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Ghosts real?


goldwing24
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The idea that Richet coined the term came from here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectoplasm_(paranormal)

 

and here

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectoplasm

 

I believe that the paranormal marketer attempts to provide some essence of respectability by borrowing scientific terms. The misuse of 'good sounding' words like harmonic, energy, vibration, vortex, ether, and ectoplasm are simply done to con the unwary.

Since ectoplasm was in use by biologists before Richet "borrowed" the term for paranormal use, I would say the Wiki entry is wrong in using the term "coin", since that term implies that Richet made it up.
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GHOST. see the world has been created or formed by certain action such as colliding and fusion and some ways which are linked to the science. when the earth are in a perfect way for organisms to be evolved the life had begun.now when a human can understand the concept of death the myth of ghost can be solved at ease. like look at my point of view.

 

When the human give birth to a child , if the first heart beat is initiated by mom , then it continues till or then any forces that oppose the orgin of the life that is chain happenings of a human body. the human body is nothing but a mass of astounding figure of usefulness and complexity . hence that mass <human body> dies the function stops thus by stopping the condition for the orgin of life to go on. simply like an repaired machine.since the body is degradable the life can't be brought back.then like or so called soul is not an eternal object to found out it is just an identification for the ignition for the body to work.

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If so then WHY are not the killing grounds of the Nazi Einsatz gruppen & Waffen SS not the most ghost ridden places on earth ? Also WHY are ghosts always clothed if only living material can come back as a ghost ?

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Interesting stuff.

With regards to 'ghosts' (And I use the term very loosely) being images of flesh and blood people rather than inanimate objects, you would hypothetically get a lot of reported sightings of 'naked spirits'. A sort of spooky porn!

In my line of work, ghosts aren't so much a paranormal curiosity; but more of an occupational hazard.

 

Observations

For example, there's one at the Theatre Royal in Portsmouth who has an annoying tendency to remove plugs from the lighting rig. I passed her on the stairs and not realising it was a ghost, I said "hello". It was only later when I asked

"Who's the woman in the ushers uniform?"

That I was told of the actual nature of my encounter.

I've had a PA system switched on whilst the control room was empty and locked; filling the venue with the sound of Tina Turner's, 'What's love got to do with it'

A regular venue of mine would often have children staring out of a particular window, who would later claim they were looking at 'the lady in the white dress'

A very heavy tool bag was once dragged a few feet across the floor of an old cellar.

Also had a few glasses thrown at me from the top shelf of a bar.

 

Going back to the inanimate object phenomenon...

At one event in a stately home in Wiltshire, I walked into a room which was to be used for off-stage storage and put down what I was carrying.

when the singer walked in, instead of walking in a straight line, he edged awkwardly around the side of the room; put down what he was carrying, turned around an exclaimed

"Where the **** did the table go!"

He claimed he'd taken the route he did so as to avoid a large table in the middle of the room.

A minute later, the other engineer came in and circumnavigated the empty space in the same way, with equal amazement as to where the table went, followed by a lot of blue language.

Hypothesis

The very idea of ghosts, spirits, spooky stuff goes against every scientific bone in my body, and demonstratively 95% of what is presented in the media is pure BS - nay - utter arse gravy.

Although it is plausible that there is a physical, measurable phenomenon at work.

Maybe, a sort of temporal non-locality. i.e. they we're seeing the table as it is 'now'. Rather than, they were seeing it as it was then, if past and present are considered abstract concepts.

Another example: Someone could be living in my house 100 years from now and see me typing this whilst sat at my desk, then claim they'd seen a 100 year-old ghost of Tom Gwyther, the famous pianist.

Experiment:

For those who are interested, my mother and I have devised a scientific experiment to test some spiritualist claims after she dies.

1. We have a list of key words which a medium must mention in a single reading and score about 50% accurate. the words refer to child hood toys and are very specific.

2. There are three objects which have remained unmoved in here house for years. Her task in the after life is to move/break them.

3. For her to appear in or interact with the world on or near three specific dates in the future.

I was going to save this experimental proposal for its own thread, but I thought I'd put it in hear as it seemed relevant. Unfortunately we'll have to wait about 15- 20 years for the results.

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I love watching the show A Haunting. I'm a grown man (alright I wouldnt go that far) and I still get nervous thinking about that show when I'm lying in bed at night. A reoccuring theme in all ghost stories is the area gets cold when theres a ghost around. Going on the hypothesis that ghosts are some kind of real yet to be discovered phenomena then maybe the reason the area goes cold is because the ghost is siphoning kinetic energy on the molecular level and transferring else eg to move a physical object. Just a theory that popped into my head one day.

 

I think the fact that some people can see them but most people can't does not in any way disprove their existence. Some people are color blind. If most people were color blind but only a few people could see colors that wouldn't mean colors don't exist it would just mean only certain people have the senses to pick them up. I've never observed any ghostly phenomena but I've observed psychic phenomena in my dreams which leads me to suspect that there is some medium in which thoughts can be broadcasted from one person to another but for me at least that mediums only accessible to my subconscious.

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I thinkyoumight be interested in reading about N-rays. These were detected by a French scientist. No one else could replicate the experiemnts at first. Then other frenchmen could and no one else. It seemed that only the French had eyes capable of detecting these elusive N-rays.

 

You might ask yourself if there a way to detect N-rays or colors in an objective manner? What is the difference between the wishful thining of N-ray observers and ghost observers?

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Ghosts are real! When I walk outside in the daytime this black ghost follows me all over. It changes it's position relative to me but it's always attached to me! Explain that!

 

Insanity. Only joking I'm no closed minded fool. Every single day without exception? Thats some highly interesting stuff. Is it only the one ghost you see or are you just sensitive to metaphysical things in general?

 

I find metaphysical things highly interesting. Every morning when I'd lie in bed for a few minutes after waking I'd hear this intermittent static sound thing. Didn't know what the hell it was then one day I switched off my wireless router to see if that was what it was. It was. The my ear was picking up something the router was sending out but it wasn't the normal sound of the electrics inside it. It was something else. Could my ear have been picking up EM waves?


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I believe that they are fake and it is a bunch of bs. But I saw on the discovery channel a lot of ghosts story. Are these stories just made up for viewers? Well, there is a new movie the haunting is CT. http://movies.yahoo.com/news/movies.ap.org/horror-film-draws-unwanted-visitors-conn-house-ap Ed and Lorraine Warren, the researchers became famous for their discovery. People actually believe this?

 

I'm not too sure. My mom and my granny were looking at a house they were thinking of buying and my mom put her hand on a tree and all of a sudden it started shaking. Thing is it wasn't a windy day. My mom then asked more about the house and found out that some woman had been murdered in the house a few years earlier.

 

As for the shows I think they're 95% bullshit. The Amityville house for instance. If this house is so heavily haunted why not send a camera crew in and turn it into a tourist attraction where people can walk in and see for themselves if ghosts are real or not. Even setup a haunted hotel beside it.

 

I saw that movie haunting in CN its based on an episode of the show A Haunting. The movie is a highly exaggerated version of the episode and the episode is probably a highly exaggerated version of real events. That show Most Haunted is utter crap. They see a spec of light on the camera and suddenly "its an orb" or "its an ectoplasmic poltergeist banshee witch" or other ridiculous conclusions.

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Movies and TV shows are not evidence. Has anyone anywhere ever been able to perform a consistent and repeatable experiment which shows ghosts to be anything more than another silly invention of the human mind?

 

The entire idea of ghosts is likely to be an emergent property from our ability to mentally rehearse complex social situations with unseen others. From that ability alone, we have all of this unproven nonsense, TV shows keeping people up at nights, and stories which are only cool when you're getting drunk around camp fires. Ghosts have become a catch-all explanation for "that weird feeling I had and was too stupid to explain more logically."

 

I challenge someone to prove me wrong with consistent and repeatable experiments confirming existence (confirmation which does not rely on wish thinking, but is incontrovertible and objective). Good luck.

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And if a ghost was in fact a conscious entity, how would you get it to co-operate in a consistant and repeatable manner?

 

In that respect, the challenge is worthless.

 

I find your criticism to be lacking. We perform tests and experiments with conscious entities every single day, and nobody has yet articulated why or how ghosts would somehow be exempt from these same processes.

 

I propose that what you have with this subject is a self-reinforcing delusion, whereby requests for proof are met with circular logic about why proof is somehow unobtainable.

 

Either do a better job at demonstrating precisely why my challenge is worthless, or act on said challenge and provide some consistent, replicable, empirical proof of the existence of these ghosts. Perhaps we can all start with a coherent and testable definition.

 

Until proof is offered, have fun riding on your invisible pink unicorns with your leprechaun friend. I'll continue to point and laugh, mocking you mercilessly as you try to convince me of their existence with nothing more than hand waving and shoddy logic. :D

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Claiming a challenge is worthless is the same as stating that you have not taken time to consider how to create an experiment. Often it takes time to construct a well thought out experiment. If JohnB wants to prove the existence of ghosts, then the onus is on JohnB to construct the experiment. But if JohnB says such an experiment is impossible then JohnB is tossing in the towel and either admitting ghosts are not real or that the problem of constructing an experiment is beyond his understanding.

 

I would like to give JohnB the benefit of the doubt and allow him to rethink his position and offer some suggestions on how an experiment should be done.

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And if a ghost was in fact a conscious entity, how would you get it to co-operate in a consistant and repeatable manner?

 

As iNow says, we get other conscious entities to participate in repeatable experiments easily enough. Why would a ghost be less likely to cooperate than a living human being?

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Your experiment is actually a multipart experiment:

1. the ability to transmit information after death

2. manipulate some objects

3. visual manifestation

 

Which of these is about ghosts?

 

I do not believe in the paranormal, but let's suppose it is possible. Experiments need to be constructed so that the outcome supports or rejects a hypothesis.

 

Let's take experiment 1. Information transmitted after death. Let's suppose that a medium does report the information correctly. Does that mean it is possible that information can be transmitted after death?

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I seem to recall a great story in which Houdini had a medium contact his dead sister and began talking to her.

 

Houdini didn't have a sister.

 

Indeed, Houdini was very successful at seeking out and debunking pretty much every supernatural claim made at the time. It's sad, really, since he wasn't setting out to debunk them, he was desperately trying to find someone who wasn't a fraud or deluded. Obviously, he failed, but you have to admire that kind of intellectual honesty, to prove false again and again that which he so wanted to be true, when so many others were (and are) happy to let themselves be convinced.

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I find your criticism to be lacking. We perform tests and experiments with conscious entities every single day, and nobody has yet articulated why or how ghosts would somehow be exempt from these same processes.

You perform experiments with the consent and conscious participation of those entities. You are not trying to prove they exist.

 

An experiment such as you require would need three things to be successful;

1. The entity has to exist.

2. It must be conscious.

3. It must be willing to co-operate and participate.

 

If an entity exists but isn't conscious, or if conscious is not willing to participate would not allow for "consistent and repeatable" results. Hence I believe the challenge to be worthless. (That particular one anyway.)

 

How do you have a "controlled" experiment when you can't control the participants?

 

To illustrate the point. I doubt that there is doubt that I exist, but would you care to come up with an experiment that can be performed here that would give "consistent and repeatable" results to prove the fact? How can your experiment work if I choose not to participate?

 

stereologist, I have at times considered the question. My conclusions are simple;

1. It is almost impossible to create a repeatable (controlled) experiment when you don't control the conditions. Due to the lack of control, even if you did get positive results there is no guarantee that another researcher could replicate your results. Without replication, you have nothing.

2. It is highly unlikely that there is 1 experiment that would suffice.

 

TBH, I think the whole thing has been approached in the wrong fashion. Ghost Hunters are out to prove that "ghosts" exist. But there is no reasonable definition of what a "ghost" is. This lack of definition hampers their efforts.

 

A better approach might go something like this;

Stage 1: There is an effect claimed. (People say they've seen them.) So we collect data.

 

If we use Toms example of the Royal Theatre. People claim to see a female usher. Is she seen in certain places? If so, place cameras watching those places. (From different angles) There are a number of possible results, we might;

a) See a female usher in one or both cameras.

b) See an amorphous blob in one or both cameras.

c) See nothing.

d) See nothing, but see people reacting to something invisible to the cameras.

e) See nothing and see no reaction in people on camera.

 

By controlling the things we can control, (like knowing when the known female ushers are on duty) we should be able to eliminiate spurious positives.

 

Stage 2 depends on the results of Stage 1.

 

Given that the presence of the usher may be random with large time spaces between appearances (Should she exist) we should run the cameras for an extended period, possibly months.

 

If we get consistently negative results, then we can move on to other areas. Should they also give consistently negative results then it would be fair to say that nothing is going on.

 

Positive results (except for result a) reveal a need for more investigation to find a cause. An amorphous blob could be some sort of condensation that people percieve to be the usher. A complete check of the wind currents and temperatures in the area is called for. Cameras that record in IR and UV might be an idea.

 

You'll note that a positive result does not prove the existence of a "ghost", just the possibility of an "effect" that can be interpreted as a "ghost".

 

Result a) is a bit different as in that case we have a recognisable form caught on camera. The next step would be to try all the things we did above to try and find out what are the physical parameters when the effect "manifests".:D

 

More experiments get added later depending on the results of earlier stages.

 

The difference in the above approach is that it is not trying to prove the existence of "ghosts". The approach is to investigate the claims of an effect and attempt to collect data in the case of positive results.

 

Currently the "theory" of ghosts is based on supposition and belief. It is much better to collect more data before formulating a theory. Either that or just collect the data and follow where it leads.

 

So why hasn't a reasoned and patient approach been followed? Because both sides of the debate want a quick fix. The believers want to find the "one" that proves their case once and for all, they lack the patience for the long term meticulous checking and testing.

 

The sceptics likewise are in a hurry. They will instantly assume that because a photo of a transparent figure could be achieved by double exposure, then that's what it is. It is far easier to believe that everybody else is a fool or cheat than to doubt their own deeply held beliefs. Hence even if the believers took the time to make meticulous readings, the sceptics would not take the time to actually look at them.

 

The argument has always been about the existence of "ghosts" whereas I think it should be about 2 simple questions;

1. Is there an effect?

2. If there is an effect, what causes it?

 

Neither of these questions presupposes what the cause of the effect might be (if it exists) however for some people even asking Q1. is a threat to their belief system and therefore intolerable.

 

Personally I think we will find "ghosts" to be little more than a recording. How recorded and on what medium I don't know. I do know that in all cases I've read about where the ghost "walks through a wall" or similar and a sufficiently detailed investigation can be made, it is found that the area of wall was once a passage or door. This might imply that it is following a path that existed when the "recording" was made.

 

You'll perhaps note that this is a purely physical explanation with no "spiritual" connotations at all. All that is required for my postulate to be possible is the existence of physical forces and processes that we don't yet know about. Hardly an extreme condition.

 

If the effect exists (and I think it does) then all we can do is collect as much data as possible and hopefully work out the "how" and "on what" from there.

 

Saw this after posting.

As iNow says, we get other conscious entities to participate in repeatable experiments easily enough. Why would a ghost be less likely to cooperate than a living human being?

Firstly, how do you talk to it? (Assuming it is a conscious entity?)

Secondly, if you are talking to it and expecting an answer, why are you trying to prove it's existence?

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You'll perhaps note that this is a purely physical explanation with no "spiritual" connotations at all. All that is required for my postulate to be possible is the existence of physical forces and processes that we don't yet know about. Hardly an extreme condition.

 

Still a much more extraordinary claim than a purely psychological explanation.

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I think the "middle ground" sentiment was articulated quite well by the poster who said if most humans were not able to see colors and only a few could, that doesn't mean that colors don't exist.

 

We must be careful in what we pass off as BS just because WE don't understand it. Men more well-versed in physics and science than I believe in ethereal beings because they have seen them and no other logical conclusion exists. Notice I said logical, not absolute.

 

I think they do. mainly because I WANT there to be more to this universe than what humanity is capable of understanding and observing.

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We must be careful in what we pass off as BS just because WE don't understand it.

 

Please bear in mind, I've not passed anything off as BS. I've said that "it" has yet to be demonstrated, empirically demonstrated, so I'm gonna go with the "it's a psychological phenomenon" explanation (which seems abundantly likely) and not waste any further time until someone adequately demonstrates otherwise. Until then, claims of ghosts fall into the same camp as big foot and leprechauns AFAIC.

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Your position is certainly understandable iNow....but what if everyone in history had taken that approach to the world? Researching something that is unknown isn't a waste of time, rather it seems to be the very foundation of science.

They said in the '20s that we would never put a man on the moon...but we did. Yes, its not the same in an analagous sense, but it's all about having a "closed-open-mind". Only accepting verifiable things, but not discounting everything because you don't agree with it, or because its cause is unknown.

;)

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We must be careful in what we pass off as BS just because WE don't understand it. Men more well-versed in physics and science than I believe in ethereal beings because they have seen them and no other logical conclusion exists. Notice I said logical, not absolute.

 

Ghosts of the gaps? Personally, I would remove the "other" from that sentence, and replace "logical" with "well-undersood."

 

iNow, could you link to that video on "open-mindedness." I think it's highly pertinent to this thread.

 

I think they do. mainly because I WANT there to be more to this universe than what humanity is capable of understanding and observing.

 

Not to pick on you, but this seems to be the crux of the issue.

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Your position is certainly understandable iNow....but what if everyone in history had taken that approach to the world? Researching something that is unknown isn't a waste of time, rather it seems to be the very foundation of science.

They said in the '20s that we would never put a man on the moon...but we did. Yes, its not the same in an analagous sense, but it's all about having a "closed-open-mind". Only accepting verifiable things, but not discounting everything because you don't agree with it, or because its cause is unknown.

;)

 

Researching it is one thing, and I'm certainly not arguing against that.

Accepting it as valid prior to conducting said research is what I'm calling into question.

 

Also, you really don't want to start the open-minded debate with me. I'll wipe the floor with you. :D

(go here if you want to go there)


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iNow, could you link to that video on "open-mindedness." I think it's highly pertinent to this thread.

 

Haha!! I just did that BEFORE reading your post (in the merged bit above). That's fantastic. :)

http://www.scienceforums.net/forum/showthread.php?p=481175#post481175

Edited by iNow
Consecutive posts merged.
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