It's kind of embarrassing to admit that I used to be really into ghosts and the paranormal, but it's true. I would frequent http://www.ghoststudy.com
because I enjoyed the rush of seeing photos of "ecto orbs"
and reading stories about people hearing ghostly moans and seeing things thrown across the room by an unseen entity.
Of course now I've learned what a lens flare is, and the simple way to explain those stories is acknowledging the fact that the storyteller was lying.
In fact, it's so easy to fake a ghost story and photo that I thought I'd do it myself, just for the giggles. I had to sell some stuff on craigslist anyway, so why not say the old rocking chair was haunted?
I made up a crap story with the names of some of my friends in it, and shopped a little picture. Here's what I posted:
HELP!!!! I got this rocking chair at an estate sale but now I'm regretting it!! Here's what happened. I was checking out an estate sale when I was in driving in Martinez beside the train tracks. The house looked kind of unkempt and creaked wherever I stepped. There were lots of creepy dolls around, and they were selling a lot of baby clothes that looked like they had never been warn. I saw this chair and loved it--it's vintage and adorable, and it goes with any earth tones in my house. I decided to take it, and I asked the lady at the counter how much it is. She looked kind of old and sad, and she said it was $200. I gave her the cash and she helped me load it into her car. Then another woman came out of the house and said to the first woman that she shouldn't sell it, that "Wendy is always in that chair." They argued a little, but the first woman who had sold it to me said that they needed to get rid of it before it brings them any more bad luck. I asked this woman if she wanted to keep the chair. She said that she didn't want to keep it, but I shouldn't take it either. She said that they were having an estate sale because this was her sister's house, and her sister had died a month ago. Her sister, Wendy, had always wanted a child, but her husband Kyle left her. Shortly after he left, she discovered that she was pregnant. Wendy was distraught because her husband couldn't help take care of the baby, but she was overjoyed to have one anyway, and she sat in that chair every night making baby clothes for it. When the time finally came, there was a complication with the birth and both Wendy and the baby died. This woman, Ashlee, said that she still hears Wendy and sees her in the chair, but the spirit is an angry one. Ashlee said that she sees the chair rocking on her own and hears what sounds like her sister crying. In addition to that, baby clothes are often flung across the room, and the TV will turn on at random times! I didn't believe her because I don't believe in ghosts or anything, so I took it home. Boy was I wrong! First I heard what sounded like heavy winds, but when I looked outside I could see that the trees were not swaying, so it couldn't have been wind. Then baby name books started showing up, which I definitely do not remember buying, and they are always turned to the name "Kyle"! Random things are happening at this house...TVs are turning on, the cat won't even come into the house anymore, and I found my shoes on the roof!! One afternoon I heard very distinct sobbing coming from the dining room. I took my camera phone and went to take a picture. I couldn't see anything, but I took a picture just in case. THIS IS WHAT SHOWED UP ON MY PHONE!! [see above]Now I need the money to exorcise my house. Please only take this if you're willing to assume the risks!!! I'm not responsible for any injury or even death that comes with taking this item!!
- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Pretty ridiculous, right? All I had to do with this photo was take a pic of the chair, then sit in it and take another pic. I changed the second pic to grayscale in photoshop then used dodge on the figure (myself) and placed it over the first pic. I erased the parts of the grayscale pic that didn't have me in it and changed the opacity of the layer, and bada bing bada boom, I have a ghost photo. Not that there are a lot of real ghost photos floating around against which to compare it, so I understand the mistake.
Got a few people asking me if the posting was real, and I told them that it was not. One person just e-mailed me the initiallism "LOL :)" One person responded with this:
My name is Devin S----. I am Co-founder of California Delta Paranormal. Needless to say your case caught our eye and we would like to help. We also may have a buyer for the chair. He is an avid collector of haunted items. We would like offer to do a full scale investigation at your place of residence. Now we are a non profit business, so that means the only thing it will cost you is your time. We completed 47 investigation last year and this year we are just as busy. You can check out our web-site at CaliforniaDeltaParanormal.com. If you are interested, please give me a call at (925)-------. Again our services are free.
I debated indulging them. I don't want to be mean of course, but hey, if it weren't for joke or otherwise hallucinatory ghost sightings there would be no ghost sightings at all, and these would be out of a job--or, hobby. I don't want to encourage chasing false rainbows, but I was really curious to see what they would do. Plus, when I asked my friends via my facebook status, most people said I should do it. So, I let them come over to scope out the place.