The Science of Ghosts Wooowhat do you believe?

It’s nearly Halloween.  We know you are as excited as us about being haunted!  But hang on a min, what about those pesky scientists who say “NO” ?   Some of them seem hell-bent on taking away our ghosts.

Throughout history ghosts are a feature across all cultures.  How can we explain all the sightings and hauntings if they’re not real?  So many people cannot be wrong can they?

Scientists and rationalists have been debunking ghosts for a long time.  Here’s some of their explanations.  Which do think is the most plausible?  The science or the paranormal?

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Cold Spots

Cold spots are when you when you walk through a building and suddenly you feel cold.  Then you move on and it returns to normal.  That’s a ghost.  Ghosts draw energy from their surrounds, so the environment suddenly feels cold.  Or else it’s a draught.  You decide!

Mold

Yes, mold, would you believe it.  There are molds that can affect us physically and, it turns out, mentally too.  There’s some research that suggests some molds can cause dementia type symptoms and irrationality.  The research is a very long way from proving anything, but there’s some evidence that these kinds of molds exist in “haunted” buildings.

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Orbs

Orbs are the spirits of dead people.  You knew that right?  They’re the ones that have gone but not quite crossed over yet.  They show as glowing circles of light.  They can only be seen in photographs.  Ahh, you say…. And yes, even fervent believers have a hard time believing those.  Get your camera sorted!

Magnetic fields

There’s magnetic fields everywhere.  If an unusual magnetic field occurs, it may well affect the brain.  It might feel like a ‘presence’.  Tests have been done where people were exposed to unusual magnetic fields and asked if they felt anything. Some scientists have found unusual magnetic fields present in ‘haunted’ places.  But other scientists have argued that it all comes down to the power of suggestion.  If someone says you might feel a presence, you’re more likely to feel a presence.  Which end are you most attracted to?  See what I did there?

 The Power of Suggestion

A 2014 study by phychologists at Goldsmiths University in London conducted tests on participants which showed that the power of suggestion is very strong.  They paired participants up to watch videos of paranormal events, but one of the pair was always a plant.  The plants were working with the researchers.  When reporting back, if the plant reported that they saw paranormal occurrences, so would the real participant.  If the plant said no, then so did the real participant.

Ouija Board and Table Tilting – Even true believers know that there’s always been con-men involved in the Spiritualist movement.  But surely not all Ouija board and Table Tilting is fraudulent ?  At the height of Spiritualist popularity, in the mid 19th Century, physicist Michael Faraday said not.  What he showed was that something far more interesting than fraud.  He did a series of tests and experiments.  What he found was the Ideomotor phenomenon.  That’s when the body reacts to ideas without us being conscious of it.  It happens in response to pain, but it can also happen in response to ideas.  So if the participants really believed that table would tilt in a certain way, they may have subconsciously tilted it.

Ghosts

Do you believe in ghosts?

So there you have it.  Ghosts are mold, magnetic fields, draughts, or our overactive imaginations.  Or are they?  What do you think?  Woooooooooooo…

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