Day Twenty Two - Dr Weinerschtein
Dr Weinrschtein is a jaded paranormal investigator, part-time finger pointer and enthusiastic mud slinger with a PhD in face palming. He is the founder and lead investigator with Supernatural House Investigation Team.
An A to Z of paranormal stuff, things,
and often buffoonery
A is for... An Aaron
Named after Aaron Goodwin from Ghost Adventures, this is the member of your team that you always send into the cellar first and by themselves. The one who you get to carry the heaviest bags. The one you tie to a chair blindfolded in the attic for a solo vigil as you and the rest of the team nip to the pub.
B is for... Bigfoot
Bigfoot is a Trans-Dimensional Psychic Alien Ghost. Fact. Don’t believe me? Do the maths. I have. And it is.
C is for... Cherry
As in Neneh. Or at least her hit song, Buffalo Stance. Clearly the inspiration for many a paranormal teams’ photo shoot. Wear matching clothing (black, always), hang in a buffalo stance and look like rappers/tortured poets. Job’s a good ‘un.
D is for... Demon
They’re everywhere, all the time. Apparently. Can’t shake a K2 without cracking one in the nuts by all accounts. Except on the investigations I’ve been on. Not so much as a disgruntled Casper actually. Clearly I’ve been doing it wrong.
E is for... Energy
Energy has a clear definition and parameters in physics. In ghost hunting, not so much. Here, it’s a word used when a ghost hunter hasn’t got a clue but still wants to give the impression they do. Psychics especially love this word. Must be their energy or something.
F is for... FFS!
My usual exasperated response to reading/hearing the majority of groups or investigators when talking in the media.
G is for... Ghostbox
A device lauded by ghost hunters as a communication tool to speak with discarnate entities. Except that it’s actually just a broken radio. It should be called the Broken Transistor Radio Apophenia Machine. But isn’t.
H is for... Home
If you think your home is haunted, the last people you should invite in are a ghost hunting team. Seriously. Where you once possibly had dodgy plumbing or electrical devices you’ll end up with negative entities watching you doing the horizontal bed-spring dance, or your late Aunt Hilda making disparaging remarks about your wallpaper choices via a psychic medium.
I is for... I don’t know
Should be the response to pretty much most searching questions regarding the paranormal. Because we don’t have the answers to most of the questions. No one does. If anyone tells you they do they’re lying, deluded, or have a TV show. Often all three. Or it’s Stephanie from a group in Wigan who doesn’t know any better.
J is for... Job
Everyone member of a paranormal team has to have a specific job role within that team. Now this makes sense at the normal people level. Different people have different skill sets, experiences or interests in any kind of group. However, many groups don’t operate at the normal people level. They are far more important and apparently qualified.
Tech Advisor and Data Analyst are favourites. Scientific Getterwronger is another. Tight T-shirt wearer is fairly common, as is beard-wearer. I’m tempted to start another group just so I can instigate some new real job titles – Electrical Lead Collecter, Storage Box Advisor, Chair Sitting Expert, and Bad Joke Maker.
K is for... Keel
John Keel was an author and Fortean, most famous for his Mothman Prophecies book. A paranormal theorist, whose thinking was well outside the box. The truth of some of his experiences and the grounding of some theories is accepted as, well, shaky let’s say. His
books are still interesting nonetheless. A chapter title in his Operation Trojan Horse book, To Hell with the Answer! – What’s the question? Makes him worth the shout out alone.
L is for... Locations
Some locations are haunted by Royal Decree - Jails, hospitals, graveyards, churches, and castles. Pubs, nightclubs and anywhere with a broken window are optional. According to ghost hunting event websites, the optional list has been extended to community centres, school gymnasiums, and ASDA car parks.
M is for... Matching Apparel
If you want to be taken seriously as a paranormal group, get matching T shirts with the group logo on. If you got more cash, matching fleeces or jackets. And a hat. Some even have the group name on the side of a van, especially for those home investigations where client anonymity and privacy are paramount.
N is for... Native American
Elements of Native American culture just sing with spooky overtones - tricksters, spirits, skinwalkers. Sasquatch is even a Native American term. But the ultimate – burial grounds! No Stateside ghost story or spooky narrative is complete without some reference to a Native American burial ground. It’s a guarantee!
O is for... Orbs
Manifestations of spirits captured in photographs and video, their spirit energy captured as small balls of light floating in the air. Different colours representing different energies. You can even find a chart of this on the internet. Or, out of focus airborne particles reflecting light back to the camera. That’s what the evidence suggests. It’s even what some camera companies explain in their user guides. But don’t let that get in the way, right?
P is for... Psychics
Now, I’m not saying psychic abilities don’t exist. It may even be some kind of outlier of emotional intelligence or something. But psychics on a ghost hunt? Nah, I think not. “I’m picking up a man whose name begins with F”. Aye, his name is Mr F***ing Do One.
Q is for... Quantum Physics
When a physicist talks about quantum physics it can be equally confusing, enthralling and mind blowing. When a ghost hunter talks about quantum physics to explain ghosts it’s equally hilarious and embarrassing. Proof a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Just don’t do it kids.
R is for... Red
Yes, red. More specifically those Red Circles of Doom. You’ve seen them on photographs. Big red circles highlighting the area of interest in a photo. These are helpful optical tools to focus your attention to the area of interest. Actually these are anti-ambiguity techniques to help you see what is supposed to be there. Except they usually just focus your attention on the fact that the ambiguous area of ambiguity is still unambiguously ambiguous.
S is for... Scientific
Just a heads up – using an electronic device designed to locate wiring in walls to hunt for ghosts isn’t scientific. Neither is just sticking the word “scientific” in front of something – scientific equipment, scientific investigation. You might think it is, but it isn’t
T is for... Television
Paranormal TV. What can you say?. We’ve all watched them. As formulaic as a recipe for soufflé. Turn up for a few hours and hit paydirt every time. In night vision of course. They’re amazing. I’ve been on investigations where the most exciting thing was someone’s tummy rumbling like Godzilla at 2am. In fact most investigations are like that. Fake? You decide!!
U is for... Ultraterrestrials
John Keel first talked of these in The Mothman Prohecies. He proposed these beings inhabited parts of the electromagnetic spectrum imperceptible to humans. Far-fetched, but I’ve heard worse theories. Keel later seemed to step back from his hypothesis, claiming it to be a literary device rather than a theory.
V is for... Vallee
A French UFO researcher, Jaques Vallee is an anomaly in the area – an actual scientist! His book Passport To Magonia looks at the connections between folklore and the UFO phenomena. If one wishes to look deeper at paranormal subjects, Vallee should be a port of call. If you’ve seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the French scientist in it was based him. Kinda.
W is for... Why?
Probably the one question that should be asked the most, but is actually addressed the least by paranormal investigators. Ghosts are spirits of the deceased – why? I talk to spirits with this domestic wiring location device – why? The night time is the right time for ghost hunting – why? So many unasked and unanswered questions.
X is for... X-Files
That theme tune. Mulder & Scully. The ultimate paranormal TV show. Probably. Even when it turned crap, we still watched. It died. Then came back. What more do you need from a paranormal show!
Y is for... Yvette Fielding
The Queen of British paranormal TV. Host of Most Haunted. Has a ghost hunting dog called Winston. Except that it actually usually just mooches about slobbering on the floor. Yvette has a unique fright response, a scream that I’ve no doubt scares the living crap out of whatever ghosts are present. I say scream. It’s more a blend of the sound of someone having their skin peeled off by someone with no thumbs, and someone being unexpectedly plunged naked into an ice bath. I’m not even sure it’s produced by human vocal chords. I’m therefore convinced she is an ultraterrestrial.
Z is for... Zak Bagans
Of Ghost Adventures fame (or infamy). The totem for paranormal stupidity. Everything is demonic, nothing is too ridiculous. Has a museum but no common sense. Has a paranormal tool-kit akin to Sport Billy’s Omni-sack (Google it!). But looks good in a tight t-shirt, even I’ll admit that.
Today's church door...
St Andrew, Callander
Located in the bustling little town of Callander, St Andrew’s is a quaint church with a neatly trimmed yew archway that frames the south porch. It was built in 1857 by the resident stonemason at nearby Stronvar. But before there was a dedicated building, the Rev George Gleig would hold Episcopal services in the back room of the local shoe shop during his summer vacations to the town.