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Tony Grist

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Most Haunted Live [Jan. 12th, 2009|10:37 am]
Tony Grist
I've followed Most Haunted on and off through most of its seasons. It hasn't changed much- and certainly not for the better. There's always been an small element of serious psychic research, but it hasn't got any smarter or more cunning- and the presenters, in spite of all their experience, are still the same ignorant Scoobies they always were. If anything the Barnumism has got brassier. The latest Most Haunted Live- which is running all through this week-  is billed as a Search for Evil.  Evil? Ghosts aren't evil- well, most of them aren't- more like sad, embittered, guilty, bewildered, needy- and after 12 seasons in the field Yvette and her gang ought to know that. They also- surely- ought to be pretty hardened to what they do- so why all the screaming?

When Derek Acorah got bounced off the show for brass-necked faking and was replaced as resident medium by David Wells it seemed as though cynicism didn't entirely rule. Wells wasn't showy, he knew his stuff- and seemed to be working hard to keep things honest- and respectful (because, after all, we are supposed to be dealing with the dead).   Since he left (probably out of disenchantment- but he's too nice to say so) they've struggled to find an adequate replacement.  At present they're working with a two man team- one of whom- Billy Roberts- I've had passing contact with. Nuff said.

I would dearly love for there to be a programme that took psychic research seriously. But I suppose long vigils, under tight controls, during which nothing much happened wouldn't make for particularly stirring viewing. Ah, well...

[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2009-01-12 03:05 pm (UTC)
Do you get Ghost Hunters there? With Jason and Grant? (One's last name in Hawes, but I don't remember which.)

I can't stand Most Haunted because of the stupid screeching and the obviously fake stuff. Books (not just one or two but MANY books) being flipped off the shelves by topic and title and author upon request? Excuse me. NO WAY.

I have seen ghosts myself and they NEVER act like that.

Ghost Hunters is much more realistic. I think that their shows are real. They usually don't find much at all (if anything) but SOMETIMES, they get some really eerie voice recordings and catch some really eerie images on their films.

My only issue with that show is that some of these places are so interesting that I think they should spend a week or so investigating them rather than one or two nights. I also don't think it is really necessary to "go dark" as they do. I don't think it really matters to ghosts whether the lights are on or not.

I believe in ghosts (having seen them myself, it is hard not to believe in them), and I don't believe ANY self-respecting ghost would appear to those grandstanders from Most Haunted.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-01-12 04:35 pm (UTC)
I believe I've seen Ghost Hunters. There was a show that investigated a theatre in a western "ghost town" that I liked. Maybe that was Jason and Grant.

There are so many paranormal shows on at the moment. Some are more convincing than others. There's one called Psychic Detectives (made in New Zealand, I think) which I try to catch whenever I notice it's on.

I've never seen a ghost, but I know people who do- or who are otherwise sensitive to the paranormal. If you're willing to share, I'd love to hear about your experiences-
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2009-01-12 09:00 pm (UTC)
Well, the first house I lived in was haunted. The stairway to the upstairs was very steep. When you got almost to the top of it, there was a small landing which was big enough for a small bookcase with enough space left over for a child to sit and read on. The stairs turned left and three or four steps continued up to my parents' bedroom. There was only a railing between my parents' room and the stairway--so it was open at the top. there were two other bedrooms off my parents' room where my sisters and i slept.

That stairway seemed to be the focus of a lot of activity. At various times, different members of the family at different times would see globs of undulating matter drifting up the stairway. This stuff floated and appeared to emit low levels of light. it was not perfectly round like a globe--but was asymetrical and sort of purplish in color. The surface was mottled. as they drifted up the stairs, they made a sort of rustling sound like static electricity or paper rustling. Sometimes they made a faint tinkling sound.

They always drifted slowly to the top of the stairs. at the landing, they turned left, started to drift up towards my parents' bedroom, then made a *popping* sound--as if someone put their finger in their mouth and did that *pop* noise--and disappeared.

Once I saw a skeleton walk up the stairs. It didn't look right or left. It just marched up to the landing then turned and disappeared, just like the purple globs.

My sister once woke up to discover the form of a man outlined in "stars" (she was 6 or 7, so "stars" is how she interpreted what she saw). The thing she remembers most is that he had 'wings' on his feet. I'm pretty sure she had never been exposed to the concept of Hermes, messenger of the gods, at that time.

at another time, my sister found a very old coin in my grandparents' garage, buried in the dirt. It disappeared and somehow *I* got the blame for stealing it. i didn't steal it, and i was deeply hurt that i was being blamed for it. i looked for it everywhere but it was no where to be found.

At about this same time, i discovered the word 'hi' written in some sort of smeary white stuff (looked like shaving lotion). However, the word was written backwards. None of my sisters could reach that high up on the mirror, and i didn't write it. not long after that, I found that coin lying on my sister's pillow in a neat little hole that looked like someone had punched the pillow, then set the coin in the hollow that formed.

The other thing I saw at this house was disturbing. i had awakened needing to pee. I was always scared to go downstairs to the bathroom (and the only bathroom was downstairs) because it seemed like there was something down there, watching you, in the night. Anyhow, I stood at the top of the stairs screwing up my courage to go down when what appeared to be my sister appeared to walk from the direction of the bathroom to the bottom of the stairs.

She stood there, looking up at me, while I whispered to her, asking if she would stay down there and wait for me to pee. She just smiled up at me, but didn't answer. i asked her again--again no response, but a smile. I was getting irritated with her because I really needed to pee--and i didn't dare talk louder because I would RATHER have faced angry ghosts than my dad if he got woken up in the middle of the night.

Finally i said, "Will you wait or not?"

Her smile widened, then her head tipped to the left and just rolled off her shoulders and onto the floor. Then both the body and the head just faded slowly away.

i don't know what that was, but I never went downstairs again in the dead of night. I think I peed in the wastebasket or something, because I *KNOW* I did NOT go down there.

There were many other small things that happened there--The house had an attic that had a very forboding feeling. Whenever I walked past that door, i had a mental image of something large and hulking crouching on the other side of the door. that was probably just childish imagination, but my mother has said the same thing about feeling very creeped out whenever she passed that doorway.
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2009-01-12 09:16 pm (UTC)
We moved away from that house when I was ten. The next house that we lived in was rumored to be haunted. odd things would happen there--for example, the TV would turn on and off by itself. We'd hear a lot of things like footsteps going up and down the basement stairs and occasionally music or singing in the middle of the night.

There were lots of little things there, like seeing things just out of the corner of your eye or just as you were drifting off to sleep. As soon as you looked directly or sat up, they were gone.

The freakiest thing i saw there were two long thin shadowy arms which sprouted out of the headboard of my bed and reached towards me as I bounced out of bed and backed away. They shot out very quickly and scared the hell out of me. They disappeared almost immediately. i only saw them that once, but once was more than enough. I slept in the spare bedroom for quite a while after that happened. Two or three years, as I recall.

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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2009-01-12 09:54 pm (UTC)
The most impressive ghostly encounter I had was when i was in college. My college boyfriend was from Tennessee. During spring break I went to his home to meet his parents. The first night I was there, I had a very strange feeling as I was lying in the bed they put me in. I felt like someone was leaning over me, right in my face. It was very uncomfortable. finally, I prayed, and the feeling dissipated.

The next night my boyfriend's mother had me sleep in his room upstairs, and he slept in the extra bedroom upstairs. His mother had changed the sheets, draping the old ones over his chair. i woke in the middle of the night feeling that distinct "someone is staring at me" feeling. I turned over and looked at the door.

Floating about a foot above the floor was a woman dressed in a white gown--she was not transparent, but she was very white everywhere. The dress appeared to be made of some kind of brocade material. She was sitting cross-legged, just staring at me. There was no emotion on her face, and she didn't attempt to communicate with me. I did not attempt to communicate with her because i couldn't really believe what I was seeing.

I believed that something was there, but i did not believe it was a ghost. I believed it was something that my eyes were manipulating into looking like that. i remembered about the sheets over the chair and made myself believe that was what I was seeing. after staring at it long enough, I even *saw* the chair with sheets.

Well, the next morning, I woke up to discover that there was NOTHING by the door where I had seen the figure of the woman. The chair with the sheets on it was on the other side of the room. i was the first one up, so i know that no one came into the room and moved things.

I didn't say anything to anyone about this because i didn't want my boyfriend's parents to think I was crazy.

The rest of the week that I visited them passed without incident.

On the last night that I was there, he and I were sitting in a park on a swinging bench talking. We covered a lot of topics, then he told me that he was glad the visit had gone well, and that "nothing had happened." I said I thought his parents liked me well enough, and everything seemed okay.

He said, "No, that's not what i meant." Then he told me about the fact that he could never have friends over when he was going to school--"a lady in white, always floating about a foot above the floor, would appear and stare at them. they'd freak out and have to be taken home." he himself had never seen this lady in white. But many of his friends had.

That was confirmation of a kind i never had before. All the things my sisters and parents and i had seen when i was a child could have been mass hysteria or something--i don't think they were, but it COULD have been.

That this lady had been seen many times by many people and I knew nothing about it before seeing her myself--well, that was confirmation to me.

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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2009-01-12 09:54 pm (UTC)
I had one more experience involving this lady.

Weeks or months later, I was talking with my boyfriend on the phone. i was at my parents' house. i asked him if the lady had made any more appearances. He didn't like to talk about her--especially when he was in the house. I said, "I'm not scared of that bitch."


that wasn't a bright comment to make.

Instantly there was a horrendous crash from upstairs. i heard my mom pelting down the hallway to my room (I was downstairs in the dining room). Then she came bounding down the stairs asking me what the hell was going on. i said I had no idea--i was in the dining room, sitting on the floor.

She said that up in my room everything had been swept off my dresser and slammed against the wall on the other side of the room. JUST MY STUFF. Not my sister's stuff. And we shared a room and a dresser.

Explanation? it had to be the lady. There was no wind--and if there had been, the dresser was far from the window, and the stuff on the dresser flew toward the window. I don't think the wind would suck stuff towards the window.

That was the second big confirmation.

i haven't had any other large or impressive sightings, but i do hear people talking in my house when i am lying in bed in the early morning--i am awake, and it sounds like people are talking downstairs and the voices are drifting up. Sometimes I smell cigarette smoke, bread baking, bacon and eggs frying, and sometimes even roast beef cooking. this is always irritating. I always annouce to the cooking ghosts that it is rude of them to cook in MY house and not offer to share.

Sometimes i feel like I would see something if I looked in a certain direction, but I don't look. I really don't care to see anything else. I have never screamed or freaked out or even run away. it is unnerving to see something like that, but you just cope and move on.

That's why I get so irritated with those screamers on Most Haunted. You go looking for ghosts, and they you start screeching when you think you've seen one? WTF????

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-01-12 10:23 pm (UTC)
I wonder who she was? Clearly she liked to take stock of anyone who came to stay in "her" house. Her temper tantrum- throwing your things across the room- is remarkable. She must have been listening in on the conversation.

Things happen in this house. I don't think it's haunted, but I think spirits pass through. Ailz, who is a little bit psychic, is aware of presences sometimes and our friend Carl- who definitely is- has seen them. He saw a man in a trilby hat in the hallway once. And we have the occasional electrical anomalies. The day before yesterday our satellite navigation system, which was sitting on the mantlepiece, turned itself on- twice.
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2009-01-12 11:01 pm (UTC)
I don't know who she was. But the house was quite old. It had been in the family for a while as it belonged to my boyfriend's grandmother before it had belonged to his parents.

I recall now that he was freaked out because she had never been spotted in his bedroom before. Usually she walked up and down the hallway and glared out the front door's window at passersby on occasion.

I was very shocked that she could reach all the way from Tennesee to minnesota. I felt I was safe in my own house tweaking her--I learned I was not.

She never hurt me, just tossed my stuff around.

That was the last i've heard from her. I would be interested in knowing if anyone has had encounters with her since...but i've long ago lost contact with that boyfriend.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-01-13 10:14 am (UTC)
Ghosts hardly ever do any physical damage to people. That's why the Most Haunted schtick about ghosts being "evil" and "dangerous" is so annoying- and why most fictional ghost stories are nonsense.

I get the impression this lady of yours was very possessive of her house- and resented the strangers who had taken it over. Casual visitors would have been particularly irksome to her because, after all, she hadn't invited them.

It's certainly unusual that she was able to act over a distance- but perhaps the telephone connection acted as a link between her space and yours.
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2009-01-12 11:21 pm (UTC)
In my current house, whatever is in here likes to turn the channel on me right at the end of the program I am watching. That has happened several times and is extremely irritating. One night it just would NOT let me watch Ghost Hunters. the channel would change, i owuld change it back, and immediately, it would change again. Finally I got irritated and turned everything off and went to bed. if I can't watch my program, it can't watch its either! It isn't like there isn't another TV right downstairs in the living room!

I forgot to tell you about the ghost of my cat!

i had a wonderful cat--I loved him soooo much. He came to me in a cardboard box, a little ball of fluff who'd been given to one of my student's by her boyfriend. Her mother told her it had to go, and her mentally handicapped brother kept bringing it to me, asking me to take it. Usually he was carrying it by a leg. Finally, I took it out of pity.

They'd been feeding it only milk, and it had a horrid case of diarrhea that last for some time. That cat and i lived together for nearly 20 years. i called him my "son." He slept in my arms most of the time until i was deeply asleep, then he'd go down and sleep between my knees. i sleep on my stomach, and he would pillow his head in one knee bend and snuggle his butt in the other.

He got very sick when he got older. i kept him alive for a year longer than i should have. the poor thing was nothing but skin and bones and was obviously suffering, but I LOVED him. I didn't want to let him go, and i believe he clung to life for my sake.

Finally, i couldn't stand to see him suffer any more and had him put down. I cried more over that cat than I did over my dad when he passed. You see, I only saw my dad from time to time. He wasn't really a daily part of my life. but my son--well, he was a huge part of every single day. When he was gone there was a giant hole in my life. So, i cried a lot.

I still miss him. i still get a little teary now and then when i htink of him.

Anyhow, a while after he had died, i woke up in the middle of the night feeling the thup-thup-thup vibration of a cat scratching himself with his rear paw between my knees. I lay very still, thinking I was dreaming, but I was AWAKE. I looked at the clock. I lay completely still. I could feel the weight and heat of his body. I could feel him settle in once he was done scratching.

The only thing I felt was joy. My baby was back. He stayed there for a long time--maybe ten minutes. then I just had to look. I raised myself cautiously to peek, and the second I turned my head, he was gone. :(

Some time later, i stayed home from school sick. Now, while he was still alive, whenever I would open the refrigerator door, he would be there, demanding a little snack. I kept tuna in there just for him. He'd twine himself around and around my ankles, mewing for a snack.

Well i was wearing my night gown and robe as i was staying home sick. I felt him brush my ankles and felt his tail catch under my robe and lift it up. It seemed completely normal until i realized, 'he's gone.' it only lasted a few seconds, but i knew it was him.

The last time I heard from my son, I had been staying at my mom's for a while. I can't remember for certain--but it may have been during the six weeks I stayed with her after I had my hysterectomy. I was lying on her bed with her, talking in the early early morning. suddenly we both heard the plaintive mew that my son would make when he was looking for me. It was only one mew--but it was HIS mew. He had never really learned to meow like a proper cat. He made little kitten noises till his dying day.

I called to him, but he made no further response. and though i have dreamed of him several times since then, he hasn't made himself known to me since.

I am hoping that when it is my time to die, he will be my spirit guide to take me to the afterworld. i loved him so much. I believe I loved him exactly as much as i would have loved a child.

he was something special to me.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-01-13 10:27 am (UTC)
What a touching story!

My daughter says that one of our cats- one that was particularly fixated on me- is still around. The sad thing is I can't sense her- and so can't acknowledge her presence. I feel bad about it. There she is- so my daughter says- trying to attract my attention- and I remain utterly oblivious.
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2009-01-14 03:25 am (UTC)
Maybe you should say her name and pat your lap, inviting her up. Tell her she's a good girl and tell her you love her.

I still miss my boy. I think he really visits me in my dreams--they are so vivid.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-01-14 09:52 am (UTC)
I should think he does. I'm sure animals have souls.

That's good advice. I'll take it. :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-01-12 09:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing these stories. The thing with your "sister" is truly extraordinary. It seems as if whatever was haunting that house was extemely sly and mischievous. I wonder if it had ever been human.

I've read that ghosts like to hang out on staircases because they're in-between places- neither here nor there. I suppose this makes a kind of sense.

Did you ever discover anything about the history of the house?
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2009-01-12 10:21 pm (UTC)
No, but I understand that the people who live there now also have a lot of very weird experiences. The family that was there before them claim they never saw or experienced anything weird.
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[User Picture]From: mkhobson
2009-01-12 03:08 pm (UTC)
Apropos of nothing, I can't remember if I've ever commented on your blog even once, but I really enjoy reading about your life and find you very insightful. Just thought I should say it. I don't know why it took a post on "Most Haunted" to make me do so. ;-)

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-01-12 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
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[User Picture]From: petercampbell
2009-01-12 07:28 pm (UTC)
We always watch Most Haunted. There's so many dubious pleasures: Stuart and Karl's hammed up battles with malevolent spirits, Yvette's goth outfit of the week, Ciaran's barely suppressed smirks, Cath's inevitable screaming fits. Taken for what it is, a romp around some famous and beautiful landmarks, it's good fun and it still produces the odd chill. As you say though, a serious show it's not, and never has been.
You'll be overjoyed to hear, incidentally, that Billy Roberts is going to the main medium once this series ends...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-01-12 07:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's addictive...

It's a bit like a soap. The characters are vivid- and in most cases both endearing and irritating. Derek Acorah- fearful old rogue that he is- was hugely entertaining.

I also enjoy Yvette's mangling of the English language.

So Billy's set to be a fixture. Heigh-ho!
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