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Director - Actor - Producer - Adventurer

Willy Adkins on Ghost Hunting Evidence & Presentation

[caption id="attachment_339" align="alignleft" width="499"] Although due to patient confidentiality I cannot tell you where these photos were taken, I can say the these photos were captured from a digital video of a sleep study. The ghost enters from the right and exits stage left. To me they are incredible.         from John Prentice[/caption]

For years I have been in the public eye because of my ghost hunting / paranormal investigation excursions.  And I'm very often asked why I never post any of my own paranormal evidence.  The answer is very simple, I can't prove any of it to be truly paranormal and I refuse to call my findings anything beyond interesting.

I started working in the paranormal industry as a non-believer.  I was a hardcore skeptic (and remain very skeptical of most things to this day).  Things like paranormal video / photos / evps don't make me a believer, personal experiences do.  I could have that "5 million dollar full body apparition photo" and it really wouldn't matter.  Why?  Its simple, NOBODY will truly believe it but me (if that even).  Thats correct, I wouldn't even believe in my own paranormal evidence.  As much as I would love to have a "Real Ghost Photo", it seems I will never know for sure how real any of my evidence truly is.  I'm too educated as a filmmaker and photographer.  Every other paranormal investigator out there will make every attempt to rip apart any evidence posted for the public as well.

For example, the photo above is a gif image linked from a post on facebook by K.A.S.P.E.R. Paranormal Group.  The link goes to this page:

Now, before I go on.. I want to first express that I am in no way trying to discredit K.A.S.P.E.R. Paranormal and/or John Prentice (the gentleman credited by as providing the image), but as a professional photographer and someone who works in the film industry I can tell you that I am 99.999% positive that this image is in no way paranormal at all.  A simple understanding of depth of field, and IR light explain this image away...  The focal point of the camera is on the gentleman in bed.  The dept of field is the range in which things are in focus.   Ex. if your cameras focal point is 5 foot in front of the lens and you put something 40 foot away from the lens (or in this case) 6 inches in front of the lens, they are going to appear very blurry / fuzzy / out of focus and sometimes even fog like.  Furthermore, when something is closer to the lens it is going to appear much larger.  This is the case in the photo (video) above.  Something as simple as a string of dust or even an eyelash can seem to be the size of a person when close to the lens.  It illuminates because it is a real object reflecting IR light from the camera.  Its foggy looking because it is out of the cameras depth of field.

Now that I gave a very simple explanation to the image, does that make it not paranormal?  Does that mean the owner of the image is a fraud for posting it as an interesting image?  In my eyes, no..  However, calling it a "Ghost" is like me walking outside, finding a new organism the world has ever seen and calling it bigfoot.  We don't know what bigfoot really is (or if it really exists at all) and the same applies for "ghosts".  So calling some unknown sound or image a ghost is in my eyes fraudulent.  (So I never post any)

I use to investigate the paranormal to pick apart all of the magic tricks and illusions to make people feel more comfortable in their homes and places of business.  That is no longer the case.  I have had very personal (and even tragic) experiences with the paranormal. I no longer investigate private residences unless they are a close friend of the family, because in many cases these people need a help that I can't personally provide.  I don't have all of the answers and will never claim to (and anyone who does is lieing to you).  Beyond that, I still use many of the tools of the trade when investigating the historical / commercial places that my personal morals have restricted me to.  I still take photos / video and record EVP.  But I am there for the experience.  I don't care if anyone believes me when I say I have experienced something at one of these allegedly haunted locations or not.  For me, it is about ME getting answers for MYSELF.  Will I share my experiences with people?  Sure, if they want to hear about them.  Will they truly believe me?  Of course not.  I don't expect them to.  To become a true believer you yourself have to experience something paranormal.  Looking at a simple photograph or video will never make a believer of someone.  So I often tell stories of what I have experienced to see if others have encountered similar events or to encourage them to pay attention to such things themselves.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm in full support of those who are out for evidence.  I am personally a big fan of those who are striving for communication methods.  If it was as simple as picking up a phone, it would be amazing.  And it might get their some day, so keep doing what your all doing.  I wish you all the best of luck and happy hunting.

A few tips I have to keep investigators from sounding absolutely fraudulent in this industry.

  • DON'T EVER CLAIM TO BE AN EXPERT IN THIS INDUSTRY OR "THE BEST".  Quite frankly, you are not!  Nobody is!  I don't care if your on TV investigating, how many books about the paranormal you have written or how many investigations you have hosted, you are not an expert.  I produce films & tv about ghost hunting and the paranormal and believe me when I say I am certainly no expert!  I was recently offered the chance to film what will be a pretty historic paranormal investigation that involves many close friends and will likely have heavy media coverage.  I turned the opportunity down flat for one reason... The word "Experts".  Its a false claim and I refuse to take part for that reason... I vow to stay honest and credibility is lost instantly before the investigation even begins otherwise.

  • BE HONEST.  Why fake evidence? Is that what you are doing this for, to make believers of others with fake evidence? It doesn't make any sense trying to impress and make believers of others with fake evidence.  If you have to fake evidence, you obviously don't believe real evidence can be obtained yourself.

  • DON'T EVER STATE EVIDENCE / EXPERIENCES AS FACTUAL AND/OR AUTHENTIC EVIDENCE OF THE PARANORMAL.  It might look like a ghost, it might sound like a ghost, it might smell like a ghost, but what the heck is a ghost and how do you know what one looks/sounds/smells like?  Has some certain scientific experiment been conducted with repeated results of these things without a shadow of a doubt? NO.  When talking about your experiences use phrases like "it might be", "IT feel like it", etc..  The above isn't "a photo of a ghost", the above "might be a photo of a ghost".  Its not "A ghost grabbed my shoulder", Its  "it felt like something grabbed my shoulder".  This goes for Psychics / Mediums / Sensitives as well (and I have odd sensitivities to things I know nothing about as well).  Don't state your perceptions as facts but feelings.

  • With all of this said, I am going to ask for comments on this post about personal experiences you have had that keep you hunting and seeking answers to these paranormal questions.  Please stay honest my friends and keep active in your quest for answers.  Credibility comes with presentation more so then the evidence itself in this industry.  Be safe, be centered and be alert.

    Much respect ~ Willy Adkins / The Illinois Ghost Hunters


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