master_q: This chat is going to be a little bit unusual then our average chat. We are going to talk to Dale Kaczmarek, who is the President of the Ghost Research Society. We are to here to keep an open-mind and hear what he has to say. You can make up your own mind if you believe or disbelieve after the chat. This chat is just to present to you his views and studies.
drwho42: Heya Dale.
Indy: Welcome Dale
spacetigger: Hello Dale
Prometheus_nova: 'lo dale
JBMinuet: Salutations Dale
rob39874: hey Dale
master_q: Thanks for coming, Mr. Kaczmarek. I appreciate you making the time to come very much. What is your definition of a ghost?
Dale_Kaczmarek: My definition of a ghost is a disembodied spirit of a once living person that hasn't made the transition from this world to the next often due to an untimely death.
master_q: How did you first become interested in ghosts? And how did that evolve into the creation of the Ghost Research Society?
Dale_Kaczmarek: My interest stems from my childhood. My parents and grandparents often told me ghost stories as a youngster, in fact my mom and dad, while still dating, used to drive around Resurrection Cemetery looking for the ghost in the early 1940s...
Dale_Kaczmarek: the GRS was formed as a clearing house to objectively look at reports of ghosts, hauntings and poltergeist phenomena in the Midwest. It was founded in 1977 as the Ghost Trackers Club and I became President in 1982 and renamed it the grs...
Dale_Kaczmarek: I produced a newsletter, The Ghost Trackers Newsletter, which ran from Nov. 1982 till Oct. 2001 and reported our findings and reports from subscribers and readers.
master_q: How does your group actually research & study ghosts?
Dale_Kaczmarek: When we get a report, I call the individual and conduct an interview over the phone to gear the relevant information concerning the haunting...
Dale_Kaczmarek: Then if we feel it warrants an on-site investigation, we set up a time and bring along a team of fellow researchers with our high-tech gear (which btw is listed on the website) to try to gather the necessary evidence of the haunting..
Dale_Kaczmarek: We use various pieces of equipment that we've adapted for our use and monitor the area in real-time using laptop computers, a program called geist and tv monitors hooked up to RF modulators and night-vision cameras.
master_q: I believe when most people hear the word "ghost," they think of it is a fictional term that belongs to the movies or something of that nature. If they hear a story about someone seeing a ghost, then they just cast it off. But you don't. What makes you believe they are real and they actually exist? As the average person would logically ask; "Where's the proof?"
Dale_Kaczmarek: It's not so much that "I believe in ghosts", it's the amount of research, evidence in the form of pictures, evp, sworn documents from eye witnesses and personal encounters that I've experienced at haunted locations. I believe I have enough circumstantial evidence to warrant further studies into the phenomena of ghosts
master_q: How about the “Electronic Voice Phenomena”? I’ve heard some recordings of EVPs, and I think that is the most compelling & interesting area of this whole topic. Pictures seem to be easier to cast-off in the mind, but EVP at least to me, is more convincing.
master_q: What are your thoughts?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Well, I actually believe the opposite.....EVP, in my opinion is much easier to fake than photographs. I have seen and analyzed thousands of alleged spirit photographs in almost 30 years in this field...
Dale_Kaczmarek: Unless I am actually there when the audio recordings were made or I personally can vogue for the individual, I take evp with a large grain of salt. Pictures can also be faked, but they're easier to spot as fakes. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Dale_Kaczmarek: However, evp goes all the way back to Prof. Hans Bender of Frieburg University and Dr. Konstantin Raudive with their experiments into capturing spirit voices.
Dale_Kaczmarek : Even Thomas Edison was working on plans to develop a device to communicate with the dead just before his death. However, those plans were never found.
master_q: When you go to alleged haunted place do you usually pick up EVPs while recording or no?
Dale_Kaczmarek: We always bring along tape recorders for recording impressions, conducting interviews and dedicate some to strictly picking up evp. We have actually picked up and recorded sounds of footsteps, popping noises and voices on occasion.
Dale_Kaczmarek: During an investigation into a haunted house on the northside of Chicago, that was filmed for the Discovery Channel ("Real Ghosthunters'), we actually recorded footsteps and sounds while the film crew was there.
Dale_Kaczmarek: Needless to say, they weren't too thrilled about the possibility of actually coming into contact with a ghost. They were quite startled and suddently didn't wish to be there anymore.
master_q: Mr. Kaczmarek, where do ghosts seem to appear the most or be located at? Is there a pattern to where they seem to be located?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Most ghost reports seem to come from homes and buildings rather than cemeteries. However, there a great deal of haunted cemeteries across the country.
Dale_Kaczmarek: It seems anywhere there has been massive, traumatic, untimely or sudden death, ghosts can make an appearance. Those are the most often repeated scenarios when one looks for haunted sites.
Dale_Kaczmarek: Most ghosts don't realize that they have died to the kind of death described above and Hollywood has done it's fair share of properly depicting ghosts in recent films like
Dale_Kaczmarek: "Ghost", "The Others" and "Sixth Sense". The ghosts in those films did not immediately know that they had indeed died.
Dale_Kaczmarek: Ghosts are often drawn back to either the place they died, such as in a Residual Haunting....where it's simply a reply of the death scene being played back over and over again, or places that held fond or happy memories of their lives, such as restaurants, theaters, bowling alleys, churches, taverns, etc.
master_q: That's very interesting. It brings up a thousand questions of the speculation and the meaning of life, (specifically) death, and so forth.
master_q: Let's go to part two...
master_q: Cougar will go first.
Cougar: How can you tell when it is a hoax?
Dale_Kaczmarek: First of all, let me preface that question, I've never come acorss any evidence to date that someone has tried to hoax or fabricate a ghost sighting...
Dale_Kaczmarek: Secondly, I don't believe people have anything to gain in making up a ghost story. I've heard enough interviews and stories that I really just can't say one person is lying or not...
Dale_Kaczmarek: Since I wasn't there when the phenomena was reported, I simply take the stand that "I believe, that they believe, they saw something".
Dale_Kaczmarek: Whom am I to say it didn't happen.
Cougar: On average, how long does it usually take to complete an investigation?
Dale_Kaczmarek: It depends on the size of the structure or area and how long it will take to set up and break down our equipment...
Dale_Kaczmarek: On the average, a fairly thorough investigation can be completed within four to six hours, which includes time to monitor given locations or areas with our equipment..
enigmatic_mystery: Mr. Kaczmarek can ghosts follow people around? Like a crossed states?
Dale_Kaczmarek: There are examples of haunted houses and haunted people. A ghost can become physically or emotionally attached to a person and follow them around...
Dale_Kaczmarek: It can be that you remind the ghost of someone that he or she knew in life or perhaps it is simply a friend or loved one that has passed on.
Heron : Have you ever tested the atmosphere around a dying person, thoroughly , to see what changes, if any are occurring around them? I say this, wondering if the area around a tragedy is possibly less *prepared* for the *acceptance* of added/sub energy.
Dale_Kaczmarek: No, we've never conducted any such experiments.
Heron: Give me credit should you do it lol
Dale_Kaczmarek: We believe that the family would be going through enough trauma without our interfering or conducting paranormal research. It's something I just would not do.
Heron: Perhaps someone with a scientific leaning would welcome this chance to contribute
Heron: I will volunteer someday, then I have no problem with that
Dale_Kaczmarek: Perhaps...but it just doesn't sit right with me
Heron: Rather than just detecting; do you utilize equipment to *affect* the ghost, such as high pitched sound etc... to see if there will be a detectable reaction?
Dale_Kaczmarek : Not currently, since the encounter of a surviving personality is still so rare, we instead are trying to gather proof of their existence first, other experiments can then be performed later.
Heron: Couldn't that assist in obtaining proof? Such as if someone said something was there; you could, proverbially kick it in the side *nicely*?
Dale_Kaczmarek: We don't have the slightest idea of the frequency ghosts operate on. We know they show up a lot in infrared film and using IR illuminators in cameras and nightvision goggles...
Dale_Kaczmarek: First we need to establish their existence, and then we conduct the other tests. I think you're putting the chicken before the egg.
enigmatic_mystery: Can ghosts take more then one form? Like instead of an orb, a shadow person?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Ghosts can appear in various forms, there are many examples of them on my website under the Spirit Photography page.
Rivendells_king: Have you heard of any ghosts that were murdered keeping their killer from going to the after life?
Dale_Kaczmarek: I have not heard of any such stories, however I have read accounts of murdered people trying to come back as ghosts to help authorities capture their killer.
Indy: Can you tell us a little about Poltergeists, how they differ from ghosts and if any actual harm ever comes to people from hauntings?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Poltergeist is a German word for "noisy ghost" and I and a great many other researchers believe it's simply the PK or psychokinetic activity of an adolescent
Indy: Why an adolescent?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Going through puberty that causes the movement of objects, strange lights and sounds. It differs from ghosts because it's not caused by ghosts but by living agents.
Dale_Kaczmarek: Adolescent is a young girl or boy going through puberty, perhaps from 11-16 or so.
Indy: So that would be caused by a living person?
Indy: Instead of spiritual activity?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Yes, many researchers and I do believe in that theory
Indy: thank you
JBMinuet: I looked over the photographs on your site, both those that you define as real and those not real. I didn't always see the figures you say where in the photographs. Do you need a trained eye to spot ghosts in photos or are you just able to see them?
Dale_Kaczmarek: The ones on my website are the easiest ones that I've collected to spot. You don't need a trained eye, just have to try to look at the picture for a bit sometimes.
JBMinuet: Well I did see things, like mists and such, but not always a face in them, or not the figure you describe, I sometimes saw something entirely different. How do you know the figure you see is correct?
Dale_Kaczmarek: The pictures are computer analyzed using dedicated software and
Dale_Kaczmarek: manipulating the image, the lighting, contrast, texturing, etc.
Dale_Kaczmarek: The mind of individuals sometimes see different or additional things in some of the photos on my website
JBMinuet: So you so use something besides the naked eye process the photograph, and are able to base you descriptions on this? I ask because in the photo of the monks, I did not see 3 monks, but rather 2 monks and a young man.
Dale_Kaczmarek: Again, it's like looking at ink blots on a piece of paper....everyone will have a different image or idea of what they see. I'm not saying I'm always correct, but just pointing what "I" see in the photo.
JBMinuet: Thanks, Appreciate your time.
Jeanway: What exactly are you measuring with your equipment Dale? Since they have shed their earthly vehicle, their bodies, obviously they don't have a larynx, a voice box , anymore. So where does the sound come from??
Dale_Kaczmarek: Sound is a frequency and energy...energy cannot be created or destroyed, according to Einstein..
Dale_Kaczmarek: We are measuring emf,. electromagnetic frequency...
Jeanway: But you said you have no idea what frequency they are on??
Dale_Kaczmarek: Our bodies produce a measurable energy and many believe that when the body dies this energy leaves as the soul, that's why electronic devices are often affected in haunted house cases, such as tv's, radios, appliances.
Jeanway: Who we are
Dale_Kaczmarek: Our equipment measures a wide band of EMF...and even EVP is energy captured on a magnetic media, tape.
Jeanway: May I ask one more question Dale?
Jeanway: Do you think beings not yet born can come?
Dale_Kaczmarek: I really don't know how to answer that question. We believe that what we've contacted to date are beings that already lived and died.
Jeanway: OK, I know it's an obscure idea
trekz: Do you feel that Chicago is amore active area for Ghost activity than other areas of the country?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Yes, I believe Chicago to be a hotspot of activity partly because of all the untimely deaths and violence in Chicago's past. But any large metropolitan area would probably have it's sure of ghosts.
trekz: Do you find more recent ghosts or more ghosts from the distant past in Chicago?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Well there have been a lot of tragedies in Chicago's past going all the way back to the Fort Dearborn massacre of 1812, the Eastland disaster of 1915, crash of flight 191 in 1975, Gacy and Speck murders...
Dale_Kaczmarek: So I guess the recent past,
trekz: Have you ever heard of any ghosts from the John Wayne Gacy murders?
Dale_Kaczmarek: There were some local reports of sounds of anguish and crying heard from the house before it was demolished to the psychic who read for Gacy before he was arrested, to some...
Dale_Kaczmarek: strange photos that were taken on the site of the former house.
Dale_Kaczmarek: Read, "The Man who Killed Boys" by Cliff Linedecker.
trekz: I will! Any photos from the Alexander Robinson Gravesite?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Yes, we've encountered some mist and infrared photos there including strange sounds recorded using a diode microphone by 2 area parapsychologists.
Deanna_Troi_Fan_Lizzy: Why do ghosts haunt houses?
Dale_Kaczmarek: I don't know if they really "haunt" houses, I believe they just don't know how to get to the other side for a variety of reasons.
master_q: Zagreus writes (slightly modified): Edinburgh, where I live is packed out with ghost stories. Indeed, there is an entire branch of the Scottish Tourist industry involved in walking tours that deal specifically with tales of ghouls and horror. I used to work as a tour guide at a specific attraction.... Anyway, in my time working in the vaults others and I have seen no end of strange things. I have seen the ghost of a little boy dressed in blue that fell in to the works of the bridge when it was being constructed and who was crushed. I have also heard the footsteps of an entity the older guides called Mr. Boots as well as his sinister breathing. One of the senior guides, who claim to be a sensitive, told me that he regularly pesters her when she is down there. She said he once stood at the back of her group and she could see his face which was all bloody and instead of eyes there were just vacant sockets.
Dale_Kaczmarek: Sounds very interesting, I've visited England and Wales a few times but never Scotland.
Kaileron: is your job purely theoretical, like writing stuff about ghosts and so or do you go out as well to ghost-sightings ?
Dale_Kaczmarek: We conduct a lot of field investigations. Just returned from a conference in Louisville and a extended investigation into the Waverly sanitarium. We will visiting Gettysburg next year while I give a lecture in Baltimore.
Indy: When my father was very near death, he claimed that his father was in the room. Do you believe that loved ones come to escort people into the next life or is it just a malfunction of the mind at the end of life?
Indy: Since I had never met my grandfather, I took the opportunity to introduce myself.
Dale_Kaczmarek: I truly believe that we have friends and relatives on the "other side" that guide and assist us in crossing.. The binds made in the physical life don't simply end when we expire.
Jeanway: Dale, I once was in a cemetery on Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. I was doing a grave rubbing on a stone from the 1700's of an infant who had died. I could have sworn I heard a baby crying as I was doing it.
Jeanway: does that sound paranormal?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Sounds are the most frequently way that people encounter ghosts. Much more so than visual sight.
master_q: Xenexian writes (slightly modified): When I was nine years old my grandfather passed away finally succumbing to cancer.... A month or so had passed since his funeral and my family was gathered at my grandparents’ house for a family function..... My grandfather had remodeled numerous portions of the house and had actually built a spare bedroom in the attic at the front of the house. As we sat in the living room among cousins and siblings and other relatives, the distinct sound of someone walking from the back of the house to the front, into the upstairs bedroom was distinctly heard by everyone there. The floor in the attic had a distinct sound when someone walked across it and there was always a portion right above the living room that creaked every time weight was applied. The footsteps were unmistakable and everyone in the living room immediately stopped talking because, according to my grandmother, no one has been upstairs since the funeral. At that point my father immediately went upstairs to ascertain if someone had gotten into the house and of course..... As he went upstairs, we could hear him walking across the floor into the bedroom, the same floorboards creaking and squeaking, around the room and then back out and downstairs. There was no one there. My mother still lives in the old house since it was passed down in the family when my grandmother passed away three years later and every now and then, there have been strange occurrences in that house that defy normal explanations. To this day I believe that my grandfather walked across that floor into that room that he loved so much even though no one else in the family will admit it.
Dale_Kaczmarek: Phantom footsteps are the most often heard sound, or the sound of furniture being dragged about are not uncommon at all.
Dale_Kaczmarek: I've actually heard very distinct sounds of footsteps and have them recorded when they happened.
master_q: A ghost being able to someway interactive with our environment is very revealing in a certain perspective. What are your thoughts? What does that tell us do you think?
Dale_Kaczmarek: That they are attempting to communicate with the living...those they left behind. However, some ghosts are totally unaware of where they are or even of our existence. While others have actually communicated with the living.
master_q: On the radio program "Coast To Coast AM," the host, Art Bell, had a show that was on EVPs with a group. It seemed like the majority of those EVPs sounded like children. Does it seem that way to you?
master_q : And if so, what does that tell us?
Dale_Kaczmarek: Not necessarily...I believe that the majority that I've heard sound like adults and are very interesting in getting their message across, even calling the recorder by name.
master_q: Does anyone have any last minute questions for Mr. Kaczmarek before he has to go?
Indy: Have you ever gotten really scared and run out of house screaming because of something that has happened?
Jeanway: Where in the Bible, if at all is this talked about?
trekz: have you ever heard any Eastland Ghosts?
Dale_Kaczmarek: I'm not heavily religious but have my beliefs. Don't know specifically where it's talked about
Dale_Kaczmarek: I've never been scared, but have had things unexpected happen to me when we weren't prepared for it. Sometimes it does make the hair of the back of your neck stand up, hehe!
Dale_Kaczmarek: The 844 victims of the Eastland were brought to the 2nd Regiment Armory which is now Harpo Studios where the Oprah show is taped..
Dale_Kaczmarek: There have been many occurrences there reported by security guards such as a strange perfume odor, a grey lady and the sounds of many people climbing the stairs at night.
Dale_Kaczmarek: Also the site where the boat capsized, people often hear someone thrashing about in the water, see strange faces reflected in the river and hear the cries for help.
master_q: Mr. Kaczmarek, I again want to thank you so much for making the time to come today. It has been a fun and very interesting chat. We appreciate you coming very much...... And good hunting!
Indy: Thank you, Dale
Jeanway: Yes, thank you Dale it was great!!!
Dale_Kaczmarek: Thank you for inviting me and please visit my website at www.ghostresearch.org
Dale_Kaczmarek: Goodbye and thank you!
spacetigger: Thanks for chatting with us..It was very interesting..
Indy: Happy Hunting!!
enigmatic_mystery: Thanks Mr. Kaczmarek bye !
Dale_Kaczmarek [0/] Logout:_
Indy: That was awesome
Indy: Thanks, master_q
Jeanway: Yea, it was good
Jeanway: Thanks MQ
master_q: You are very much welcome. I also want to thank all of YOU for coming. You brought some very good questions!
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Dale Kaczmarek Chat Transcript
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