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Old 28th September 2021, 12:28 AM   #41
dann
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
In Search Of... ran for six seasons between 1977 and 1982, and it was only one such show at a time when cable TV was nonexistent. But TV was not the only medium by which such ideas spread. As I said, I was very influenced by popular magazines.
But that is the whole point. That is the difference. At least in Denmark, it made a noticeable difference when it was served to the viewers in prime time as reality TV, in particular because people weren't as aware as they are now how orchestrated reality TV is. Otherwise sensible friends started asking me But-how-do-you-then-explain-that ... questions about what had occurred on those shows, for instance [/url=https://www.skeptica.dk/?p=1143]when a glass table had shattered[/url], apparently for no physical reason at all, when a psychic was exorcising a house. They weren't people who would go out and buy the kind of magazines you are referring to.

In the meantime, I get the impression that it has more or less died down. There is not an audience big enough for shows like that to be on mainstream TV. And nobody asks me questions like that anymore, but that may be because they know what kind of answer they'll get.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 28th September 2021, 12:42 AM   #42
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I think it's regional. Where I was growing up the 70s and 80s were a Golden Age of Bull ****.
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Old 28th September 2021, 01:48 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yeah, me too. One of my greatest fears as a 9-year old was that I would one day spontaneously combust.
Oh god, yes.. The section on it in the Orbis partwork series (can't remember what it was called) really got under my skin. I remember in the 70's there was a discounted book buying club for kids distributed through the schools & they had plenty of titles based around ghosts, ufos & other woo, it was certainly not a taboo subject in the UK.
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Old 28th September 2021, 03:41 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Oh god, yes.. The section on it in the Orbis partwork series (can't remember what it was called) really got under my skin. I remember in the 70's there was a discounted book buying club for kids distributed through the schools & they had plenty of titles based around ghosts, ufos & other woo, it was certainly not a taboo subject in the UK.
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Old 28th September 2021, 04:55 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Oh god, yes.. The section on it in the Orbis partwork series (can't remember what it was called) really got under my skin. I remember in the 70's there was a discounted book buying club for kids distributed through the schools & they had plenty of titles based around ghosts, ufos & other woo, it was certainly not a taboo subject in the UK.

Not a coincidence. Schools and school libraries tend to love it whenever kids read anything at all, hoping that they will turn into readers and not worrying about whatever it is they read and/or expecting them to grow out of it and start reading more serious stuff.
They are probably right in the majority of cases.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 28th September 2021, 12:02 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I agree. The 70s were the era of In Search Of..., Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World, Chariots of the Gods, Project Blue Book, and countless magazines and periodicals dedicated to the paranormal and/or unexplained.
Yes, these things were published and or ran of movie or TV screens, but I doubt they changed minds. Chariots of the Gods ran in movie theaters, usually as part of a double feature with some schlocky horror.sci-fi flick. Paperback books sold for between $1.95 and $4.95. The paranormal books were usually cheap.

What was happening in the 60s and 70s was technology was leap-frogging. We went from putting a guys in orbit, to putting guys on the moon, to being bored with putting guys on the moon in the span of 12 years. With each new advance in tech came new gadgets, and some "researchers" would take these new gadgets and use them to make claims of "proof" of some kind of paranormal occurrence. Aura photography was a thing in the early 1970s.

And since we had gone to the moon the idea that aliens might be coming here became a reasonable concept to a lot more people. That didn't mean they automatically believed in UFOs but simply had more open minds.

Ghost, which is the subject of this thread, still lagged behind little green men and Bigfoot, and Nessie in the popularity contests. The syndicated TV show, In Search Of... has already been mentioned and I need to point out that the show only featured ghosts in four episodes during its six-season run. The majority of the woo they covered was alien/UFO/ancient astronaut stuff, and the rest of their shows explored Conspiracy Theories, legends of lost treasure, and missing people.

In Search Of... ran on TV in the US bought by regional TV stations who needed to fill airtime. In my area the show ran on Sunday afternoons, while a station up in San Jose ran it at 1AM. Not a lot of people watched it, but the shows were cheap to make, and enough people tuned in to keep the show in production.

FATE Magazine was a dedicated print source for ghost stories, but even there they took backseat to UFOs and physics.

ABC ran a show called That's Incredible which featured a few ghost segments

The game changer as far as popular culture is concerned was NBC's Unsolved Mysteries which did huge ratings in the ten years it ran, beginning in 1987. The show's main drive was unsolved crimes and missing people, but they needed content to fill out their time-slot. This meant telling stories of lost treasure, UFOs, conspiracies theories...and then they ran a segment about a haunted house.

The producers got a lot of mail, and advertisers suggested doing more ghost stories.

From there the show would often run ghost segments and even did Halloween episodes, much to the disdain of host, Robert Stack who didn't believe in any of it, but was a pro who shut up and cashed his paychecks.

With the 1990s came expanded cable TV and direct to VHS productions which seeded the "True Ghost Story" market that we know today.

I'm saying this as a guy who read ALL of those books, watched all of those TV shows (I have the Unsolved Mysteries Ghost collection on DVD), and I continue to watch the current batch of ghost hunting, or "hunting" shows today (although mostly for amusement, or because I need to yell at stupid people on the screen). I am also a guy who spent years in dark places, poking through micro-film at the library, and interviewing people who claimed to live of work in a haunted place. My personal assessment, based on no hard statistical data, is that when pressed to be honest about their beliefs the true number of Americans who think ghosts are real is under 20%, probably around 12%.

As with other phenomenon the prevalence of cameras on cell phones should have yielded quality footage by now, and to date there isn't jack you-know-what.
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Old 28th September 2021, 02:04 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I feel like we've had this conversation before, but most denominations talk about the Holy Spirit (to the Catholics, Spiritus Sanctus), which bears no resemblance to what most people consider a ghost, which is the image of an actual person, usually a dead one. "Holy Ghost" is a mistranslation at best.
It can be fun talking to those ghost believers who say the ghost resembles the formerly living person. Many of these folk mix this up with reincarnation woo so the question can be asked: "What does the spirit look like when it goes into the embryonic new self."

It is amazing how the woo pedlars don't think about these kind of details.

I wonder if Scorpion can throw some light on this?
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Old 28th September 2021, 07:18 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It is amazing how the woo pedlars don't think about these kind of details.
It is, isn't it? You can completely stump people by taking their premise to a completely logical, but absurd, conclusion.

If ghosts can pass through walls, why don't they pass through the floor?
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Old 29th September 2021, 09:19 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
What was happening in the 60s and 70s was technology was leap-frogging. We went from putting a guys in orbit, to putting guys on the moon, to being bored with putting guys on the moon in the span of 12 years. With each new advance in tech came new gadgets, and some "researchers" would take these new gadgets and use them to make claims of "proof" of some kind of paranormal occurrence. Aura photography was a thing in the early 1970s.

It was, but it is much older than that: The Colorful and Clairvoyant History of Aura Photography (Artsy, Jan 3, 2019)
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Old 29th September 2021, 09:25 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It is amazing how the woo pedlars don't think about these kind of details.
It is, isn't it? You can completely stump people by taking their premise to a completely logical, but absurd, conclusion.

If ghosts can pass through walls, why don't they pass through the floor?

It doesn't seem to bother Hollywood with its many versions of Heaven and deceased people's souls being returned to Earth in other people's bodies with all kinds of assignments to fulfill.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 29th September 2021, 09:45 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
It doesn't seem to bother Hollywood with its many versions of Heaven and deceased people's souls being returned to Earth in other people's bodies with all kinds of assignments to fulfill.
Surely, the only the assignment to fulfill is to make money for the investors?
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Old 29th September 2021, 03:21 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Surely, the only the assignment to fulfill is to make money for the investors?
I think Dann would be surprised at how many people who don't believe in the supernatural still enjoy Ghost stories and other Horror stories as pure entertainment.
HP Lovecraft , probably the key horror writer of the 20th century, was a total disbeliever in the supernatural.
BTW the new Ghostbusters movie in November give signs of having nailed it, unlike the previous 2016 fiasco. The Sta Puft Marshmellowman is back, that's enough to put my fanny in the seat.
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Old 29th September 2021, 09:27 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I think Dann would be surprised at how many people who don't believe in the supernatural still enjoy Ghost stories and other Horror stories as pure entertainment.
HP Lovecraft , probably the key horror writer of the 20th century, was a total disbeliever in the supernatural.
BTW the new Ghostbusters movie in November give signs of having nailed it, unlike the previous 2016 fiasco. The Sta Puft Marshmellowman is back, that's enough to put my fanny in the seat.
To me the greatest sin a ghost hunter can make is to tell a lousy ghost story. A good ghost story means you haven't completely wasted a skeptic's time.
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Old 29th September 2021, 09:42 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
To me the greatest sin a ghost hunter can make is to tell a lousy ghost story. A good ghost story means you haven't completely wasted a skeptic's time.
Do you have a thread or web page about your exploits? I am fairly fascinated by your experience. Did you ever have a case where you were teetering, or did you always have 100% confidence that there was nothing paranormal?
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Old 29th September 2021, 10:07 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I think Dann would be surprised ...

No, he wouldn't.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 30th September 2021, 04:12 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Do you have a thread or web page about your exploits? I am fairly fascinated by your experience. Did you ever have a case where you were teetering, or did you always have 100% confidence that there was nothing paranormal?
No. It wouldn't be productive.

I used to be a solid believer in ghosts. For a long time there was never any question in my mind that they exist. But in my mid-30s I had a couple of things happen which forced me to question my judgement and the sources for which my world view had been formed. I'll list them:

1. I had to turn away from my right-wing conservative mind-set after I heard the same words I had said come out of Oklahoma City Bomber, Tim McVeigh's mouth in an interview he did while protesting near the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas. The idea that I was on the same wavelength as a child-murdering terrorist s**t head made me physically ill.

2. In 1996 I went to the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas, where Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK. All of my life I had been a hardcore JFK assassination CTist. But standing next to the window were Oswald had made his shots, and later standing on the Elm Street sidewalk looking back at the building and then at the picket fence on the Grassy Knoll I was mentally slapped in the face at HOW EASY A SHOT IT WAS FROM THE 6TH FLOOR, and a second gunman behind that fence on the knoll would have stood out and been obvious in even the worst images from that day.
I'd let myself be duped by con artists and alcoholics who claimed to have researched the "facts" behind the assassination who "knew the truth". The fact that they had visited Dallas and ignored the SHORT DISTANCE each bullet traveled from the best seat in the house forced me to walk away from something I had embraced as cold hard fact.

3. In the 1990s I attended a UFO Discussion Group meeting once a month at a metaphysical bookstore. It was sometimes interesting, but I quickly noticed that an open-minded discussion was often impossible to have. After three years I was quietly asked to leave because I had made the sin of asking too many questions. The group was divided by total believers who felt the ETs were here to bring spiritual enlightenment (usually the same spiritualism shared by these members. Weird, right?), and the "Nuts & Bolts" folks of which I was one. We had the nerve to ask about footprints, physical evidence of any kind, photographs, video footage, and radar data.

This experience forced me to consider that those advancing paranormal claims had already made up their minds without a serious attempt to seek out other explanations. And that made me look in the mirror as far as my work with ghosts was concerned. What had I missed? What made me different than the true UFO believers who refused to have their stories questioned?

The transition from believer to skeptic took about six years. At this time I had access to the abandoned Fort Ord army base, and I used it as my lab. There were hundreds of buildings out there of which I knew nothing about, and this allowed me to be objective. Out of those 300 buildings I experiences in only 6, or .02% of them had conditions that could be conducive to people believing they were haunted.

I think .02% is a solid metric that can be applied across the board as it explains how rare these conditions are in the real world. Plus, since it was an Army base I had the luxury of making this evaluation in identical buildings types.

While I was doing this I was doing research for a book using the local library's microfilm of the regional news papers going back to 1940 when Fort Ord was constructed. I have a file on every death which occurred on the base starting with a bus accident in 1941 to the abduction and murder of a teenage girl in 1998. Once I was familiar with the base I would seek out buildings where suicides and murders had taken place, and spend time in those places to see if I felt anything unusual...and for the most part I never did.

Maybe I can make you happy by admitting there was one building that messed with my head. Even with all of my enlightenment this place seemed to spit in my face. The reason I don't go into detail is that it is all SUBJECTIVE. I have no technical data, no photographs, no recordings of any kind to back up my experience. And this is the key point, without evidence I have nothing real to present. Whatever my personal belief about this place happens to be it is not something to present here on this board because it would be a waste of everybody's time. And I've found that being patient is almost always rewarded later as science catches up to give me a real, non-paranormal explanation.

And that's my.02%
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Old 30th September 2021, 04:51 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
If you don't want to take this test, the Security Guard Test on the same page might be for you. (I did not take it.)
I'm more concerned about the rapist's couch.
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Old 30th September 2021, 04:54 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
Maybe I can make you happy by admitting there was one building that messed with my head. Even with all of my enlightenment this place seemed to spit in my face. The reason I don't go into detail is that it is all SUBJECTIVE. I have no technical data, no photographs, no recordings of any kind to back up my experience. And this is the key point, without evidence I have nothing real to present. Whatever my personal belief about this place happens to be it is not something to present here on this board because it would be a waste of everybody's time. And I've found that being patient is almost always rewarded later as science catches up to give me a real, non-paranormal explanation.

And that's my.02%
Is it that it would be a waste of everyone's time, or that you would have to deal with ridicule and interrogation? Personally, I find such experiences of interest. But, as I have pointed out, the environment here does not encourage such dialogue.

ETA: Thank you for taking the time to detail your overall experience.
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Old 30th September 2021, 08:24 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
So that's what happened to my sweet roll this morning. It all makes sense now. Hungry damn ghost.
No, hungry ghost month was August (ish) this year. Yours must have been a common or garden breakfast thief ghost.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Festival
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Old 30th September 2021, 11:29 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Is it that it would be a waste of everyone's time, or that you would have to deal with ridicule and interrogation? Personally, I find such experiences of interest. But, as I have pointed out, the environment here does not encourage such dialogue.

ETA: Thank you for taking the time to detail your overall experience.
There is an unwritten rule I've learned:

If you step into the ring you better be ready to fight. You have to respect the ring, you can stand as close to the ropes as you like as long as you don't break the barrier.

I went back to college and took a bunch of science classes. I respect the scientific method 100%. Just about everyone knows I was a ghost hunter and yet I've never been hassled about it because I don't post things I cannot prove. And I've seen a lot of people come in here posting new threads proclaiming all kinds of things, usually a subject someone else posted and got shredded for in the past. I didn't post on this board for three months because I busied myself reading old threads. When I began to post I was up to speed on how things work here.

I have to say that folks on this board will give someone a fair hearing as long as they can defend their claims with independent source links that are not to questionable websites, or flat out hoax sites. It's not about fear for me, it's about respect. Most of those posters who come here to post Woo are simply looking for a fight. I am looking for answers, and I have found a few since I joined because there are a lot of smart people who share their knowledge here.

I like to think I'm slightly valuable around here because I can argue from the other side of the fence about why something is BS. It's one thing to hear it from a skeptic, but it's another thing when you've lost the ghost guy.
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Old 2nd October 2021, 03:47 AM   #61
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I posted in wrong thread!
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 2nd October 2021, 04:05 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Do you have a thread or web page about your exploits? I am fairly fascinated by your experience. Did you ever have a case where you were teetering, or did you always have 100% confidence that there was nothing paranormal?
The was an academic parapsychologist at Bristol University, Sue Blackman or Blackwell? Who did a lot of research on precognition and telepathy. She was a psychologist and a believer in ESP etc. She however applied good scientific methodology to her researches, and finally concluded telepathy etc did not exist. Then switched her research into the psychological mechanisms that make people think they have had an ESP experience. Even most scientists find it hard to move on from fixed beliefs over the way the world works (Einstein and quantum theory come to mind). So I can respect people who investigate fringe phenomena if they do it properly and honestly document the results and make them available for review.
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Old 2nd October 2021, 05:07 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
The was an academic parapsychologist at Bristol University, Sue Blackman or Blackwell? Who did a lot of research on precognition and telepathy. She was a psychologist and a believer in ESP etc. She however applied good scientific methodology to her researches, and finally concluded telepathy etc did not exist. Then switched her research into the psychological mechanisms that make people think they have had an ESP experience. Even most scientists find it hard to move on from fixed beliefs over the way the world works (Einstein and quantum theory come to mind). So I can respect people who investigate fringe phenomena if they do it properly and honestly document the results and make them available for review.
I know in this brave new world people seem to like videos more - here is a quick 10 minute interview with Susan Blackmore regarding ESP.

https://www.closertotruth.com/series...ng#video-47352


You can find a lot of articles on line that she has authored, very interesting if you are interested in the experiences people have.
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Old 2nd October 2021, 09:23 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I know in this brave new world people seem to like videos more - here is a quick 10 minute interview with Susan Blackmore regarding ESP.

https://www.closertotruth.com/series...ng#video-47352


You can find a lot of articles on line that she has authored, very interesting if you are interested in the experiences people have.
I met her at a TAM. I told her I expected her to be ten feet tall.
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Old 8th October 2021, 01:14 PM   #65
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According to the graphs in this Danish article, the percentage of Americans who believe in ghosts was 37 in 2005: https://videnskab.dk/kultur-samfund/...paa-spoegelser (Videnskab.dk, March 3, 2018)
Denmark: 14 (2018)
Sweden: 16 (2015)
Canada: 28 (2005)
USA: 37 (2005)
Great Britain: 40 (2005)
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Old 8th October 2021, 05:44 PM   #66
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If only facts could be determined on the basis of majority consensus.
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Old 10th October 2021, 12:14 AM   #67
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Anecdotally, I believe most people I personally know believe in ghosts

Not sure about the vampires though
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Old 10th October 2021, 12:39 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Anecdotally, I believe most people I personally know believe in ghosts

Not sure about the vampires though
I don't think many vampires believe in ghosts.
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Old 10th October 2021, 01:33 PM   #69
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I don't know any vampires who don't.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 13th October 2021, 02:35 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I don't know any vampires who don't.
Vampires are undead, not the same as ghosts.
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