Category: haunting

Nursing Ghost Stories as told through Natural Language…

Nursing Ghost Stories as told through Natural Language Processing

Language comes natural and easy to humans but is difficult for machines because of its structure and ambiguity.  Ghost stories perhaps showcase that ambiguity as paranormal experiences are difficult to reconcile or explain within known scientific principles or inferences

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a field of computing that enables computers to analyze, understand and communicate human language.  Today natural language processing powers several technologies such as: speech recognition assistants; language translation; sentiment analysis; entity and relationship recognition; as well as text summation, parsing and analysis

The Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) is a platform of libraries and programs for natural language processing written in the Python programming language. NLTK was developed at the University of Pennsylvania and first released in 2001  

Word clouds are visual representations of a text, where the sizing of words displayed reflects their prominence or emphasis within the text.  The word cloud application used here was developed with NLTK and other Python modules

Word clouds provide high-level analysis of themes associated with a corpora (body) of text. In business, they can be used to highlight pain points from customer feedback.  For this effort, word clouds were applied to a collection of ghost experiences as told by nurses hosts a long-running discussion thread called “Nursing Ghost Stories” (NGS).  The NGS collection spans over a decade (2005-2017) amounting to 199 pages as of the time of this writing.  The NGS archive contains a mixture of first and second hand accounts along with commentary

Two corpora were developed from the NGS collection.  One corpus contained plain text and another corpus was tokenized (tagged) by sentences, words and parts of speech.  A word cloud was subsequently generated from the plain text corpus that is displayed above.  Common stop words, for example prepositions were  filtered out prior to the generation of the display

The word cloud is interesting for what it does and does not emphasize.  For example, the words ghosts and hauntings along with their roots or extensions are not prominent in the display.  Hauntings involve recurrent paranormal experiences commonly experienced in the form of ‘imitative noises” and in more elevated forms through apparitions. Many NGS discussions appear to involve sensed presence experiences

There also appears to be substantive emphasis on nearing death awareness (NDA) type experiences as said or told by patients, many of whom were in long-term care or hospice settings, to nurses under their supervision.  In their final phases, terminally-ill patients often perceive welcoming apparitions or visitations from deceased relatives or loved ones.  In NDA experiences, patients often appear to hold conversations with persons who are not physically present

As would be expected, terms of reference associated with medical profession are most prominent in the word cloud, however these terms could be filtered from future word clouds to potentially obtain deeper insights on the experiences

In the near-term, NGS corpora can be used to develop sentiment analysis. Also worth exploring are word pairings and conditional frequencies connected with them. A longer term effort would mix natural language processing with machine learning to characterize types of encounters within the NGS collection


Bird, S., Klein, E., & Loper, E. (2009). Natural language processing with Python: analyzing text with the natural language toolkit. “ O’Reilly Media, Inc.”.

Kircher, P. and Callanan, M. (2017, Dec 14).  NDEs and Nearing Death Awareness in the Terminally Ill. International Studies for Near Death Studies (IANDS).

Natural Language Toolkit: NLTK 3.2.5 documentation. (2017, Sep 24). NLTK Project

Pearson, P. (2014). Opening Heaven’s Door: What the Dying May be Trying to Tell Us about where They’re Going. Random House Canada. Sponsored

What’s Your Best Nursing Ghost Story? (2017, Oct 30).


Wordcloud from NGS Corpus. (2018, Feb 19). © Maryland Paranormal Research ®.  All rights reserved.

they-hide-in-the-dark: O’Hare Mansion – 


O’Hare Mansion – 

The O’Hare Mansion once stood in Greencastle, Indiana. It has since been demolished but has left behind a legacy of some of the best pieces of paranormal photography every captured. 

A man called Guy Winters was convinced by some friends to join them in exploring the ruins of old mansion. The building, which had been built by the O’Hare family in the 1800s, had been out of use and had fallen into disrepair. During his exploration of the house Guy took many photos of the building and when he had those pictures developed he was shocked to see ghostly apparitions in the finished photographs. Upon further examination he also found that the spirits appeared on the orginal negatives for the images. 

These ghosts have been nicknamed the Pink and Gold Ladies. Guy sent the photos to a tv station who tacked down the surviving members of the O’Hare family. He met with Mary O’Hare who recognised the Pink Lady in the photos as her mother, Irene O’Hare, and told him that the room the Pink Lady is standing in was once her mother’s bedroom. 

Is the Grinning Man real?

The Grinning Man was apparently first


in 1966, according to John Keel, the paranormal investigator mostly know for his book

The Mothman Prophecies. 

The story about the Ginning man involved 2 boys walking along a street in New Jersey in October 1966. The boys were walking in the same area that earlier that day a woman had reported being chased by a “tall, green man”, and the two were nervous about the story. They were to report later that they saw perhaps the same man, standing behind a fence in some brush, looking at a house across the road from the boys.

The being was behind them, and was wearing a green one-peice suit that reflected the streetlights nearby. It noticed the boys looking at him, turned and began to smile – a grin that stretched from ear to ear. Having elongated eyes, the boys could not make out whether the creature had ears, a nose or hair.

That same night, miles away, reports of a “bright-white” UFO began filtering in to the police, and several officers reportedly saw the object themsleves hovering near a local reservior.


Poltergeist at School?


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Paranormal investigator claims looking at ‘possessed doll’ makes you ill

Paranormal investigator claims looking at ‘possessed doll’ makes you ill

The best spot to go ghost hunting in Maryland

The best spot to go ghost hunting in Maryland:

Maryland Paranormal Research ® Ghost Expedition at Brunswick Heritage Museum filmed by WUSA9 (Andi Hauser and Dave Scarnato) on Oct 13 2017

Happy Halloween Everyone!Keep it spooky!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Keep it spooky!

Dundalk Historic District Ghost Expedition 2017/Baltimore County…

Dundalk Historic District Ghost Expedition 2017/Baltimore County (“You All Look Tired”) DRV stream (“You All Look Tired”) captured by Maryland Paranormal Research ® at the Dundalk Patapsco Neck Historical Society and Museum [Dundalk MD] Sep 30 – Oct 1 2017. The investigation was part of the National Ghost Hunting Day 2017 event. Communication streams appear to acknowledge difficulties the investigator was experiencing in hearing real-time responses due in part to fatigue (“You All Look Tired”) but primarily due to the noise floor.  Some streams also appeared to indicate a presence had entered the room. Audio was captured with a SONY DCR SR45 Handycam, MACKIE 402-VLZ3 Mixer, HARMON DIGITECH 1066 Vocal Processor, ART EQ-351 31 Band 1/3 Octave Graphic Equalizer, and TIMEWAVE DSP-599zx Digital Noise Filter. The audio was further enhanced with noise filtering and limiting using AUDACITY. [HEADPHONES RECOMMENDED]

Most Spooky Castle (2017): Chillingham Castle, EnglandThis years…

Most Spooky Castle (2017): Chillingham Castle, England

This years winner of the most spooky castle award goes to
Chillingham Castle in England. Chillingham Castle is one of the worlds most
haunted castles known for its many ghosts and rare cows (not ghost cows for
anyone wondering). It was originally built in the 12th century as a
monastery. Eventually it became a royal castle in 1344 where it occupied a
strategic position during Northumberland’s bloody border feuds. Visitors to the
castle included King Henry III, King Edward I, James I, Charles I, and the
infamous Henry VIII. During WWII the castle was used as a barracks until a
baronet purchased the estate and restored it to its former glory. Today the
castle is surrounded by a park which is the home to about 90 rare wild cows.
Other than being known for its cows, the castle is well known for its ghosts.

One of the most famous ghosts in the castle is that of the
“Radiant Boy.” This spirit is a young child who can be seen floating around the
Pink Room. His cries can be heard echoing throughout the hallways at the stroke
of midnight. For a while the cries seemed to come from a spot where there is a
passage cut into the wall into the adjoining tower. As the cries disappeared a
white light would appear and the figure of a young boy dressed in blue would
approach those within the room. While the room was undergoing renovations, the
bones of a young child, surrounded by fragments of blue cloth, were found
within the walls. The bones were removed and given a proper burial. For a while
the Blue Boy was seen no longer. However once the room was rented out again to
weary travelers, reports of a blue flash shooting out of the wall began to

Another ghost seen within the castle is the White Pantry
Ghost. At one point in time the Castles silver was stored in what was known as
the The Inner Pantry. One night while a guard was guarding the silver he was
approached by a very pale woman in white begging him for water. Thinking it was
a castle guest, the guard turned to get the water. At this point he remembered
that he was locked in the room and that no on else could have possibly entered.
This same figure is still seen begging for water today. It is thought that, due
to the nature of her begging for water, she had died from poisoning.

The ghost of the former Lady Berkeley can be heard walking
through the castle corridors. In life Lady Berkeley was the wife of Lord Grey.
However, Lord Grey ran off with her own sister, Lady Henrietta. As a result
Lady Berkeley was left abandoned in the castle. Today visitors can hear the
rustle of her dress as she walks along. Visitors also note a cold chill when
she goes past.

There are many other spirits to haunt the castles. Those who
stay overnight in the chambers have reported feeling uneasy and as if something
were watching them. In the Chapel the voices of two men talking are often
heard. No one knows what they are saying as the words are impossible to make
out and they stop talking if one tries to seriously listen. Also, at night in
the Courtyard people have reported seeing figures and walking shadows.


Brunswick Heritage Museum Ghost Expedition 2017/Frederick County…

Brunswick Heritage Museum Ghost Expedition 2017/Frederick County (“The Name of the Town is Brunswick”) DRV stream (“The Name of the Town is Brunswick”) captured by Maryland Paranormal Research ® at the Brunswick Heritage Museum [Brunswick MD] Ghost Expedition Oct 13-14 2017.  Several responses were heard in response to a (location) control question regarding the name of town to include (“The Name of the Town is Brunswick”).  There was also a reference to the town’s prior name of Berlin. Audio was captured with a ZOOM H2N Handy Recorder, MACKIE 402-VLZ3 Mixer, HARMON DIGITECH 1066 Vocal Processor, ART EQ-351 31 Band 1/3 Octave Graphic Equalizer, and TIMEWAVE DSP-599zx Digital Noise Filter.  Audio was analyzed with PRAAT software which provides the wave forms and voice print.  The audio was further enhanced with noise filtering, normalization and limiting using AUDACITY. [HEADPHONES RECOMMENDED]