Tag Archives: ghosts

Is Disney’s Haunted Mansion Really Haunted?

Could Disney’s Haunted Mansion really be haunted? Happily, the answer is yes! No one is sure, and it can’t be proved, but… what would you say if you knew that the tombstones outside the original Haunted Mansion in California’s Disneyland had the names of the original designers of the ride?

Pic from DVCshop.com

Sure, a decorative nod to the deceased creators of the ride may not be enough to convince you. Although, if you designed this iconic ride, the peak of your life’s work, after you passed away, wouldn’t you hang around to see people enjoy it?

That’s not why I think Disney’s most popular ride is haunted though. That tombstone argument is flimsy at best. What would you say if you knew that each Haunted Mansion at all of the Disney parks across the world also contained the ashes of thousands of people who passed away?

Photo by Annie Leibowitz featuring Jack Black, Will Farrell, & Jason Segel.

Yes, this must come as a shock to you that wholesome Disney parks are the repository for the ashes of many, many people. Don’t believe me, google it. There’s many articles online from many respected outlets reporting that many, many grieving relatives have brought the ashes of a loved one to rest at Disney’s Haunted Mansion. That’s why I believe that there’s at least one mournful Disney loving soul that hitched a ride with their ashes and family to the Haunted Mansion.

But don’t get too sentimental about what a wonderful final resting place the Haunted Mansion would be for your family member or pet. Disney cast members have a code they say into their walkie talkies when they find ashes somewhere in the Haunted Mansion. They say “code HEPA”. Yes, HEPA like the air filter. They vacuum up the remains of your loved ones and dispose of them. Not such a sweet final resting spot is it?

The next time you go the Haunted Mansion ride you might want to look for ashes in the car seat before you hop on. Also, keep an eye out for a ghost or two that looks just a little too real.  ; )

Enjoy Disney’s new Haunted Mansion movie in theaters today July 28th!

Have a great weekend!! ~Phil

Please Let It Be Haunted…

Amityville Horror House

You may be asking yourself, what do I want haunted and why? First of all, why are you asking yourself that? You don’t know! I do and I’m going to tell you.

For the fifth time since The Phil Factor began in 2005, I’m moving to a new residence. Other questions you might be asking yourself are as follows:

1. Why does Phil move so much? 

2. Could he be trying to stay one step ahead of the law?

3. Could he possibly be a secret agent for the FBI, CIA, or MI5?

Was that a poltergeist, or just really kick-ass hi-def tv?

Never mind those questions. They are irrelevant. I’m moving again, and I’m hoping for a haunted house. I’m not hoping for just any run of the mill ghosts who make little noises at night. I want the full on Amityville Horror haunting. I want poltergeists out the ying-yang!

My last home, before the one I’m in now, was lightly haunted and it was enjoyable. I don’t want lightly haunted. This time I want the full on Stranger Thingsmy son is in the upside-down” kind of haunting. I want to see my dog walking on the ceiling and not knowing why. I’ll be running around the house with my cell phone recording myself Blair Witch Project style, only to find myself in the closet facing the wall.

Is this bad mojo to put this idea out into the universe? Probably. Will I regret it? Also probably. But, imagine how great all my paranormal blog posts will be when I’m reporting from my own home! I’ll have video and audio, and I promise I won’t be shouting about orbs. Zak Bagans is a clown. After about ten years he suddenly needs gigantic glasses? Did he go blind because he got an orb in his eye? SMH.

For cripes sake Zak. If you’d stop yelling all the time we might be able to hear the ghost talk in those crappy, static recordings. Every week you act like you’ve never seen a ghost before. And if you want to fight me Zak, I invite you to have your say on my blog and if you’ll invite me to follow you on one of your “investigations”, I’ll write about it. Sounds fair, right?

So here’s my question for you my readers: Answer in the comments, would you live in a haunted house, maybe if it was only lightly haunted?

Have a great Sunday and thanks for reading! ~Phil

My Afterlife To-Do List

In 2023 it has been disconcerting to see so many people, possibly more famous and probably wealthier than me, pass away and I’m realizing it’s possible I may not be able to avoid death.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have no plans to die, but as I get older I like to hedge my bets a little. Hell, if Jerry Springer can’t dodge the Grim Reaper, what chance do I have?

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That’s my favorite Grim Reaper. He’s from a cartoon my kids watched. I thought he was particularly funny because he had a Jamaican accent. That’s the first item on my After-Life To Do List: If I’m going to allow myself to be escorted to the other realm it’s got to be him, that Jamaican Grim Reaper. It’s impossible to stay mad at anyone with a Jamaican accent. C’mon man. It will be alright. Let me show you around. Being dead ain’t no big ting… If it’s not him, I’m not going.

Prior to my death, and possibly as soon as this week, I’m going to choose my house to haunt. Who says that you have to haunt your own house? What’s to stop me from haunting The Bachelor house? There’s always people home, so I’d never be bored. I could participate by doing ghosty kind of stuff. How great would The Bachelor be if the vapid but beautiful dolts were all living in a haunted house for three months? And how about if the ghost gets to choose who leaves the house each week by making some mysterious sign, like a mark on a chalkboard or something? I’m totally going to pitch this idea to the producers. I’m putting it in my will just in case I don’t get the contract signed before I pass.

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List of people to haunt: I’m making this list and including in my will that invites be sent out to my funeral. Only the date of the funeral will have to be filled in.  I’m pre-signing the invites now  with the phrase “See YOU soon!” How creepy would it be to get one of those? Also, at my funeral I want everyone there to stand up and read their favorite Phil Factor aloud.

Choose My After-Life Occupation: If I have eternity ahead of me, I don’t want to retire yet. Sitting around playing checkers with the old guys at McDonald’s in the afterlife sounds boring. In the after-life I’m going to be a real estate agent helping the recently deceased find the home of their dreams to haunt.

Ugh, this lady is the worst. This is a real online ad. Who wants a ghost-free house?

Me as an afterlife real estate agent: This lovely colonial on a cul-de-sac has five of the living, four bedrooms and two and a half baths..

Recently Deceased: What about pets? I hate pets. Dogs always barking at me. Cats getting spooked when I’m trying to stand quietly in the corner watching TV. They can see us you know.

Me: So are pets a deal breaker for you?

Recently deceased: What about Jennifer Lopez? I’d love to haunt Jennifer Lopez.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry. Her house just went off the market last month. How about Justin Bieber?

Recently Deceased: Ugh. No thanks.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

After-Life Hobbies: I never want to be all work and no play, so I’m going to be an amateur stand-up comedian in my spare time. Spare time? I’m dead. All my time is spare! See? I’m writing jokes for the after-life already. Man, I am gonna brighten that place up.

Blogging: Yup, I’m going to continue. I’ve been doing this blog for 18 years. Why should I let death stop me? I’ve pre-written an extra post a week for the last ten years and scheduled them to be released on a regular schedule after my transition to the after-life, Heck, I could be dead already and you wouldn’t know! Why else would I be writing about death?

So, as you can see, there’s lots to do in the after-life, and I don’t want to show up unprepared. What do you want to do after you die?

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

copyright ThePhilFactor 2023

I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost!

There are two things I’m not sure if I believe in, ghosts and death. Well, I’m sure I don’t believe in my own death, and if, by chance, it does happen, I plan to overcome it by becoming a ghost. I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself What a weirdo! Hey, relax on the judgment there. I’m contractually bound to come back after death if I have one, a death, that is.

Contractually bound? Yup. Nothing I can do about it now. It was many years ago in college. One night two friends and I were drinking some adult beverages. You know how when you’re young, like 20 or so; you think you’re really deep even though you’re really idiots who don’t know anything? We had imbibed a few and got to talking about death and the afterlife.

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We all were curious to know if there really was life after death, so right then and there, we Googled and then re-enacted a centuries-old Druid ceremony complete with a circle of salt, candles under a full moon, and signing a pact with our own blood, which was flowing easily because of the alcohol we had been drinking.

Ok, no, we didn’t, but I had you going there for a second, didn’t I? There was no blood-signed contract, and there was also no Google when I was in college, but we did make a promise to each other that whichever one of us died first would come back and haunt the other two so we would know that there was life after death.

I don’t know where those two college friends are now, and I don’t even remember one’s last name. Hopefully, because of our vow, some sort of afterlife mojo will help us find each other to keep our promise. As far as I know, none of us has ever shown up to haunt the others. With Paranormal Month in the air, I got to thinking of this and what else I might do if I were to be a ghost.

Stars DEMI MOORE and PATRICK SWAYZE. Licenced by Channel 5 Broacasting. Contact Five Stills: 0207 550 5583/5509/5544. Free for editorial press and listings use in connection with the current broadcast of Channel 5 programmes only. This. image may only be reproduced with the prior written consent of Channel 5. All rights reserved. Not for any form of advertising, internet use or in connection with the sale of any product.

I know this may be hard for you to believe, but in my life, I’ve been a bit of a practical joker at times. I’m pretty sure that if I ever return as a ghost, I won’t remove my shirt and help anyone with pottery. Jeez, what a waste of an afterlife.

I’ll probably be what we all know as a poltergeist. I’ll move a lot of people’s car keys just before they have to leave for work. I’ll show up invisibly during live televised events and give the President or Taylor Swift a wet willie. I’ll be on the field at all my favorite live sporting events, helping out a little to ensure my favorite teams win.

You know that feeling you get when you feel like someone’s behind you, but you turn around, and no one’s there? That’ll be me.  Who knows? Ghost Phil may even zip into the internet and follow the connection to your computer and cause embarrassing typos when you’re posting pictures.

So do you believe in life after death? Do you think there are real ghosts? What would you do if you were a ghost?

Have a great Tuesday!  ~Phil

Is Disney’s Haunted Mansion Really Haunted? Maybe!

Could Disney’s Haunted Mansion really be haunted? Happily, the answer is yes! No one is sure, and it can’t be proved, but… what would you say if you knew that the tombstones outside the original Haunted Mansion in California’s Disneyland had the names of the original designers of the ride?

Pic from DVCshop.com

Sure, a decorative nod to the deceased creators of the ride may not be enough to convince you. Although, if you designed this iconic ride, the peak of your life’s work, after you passed away, wouldn’t you hang around to see people enjoy it?

That’s not why I think Disney’s most popular ride is haunted though. That tombstone argument is flimsy at best. What would you say if you knew that each Haunted Mansion at all of the Disney parks across the world also contained the ashes of thousands of people who passed away?

Photo by Annie Leibowitz featuring Jack Black, Will Farrell, & Jason Segel.

Yes, this must come as a shock to you that wholesome Disney parks are the repository for the ashes of many, many people. Don’t believe me, google it. There’s many articles online from many respected outlets reporting that many, many grieving relatives have brought the ashes of a loved one to rest at Disney’s Haunted Mansion. That’s why I believe that there’s at least one mournful Disney loving soul that hitched a ride with their ashes and family to the Haunted Mansion.

But don’t get too sentimental about what a wonderful final resting place the Haunted Mansion would be for your family member or pet. Disney cast members have a code they say into their walkie talkies when they find ashes somewhere in the Haunted Mansion. They say “code HEPA”. Yes, HEPA like the air filter. They vacuum up the remains of your loved ones and dispose of them. Not such a sweet final resting spot is it?

The next time you go the Haunted Mansion ride you might want to look for ashes in the car seat before you hop on. And also keep an eye out for a ghost or two that looks just a little too real.  ; )

Enjoy Disney’s new Haunted Mansion movie in theaters on July 28th!

Have a great Saturday! ~Phil

An Interview with Real Ghostbusters: Part 1

Happy Paranormal Month! Here’s Part 1 of my interview with some real ghost hunters. To be fair, I’ll say that they are not ghostbusters or ghost hunters. They are Paranormal Investigators, and I was fortunate to spend some time with them.

The gentlemen in question are not all gentlemen. There are some ladies that like to get spooky too. About a week and a half ago I went to a presentation by the members of the Monroe County Paranormal Investigations. The MCPI is a not-for-profit organization. When a home or business owner calls them to request an investigation they will not be charged a penny. To me, that gives this organization credibility. They do what they do for the mystery and science of it. As an organization, they have done investigations in over one thousand homes and businesses.  Below are my questions and their answers edited for length.

Me: Do you ever disagree about what you’ve seen, heard, or experienced?

Rob: “Every. Single. Investigation.”

Brian: Yep. The one with the football thing; we almost had a knock-down, drag-out over that. I’m just like Nope. Nope.”

Rob: “He was convinced that because it was only moving, the little lights on the wall were only moving that much, that it wasn’t movement. But that much is movement! If  it moves that much it’s moving!”

Brian: But I was arguing that the thing is this big and it’s only moving such a…”

Rob: Movement is movement! It moved Jerry! (Seinfeld reference. If you get it, you win 50 Phil Factor dollars to spend in the gift shop on the way out)

Picture courtesy of Live Science

Me: Has there ever been a time when you were emotionally moved by an encounter?

Rob: Brian and I were called to a case. Healthy 27 year old people die. It sucks. We went out, we sat down for over three hours. We investigated for maybe 20 minutes. For the other two hours and forty minutes we listened to this woman’s story. Her 27 y.o. daughter went to a doctors appointment on Thursday, was given a clean bill of health. She was dead on Saturday. The only thing that happened was on Friday, her husband, who was in the military had come home. They knew that the husband was both verbally and physically abusive. So they attributed that to what happened.

Brian: The girls mother was insistent, obsessed.

Rob: Because of this, she had lost her job, alienated her husband, and basically made her other younger daughter feel like she was completely invisible because she became obsessed. There was an autopsy done. Natural causes. There was nothing founded. There was a second autopsy, same result. The state reviewed the autopsy and found nothing different. She got so obsessed that she was collecting cans and bottles to come up with $5000 for a renowned expert to do another autopsy. We got so emotionally involved in that case that Brian has actually been to the cemetery with flowers for the young ladies grave.

Brian: The mother, I think we’re kind of painting her in a negative light. She was a sweetheart. Her grief had driven her to do all this stuff. As paranormal investigators, there’s a lot of grief that we deal with. A lot of times what we do ends up being counseling. Sometimes there may not be anything going on in their home. They just want there to be.

Rob: Do you think people want to be haunted? Of course. You had an argument with someone and they pass away and you didn’t get a chance to resolve the argument.

Phil speaking to my readers:  There is plenty more to the interview. Part 2 will post on tomorrow. I found that last story about the grieving woman surprising and fascinating. You never see that side of paranormal investigations on the ghost hunting TV shows. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.  In the coming week I will post my story about going on a ghost hunt with these guys.

Thanks for reading! ~Phil

Two Awesome Ghost Songs

Sure, the paranormal is fun, but it doesn’t really have a theme song does it? How about these two:

After I started this I realized that there is one more absolutely perfect song for National Paranormal Month. Here it is:

If you like sensory overload, you can create a mash-up by playing both videos at once.

May you have a great and ghost filled Thursday!

~Phil

That Time A Ghost Saw Me

That’s right. I didn’t see a ghost but apparently a ghost saw me. He probably went back to his ghost blog and told all his friends.

The picture above was taken of me  six years ago as I was assembling a pergola. See that cloud to the left of me? The photographer didn’t see that when she took the picture. The picture was a “Live” picture on an iPhone7 that has about 3 seconds of movement. In the live version that cloud moved from one side of the picture to the other. If you look very closely at the top of the cloud you can see what, to me, looks like a face. Where I was is only about 15 yards from where the ashes of the former owner of the house is buried.

In addition to this we often had nights where would wake up to find that the television or gas fire place turned on in the middle of the night.

So what do you think? Was a ghost keeping an eye on me?

Happy Saturday! ~ Phil

Ghost Hunting with the M.C.P.I.

After I spent an evening learning about what Monroe County Paranormal Investigations does, I was fortunate to be able to go on a ghost hunt with them two days later. To be clear, this wasn’t an investigation. Myself and several others bought tickets to join M.C.P.I  for a mini-class on the tools they use and how they use them in a location with a haunted history. The location was the Union Tavern in Rochester, N.Y. The structure, pictured above, has quite a past. It’s first known history dates back to 1819.

The property was first owned by a renowned pirate. Later in the 1800’s it was rumored to be part of the Underground Railroad. During the 1930’s, when recreational alcohol was outlawed, it was a speakeasy (secret bar). Since then it has passed through several hands as a bar/restaurant. The one thing that has been consistent  throughout it’s history is reports of paranormal activity. The Monroe County Paranormal Investigations had been here before for a requested investigation and found strong evidence of invisible entities in the restaurant, including several reports of a little boy who catches people that fall on the stairs.

After a brief introduction to their tools the investigators gave us some of their equipment and set us loose in the restaurant that was closed for this event. I didn’t take many pictures because it was quite dimly lit inside and I didn’t want to use my flash.

I found this in the basement. I think it was a plant.

The pros had brought with them a digital voice recorder that they left running throughout, an EMF meter, an infrared camera, and some dowsing rods, and a thing that can make a laser grid on a wall so you can see if anything passes through it.

The first thing I was able to watch was Rob, the founder of MCPI, sit down at a table in an area of the restaurant where there had been previous reports of ghost sightings. He held out his EMF meter

He spoke aloud asking if anyone was there to come close to his meter. At first nothing, but a few minutes later his meter made a noise and the red bulbs lit up. Then he asked the entity to come closer and make the meter light up again. It did. He next used a name that the owners provided for the ghost that they see in this area of the bar. “If this is Leann, come close to my meter to light it up.” And it did. He asked Leann if she liked cooking and baking. The meter lit up again. Rob pushed out a chair and asked her to sit down. Keep in mind that he wasn’t holding the meter in his hand the whole time. He set the meter down on the table and it still seemed as if the ghost was responding to brief questions.  After about five minutes of interaction Leann the ghost may have wandered off.

Here’s my part of the story. The half dozen others who had joined myself and the MCPI had quickly grabbed the available EMF meters and infrared thermometers, leaving me with dowsing rods. Yes, dowsing rods like the kind used 200 years ago to find water. See the vertical hollow handles where it’s thicker? That’s where you hold them. You’re not actually touching the rods themselves. They are lightweight and very sensitive to movement. Someone whose hands shake nervously shouldn’t  even bother trying to use these.

I didn’t mind getting “stuck” with these instead of an electronic meter. They just seemed more organic to me. After Rob’s conversation with Leann tailed off, I wandered away from the others down the bar. I held the dowsing rods and asked if anyone was there if they could push the rods together. At first it seemed like they moved, but I didn’t feel that I held my hands steady enough. So I planted my elbows on the bar to stabilize my arms. I waited until the dowsing rods were completely still for about ten seconds, and I said softly “If anyone is here can you push the rods together?” I felt cold goosebumps sweep across my body and suddenly the rods that were pointing straight out moved towards each other until they crossed. I was excited, but skeptically cautious. I wanted to see it again to be sure I was getting a response.

I planted my elbows solidly and waited until the rods were still. I again said “If you are still here, please push the rods together.”  Again, after my question, the rods seemed to almost jump together. The difference this time was that two young guys that had showed up with all the latest ghost hunting tech were near where I was conducting my experiment. As the rods moved one of the guys with an EMF meter suddenly said, “I’m getting a good reading here!”

Later I moved upstairs and found a back room that no one seemed interested in. I thought, “If I was a ghost, I’d go in here to get away from all these people.” I steadied my hands and waited. Then I whispered again, asking for someone to cross the rods. They started to move tenuously. just a little. I again asked the entity to “push them harder, to make them cross.” After my second ask I felt the goosebumps sweep over me and the rods again seemed to move on their own. I heard noise just outside the doorway and it was a guy with a meter who excitedly said, “Hey, I just got a big reading.”

Keep in mind that we were probably walking around that bar for about 90 minutes and I only had two ten second interactions. Ghost hunting can be boring sometimes too. What’s my verdict? Did I really interact with a ghost? My answer is Probably. I’m telling you, when I got those responses, my hands were as still as a statue. The rods seemed to almost jump that first time. Plus the tech ghost hunters seemed to confirm what my goosebumps were telling me. I walked all over that place repeating that same routine, but all I got was those two brief instances. I’d like to thank the gang at MCPI for a great education and experience!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my ghost stories. What do you think? Do ghosts exist?Have a great Sunday! ~Phil

Interview with the Real Ghostbusters: Part 2

Who remembers what movie those ghosts are from? It’s one of my favorite paranormal movies. If you haven’t read Part 1 of my interview with the paranormal investigators from the Monroe County Paranormal Investigations, scroll back and read that too. These guys are interesting and funny.

Me: What was the funniest thing that ever happened during an investigation?

Rob: “The bed” is probably the funniest. So we’re investigating this house in the city.  I am not a little person.

Brian: Neither am I.

Rob: Brian and I together; not little people. We’re investigating this home. We have two brand new investigators working together downstairs. We’re upstairs. I’m sitting on a bed, and I say, “Brian, come over here and look at this. You’ll see how the light is reflecting.” He sits on the bed and the bed collapses.

Brian: Not quietly! Baboom!

Rob: There’s a huge crash and between the two of us there’s 140 pounds of humanity. It lands on the floor. The two brand new investigators were downstairs and the homeowner says, “What was that?”

Brian: I was on the floor crying, laughing thinking “Oh my God. What are we gonna do?” One of the new investigators yells up the stairs “Are you ok?”

Rob: Do you know how hard it is to yell “We’re ok” while you’re laughing?

Later the whole team talked a lot about feeling evil in the air when they enter some haunted places. All four of them indicated that at one time or another they had felt something, an energy upon entering a structure or room that had made them emotionally upset or fearful.

Rob: It was an explosion of energy in that one location.  It was such an emotional intense event that I didn’t sleep for a week. I slept maybe ten minutes at a stretch and every time I closed my eyes  I would wake up and I would swear my hands were covered in blood and there were police cars in my driveway coming to get me. I texted Stacey and I said “I don’t know what any of this means, but there’s a rose colored heart, there’s an egg, somebody painted the word love, and there’s a motorcycle. I don’t know what any of that means.”

Stacey: So I was doing research on the case Rob is referring to. I wanted to know more and know where the person was buried. I went to the cemetery. The stone was rose colored, and there was her face.

Rob: It was an old picture and it had faded so it was just an oval egg. The guy behind her stone was a biker so he had put a Harley Davidson little thing on top of his gravestone.

Stacey: Then there was a little plaque that said “love” in white.

Brian: The only kind of advice that I’ll typically give to people, if you have activity in your home is this. Imagine, if you’re dead and don’t know, if somebody comes into their home, you’re going to be like “Hey! Hello? What are you doing here?” And they’re not hearing or responding to you, you’re going to make noise, Smack, bang bang bang, right?

What if instead, when you get home you said, “Hey, thanks for watching the house for us today”? You just acknowledge them. It is amazing how many times that when we tell people to do that, everything quiets down.”

Me: I agree with that last piece of advice. It’s what I did in my house. There’s so much more they said that I could go on a few more pages. I sincerely want to thank everyone at M.C.P.I. for enduring my questions and allowing me to accompany them on a ghost hunt two days later. If you want to hear how that went, come back Saturday morning!

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil