Skepticism

Where have all the skepchicks gone?

Bug_girl is having technical problems so I’m filling the gap for her (actually, I tied her up and tortured her into letting me have her post slot, and now it’s MINE, bwah ha ha!).

I’ve had a batsh*t crazy couple of days. Hubby and I were asked to participate in the filming of a TV documentary-type-thing in a ‘haunted’ castle – we were supposed to stay all night but I had a family emergency and we had to dash off at 2am and drive over 3 hours to get home. The emergency is almost OK now, but it was a pretty awful few hours.

The filming experience was fascinating. I’m not a huge fan of most TV, we don’t have an aerial or receive any kind of broadcast channel (our TV set is just used for watching DVDs and gaming), so I’m a little out of touch with the popular style. However, I was amazed at how keen the crew were to play up the anecdotes and sketchy historical stories that passed for evidence. The bizarrest stretch of imagination was the gravestone of a castle gamekeeper who drowned in the river when he was an old (and presumably shaky) man. This was cited as evidence for the existence of the ghost of a murdered girl whose body was dumped in the river. Riiiight. Cause, y’know, I’m convinced.

As the token skeptic of the party, I was encouraged by the crew to ask specific questions of the castle owner. For example, I was told to ask if there could be a rational explanation for the story of a couple who, ten years ago, thought they’d hit a young girl in a white dress with their car, only to find no body under their wheels. The crew told me that the likely explanation was that it was an owl, but not to specifically mention that animal. On cue, I asked the question “do you think there could be a rational explanation for that story? For example, something in nature?”. His answer? “Well, there are deer on that road, I suppose, but I questioned the couple myself recently and their testimony was pretty convincing.” Er, what? What happened to the owls? And, dude, you questioned them on something that happened ten years ago, and you’re convinced? All this, despite the fact he’s never seen a ghost himself.

That aside, the owner was a lovely man, even if he does believe his own hype, and the castle was beautiful. I was very sorry to have to abandon ship, particularly as I was letting down my fellow ghost-hunters, but sadly sometimes life pukes up a hairball at you.

If they don’t edit me out (and who’d blame them if they did?), I’ll try and get a copy of the finished programme and upload it somewhere for your amusement.

What’s that, Scooby? It was old man Withers all along?   

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6 Comments

  1. Sounds about right – they have to have a skeptic there by law, so they resent you and try and trip you up wherever possible.

    Either that, or give you 30 seconds airtime compared to the half hour given to the believers.

    Sorry about the family emergency and I hope everything's OK.

    Can't wait to hear the full story though

  2. Sadly, we can be almost certain that in the final edit it will appear that the "token skeptic" fled in the middle of the night in terror. It makes much better TV than a real world family emergency.

  3. I think it was brave of you to go…on tv that is not a castle. My own few interactions with the media have proven to be very sad. Most media types go in with the type of story they want and that is it. And when you meet the average reporter/media type you are hit with how very unintelligent and ill educated they are (at least in the US). I'm sure there are many exceptions, but I haven't run across many of them!

  4. John, I don't doubt it for a second. I'll forgive them that though, I did leave them in the crap rather massively. It's just a shame that I didn't get to represent skepticism better, but hey, let's wait til the final edit, we might be pleasantly surprised.

    *starts holding breath*

  5. My guess is that they will hint at the fact that your family emergency was caused by the ghosts of the castle, who didn't appreciate your non-belief in them. They taught you a lesson, those spooks.

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