Do you believe in ghosts?
May 3 is National Paranormal Day!
And we're bringing you a collection of websites, YouTube channels, podcasts, TV shows, online games and real-life ghost tours that will scare you into keeping the lights on all night.
Read on... if you dare!
GHOSTS, DEMONS AND ANGELS
Here’s a spooky fact: 35% of Aussies believe ghosts exist and that they can influence their will on the living, according to a poll by Essential Research a few years back.
Even if we haven’t seen a ghost, there’s no shortage of ‘evidence’ out there to capture our imaginations.
From hearing a friend of a friend’s uncle’s spooky story that they swear is real, to the videos on social media supposedly proving the existence of ghosts (usually on night vision cameras while unsuspecting people sleep) and the TV documentaries of unsolved mysteries that science can’t explain, there’s plenty to make us believe.
IT’S JUST A MOVIE… RIGHT?
Hollywood has made tons of money out of scaring us out of our seats and making us spill our popcorn everywhere, with movies like Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, Poltergeist and The Conjuring all based on true life stories. But 2009’s hugely successful Paranormal Activity was a major dose of frights with its ‘found footage’ style making it seem all the more real.
More recent movies such as Insidious and Hereditary continue to bring the paranormal scare factor, but at least we can deal with our terror in the privacy of our lounge room.
REAL-LIFE STORIES TO FREAK YOU OUT
It’s one thing to watch a movie or read a horror tale knowing it’s not real, but hearing stories from people who 100% believe they’ve had a paranormal experience is the quickest way to scare yourself silly.
Real Ghost Stories Online
As its name suggests, this daily podcast features real-life people sharing their real-life paranormal experiences, encompassing all things supernatural, demonic, ghost investigations, haunted houses, possessions, shadow people, the unexplained and more.
Monsters Among Us
This podcast focuses on the unexplained and gives a voice to the wives' tales that we all heard growing up as a children. Are they true? They sure sound true! And that's enough to scare us!
r/Paranormal on Reddit.com
The r/Paranormal community has nearly a million members and “provides a platform to discuss and share true first-hand paranormal experiences, evidence, thoughts, and theories”. We’ve warned you.
On YouTube, MrBallen is the master of strange, dark and mysterious stories, mixing paranormal tales with true crime stories that will turn you into a shivering wreck. (He’s also got a podcast and puts up short versions of his stories on TikTok.)
THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN AUSTRALIA
Would you be brave enough to visit some of Australia’s most haunted locations in the hopes of having a paranormal encounter? Here are some spooky ghost tours not to be missed.
Aradale Hospital, Ararat, Victoria
This psychiatric hospital in country Victoria started out as a jail and eventually became a lunatic asylum for the criminally insane. It operated for over 100 years, shutting down in 1993, and its complex of nearly 70 buildings across 100 acres now makes it practically a ghost town all of its own. At the height of its operation it housed over 1,000 people and it’s said around 13,000 people died, which adds up to a lot of hauntings.
Willow Court Asylum, Tasmania
Willow Court, about 30 minutes outside of Hobart, is Australia’s oldest continually run asylum, and the Paranormal Investigation tour turns visitors into real-life ghostbusters! Participants get to use the latest paranormal equipment to search for ghosts in wards that are usually closed to the public, including the morgue and sections for the criminally insane.
Adelaide Arcade, South Australia
The oldest and grandest shopping Arcade in Australia also has a dark history of murder and accidents, with ghostly experiences reported by shoppers and staff. The ghost tour is very real - no dress-ups, no gimmicks - and offers exclusive access to the haunted tearoom below the arcade.
GUARANTEED GHOSTS WITH THESE VIDEO GAMES
If you don’t want to be let down by a ghost tour that may not turn up any spooky moments, then go for a VR game to give you a guaranteed scare. Yes, you know it's not real, but these immersive games will feel real to your body and have your anxiety high in no time. Even watching the trailers has us scared!
This psychological horror co-operative game sees you and three others play paranormal investigators on a ghost hunt. There’s different haunted locations to investigate, 10 different types of ghosts to encounter, and you get to use well known ghost hunting equipment. You can even interact with the ghosts using your voice and ouija boards.
Based on the movie franchise of the same name, this immersive game involves puzzles and scary surprises as you investigate a large, spooky house.
This first-person psychological horror game sees you playing Dwayne, a man trapped in a gigantic, ever-changing house by supernatural entities. On top of dealing with the ghostly activity, you have to make sure you avoid the darkness, otherwise you’ll lose your sanity and be exposed to even more severe paranormal experiences.
SUPERNATURAL THRILLS WITH SOME FUN THROWN IN
If you’re a fan of things that go bump in the night but you're after some entertainment without being terrified for days, you should definitely watch TV series Supernatural. You won’t be disappointed!
Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki play brothers Sam and Dean Winchester who hunt down all manner of spooky spectres including ghosts, demons, werewolves, vampires, changelings and the creepy creatures from those spine-chilling urban myths that scared us as a teenager (and maybe still scare us as an adult).
The show has its fair share of gore and jump scares, but it is also funny, comes with a killer soundtrack and has an emotional heart and well-written characters who are very human (as opposed to the creatures they hunt down).
Sadly the series ended in 2020 after 15 seasons but it's still amazing (even on a rewatch). Check it out on Amazon Prime (or buy it on Apple TV).
But you might want to grab a bag or two of salt before you start watching, just saying...
Speaking of Winchester, the Winchester Mystery House in California was once the residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearms magnate William Winchester. The sprawling mansion is said to be haunted by the ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles. The story goes that a psychic told Sarah to find a house and continuously build it to keep the spirits happy. Sarah spent nearly 40 years until her death getting builders to add oddly shaped rooms and doors and staircases that went nowhere to confuse the spirits.
BUT IS ANY OF THIS PARANORMAL STUFF REAL?
Australian Skeptics offers a cash prize of $100,000 to anyone who can prove they have psychic or paranormal powers and is “able to demonstrate their ability under proper observing conditions”. To date the prize money remains unclaimed.
But that still doesn’t stop us believing, does it?