February 13, 2008

Stella Maris: What You Can't Show On Paper

It is not easy to write about ghost stories. When we began investigating the weird and unusual, one question repeatedly came up and that is "how do we write about this stuff without sounding crazy?" It was easy for us to report about the ominous tower that stands overlooking the UNE Campus or the folk legend of opera singer, Eva Gray, but Stella Maris truly puzzled us. Those that were there that night cannot deny the strange aTy and myself in front of Stelland unusual occurrences that went on between those walls, but we leave it up to you, dear reader, to determine for yourself whether the halls of Stella Maris are haunted.

Ghosts are a peculiar thing. Hotly debated in the scientific community, anything deemed as paranormal activity is quickly debunked using cold, hard science. The only thing that science has yet to explain is that creepy feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you feel like someone is watching you. That feeling you get whenever you walk through Stella Maris.

In order to help you make up your mind, and present just a small slice of the plethora of information gathered that night, we present you with audio and visual aids from that evening, which may or may not contain a ghost... or two. Besides the evidence herein presented, we can only provide you with our experience.

During the investigation, Lindsey snapped away furiously on Ty's digital camera. Nothing of consequence can be seen at a cursory first glance, but upon further examination there appears little balls of light periodically throughout the pictures. We call them orbs.

2nd Floor HallwayWhat is an orb, you ask? Basically, an orb is believed to be ghosts in the form of balls of light. However, and to much dismay to the avid ghost hunter, most orbs can be dismissed as dust or water particles. There is so much literature out there on the origin and meaning of orbs, all you really need to do is google it sometime.

I do find it particularly interesting that the only orbs that appear out of the 75+ photographs taken by Lindsey (on a very nice Kodak Easy Share, mind you) are in places that gave off a definite creepy vibe to the whole group

For more orb pictures, check out our photobucket account.

To capture a ghost in a picture is one thing, to capture them on a tape recorder is another. Armed with a Sony ICD handheld recorder, I was in control of capturing any verbal communications from the afterlife. A simple tactic was employed -- ask a question and then wait patiently for a response. We would make statements such as, "if there is a presence here will you please make yourself known by speaking into the red light," and as questions about gender, age, and feelings.

Obviously we didn't get any immediate (or audible) responses. Using the program Audacity, we were able to enhance the background noise on certain audio files. I cannot confirm nor deny that there are voices from beyond on these sound clips, that is for you to decide. Feel free to play around with Audacity yourself, who knows what you might find.

Clip One
If you listen carefully at the end of this clip, you can hear some sort of garbled whispering that was definitely not one of us.

Clip Two
In this clip, my personal favorite, right before Ty goes "Oooh!" you can hear faintly a child's laughter.

With iffy evidence in the audio and photographical departments, our most interesting piece of information comes from Ty's amazing little Flip Video Digital Camcorder. Travis bravely helmed the camera and captured what seems to be, for all paranormal investigators, the holy grail of apparitions.

In a somewhat conclusion, I know what I saw, heard, and felt that night in Stella Maris Hall. I am merely presenting this evidence as not only proof of my experiences, but as a means of communicating to all of you out there to broaden your horizons and be open to different possibilities (by reading Weird UNE you are already one step ahead!). You be the judge on if this orphanage turned boarding school turned morgue turned offices is really haunted or not.

Keep checking back because we'll be periodically adding new clips/pictures!

- M


Anonymous said...

The clips do not work would love to here them!

Anonymous said...

In 1949, my mother was sent to this convent, Stella Maris, for girls that was managed by nuns of the Catholic Church. My mother was 15 years old at that time and was sent there due to her father's illness and financial hardship of the family. She thought she was going there to school, but instead her duties were assisting the younger girls to get ready for school. The sound of children playing would have been normal during those times.