Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What's Wrong With Ghost Hunting?

In a blog post from the Tucson Citizen, paranormalist Cherlyn Gardner-Strong addresses concerns espoused in a recent Skeptical Inquirer article about what is wrong with modern ghost hunting methodologies.

As you can read in various posts on this site, I have much to say on the matter. Read Gardner-Strong's post and tell me what you think. I agree with her in some places, and in others, I think she may be equally guilty of buying into some of the ghost hunting hype.

Let me know your thoughts.

4 comments:

MARILYN A. HUDSON, MLIS said...

Many of her comments and observations are 'spot on'. She offers some intriguing possibilities including the blind and multiple investigation approaches. If used, I would see an onslaught of documentaries covering the three and then combining them in one final presentation package. Those who pursue ghost hunting often do so from four perspectives: debunkers, believers, open-minded curiosity and curiosity/thrill seekers. Self-identification of motivations for a group is the first step to increased fact based results. If you are a thrill seeker - get the t-shirts, go dark and have fun. If you are a debunker make up your mind and go with it. If you are open minded, well then do some solid science-fact based, repeatable investigations; if a believer well join with others, hold hands an vibrate together and urge those pesky ghosts to go into the light and stop messing around!

Elgart said...

Ghost hunting is really different nowadays. I am fascinated by paranormal stories and trying to test my ability on it. It is really normal to me to feel strange when I am alone in the dark.

Diana Celesky said...

What is the intention behind one's ghost-hunting? Is it merely to get a feeling one way or another as to whether ghosts do in fact exist? Is it for the thrill of it? Is it to help someone get rid of the ghost(s) on the property? Is it to help a spirit move on to the next step of his/her journey? Whatever your intention is with the ghost-hunting project (as with any other goal) helps shape what you find and how you will perceive it. Perception is everything. Whatever your intention, be careful what you wish for. Do you really want to come into contact with a disembodied spirit? Are you ready for that experience? Are you aware, like Einstein taught us, that everything is energy, and energy cannot be destroyed? That energy may remain with you once you leave the property. Sound scary? It can be. It's nothing as extreme as having your head spin around your neck, as Hollywood might want us to believe, but, nevertheless, the symptoms can be rather unpleasant, be they physical, mental or emotional. I've had to remove spirit attachments from myself and from others. I've regularly experienced contact with spirits, ghosts, or whatever you want to call these energies without bodies, all of my life. This was not a conscious decision on my part. It's been a blessing, and, yes, at times, it's also seemed like a curse. Whether you believe me or not doesn't matter to me. I only hope that you know that once you open that ghostly/spiritual door, it sometimes cannot easily be closed. Whether you utilize the latest scientifically-approved machinery and techniques or more human-based radar, I wish you luck and whatever outcome you desire. Just please be mindful of what you're doing, why you're doing it, and know that just because you've left a ghostly site doesn't necessarily mean that the ghost(s) have left you. Set your intention; do your research, take precautions and enjoy your ghost-hunting experience.

Cullan Hudson said...

Diana: There are NO "scientifically-approved machinery" in ghost hunting. There are gadgets and gizmos. Do they have validity? Probably not, but there are no data to conclude either way. I recommend that anyone interested in studying these phenomena avoid the how-to books and the TV shows and to not join local groups. These are intellectual wastelands that will hamper serious inquiry. Instead, one should familiarize himself with the precepts of proper scientific investigation and move forward from there.

As to your other points, I cannot argue what are experientally subjective events. However, I can attest to the fact that not once, in a multitude of haunted locales, have I experienced anything I might describe as sinister, evil, or frightening. Nor has anything "followed me home". I am not of a mind to believe in the Judeo-Christian pantheon of demons (borrowed from older Sumerian, Babylonian, and Akkadian traditions). I work under the hypothesis that what we call ghosts and hauntings are, in fact, various discrete phenomena with several explanations. The least likely of which would be spirits of the deceased.

As to the science: the Conservation of Mass-Energy states, in general terms, that Mass/Energy can neither be created nor destroyed in closed systems. Energy in gasoline become kinetic energy that moves the vehicle; braking coverts this kinetic energy into heat energy, which heats the surrounding air...

Moreover, when a body dies, its stored energy then becomes food for whatever feasts upon it (see Entropy). It's not as if a burst of energy sublimates into the ether as a ghost.