Margaret, etc) story
 is popular at sleepovers.  As the story goes, a beautiful young girl
 named Mary Worth was in some sort of terrible accident (or
 occasionally the wounds are inflicted purposely by a jealous party),
 and her face was hideously deformed.  From then on, she is shunned by
 other people, and she sometimes becomes a witch.
   Now for the scary part.  Supposedly if you say Mary Worth's name
 three (or five, or ten... it varies) times while looking into the
 mirror, Mary Worth will appear and scratch your face off or kill
 you.  She is exacting a hideous revenge on the undeformed people
 who made fun of her in life.
   There is a great Clive Barker movie, -Candyman-, based on this
 sort of legend.  The Bloody Mary legend has merged with the local
 mythology in some areas.  For instance, in Kentucky and Tennessee,
 she takes the form of the Bell Witch (see FAQ 3.3).

 S4.4 The Vanishing Hitchhiker
   This legend is probably familiar to most readers.  It is a dark and
 stormy night.  A person driving sees a forlorn figure at the side of
 the road and decides to give him or her a lift.  Usually the
 hitchhiker is a young woman in some sort of trouble... her prom date
 dumped her, or her car broke down.  The driver gets to her house only
 to discover that his passenger has disappeared without a trace from
 the back seat of his car.  He knocks on the door to the house, maybe
 to make sure the girl is ok, and the door is answered by the girl's
 parent.  Eventually it comes out that the girl died some years ago,
 and every year on the anniversary of her death (or her birthday), the
 girl hitches a ride back home with a stranger.
   There are *many* variations of this legend.  Sometimes the girl
 appears to make it home safely, but the driver finds something the
 girl left behind in his car, and goes back to return it, thus lear-
 ning the truth about the girl.  Sometimes the driver lends the girl
 his jacket or sweater, and goes back the next day to retrieve it.
 Often, he finds his jacket hung over the grave of the dead girl.
   It is interesting to note that this legend has made it into many
 regional folklores.  In Hawaii, for example, the hitchhiker is often
 said to be the goddess Pele.  It has already been mentioned that
 La Llorona has also been connected with the story.  In the Chicago
 area, the vanishing hitchhiker takes the form of Resurrection Mary.

 S4.5 Haunted Traintracks
   Occasionally a reader will post the following story, usually
 attributing it to a local site.  Once, there was a tragic accident on
 a set of traintracks:
   A busload of children was crossing the tracks, and could not get
 out of the way in time to avoid the approaching train.  Now, if
 your car stalls out on the tracks, it will be pushed over the tracks
 to safety before the train hits you.  The ghosts of the children
 have saved you, and sometimes you can see their small handprints
 in the dust on your car.
   The most well-known example of this urban legend are the haunted
 traintracks in San Antonio, Texas.
   For an explanation of how things can appear to move "uphill", see
 FAQ 5.7.

 S4.6 The Blair Witch Project
   "The Blair Witch Project" is a movie (released summer 1999) based
 on a Bell Witch style mythos invented by the film's director/writers
 Dan Myrick and Ed Sanchez.  To make their movie, which was shot in
 pseudo-documentary style, seem more real and thus more scary, Myrick
 and Sanchez created a legendary figure called the "Blair Witch."
 They even crafted an elaborate history to surround the Witch.  They
 then gave this invented legend to some hired actors, set them loose
 in the woods with a minimal supply of food, and filmed the actors
 (who ad-libbed all their lines) as they reacted to scary surprises
 set up by the two directors.  The result is a quite frightening, and
 quite FICTIONAL film.
   As word of the movie and its mythos spread, however, many people
 began to believe that the Blair Witch was a real legend and that
 the film footage was an actual documentary shot by students doing a
 real project.  This is NOT the case.  The actors starring in "The
 Blair Witch Project" are alive and well.  There is not and never has 
 been a Blair Witch legend in or around Burkittsville, Maryland.
 A town called Blair has never existed in that spot.
   This is an interesting urban legend because it has unfolded before
 our very eyes.  It is both frustrating and amusing to watch it happen.
 There is no doubt that the popularity of the Bell Witch legend (see
 FAQ 3.3) has contributed to the spread of the Blair Witch story.  It
 is probable that the two mythologies will become intertwined in the
 future; indeed, some believers have already concluded that the Blair
 and Bell witches are "related."  For more information about the Blair
 Witch Project, see the list of links at http://www.ghosts.org/faq/4-6.html.

V. MISCELLANEOUS FAQs
 Q5.1
 What is the Wendigo?
 A5.1  
   "The wendigo is a Canadian entity, half phantom, half beast, who
 lives in the forests and preys on human beings, particularly chil-
 dren.  The belief in this horror dates back to the earliest Indian
 legends and it is said that the wendigo will eat the flesh of its
 victims.  According to R.S. Lambert in "Exploring the Supernatural"
 (1955), 'Wendigos (who might be women as well as men) were believed
 to have entered into a pact with evil spirits, lurking in the for-
 est, who helped them kill their victims.'  The legend of this crea-
 ture has been immortalized in Algernon Blackwood's short story "The
 Wendigo" (1907).  In W.T. Cox's "Fearsome Creatures of the Lumber
 Woods" (1951) a number of other Canadian "wood horrors" are listed,
 including the hodag, the whimpus, the hoop-snake, the celofay, and
 the filamaloo."
    --A Dictionary of Ghost Lore, by Peter Haining
   Noah Broadwater (lseifer@usa.net) adds:
   "The posting on 'Wendigos' or 'Wendegos' (there are two spellings) is 
 quite interesting and accurate from a folk point of view.  Anthropologic-
 ally, however, a different definition exists.  'Wendigos' are people who 
 have a psychological problem.  This occurs to people who starve out in the
 sub-arctic region.  This hunger often causes a psychological imbalance. 
 The person becomes cannibalistic and tries to eat other humans or
 anything that will provide food, including rotting animals.  This often 
 begins at night during sleep where the afflicted will turn in their
 sleep and attempt to eat whomever is next to them.  The Inupiak (sp?)
 Native Americans are the most affected by this due to their migratory
 lifestyle and harsh environment.  Currently Canadian hospitals are
 treating people affected by this phenomena."
 Q5.2
 What are will o' the wisps?
 A5.2  
   Will o' the wisps are a natural phenomenon that never the less
 appear ghostly in nature.  The wisps, which are actually ignited
 pockets of swamp gas, hover over swamps and swampy areas and glow
 blue.  They can move (carried by breezes and air currents), and many
 observers have noted that the wisps seem to mimic a person's
 movements... when the observer moves forward, so does the wisp.  Will
 o' the wisps can appear as one glowing ball or as many tiny flickers.
   Will o' the wisps have also been called such fanciful names as
 "corpse candles", "fox fire", and "elf light".  The phenomenon is
 also knows as "ignis fatuus", which means "foolish fire".  Some
 believe the mysterious floating lights to be portents of bad luck
 or even death.  Researchers believe that many people have mistaken
 will o' the wisps for the ghostly lanterns of trains and/or their
 long-dead conductors.

 Q5.3
 How did that girl in -Poltergeist- die?
 A5.3
   Contributed by Christine White (christin@meaddata.com): According
 to People magazine February 15, 1988: 
   "It happened so fast. At 9:25 am, Monday Feb. 1, only hours after
 developing what appeared to be flu symptoms, Heather O'Rourke, child
 star of the Poltergeist horror films, was rushed from her home in
 Lakeside, Calif., to the hospital; she was in septic shock and cardiac
 arrest. An hour later she arrived by airlift, alive but in critical
 condition, at Children's Hospital and Health Center in San Diego.
   There she was operated on for intestinal stenosis, an acute bowel
 obstruction, a congenital condition neither her mother nor stepfather
 had suspected. At 2:43 pm, Heather died on the operating table. She 
 was 12 years old."
   Subsequent issues of People tell how doctors first diagnosed and
 treated her for Crohn's disease. The parents sued the doctors for
 wrongful treatment, but I don't know what happened to the suit.

 Q5.4
 What are some different categories of manifestations?
 A5.4
   Ghostly visitations fall into several distinct categories.  Here
 are a few of the most common.
   * Crisis Apparitions -- These ghosts appear most often to their
 loved ones at a moment of great crisis or death.  Typically, the
 ghosts appear only once to a special loved one who may be many
 miles away at the time of the accident.
   * Doppelgangers -- Doppelgangers are ghostly doubles of living peo-
 people.  Often the doppelganger is not visible to the person him-
 self, and will simply follow the person around.  In some cases a
 person will come upon his own doppelganger who is typically engaged
 in some future activity.  Doppelgangers are traditionally consid-
 ered omens of bad luck or even death.
   * Repeated Actions -- Many apparitions are always viewed repeating
 the same motions or scenes.  Many classic hauntings fall into this
 category.  An example of this type of haunting is The Brown Lady of
 Raynham Hall, who was always seen moving down a hallway with a lan-
 tern in her hand.  Usually these ghosts pay little or no attention
 to the observer.
   * Poltergeists -- Poltergeists are the only spirits who leave immed-
 iate physical traces.  Poltergeists are best known for throwing
 things about and producing rapping sounds and other noises.  In
 fact, the word "poltergeist" means "noisy ghost" in German.  Pol-
 tergeists often occur where there are children on the brink of
 puberty, and often interact with people.
   * Ghostly Sounds and Lights -- Sometimes a haunting will consist en-
 tirely of the sound of footsteps or ghostly music.  There are also
 many legends of ghost lights, which are often said to be caused by
 someone's ghostly lantern or by a spectral motorcycle or train.
   * Possessed Ojects -- Sometimes inanimate objects are said to be 
 cursed or possessed.  A very famous example of a supposed cursed
 object is the Hope Diamond.  Sometimes a particular piece of furn-
 iture will refuse to stay in place, even moving in front of the 
 owner's eyes.

 Q5.5
 Who are Ed and Lorraine Warren?
 A5.5
   Ed and Lorraine Warren are a husband and wife team who investigate
 paranormal activity.  Their most famous case is probably the Amity-
 ville horror.  The reliability of their research is considered ques-
 tionable by many.  The Warrens currently make a living by travelling
 the lecture circuit and releasing the occasional book.
   You can visit their website (The New England Society for Psychic
 Reasearch) at http://www.warrens.net/.

 Q5.6
 What is "Old Hag"?
 A5.6
   From the alt.dreams FAQ, maintained by Olaf Titz (olaf@bigred.ka.
 sub.org):
   "3.1. What causes sleep paralysis?
 "A.  Conventional wisdom: REM atonia is a normal function of the body.
 The muscles that move the body are "turned off" during REM sleep,
 which prevents you from acting out dreamed actions in rea- lity.
 Non-REM sleep paralysis after waking up ("old hag") is caused by a
 failure to re-activate the muscles immediately.  Nor- mally this
 condition lasts only a few seconds, but sometimes it can go for a
 minute, which causes a very scary feeling.  You are damn sure you're
 awake now but you can't move.  This is extremely unpleasant but at
 least not dangerous." <end quote from alt.dreams FAQ>
   Symptoms of old hag include hearing footsteps, seeing a presence
 (often an old woman, from which the name derives), and a feeling of
 not being able to breathe or move.
   Here is a typical Old Hag experience.  This was posted on a.f.g-s.
 From: bwallace@epix.net (Penny)
 "... I turned out the light and settled down to go to sleep.  As I
 was lying in bed thinking, I became aware of a rustling sound emanat-
 ing from the turret.  I focused on the sound, trying to determine its
 origins.  A breeze over papers?  A mouse?  As soon as I dismissed
 these possibilities the rustling sound stopped and was replaced by
 the sound of stealthy, shuffling footsteps that were headed in my
 direction.  The sense of a presence was suddenly so strong that it
 filled the room.  I was terrified.  The critical detail here is that I
 clearly remember pulling the blanket over my head (I was lying on my
 back.)  The next thing I knew I was paralyzed--I couldn't move a fin-
 ger.  The footsteps continued their approach and the next thing I
 knew, a tremendous weight settled on my chest, forcing me into the
 mattress.  I felt that there was a menacing presence. [...] It was
 nasty!  The intense, dreadful weight continued to press down on me,
 almost like a large animal settling itself on my body.  I thought I
 would go through the mattress.  I knew that I was awake, I was not
 dreaming, and that something evil was in the room with me.  Somehow,
 my childhood years of Sunday School paid off and I prayed to be re-
 leased.  In that instant, it was over."
   Next time you read a book of true ghostly accounts, keep the old hag
 phenomenon in mind.  Most likely you will find a few classic old hag
 experiences (especially by authors who are unaware of the phenomenon)
 which the victim assumed were paranormal.

 Q5.7
 Are cars really rolling uphill in that graveyard near my town?
 A5.7
   There are some places where the land is shaped in such a way that
 it can sometimes appear that things are going uphill when they are
 really going down.  Some people attribute this type of activity to
 paranormal causes.
   Jason Hoffman (Jason.Hoffman@nopc.jaxx.com) explains it this way:  
 "This was explained very simply on a TV show several years back.
 There is a place known as "Gravity Hill" where the road is on a slight
 decline.  But the trees on the side of the road, instead of being
 vertical, lean down the hill.  So that if you are standing sideways on
 the road, with the down side to your left, the trees `should' appear
 to lean to the right, but actually lean to the left.  This makes the
 downward side of the hill seem to be the up side of the hill.  The
 grade is so slight that it throws off your balance, so you become con-
 fused.
   "This has been illustrated in fun houses at amusement parks...'The
 Leaning Room'.  After being in the room for a minute, your natural
 sense of balance tries to correct itself.  Then, you try to roll a
 ball down some parallel bars, but the ball rolls up instead."
   Here is another explanation by Paul Johnson (paj@gec-mrc.co.uk):
 "The brain uses a collection of techniques for deciding which way is
 up.  The balancing organs in the inner ears only work when you stand
 still, so for most purposes the brain uses visual rules-of-thumb.
   "Amongst these are:
 1: The ground is, on average, horizontal.
 2: Walls are vertical.
   "So these mystery spots are usually on broad, empty plains with a
 slight slope.  The slope isn't noticable, and rule 1 is applied by the
 brain to get a wrong answer for the horizontal.  Hence any slight
 lessening of the slope looks like a slight upward rise on a flat
 plain, even though it is actually still downhill.  So things rolling
 down the slope look like they are rolling uphill.
   "Sometimes locals exploit rule 2 by putting up buildings that conform
 to the visual horizontal instead of the actual one.  This reinforces
 the illusion quite strongly.
   "If you are ever shown one of these spots, check a map with contour
 lines drawn on to find out how flat it really is."

 Q5.8
 What is the best way to photograph a ghost?
 A5.8
   The following information was provided by David Fluker
 (df0328@aol.com).
   "If anyone out there is interested in attempting to photograph para-
 normal activities or spirits, here is how to do it right!!
 1.  You need to purchase 35mm Kodak HIE-135/36 film.  This is B&W
 Infrared film used for this and other more scientific purposes.  You 
 can either purchase the film at a local professional photo shop or 
 order it direct from Kodak at 1-800-242-2424 in Rochester, NY.  The 
 roll costs around $10.00 each including shipping.
 2.  Once you have the film in your hot little hand, you need to ask 
 your friendly photo-pro at the shop for an 87 filter to use with it.
 (if he/she doesn't know what this is, have them call the 800# above 
 and get Kodak to tell him/her.
   ** the reason for the 87 filter is to eliminate all existing light du-
 ring photography and only to have the IR on the film.  (Even though it
 may be dark in a room, there is still existing light that will effect 
 your exposure so use the 87 filter!!)
 3.  Once you have captured you entity on film, either send the film
 back to Kodak or get it processed at the best quality lab in your area.
 It needs to be processed under three types...hc110, d19, or d76.  The 
 best for supernatural purposes is d76 as this gives the most normal 
 overall exposure.  You can also have it processed HC110 but this is a 
 much higher contrast index and used mainly for special scientific pro-
 jects." <end quote from David Fluker>
   In addition, David Chorley notes that HIE 135-36 needs to be loaded
 and unloaded in a darkroom, because the little felt light trap is not
 impervious to IR.
   Yet more info provided by Joseph W. Metcalf:
 1.  HIE can not be used in cameras that have a "window" on the back to
 see the film-type & exposures printed on the film cannister nor can it
 be used in cameras that use an infrared film-transport sensor or IR
 focus system. (In other words, get out the old manual-everything SLR.
 (In addition, I would be very wary of using HIE in cheaper point-and-
 shoot type cameras. The light seals just ain't all that great.)
 2.  Some type of plastic developing tanks can leak IR light. The best
 bet for developing is Kodalux or a major pro lab. Find a lab that you
 trust and ask questions!  
 3.  The #87 filter will completely block visual light. A #25 (red)
 filter can also be used with HIE to block everything except the red-
 visual and infrared spectrum. (Makes focusing a bit easier if you have
 the light to work with.)  HIE is also sensitive to UV light and can
 get the same type of haze from ultraviolet as daylight film does.
   HIE with the #87 filter can be used to photograph through fog (or
 darkness, of course.) It is possible that anything similar to fog
 could transmit the IR light instead of reflecting it and would not
 show up on the film.
 4.  A flash will work with HIE, although I think it would be most
 effective for this application with an #87 filter of it's own. (We
 wouldn't want to scare anyone away.)
 5.  There is no recommended film speed for HIE.  A good starting point
 is 50 or 100 ASA for D-76 processing. A test roll, with exposures
 logged, is recommended.
 6.  IR light requires a focus adjustment from visible light. Some
 manual-focus cameras will have an infrared focus mark to indicate the
 offset. If not, experiment. The difference is small, but it could be
 significant.
 7.  HIE has a "salt and pepper" grain. It is a nice artistic effect,
 but the resolution is not the same as conventional films.
 8. And, yes, the film is light green!

 Q5.9
 Can't you sue if your new house is haunted, and no one told you about
 it?
 A5.9
   Mark Korven (Mark_Korven@goodmedia.com) gleaned the following quote
 from the book -The Scandal Annual 1991-.
   "A Wall Street bond trader sued for return of a $32,000 down payment 
 he made on a $650,000 Victorian mansion on the Hudson River in Nyack,
 New York. The Reason: he said nobody told him that three Revolutionary
 War ghosts haunted the dwelling. The owner of the house had refused to 
 return the money, saying that the ghosts were very friendly. The judge
 ruled in her favor, stating that the law can't take supernatural enti-
 ties into consideration.
   "That ruling panicked lawmakers in neighboring Connecticut, which evi-
 dently has more than its share of spooks. Legislators pushed though a 
   "Ghostbuster" bill, making it mandatory for all home seller to disclose
 any spiritual phenomena related to the property."

 Q5.10
 What are some theories of what ghosts are/why they exist?
 A5.10
   There are many theories of what ghosts (if they indeed exist) are.
 Some people believe that ghosts are the residual energy left behind by
 an emotionally strong person or event.  This theory holds that more
 energy/electrical impulses are expended during periods of high stress
 or excitement, and that the energy lingers for a long time.
   Freud thought that ghosts are actually the visions of people who
 are afraid of death.  In this sense, ghosts would not be real at all
 but rather a projection of our subconcious mind.
   A somewhat plausible theory is that ghosts are telepathic images.
 That is, a sensitive person would pick up past vibrations from the
 area they were in and witness an event or person as it appeared many
 years ago.  This would also explain instances where a person sees a
 loved one at or near the moment of the the loved one's death, since
 the loved one could be unconsciously projecting their thoughts to the
 receptive person.
   Ghosts might also be the result of time slips, if time is nonlinear.
 An event that happened in the past might be seen briefly in our time
 because of a fluctuation in time/space.  
   On his show -Mysterious World-, Arthur C. Clarke has speculated that
 our minds might play images to our eyes (the same way our eyes relay
 messages to our brain, but in reverse), almost like a movie screen.
 In this way ghosts would be bits of our imagination come to life.

 Q5.11
 What is a caul?
 A5.11
   A caul is a piece of the fetal membrane that covers the heads of
 some babies when they are born.  This occurrence is relatively rare,
 and because of this folklore says that a baby born with a caul
 possesses psychic powers.  In the past, people would keep cauls and
 placed great value upon them as good luck charms.

 Q5.12
 What is an incubus?
 A5.12
   An incubus is a demon which assumes male form and lies on people
 (usually women) and has sexual intercourse with them in their sleep.
 The female version of an incubus is called a succubus.

VI. NON-alt.folklore.ghost-stories RESOURCES
 S6.1 Other USENET groups that a.f.g-s reader may enjoy:
   alt.binaries.pictures.cemetaries  For photographs of cemetaries
   alt.folklore.urban      discussion of urban legends and their varia-
                           tions and meanings
   alt.folklore.suburban   moderated discussion of urban legends
   alt.horror              discussion of horror films and literature
   alt.magick              magick stuff
   alt.pagan               wicca and other non-christian religions
   alt.paranet.paranormal  discussion of paranormal phenomena
   alt.paranet.metaphysics discussion of metaphysics
   alt.paranormal          discussion of paranormal phenomena
   alt.society.funerary    For discussions of funeral customs
   alt.support.grief       For those dealing with the loss of a loved one
   sci.skeptic             debate on the validity of strange phenomena

 S6.2 Some interesting reference material:
   *BOOKS
   There is a bibliography at the a.f.g-s web site: 
   http://www.ghosts.org/biblio.html
   *TELEVISION
   Please note: Cable stations change their schedules around so much that
   I've given up on trying to keep up with the timeslots for these shows.
   Check your local listings, or try http://www.clicktv.com/.
   -Unsolved Mysteries-  Reruns are shown on Lifetime
   -Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World-  Shown on the Discovery channel
   -In Search Of...-     A&E; [Note: -ISO- seems to be on hiatus at the 
                         moment.]
   -Sightings-           Sci-Fi Channel
   -The Unexplained-     A&E
   *MOVIES
   -The Legend of Boggy Creek-  A quasi-documentary about a bigfoot-
                         like creature roaming the Louisiana bayou. (1972)
   -Sightings: The Ghost Report-  Cases from the TV show (1995 Paramount)
   *OTHER MEDIA
   -Ghosts-  CD ROM game with lots of (true) information on ghosts, famous
                         hauntings, etc.  Nifty! (Media Design Interactive)
   -The Unexplained-  Reference CDROM with info on paranormal topics.

 S6.3 Good Supernatural Fiction
   *BOOKS
   Anson, Jay        -The Amityville Horror-  Flies in the attic!
    Walls that drip blood!  Pigs that fly!  (And you thought your
    faulty plumbing was a problem.)
   Dickens, Charles  -A Christmas Carol-  A good ghost story any time
    of the year.
   King, Stephen     -The Shining-  Lots of ghosties.
   *TELEVISION
   -The Twilight Zone-   Umm, do I really need to explain this?
   -The X-Files-         Two FBI agents investigate paranormal stuff.
                         A great show!  (FOX, Sundays 9PM E/P)
   -Scooby Doo-          Teen sleuths and their dog investigate eerie
                         mysteries.
   *MOVIES
   -Candyman-            Clive Barker movie inspired by Mary Worth-type
                         urban legends.  Tres scary! (1992)
   -The Changeling-      George C. Scott stars in a chilling yarn about
                         a house haunted by the spirit of a murdered
                         child. (1980)
   -The Entity-          Barbara Hershey plays a single mom who is being
                         tormented by a rowdy spirit. (1983)
   -The Exorcist-        A modern story of demonic possession.  Linda
                         Blair vomits pea soup. (1973)
   -Ghostbusters-        Comedy about ghost-catchers in New York City.
                         (1984)
   -The Haunting-        A classic tale of a haunted house. Based on
                         -The Haunting of Hill House- by Shirley Jack-
                         son. (1963)
   -Poltergeist-         A family experiences otherwordly activity cen-
                         tered around their young daughter (Heather
                         O'Rourke). (1982)
   -The Shining-         Based on the Stephen King novel about an old
                         hotel haunted by lots of mean ghosts. (1980)
   -The Uninvited-       A classic haunted house story set in pre-war
                         Cornwall, UK. (1944)
   -Witchboard-          Tawny Kitaen is tormented by an evil spirit
                         conjured up with a ouija board.  Actually a
                         fairly good movie despite a somewhat low
                         budget. (1985)

 S6.4 Other Net Resources
   *FTP
   ftp://ftp.ghosts.org/
   This FAQ, some stories taken from alt.folklore.ghost-stories, pictures,
   links, and more
   *Mailing Lists
   Ghost Stories Mailing List -- receive one true ghost story every day
   send mail to ghost-stories-request@ilist.net.  In the body of your
   message type "subscribe" (without the quotes).  See the following
   URL for more information: http://www.ghosts.org/listpage.html
   *WWW
   There are thousands of paranormal sites on the web now.  The
   following URLs are a tiny sample of what's out there.  For MANY
   more links, go to Obiwan's UFO-Free Paranormal page at
   http://www.ghosts.org/.
   -- The Shadowlands  http://theshadowlands.net/  A very well done page
   on many aspects of the paranormal, including an extensive section on
   ghosts and hauntings.
   -- The Unofficial alt.folklore.ghost-stories Web Site
   http://www.members.dandy.net/~ertharp/afgs/  Information about the
   newsgroup and its members, as well as some links.
   -- Ghosts: The Page that Goes Bump in the Night
   http://www.camalott.com/~brianbet/ghosts.html  Lots of true stories,
   a chat forum, links, and more from a long-time, respected a.f.g-s
   member.
   -- Ghosts Channel of the Undernet  http://www.pinn.net/~royaloak/
   All about the #ghosts channel on IRC, true ghost stories, and links.

 S6.5 Paranormal Organizations (brought to you by Brian Bethel!)
   Research/Counseling for Paranormal Experiences (AKA where to go for
 help, counseling and possible investigation into your Thing That Goes
 Bump In The Night.)
   The following is a list of the most prominent research organizations
 devoted to the science of parapsychology. Many of these groups can
 refer you to local professionals in your area. Several of these enti-
 ties, such as the American Society of Psychical Research, are member-
 ship-based societies but may share resources with non-members. 
 Several of these societies also publish journals in the field of
 parapsychology. Full information concerning services offered is avail-
 able through each organization. 
   To contribute, add, or delete from this portion of the FAQ, e-mail
 Brian Bethel at brianbet@camalott.com. Several of these listings are old
 and possibly out of date. Your help in maintaining the most current
 list possible is deeply appreciated.
				+++++++
   American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR)
    5 West 73rd Street
    New York, NY 10023
    (212) 799-5050
   Society for Psychical Research (SPR)
    1 Adam & Eve Mewes
    Kensington, W8 6UG
    England
   Psychical Research Foundation
    c/o William G. Roll
    Psychology Department
    West Georgia College
    Carrollton, GA 30118
   Parapsychological Association, Inc.
    P.O. Box 12236
    Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
   Parapsychology Foundation
    228 E. 71st Street
    New York, NY 10021
    (212) 628-1550
   Parapsychology Research Group
    3101 Washington St. 
    San Francisco, CA 94511
   Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man, Institute for Para-
   psychology
    Box 6847
    College Station
    Durham, NC 27708
   Institute of Noetic Sciences
    2658 Bridgewood
    Sausalito, CA 94965
   Graduate Parapsychology Program
    Department of Holistic Studies
    John F. Kennedy University
    Orinda, Ca. 94563
    (510) 254-0200
   Division of Parapsychology
    Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry
    Box 152
    Medical Center
    University of Virginia
    Charlottesville, VA 22908
   Center for Scientific Anomalies Research (CSAR)
    P.O. Box 1052
    Ann Arbor, MI 48103
   Society for Scientific Exploration
    c/o Dr. Henry Bauer
    College of Arts & Sciences
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute
    Blacksburg, VA 24061
   Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
    (CSICOP, skeptical society)
    1203 Kesington Avenue
    Buffalo, NY 14215

alt.folklore.ghost-stories FAQ, Copyright 1994-1999, L. Krause 
(obiwan@ghosts.org)
--
---------------------------------------------------------
| obiwan@ghosts.org             http://www.ghosts.org/  |
| "When someone asks you if you're a god, you say YES!" |
|                      --Winston Zeddmore, GHOSTBUSTERS |

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