Welcome to Ectoplasmic Residue
I have just started a blog on Tumblr, in order to get a little wider publicity for Strange Occurrences. www.tumblr.com/blog/theevilmoriarty
Hi. This is my first post on Tumblr. I have been Tweeting as TheEvilMoriarty for some years, on a variety of subjects. This blog, though, will be reserved for paranormal and ghostly matters.
I run a paranormal research and investigation group in Wellington, New Zealand, called Strange Occurrences. We formed with four members in 2005, began site investigations in 2006-2007, and remain active in the field in NZ. There are now around ten active groups in the country, whereas there was only one when we formed (Spooks, who soon became inactive).
In 2011, team member Dr Jo Davy and I wrote the book, ‘Spooked - exploring the Paranormal in New Zealand’, which was commissioned and published by Random House NZ.
Our team attempts to take a scientific approach to paranormal investigation, and several of the team members have scientific and medical backgrounds. However, the field of paranormal investigation is riddled with pseudoscientific practices, and it is challenging to avoid this. Studies based around anecdotal evidence, the accumlation and checking and verifying of it, combined with field work such as examining reportedly haunted (and also non-haunted) sites, interviewing people who have reported paranormal experiences and investigating those occurrences, seems to be a way forward. This is conducting studies rather than scientific experiments, of course.
We take an agnostic view of the paranormal in general, ghosts in particular, accepting that there is not yet suffiicient evidence to make a call either way. We steer away from making declarations. We remain hopeful that science may one day explain why people experience ghosts. We are questioning of the idea that the human soul (if there is such a thing) survives death of the body and is able to communicate with living humans; but it may be that some people are sometimes able to see/hear/feel/smell the presence of personalities that have lived in the past. We think this may be due to some anomalous behaviour of time which we don’t yet understand.
In the meantime, we are able to offer advice and help to people experiencing phenomena that scares or mystifies them and/or that they can find no natural explanation for. Sometimes we are able to suggest natural, physical reasons why the strange events occur, or we can perhaps offer explanations based on psychology. Other times we are completely mystified. It pays to keep an open mind and not rule out anything that we can’t find a reasonable explanation for.
Photographs of the paranormal are one area we do have a lot of knowledge about. Four members of the Strange Occurrences team are experienced photographers, one a full-time professional. We have found that most apparently paranormal photographs are explainable by either photographic anomaly (long shutter speeds, lens flare and flash-illuminated motes are most common) or by psychological interpretation, such as visual pareidolia. However, we can never be entirely sure that our explanations are the only ones. The possibility of a paranormal cause can never be entirely eliminated.
We invite you to submit your unexplained photographs if you are looking for an understanding of what you’ve captured. If you are seeking advice on paranormal matters, we can often give useful advice, but we don’t claim any real expertise in the field of the unknown. Everything is open to interpretation and nothing is absolute in the realm of the paranormal. If you are offered definite answers, be aware and think critically about what is being said.
Please visit our website: www.strange-occurrences.com for more info.
We are also on Facebook (search for Strange Occurrences) with an open Page and a member-only Group, which you are most welcome to join. (Just ask, but if you post spam you’d better watch out, as once I’m dead I will find you and aggressively haunt you to the brink of insanity!)
is a blog by James Gilberd - leader and co-founder of Strange Occurrences. Views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Strange Occurrences team.
James Gilberd is an amateur paranormalist, writer and musician, and a professional photographer, living in Wellington, New Zealand.