We start out with the standard bio / background Jeff Belanger and how he got interested in ghosts. From there, we tackle the issue of labels and we find out how Jeff would describe his work.
We go over the nine theories, as outlined in "The Ghost Files", as to what ghosts are and Jeff adds a tenth that he didn't include in the book. This leads to a discussion on businesses that try to take advantage of their ghostly reputations to further business. Jeff talks about some businesses where hauntings can hurt business. We discuss how Jeff deals with desensitization to ghost stories, since he's heard a countless number of them at this point in his career. This leads to an interesting discussion on how orbs started in Ufology but ended up a part of ghost lore.
Next we talk about Jewish exorcisms, which are detailed in "The Ghost Files." Jeff explains what a "dibbuk" is and how is can be both good and evil. He also shares some great stories about Jewish exorcisms. This leads to a discussion on his discontent with contemporary "ghost hunters" who mix religions into their investigation.
We cover the rhetorical question of why ghosts don't seem to be around major events (like the Super Bowl or Oscars), since they can conceivably travel anywhere, and if Jeff has heard any stories of such events have had ghost sightings.
Jeff tells us about some of his freakiest adventures, including his trip to the catacombs in Paris, France. He includes a funny story, not featured in the book, about the "shoplifting" problem at the catacombs. Jeff then tells us about another freaky situation that happened to him while investigating the Lizzy Borden house. This leads to some more discussion on the Lizzy Borden House and some of the strange events that have been reported to take place there. After that, Jeff tells us about some of his travels to investigate haunted locations, including the Tower of London in the UK and the Whaley House in San Diego, California.
Being that Jeff is a major player in the ghost community, he surely runs into a lot of skeptics. He tells us how he deals with them. We also discuss the nature of ghost hunting, in that like a lot of esoteric genres, the studying has gone on for generations with no discernable answer in sight and how Jeff combats that idea that the answer may never come in his lifetime. The presence of a parrot in the background leads to binnall throwing down a challenge to ghost hunter groups: use a parrot.
Wrapping up the discussion on the book, the conversation turns towards the collaborative nature of "The Ghost Files" and why Jeff decided to include his readers' stories in his book. We also find out where folks can get their hands on a copy of the book.
We then cover a big picture topic from the genre: the explosion in popularity of ghost hunting. We start by getting Jeff's point of view on the sudden rise in popularity of ghost hunting. He talks about the unique interpersonal politics of paranormal groups and why the ghost hunting boom is a good thing. We also talk about the downside to the sudden popularity of ghost hunting. We discuss the lack of oversight for all esoteric fields. We also speculate on where the popularity trend of ghost hunting is going. Jeff raises a fascinating social observation about eras in popularity for ghost hunting.
We also get Jeff's take on what the ghost hunting field will look like and how it will react after the proverbial bubble bursts, including an exciting new trend he's seen emerge in recent times that was not kosher in ghost hunting as recently as five years ago. We also talk about the spiritualism versus science debate within ghost hunting. Jeff talks about some of the more unique ghost hunting groups and their off-kilter methods. We take a look at the bizarre landscape of ghost hunting groups and the feuds and squabbles that litter the landscape. Jeff speculates on what may work best for organizing the alphabet soup of ghost hunting groups.
The other big picture topic that we cover is the evolution of esoterica on the internet, something that Jeff can speak to, since he's built the ghostvillage.com brand over the last 9 years, starting when the Internet was in its infancy. We start out with Jeff's perspective on the growth and change of ghostvillage.com, from a simple six page website to a massive juggernaut in online esoterica. We also get Jeff's perspective on keeping up with the fast pace of change in the online world. We also talk about the process of building a brand and the stresses that go along with that.
We look at the general world of the paranormal online and the pros and cons of the esoteric on the internet. We also discuss the problem of hoaxes being more prevalent in online esoterica. We also discuss how ghost hunting's ability to use the online world to personalize the field is antithetical to UFO studies, which have seen Ufology become depersonalized by the internet. Based on his years of experience, we get Jeff's prediction on where the online world is going, with regards to paranormal research.
Heading towards the close, we talk about the oversaturation of EVPs and what may be the next big evidence trend in ghost hunting. We talk about trends in New Science which may unlock the secrets to the ghost enigma, potentially by accident.
Wrapping it all up, we find out what's next for Jeff Belanger, including speaking engagements and upcoming books.
Author, Lecturer, and Explorer of the Unexplained History, ghosts, UFOs, folklore, and magic -- the concepts are a part of our collective consciousness, and though no one can explain exactly how it all works, few can match Jeff Belanger's ability to bring the unexplained out of the fringe and into living rooms and near our office water coolers.
Jeff has been writing for publication since 1992. He's worked as a magazine editor, journalist, freelance writer, and has authored numerous books on the paranormal -- his books have been published in five different languages (so far). He's also the founder of Ghostvillage.com -- the Web's largest and most popular supernatural community according to Google.com and Alexa.com. He's lectured around the United States to audiences big and small, and he's become a recognized media personality -- appearing on over 100 radio and television programs worldwide.
His website is www.ghostvillage.com.