We have all seen those ghost hunting shows. They go around searching for something that isn't their and when they hear something and/or see something they claim it to be a ghost. But the shows just might be faked. Now that isn't much of a surprise considering it is meant for entertainment and not for educational purposes (although some people might watch them to learn how to catch a ghost). They can fake the EVPs, ghost sightings caught on camera, and my favorite the orbs. Most (but not all) religious people believe orbs to be little balls of light indicating a spirit but of course that's not what it is at all but rather it is just balls of dust that light can reflect off of or a bug flying through the air. They might see some mist swift by there camera and claim that to be a spirit when really its just dust.
Most haunting shows are obviously over exaggerated (like for example: A haunting) they use their spooky Halloween voice to explain what might be happening and describe it as being the most horrifying thing on this planet when in reality their isn't anything that scary going on. They have people being choked, thrown by an invisible being, scratched, etc. The show is mostly (if not all) scripted.
Now some Ghost hunting shows might look to debunk something they have heard or have seen (for example: Ghost hunters- TAPS) and some automatically assume it to be a ghost (for example: Ghost adventures).
People are so quick to believe everything these shows say is true others might question everything about these sort of shows. I want to get your opinions about this sort of thing. Why are these shows believed to have real accounts of some ghostly sighting when most of them can easily be debunked? Are the ghost hunting shows sincere? Why do most haunting shows have to tell people that "These are real people with real accounts" instead of letting the audience decide for themselves on whether its true or not.
Religious people believe in a ghost - and that way they open the door for belief in other things that go BUMP in the night. They could start debunking, but then they might as wel debunk their god. So religious people don't want to debunk, and they remain in fear.
You are exactly right, Chris. I remember the time we were "ghost hunting" in a cemetery in the country over 40 years ago. Somebody saw something at a tombstone and they all jumped in the car and almost ran off and left me. Later they were all upset because I told them I didn't see anything! Gee, I wonder what could be by a tombstone way out in the country?
As for lights, you will see them. This is all the "proof" that many people need, but it isn't always like you think in pictures or on film. An old episode of "Unsolved Mysteries" had a convincing UFO caught on VHS tape until a wise man came forward and claimed it was simply an out of focus camera. He duplicated the feat exactly as we watched it. I was impressed.
Then all of these people are searching for "Bigfoot" and they go out in the woods and howl. Something howls back and they claim it is Bigfoot. Have they not heard of dogs or wolves? Anybody could "howl" in the dark of night and make this happen.
Lastly, I might say that just yesterday in broad daylight I heard footsteps coming up the long walkway of my porch. I went to the door and looked outside to see that nobody was there. What does this mean? It's pretty simple really. It is sound dis-association. It means the sounds I heard actually came from some place else, possibly my neighbors. (For those who wouldn't believe that, I suppose they wouldn't believe a jet plane breaking the sound barrier either.)
If you play games and say "knock, knock. Splitfoot are you there" it proves that you believe already.
Have you heard of James Randi? He debunks this sort of superstitious nonsense.
Let me link his website
Yes I have heard of him. He is cool.
Yes! Years ago, when Randi debunked Uri Geller's "psychic" effects such as bending spoons and stopping watches, he pointed out he couldn't definitively prove that Geller's TV appearances weren't using psychic powers, but demonstrated that it's so easy to do by sleight of hand, that "if he's using mind power, he's doing it the hard way!"
Why are these shows believed to have real accounts of some ghostly sighting when most of them can easily be debunked? Actually, it's very simple.
Make a show for people who want to believe this BS in the first place. Repeatedly use rhetorical questions such as "Could it be possible that....." or "We know the gruesome deed was done here 100 years ago. Is this the sound of the long haunted soul waiting to be released?" When, in fact, it's the sound of bad plumbing. Add some grade B acting and cheap effects in the mix, and Voila, you too can sell toothpaste, Chevy trucks, and laundry detergent during the commercial breaks. These shows are about as sincere as a carnival sideshow featuring the half-man/half-chicken monster. They're designed for rubes. And, like any good hucksters, you have to tell the rubes what to think.
Exactly correct, Pat. Even the Science channel seems to use these tactics rather than give us any real facts to go on. That's sad but entertains people.
A popular movie called "The Conjuring" is supposedly based on real life investigations done by the Warrens into psychic phenomena but doesn't move me much. It starts out with people discussing the positions they find that a doll had been left in, and these positions keep on changing. Later they know that they could not dismiss it, so something was really happening here. Really. Why didn't our real live media report it rather than Hollywood story tellers?
Years ago when I dropped my Fate Magazine subscription they had a story about a girl and a spirit that threw water on the walls. Supposedly true, the writers said "even though we had caught the girl throwing the water before, that did not explain it this time." I never finished the story and I dropped the magazine. It explained it all to me very well.
Want to read good stories about phenomena? Try the Skeptical Enquirer.
Aren't we atheists more skeptical by nature? I don't believe in ghost and things that go bump in the night are, as you've pointed out, usually the plumming,house settling, whatever else. It's always the money. I remember the hype over The Blair Witch Project. Just a way to make money.
I know someone who's an atheist, rather scornful of religion, but at least half believes in ghosts.
Tales grow, and if you take them literally in their grown state, they are impressive.
I will admit, I have never wasted my time watching ANY ghost-hunter show [I DID see Ghostbusters, but that's another matter!]. Have to say, too, if I was going to go about scoping out a haunted house, you don't want to guess at the thoroughness I would indulge in, from infrared cameras, cross-covering all angles and blind spots, with dedicated recorders to motion sensors, with a correlating display to integrate everything. Expensive? Sure, but you either go serious here or go home. Further, I would NOT have people walking the halls once the setup was done! Cam and sensor coverage would be thorough enough to capture any event, and if I had to cover the HVAC system (ducting, particularly, but also crawlspaces and the like), then it gets done.
I am sick to death of the bullshit that is pandered as "ghost-hunting," never mind the devolution of the Sy-Fy network (which used to be at least half-decent). Debunking them would be a pleasure.
Ghostbusters. Great movie, especially the dialogue where the character played by Ernie Hudson is being interviewed for the job.
Secretary: Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis?
Ernie Hudson: Ah, if there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say.