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Monday, 12 June  2006  Ghost Hunters

Michael and Drew are convinced that ghosts are real and they've set out to visit the darkest and scariest spots in Tasmania in the hope of proving it.


PETER WELS: Tales of terror like those from the Port Arthur convict settlement, captured the imagination of Michael Phillips from an early age, they even played a role in his decision to move here.

MICHAEL PHILLIPS, GHOST HUNTER: Port Arthur mainly, there's about the ghost that strangled the construction worker and the little girl walking around and the ghost on the Richmond Bridge, were the main ones I heard.

PETER WELS: Michael and his friend, Drew McClelland spend their nights prowling through local cemeteries, historic sites and ruins. They're self-described ghost hunters, on the lookout for anything creepy, spooky or unexplainable.

DREW McCLELLAND, GHOST HUNTER: I got followed by an unseen presence. There were definitely footsteps that were following me. I thought it was the guys playing a joke on me, but they were still up here at the church thing waiting for me.

PETER WELS: Armed with camcorders, a stills camera and a microphone, Michael and Drew are out to prove that ghosts exist and can be found all over Tasmania.

DREW McCLELLAND: Leave one there and leave another one over that way, so you can still keep an eye on them with the still camera.

PETER WELS: They say investigating the paranormal requires an immense amount of patience. Often they'll spend up to eight hours in a cemetary or ruin, hoping to get a ghostly glimpse, and usually unsure whether they've captured anything until they return home they following day.

DREW McCLELLAND: Sometimes it just depends on like a picture or a story, but most of the time we'll just drive around and if the place looks like it has some history then we'll just park there and go and have a look and check the place out. If we hear something out here we know we're probably going to get something on film, but sometimes it's a toss-up really.
We could go out all night here and have hundreds of sounds, and get home and have nothing on camera. And then other nights it's no sounds, and go home and you've got a whole stack of things on camera.

PETER WELS: A lot of the time, the things they can't explain don't necessarily appear in front of the camera. Instead, it's what they can hear.

DREW McCLELLAND: We've had a little girl, had a little girl's voice. We've had a woman saying "are you hurt?"

MICHAEL PHILLIPS: We also get growls, like "grrs".

PETER WELS: Spending hours in the freezing cold is only the beginning. When Michael and Drew return from their overnight expeditions, they gear up for a painstaking analysis of the video they've shot. Looking for orbs, apparitions and ghostly voices.

DREW McCLELLAND: If they want to make contact they will. That's what we do, we just wait, and they'll eventually end up making contact, but sometimes you'll be sitting there all night, falling asleep, waiting for something to happen. It's like fishing and then all of a sudden bang you get a bite, and then you're off and off you go, and that's when the fun happens. At least for us, that's our fun.

PETER WELS: And for these northern Tasmanian spook chasers, evidence of the paranormal is only part of the plan. They're also hoping their work helps revive the dying art of the ghost story.

DREW McCLELLAND: It's definitely not as popular. A lot of people today would rather not believe in it, would be a lot more skeptical than what they were 20 years ago. Yeah, we find that it's a dying tradition and that's why we're here.



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English Bites - Ghost Hunters
story notes

captured the imagination
Something that captures the imagination is something that makes you very interested or fascinated by something.

Example: Digital technology has captured the imagination of a generation.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

ghost
A ghost is the visible spirit or soul of a dead person.

their
The possessive form is spelled t-h-e-i-r. Look out for the other two spellings in this story. The link below explains how they are all spelled.
more information: they're their there

prowling
Prowling means creeping quietly, trying not to be heard.

they're
The contraction of they are is spelled t-h-e-y-'-r-e. Look out for the other two spellings in this story. The link below explains how they are all spelled.
more information: they're their there

self-described ghost hunters
A ghost hunter is someone who looks for ghosts. Self described ghost hunter means that they describe themselves as ghost hunters.

creepy
Creepy means strange or unnatural.

spooky
Spooky means strange or frightening.

unexplainable
By unexplainable he means not able to be explained. We donít usually say something is Ďunexplainableí. We usually use the word inexplicable. If something is inexplicable itís not able to be explained.

there
When 'there' is not the possessive or the contraction it is spelled t-h-e-r-e. Look out for the other two spellings in this story. The link below explains how they are all spelled.
more information: they're their there

thought
Here thought is the past tense of the irregular verb think. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: think

armed with
To be armed with something is to have something that can be used to achieve something.

Example: Armed with his improved English, he applied for a university course in Australia.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

found
Here found is the past participle of the irregular verb find. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: find

keep an eye on
To keep an eye on something is to watch it.

Example: Keep an eye on the game so that we know when a goal is scored.

paranormal
Paranormal describes something impossible to explain - something that canít be explained by science.

whether
Follow the link below to find out the ways to spell the words pronounced this way.
more information: weather & whether

check the place out
To check something out means to investigate or evaluate it or to look it over.

Example: You should check out our list of common expressions.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb check out, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: check out

toss-up
If something is a toss-up itís unpredictable

expeditions
An expedition is a journey undertaken by a group of people.

gear up
prepare to make youself able to do something

Example: We have to gear up for the change of the company's name.

painstaking
Painstaking means very careful, requiring great effort

shot
Here shot is the past participle of the irregular verb shoot. Follow the link below to find out more.
more information: shoot

orbs
An orb is circle, usually a circle of light

apparitions
ghostly figures
spotlight

What does 'give up the ghost' mean?

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