Now that I’ve established some relationships with a few other bloggers, I thought it’d be fun do something different in 2010: talk with them about Haunt Jaunts (and a few other things).
To kick things off, I picked one of my favorites: none other than the Haunt Jaunts Best of 2009 Award Winner for Best Theories, Autumnforest of Ghost Hunting Theories.
Our Q&A follows below.
1. One of your theories is about geomagnetic activity affecting paranormal activity. I don’t know anything about geomagnetic activity. Are there places where this activity is greater than others? Like are certain spots more susceptible to it? Or does it affect all places equally?
Geomagnetic activity includes the radiation bombardment from the sun (solar flares) as well as radiating protons and electrons in the upper atmosphere.
There is an invisible belt around the earth that protects it from such onslaughts called the Van Allen belt. At one point in the “belt” you can see things like the northern lights.
In the area of the belt that comes closest to the earth, it’s called the “South Atlantic Anomaly” and it is furthest from the earth in the Northern Pacific.
I really stumbled upon the correlation between paranormal activity and geomagnetic storms. I was tracking all kinds of conditions when going on hunts just to see if anything was consistent. I tracked weather, moon cycles, solar flares, time of year, storm activity outside, solstices…whatever. I also tracked geomagnetic activity. Surprisingly, years later when looking at my notes, I realized that 100% of the time I had a very active night and got some good evidence, it was when there were either electron flux alerts or K-storm warnings.
Recently, I took it a step further and plugged in a lot of big world events from the tsunami to Katrina to 9-11 and the London bombing and found that they too occurred on storm days in the upper atmosphere. I noticed that the “Ghost Hunters” show had a very lame season the last year and a half. That exactly correlates with almost no storm activity in the upper atmosphere.
Then I wondered about the HAARP project in Alaska which is a huge array of antennae that supposedly heat up the ionosphere for experiments. Now, I’m wondering if their activity has deadened the geomagnetic activity and possibly caused things to paranormally be kind of…dull.
We know that geomagnetic activity causes nightmares and can accentuate mental illness issues. The human mind is affected by these changes. So, it’s not a big leap to consider that either we become better receivers of the paranormal during these times of paranormal energy has a better conduit to work with when there are geomagnetic storms. I’m not a scientist by any means, but I’m very practical and logical person, so when I see a trend that’s that impressive, I’m going to pursue it.
I put up a post recently asking people to go ahead and think of big events and traumatic things that have happened in the world or in their lives and look up what happened that day on the archives site at: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/archive.html.
2. That is wicked awesome. I love this new theory you’re working on. (Last year it was your Haunting Formula which really WOWed me. Way cool stuff!) Thanks for explaining a little bit about this new one you’re working on.
Now, let’s talk travel. What’s the best Haunt Jaunt you’ve ever taken?
The best haunt jaunt I’ve ever taken. Wow! I’ve taken a lot of them. I can think of two that were very productive, but one of them satisfied me in more ways than just ghost hunting. It was a truly scary place. The Pipestem Resort in Pipestem, West Virginia. Cabin #5.
It’s amazingly beautiful on the mountain and relaxing and the woods are filled with wild turkeys and deer (protected site for them). The cabin rests on the edge of the woods. My sister stayed in it and we stayed in cabin #1. She had lots of stories of voices in her bathroom and back bedroom. She had thumping and knocking on the doors and footfalls in the hall.
The cool thing about the cabin is that it has a path beside it that goes deep into the woods to an abandoned cemetery. The walk in the late night without any light at all is horrifyingly creepy. We used our flashlights, but then turned them off for a time to get really scared. Something walked parallel with us on two feet, very heavy feet. We had Bigfoot in mind and were kind of getting worked up. At one point, I actually ran and I never run from anything.
The cemetery is the great reward. It’s just sitting there, all unattended and lonely. We got some very cool EVPs and lots of strange sensations there. It’s just one of those out-of-the way places that no one knows about. The more we trekked around that part of WV, we found tons of abandoned buildings (my favorite thing is to photograph them), an abandoned school house, and tons and tons of cemeteries–they have them about every mile there!!
3. Oh! That’s a neat sounding Haunt Jaunt. I’m surprised Mothman didn’t also pop in your mind given it was WV! What about your dream Haunt Jaunt? Where would that be?
My dream haunt jaunt is the house I grew up in, Aspen Grove. It was built in the 1750s and during the Civil War was used by both sides as a field hospital. The wood floors were stained with soldier’s blood. I spent my childhood digging up the relics and mediums came over to do seances, news crews and newspapers covered the ghostly action. The place was just plain old haunted through and through.
When we moved away, my father vowed to haunt it. He died. My mother vowed to join him and haunt it. She died. My brother and sister both vowed to haunt it. They died. The neighbor at the end of the driveway and dear family friend vowed to haunt it. He died.
I want to go back there as a ghost hunter and adult and try to reach the soldiers and my family. If I don’t find ghosts there with my family knowing I’m searching for them, then I’d hang up my tools. (For a purely pleasurable haunt jaunt–my ultimate dream is Heceta Head Lighthouse in Oregon).
4. Aspen Grove sounds a lot like Carnton Plantation here in Tennessee. (Used during the Civil War as a hospital, blood stains still visible on some of the floors, ghostly activity…The only thing different is it’s no longer a private residence. But that’s good. It’s open for tours! And its story, particularly of one of the women who lived in the house, was the basis for The Widow of the South, which received all sorts of acclaim.)
Okay, sorry. Got sidetracked on the Civil War history for a moment. What’s something you absolutely DO NOT travel without?
I never travel without my laptop. I’m absolutely lost without it. I can look up instructions, find local eateries, upload my ghost pictures and EVPs to check them out, and watch DVDs in my hotel room. It’s worth the hassel of checking it through the gate. It’s my baby.
5. What are your five favorite blog posts? (That you wrote.)
- My writer’s workshop series, such as “Writer’s Workshop: Narrative and Dialogue”, has been an attempt to share my gained knowledge in writing horror with others who want to improve their blog writing or fictional writing.
- Photographing spooky places to encourage people who either ghost hunt or enjoy abandoned places, how to get the most moodiness out of photographing them. See “Photographing Spooky Places: Contrast, Mood”
- Showing people how to debunk photos. See “Explainable Phenomenon on Film”
- This past summer, the time and energy spent on studying characteristics of 50 random haunted sites around the country helped in creating my haunted formula. “Examining The Haunted Formula’s Statistics”
- My newest fixation in the ghost world–the correlation between geomagnetic activity and haunted activity. See “Geomagnetic Coincidences With World Events?”
Autumnforest, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, share your photographs, and talk about your favorite Haunt Jaunts like this. As you know, I love your blog and look forward to all you have in store in 2010!
Are you a blogger interested in being interviewed and talking about your Haunt Jaunts? I’d love to feature you too. You can find an email to get in touch with me on the CONTACT page.