How to Find a Real Haunted House

Upon Leaving WasagaThere are haunted house attractions around Halloween. There are old houses which people claim to be haunted and run tours in them. But, how do you find a real haunted house?

Start by just searching online for local ghost hunters, paranormal researchers, paranormal societies, and anyone offering tours of your city or town. You might find a local ghost walk or haunted tour, if your town or city is big enough to have some tourist businesses.

The local museum and library will also know about houses in your area which have a history of ghosts and hauntings.

Look for online networks with people who photograph old houses, haunted houses or historical places. You can find a haunted house by networking with other people who are exploring, looking for the same things you are. (Urban exploration is a good way to find abandoned and/ or real haunted houses).

How to Stay in a Haunted House

First, decide if you really do want to do this. If you tend to easily freak yourself out, this probably isn’t a good idea for you. It’s too easy to convince yourself there is a ghost, either because you want there to be ghost or you just enjoy scaring yourself in some way.

Don’t go alone. For one thing, you will appreciate having a witness if you do find ghosts or something haunted. It’s also great to have a second opinion about everything you see. Not everything is a ghost just because you don’t know how to explain it.

Bring all the gear you need to navigate around. If you go at night, traditional but less sensible, bring a flash light.

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

You may get a spooky feeling, but isn’t that what you were looking for? Don’t forget the objective. If you’re frightened, calm down. Become more analytical than emotional. Think of yourself as a scientist.

Keep notes about what you see, feel and hear. Take along a digital camera.

Make plans for doing something afterwards. Get a coffee along the way home. Give yourself a time and place to wind down.

How do Places Become Haunted?

There are places you would expect to draw ghosts, or keep them. Places like hotels, hospitals and prisons, where tragedies, dramas and big, life changing events and crowds of people hustling and bustling through – those are the places you would think to find a few ghosts haunting the building and the grounds.

Yet, some common, every day and random places can be haunted, or have people who have seen something, felt something or reacted to something.

People leave an impact on a place, even long after they are gone and no one quite remembers what happened or who it happened to any more. That energy sticks to a place. Like walking into a room when people have been arguing, you can feel the charged atmosphere and the sudden drop when things go silent.

I think this is what haunts a place, the charge of energy and the sudden drop. It’s as if all that energies charged up, was never grounded or allowed to ease off and dissipate Instead it was frozen in place, as it waiting for something else to happen to let it release the charge.

Each place has it’s own story and it’s own mood. Just as no two people are the same, no two haunted places will be quite the same either. If you find a place you think is haunted find out what you can of the history of the place and it’s people. Don’t let what you discover bias you as you explore, however. You might only find just what you expect to find that way and completely miss something really unexpected and unusual.

Links to Get Started With

 

old house

Are You Sure You’re Pagan?

dark pentacleIs your Faith Misplaced?

One thing I seldom see in Pagan writing are posts about world news and current events from a Pagan perspective. (Unless the events actually relate directly to religion/ Paganism).

I also don’t see people talking about taking comfort in Paganism or Wicca or Witchcraft the way some other religions do. Is our religion a fair weather friend? Something we take out when we intend to, or want to, but other times it’s just not there.

These are the things I’ve been thinking about lately.

When you have a personal tragedy, do you turn to your Pagan beliefs for comfort?

I’ve seen people talk on and on about what they believe, defend it, teach it and promote it. But, is it still so personal to you that you could turn to your beliefs when you really do need something to believe in – not for a cause but for your own heart? You might perform a ritual because it’s the thing to do. But, is your heart really in it? Is this giving you real comfort? Or are you just doing what’s expected of you as a Pagan/ Wiccan/ Witch?

When did you last think of something in the news from a Pagan perspective? I don’t mean news about anything religious. When did you hear the news from the perspective of being Pagan and think to write about how this made you feel, as a Pagan?

Not all news is relevant to being a Pagan, yet, if you are a Pagan shouldn’t you see the news from the perspective of your beliefs rather than adding them in later?

Do you wear Pagan jewelry, collect Pagan tools and magical items? Does each one have real meaning to you or are they just part of your collection? Do you wear black because that’s what Witches do or because you actually like wearing black?

When you ‘Go Green’, do you stop and think about how you are helping the Earth or do you just recycle because that’s the right/ popular thing to do?

If you work with spells are you really taking into account “Harm’s none”? Or do you just like creating a spell because it makes you Pagan and special. Are you a Witch because spellcraft makes you feel special and important?

When someone talks about Pagans in a negative way do you need to spring up and rush to counter them? Why? It’s not for us to convert anyone and you are more likely to change their mind from your actions, not your words.

Do your Pagan beliefs reach right down to your soul? Are you satisfied with what you believe will happen when you die? Not about being gone and death itself, few would be satisfied to leave life. But, do you get comfort from the beliefs you have about what happens to your soul after your body dies?

Is being Pagan a fair weather friend for you or is it in everything you do and feel and believe? There’s no rule that says it has to be. Being Pagan is about making your own choices and decisions, finding your own values and ideals. Have you taken that to heart or are you following the popular path without really accepting it on that deep, personal level?

After reading this are you going to leave me a comment to prove how Pagan, Wiccan or Witch you are? Are you already listing your Pagan credentials, ready to type them all out? Stop and think about why you need to prove how Pagan you are.

Could you be Pagan and not tell anyone, ever? Could you be Pagan and not need to prove it to anyone?

Being Pagan, Wiccan or a Witch is a choice of religion, spirituality, beliefs and faith. Do you have faith in your choice?

Have you looked at enough of the other options? There are endless choices inside of Paganism itself. Find the one that really speaks to you, the one that reaches your heart and soul, the one you want to live and grow with. Don’t settle too easily for what looks shiny and new or popular.

Extinct Animals All Alive Again and No Place to Go

Tasmanian Tiger

Extinct Animals You Might See Alive Someday Soon.

I really enjoyed this article. It was fantasy, creative and practical minded. What do you think about the idea of bringing back dinosaurs and extinct animals? Beyond that, what do you think about keeping animals in zoos, breeding them so they can be kept in captivity and be viewed by school children just for the sake of being able to say “here is another species mankind hasn’t killed off yet”!

Nice to read from the point of view of a writer who can see things realistically rather than going on about how much they love animals. I don’t think anyone is a real animal lover if they can’t see beyond the cute and cuddly.

The point about what to do with these animals once they are brought back is exactly what I was thinking as I read along. The habitat for the animals still here is shrinking all the time. The animals surviving best are the scavengers because they will adapt, fit in where they can and eat just about anything. What is the point in bringing more animals into the world when humans can’t make space for the animals now.

Also, the whole thing about keeping near extinct species in zoos and breeding them (with so much human intervention that we would be calling rape if they were people). The babies are taken from their Mothers and the Mothers are upset and so disturbed they become unable to look after the babies. Then the zookeepers take over claiming the Mother was unfit all along. It is ironic that people take over for nature and then say it isn’t our fault or we need the space because we are the caretakers of our world after all.

(Maybe I’ve just been reading too much Les Miserables today).

Where the Wild Things Are: Teaching Pagan Ideas to Kids

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, February, 20, 2003.

What do you do with Pagan kids?

I think kids are too young to get started on the more serious side of being Pagan. Partly because they are too uninformed to make the decision to be Pagan versus something else. Also, calling themselves Pagan could become a problem with other members of the family or kids/ teachers at school. Most people don’t understand Paganism and thus they don’t trust it. Kids are a bit too defenseless in that situation.

That doesn’t mean kids can’t be Pagan too. Calling yourself Pagan is not being Pagan. What is being Pagan about, at it’s heart? To me it’s nature, the Earth, life, history, science, traditions and environmentalism. Is there any reason kids can’t be involved in those things, of course not. Kids just love to talk about the supernatural too, few kids don’t enough the spooky element of Halloween. You can add the facts about ghosts, Witches and such to their ghost stories.

Teach kids to appreciate nature, take them on walks outdoors, show them how to recycle and make it a priority to learn about history and science. Involve them in your rituals. Take them on a nature walk to gather leaves, stones, etc. Let them know what your altar is for, don’t make it a big mystery, but don’t make it sound too “weird” either. Get them started writing a journal, they don’t have to know it’s a Book of Shadows. Spend time with them, that’s the most important thing for any kids, Pagan or otherwise. Remember, they learn from you. What you do is what they see and what they believe.

You can introduce kids to the Wiccan Rede, the basic ideas behind Paganism and what you believe about Gods, Goddesses, life and death. But, make sure they understand not everyone shares your same beliefs. For one thing you want them to make their own decision about being Pagan. For another you don’t want them to be confused when they discover people who disagree with Pagan ideas.

Kids haven’t lived enough to have a deeper understanding and they don’t know how to protect themselves from those who think Pagans are evil, devil worshipping types. That’s the main reason I think I would just let kids see the heart of Paganism and introduce them to the body later. Likely, they will have had a life of living like a Pagan and it will be a very smooth transition to become Pagan officially.

Where the Wild Things Are: Talking About Being Pagan

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, January, 16, 2003.

Staying safe, in your own safe little world. Is that where you are? Many of us choose our adventures, how far we will go depends on where we have our safety nets.

For instance, have you told anyone you’re Pagan? Have you told your family, friends, co-workers, boss? I’m not suggesting you rush out and do it. I’m certainly not daring you to tell them either. It’s a personal thing. Being Pagan is a personal thing in itself. A personal choice and something just for you.

It should not, however, be some dark secret. Something deep, dangerous and naughty. That’s not what Paganism should be. It’s not something you should have to hide from your family. Being Pagan is about caring for life, the Earth and old traditions. How can they really object to that? Still, you can find the safety zone. You can let them know you’re into nature, environmental issues and historical traditions. You can be Pagan without saying the word Pagan to them.

People don’t always get that. They think they have to hide being Pagan because others won’t like it or will be shocked by it. They turn it into a deep, dark secret. By doing that they make it become something dark, secret. No wonder so many people still think of Pagans as devil worshippers.

You have the power to find where your safe world is, set the boundaries and set the record straight if you choose to. Let people know you’re Pagan, if you can or if you choose to. But, don’t make it some dark mystery. Don’t let them find an altar, a book or a pentacle in your room without explanation. If you make being Pagan something to be ashamed of or fear you hurt all of us.

Instead be proud of who you are and be as honest about it as you can. For me, the only person I couldn’t talk to about being Pagan was my Grandmother. It scared her. She couldn’t think of it as anything but dangerous for me. She didn’t understand that it’s not something dark, but something light. She didn’t know what I made of being Pagan, for me. She only knew the stereotypes she had heard all her life.