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Power of Suggestion

Kathy and I are attending the MATPTA (Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance) conference held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Late last evening we had the opportunity to go to the Paranormal Investigation at the 1758 Sun Inn just a short stroll on a stormy night from Hotel Bethlehem. I was wondering how to turn a paranormal investigation into a wine blog.

We were warming greeted, by the living, and ushered into what use to be the inn’s kitchen. A ten minute video related the importance of the inn built in 1758 and the number of celebrity guests. After the video, the ghost hunters began to talk. They showed us the data supporting paranormal activity they personally have found as well as the data gathered from the television show Ghost Hunters. Looking at flashing led indicators and listening to noise, we were told what was said in the noise. The power of suggestion was evident. If I didn’t have someone tell me that I hear the name William, I never would have heard it.

The power of suggestion is very prevalent in many wine tastings. A large number of wineries train their tasting room staff to monologue visitors. “You will notice this wine has green apple and a hint of citrus …” After a moment, you taste green apple and citrus. The power of suggestion has ruined many wine tastings, however wineries with tasting rooms seem to think this is the only method the public can handle. These wineries need to wake up and entertain the use of dialogue rather than monologue. At a winery, it is far better, and more educational, to ask visitors what they see, smell and taste.

With last evenings paranormal investigation, the presenters were quick to point out what we heard and saw. Perhaps they could have asked before telling us. In wine tasting, people who have practiced the structured tasting process may have an easy time identifying aromas and tastes. Trained ghost hunters also are use to hearing sounds and interpreting them. They know what to hear and look for in their investigation just as a wine taster knows what to look for, smell and taste in a wine.

Was I convinced that there is paranormal activity at the 1758 Sun Inn. Not really, nor was I convinced that I tasted green apple and citrus for the wine. I am convinced that the power of suggestion will lead most people to conclude what you want them to conclude. It seems to work in paranormal investigations and wine tastings.


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