Ghost Stories, Association Style
Seen a ghost at your association? These groups probably have. Read on for some offbeat facts and stories from organizations that aren’t giving up the ghost anytime soon.
Halloween is, of course, the domain of ghosts. And in some cases, those ghosts have associations that are interested in their spooky fates.
As noted in “Brought to You By” in the latest issue of Associations Now, lots of associations out there focus on ghosts and similar paranormal oddities.
With that in mind, we wanted to highlight some fun stories from three such groups—whether historic, based in folklore, or driven by factual data. Read on!
A ghost organization’s long literary history. While Charles Dickens is often the most well-known member of the United Kingdom’s Ghost Club, he was far from alone in representing the long-running group. Also considered a cofounder of the paranormal organization, with roots dating to 1862, is Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, notes The Vintage News. Later on, the group attracted a wide variety of other literary figures, including the poet William Butler Yeats and the psychic researcher and author Harry Price—as well as well-known figures who weren’t writers, such as actor Peter Cushing and early computing innovator Charles Babbage. Every November 2 for a number of years, members of the group—whether living or dead—were recognized in a ceremony that implies its members are making their presence felt.
A society’s research into a haunted cemetery. Do you know what’s happening in the photo above? For years, the Ghost Research Society has put a lot of analysis into Bachelor’s Grove, a Chicago cemetery that is believed to be haunted, with reports of floating orbs of light and phantom vehicles that appear. In 1991, a society member took an infrared photo (above) of what looks to be a woman after the researchers’ equipment pulled up odd readings. “Many ask why the cemetery’s so haunted,” the society states on its website. “Most believe it to be a combination of the grave desecration, satanic worship, and the bodies that have been unceremoniously dumped out here throughout the years. Add that to the fact that those early pioneers have faded largely out of existence and are now almost forgotten.”
An association’s paranormal poll. Back in 2013, the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena—whose mission includes UFOs along with ghosts—had the research firm YouGov ask the British public whether they believed in ghosts or UFOs. The results suggested that overall, 52 percent of respondents had some belief that people had experienced ghosts, far more than the 38 percent who said the same of UFOs. Women tended to believe in the paranormal forms more than men (who were far more likely to strongly disagree in such a belief), while adults ages 35 to 44 generally were more likely to believe that UFOs or ghosts were real.
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