Nursing Ghost Stories as told through Natural Language Processing
Language comes natural and easy to humans but is difficult for machines because of its structure and ambiguity. Ghost stories perhaps showcase that ambiguity as paranormal experiences are difficult to reconcile or explain within known scientific principles or inferences
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a field of computing that enables computers to analyze, understand and communicate human language. Today natural language processing powers several technologies such as: speech recognition assistants; language translation; sentiment analysis; entity and relationship recognition; as well as text summation, parsing and analysis
The Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) is a platform of libraries and programs for natural language processing written in the Python programming language. NLTK was developed at the University of Pennsylvania and first released in 2001
Word clouds are visual representations of a text, where the sizing of words displayed reflects their prominence or emphasis within the text. The word cloud application used here was developed with NLTK and other Python modules
Word clouds provide high-level analysis of themes associated with a corpora (body) of text. In business, they can be used to highlight pain points from customer feedback. For this effort, word clouds were applied to a collection of ghost experiences as told by nurses
Allnurses.com hosts a long-running discussion thread called “Nursing Ghost Stories” (NGS). The NGS collection spans over a decade (2005-2017) amounting to 199 pages as of the time of this writing. The NGS archive contains a mixture of first and second hand accounts along with commentary
Two corpora were developed from the NGS collection. One corpus contained plain text and another corpus was tokenized (tagged) by sentences, words and parts of speech. A word cloud was subsequently generated from the plain text corpus that is displayed above. Common stop words, for example prepositions were filtered out prior to the generation of the display
The word cloud is interesting for what it does and does not emphasize. For example, the words ghosts and hauntings along with their roots or extensions are not prominent in the display. Hauntings involve recurrent paranormal experiences commonly experienced in the form of ‘imitative noises” and in more elevated forms through apparitions. Many NGS discussions appear to involve sensed presence experiences
There also appears to be substantive emphasis on nearing death awareness (NDA) type experiences as said or told by patients, many of whom were in long-term care or hospice settings, to nurses under their supervision. In their final phases, terminally-ill patients often perceive welcoming apparitions or visitations from deceased relatives or loved ones. In NDA experiences, patients often appear to hold conversations with persons who are not physically present
As would be expected, terms of reference associated with medical profession are most prominent in the word cloud, however these terms could be filtered from future word clouds to potentially obtain deeper insights on the experiences
In the near-term, NGS corpora can be used to develop sentiment analysis. Also worth exploring are word pairings and conditional frequencies connected with them. A longer term effort would mix natural language processing with machine learning to characterize types of encounters within the NGS collection
Bird, S., Klein, E., & Loper, E. (2009). Natural language processing with Python: analyzing text with the natural language toolkit. “ O’Reilly Media, Inc.”.
Kircher, P. and Callanan, M. (2017, Dec 14). NDEs and Nearing Death Awareness in the Terminally Ill. International Studies for Near Death Studies (IANDS).
Natural Language Toolkit: NLTK 3.2.5 documentation. (2017, Sep 24). NLTK Project
Pearson, P. (2014). Opening Heaven’s Door: What the Dying May be Trying to Tell Us about where They’re Going. Random House Canada. Sponsored
What’s Your Best Nursing Ghost Story? (2017, Oct 30). AllNurses.com
Wordcloud from NGS Corpus. (2018, Feb 19). © Maryland Paranormal Research ®. All rights reserved.
Story Submission by Facebook User:
Hello, I’m Graeme. I had an experience when I was 4 years old in Ontario, Canada on the Bruce Peninsula at our cottage. I was in a pond playing around in the water and I saw three ghostly white objects that ran down on the beach from the southeast and I literally got grabbed by the three objects, and I was in front of the pond on the shore, next to the one I was playing in the ghosts manifested into three Native Americans. They looked ages 24, 5, and 36 – the 24 year old looked like a Native girl with really long black hair. She was standing with her daughter with shoulder length hair with bangs and the father had hair in a braid. The 24 year old with the long hair was wearing a white doeskin dress along with her daughter, who was wearing doeskins and the father as well.
I saw the father throw a rock into the lake and make the daughter go get it. I got the ghosts name with the long hair her name is Shanaondwa, she told me it was like talking to real people.
I literally found the rock in real life that the father threw in the lake.
In 2008, on a hot July day, I walked down the back-trail into the forest and I started to mumble to my self old woman and in front of me I saw this white ghost manifesting on the trail with long black hair and It was Shanaondwa coming for a second visit when I was 17. She spoke to me and gave me a hug and we talked for a while and I could see her daughter dressed in bown doeskins and clearly make out her moccasins on her feet and a the shine of her hair. I saw she had a blue necklace on, and I saw them boiling sap or something behind them they let my by and Shanaondwa met me up with her other friend Mikawrethewa. She told me to run, I found my self trapped in the forest and once I got out I could see Shanaondwa again I could actually touch her hair. I and she walked around an old tree stump, and they told me to run. I ran and I looked behind, and I saw bloodshed on the back trail with an enemy tribe invading the other and I went into a trance and I felt my self walking backwards, and all I can see if red and that ended, and I saw the little daughter of Shanaondwas walking up the trail and I saw my self running with Shanaondwa’s friend she was wearing doeskins too. She asked me if I do fishing or hunting. I said no, and once I got out to the beach. I could see a freed fog coming from the forest and it lifted, and it was gone.
What do you think he saw? Let us know in the comments/reply.
Ghost crossing while 2 employees chat and record with a cell phone
in a Public Hospital Guadalajara, Mexico 2008. (Via YouTube)
Netherlands child-face ghost picture taken. Rumors are there was a child that died 24 years ago. Maybe this picture proves it?
A woman was stunned to capture what she believes is a ghost at a famous abbey on camera – and it could be the spirit of a monk killed by Henry VIII.
The ghostly images were caught on camera by Lara Tetlow who was enjoying the Glastonbury Abbey Musical Extravaganza on August 6, 2016.
In 1539 the abbot and two other monks were hung, drawn and quartered. The quarters of the bodies were publicly displayed in Glastonbury and other Somerset towns. Glastonbury Abbey was sacked then it was ‘cannibalised’ by people who took stone. (Via The Mirror)
Several photos of what appear to be supernatural beings taken with his camera at this vacant Sanatorium. We’ll attach a link to those photos in the next few days. This one however, was captured on film by a guy named Jeff’s brother when touring the building with an environmental protection agency in the summer of 2011. It’s not that often that someone captures a ghost this clear on film. And by the way, ghosts have a different way of looking out a window, they simply poke their head right through the glass! [x]
The Nightmare Nap Spot
“This is a photo of my uncle that my mom took one night in a
cemetery by a bar they were at. He is lying on a Revolutionary War-era
The photo above reportedly shows a little girl toddling towards her ‘imaginary’ friend. What do you think?