Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Ghost Post

Remember how I tried writing a ghost post the other day, but ended up distracted by cute Star Wars t-shirts (and who hasn't ever been distracted by cute Star Wars t-shirts)? Well, here it is! The Ghost Post!!

I love ghosts. Correction: I love researching ghosts, ghost stories, Ghost Hunters, ghost hunting, Ghost Adventures, and would probably love Ghost Toasties, if that joke ever became an actual cereal. I do not, repeat, DO NOT love all ghosts. Sure, it was neat living in a haunted house when it was haunted by my dad. For one thing, we knew it was him. Yes, there was the occasional harmless prank (he had a fantastic sense of humor), and once or twice he set the security alarm when I forgot (I have a witness!), but never anything scary or off-putting.

The scary stuff was in my old townhouse. It started off with a general feeling of uneasiness, and progressed from there. One day, I walked up the stairs to my bedroom, and you could see into the room from about halfway up the staircase. When I reached that point, I looked up, and saw a woman get up from the foot of my bed. I dropped what I was doing, got my keys, and spent the rest of the morning hanging out at the mall. I figured Thomas would think I was crazy when I told him about it, but, turns out, he'd had some weird vibes, himself.

There were shadows in the corner of our bedroom, and they had no reason to exist. There was no light source to cast the shadows in that area, and no furniture with a similar shape to the shadows. Oh, and they moved, and one had a top hat. Yeah, that's not the armoire. We both saw them, so it wasn't my imagination. The worst was the night I got up to go to the restroom, and when I came back in the room, the shadow (more a murky, 3-dimensional black mist than a shadow, really) lunged at me. We spent the rest of the night on the living room floor, and the next morning hung up rosaries and medals on every doorknob. There was also a spray bottle of Holy Water involved.

Now, I don't want you guys to think I'm crazy. I'm not...well, at least not about this. I'm actually more of a skeptic than anything. I do believe ghosts exist (I'd be crazy not to, at this point), but I don't automatically attribute any odd happening to a ghost. If I lose my keys, I lost my keys. A ghost did not move them. I spent two months filming in a cemetery, and a lot of that time in the dark, around midnight. We might have jokingly attributed some lighting problems to "ghosts", but other than that, not much happened. I mean, a couple of crew members thought they might have seen something, but really couldn't swear one way or the other. Honestly, as hot as it was out there, a cold spot or two would have been more than welcome. I'm the type that, more likely than not, is going to try to debunk anything seemingly paranormal. The stuff I've told you about is all stuff that I couldn't explain away, no matter how much I might have wanted to.

Now, if you want to try your hand at debunking some ghost photos, check out this page. Some of the photos have already been debunked as either innocent technical errors or out and out frauds. Some, though, have yet to be explained. I checked out a few, and while I have my own theories for most, one or two were pretty convincing. If nothing else, it's a nice time waster for a boring day at work. Another fun read on ghost pics can be found here. It looks like this will be a recurring post theme at Paranormal Pop Culture, and I'm really looking forward to it. When you're finished playing with the pictures, you can browse through their older posts and maybe even read a few of mine on The Night Shift. You know, if you want. No pressure, or anything. There will be a test.

You also might want to check out this page. Here, anyone who wants to can anonymously (or not) submit their own ghost experiences. True or not, some of them make for interesting reads. Caution: some may not be suitable for all audiences, if you catch my drift.

Lastly, if you're looking to dress up as a ghost for Halloween, and would like to know how to do some really fantastic makeup, this might help. Here are the tips and tricks that I learned from Jessica, the phenomenal makeup designer for The Night Shift, and were used on all of our greasepaint zombies and ghosts:

1) Start with clean, dry skin. Using a sponge, apply a light shade (I'm using white) of greasepaint to exposed skin. A little bit goes a long way, and dabbing works better than smearing.
2) Pat the made up areas with your hands to smooth out the greasepaint.
3) Apply a darker shade (I'm using black) of greasepaint around the hollows of your eyes. That's from your eyebrow to the undereye area. Use a really light touch for this. You can always add more, but you can't take away. Blend in well, so you don't look like Spot the Dog.
4) Apply the same darker shade of greasepaint to the hollows of your cheeks, to give a sunken in look. Suck in your cheeks, and the part that goes in is the part that gets shaded. Again, use an extremely light touch and blend well. Pat down all made up areas.
5) Using coordinating shades of eyeshadow (I'm using blacks and grays) and a q-tip or brush, shade around the nose, eyes, throat, collarbone--any angles you really want to stand out. Use your best judgement. You are the artist, afterall.
6) Line eyes completely with black eyeliner. Smudge the lines so they don't look perfect. Follow with black mascara.
7) If you want, you can add other makeup--eyeshadow, blush, lipstick--depending on the overall look you're going for. My ghost is going to be an old Hollywood movie star, so I'm going really glam. Drop Dead Gorgeous, if you will. (I'm sorry.)
8) Now, you'll want to go outside for this. We used trouser socks filled with baby powder, but a puff would work just fine. Coat down all made up areas with baby powder. Brush completely off.
9) With a spray bottle, lightly spray all made up areas with water and pat down. You're done!
10) Remove with baby oil. My best suggestion: get in the shower and rub down, then turn on the water and rinse off. Yes, it will be very messy, hence the need to do this is in the shower.

Yes, it's a lot of steps, and a lot of work, but the end result is astounding. Happy Haunting!

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