Sisters-in-Crime Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long-Legged Beasties

California Ghost Hunters shook up the audience at the October meeting of the LA Chapter of Sisters-in-Crime, October 7, 2012. 

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 I should explain that the whole paranormal thing has whooshed past me. Because I’m skeptical by nature, I didn’t believe that others could believe as deeply as they apparently do. I sat there, wanting to leap to my feet offering an alternate explanation for every fact they offered, realizing that nobody wants to hear it, Mar. Sit down and shut up.

 Angelena Madrid and Diana Hersey lead the team using an array of manifestation-measuring scientific instruments such as audio recorders, thermometers for cold spots, infrared cameras and the like. They are called in to investigate troubled homes and businesses, places where people feel uneasy, where doors slam, and noises are heard that can’t be accounted for. Because they are in the business of ghost hunting, they are predisposed to find paranormal explanations.

 Now things happen in the world that can’t be accounted for. I once had an experience that was woo-woo-spooky, but it didn’t make me a believer. Nor did it make me a psychic. Or a sensitive.  The Ghost Hunters screen for mental illness, for drafts, for mischief on the part of children and neighbors and the like. They make a reasoned effort to eliminate human intervention.

 Let’s introduce a little doubt in the veracity of my account here.  I couldn’t get close enough to the demonstration of data on “hauntings” afterward to hear what was being said.

 Over and around heads and shoulders I saw the ghost hunters point to shadows on walls of long corridors on their lap top. (In my next life I’m going to be born tall.) Ghosts, spirits, and the like apparently manifest as moving shadows on camera. How they record on audio devices I couldn’t get close enough to hear. I can imagine “cold spots” in rooms measured and mapped by thermometers.

 Angelena and Diane have a lot of charm. I liked them and they probably do a great human service. I can well imagine the comfort they provide if they can assure clients that there is no malevolent force present that will do all the things that Hollywood has given us the scenarios to scare ourselves with on dark nights.  

 And we do like thrill me, chill me, scare me to death, don’t we? Otherwise, why go on roller coasters?

 Speaking of malevolence, I do believe in evil. I’m mulling over still Angelena’s statement that never once in an investigation has she been truly frightened by the presence of evil.

 I find that strange. Once or twice I’ve felt evil up close. I was frightened. And I’m a skeptic.


You can call California Ghost Hunters yourself. See There you will also find a fuller description of methods, equipment, training, and the like.  Their website states they do not charge for their extensive, time-consuming services.

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3 Responses to Sisters-in-Crime Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long-Legged Beasties

  1. Carole says:

    Great post on a fascinating presentation. So what did we learn from this meeting? Well, for one thing, we discovered that “Short people can’t see ghosts.” The question is, Can ghosts see them? ;)

    But seriously, I think skeptical views have to be included in these discussions or the credibility factor vanishes completely, so your questions and observations would be a great addition.

    By the way, I talked to Angelena and Diane about the statement you mentioned above, and I believe she meant to say, that she never felt a ghost, or spirit, had the power to physically harm her. Because she had such a terrifying experience as a child, it was important for her to face these demons (so to speak). And you make a good point: there’s a lot of fear-based entertainment out there. I liked them very much, too, and agree that they’re sincere in their work, and that their intention is to help and comfort.

    Another take on this is Stacy Horn’s book “Unbelievable” (, which used material from the Duke University Parapsychology Lab. I didn’t even know a lab like that existed in real life–only in ‘Ghostbusters’ movies.

    So now I look forward to reading “Unbelievable”. But only in broad daylight. Not that there’s anything to be scared of, right? Right????

    • Mar Preston says:

      That ghosts cannot physically harm a living person is an important distinction I didn’t catch.

      I think I’ll send Angelena an email asking if she had ever sensed a presence of evil. As a mystery writer the question has had a life-long fascination. They both seemed very approachable.

      Glad to take a look at Stacy Horn’s book. Again, I believe there are mysterious forces that can’t be measured that can impact our version of reality. Look at weak gravity.

      And right now the veil between this world and the next is thinnest as we approach Halloween. So they say.

  2. Elaine Ash says:

    Great post, Mar. I’m sorry I missed that meeting.

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