All about the GHRS family
Please go to the Links & Resources area of our website where there is a list of sites that are related to GHRS.
If there is no GHRS near you, you can look into becoming a director in your area. Please make sure there are NO directors for your area already (i.e.: we have directors in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Virginia and Nevada; so a "Vancouver Director" or "Kelowna Director" is not necessary). If you do fall into this category, simply e-mail the director of the site and request the chance to work with them. Please also note that there are many other ghost organizations out there and there may be a non-GHRS near you that you can contact. Again, please visit out Links & Resources page before submitting a request about your area.
What money? All services offered by GHRS are 100% free. The only thing we charge for is events, USUALLY just to cover the costs of the event itself. Any other money that comes in immediately goes into paying for our servers, domains and other upkeep costs.
We do NOT charge for the information we have online. We do NOT charge for our work or research. We do NOT charge for our online course. We do NOT 'sell' anything except at events and we never ask for money except at events and even then, not all of the time. The GHRS (in general) is funded primarily out of the director's own pocket and through the help of our parent group, PSICAN which has been given a charitable organization status due to our fine work in this field of study. Donation are GRATEFULLY accepted (to PSICAN) which do help us keep our servers online and may help us further our studies. See this page for details.
"I'd like to advertise on the BCGHRS or PSICAN website…" – Sorry, we do not sell advertising space on our site. We will, however, take business and corporate donations for prizes and gifts at our events AND we do ask for assistance (monetary gifts) via PayPal for our efforts. For corporate "gifts", if you wish, we will put banners, links, and/or "thank you" messages on the particular events page but ONLY on the page for this type of thing and only if a donation or help with one of our events is offered, requested or given. If you wish more information on corporate help, please contact Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Where can I go to school to become a professional paranormal researcher/ghost hunter/ghost buster?" – Currently, in British Columbia, we have been unable to find a single post-secondary, fully accredited, non-profit school (aka: Accredited University or College) that offers Parapsychology or even parapsychology's "skeptical" name of "Pseudo Science" being offered as a major. Therefore, to become at least a GOOD researcher we STRONGLY recommend reading anything and everything you can on the subject from ALL sides and views of the paranormal… From debunker to believer. From CSICOP to Loyd Auerbach.
As for education, physics, history, folklore, and if possible, media (photography or recording arts) would be HIGHLY recommended. Essentially, read, study, read, visit places, read, watch programs on the paranormal, read, listen to paranormal shows on the radio, read, ASK QUESTIONS, read, ASK MORE QUESTIONS, read, discover things by doing, and finally read some more. This is the best route.
Another thing to consider is the concept of "professional paranormal researcher" is not exactly a 'lucrative career move'. The only way to really be paid for this sort of thing is to either write books, run ghost tours, start a group that charges for membership and/or events, find someone (highly unlikely) that's willing to pay you for a scientific study of the paranormal in the form of a grant or appropriation of funds for a study, work (if you can find it) for television or films in a documentary/resource role, or, worse yet, sell your "services" to assist people with problems of the paranormal. The latter, to be honest, is usually shunned by people in the "real field" of paranormal research. If you want, we also recommend our own online course which covers most areas of ghost research.
"I am interested in ghost tours or ghostly 'events'. Do you offer and or know of any?" – As Grandpa Simpson once said when asked if he was crazy or just senile… "A little bit from column 'A' and a little bit from column 'B'!"
The BCGHRS do offer occasional events during the year which you can read about by clicking here (opens a new browser). Other events not "brought to you by" the BCGHRS are listed on a page you can get to by clicking here (opens a new browser).
"How do I submit my report/question/story to you?" – You can send them ONLY by e-mail to email@example.com
"I submitted a story/report to you… why isn't it online and/or why haven't I heard anything from you?" – First of all, we read AND RESPOND to all questions and submissions sent in to us. Secondly, we will not put something online unless we have full permission from the original witness/author. If our e-mail was 'bounced back' for any reason, we may have simply filed the report away in our offline database for cross-reference purposes only. Thirdly, we do not put all stories/reports online unless we know that there are no legal ramifications for us doing so AND that certain other criteria is met. We would be happy to list these criteria but unfortunately, we cannot as it would make us an unfortunate target for hoaxers. BUT, as stated, ALL submissions are read and responded to so if you have not received a response with ten business days, PLEASE contact us and we will TRY and track down the reason. If after mailing to admin you do not receive a response, we may have trouble mailing to you. Try sending us a different e-mail address to send to.
"How do you know if all the stories/photos/reports/media online is "real"?" – Honestly, we don't. We do have to rely on our criteria (as mentioned above) and that the person submitting the data is being honest. We do TRY to screen as much as possible but we cannot offer any guarantees of authenticity nor would we try. As often stated, we are NOT trying to convert "non-believers" but simply trying to let people know about the legends and tales of ghosts and hauntings in the province.
"What proof do you offer of the existence of ghosts or the paranormal?" – Although the GHRS groups do try to gather data, our mission statement and doctrine is not truly of a 'scientific' nature. We are not out to prove or disprove the existence or non-existence of the paranormal or "convert" people to belief or disbelief but offer you our findings to make your own judgments. We do not push our captured data as 'pure evidence' but merely attempt good controls and attempt (occasionally) to offer reasonable explanations for all possibilities be they natural or 'supernatural' in substance. We are neither believers, non-believers nor debunkers and prefer the better side of the term true skeptic when it comes to what we consider our amateur scientific findings. We prefer to look into the History, Legends, Myths, Folklore, and First Hand Accounts of the paranormal as opposed to trying to prove or disprove the phenomena in any existence BUT we do reserve the right to attempt scientific data collection and present possibilities of ghosts and hauntings.
"If I submit my material to you, do I still own it?" – YES! We do NOT claim copyright on anything accept that which is expressly written BY the GHRS staff. That does include your report if modified BUT we will not claim ownership other than the final text used on the website. The story/report is YOURS and we will not claim it as "our (the GHRS's) property". We do, however, claim OUR version on the website as ours including any changes to your report/story or extra findings and we do ask for limited ownership so we can use your information (as expressly granted by you) for other projects within and/or related to the GHRS and it's directors and researchers. The practical upshot of this is, it is your story/report/photo/tape, you can re-tell and re-use it as ownership is yours. We will only publish online what you're comfortable with us using BUT we do reserve the right to protect ourselves from other organizations using our material VERBATIM or for linking to photos or other media without proper permission. If another group, organization or website wishes to use your story and has permission from YOU, that's fine provided they don't 'lift' the direct quotes or any extra information we may have done from our website (ie: they must do their own work) and they may not "link" to images or media without asking OUR permission. If a website DOES wish to use your information and contacts us, we may give them permission ONLY to use what we have online without any information you have NOT given us permission to use (say your e-mail address or name) distributed to them. If you are sending a photo, please click here.
"I'd like to advertise on the BCGHRS website…" – Sorry, we do not sell advertising space on our site. We will, however, take business and corporate donations for prizes and gifts at our events AND we do ask for assistance (monetary gifts) via PayPal for our efforts. For corporate "gifts", if you wish, we will put banners, links, and/or "thank you" messages on the particular events page but ONLY on the page for this type of thing and only if a donation or help with one of our events is offered, requested or given. If you wish more information, please contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
"I have a photo/recording of a ghost. Will you analyze or at least look at it?" – We do have a special group looking into ghost photos and videos. They can be reached at email@example.com. As for audio/video tapes, please contact Heather, the British Columbia Director and we will try to send your information to the best researcher for the job. PLEASE UNDERSTAND that if you are convinced that your photo/tape are genuine proof of ghostly phenomena, our team MAY comment on possible 'natural' or 'man made' answers to the evidence presented. This is not meant as a 'debunking' but more to offer you alternative views to what you may have presented us.
"I don't like your site’s colours/navigation/whatever… Can you change it?" – Sorry, no. To redress all 1800 pages would be an enormous task… Too big for us currently. Update: Ziggamoth just did it. And no, he won’t change it back.
"YOU ARE PREACHING THE WORD OF EVIL!!!!" – We often get people of strong religious beliefs who wish to express themselves and we have NO problem with that. Because we do not and will not allow any type of "conversion" type of information to be put on our site, we do ALWAYS offer anyone who has a point of view that they wish to share to send us an editorial. We promise PROVIDED the editorial is NOT preaching conversion, non-threatening and on the topic of ghosts and hauntings, we will put it online without much editing BUT your name and e-mail address will be published on this document.
"I run another ghost website. I'd like a link and/or to use some material from the BCGHRS website or any of it's sister sites. How can I do this?" – Send an e-mail with your request to Heather@psican.org but we do ask that ALL link requests MUST come from actual paranormal sites with content about ghosts and they must have information viewable WITHOUT MEMBERSHIP OR FEES. We reserve the right to refuse a link or to refuse the use of our information.
"How come you don't have a 'media credit' page anywhere?" – Although some groups and sites promote their past media appearances, we do not. There are sadly too many groups right now who seem to be around strictly for "media glory" (not all of them, mind you and the one's we know well (friends of ours) in the province do not seem to be this way) and we at the British Columbia GHRS are not doing what we do for this reason. We are not "almost only interested in being on TV, radio, or in the paper". We see ourselves as serious researchers and investigators and therefore, media is NOT our main thrust. Needless to say, we aren't 100% anti-media as we have done some television, documentary films, newspaper interviews, and radio, BUT we do not feel the need to trumpet this from on-high. Instead, usually in our Message Board we will make announcements of upcoming media appearances. Again, please do not see this as a slight against other groups that do list media credits but more as our way of saying we are TRYING to be very picky about who we talk to and what they're doing and we don't like to toot our own "media horn". As for being MOSTLY anti-media… well… we are in a way. The topic of paranormal research has had too much press and media that has been very effective in making us look quite awful and therefore yes, we are VERY particular in who we will talk to and what they are doing with us. If a media group/person is going to be respectful and present the subject with dignity (although certainly, we understand that 'entertainment' does factor in) then we will happily help out.
We have been asked to (by various media folks)…
Run around and scream for the cameras
Fake ghostly phenomena to scare unknowing "witnesses"
Use "cool, noisy" equipment like "fog machines"
Get "cool, scared" witnesses to confess things on tape
Play-act as advisors to a fictitious "dorky" wanna-be ghost hunter
"Dance to the Ghostbusters theme"
…and the list DOES go on.
We are PROUD that we have turned down FAR more media than we have done AND this includes large media corporations (major network shows and the like…) which tend to give us the "Do you know WHO we are" response and although we do know "WHO" they are, we stick to our guns. Call us arrogant or elitist BUT we have worked for many years (since 1997) to gain what little respectability we have and forge relationships with various serious historical and scientific groups. We will NOT sell our respectability for a few minutes of very shaky fame. Sorry.
Please read our director's "Open Letter to the Media" which you can read by clicking here. Thank you in advance.
"I'm with the media, can I watch you at a day of work?" or "I'm with the media, can we come to your offices?" – You want to watch our director work for hours on her computer? You want to watch our investigators create websites or repair a vehicle or interview people on the phone or book an appointment? The GHRS groups and people are ALL part-time volunteers. We work on this "hobby" when we can. As for our offices, currently, there are none. This is why the entire society is "online". One day, maybe, we will have offices or more likely a "library, seminar room, and office" situation but until someone throws a LOT of money at us, we are STRICTLY based online.
"I'm with the media, can you take me to a haunted location (like a private house) that no one has EVER covered before so I can do a SPECIAL story?" – Not likely. Personal homes and stories that are from current residents are few and far between and usually, anonymity has been requested by the witness/original reporter. If you truly wish to cover a "haunt" that is not too well covered, we probably have a historic home, business or museum that MIGHT allow a film or media person to be involved.
"I'm with the media, can you show me a ghost?" or "I'm with the media, can we watch you do an investigation?" – The answer to the first question, "Can we show you a ghost", is most likely no. If we knew where and when "ghostly phenomena" was happening, we'd be camped out, taking data and getting universities and others involved to assist in the documenting of the phenomena and coming up with either answers or new questions. In all honesty, we'd be too busy to trot about with a media crew in tow. In honesty, we don't know "what" a ghost is or where one can be found… yet. We are a scientific and historical group, nothing more or less.
As to the second part, most of our investigations are conducted at private residences where the people are not usually comfortable being in the "media eye". British Columbia laws governing privacy (legislated in March of 2004) prohibit us from giving ANY information to anyone aside from our own volunteers and staff. We also can't "sneak" you in (as has been requested in the past) as we are also under regulation regarding liability and insurance. Usually, if we decide to assist a media outlet, we will go to a public space that has a "known haunt" and try to do something there… but we do ask that you, as the "requestor", make arrangements with the site(s) before we will do this. If interested, please contact us and ask to arrange a time and suggestion for a place.
"I'm with the media, can you get a witness or home owner to speak to me about their ghost?" – Most likely no. First of all, we're under the British Columbia Privacy Act (passed March of 1996) and rarely are allowed to share information freely beyond our own staff and volunteers. We have, in the past, tried to gain permission from some witnesses with little or no "good" results. Therefore, we no longer even attempt dealing with private witnesses or spaces. Public spaces may yield better results, but again, we cannot guarantee anything. If this idea (visiting a public place) might meet your need, we do ask that you, as the "requestor", make arrangements with the site(s) before we go. If interested, please contact us and ask to arrange a time and suggestion for a place.
"I'm with the media, can you show me your proof of ghosts and hauntings?" – All that we have that we are legally allowed to show is online currently. Please look through the site and if you're interested in using anything you find, please contact us for permission to use the material.
"Can I use the information on your website for my book/article?" – Send an e-mail with your request to the BCGHRS for approval. More often than not, the answer is yes provided proper credit is given.
"How can I arrange an interview?" – First, please understand that this is NOT our job and we will have to work around our "day job" and general life schedules. If you're okay with a possible wait, then please e-mail us and we'll respond within 72 hours. ALSO PLEASE UNDERSTAND that EVERYONE loves us in October (Halloween) and if you wish to speak to us during this month, you should contact us as early as possible!
"Why don't you call yourselves 'Ghostbusters' or 'Ghosthunters'?" – The term "ghostbuster" (which is practically trademarked by the movie of the same name) implies that we clear ghosts or "get rid of ghosts" which we do not. Therefore, "Ghostbusters" is not a proper name for what we are. We shun "ghosthunters" as the name conjures up someone who "stalks and kills" ghosts. As our director often says, "I wouldn't hunt ghosts! Taxidermy would be a b_tch!" We, like most modern groups, MUCH prefer the term "Ghost Researcher/Investigator" as that explains WHAT we are doing… "Ghost Research/Investigation". We aren't SOLELY trying to capture data and we are looking into all aspects of reports of ghosts.
So, we're Ghost Researchers.
"How come you don't offer cemetery tours or things like that?" or "Why don't you offer 'orb photo tours' of cemeteries?" – Although SOME reports do happen, the VAST majority of cemeteries are not historically haunted. Ghosts are usually reported in the places where the person they represent from life worked, lived, played or died… NOT where they are buried. Most traditional and well documented haunted cemeteries are of the ghosts of constant visitors (in life) or caretakers… NOT THE ENTOMBED. We do feel that cemeteries ARE great places to visit and reflect and people should go and visit them but as far as being great bastions of ghosts… sorry. Also, when it comes to "orb phenomena" in cemeteries, it is far too easy to photograph either dust, pollen, water or insects in cemeteries and therefore, even though "orb photography" is a hotly debated type of "legitimate" phenomena anyway, natural explanations WILL override any possibility of honest data. The same is true for EVPs or "ghost tape recordings". As cemeteries are, for the most part, gardens of stone, echoes and other "bleed through sounds" cannot be ruled out as possibilities of tainting your data collection.
"Why is this site/group anti-orb?" – We are and we're not. The group, as a whole, cannot say we are "for or against" anything in general. We do, however, concede that the majority of editorials and notes on photographic anomalies do seem to tend to the negative with orbs but that is because the majority of photographic experts and amateurs seem to agree that the orb phenomena can be misconstrued far too easily. Pollen, dust, water, and insects may NOT be immediately visible to the naked eye but to the camera's flash, they will appear as orbs.
To address the "flashlight testing" that I've had a few e-mails about:
The idea that a few folks suggested was to shine a flashlight into the area you're about to take a picture of and look in the beam for particles that could corrupt the photo. The idea is, if the "tester" doesn't see any particles, all orbs, mists and vortex-like things MUST be anomalous.
Apparently, according to three of our photographic folks here at the GHRS, you would need two to four million candle power to produce the intensity of a flash of a camera and then you'd still have to allow for dust, pollen, moisture and insects that might after the tests come into the frame. Also, after speaking to an optometrist, we discovered other flaws with this. The main one would be not allowing your eyes to adjust to a bright light of such a flashlight. The average person would need to expose their eyes to the light for about three to five minutes which, according to our expert, would damage the cornea and iris of an eye badly. Basically, the doctor we spoke to did not recommend this. Also, you may not see particles that tiny even with a flashlight that the lens will see as the lens could be literally millimetres from the particles that produce orbs and anything that small as close to your eyes would be "focused out" by the optic nerve. Therefore, the only acceptable means of trying to capture anomalous orbs is to simply try, keep track of environmental issues as best as possible and realize that this is not and should not be accepted as "evidence of ghosts". Unless guaranteeing a 100% dust-free, enclosed, sealed, room that produced an orb, most serious researchers will not absolutely say that a photo of an orb is a ghost. There is also another thing… 99.999999% of all orb photos are in the foreground of the picture. Our director has openly asked for images of orbs that are visibly half-obscured by a solid object. So far, none have come to light. Please, if interested in "Orbs" and "Mists", read through our document at http://www.torontoghosts.org/finalorb.htm
If you have a questions pertaining to the content on this site or content related to PSICAN or the Canadian GHRS websites please click here to visit our FAQ page. For information about copyright issues on this BCGHRS website you can contact the Director of the BCGHRS site. Please read our copyright rules by following this link.
Many people ask if they can assist in investigations. If you think you can add to the collection of folklore, history, and witness reports and wish to assist with initial contact of people and others in relation to a report, read through our FAQ and fill out the form found there.
Most of the BCGHRS research consists of reading, listening, reading, photographing, reading, documenting and finally re-telling.