Well, autumn feels like it’s here! I know the British summer has been a complete wash out and there’s been so much rain and hardly any sun. I spent two weeks in Cornwall on a camping holiday and it rained the whole time! Autumn is my favourite season though. I love the transformation in nature and the trees having multi-coloured leaves. I even don’t mind the change in the weather, but over the last week as autumn has settled in and the last lingering reminds of summer-if that is at all possible-has faded, it has gone cold and dark very quickly. Not what I was expecting and well….it feels like next month winter should be gripping nature with icy fingers already, but we still have my favourite month to go- October and strangely the topic of this post does link in with that month.
Recently I’ve been watching series 14 of Most Haunted on TV. I’ve always been a fan of Most Haunted and it’s properly the only TV show I can say that I’m truly dedicated too. With that said though, because I don’t have Sky and have to cope with watching it now on Pick.TV and what was before Living.TV, I’ve missed a few episode of different series and have always been playing catch up with the show. I guess I could just buy them all on DVD. They are cheap enough on Amazon. But I’m still a poor student and don’t have the money to fund collecting them.
I don’t want this post to turn into a review or discussion about Most Haunted. I just wanted to use it as a starting point to talk about ghosts and the supernatural genre. Though I properly could go on about Most Haunted forever! There’s a few things that I actually do want to say about the show though.
Firstly, I should point out that I do believe in ghosts and have had a few different encounters with seeing, hearing, feeling and smelling things that couldn’t be explained as being natural/normal. I’ve always known from being little that I’m very sensitive to the supernatural and was once told by my grandma that I had the physic ability. However, I’ve always played down low with this and never really admitted to people this, (Okay, so admitting on my blog properly does count. but I’m not going into details here so…) However, I’ve never wanted to explore more or learn how to connect ghosts or actually become a medium. I’ve never been interested in going down that pathway. To be honest I don’t know why I decided upon this, maybe because half the time I just believe it’s my imagination playing with me? Being very creative, over imaginative and a writer it’s kind of easy to dismiss the voices and the sensations.
Secondly, for the first time I’ve actually just read some reviews about MH -as in previous post I don’t read a lot of reviews.- So it’s interesting to see the clear divided in the comments about the show. Lots of people really do like it and believe that what the team capture on film is supernatural, other people say it is fake and all staged. I’ve to admit that there have been a few episodes where I’ve had to wonder the same thing or else I’ve just dismissed what they’ve called a supernatural noise as a natural sound straight away. I can understand why the show might fake some events because of the whole entertainment value and that they might be lacking in the real paranormal activity. However, I do believe that sometimes they have actually caught stuff.
I think that MH is my favourite show because I’m interested to know if ghosts can be proved for real. Yeah, I know I believe in them and have connected with them before, but I’d like to see the actual proof about the whole ghost thing. I don’t know if MH can really do this though or if anyone else can for that matter. The haunted places they film at interest me too and hearing the ghost stories as well! One thing of late that I’m really started to hate is when they create images and sounds through camera and computer visuals during the start of the show. I know they do this for effect and to get people interested, but it just goes to show how much faker can now be achieved and for me it then dampens down any actual paranormal activity they capture.
Writing that has just reminded me of why I wanted to write this post in the first place! I read a very bad and badly written review about the movie Paranormal Activity 1 last night. I had to disagree with that review because I did like it and did get scared by it.
I would like to think that one day we’d find out the truth about the supernatural, but then I guess that all the mystery, which is why it’s good and fascinates people would be gone and people wouldn’t be that interested in it, even if it was found that we could comminute with ghosts etc properly. It’s the mystery of the unknown and wanting to discover that keeps people (and readers of supernatural fiction of course!) interested in the paranormal. Now to tie in with my experiences of ghosts before I move on again, I want to write about the ghost walk I did in Cornwall in Polodark Mines.
Now that day it was raining, cold and dull. Having nothing else to do we went to the mines early and though we’d prebooked and paid for the tickets online for the tour, we got the chance to visit the mine in the afternoon time before we did the evening walk. I’m really glad we got the chance to do this because mines can be dark, small, eerie places and half the time you just have this feeling of expecting something to jump out at you. When we went down again for the tour they had turned the lights off and it was all done by candlelight. The atmosphere had changed so much it was hard to believe we were walking through the same areas we’d been in before. The guide and medium told us about the ghosts that had been seen in each different area and showed us photos of ghostly shapes that had been caught. My mum swore she saw a little girl with blond hair and my dad and brother (who don’t believe) swore they saw a shadow man shape walking cross the pathway behind us. Now, I had two options- either to tune in or tune out and I decided to turn out and block my mind so that if ‘anything’ did decided to try and talk to me or appear before me I wouldn’t freak out. I was pretty scared as it was to be honest. That however didn’t stop the ghosts from appearing in the photos I took and the one below is the best photo I have from that night.
Telling ghost stories dates back to ancient times and has many links with folklore. Around the world people know about ghosts and so many stories have come from people’s experiences and imaginations. There is just something about the supernatural the interests so many people and maybe it’s as I suggested before because it’s an unknown thing. It’s stated that the ‘golden age of ghost stories’ was in the 1800’s and mostly down to the Victorians having a very deep fascination with all things supernatural and I guess it was something of the ‘fashion’ at the time. So many great stories and writers came out of this time though and they have gone on to inspire others to carry on with the supernatural genre.
It’s strange to think for me as a writer that nearly all of my writing fits into this genre. Yes, most of it is about vampires, but I’ve written some haunted house stories or novels which feature ghosts. For me, I think it’s about escaping from the real world and writing about something that is outside the normal. I’ve always had an enthralment with vampires which I’ve never full been able to explain to anyone not even myself! The supernatural is a very popular subject and people like the thrill they get out of being scared. That’s why people ride roller coasters and do other crazy things, they like the rush they get that states they are alive. Being scared has the same effect and that’s why people like watching horror movies. Within the writing it allows the exploration of something that is hard to understand. That has been a key in most of my writing and I find that by expressing the problems or events that go beyond me, I can get a better picture and understand more. Maybe this has something to do with ghost stories as well? Though I know people love to share their experiences and you don’t have to look far on the internet to find that out! I can’t further explain my love for writing and reading the horror genre. It’s always been something that has appeared in my writing.
I think the supernatural as a genre will be sticking around for a long time yet. Yeah, it might fall out of popularity, but it’ll bounce back again. People are too interested in it and it will always make for a good story in any format.
The main question here is do you actually believe?
Author’s own collection