Monday, August 30, 2010

Sensible investigations.

Something Southern Writer pointed out to me, and which is deserving of further propagation, is the story of an amateur ghosthunter who was looking for a ghost train but was hit by a real one. The story was picked up by the UK press too, here.

Looking at the picture of that bridge, it is not a good place to be. There is no room to stand back and let a train pass by, the only options are run or jump when a train comes. So being on the bridge is not sensible.

It's also not a good place to try for a photo. Better to be at the end of the bridge, safely clear of the tracks, with the camera covering as much of the bridge as possible. Trying to take a photo, even of a real train, at the trackside at night will get no more than a blur. Trying to convince anyone that it's a photo of a ghost train will just invite derision. Stay clear of the tracks. It won't help your case if you are pureed by a few hundred tons of steel. It'll probably hurt a lot too.

So, be sensible. You're going out in the dark, sometimes the pitch dark. Check it out by day first. Is there a safe place to duck into to avoid live hazards? Are there holes you could break a leg in? Are there trip hazards? Could you describe to the emergency services exactly where you are and how to get there, should the need arise? Is your phone fully charged? If it's pay-as-you-go, as mine is, is there credit on it? Can you get reception in that area - and if not, have you told anyone where you'll be and when to expect you back? Check everythng in daylight first. Sometimes you'll even find a logical explanation for the phenomenon, such as (perhaps) a distant reflective sign, that will help explain an alleged haunting. That will save you spending the entire night in the cold and dark.

I have no problem with amateur ghosthunters, they have time to look at things I don't have time or funding to investigate. As with amateur astronomers, they will likely produce a lot of very useful information.

However, the collected information is no use if you die before telling anyone about it. So the first priority has to be - get out of the investigation intact.

Remember, we are trying to prove the existence of ghosts. We are not supposed to be in a hurry to join them.

That day will come, soon enough. When it does, there will be a host of people who won't believe we even exist.

And those we prove ourselves to will be of no use if they are a streak of red paste on a railway line.

First rule of investigation: make sure you can get out of it alive.

1 comment:

Regina Richards said...

Get out alive. Good advice.

Sad about that ghost hunter.

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