- Parent Category: Upper-Intermediate Skill Builders
- Category: Upper-Intermediate Skill Builders: Listening
- Written by Chris Cotter
Do you believe in ghosts? Would you purposely visit a place supposedly haunted by the dead? Some people have more than a passing interest in ghosts and ghost stories, and would quickly answer "yes" to both questions. In fact, a number of these enthusiasts are determined to prove that life after death is not only real, but that the dead regularly return to the world of the living. These people are ghost hunters.
Hunting ghosts may sound a little odd. Yet a majority of people in Britain and the US now believe in ghosts. In addition, nearly twenty-five percent claim to have seen a ghost. As a result, there has been a sharp rise in the number of hunters out there. More and more people have taken up this paranormal challenge - to find proof that these spirits are real - as a weekend hobby of sorts. Registered societies and organizations have popped up all around the world, too. And with the Internet, it's easier than ever to enroll in a group and keep in contact with other like-minded individuals via bulletin boards and online newsletters. Perhaps the increased interest comes from sensationalized movies and TV shows with ghosts and ghost hunting as their themes?
Ghost hunters usually operate in the waning hours of night, typically around four in the morning. This is the peak time for ghosts. Many of the spirits, say the hunters, regularly return to this world. The ghosts may have had a problem in life which remains unresolved, and so they feel as though they can't permanently move on to the next world. What's more, many ghosts in people's homes aren't random, wandering spirits. They are actually loved ones.
Many unfamiliar with the idea of hunting ghosts may be surprised at the tools and their level of sophistication. The hunters don't simply sit in a dark room and hope a ghost wanders by. There are a variety of tools regularly used, such as video equipment and motion sensors. There are tools to measure room temperature, as a sudden and inexplicable spot of cold may signal a ghostly presence. There are audio recorders to capture attempts by the dead to verbally communicate with the living. There are even more tools to detect negative ions, radiation, and changes in the magnetic field.
Of course, not everyone agrees with the idea of ghosts. Some believe that ghost hunters are merely charlatans. The hunters claim that ghosts are present in an area, greatly exaggerate the stories, and then conduct tours of the place for a steep price. Even worse, when hunters are called to a home to help, they may point to objects which are supposedly possessed. They take these items, often antiques or family heirlooms, out of the house and to paranormal museums. Again they seek to make a profit because the hunters charge a high price for admission to the museum.
What do you think? Do you want to give ghost hunting a try?
Step 1: You will listen to an article about people who hunt for ghosts. The article is almost 5 minutes long. Listen only, and don't worry about understanding everything.
Step 2: Read and understand the questions, then listen again. As you are listening, try to answer the questions in your head. Don't write the answers yet. Next, listen again and write the answers this time. Check your answers with a partner.
Step 3: Read the article. Check in your dictionary any unknown words. Now listen again. Can you understand more?
Step 4: Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen to the article on the train or in your free time. Each time you listen, you will slowly improve!