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There has been some absolute drivel coming over the wire recently, with several publications devoting far more copy space than necessary (ie some) to report this utter non-story from Gloucester.

Predictably, the Daily Mail has got in on the action (proving once again that the Mail newsdesk is a hotbed of ambition and integrity) but the Metro, MSN and Yahoo have also stooped to dangerous new levels of desperation in order to fill column inches.

To be honest, I try not to even bother writing about Ghost Photography anymore, which might explain why posts on Looking For Ghosts are less frequent than they used to be. Perhaps I’ve developed an immunity to them over the years but, as the old saying goes, there are only so many photographs of blurry, indeterminate objects you can look at before you start to feel your intelligence being insulted. Embarrassingly, my limit was 647. I’ve reached saturation point.

As I no longer have the energy to appear enthusiastic about some dubious picture you can clearly see is the result of double-exposure/photoshopping/dust on the lens/shadows/delete as applicable, this will be the last Ghost Photograph post you see on this blog. It’s beneath me to write them and it’s certainly beneath you to read them. I can’t even be bothered to be cynical about it anymore as it’s become far too easy to be rewarding. Think of it like kicking a sleeping puppy in the face; enjoyable at first, but the feeling of victory soon starts to wear off.

Anyway, here is it:

Stupid, isn’t it? This “apparition” was “captured” by John Gore, 43, whilst he was taking photographs of his pet cats (why?!) at his home in Cheltenham, Gloucester.

Despite the fact that it’s the easily the least convincing Ghost Photograph in existence, Mr Gore and his girlfriend have given the “ghost” the nickname Johnny Junior and have conducted the following intensive scientific research to find out the spirit’s identity:

“I showed it to a lady over the road who has lived here for years. She said somebody who lived in the house before us had a child who died of cot death.”

Right, so that’s settled then. It’s good to see a thorough investigation take place.

For the last time, there is absolutely no logical reason for ghosts to show up on camera. It does not happen. Please, let’s put this to bed for once and for all.

For the love of ghosts, can somebody, ANYBODY, give me something more interesting to write about?

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Proving once again that the internet is an ocean of stupidity, never short of willing participants eager to dive in and drown, Looking For Ghosts stumbled across this photo which has apparently gone “viral”.

For those of you who might have actually lived a worthwhile existence during the last couple of years and don’t understand the language of smug, media bores, the term “going viral” is used to describe something gaining inexplicable popularity on the internet. The opposite of this blog, essentially.  

According to the Daily Mail, who took time out from their usual routine of castigating immigrants and casual homophobia to cover this extremely important story, the picture has “divided the internet between the people who can see it, and those who cannot.”

Really? Not meaning to question the infinite wisdom of the Daily Mail, but what about the conveniently-ignored third group of people who can clearly see the face but have concluded that it’s an obvious hoax? Without presuming to know every reader of this blog personally (although we suspect it wouldn’t take too long), we’d like to think that most of us fall into this category.

If you don’t fall into this category, ask yourself why a “demon” would be squashed under a sofa cushion. Then ask yourself why anyone would be taking a photo of a sofa in the first place.

In fact, it doesn’t even look like a demon: it’s just a normal face. There’s nothing remotely sinister about it. It’s not even making a scary expression or anything. The whole thing is absurd.

In order to try and disguise an obvious lack of material (something we would NEVER do), the article is padded out with some reactionary fluff from the world of Twitter, which is what Journalists do nowadays in lieu of actually having to do any work themselves. “It genuinely made me Jump when I saw it, be warned!” wrote Ryan Evans, sounding like a genuine moron.

Clearly struggling for content, the article lumps another unrelated “scary face” picture at the bottom of the article in a hilarious attempt to tie it all together. But this one’s even more farcical; it’s just one of the girl’s friends standing behind them.

If this is the kind of nonsense the internet is being used for, it should be taken away and replaced with a book.

If running this blog has taught us anything, it’s that there is a certain stigma attached to being a paranormal enthusiast. As a topic most people take about as seriously as Morris Dancing, telling people you have even a fleeting interest in ghosts immediately invokes looks of pity or contempt. Either way, you’ll probably find yourself invited to far fewer parties. With your social status diminished to a low you never imagined possible, you might as well have told your friends you were a child molester.

One of the many problems we imagine paranormal enthusiasts often encounter is the lack of evidence to support their beliefs. “If ghosts exist,” many will scoff, “show me the evidence.” And then when you do try to show them some form of evidence, they’ll simply refute it with reasoning and logic. And, most likely, punch you in the face.

Frankly, when stories like this surface, it’s difficult to feel much sympathy.

This report from the expertly written and definitely not racist Daily Mail claims that a young family from Coventry (I know, but bear with us) have “fled their house in terror” after capturing poltergeist activity on video. Seriously, the Daily Mail again? We know it’s always looking for new and inventive ways to scare the life out of people, but it’s fast becoming the paranormal rag of choice. Who’s the Editor over there these days; Derek Acorah?

The Mannings, pictured here looking terrified.

Anyway, the story drones on about phantom footsteps, doors slamming, lights flickering – the usual generic ghostly crap. Read it here if you’re interested; it’s far too dull to talk about at any length. Except for the bit about a dog flinging itself down the stairs. That was fairly amusing.

One thing you must do, however, is watch the accompanying video. This is the “evidence” the paranormal world has apparently been crying out for, and it takes the form of shaky video footage of a chair being pulled across a room on a piece of string.

“It’s like living in a scary movie,” wails Lisa Manning, mother of the family, although as a resident of Coventry this is presumably a sentence she’s uttered many times before.

Perhaps that’s the problem: knowing that this event took place in Coventry reduces the story’s credibility by approximately 98%. The other 2% is reduced by the canine suicide.

I think we can all agree that if, one day, irrefutable proof of ghosts does surface and there is to be a world-wide media storm,  it isn’t going to happen in the Midlands.

 Looking For Ghosts is always pleased when a ghost story is reported in the national press. Not because it lends credibility to the paranormal community (it doesn’t) but largely because it forces professional Journalists to write earnest features about orbs and use phrases like “things that go bump in the night” without a hint of irony. It’s probably not the Pulitzer-winning breakthrough story they dreamt of when they first joined the news desk as a fresh-faced, eager young graduate. As the article shuffles from one dubious eye-witness account to the next, the sense of the writer’s disappointment in their own work is almost palpable. It may as well have been written in tears.

Inevitably, by the time the article is complete, the transformation into a bitter, degraded old hack, scrambling around for tedious stories like a pig in the dirt, is complete. If the author in question is a Daily Mail Journalist, this makes the process all the more enjoyable. It’s like watching someone have a bucket of misery poured all over their dreams. Ha!

This is precisely what the newswire has thrown up at us today, as we’re fed this load of utter horse shit about a French couple who have spent over £3,000 on hotel bills after being run out of their home in Frodsham, Cheshire, by poltergeists.

The article explains how musician Jean Marc Mariole and his wife Charlotte are regularly forced to check into the local Holiday Inn during the early hours because of “stamping noises, flying blobs and even levitating bed sheets.” All of which sounds perfectly plausible, as long as you’re prepared to have your beliefs stretched to breaking point and the bit of your brain that filters out logic and common sense surgically removed.

According to the Mail, the couple have already invested £18,000 in decorating their “dream home”, which seems to consist of a rented flat above a butcher’s shop. It seems unlikely that this would ever be someone’s dream home; a flat above a butcher’s shop is not even the dream home of the Butcher in question. What were they living in before, a sewer? Also, as someone rightly points out in the comments section, why on earth would anyone invest £18,000 in decorating a rented flat? For that money, not to mention the £3,000 in hotel bills, they would have been much better off just moving somewhere else.

With the rationality of this couple looking decidedly fragile already, their ghost stories become increasingly hard to believe.

“It’s terrifying. We see black silhouettes on the walls and hear screams at night. Sometimes it sounds like a grown man crying,” explains Jean-Marc. Perhaps they live next door to a Daily Mail Journalist?

“The noise is very distressing – it’s like something out of a horror movie and does not help our sex life.” Thanks. That’s good to know. We were all wondering…

Anyway, read the whole story here if you want to be further repulsed by an old French couple rutting away like a couple of sweaty, grunting boars.

Don’t forget to inundate the Mail’s message board with hateful obscenities!

Looking For Ghosts

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