Thursday, November 20, 2014

Link Fiesta

Scientists figured out how to make people feel ghosts. "The sensation of an otherworldly presence, they found, actually derives from garbled sensorimotor brain signals, in which a person's self awareness of their own body is projected into a seemingly disconnected space. In such cases, the researchers explained in a release, the brain mis-assigns its own life signals as belonging to someone or something else."

Super cool Reddit AMA from a historical curator at a small historical site. Very interesting stuff here. Check out his take on paranormal research groups:
"There definitely has to be a line. I think it helps that everyone on the staff is on the same page when it comes to the paranormal - none of us are believers! We only hold this paranormal event once-a-year and always around Halloween. I too have museum patrons who ask, "is the house haunted?" Well, I don't like to answer, "I don't know" to any question and just end it there. Now I can at the very least mention a piece of "evidence" that the group captured - but still say that I don't believe the house is haunted.And while we do get a few requests every year from other amateur paranormal groups - we've really only given our "seal of approval" to the Johndale Paranormal Group (the group that gives our presentation). They take a skeptical eye to paranormal claims and use as scientific methods as possible, which is why we are willing to host an event run by them.Everyone else has to be willing to pay a sizable fee to perform investigations in the house. When another group does come in, if they lie about their findings, act unprofessional, or use hokey methods - they won't be allowed back in the house. We would never sacrifice our ability to share real, verifiable, actual history in favor of promoting a haunted reputation of the museum. But here's the thing: do you know how many radio or newspaper interviews I've been asked to perform when we have a historical author come in? Or even the Warden of the State Prison? The answer is never. Not once. But for the paranormal events, our executive director, the investigators themselves, and myself have all been interviewed multiple times. A typical event we hold at the museum gets about 20-30 attendees. Last year we had 170 turn up for the Paranormal Event. I've never seen a line outside of the museum except for that day. We also made about $700 in book sales and donations that afternoon...My board has been extremely supportive. I'm free to essentially 'try anything' at the museum I manage. The only disagreement we had is that one of the members wanted me to charge admission to the event, while I preferred to draw in a larger audience and keep it free. (In the end, the event is free)"
Pretty exciting. I knew the paranormal stuff could boost attendance, but it's good to see some real numbers. From 20 to 170 is a big bump.

An paranormal investigator taped a bunch of noises allegedly made by Champ, a sea monster living in Lake Champlain, Vermont.