AT&T Celebrity Chats - Dale Kaczmarek
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Wednesday, May 31, 8-9 pm ET
Community Port Celebrity Chats
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President, Ghost Research Society
MODERATOR: Welcome to the AT&T WorldNet ® Community Port chat event. Tonight we're speaking with Dale David Kazcmarek, president of the Ghost Research Society and author of Windy City Ghosts.
MODERATOR: This chat is Copyright © 1999 AT&T WorldNet®; all rights reserved.
MODERATOR: Welcome to the AT&T WorldNet® Community Port Chat. Dale Kazcmarek, we're very excited to have you here today. How are you doing?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: I'm doing just great!
MODERATOR: Our first question is from Brian420 -
Brian420: What in all actuality is a ghost?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Well, a ghost is a disembodied spirit of a once-living person. But in our work, we classify them into 2 categories: Apparitions and Residual Hauntings.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Apparitions have a definite intelligence and can interact with people.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Whereas the Residual Haunting is more like a videotape replay of events.
Flats: How did you become interested in Ghosts?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Basically , while I was growing up, my parents often told me ghost stories. Before my parents got married, their favorite thing on a Saturday night was to go past Resurrection Cemetery looking for the ghost of Mary, who haunts that stretch of roadway and cemetery.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: So my entering into this field was to try to differentiate between the folklores and the real ghost stories in Chicago.
MODERATOR: As a follow up to the interaction of Apparitions our users want to know -
Brian420: Do ghosts have the power to harm people or only scare us?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: In 25 years of work, I have never once come across a harmful spirit. Usually ghosts are more benign or mischievous rather than harmful.
MODERATOR: To be more specific on ghosts,
BunnyBabe: Is the ghost theory some sort of limbo for the dead?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Generally speaking, if you have seen the movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze, he was killed without knowing that, in fact, he had died, during a struggle. He became earthbound as a spirit for a time. That is the most often repeated scenario of how ghosts come to be. Another good example is Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense.
BunnyBabe: and is there an end at some point for the dead?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Ghosts have their own free will just like you and me. They are surviving personalities. So, if a ghost wishes to remain, it simply will.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: The endpoint would be when the spirit decides to move on.
Lovly: How do you know if you've seen a ghost?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Hard question. Most ghosts appear as we do. Some often looking very much like flesh and blood until they mysteriously disappear, while other ghots may simply be strange shadows, unusual mists or balls of light, or semi-transparent forms.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Most people don't see ghosts. They experience them through other senses.
Flats: How many encounters have you had with ghosts and what was it like?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: I have researched several hundred cases over 25 years. I have never seen one, however I have experinced them in other fashions, such as cold spots, unusual sounds, or the feeling of the presence in a room.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Ghosts can produce different odors.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Such as floral scents, pipe tobacco and cigarette smoke, or any odor that was important to that person while he or she was alive (perfumes, etc.).
MODERATOR: Let's discuss your book Windy City Ghosts for a moment -
Flats: How did you research your stories in the Chicago area? How did you verify their truths?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: The 90-some odd stories in Windy City Ghosts were collected over a period of 15-20 years.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Many of the actual stories were given to me by firsthand accounts.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: We diligently researched each and every one to ascertain the truthfulness of the stories.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: But, then again, you can't really tell whether a person is fabricating a story or not.
BunnyBabe: How many have you found to be half truths or lies?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: In the research that I did for the book, I can vouch for almost every story in the book. There is a chapter dedicated to ghostly legends in Chicago.Those stories are probably fabrications or folklore.
relayrace: Have there been any funny ghost stories in the city that people might have encountered?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: None that come to mind off the tip of my head, however, as I mentioned earlier, ghosts are not dangerous or harmful but tend to be playful or mischievious.
MODERATOR: What about your findings? Bridget asks -
CP_HostBridget: Where in Chicago is the most prominent haunted place?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: The most haunted in the Chicagoland area and in the book would be Bachelor's Grove Cematery. That cemetery is located near Midlothian near the Southwest side of Chicago. It has produced well over 100 separate types of phenomena since the 1950's.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: It shows no sign of letting up.
MODERATOR: Our users have a few specific questions to ask -
Brian420: I live in the Chicago are; in Wicker park to be exact. Are there any interesting stories to share about that area?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: I'm not positive, but there are a number of haunted places near the North-Northwest sides of Chicago.
relayrace: What can you share with us about 'Cuba Road'? It's located by Barrington in the Northwest suburbs. Supposedly it's haunted and in high school we were always freaked out by it. Is this true? And if so what happened there?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Cuba Road and White Cemetery, which is also along Cuba Road, is probably the most haunted Northwestern suburban location. Ther have been reports of phantom automobiles, ghost lights that floated over the fence, and most recently, two apparitions were seen walking along the road in broad daylight. The witness did not see the ghost but saw the shadows cast by those figures on the road.
punkrockgrrl: Rumor has it that there's a street corner in Chicago that more people have 'disappeared' from than anywhere else in the city? Have you heard about it and if so what is the name of the corner and what is the story behind it?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: I'm not familiar with that story, but would love to hear about it if you know more about it. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
relayrace: Do you feel that a ghost can permanently haunt someone wherever they go? A friend of mine swears up and down that a ghost is following her. I didn't believe her until some strange things started happening late one night in her room when we were talking about it. A shoe flew out of the closet like someone kicked it and the curtains opened! Can this really happen?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Yes, there are haunted houses and haunted people. A ghost can be attached to or linger in a home or they can become emotionally attached to a living person.
MODERATOR: As a follow-up to this question BunnyBabe wants to know -
BunnyBabe: How can we as living people do something to discourage or communicate our unwillingness to have a "ghost"?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: The best thing that I tell people is this: If you don't want a spirit around, simply anounce in a very loud voiceto leave or get out. If this doesn't work, simply ignore what may be going on around you. Like a person, if you ignore a ghost, they will go away.
punkrockgrrl: Is the bulk of your research in Chicago alone?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: No. I call Chicago and the suburbs of Chicago my home. However, I have done research all over the country.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: I have been to England and Wales on several occasions.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: I do research on paranormal activity all over the country.
MODERATOR: Now that we know you have done research all over,
David Berretta: I've heard of a place in Nevda called "Illusion Road." SOme pretty scary stuff there. I work in a bookstore and read a lot about Paranormal. Is this place really what they say it is?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Again, I am unfamiliar with that particular case, however, it sounds, by the name of it, to be another "Mystery Road" or "Mystery Hill". Again, I would love to hear about it. You can email me at email@example.com .
Valentina: Where in Florida is the most prominent haunted place?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Suffice it to say, there are a number of haunted sites in Florida. I would say that it is the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Quite a number of sights and sounds and apparitions have been seen and experienced there.
MODERATOR: Back tracking to ghosts being "attached" to one person our users ask -
BunnyBabe: Can the ghost be attracted to personally item's left behind?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Yes, most definitely. Sometimes antiques and family heirlooms can find themselves being attached to by a ghost. In particular, the person that had sentimental value to that item.
Reign: What has been your scariest experience?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: First of all, I should probably say that I have never really been frightened by anything in my work.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: However, there have been cases and times where the hair has stood up on the back of my neck and I have felt chills to the bones.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: This happened while I was investigating the "Joplin Ghostlight" in Missouri. It has been seen along the road since 1881 with no natural explanation.
lalala555: Do you believe in channeling?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: No, I don't. I believe that there are too many charlatans out there that give the rest of the serious researchers a bad reputation. I believe it's possible to communicate with ghosts, I don't believe anyone can channel a 4000 year old person.
Marathon-Man: DO YOU FIND THE NEW ENGLAND STATES ARE "HOTTER" THAN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Not in particular. I believe that areas that have large populations such as Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, etc, often have large populations of ghosts due, unfortunatetely, to high crime rates.
Lovly: Are there really poltergists?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Yes, there are. "Poltergeist" is a German word for "noisy ghost," however, most poltergeist activity is actually caused by living people. The movements of objects are caused by psychokinesis, or mind over matter by a living person.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Most often it is caused by an adolescent going through a change in life.
MODERATOR: Time for a more personal question -
Flats: When did you become President of the Ghost Research Society? How did it happen?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: I became president of the society in 1982 and prior to becoming President, I was research director. We changed the name from "The Ghost Trackers Club" to "The Ghost Research Society." Since 1982 I have been producing a newsletter that comes out 3 times a year called The Ghost Trackers Newsletter.
relayrace: How do you feel about exorcism? Do you feel people can really become possessed?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: We don't get involved with exorcism or possession cases, but I do believe that it can be possible for people to become possessed. However, I have never actually seen a possessed person.
Giggles43: can anyone get your newsletter? if so, how do I get it?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: The newsletter is available to anyone. It is $20.00 a year and you can order it from my website, www.ghostresearch.org
Silent Spirit: do you think it is possible for a spirit or ghost to occupy a ouigi board ?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Ghosts don't occupy Ouija boards. They can, however, be summoned through the use of the board, much like a seance.
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: On my site, http://communityport.att.net/chat/%20//www.ghostresearch.org there is a great article about Ouija boards and there dangers under the section entitled "Featured Articles."
MODERATOR: We have time for one more question -
MODERATOR: As a follow-up -
Silent Spirit: have you ever held a seance, or been in one?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: Yes, I have been with seances in the past. However, we prefer not to use them as part of our investigations because they are too unreliable.
MODERATOR: Well, we're almost out of time for this chat event, Dale Kazcmarek. Do you have any final comments you'd like to share with us?
SPEAKER_Dale Kazcmarek: The thing that I tell a lot of people is, while you may never experience a ghost, it is a good idea just to keep an open mind to the subject. You never know when that experience may happen to you!
MODERATOR: Thanks very much for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us, Dale Kazcmarek -- this has been an extremely interesting chat. Also, I'd like to thank all the users who attended and participated in the chat event; we hope to see you again soon!
MODERATOR: Folks, if you missed part of this chat event, you'll be able to view the complete transcript under the link at http://communityport.att.net/chat/index.html within the next day or so. Be sure not to miss Trivia Night II! We've added a second night of trivia! Now all trivia fans can show off their knowledge of useless information on Thursdays too! Join us at 7pm EST in the Special Events Room!
MODERATOR: Thanks again, folks. Have a good night!