There is a history of haunting, folklore and ghost stories around the world, and it has been widely publicised and popularised by Western society since the Victorian times. People would happily enter into group seances led by older women who would appear to fall into a trance and call forth the spirits of deceased loved ones to communicate with their kin and friends still on the Earth plane. Over time these seances were dismissed as parlour games, a ‘bit of fun’ and something to be ridiculed by the scientists and scholars who were determined to prove that ghosts did not exist.
Eventually the craze died down amid the horrors of the World Wars and the shift in society towards modern life where people simply didn’t have time for ghosts. These mysterious beings faded into the background of public consciousness. And then came the advent of Hollywood horror movies, designed to grab the attention of teenagers trying to escape parental control. Suddenly ghosts, poltergeists and demons were back at the forefront of the public eye thanks to media coverage. Children were bravely venturing into abandoned old houses only to be chased out by rattling chains, white vapours that took human form, creaking doors and floorboards, and horrible shrieking noises of tormented souls!
Yet what is a ghost by today’s standards? People have been actively hunting ghosts and spirits for many years now; a trend made popular by the UK television series Most Haunted and America’s Ghost Hunters. There have been scientific experiments to try and prove the existence or non-existence of these beings. Old buildings and burial sites have been investigated, photographed, videoed and visited by active Mediums who would attempt to communicate with the spirits of these places to learn more about them.
It seems very closely connected to the need for cultural history that people chase ghosts and try to prove once and for all that they do exist. Yet for every piece of live action film taken from CCTV footage, or photographs featuring light anomalies, orbs and mysterious figures that appear to be human or not human, there will always be somebody quick to deny the existence of spirits, who will set out to prove that these anomalies are just imperfections on the film, or reflections of light on camera lenses, or even dust particles. Now there are a large number of individual ghost hunting organisations, from small amateur operations that visit local public houses and places of historical interest, to larger media-owned groups that travel all over the world in their quest for that final, conclusive piece of evidence into the existence of ghosts.
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