Besides Ouija boards, how do people talk to ghosts?

We’re asking ghosts to talk to us. But are we certain the spirits hear us when we talk to ghosts?

I’m not sure many ghost hunters have considered this issue.

Sure, look at past episodes of ghost-hunting TV shows like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures. You’ll see “ghosts” talking to investigators through  ghost hunting tools, from loosened flashlights to EVP recordings to real-time communications devices.

However, that may not be the question.

Maybe people aren’t asking how ghosts communicate to us; they’re asking how people can talk to ghosts.

(I’m ignoring the fact that we don’t use Ouija boards to talk to ghosts. People talk out loud to them, while poised at the Ouija board. Does the board help ghosts hear us? It’s possible, but I’m not sure it’s likely.)

So, is it as difficult for people to speak to ghosts, as it is for them to contact us? I think this needs to be considered and explored. I’m not sure if ghosts if have difficulty receiving messages from us.

In many cases, when someone is troubled by a ghost in his or her home, I say, “Just talk to your ghosts, out loud.”

So far, readers report success with this.

However, they may have a special connection with their ghosts. After all, they share the same space, day in and day out. That may improve communications across the divide.

When I’ve talked out loud to ghosts at haunted sites I’ve visited, I’ve had mixed results.

– At Gilson Road Cemetery (Nashua, NH), I get the feeling the ghosts really don’t care if I talk to them or not.

Oh, they’ve misbehaved when I’ve investigated the site with skeptics. (That always amuses me, but that may be a reflection of my sense of humor.)

They also manifest in various ways when researchers are there. But, do ghosts actually care what we say to them? I have no idea.

Old house in England
We may not need to talk to ghosts in England’s Stratford-upon-Avon. Some of them seem to read our minds.

– I’ve seen the other extreme, too. It was at Falstaff’s Experience/Tudor World (Stratford-upon-Avon, England).

There, at least one ghost responded to almost everything that was said. He also seemed to read thoughts. It was disconcerting.

– Between the extremes of Gilson Road Cemetery and Tudor World, ghosts have responded inconsistently, even at very active sites.

So, how do people talk to ghosts?

So far, we just talk.

Maybe we need to try other means. Many of us — including me — have assumed ghosts are hanging on every word we utter.

But, what if they hear only 10% of what we say, or less?

There’s a lot to consider.

  • Maybe ghosts can read what we write.
  • Can they detect EMF spikes on their side of the veil? Perhaps we could try turning EMF generators on and off, repeatedly, to get their attention.
  • Maybe they can hear whistling, or singing, or… well, this could be a very long list.

Do we really know the best ways to talk to ghosts?

I think it’s a time to explore better way to communicate with ghosts, instead of focusing exclusively on better ways to hear from them.

How can you tell if a place is really haunted?

The truth is, nobody can tell if the place is really haunted. We can’t even prove that ghosts exist.

It’s possible that you pass by haunted sites every day.

Investigators can study evidence a location. They can say that it’s not haunted, possibly haunted, or even probably haunted.

An investigator might say that he (or she) believes the site is haunted.  That’s a personal opinion, not proof.

For example, I believe that the following locations are among the world’s most haunted locations.  I’ve investigated all of them and each one gave me chills.

  • Brennan’s Restaurant (New Orleans’ French Quarter, LA, USA). Visual phenomena, even in broad daylight.
  • Columbus City cemetery, Columbus, TX
    Columbus City Cemtery, color streaks & eerie mist

    Columbus City Cemetery (Columbus, TX, USA). Ghost photos and EMF spikes, even during the day.

  • Edinburgh’s underground vaults (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK). Apparitions and heavy residual energy.
  • The Falstaff Experience (also known as Tudor World, Stratford-upon-Avon, England, UK). Apparitions, physical phenomena, poltergeists, and some activity I’ve never experienced anywhere else.
  • Gilson Road Cemetery (Nashua, NH, USA). Physical phenomena, cold spots, hot spots, apparitions (even in daytime), EVP.
  • Golden Fleece Pub (York, England, UK). EVP, physical phenomena, psychic energy.
  • Greycourt State Park (Methuen, MA, USA). EMF anomalies, apparitions in ghost photos, hot and cold spots.
  • The Mount (Lenox, MA, USA). EVP and audible “ghost voices,” EMF spikes, residual energy, excellent for “ghost box” activity.
  • The Myrtles Plantation (St. Francisville, LA, USA). Poltergeist activity, ghost photos, EMF spikes, cold spots, ghostly voices and unexplained noises.
  • Houmas House, Louisiana. Daytime apparitions, indoors and outside. Active outdoors, after dark. (See old servants’ quarters, especially.)
  • The Salem Inn (Salem, MA, USA). EMF spikes. Excellent for Ovilus research. Cold spots and hot spots.
  • The Spalding Inn (Whitefield, NH, USA). Apparitions, EMF anomalies, EVP and audible voices with no explanations. (This hotel was owned by Ghost Hunters’ Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, and their families. They sold the hotel a few years ago. I’m not sure if it’s still open to visitors.)
  • Hotel Wentworth-by-the-Sea (New Castle, NH, USA). Very convincing apparitions, EVP, light poltergeist activity.
  • Witch House (Salem, MA, USA). Poltergeist activity, objects moving, psychic energy, ghost photos.

It takes a lot to impress me.  Reputation alone isn’t enough.

For example, I’m not convinced that the Lizzie Borden House (Fall River, MA, USA) is haunted by anything more than residual energy. (However, I did see the “ghost cat.” It looked solid enough to be a real cat.)

I’m skeptical of the LaLaurie Mansion (New Orleans’ French Quarter, LA, USA), too. The stories about Madame LaLaurie are largely fiction, especially when they involve a French accent. (She was the daughter of an Irish immigrant. She didn’t have a French accent.)

A deep personal experience can convince you that a site is haunted.  Seek hard evidence before you make a firm decision.

Evidence to look for at most haunted sites:

  • EVP.
  • Unexplained EMF readings.
  • Baffling hot and cold spots.
  • Other measurable evidence, including strange photos.

However, none of that proves that ghosts exist.

When weird things happen at a location, we say that the site is “haunted.” That’s a description, so everyone understands the kinds of unexplained activity at a site.

Dedicated, skeptical critics will almost always find normal explanations. If all else fails, they’ll claim that the ghost hunter’s evidence is a deliberate hoax or the product of mental illness.

(Some skeptics’ rudeness knows no limits. Don’t take it personally; they’re simply bitter and unhappy people, best left alone.)

Are you pretty sure that a site is haunted? Do you have evidence that’s convinced (or nearly convinced) you?

That may be as good as it gets.

The only “proof” is what you’ve experienced for yourself. That’s why I encourage people to go on ghost investigations, to decide for themselves.

Learn what’s normal (but kind of weird), and then see if you can rule that out when weird things happen at haunted sites.

As Sherlock Holmes once said, “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

What’s the difference between a haunted house and one that has paranormal activity?

“Paranormal” means something that’s outside the range of normal.

In other words, all unexplained hauntings are considered paranormal.

However, not all paranormal activity involves ghosts.

Abandoned house - maybe hauntedA house with paranormal activity (but no ghosts) could have demons or faeries.

Its visitors might be creatures from cryptozoology, or aliens.

I suppose vampires and zombies could be in the mix, too. (Yes, I’m being flippant.)

Likewise, a haunted house may have ghosts as well as other entities, including demonic activity.

This is especially true of houses built on Native American sites, such as NH’s Spalding Inn. (That’s the hotel formerly owned by Ghost Hunters’ Jason Hawes & Grant Wilson, and their families.)

I had no doubt that the Spalding Inn was haunted, but at least two ghosts. However, I also saw startling evidence that other entities were there… far more than the “ghost cat” that Jason’s wife (and many others) had seen.

Haunted Tudor World, Stratford-upon-Avon
Tudor World, photo by David Dixon

In the U.K., I’ve seen a mix of paranormal activity at buildings near early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries.

One example: The Falstaff Experience (also known as Tudor World) in Stratford-upon-Avon (England).

It has a wider range of unique phenomena than I’ve witnessed, anywhere else.

I doubt that all of it is ghostly, but — for now — I have no better labels for the weird things that occur during their ghost vigils.

Most investigators default to the term “paranormal” for sites like that. It covers every possibility.

Any site with strange phenomena might be haunted, but it might not be.

It might be a construction issue. It could result from tilted floors, unshielded electrical wiring, or a deep, underground spring.

Never leap to conclusions when a house seems haunted.  It may have nothing to do with ghosts, but still be paranormal.

All ghostly phenomena are paranormal, but not all paranormal phenomena are ghosts.