ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags ghosts

Reply
Old 21st September 2019, 08:50 PM   #361
Axxman300
Illuminator
 
Axxman300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central California Coast
Posts: 4,513
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I fear that is the nature of ghosts, they don't leave hard evidence.
How would you know? IF they're real we STILL have no idea what we're looking for. We know they're not a gas, we know they're not a mass of some kind of energy (at least not something we can measure or identify), we know their not a liquid, we know they're not a solid. This narrows down the options to a small and crazy list. And frankly the possible list would be made up of particles that only exist for fractions of a second in a super collider, and that is equally silly as the spirits of the dead wandering around.

But...it would be something that could be tested for in the future if someone is rich enough and desperate enough. My money is on the test being negative.

Then again maybe someone will stumble upon something that kicks this phenomenon out of the Halloween store and into a proper science lab My point is that saying that ghosts are beyond science's ability to detect is lazy. Right now science already has explanations which are fantastic in their own right. In the end all things dealing with science comes down to money. You need equipment, involving a major university's physics department along with other science branches is a good idea, you need to commit to a project that might last a decade, and you have to be ready to spend a lot of money only to come up snake-eyes.

Who knows? Maybe someone will point some gadget in an empty room and make a breakthrough. That's the fun thing about science.
__________________
Disingenuous Piranha
Axxman300 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 01:11 AM   #362
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,600
Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
The most used and accepted definition of a ghost is the disembodied spirit of a dead person. I’ve also heard it used, less often, in the sense of any kind of incorporeal entity, be it a dead person, a demon or some other entity.

So going with that definition, when one says, “It’s a ghost!” they very specifically mean incorporeal entity of some kind, usually a dead person.

Those footsteps you heard but can’t explain? When you say “ghost,” you are specifically saying it’s an incorporeal entity. I don’t understand how you get to that from such a mundane sound. There are literally thousands of things it could be and Abaddon gave an account of something you would probably never think of -a mouse running across hangers?! When I was a kid, I woke up and thought there was a ghost walking in my room but it was just the ceiling fan that started making a rhythmic sound like footsteps.

Yet for some people, an unexplained sound has to be a ghost. Why?
Because I could rule out any other explanation, which was pretty much limited to a structural cause within the hallway, to the sound.

Quote:
And then there are the instances where multiple people hear/see something, conclude it’s a ghost and then seemingly brush it off. Say a bunch of people hear footsteps or see a person that isn’t supposed to be there. In those cases, why wouldn’t a thorough investigation be made right then and there? Why would you blow off something like that? I would instantly want to know if someone was there and if not, what the hell it was I just saw/heard. It stretches credulity to believe there was no curiosity about something that could have been an intruder or a danger. Like that story about the police and “what girl?” It’s just so unbelievable that people would act like that. If I were the cops, I’d immediately be questioning the person’s sanity while chasing down the person I saw. I certainly wouldn’t stand there dumbstruck. Which leads me to believe that the event didn’t happen that way at all.

Finally, if you want to go the ghost route...it’s a bit ridiculous to attribute unexplained sounds/visions/movements to something completely unproven. All you are really doing is opening up more questions, not answering anything at all.
What I am left with is that a ghost, or something totally unique and as yet unknown caused a ghost like phenomena.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 01:20 AM   #363
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,600
Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Doesn't that kind of go against your position that ghosts are ill defined or that all of this might need some other word or phrase to designate?
I do not see how and it was not meant to be.

Quote:
It's okay, by all means believe, or, as in your case, speculate about, the ghost-ly explanation if you wish. I personally believe it's obnoxious to attack others' beliefs as long as they don't try to somehow stick it, directly or indirectly, down others' throats, which you aren't doing. It's, just, far as I can see, your position on this is a wee bit inconsistent.





Unusual sure, perhaps as you say freaky. But why ghost-ly, why that?

For instance, you mentioned time travelers. That seems as likely, and as unlikely, as ghosts, or aliens, or telepathic hive minds of local bacteria, or anything else. What about ghosts do you find more compelling than other similar outlandish hypotheses?

(Or were you channeling Whatsisname from that movie, Interstellar, the time-and-space-traveling ghost I mean? )
At the moment I am calling a phenomena that cannot be explained ghosts. It may be something else that has attributes we subscribe to ghosts, but is not a ghost.

There is so much baggage to ghosts that I think we are missing something genuine.

Quote:
And they probably believe, or half-believe, or quarter-believe, in ghosts, so they may have thought of ghosts as explanation. But do you, if only a quarter, if only a teeny fraction, more than telepathic dolphins entertaining themselves by messing around with us humans' minds? (It's cool if you do, btw, far as I am concerned. I don't find ghosts more likely than telepathic bacterial hive minds, but I think that's purely subjective, and your subjective take is equally as valid, for you, as mine is for me -- as far as speculation, that is.)
My belief that there is such a thing as a ghost is not a strong belief. I am not certain there are ghosts.

But, due to my experience and the experiences of credible witnesses, I do believe that there is something out there that cannot be explained by creaking plumbing or our own projections.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 01:32 AM   #364
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 12,034
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Because I could rule out any other explanation
Can you really not see what a ridiculous statement this is? How can you possibly rule out explanations which didn't even occur to you? Like the black-and-white cow explanation, and the mouse running over the coat hangers explanation, didn't occur to the posters who told those anecdotes and never would have if they hadn't investigated at the time?

The fact that you can't think of a mundane explanation doesn't mean you can conclude there wasn't one. It astounds me that this needs to be pointed out even once on a sceptic forum, let alone continually restated in the same thread.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 01:49 AM   #365
Cosmic Yak
Illuminator
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 3,337
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I fear that is the nature of ghosts, they don't leave hard evidence.
If a ghost can make footsteps, it can make footprints.
Scatter flour on the floor.
Simples.
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 01:50 AM   #366
The Common Potato
Critical Thinker
 
The Common Potato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: The Scunthorpe Problem
Posts: 275
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
At the moment I am calling a phenomena that cannot be explained ghosts. It may be something else that has attributes we subscribe to ghosts, but is not a ghost..
Why, and what are these attributes.

I saw a UFO a while ago - it turned out to be an airship. My not knowing what it was didn't automatically make it an alien craft.
The Common Potato is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 01:50 AM   #367
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,600
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Can you really not see what a ridiculous statement this is? How can you possibly rule out explanations which didn't even occur to you? Like the black-and-white cow explanation, and the mouse running over the coat hangers explanation, didn't occur to the posters who told those anecdotes and never would have if they hadn't investigated at the time?

The fact that you can't think of a mundane explanation doesn't mean you can conclude there wasn't one. It astounds me that this needs to be pointed out even once on a sceptic forum, let alone continually restated in the same thread.
Whatever cause the sound of the footsteps down the hall, I could rule out that it was caused by

- someone walking down the hall, I could see there was no one there and I searched the house, the residents were in their beds and the doors to outside locked.
- creaky floorboards, there were none
- wind, it was a still night
- plumbing, there was no tap or anything on that would cause water to flow
- heating, it was not on (coal fired with a water pump I had to switch on to feed the radiators)
- subsidence, there were no issues with the house
- vermin under the house, no access to anything more than a mouse and a mouse could not make a noise that loud from under the house that could be heard in the house.
- the only object in the hall was a bookcase and the books did not move/fall over. They couldn't, it was so full.

I, or another adult could replicate the sound, by walking down the hall. I was in the house for 4 years and heard it only once. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what caused the noise and found no source.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 01:56 AM   #368
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,600
Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
Why, and what are these attributes.

I saw a UFO a while ago - it turned out to be an airship. My not knowing what it was didn't automatically make it an alien craft.
The brief appearance of something, who appears to be a real person, but is not.

If you see a UFO and you can rule out airships, planes, planets, lights etc, then you do have a UFO. What that UFO is, we do not know. Did it come from another planet? Unlikely. Is there something else out there we do not know about? Clearly yes.

That is my attitude towards the ghosts I describe. They are UFOs, for which there is no explanation, so they really are UFOs and they are caused by something that is not yet known to us.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 02:09 AM   #369
The Common Potato
Critical Thinker
 
The Common Potato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: The Scunthorpe Problem
Posts: 275
I made the assumption that it wasn't an alien craft because there is no evidence of such things existing. I'd do the same with a bump n the night.

Are you watching the rugby :-(
The Common Potato is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 02:20 AM   #370
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 12,034
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Whatever cause the sound of the footsteps down the hall, I could rule out that it was caused by

- someone walking down the hall, I could see there was no one there and I searched the house, the residents were in their beds and the doors to outside locked.
- creaky floorboards, there were none
- wind, it was a still night
- plumbing, there was no tap or anything on that would cause water to flow
- heating, it was not on (coal fired with a water pump I had to switch on to feed the radiators)
- subsidence, there were no issues with the house
- vermin under the house, no access to anything more than a mouse and a mouse could not make a noise that loud from under the house that could be heard in the house.
- the only object in the hall was a bookcase and the books did not move/fall over. They couldn't, it was so full.

I, or another adult could replicate the sound, by walking down the hall. I was in the house for 4 years and heard it only once. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what caused the noise and found no source.
You can list all the possible explanations you were able to rule out until you're blue in the face, it won't make an iota of difference to the fact that you can't rule out all the possible explanations which didn't occur to you.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 02:58 AM   #371
P.J. Denyer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,916
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Can you really not see what a ridiculous statement this is? How can you possibly rule out explanations which didn't even occur to you? Like the black-and-white cow explanation, and the mouse running over the coat hangers explanation, didn't occur to the posters who told those anecdotes and never would have if they hadn't investigated at the time?

The fact that you can't think of a mundane explanation doesn't mean you can conclude there wasn't one. It astounds me that this needs to be pointed out even once on a sceptic forum, let alone continually restated in the same thread.
This. Just what I was going to say but quicker & better written.
__________________
"I know my brain cannot tell me what to think." - Scorpion

"Nebulous means Nebulous" - Adam Hills
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2019, 06:47 AM   #372
8enotto
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 1,562
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Whatever cause the sound of the footsteps down the hall, I could rule out that it was caused by

- someone walking down the hall, I could see there was no one there and I searched the house, the residents were in their beds and the doors to outside locked.
- creaky floorboards, there were none
- wind, it was a still night
- plumbing, there was no tap or anything on that would cause water to flow
- heating, it was not on (coal fired with a water pump I had to switch on to feed the radiators)
- subsidence, there were no issues with the house
- vermin under the house, no access to anything more than a mouse and a mouse could not make a noise that loud from under the house that could be heard in the house.
- the only object in the hall was a bookcase and the books did not move/fall over. They couldn't, it was so full.

I, or another adult could replicate the sound, by walking down the hall. I was in the house for 4 years and heard it only once. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what caused the noise and found no source.
Seasonal temperature changes and ground frost changes, day to night temp changes moving dissimilar materials at different expansion rates, stuff like that affects old buildings. They can be near impossible to detect because it's inside the structure.

I never knew how quiet a house could be until my current cement house.
8enotto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2019, 02:17 AM   #373
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,600
Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
Seasonal temperature changes and ground frost changes, day to night temp changes moving dissimilar materials at different expansion rates, stuff like that affects old buildings. They can be near impossible to detect because it's inside the structure.

I never knew how quiet a house could be until my current cement house.
So how come I only heard it once?

How many factors can affect a hallway in a house?
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2019, 02:27 AM   #374
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 12,034
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
So how come I only heard it once?
How many times do you suppose that black and white cow happened to walk up and down in exactly that position and exactly that direction during exactly the right misty conditions whilst a funeral was taking place in that cemetery?

Quote:
How many factors can affect a hallway in a house?
I have no idea, and neither do you. Temperature, air pressure, wind direction, presence/absence of living things (including practical joking humans) are the first that spring to mind, but I'm sure there are many more.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2019, 07:15 AM   #375
8enotto
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 1,562
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
So how come I only heard it once?

How many factors can affect a hallway in a house?


Your logical perceived idea was walking in a hallway. Your fact is nobody was there. You can't even be sure the sound started in the hallway as it could have been the floor structure shifting or a wall, maybe both in an odd twist?

Check raw facts. Without allowing preconceived ideas in. How was the weather recently, lots of rain, a change in season or a lack of rain? Wood is never the same size two days in a row. It expands with humidity and contracts as it dries. The older the structure the more it moves. A simple fact.
8enotto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2019, 08:05 AM   #376
bluesjnr
Professional Nemesis for Hire
 
bluesjnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Home.
Posts: 7,844
My kettle switched itself on once. I thought it was an electrical blip but now I've read more about these footsteps, I'm not so sure.
__________________

Last edited by bluesjnr; 23rd September 2019 at 09:58 AM.
bluesjnr is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2019, 09:27 AM   #377
Czarcasm
Groovy Groovy Guru
 
Czarcasm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,079
Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Yes I guess they are only claims, just spooks me out and my thought was if ghosts exist then an afterlife exists. Am I wrong?
With all the real things there are to worry about, and the limited life span we have to spend time worrying about real things, do you really want to waste time worrying about imaginary things that might exist if other imaginary things exist?
__________________
The sun is out, the birds are singing and all is right with the world.
I loooove my meds!
Czarcasm is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2019, 09:57 AM   #378
wasapi
Penultimate Amazing
 
wasapi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,931
Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
My kettle switched itself on once. I thought it was an electrical blip but now I've read ,ore about these footsteps, I'm not so sure.
Well of course it was supernatural. Your kettle is possessed!
__________________
Julia
wasapi is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2019, 10:07 AM   #379
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 44,517
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Because I could rule out any other explanation, which was pretty much limited to a structural cause within the hallway, to the sound.
No.

Earlier you said this, remember?
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
No, at the time I looked for various obvious possibles, such as I searched the house in case someone had come inside and I checked other residents to see if had been one of them (even though the steps had walked right by me and I saw no one).

I walked the route of the steps to see if I could replicate the noise, but I knew there were no creaking floor boards or anything like that.



I never heard the noise again, so that I could further investigate.
You "ruled out" what you considered at the time to be "obvious" possibilities.

You did not actually rule out every possibility. How could you, really? And even the stuff you did "rule out", it's not clear how conclusive your structural analysis actually was.

And that's before we get into the problems of unreliable perception, memory, and narration.

Quote:
What I am left with is that a ghost, or something totally unique and as yet unknown caused a ghost like phenomena.
Or any one of the other mundane explanations that you didn't think of, didn't properly test, have not accurately reported, or are not reliably recollecting today.

"Ghost" is not something to be explained, in your anecdote. "Ghost" is your explanation, for better or worse. The consensus here seem to be "for worse".
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2019, 10:27 AM   #380
P.J. Denyer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,916
Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Well of course it was supernatural. Your kettle is possessed!
As with all such problems in home appliances be sure to call a qualified Electrocist.
__________________
"I know my brain cannot tell me what to think." - Scorpion

"Nebulous means Nebulous" - Adam Hills
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2019, 07:12 PM   #381
Steve
Philosopher
 
Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,043
Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
My kettle switched itself on once. I thought it was an electrical blip but now I've read more about these footsteps, I'm not so sure.
It was that dude in Nessie’s hallway. He loves turning off appliances when no one is looking.
__________________
Caption from and old New Yorker cartoon - Why am I shouting? Because I'm wrong!"
Steve is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2019, 12:53 AM   #382
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,600
Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
Your logical perceived idea was walking in a hallway. Your fact is nobody was there. You can't even be sure the sound started in the hallway as it could have been the floor structure shifting or a wall, maybe both in an odd twist?

Check raw facts. Without allowing preconceived ideas in. How was the weather recently, lots of rain, a change in season or a lack of rain? Wood is never the same size two days in a row. It expands with humidity and contracts as it dries. The older the structure the more it moves. A simple fact.
Hearing a structural noise, only once and not hearing anything even remotely approaching what I heard, is very strange in itself.

The changes in structure you describe mean that the noise should repeat itself.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2019, 01:04 AM   #383
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 12,034
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Hearing a structural noise, only once and not hearing anything even remotely approaching what I heard, is very strange in itself.

The changes in structure you describe mean that the noise should repeat itself.
Not if it was a particular combination of temperature/air pressure/wind speed/wind direction etc which produced the sound. A combination unusual enough that it only occurred once during the time you lived there.

And we're still talking about obvious possible explanations, there are undoubtedly less obvious ones we haven't even thought of.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2019, 01:28 AM   #384
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,600
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Not if it was a particular combination of temperature/air pressure/wind speed/wind direction etc which produced the sound. A combination unusual enough that it only occurred once during the time you lived there.
How likely is that????

Quote:
And we're still talking about obvious possible explanations, there are undoubtedly less obvious ones we haven't even thought of.
Like what?

There is nothing in that hallway to make a noise that sounds just like someone has walked down it.

Plaster, pipes and electric cabling do not make a sound that is anything like footsteps.

Most likely is something within the floor, which was carpeted over floorboards over joists. It would need to be something that originated at the front door and then at the same pace as someone walking, triggered the sound to move along the hall to the back bedroom.

Say it was some sort of incredibly weird, freak atmospheric circumstance that caused the wood in the floor to flex in such a way that it sounded like foot steps, is belief in that not incredible?
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2019, 01:40 AM   #385
bluesjnr
Professional Nemesis for Hire
 
bluesjnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Home.
Posts: 7,844
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
How likely is that????
Say...... three or four times in a lifetime, one of which occured when you lived in that house.

Quote:
Like what?

There is nothing in that hallway to make a noise that sounds just like someone has walked down it.
Bald assertion.

Quote:
Plaster, pipes and electric cabling do not make a sound that is anything like footsteps.
With regard to the pipes, I disagree.

Quote:
Most likely is something within the floor, which was carpeted over floorboards over joists. It would need to be something that originated at the front door and then at the same pace as someone walking, triggered the sound to move along the hall to the back bedroom.
Rats - you'd be surprised at how loud they can be moving around.

Quote:
Say it was some sort of incredibly weird, freak atmospheric circumstance that caused the wood in the floor to flex in such a way that it sounded like foot steps, is belief in that not incredible?
Much less incredible than belief in an entity.
__________________
bluesjnr is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2019, 02:28 AM   #386
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 12,034
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
How likely is that????
Fairly unlikely, which is why it only occurred once during the time you lived there. How likely is a ghost?

Quote:
Like what?
I don't know, I haven't thought of it. Try asking a practical joker, they might be able to think of some possibilities.

Quote:
Say it was some sort of incredibly weird, freak atmospheric circumstance that caused the wood in the floor to flex in such a way that it sounded like foot steps, is belief in that not incredible?
Not as incredible as the explanation you seem to believe.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2019, 02:31 AM   #387
P.J. Denyer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,916
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Hearing a structural noise, only once and not hearing anything even remotely approaching what I heard, is very strange in itself.

The changes in structure you describe mean that the noise should repeat itself.
I thought you said someone else (your wife?) had heard it as well on other occasions? Or am I getting mixed up?
__________________
"I know my brain cannot tell me what to think." - Scorpion

"Nebulous means Nebulous" - Adam Hills
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2019, 02:45 PM   #388
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Republic of Ireland
Posts: 20,284
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Not if it was a particular combination of temperature/air pressure/wind speed/wind direction etc which produced the sound. A combination unusual enough that it only occurred once during the time you lived there.

And we're still talking about obvious possible explanations, there are undoubtedly less obvious ones we haven't even thought of.
Actually, it's a tad worse. How long one lived there is irrelevant. For a repetition to occur, not only must the same conditions recur, but one must be present at exactly those times. It could have happened 50 times but nobody was in the house...

In fact, there doesn't even need to be nobody in the house for the unexplained effect to have repetitions go unnoticed. People watch TV, play video games, listen to music, sleep and so on.

It is actually impossible to claim that it only happened once, only that one happened to NOTICE it once. That says nothing at all about the frequency of the occurrence. It could easily be happening every day but lost in the noise with which we seem to surround ourselves.
__________________
Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?


...love and buttercakes...
abaddon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2019, 03:53 PM   #389
P.J. Denyer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,916
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I never told anyone about what happened that night for a few years. I was hoping it would repeat or I found the source.

Then one day my wife asked me to make sure I kept the doors locked as she had heard someone walk down the hallway. She was adamant someone had come into the house, but when she had checked, no one was there and she admitted she had checked the doors and they were locked.

I just brushed it off as is happening in this thread right now. Go on a while and my wife told me she had been told someone had died in the house just before we had moved in. I then told her about my experience with footsteps in the hall.

The point is to all the ghost stories I have told, is that in all cases it is credible witnesses who at the time did not think, ghost, we all thought someone really was there.
There we go, it has happened more than once.
__________________
"I know my brain cannot tell me what to think." - Scorpion

"Nebulous means Nebulous" - Adam Hills
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2019, 04:20 PM   #390
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 44,517
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Actually, it's a tad worse. How long one lived there is irrelevant. For a repetition to occur, not only must the same conditions recur, but one must be present at exactly those times. It could have happened 50 times but nobody was in the house...

In fact, there doesn't even need to be nobody in the house for the unexplained effect to have repetitions go unnoticed. People watch TV, play video games, listen to music, sleep and so on.

It is actually impossible to claim that it only happened once, only that one happened to NOTICE it once. That says nothing at all about the frequency of the occurrence. It could easily be happening every day but lost in the noise with which we seem to surround ourselves.
"... and to think! If not for [wildly unusual circumstance], I would never have known that this was happening every day!"
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2019, 04:27 PM   #391
Thor 2
Philosopher
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 6,170
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
How likely is that????



Like what?

There is nothing in that hallway to make a noise that sounds just like someone has walked down it.

Plaster, pipes and electric cabling do not make a sound that is anything like footsteps.

Most likely is something within the floor, which was carpeted over floorboards over joists. It would need to be something that originated at the front door and then at the same pace as someone walking, triggered the sound to move along the hall to the back bedroom.

Say it was some sort of incredibly weird, freak atmospheric circumstance that caused the wood in the floor to flex in such a way that it sounded like foot steps, is belief in that not incredible?

Not necessarily incredible.

We all know how well our brains manage to fit input from sight into something recognisable. I find this happens quite frequently, and the recognisable result my brain presents me with, is quite wrong quite often. So too can be the result of input from hearing or other senses. Heck, the sound you are hearing may even be generated inside your head, without external input.
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th September 2019, 05:24 AM   #392
Gilbert Syndrome
Philosopher
 
Gilbert Syndrome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Liverpool, UK
Posts: 6,804
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Hearing a structural noise, only once and not hearing anything even remotely approaching what I heard, is very strange in itself.

The changes in structure you describe mean that the noise should repeat itself.
Don't "ghosts" repeat themselves, though? They supposedly do the same things over and over again in the locations they're said to haunt. So I'd expect that if what you heard was actually a ghost, you'd hear it on more than one occasion. It's stranger to think a ghost would make just one trip down the hallway in all your years living in the house than it is to think a certain structural change wouldn't repeat itself.
__________________
Generic proclamation of positivity:

Scouse saying - Go 'ed, is right, nice one, boss, well in, sound, belter, made up.

Usage: 'Go 'ed, lad, get us an ale in, nice one.'
Gilbert Syndrome is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th September 2019, 05:26 AM   #393
Gilbert Syndrome
Philosopher
 
Gilbert Syndrome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Liverpool, UK
Posts: 6,804
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
How likely is that????
I'd say it would be more likely than you having heard the disembodied footsteps of a ghostly apparition walking down your hallway, but that's just me.
__________________
Generic proclamation of positivity:

Scouse saying - Go 'ed, is right, nice one, boss, well in, sound, belter, made up.

Usage: 'Go 'ed, lad, get us an ale in, nice one.'
Gilbert Syndrome is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th September 2019, 10:31 AM   #394
wasapi
Penultimate Amazing
 
wasapi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,931
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Not necessarily incredible.

We all know how well our brains manage to fit input from sight into something recognisable. I find this happens quite frequently, and the recognisable result my brain presents me with, is quite wrong quite often. So too can be the result of input from hearing or other senses. Heck, the sound you are hearing may even be generated inside your head, without external input.
I wrote about this before; I was outside with my dog when I noticed her red collar was not on. She has very short hair and the red stood out. Looking around, I couldn't find it anywhere. Glancing back at the dog, I saw that her collar was on her.

A trick of the eye. It happens. Why not other senses? It did not seem incredible in any way.
__________________
Julia
wasapi is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th September 2019, 11:22 AM   #395
Steve
Philosopher
 
Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,043
Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
I wrote about this before; I was outside with my dog when I noticed her red collar was not on. She has very short hair and the red stood out. Looking around, I couldn't find it anywhere. Glancing back at the dog, I saw that her collar was on her.

A trick of the eye. It happens. Why not other senses? It did not seem incredible in any way.
That's one clever dog you have there. Almost scary!
__________________
Caption from and old New Yorker cartoon - Why am I shouting? Because I'm wrong!"
Steve is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th September 2019, 12:13 PM   #396
Pope130
Illuminator
 
Pope130's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 3,327
Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
I wrote about this before; I was outside with my dog when I noticed her red collar was not on. She has very short hair and the red stood out. Looking around, I couldn't find it anywhere. Glancing back at the dog, I saw that her collar was on her.

A trick of the eye. It happens. Why not other senses? It did not seem incredible in any way.
It certainly does happen with sound. In the quiet of the deep woods all the man-made noises I usually hear in the background are gone, and I find I often perceive the edge of audibility sounds as music. Irish pipes and bodhran, the sort of thing Capercaillie would do. I'm a fan of Celtic music, I suspect others would perceive the sounds according to their own experience.
Pope130 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th September 2019, 12:22 PM   #397
bluesjnr
Professional Nemesis for Hire
 
bluesjnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Home.
Posts: 7,844
Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
I'd say it would be more likely than you having heard the disembodied footsteps of a ghostly apparition walking down your hallway, but that's just me.
I think you'll find, having read, previous responses that it certainly is not just you.
__________________
bluesjnr is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th September 2019, 12:28 PM   #398
Steve001
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,658
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Whatever cause the sound of the footsteps down the hall, I could rule out that it was caused by

- someone walking down the hall, I could see there was no one there and I searched the house, the residents were in their beds and the doors to outside locked.
- creaky floorboards, there were none
- wind, it was a still night
- plumbing, there was no tap or anything on that would cause water to flow
- heating, it was not on (coal fired with a water pump I had to switch on to feed the radiators)
- subsidence, there were no issues with the house
- vermin under the house, no access to anything more than a mouse and a mouse could not make a noise that loud from under the house that could be heard in the house.
- the only object in the hall was a bookcase and the books did not move/fall over. They couldn't, it was so full.

I, or another adult could replicate the sound, by walking down the hall. I was in the house for 4 years and heard it only once. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what caused the noise and found no source.
Well the honest conclusion is, is the source of the noise is a mystery..
Steve001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th September 2019, 12:34 PM   #399
Steve001
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,658
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
So how come I only heard it once?

How many factors can affect a hallway in a house?
No one knows.
No one knows.
Therefore, no conclusion is possible.
Steve001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th September 2019, 12:34 PM   #400
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 44,517
Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
Well the honest conclusion is, is the source of the noise is a mystery..
Exactly.

In this scenario, "ghost" isn't the phenomenon that needs explaining. It's the explanation being offered for an unexplained phenomenon.

In order to for me to try to explain a ghost, you'll have to show me a ghost to begin with. It won't work to show me an anecdote of an unexplained noise, and tell me the explanation is "ghost!"
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:36 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.