Was there really a Canterville ghost?

The story of the Canterville ghost was created by Oscar Wilde. It’s fiction.

Canterville ghost illustrationHe based it on stories he’d heard from his mother, Jane Francesca Agnes, Lady Wilde. She was among the leading experts in folklore of the British isles.

As far as I know, no haunted 19th-century British home is or was named Canterville Chase, and no town in England is named Canterville.

The plot is a solid template if you’re writing ghost stories, especially with a romantic twist.

My favorite movie version is the one with Sir John Gielgud. He’s every bit as cranky as some ghosts I’ve encountered.

The tale makes ghosts less scary to children.  That’s a very good thing.

Read the story online at Gutenberg.org,  or at  http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/CanGho.shtml

LibreVox has several public domain audios of the story, if you’d like to listen to the story. It’s not very long, but it is fun.

And, if you search online, you’ll find several ideas for related, stylized stage plays.

How can I see a ghost?

If you’d like to see a ghost, you may need to do a lot of ghost hunting.

Many long-time ghost hunters have never seen a ghost. Not one that they were sure was really there.

They may have sensed them. Felt a “cold spot” or something invisible brush past them. Heard an odd sound, or recorded EVP. And so on.

But apparitions – ghosts that you can actually see – are rare.

Most of the time, people think they may have seen something, but – at the time – it surprised them so much, they didn’t instantly think “ghost.”

  • It may have been an unexplained flicker of light or a shadow.
  • It might have been just part of a ghostly figure, like a face that was there one moment, and gone the next.
  • It could have been a full apparition that they mistook for someone living, dressed in a costume. (That’s common at some living history events.)
  • It could have been a full or partial apparition the person saw for just a second, out of the corner of his or her eye. And then, it was gone.
  • In many cases, the ghostly image shows up as a reflection in a window, mirror, or shiny surface like a table top.
  • It may be a shadowy figure, whether or not it’s a “shadow person.”

However, seeing a ghostly figure that looks “like a ghost” (either solid or translucent) and realizing it’s a ghost while you still see it… that’s so extraordinary, I can’t recall anyone talking in those terms.

ghostly mistIn other words, if you want to see a ghost, be observant. Notice everything, especially the things that make you do a quick double-take.

Chances are, you won’t be sure it was a ghost until minutes after it’s vanished. And, even then, you may have doubts.

Keep your expectations low. Don’t insist that you have to see a ghost to believe in them. Many people will never see a ghost, but their other experiences will convince them that ghosts are real… and they’ve encountered one.

Fiona's adviceIn my opinion, haunted cemeteries are one of the best places to actually see an apparition. I recommend haunted cemeteries to beginners, too, because most cemeteries are free to visit. And, with some research, you’re likely to find two or three haunted cemeteries near you.

Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries
Click the image to read this book FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

You’ll learn more in my book, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries.

Some people see anomalies. Some only photograph them. Others hear anomalous sounds or voices. Yet others only record them. And so on.

As you investigate haunted sites, you’ll develop a “sixth sense” related to your unique way of tuning-in to ghosts.

It may not be anything visual. If it is, let me know what you experience. Leave a comment at this article. I’m always interested in apparitions… when they happen, where, and exactly what they look like.

Few people actually see a ghost, but – if you do – it can be extraordinary.

How can I get my own ghost hunting TV show?

Many people ask me about how to land their own ghost hunting TV show. The reality is: it’s not impossible, but be sure you really want to invest your time, energy, and enthusiasm in it.

Ratings for many ghost hunting shows have declined over the past decade.  As of late 2016, even “Ghost Hunters” has ended its long tenure on SyFy.

So, I can’t pretend that ghost hunting TV shows are great opportunities, even when they’re offered.

Today, few networks or production companies will sign anyone new to star in a ghost hunting TV show. (You may have better luck if your ghost hunting videos have been successful on YouTube.)

First, decide why you want to have your own ghost hunting TV series.

The Paycheck

If you think stars of ghost-related TV shows are well paid, think again.

Many of them probably earned less per hour than they would working at a fast food restaurant.

Most of my friends who star on paranormal TV shows… they never quit their day jobs.

When they’re not filming, they work at normal jobs, just to pay the bills.

A one-hour TV show can involve up to two travel days, then jet lag when you reach the site, followed by two or three days of filming.

After that, you’ll analyze the evidence, and film the reveal. That will require additional days. With all of that completed, add another day or two to return home.

In other words, while it might sound great to be paid $500 for a one-hour TV episode, you might need a week or 10 days to complete just one episode.

You’ll often film shows back-to-back. No days off.

  • Expect to work seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. That may include Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc.
  • You won’t get time off for your mom’s birthday or your child’s school graduation.
  • Even if you’re miserable with a stomach bug, you’re still expected to show up on the set and act as if everything’s fine. As they say, “the show must go on!”

Fame

Is fame that important to you? If so, here are my suggestions:

Look for casting calls for existing ghost hunting TV series. (HARO can help.) See if you can get on just one show, even for 5 minutes.

stage lightsUse that 5 minutes to your advantage. Treat it like an audition. You should seem so interesting, producers will want to include you in future shows.

When your particular episode is about to air, make sure people know that you are on it. (Check your contract to be sure you can talk about the show.)

Also, you should have your own website, and it should look terrific.

Have you been on two or three ghost hunting shows? If they haven’t called you back, get additional exposure on non-paranormal TV shows. Look online for casting calls. Anything on camera is good. Get work as an extra if you must.

Plan your networking carefully. Earn the respect and interest of both the cast and the production company. However, the cast rarely have much input into the show. Impress the filming crew and any producers on the set. They might be involved in scouting and hiring.

After you’ve been on three to five TV shows, start looking for a theatrical agent. You’ll have enough experience for an agent to promote you as a future star.

This can take months or longer. Attend ghost-related conferences with presentations by casting agents and producers. You’ll learn more about breaking into TV. You may also make a connection that leads to work.

Never forget that this field is full of overeager ghost enthusiasts who’d do almost anything to be on TV. Many of them are pushy and obnoxious. Most seem almost oblivious to the realities of working on TV… until they’re actually on a TV show, that is.

Then, they can’t voice their disillusionment because they signed a non-disclosure agreement.

Distance yourself from starry-eyed and self-aggrandizing aspiring stars.

Stand out as a confident professional. That’s the best way to hear from more producers than you’d ever want to talk to. Really.