Holy Cross Photo

Photo by Gayle Martin. Location: Viscount Suites Hotel, Tucson, Arizona.

The Accidental Ghost Hunter has some new digital cameras and is now doing videography as well as photography. I love the new technology. Hard to believe that back in the day I went kicking and screaming from 35mm to digital, but now, with today’s DSLR cameras, I can shoot video.

A musician friend recently asked me to shoot a demo video for her, and as I was setting up I took a few test shots. Later on, as I went through the photos and video clips, I found something remarkable. My camera had captured a light effect that resembled a cross.

If you look closely, you’ll notice a light fixture on the column, so that would be the source. What’s remarkable is the luminosity. The same effect showed up in some of my other test shots, but not nearly so brightly.

I believe in angels. In fact, I owe my very existence to the angel who intervened and saved my father’s life when he was a young man. Angels, like deceased loved ones, can communicate with us in a subtle way, if we’re able to perceive their messages. I believe this particular photo was a message from an angel to tell me, and my friend, that they’re with us.


P.S. If you’d like to see the video, please click on the link below. Nothing paranormal, but you’ll hear some great jazz.

Is This an Orb? No.

Yes, the Accidental Ghost Hunter is alive and well, but the economic reality of the times has sharply curtailed my travel budget, so I’m not traveling historic places as often as I once was.

Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved.

That said, last weekend I had a book signing at an event at a historic place in southern Arizona called Empire Ranch.  It’s an old cattle ranch dating back to the 1860s, currently undergoing restoration and is now being used for educational purposes. I’m not aware of anything sinister in it’s history, nor did I get any kind of a creepy feeling while I was there.  If anything, it felt like a happy, positive place. About the only scary thing I encountered was having to deal with porta-potties.

I did however, get one anomaly that, to an untrained or overly excited eye, might be mistaken for an orb. However it is not. It’s simply a lens flare, and a lens flare can look similar to an orb. That’s why orbs are a controversy in the ghost hunting community. Sometimes an orb truly is an indicator of paranormal activity, but oftentimes they’re not. That’s why those ghost hunters who want to be taken seriously are skeptical of orbs.

Another one debunked.


Horse and Rider Ghosts?

Photo by Cindy Smith

Today’s post is courtesy of guest blogger Cindy Smith.

“This is the horse and rider photograph I took at the Stockyards in Fort Worth a couple years ago. It was taken with a digital camera sometime around 8 pm. The man appears to be right in front of me, when he wasn’t anywhere to be seen by either myself or my friend who was with me. You can actually see right through the man and the horse, and the horse has no feet. He appears to be floating off the ground.

My friend and I looked all around the arena that night for this rider and horse and he did not exist. There was no one in front of me when I took that picture. I have shown it to others and they say that the Stockyards are very ‘haunted’. That maybe this was someone who rode with the rodeo who just didn’t want to leave. ????”

This is an amazing photo Cindy. I have seen that fuzzy, blurry distortion show up in other people’s photos down in Tombstone. Cindy tells me that so far no one has been able to debunk it.

Thank you for sharing it.


Swamper Ghost Tombstone, Arizona

When I wrote Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: Luke and Jenny Visit Tombstone I decided to include the Swamper as one of my characters because local legend has it that he is one of the town ghosts.

The Swamper was a handyman who worked for the Grand Hotel back in the 1880s. And while the Grand Hotel is long gone the adobe facade from the original building still stands, and it is now known as Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. Big Nose Kate’s is one of the more popular eateries in town, (in fact my characters stop there for lunch in chapter one.) And over the years Big Nose Kate’s employees have told me the place is haunted, and they believe the spirit haunting the place is the Swamper.

It was discovered that the Swamper had dug a secret tunnel into the silver mines from his basement room in the Grand Hotel, and legend has it he is still guarding his silver, even today.

You know, there may be a grain of truth to that story. I was in town the other day and ventured into the basement at Big Nose Kate’s. Today the basement is a clothing store, (with nice items at good prices,) and, off to the side, is the Swamper’s room, set of as a historic exhibit, and no doubt bearing a close resemblance to how it may have looked when the Swamper lived there.

The tunnel is also there. A wall, (which looks like is was later added on), with a barred door keep the room from being accessed by the public.

Being curious I wanted to take a photo for my own use. When I snapped it I looked at my LCD screen and wondered how I managed to get one of the bars in the middle of my shot. I could have sworn I was more careful. It wasn’t until later, when I looked at the shot on my computer, that I realized it wasn’t one of the bars at all. It is black mist, and, if you look closely, you can see right through it. It appears to be coming up from the tunnel, and there are also a number of orbs in the mist.

I mean the Swamper no disrespect, but it looks like the stories are true. The old boy is still guarding his silver treasure.


Christmas Ghost

Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.

I’m still trying to get the hang of this darn digital camera. I know I’m going to love it once I’ve figured out all it’s idiosyncrasies.

Last night I went to a Christmas party in Tombstone. Brought along a buddy who is a big Ghost Hunters fan but has never been to visit the town. At the party I introduced her to a former Bird Cage employee who was featured on Ghost Hunters when they visited Tombstone a few years back. Then, after the party, I took her over to Allen Street.

Tombstone in the 21st century is a far cry from the Tombstone of the 1880s. Back then, Tombstone was “Vegas, baby!” Today they roll up the sidewalks at 6 o’clock. However they have done a beautiful job of putting up their Christmas lights, so I decided to play around with the camera and see what would happen taking photos at night.

After snapping a few shots I saw something weird on the left side of the LCD screen just as I snapped the photo. It was one of those “Aha!” moments when you know you’ve captured something unusual. Well, I showed it to my friend, then she starts getting nervous, and I’m having to explain to her that was in considered odd in most places happens everyday in Tombstone. Hey, what can I say? Ethereal mist happens.


Creepy but Debunked

Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.

I’m still trying to get the hang of this new digital camera. Recently I was back in the Bird Cage Theater, and snapped a few photos before I was able to figure how to turn the flash on. Later on, after downloading them on the computer, I noticed something really odd. It appeared to be a really creepy looking clown’s face in the background.

The next time I went to Tombstone I showed a copy to the Bird Cage staff. I learned that indeed clowns had performed at the theater back in the 1880s. I also decided to go back into the auditorium and take a closer look at what I had photographed.

Sure enough, I was able to debunk it. The “clown” appeared at a small screened opening to another room. The “hair” was actually a piece of torn brown paper that must have been used to cover the screen at one time. One the other side of the screen was a white table and other items displayed in the adjoining room.

Professional ghost hunters talk about “matrixing,” or our mind’s ability to form the shapes we see into familiar objects. In layman’s terms, this means that things are often not what they appear, and it is always important to check the facts before coming to any conclusion.

While many of the photos on this blog may defy explanation, this one has been debunked.


Whoops It Happened Again

Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved

After much resistance I’ve finally joined the digital age and purchased a digital camera. And, just like with my trusty 35mm, I’m experiencing oddities on this new digital camera when I visit Tombstone, and particularly in the Bird Cage Theater.

As has happened a couple of times before, I’m once again getting the strange bending light phenomena associated with the stage area. When is really strange is that there is a rather large piece of glass on the theater box to the right of the stage, and the bending light beam does not reflect on the glass. Rather it goes right through it, and seems to loop itself around items within the box.

All I can say is this is Tombstone,and the Bird Cage Theater is reportedly one of the most haunted buildings in America. Check you concept of reality at the door.