The Rev. Clarissa Vazquez: Further research needed
November 6, 2010
To the editor:
I recently read "The Thin Veil Between" from the Oct. 30 Saturday Morning Press. I am shocked that you would print such an article without further research.
Ms. Nicholes' six months of cemetery-hopping by no means qualifies her as a "ghost hunter."
Her "evidence" is a series of photographs containing "orbs," which I affectionately call Ordinary Bits of Stuff.
Personally, I discredit anything orb-like unless it emits its own light or casts a significant shadow.
Most investigators cannot financially afford the cameras necessary to eliminate images of the dust, bugs, water vapor, etc., that are routinely encountered. Further, most investigators are in dark places, and utilize the almighty flash, which illuminates not only the physical area, but also airborne particles.
Faces? Have you ever looked at a piece of dust under a microscope? Each dust particle has thousands of textured surfaces, each one creating random patterns that can often resemble faces.
There are three main components of dust: dead skin cells, the dried feces and desiccated bodies of dead dust mites (lovely thought, eh?), and clothing fibers.
Unless you are investigating a "clean room" where they build microchips, you're going to encounter dust. A good rule is to discount it unless it can be seen with the naked eye.
Ms. Nicholes stated that her interest in ghosts stemmed from television shows. Over the last few years, televisions have been inundated with shows about ghosts. While some appear to be quite legitimate, others are scripted and need to be cancelled before someone gets hurt, or worse.
Law enforcement is tightening restrictions on cemeteries and abandoned locations because of the amateurs and wannabes, not to mention credibility issues that arise from having a less-than professional person in the same town.
There are serious, trained and dedicated investigators in Colorado. I know this because I am one of them. I have personally spent more than 10 years studying ghosts. My organization has been called to Craig on numerous occasions to investigate.
I am not surprised by Ms. Nicholes' claim that she was followed home by something that was displeased with her activities.
As an untrained and inexperienced amateur, Ms. Nicholes didn't have the first clue about appropriate conduct and practices for investigating.
Thankfully, that spirit was appeased with her promise to stop running around in the Craig cemetery, but what happens when she encounters someone or something that isn't as easy to please?
I humbly ask that in the future, you investigate your topics before printing such a dangerous article.
The interest that your article has generated cannot only instill fear into readers, but can also inspire others to embark on dangerous ventures into cemeteries, abandoned buildings and other places where the untrained amateur can be seriously injured, both physically and mentally, or even killed, as was the case involving an investigator in North Carolina who was hit and killed by a train while looking for a ghost train last August.
The Rev. Clarissa Vazquez
Founder, Colorado Coalition of Paranormal Investigators