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Ghosts: Fact Or Fiction?

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I haven't stumbled across a good ghost thread in long time! It would be awesome if you voiced your opinions on whether they exist or not. Also if you have experienced any encounters of your own. Maybe post some youtube links or pictures that may help prove your case. My story below, feel free to skip if you don't feel it's worth the read.

Personally, I do believe that they exist. For instance, when I was younger I grew up in an old mansion that was built in 1894 in Saanichton, BC. I lived in the house with my mom, brother, and sister. All of our bedrooms were on the second floor and mine was closest to the bathroom so my family would have to walk by my room to go to the washroom at night. The floorboards were the originals and very creaky so I would hear their dull footsteps walking down the hall, past my bedroom, to the washroom. A about once a week I would be home alone for a night. My mom was a nurse and would occasionally work graveyard shifts and my siblings would be out with friends ect. One night, home alone, I was watching TV in my room quietly as I was working on some homework and I heard what sounded like someone coming down the hall towards my room. I thought to myself that someone had come home so I quickly disregarded it. From there, they seemed to walk a few paces further down the hall directly stopping in front of my bedroom door. My brother was notorious for pulling pranks on the family so I thought it must have been him trying to scare me so I kept my eyes on the door to save the surprise feeling for him. Unfortunately for me I must have starred at the door for a good 3 minutes and I didn't hear a sound and you could hear a mouse walk on these old floors! I then got up from my bed to check if he was still there and as I got out of bed the footsteps started again and I stopped to see where they were headed. They were heading towards now past my door towards the washroom. When they reached the bathroom and shut the door I opened my door to see that the hall lights were off and I had put them on earlier. I then turned on the lights and walked towards the bathroom. I knocked on the door and nobody answered so I pulled the little annoying sibling card and kept knocking vigorously. Usually by this point my brother would be upset and either yell at me or open the door and let me in but oddly enough, not a sound. I then tried to open the door and strangely enough it was unlocked. My brother always would lock the door so I never thought of trying that first. I quickly swung the door open and to my amazement I saw that the bathroom light was off. I then quickly turned the light on because I thought my brother would pop out from behind the shower curtain but It wasn't drawn. Nobody was in the washroom. The window was locked shut from the inside... An overwhelming sense of fear took over me and I run out of the bathroom, down the stairs and to a phone in the kitchen, turning on every possible light. Lights that I swore I had turned on earlier. Maybe it was a blown fuse? I wasn't going to check because it was down in the basement and I was already freaked out enough. I tried calling my mom with no answer so I called my brother who was out at a party in Sidney. He answered and explained what had happened. He told me that he and my sister had similar things happen to them and that it wasn't too serious and that I should go to the RV parked in the driveway and watch Tv and wait for mom to come home if I was scared. I scrambled to find the keys and ran out the front door into the RV. I locked all the doors, closed the blinds, turned on every light, and watched TV until my mom came home. When I heard her car come into the driveway I ran outside and explained what had happened. She just said things like that can happen in an old house and that it was nothing to worry about. She mentioned that she had taken a lot of photos of our family when they visited a few weeks prior and that when she got the photos developed, there were too with in-formalities. I will share the rest when I can scan them onto my computer to show you guys! Should be within the next few days.

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I haven't stumbled across a good ghost thread in long time! It would be awesome if you voiced your opinions on whether they exist or not. Also if you have experienced any encounters of your own. Maybe post some youtube links or pictures that may help prove your case. My story below, feel free to skip if you don't feel it's worth the read.

Personally, I do believe that they exist. For instance, when I was younger I grew up in an old mansion that was built in 1894 in Saanichton, BC. I lived in the house with my mom, brother, and sister. All of our bedrooms were on the second floor and mine was closest to the bathroom so my family would have to walk by my room to go to the washroom at night. The floorboards were the originals and very creaky so I would hear their dull footsteps walking down the hall, past my bedroom, to the washroom. A about once a week I would be home alone for a night. My mom was a nurse and would occasionally work graveyard shifts and my siblings would be out with friends ect. One night, home alone, I was watching TV in my room quietly as I was working on some homework and I heard what sounded like someone coming down the hall towards my room. I thought to myself that someone had come home so I quickly disregarded it. From there, they seemed to walk a few paces further down the hall directly stopping in front of my bedroom door. My brother was notorious for pulling pranks on the family so I thought it must have been him trying to scare me so I kept my eyes on the door to save the surprise feeling for him. Unfortunately for me I must have starred at the door for a good 3 minutes and I didn't hear a sound and you could hear a mouse walk on these old floors! I then got up from my bed to check if he was still there and as I got out of bed the footsteps started again and I stopped to see where they were headed. They were heading towards now past my door towards the washroom. When they reached the bathroom and shut the door I opened my door to see that the hall lights were off and I had put them on earlier. I then turned on the lights and walked towards the bathroom. I knocked on the door and nobody answered so I pulled the little annoying sibling card and kept knocking vigorously. Usually by this point my brother would be upset and either yell at me or open the door and let me in but oddly enough, not a sound. I then tried to open the door and strangely enough it was unlocked. My brother always would lock the door so I never thought of trying that first. I quickly swung the door open and to my amazement I saw that the bathroom light was off. I then quickly turned the light on because I thought my brother would pop out from behind the shower curtain but It wasn't drawn. Nobody was in the washroom. The window was locked shut from the inside... An overwhelming sense of fear took over me and I run out of the bathroom, down the stairs and to a phone in the kitchen, turning on every possible light. Lights that I swore I had turned on earlier. Maybe it was a blown fuse? I wasn't going to check because it was down in the basement and I was already freaked out enough. I tried calling my mom with no answer so I called my brother who was out at a party in Sidney. He answered and explained what had happened. He told me that he and my sister had similar things happen to them and that it wasn't too serious and that I should go to the RV parked in the driveway and watch Tv and wait for mom to come home if I was scared. I scrambled to find the keys and ran out the front door into the RV. I locked all the doors, closed the blinds, turned on every light, and watched TV until my mom came home. When I heard her car come into the driveway I ran outside and explained what had happened. She just said things like that can happen in an old house and that it was nothing to worry about. She mentioned that she had taken a lot of photos of our family when they visited a few weeks prior and that when she got the photos developed, there were too with in-formalities. I will share the rest when I can scan them onto my computer to show you guys! Should be within the next few days.

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The Shady Science of Ghost Hunting

Benjamin Radford

Date: 27 October 2006 Time: 06:05 AM ET

Ghosts are big business. For entities that may or may not exist, they seem to be everywhere, especially during Halloween.They are in books and on television shows, such as CBS's "The Ghost Whisperer" and NBC's "Medium." Dozens of "ghost hunter" organizations exist across North America, small groups of self-styled ghost buffs who lurk around reputedly haunted places, hoping to glimpse or photograph a spirit.The most famous ghost hunters are two plumbers who moonlight as paranormal investigators, seen in the popular Sci-Fi Channel reality show/soap opera series "Ghost Hunters." They go to haunted places and find "evidence" of ghosts such as cold spots, photographic anomalies called orbs, and other such spookiness.

The two featured investigators, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, are proudly blue-collar workers, not egghead Ph.D. scientists, which adds to their strong "regular guy" appeal.

Top 10 Scary Creatures / Top 5 Haunted Houses / Pumpkin Shortage?

Where are the ghosts?

While one doesn't need to be a scientist to search for ghosts, the pair (like most ghost hunters) could benefit greatly from a little critical thinking. They claim to be skeptics but are very credulous and seem to have no real understanding of scientific methods or real investigation. (Audiences don't seem to wonder why these "expert" ghost hunters always fail: Even after two seasons and over ten years of research, they still have yet to prove that ghosts exist!)

Though most ghost investigators' worst crime is wasting time, sometimes they make nuisances of themselves and even break the law.

In October 2005, three ghost hunters in Salem, Massachusetts, were arrested for trespassing on private property in search of ghosts. They had entered an abandoned hospital reputed to be haunted. The group was so busy looking for spirits they failed to notice the police station across the street; all three were arrested, fined, and sent home. Trespassing or vandalizing ghost hunters have also been arrested in cemeteries in Illinois, Connecticut, and other states.

Ghost detectors

When it comes to searching for ghosts, you'd think that only the most reliable methods would be used in an attempt to get solid evidence for something as mysterious and elusive as a spirit. Yet in ghost hunting, often the less scientific the methods and equipment, the more likely a researcher is to find "evidence" for ghosts.

Ghost hunters use a variety of creative—and dubious—methods to detect their quarry's presence, including psychics. Psychics not only claim to locate ghosts but also to communicate with the spirits, who unfortunately don't provide any useful or verifiable information from the afterlife [see a séance].

Virtually all ghost hunter groups claim to be scientific, and most give that appearance because they use high-tech scientific equipment such as Geiger counters, Electromagnetic Field (EMF) detectors, ion detectors, and infrared cameras [and sensitive microphones]. Yet the equipment is only as scientific as the person using it; you may own the world's most sophisticated thermometer, but if you are using it as a barometer, your measurements are worthless.

Just as using a calculator doesn't make you a mathematician, using a scientific instrument doesn't make you a scientist.

Devices that don't work

In 2003, while I was investigating a haunted house in Buffalo, New York, the owner of the house asked me what equipment I planned to use. He had glanced in my duffel bag, which contained two cameras, a tape recorder, notebooks, a tape measure, a flashlight, and a few other items. Perhaps he was expecting to see a Negative Ionizer Ghost Containment backpack like the kind Bill Murray wore in Ghostbusters.

An EMF meter is among the most common devices used by ghost hunters today. I spoke to Tom Cook, of TomsGadgets.com, a British purveyor of "scientific" paranormal kits for the enterprising (and gullible) investigator. Starter kits begin at £105 (US$180) and reach up to £500 (US$850) for a custom ghost-hunting kit. (Negative Ionizer Ghost Containment packs were not listed.)

I asked Cook what, exactly, the scientific rationale was behind the equipment he sold.

"At a haunted location," Cook said, "strong, erratic fluctuating EMFs are commonly found. It seems these energy fields have some definite connection to the presence of ghosts. The exact nature of that connection is still a mystery. However, the anomalous fields are easy to find. Whenever you locate one, a ghost might be present.... any erratic EMF fluctuations you may detect may indicate ghostly activity."

In the final analysis, Cook admitted, "there exists no device that can conclusively detect ghosts."

Uncomfortable reality

The uncomfortable reality that ghost hunters carefully avoid—the elephant in the tiny, haunted room—is of course that no one has ever shown that any of this equipment actually detects ghosts.

The supposed links between ghosts and electromagnetic fields, low temperatures, radiation, odd photographic images, and so on are based on nothing more than guesses, unproven theories, and wild conjecture. If a device could reliably determine the presence or absence of ghosts, then by definition, ghosts would be proven to exist. I own an EMF meter, but since it's useless for ghost investigations—it finds not spirits but red herrings—I use it in my lectures and seminars as an example of pseudoscience. The most important tools in this or any investigation are a questioning mind and a solid understanding of scientific principles.

The ghost hunters' anti-scientific illogic is clear: if one area of a home is colder than another, that may indicate a ghost; if an EMF meter detects a field, that too may be a ghost; if dowsing rods cross, that might be a ghost. Just about any "anomaly," anything that anyone considers odd for any reason, from an undetermined sound to a "bad feeling" to a blurry photo, can be (and has been) considered evidence of ghosts.

I was even at one investigation where a ghost supposedly caused a person's mildheadache. Because the standard of evidence is so low, it's little wonder that ghost hunters often find "evidence" (but never proof) of ghosts.

Reality check

The whole idea of ghosts runs into trouble as soon as a little logic is applied.

There's not even agreement on what ghosts are—or might be. A common claim is that ghosts are spirits of the dead who have been wronged or murdered. Let's inject some real-world statistics into that assumption and see what we get.

If murder victims whose killings remains unsolved are truly destined to walk the earth and haunt the living, then we should expect to encounter ghosts nearly everywhere. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, roughly a quarter of all homicides remains unsolvedeach year. (In fact, fewer homicides are solved now than in the past; in 1976, 79 percent of homicides were cleared, down to 64 percent in 2002.) There are about 30,000 homicides in America each year.

Using the most recent numbers, that's about 11,000 unsolved murders per year, and 110,000 over the course of only ten years, and probably well over million over the course of the twentieth century in America alone.

Where are all the ghosts?

And why aren't they helping to bring their killers to justice, with so many crimes unsolved? Why would they hang out in scary mansions instead of directing police to evidence that would avenge their murders?

For that matter, why are ghosts seen wearing clothing? It's one thing to suggest that a person's spirit has a soul that can be seen after death; but do shoes, coats, hats, and belts also have souls? Logically, ghosts should appear naked. The fact that they don't suggests that people's ideas of what ghosts are—and what they look like—are strongly influenced by social and cultural expectations. (For an excellent discussion of this, see Richard Finucane's book "Ghosts: Appearances of the Dead & Cultural Transformation.")

If ghosts exist, why are we no closer to finding out what they really are, after so much research?

The evidence for ghosts is no better today than it was a year ago, a decade ago, or a century ago. Ultimately, ghost hunting is not about the evidence (if it was, the search would have been abandoned long ago). Instead, it's about having fun with friends, tellingghost stories, and the enjoyment of pretending you are searching the edge of the unknown. (It's also about making money selling "Ghost Hunters" T-shirts, books, and videos.) Ghost hunters may be spinning their wheels, but at least they are enjoying the ride.

Benjamin Radford, of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine, has investigated ghosts and the paranormal for over a decade; you can read one of his haunted house investigations here.

http://www.livescien...st-hunting.html

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Ghost: An apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image.

Fiction to me.

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Watch Ghost Adventures. That's all you need to do.

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Is it really just in our heads? Our eyes playing tricks on us? In December of 2009, I fell asleep in my Grampa's room while he was in England and woke up around 4 am because my iPod was still on. I was putting my iPod away, put my head down on the pillow again and my eyes turned towards the door and there was my beautiful Grandmother, just standing there, half in the room half in the corridor. It lasted for about 15-20 seconds, and I was so f*cking shocked I just sat on the bed for a good hour after that ...wasn't even scared, just ..surprised. I still don't know if it was legit, or my eyes/mind just screwing with me.

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Is it really just in our heads? Our eyes playing tricks on us? In December of 2009, I fell asleep in my Grampa's room while he was in England and woke up around 4 am because my iPod was still on. I was putting my iPod away, put my head down on the pillow again and my eyes turned towards the door and there was my beautiful Grandmother, just standing there, half in the room half in the corridor. It lasted for about 15-20 seconds, and I was so f*cking shocked I just sat on the bed for a good hour after that ...wasn't even scared, just ..surprised. I still don't know if it was legit, or my eyes/mind just screwing with me.

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Is it really just in our heads? Our eyes playing tricks on us? In December of 2009, I fell asleep in my Grampa's room while he was in England and woke up around 4 am because my iPod was still on. I was putting my iPod away, put my head down on the pillow again and my eyes turned towards the door and there was my beautiful Grandmother, just standing there, half in the room half in the corridor. It lasted for about 15-20 seconds, and I was so f*cking shocked I just sat on the bed for a good hour after that ...wasn't even scared, just ..surprised. I still don't know if it was legit, or my eyes/mind just screwing with me.

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lol. I don't really know how I'd react if I were in that position... must be an experience for sure though.

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I would post...but sh- i mean scorpio ego has already covered everything I was going to say.

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Just because a TV show says there is ghosts does not make it true. IT IS A TV SHOW

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Just because a TV show says there is ghosts does not make it true. IT IS A TV SHOW

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my roommate has said that she has seen ghosts and other "paranormal" stuff but i cant say i have, its one of those things you really cant believe unless you see it yourself.

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I'd say that I believe in ghosts. I don't believe all of the stories people tell but I do believe that they exist.

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Fiction -- really stupid and superstitious fiction at that.

The fictional concept of ghosts have been around for so long, once attributed to the misty exhalation of breath as a spirit, and like all of this other metaphysical/paranormal junk, never been proven.

Whatever is going on in the psyche that leads one into believing this, or whatever self-deluding motivation one has to believe that stuff, that's their prerogative, but I follow where the proof lies, and there is none.

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