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 5th September 2019, 05:28 PM   #41
mgidm86
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,614
Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
What I also find interesting is how a lot of people seem to see ghosts in the night, this must mean that they are still in a dream when they think they are awake. If ghosts were real we would see them everywhere but we don't!

It's easier to "see ghosts" at night partially because your retina/eye retains an after-image of whatever light you may have been looking at.

Umm I mean, try staring at some window blinds with light shining between all the cracks, then close your eyes (or open them in a dark area) - you see the light from the blinds still. If you were looking at something even remotely human in shape you may think it a ghost.
__________________
Franklin understands certain kickbacks you obtain unfairly are legal liabilities; however, a risky deed's almost never detrimental despite extra external pressures.
mgidm86 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 5th September 2019, 06:36 PM   #42
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 63,491
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't explain ghosts.

Nothing ghosts do is significant enough to require explanation. It's not like they're hurricanes, or internal combustion, or stellar fusion, or anything else that's actually important. Stuff happens, and you want to attribute it to ghosts? Be my guest.

Show me a ghost that can do something predictable, repeatable, and useful, and I'll show you a ghost that requires any more explanation than, "that's nice... more tea?"
I find your lack of curiosity... disturbing.
__________________
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him

We can't go back. We don't understand everything yet.
"Everything" is a little ambitious. We barely understand anything.
Yeah. But that's what the first part of understanding everything looks like.
- xkcd Time (frame 1071-3)
arthwollipot 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 5th September 2019, 06:45 PM   #43
8enotto
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 1,046
When I lived in century old wood frame homes we noted lots of noises and odd drafts but never a poltergiest type event ever. No chairs rocking or things moving.

We chalked it up to old structure moving. Always something odd happened when day went to night and the stereo was off.

I moved into all block and post structures the last decade. No sounds. No movement . Turn off the noise and it's all silent save for the cat and traffic in the distance.

Ghosts in Mexico are visual, reflections in glass and shadow shapes. Tricks of the human eye can account for most as I see it.

And they usually have a mission when investigated by certain specialists. They can always be sent away with Christian type ritual and prayers.
Then the specialists cash out on it every way possible.
8enotto 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 5th September 2019, 07:03 PM   #44
alfaniner
Penultimate Amazing
 
alfaniner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,346
Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Very good point. The brain can see things but it may be that there is nothing there
When I was in the hospital last year (and under the influence of some powerful drugs), a few times I saw things, like the TV attached to the ceiling was really a dragon. I was coherent enough to take a few pictures with my phone whenever these images occured. Of course, viewing the photos later on it just looked like a TV or whatever it really was.
__________________
Science is self-correcting.
Woo is self-contradicting.
alfaniner 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 5th September 2019, 07:57 PM   #45
smartcooky
Penultimate Amazing
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 12,383
smartcooky has a birthday
Ghosts are easy to explain. They occur when the signal takes paths of different lengths (by reflecting from buildings, transmission lines, aircraft, clouds, etc.) to reach the receiver.

Oh, wait! You mean those ghosts? Well, they are easy to explain - they dont exist. The apparition is all in the observer's head.
__________________
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore - if they're white!"
If you don't like my posts, my opinions, or my directness then put me on your ignore list.
This will be of benefit to both of us; you won't have to take umbrage at my posts, and I won't have to waste my time talking to you... simples! !

Last edited by smartcooky; 5th September 2019 at 08:24 PM.
smartcooky 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 5th September 2019, 08:28 PM   #46
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 63,491
Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Oh, wait! You mean those ghosts? Well, they are easy to explain - they dont exist. The apparition is all in the observer's head.
I disagree. Ghosts definitely exist. They're just not the disembodied spirits of dead people. They're normal, mundane phenomena that are difficult to immediately identify. People who believe in ghosts then say that they saw a ghost, but they actually saw a reflection, or a rocking chair that the cat just jumped out of, or something else that definitely wasn't in any way paranormal but they assumed it was.
__________________
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him

We can't go back. We don't understand everything yet.
"Everything" is a little ambitious. We barely understand anything.
Yeah. But that's what the first part of understanding everything looks like.
- xkcd Time (frame 1071-3)
arthwollipot 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 5th September 2019, 08:39 PM   #47
xjx388
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 7,143
I have a few incidents that my family insists was due to a ghost -specifically, my father’s ghost. He died somewhat unexpectedly at a rather young age 55-got sick, within a week was told he had leukemia complicated by heart disease and died in another couple of weeks.

1) 2 days after his death, my 5 year-old daughter was playing alone in her room and said that my dad’s face appeared on her toy box. He told her something like, “Don’t worry, my angel [what he always called her] I’m ok. I just wanted to say bye”. She ran out and told my wife and I. We hadn’t told her anything about his death so it was a little startling.

2) About two weeks after his death, my mom was taking a nap on her bed. She says she felt my dad’s hand on her shoulder and he said, “Dordy [what he called her], I just wanted you to know that it’s going to be OK. I took care of it. I love you.” When she woke up, she went to check the mail and there were 2 substantial checks from his work; 1 - a paycheck with a hefty final bonus and 2 - a payout from the life insurance provided by his job.

3) My brother went to high school at a school out in the boonies. He went outside to be by himself and cry one day; he took my dad’s death really hard. As he was crying, he swears he heard my dad say, “Aw, Mikey, don’t cry.” And at the same moment, a grey horse wandered over from a nearby ranch, which was significant because my dad loved horse racing and had a weakness for betting on grey horses even if they were terrible bets.

I know intellectually that my dad didn’t come back as a ghost, but I can’t bring myself to argue the point because it gives my family such comfort. But the explanation for these events is pretty simple in my view: Grief and deep emotion. For example: while we didn’t tell my daughter, kids aren’t stupid; they pick up on things. She obviously heard us talking and that’s how she processed it.
__________________
Hello.
xjx388 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 5th September 2019, 08:40 PM   #48
Axxman300
Illuminator
 
Axxman300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central California Coast
Posts: 3,963
Ghosts are always situationally dependent. This is the key to understanding why someone believes they saw/heard/felt one. I'll list causes starting from the easiest and obvious first continuing through the more esoteric.

1. Power of Suggestion: A place has a reputation for being haunted and those who experience a ghost are familiar with the stories. Or a building looks "creepy" or seems like it should be haunted. Then there are cases where someone just follows the crowd and talks themselves into believing they've seen a ghost.

2. Hysteria: This one is simple. You hear something moving in the house at 2 a.m. At 2p.m. it's the cat, or the wind knocked something over on the back patio, or heating duct/ plumbing rattling. At 2 a.m. it's either a burglar or the Clown from IT. You grab a baseball bat and search the house and find nothing and go back to your room. Ten minutes later you hear more noise. You've already searched the house and checked the doors and windows. If you are prone to believe in ghosts your mind will always go there first.

3.Cultural Indoctrination and or Peer Pressure: Fact is that there are groups of people who take the existence of ghosts without question. Don't even waste your time trying to argue with them. The other condition comes when someone who has prestige or charisma exposes their belief in ghosts, and those who want to curry favor follow suit without asking questions.

4. Twilight Sleep: This stage is between a waking state and sleeping state where REM is possible without the sleeper's knowledge. 50% of all reported ghosts come during Twilight Sleep.

5. BS: This may come as a shock but some people like to lie for a variety of reasons. Pro Ghost Hunter Tip: if a Bed & Breakfast invites TV ghost hunters to investigate their property there's a 99% chance it ain't haunted.

6. Infrasound: This is the 500-pound gorilla of the Paranormal Experience world. Simply put, this low-frequency sound wave WILL make you feel like you're being watched which leads to hysteria.

This comes out of work done in 1998:

http://www.richardwiseman.com/resour...in-machine.pdf

These links also explain the phenomenon:

https://science.howstuffworks.com/sc...l-activity.htm

https://curiosity.com/topics/got-a-g...und-curiosity/

https://gizmodo.com/some-ghosts-may-...ari-1737065693

This one dovetails with my next point:

https://interestingengineering.com/t...host-frequency

7. Involuntary Neurological Response to Latent Stimulus: Putting this into English; you have 5 senses that are much more sensitive than we expect. Our 5 senses work in concert to give our brain information about our immediate surroundings. Sometimes this information is inaccurate and can put pictures or sounds in our heads that are not there. A faint change in room temperature, humidity, a faint odor, or a familiar sound can light up parts of your brain. Most of the time your brain does a quick systems check and double check and blows it off. But once in a while your brain will run with it.

Let me explain. There are certain scents that evoke strong emotional responses in people. For example the smell of buttered turkey mixed with mashed potatoes invokes powerful memories of Thanksgiving holidays. A song can come on the radio and I can recall specific events which occurred in my past where that song was on in the background. People often respond negatively to the "Hospital Smell" because nobody goes to the hospital when things are great. Each of these responses come with a cascade of emotions and mental images. The difference is that we're not always aware of the input causing the response.

8. Bad Construction Practices and Poor Construction Materials: My first four paranormal investigations taught me a lot about plumbing and heating. Unsecured pipes will rattle and bang inside walls or against floor beams. In the early 2000's reports of brand new houses being haunted went through the roof with tales of Indian burial grounds and slave cemeteries being desecrated. The truth took a few years but turned out to be devastating: Poisonous Chinese Dry Wall.

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/...ryId=114182073

https://www.cpsc.gov/safety-educatio...roblem-drywall

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/...ards/index.htm

The Chinese dry wall signs match up with some big haunted house signs: the smell of sulfur and electric lights turning on and off for no reason. This one came out of the blue and many sleaze-ball ghost hunters took advantage of people.

9. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: The first thing a good ghost hunter will do is check the CO level in the house. This also falls under poor construction practices but can happen in any home with a gas heater. Over time a person living in a house where CO levels are high will hear voices and sometimes hallucinate. Eventually the CO will kill them but this is dependent on the time of year. Many states now require home owners to by smoke alarms that are also CO detectors.

10. Physiological Changes: Around the time I saw a black hooded figure at the foot of my bed I had become a diabetic and suffered from Sleep Paralysis. Luckily because I was a ghost hunter I knew the image was in my head, but damned if it wasn't impressive anyway. This is when people who didn't believe in ghosts start seeing them. See your doctor and have a comprehensive lab test done.

There are certainly more causes behind why people see ghosts, most of those are related to the effects stress and surprise will have on perception. This is why in crisis situations people tend to focus on random things and relate them to the larger event even though they had nothing to do with the event (we see this with conspiracy theories but this has also put innocent people in prison as well).

What I'm waiting on is research about how smart phones are effecting human perception and reasoning abilities. The rise of reported hauntings seems to merge with the introduction of the smart phone and I'm betting there is a direct link.

I'll end with this. The thing that changed my mind about ghosts is the fact that the most common ghost is that of a still-living person. I've lost count of how many people swear that they heard their wife, husband, child, or sibling somewhere in the house only to discover they were not there. The only solution to this event was that it was all in that person's mind. The fact that it was real to them suggests that sounds and smells can create a false impression because the sounds and smells are familiar coming from an expected place. Your imagination does the rest.
__________________
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 5th September 2019, 11:40 PM   #49
Venom
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2,887
Aliens.
Venom 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 6th September 2019, 01:06 AM   #50
AmyW
Scholar
 
AmyW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by xterra View Post
AmyW, no one has yet demonstrated that there are any supernatural things or phenomena.

Please examine your reasons for wanting them to be real. Understanding those reasons might be beneficial to you.
I don't want them to be real is the truth of it :-)
AmyW 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 6th September 2019, 01:33 AM   #51
Greebo
Thinker
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 206
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Le sigh. Here are a pair of ghosts photographed in my hallway.

https://i.imgur.com/XoWNj1E.jpg

Real? Or fake? No CGI involved it that pic. Can you explain it? I can because I took it. Can you?
I'll take a guess of Pepper's ghost in that pic. Right or wrong?
Greebo 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 6th September 2019, 02:53 AM   #52
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 87,207
Originally Posted by p0lka View Post
If by 'truly exist' you mean exists as much as my imaginary madras curry that i'm drooling over, even though it's not real, then yeah it truly exists.

There's no evidence that ghosts exist, in the sense of having an existence.

People seeing ghosts is a real phenomenon yeah, that doesn't mean ghosts truly exist. If it does then my imaginary madras curry truly exists too. I drooled after all.
How does your imaginary curry exist and also not exist? (I'd insert the confused smile but using Tapatalk and it doesn't exist in tapatalk)
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat 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 6th September 2019, 03:10 AM   #53
JPK
Graduate Poster
 
JPK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,807
Good morning AmyW. A little late for this but, Welcome to the forum. I see that many books have been suggested to you, and you seem willing to explore them. Here are two that I would recommend since you are asking questions on a variety of topics. Here are two very easy reads that cover a wide range of topics. Michael Shermer's "Why People Believe Weird Things" and Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark". Both touch on topics like psychic, ghosts, faith healers, and several other beliefs that make us feel good but not necessarily have a basis in reality.
ETA: Whether we want something to be real or not has nothing to do with reality.
__________________
"I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier... A belief's a dangerous thing. People die for it. People kill for it."
Rufus, the 13th apostle, Dogma
"You can't prove air." Sylvia Browne
John Kardel

Last edited by JPK; 6th September 2019 at 03:22 AM.
JPK 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 6th September 2019, 03:41 AM   #54
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18,944
Originally Posted by Greebo View Post
I'll take a guess of Pepper's ghost in that pic. Right or wrong?
Wrong. Those happen to be my kids and they were standing right there.
__________________
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 6th September 2019, 03:52 AM   #55
JPK
Graduate Poster
 
JPK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,807
Good morning.
Real or fake isn't the question. The picture is real. What it depicts is another story. Double exposure is an easy explanation. Staged or not is another story. People run across this from time to time with cameras that use film. Digital have their own issues.
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Le sigh. Here are a pair of ghosts photographed in my hallway.

https://i.imgur.com/XoWNj1E.jpg

Real? Or fake? No CGI involved it that pic. Can you explain it? I can because I took it. Can you?
__________________
"I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier... A belief's a dangerous thing. People die for it. People kill for it."
Rufus, the 13th apostle, Dogma
"You can't prove air." Sylvia Browne
John Kardel

Last edited by JPK; 6th September 2019 at 03:56 AM.
JPK 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 6th September 2019, 04:02 AM   #56
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 87,207
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Wrong. Those happen to be my kids and they were standing right there.
Austerity.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat 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 6th September 2019, 04:58 AM   #57
AmyW
Scholar
 
AmyW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by JPK View Post
Good morning AmyW. A little late for this but, Welcome to the forum. I see that many books have been suggested to you, and you seem willing to explore them. Here are two that I would recommend since you are asking questions on a variety of topics. Here are two very easy reads that cover a wide range of topics. Michael Shermer's "Why People Believe Weird Things" and Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark". Both touch on topics like psychic, ghosts, faith healers, and several other beliefs that make us feel good but not necessarily have a basis in reality.
ETA: Whether we want something to be real or not has nothing to do with reality.
Good afternoon and thank you for the welcome :-) will these books help me to debunk the whole spirituality :-) I do hope so
AmyW 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 6th September 2019, 05:21 AM   #58
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 84,543
Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
My point: You make the effort to quantify what it is then. I found an odd electrical field out hiking in basically nowhere and brought an EF reader out there in that pursuit, the field is in fact there, and after crunching possibilties most of them although sorta strange, are naturally occuring:

Magnetic or similar ore
Certain facets of the pollination cycle
An underground spring

all come up after some googlish detective work.

Thats my point. Not conjecture, an attempt to confirm the nature of that weird thing.
Which is, again, exactly what I said.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... 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 6th September 2019, 05:23 AM   #59
Bikewer
Penultimate Amazing
 
Bikewer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 12,545
I remember an article from an old Skeptical Inquirer issue years ago.

Groups of people were to spend the night in an old inn or some-such... If the group was told beforehand that the place was haunted, inevitably someone would report some sort of “phenomena”.
However, if the next group was not so informed... No ghosts.

We have a building on campus that’s long been felt to be haunted, and one of our officers absolutely refused to go in there at night.....
Bikewer 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 6th September 2019, 05:26 AM   #60
AmyW
Scholar
 
AmyW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
I remember an article from an old Skeptical Inquirer issue years ago.

Groups of people were to spend the night in an old inn or some-such... If the group was told beforehand that the place was haunted, inevitably someone would report some sort of “phenomena”.
However, if the next group was not so informed... No ghosts.

We have a building on campus that’s long been felt to be haunted, and one of our officers absolutely refused to go in there at night.....
That's so interesting. It's like self fulfilling prophesy isn't it
AmyW 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 6th September 2019, 05:33 AM   #61
JPK
Graduate Poster
 
JPK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,807
Good morning AmyW.
Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Good afternoon and thank you for the welcome :-) will these books help me to debunk the whole spirituality :-) I do hope so
Not sure about that. They may help you understand why you and others do get caught up in that kind of mystical thinking and to realize you are not alone in your new journey to free yourself from that and try to live your life in a real world as free from superstitious thinking as best as you can being a human.
Spirituality and Spiritualism are different things. I think I've seen others explain that to you.
__________________
"I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier... A belief's a dangerous thing. People die for it. People kill for it."
Rufus, the 13th apostle, Dogma
"You can't prove air." Sylvia Browne
John Kardel

Last edited by JPK; 6th September 2019 at 05:38 AM.
JPK 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 6th September 2019, 06:07 AM   #62
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 11,137
Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
I remember an article from an old Skeptical Inquirer issue years ago.

Groups of people were to spend the night in an old inn or some-such... If the group was told beforehand that the place was haunted, inevitably someone would report some sort of “phenomena”.
However, if the next group was not so informed... No ghosts.

We have a building on campus that’s long been felt to be haunted, and one of our officers absolutely refused to go in there at night.....
I went on a guided tour of Bern last month and the local guide told us about a house which had remained uninhabited for years because it was haunted, everyone who stayed the night died, yada yada. She then asked if any of us would be prepared to stay the night in it, and of course I said "absolutely". She seemed genuinely astonished.
__________________
"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 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 6th September 2019, 06:22 AM   #63
sackett
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Detroit
Posts: 5,571
Does anyone ever see ghosts in daylight?
__________________
Fill the seats of justice with good men; not so absolute in goodness as to forget what human frailty is. -- Thomas Jefferson

What region of the earth is not filled with our calamities? -- Virgil
sackett 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 6th September 2019, 07:01 AM   #64
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,910
Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
I remember an article from an old Skeptical Inquirer issue years ago.

Groups of people were to spend the night in an old inn or some-such... If the group was told beforehand that the place was haunted, inevitably someone would report some sort of “phenomena”.
However, if the next group was not so informed... No ghosts.

We have a building on campus that’s long been felt to be haunted, and one of our officers absolutely refused to go in there at night.....
My wife drug me on a Ghost Tour in Williamsburg VA a few years back. Now to be fair this particular tour (Think it was run by the local Ripley's Museum) presented itself really, really tongue in cheek, more of "Local weird history" tour with occasional references to local ghost legends that never really presented them as true, but we still had on person seeing "orbs" and "stuff moving in that window over there!" the entire tour.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue 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 6th September 2019, 07:14 AM   #65
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 37,222
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I find your lack of curiosity... disturbing.
It's not lack of curiosity. It's boredom.

There is a well-known family of explanations for most sightings, on a case by case basis. It's also well-known that some people will dismiss such sightings anyway, and other people will cling to them in the face of any and every explanation offered. And it's well known that some reported sightings will not include enough information to justify an explanation anyway.

So no, I'm not curious about this or that specific case. I'm sure it has a mundane explanation. It may or may not have enough info to determine what that explanation is. Either way, you may or may not accept that explanation. Who cares? If you care, great. Whatever it is you think ghosts are, I hope it works out for you. From where I sit, the topic's been done to death. If you want to awaken my curiosity about ghost sightings, sight me a ghost that actually does something.

Not, "something happened and I attribute it to ghosts." An actual observable, predictable, repeatable natural phenomenon.
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 6th September 2019, 07:14 AM   #66
8enotto
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 1,046
Lets say a shadow figure moves across a scene and is caught on CCTV.

Various exspurts in the occult will have various ideas, all will be sure the video is real and not altered.

The ghost expert sees a ghost, dark is evil and light is benevolent.
Demon experts see a demon of course, darker is to be feared. Light to white might be an angel.
The UFO guy sees interdimentional shadow travellers. The come with unknown intentions and tend to appear where nothing of any interests is occurring. we have no power to detect their imminent arrival or do anything once they arrive, can't trap them or communicate.

On some of the videos I can see a moth bouncing off the camera especially if the area seems to have had recent rain. Smaller moths are harder toprove as the camera doesn't focus on them at all.


How can one video have so many folks positively identifying it? Whom is closest to a mundane repeatable solution to what it might have been?

Carlos Trejo bought an old revolution era mansion in Mexico and lived there as he wrote a best seller book on 200 years of ghosts and such hanging about . Then he made tv specials of him and his crew capturing them on video.

Two years later a disgruntled assistant revealed it was pretty much everything one learns about ghosts from watching old Scooby Doo cartoons. Everything was staged and carefully prepared to be filmed on cue.

Out of the limelight after this his daughter appears on the show Extranormal one season as an investigator and he uses celebrity status to help investigate hauntings for folks who pay the fee. Not all were convinced he is a fraud.

The old mansion is available for you to stay a night or two for you and some intrepid friends to investigate ghosts yourself. He even helps you look in the right places.
8enotto 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 6th September 2019, 11:33 AM   #67
Pooneil
Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 203
Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
I am wondering about ghosts and how rational minded people claim to see them. When my mum was a child she claimed to see three shadows, she awoke from a strange noise coming from the window and then three spirits appeared and one pointed at her. How do we explain when people claim to see ghosts?
I have had something similar to this happen to me twice. It was quite unnerving the first time to see some apparition over me while I couldn't move. It is very uncomfortable because you can feel like you can't breathe. It occured during a time I describe as being like I was dreaming I was dreaming and saw several "things" right beside me in my dorm room. It was disturbing and it was very tempting to start searching for some meaning in it, but I had to get to on in my studies, so I shook it off and grabbed my books.

Before the second time I had learned about sleep paralysis. Once the experience was over and I was fully awake and the discomfort wore off, I found it to be pretty neet.

It turns out that I am not that special to be visited by ghosts. Only that I share common experiences with my fellow humans. I find the commonality of experince to be more satisfying than the artificial specialness that I was tempted to conjure up.

Last edited by Pooneil; 6th September 2019 at 11:36 AM.
Pooneil 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 6th September 2019, 11:38 AM   #68
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,910
Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
Lets say a shadow figure moves across a scene and is caught on CCTV.

Various exspurts in the occult will have various ideas, all will be sure the video is real and not altered.

The ghost expert sees a ghost, dark is evil and light is benevolent.
Demon experts see a demon of course, darker is to be feared. Light to white might be an angel.
The UFO guy sees interdimentional shadow travellers. The come with unknown intentions and tend to appear where nothing of any interests is occurring. we have no power to detect their imminent arrival or do anything once they arrive, can't trap them or communicate.

On some of the videos I can see a moth bouncing off the camera especially if the area seems to have had recent rain. Smaller moths are harder toprove as the camera doesn't focus on them at all.
Few years back a video made the rounds, showing a supposed ghost at Disneyland. CCTV footage showed a blurry, shadowy figure walking a very deliberate path along a walkway, passing through a closed gate, and continuing off screen.

The solution was piss easy. In the old days when CCTVs used video cassette, the tapes were reused. The image was a ghost image (no pun) of a maintenance worker or janitor or some other after hours employee walking along the path and through the gate (which was open in their footage). He was recorded on the tape just walking along a path through an open gate, but that was recorded over with new footage where the gate was closed and there was no one on the path, leading to "the ghost."

And the this low quality SD CCTV footage was copied, filmed off a TV screen, digitized, converted a half dozen different video formats from the looks of it, and uploaded to Youtube.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue 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 6th September 2019, 11:44 AM   #69
Dr. Keith
Not a doctor.
 
Dr. Keith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 18,905
Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Good afternoon and thank you for the welcome :-) will these books help me to debunk the whole spirituality :-) I do hope so
Please, do not think that you will have any effect on those who believe. That is a Sisyphean task. Only worry about your self and be open to helping those who would like your help.
__________________
Suffering is not a punishment not a fruit of sin, it is a gift of God.
He allows us to share in His suffering and to make up for the sins of the world. -Mother Teresa

If I had a pet panda I would name it Snowflake.
Dr. Keith 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 6th September 2019, 12:20 PM   #70
Venom
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2,887
Media goes up, ghost sightings go down.

You can't explain that.
Venom 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 6th September 2019, 12:25 PM   #71
JesseCuster
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 964
Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I woke up once as a kid with some troll/smurf/gnome like little fellow on the floor beside my bed.

As soon as I was struck by the weirdness of it, I had the thought "I have to still be a little bit asleep. That can't be real" and...poof! It disappeared.
I was once lying in bed and saw a little troll/smurf/gnome like little fellow dancing on the bookshelves in my bedroom.

I've experienced hypnopompic/hypnagogic weirdness (including sleep paralysis) enough to know what it was and not let it weird me out.
JesseCuster 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 6th September 2019, 01:33 PM   #72
Dr.Sid
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Olomouc, Czech Republic
Posts: 2,000
Ghost are signal reflections mostly. Or bad capacitors. Doesn't happen all that much with digital signal though.
Dr.Sid 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 6th September 2019, 01:40 PM   #73
P.J. Denyer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,597
Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
1) well, not I'm just super-curious about what that "also" thing was.
I was cleaning the lines in a cool room in a pub cellar late one night when I clearly saw an old man in overalls walk past the door. I was sufficently sure of what I'd seen I ran out to find out why there was a stranger in there and how they'd got in without me seeing & there was no one there. The only way out were the stairs which I had a full view of the whole time and would have meant coming back past me.

Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
2) Yeah, believing in such things at the time is key. I "saw ghosts" when I believed in them, too, and would not be surprised if my memories were embellished over the years in my re-remembering of them (while I still believed.)
Absolutely, there was an old man who worked in pub until his death, the regulars had/did tell me about him, but that's all they told me. In the telling I convinced myself that they'd also told me he wore overalls & that they told me after I saw it (I never mentioned it to any of them BTW), I couldn't now say when they told me but I'd guess it was before but even if it was after I don't think it really makes a lot of difference.

As I've mentioned I tend to see 'people' when I'm really, really tired. And I was really, really tired. I was stressed, this was nearly three decades ago and thinking of that place still makes me feel on the verge of a panic attack, getting out of there made me voluntarily homeless (I was live in) but I left anyway. I put it down to a corner of the eye hallucination caused by tiredness, my stressed brain filling in the immediate details and false memories generated by belief then taking care of everything else. So I kind of can explain it, but not in the way as, say when the perfect simulcrum of a person in a hoodie looking at their phone resolves into a number of unconnected items in the right position and with colour differences washed out by streetlighting as you approach at night.

Once I gave up the emotional attachment to the story, a good ghost story makes you the center of attention, I was able to debunk myself quite quickly.
__________________
"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 6th September 2019, 01:40 PM   #74
kellyb
Penultimate Amazing
 
kellyb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 11,610
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Wrong. Those happen to be my kids and they were standing right there.
Reflection off glass?
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts ~ Bertrand Russell
I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend.
kellyb 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 6th September 2019, 01:42 PM   #75
P.J. Denyer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,597
Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Do you think our brains can malfunction at times/hallucinate if we are stressed etc? Like others have said when we really believe in something we start to see them. Personally I've never seen a ghost
Undoubtedly, see my story above.
__________________
"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 6th September 2019, 02:56 PM   #76
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18,944
Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
Ghost are signal reflections mostly. Or bad capacitors. Doesn't happen all that much with digital signal though.
Ha. Technology improves and the spirits vanish. Quelle surprise.
__________________
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 6th September 2019, 02:59 PM   #77
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18,944
Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Reflection off glass?
Nope, they were right there in that location. No refelections involved. One camera and two kids. No other apparatus involved.

Except for a tripod. That is a huge hint.
__________________
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 6th September 2019, 03:07 PM   #78
kellyb
Penultimate Amazing
 
kellyb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 11,610
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Nope, they were right there in that location. No refelections involved. One camera and two kids. No other apparatus involved.

Except for a tripod. That is a huge hint.
I don't see how a tripod makes a difference.

I'm stumped!

Will you explain it?
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts ~ Bertrand Russell
I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend.
kellyb 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 6th September 2019, 03:13 PM   #79
P.J. Denyer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,597
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Nope, they were right there in that location. No refelections involved. One camera and two kids. No other apparatus involved.

Except for a tripod. That is a huge hint.
Is a very long exposure involved?
__________________
"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 6th September 2019, 03:22 PM   #80
AmyW
Scholar
 
AmyW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 110
Wow, can our brains really hallucinate like that and actually see things that aren't there?
AmyW 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 06:02 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, 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.