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Did you go to The CNE this year? Are you interested in ghosts?
...did you know that by doing these two things, ALL of you have helped me seal a bad excuse that many in the so-called sceptical (read: Evangelical Non-Believers) group's claim is the reason for people experiencing ghosts?
Oh, it wasn't scientific, so it's not "the best" evidence that this excuse is a dead issue, but it sure is compelling...
You see, on more than a few occasions, we've been told that overly credulous people literally "see what they expect to see" and "experience what they expect to experience"... in a nutshell, it's the visible/audible/tactile version of telling someone NOT to think of a white elephant juggling balls.
...and the first thing you think of is...
Oh, okay, I know SOME of you smart-alecs out there went, "Well, *I* didn't see a white elephant juggling balls!" and good for you! The majority of people reading this, however, did.
That said, some non-believers (the ones that cloak themselves in the word sceptic which means doubt, not denial,) say that if I trotted you into a haunted location and told you that you would see a white lady in a flowing gown drifting about, MANY of you would eventually "see" a white lady in a flowing gown drifting about. This, they say, is why haunted locations are haunted... because everyone expects a ghost, so they "see" one even though it's just their imagination!
Think of this as a ghostly version of psychosomatic illnesses.
Let's not lie here, there is a HUGE potential for this hypothesis of causation to be correct in many places and areas...
...but not at this year's Canadian National Exhibition.
You may have read this post I did when The Ex first got under way...
Basically, we were honest... Ghostly reports from The CNE are virtually non-existent save from the fellow who was kind-of running the "ghostly" show this year (and his "medium".) In the dozen years of data we have available about ghostly reports from Ontario, we collected (at the time of writing the above linked post,) a total of 62,413 reports... and only three mentioned the CNE grounds. Two of them were "first hand" accounts in one building... the other was not a first hand account. The two were not "specific" in what they saw/heard/felt in terms of placing a potential "person" to the ghost. (Nothing to tie a past history to the encounter save possibly the location.)
This said, we do recognise that "we" aren't the end-all-of-be-alls...
We are the oldest "ghost group" in the country that's still going... We seem to be well known... We do have access to a tonne of archived material from previous groups, newspapers, and other media... and Sue and I currently own fourteen books of collected "ghost stories" from Toronto and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) from many authors...
...and yet, only one potential "repeated" sighting (same building, same experience by a witness as found in a book,) one interesting encounter... and one encounter reported by "someone who heard that this guy once..."
This is not to say the place ISN'T haunted... (See this blog entry for information on what constitutes a haunted location in my eyes...) but it sure isn't hopping with ghostly experiences, or so it seems.
...I can assure you, as WONDERFULLY popular as this blog is, the dozens and dozens of you regular readers were not the only people who attended the CNE... in fact, the number of people who read this blog regularly is in the thousands... healthy, but not HOLY CRAP POPULAR healthy... this told, the rough estimate for attendance to the CNE is about 1.3 million visitors.
So, out of potential 1.3 million visitors, remove those people that didn't go into the building and see the display on the ghosts... and the people that did not go on the tours... then remove the potential five or six thousand that read that blog post... and POTENTIALLY, you had (rough guess) about half-a-million people that went to The Ex and saw the stuff on ghosts.
Okay, got all that information?
#1: CNE did "ghosts" with a display, scheduled talks, and tours.
#2: Potentially 500,000 people saw at least some of these displays, talks, or tours.
#3: Prior to this year, we can't find any major previously relates ghost reports to us (over thirteen years of collection,) or authors like John Robert Colombo, Sheila Hervey, or Barbara Smith...
Now, allow me to add this fact...
Torontoghosts, Ontarioghosts, and PSICAN have received (since authoring the first post on The Ex linked above,) a further twenty-three reports from Southern Ontario to this date and time. (Sept. 11, 2011 - 15:50 EDT)
How many from The Canadian National Exhibition?
How many of the lecture audience, staff, tour-takers, exhibit viewers, or even casual punters wrote to us/filled out the reporting form/discussed their encounter on any of our Facebook groups/pages, on our message board, or on this blog?
So, a POTENTIAL 500,000 people being somewhat bombarded with "ghostly" stuff at some point in a "reported" (to them at least,) haunted location...
...and not one has mentioned anything to us or any of our other sites, boards, or the like.
Come to add to this, not one of the potential witnesses at the CNE. be they friends or family who visit our online forums and such bothered to tell us their third-hand experience from this year... That's a lot of silent people.
So, hands up! Anyone think the power of suggestion absolutely rules the day?
Congratulations, CNE attendees... If anyone accuses YOU of being overly credulous, kick 'em in the (metaphorical) shins... because nope, by our math, you seemed to continue the status quo with that "haunted" site by letting us know, with your silence, that there may not be a whole lot going on there...
THIS ISN'T to say that the place is devoid of potential "ghostly" experiences, but it does say that there's no statistical changes in reports DESPITE the increased amount of awareness pumped out at you.
Again, not scientific, but I know I'll be trotting this out next time I hear a "so-called sceptic" tell me it's all in our minds!
The entries found on this blog are based on the thoughts and discussions of Sue Demeter-St Clair and Matthew James Didier....two paranormal investigators/researchers based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The blog is now archived, but will remain online for those interested in reading it. Please have a look for us via these websites:
The Ghosts and Hauntings Research Societies, Paranormal Studies & Investigations Canada - PSICAN, and Pararesearchers of Ontario We are also members and supporters of The Society of Psychical Research, and the Institute of Noetic SciencesPages We Contribute To On Facebook
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