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Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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After centuries of written accounts cocerning people seeing ghosts and over a hundred years of people taking an active interest in researching them, what do we actually know about ghosts and hauntings?

Can we identify what is absolute fact and accepted about ghosts rather than just theory wrapped up as fact?

Red Don's picture
Red Don
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Re: Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings

It is a fact that people report having experiences of a haunting nature, which some times include the appearance of apparitions.

It is a fact that these have been reported for hundreds of years.

I'm not sure, but I think most of the other stuff we know about ghosts maybe just theory.

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Ian Topham
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Re: Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings

We can go further than that.  Experiences, according to witness reports are not restricted to a given time of day, lighting conditions, or type of location.  They have also been reported by numerous people over many cultures and over a large spread of ages. 

However, can we say that anyone can see a ghost?  Not sure yet.

Mysteryshopper
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Re: Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings

There is quite a lot known about hauntings and ghost sightings. There is a summary of much of here. Sorry to use a link but it was quicker than listing the info.

Mauro
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Re: Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings

Very good read, thank.

In Distortion We Trust

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-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Ian Topham
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Re: Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings

That is a great link Mysteryshopper and covers all I hoped would come out of this post.

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BaronIveagh
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Re: Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings

Not really sure I agree with some of it, for example the implication that people who see a ghost don't see the same thing, and (under hauntings) ones that do are under the effect of suggestion, rings hollow for me. 

Occam's razor: if they say they saw the same thing, then it seems more likely to me that they saw that same thing rather then resorting to the power of suggestion.  Not that it probably dosn't happen, but to make a blanket statement like that seems foolish.

To me it seems that the author leans in the direction of ghosts/hauntings as purly mental occurances, even if they don't come out and say it.

Summum Nec Metuam Diem Nec Optima

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Ian Topham
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Re: Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings
BaronIveagh wrote:

Not really sure I agree with some of it, for example the implication that people who see a ghost don't see the same thing, and (under hauntings) ones that do are under the effect of suggestion, rings hollow for me. 

I must admit that in my experience I think I would have to disagree with you here Baron as I am not sure witnesses do see exactly the same thing.  Even when I witnessed an apparition with a fellow investigator in controlled conditions, after being immediately seperated and interviewed we gave slightly differant descriptions of the the thing we both saw.

The idea of creating a list of absolute facts was to identify what we now know to aid in future investigations.  Maybe though pthis oint is not an absolute fact and should be flagged up for future research should the opportunity arise.

Mysteryshopper
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Re: Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings
BaronIveagh wrote:

Not really sure I agree with some of it, for example the implication that people who see a ghost don't see the same thing, and (under hauntings) ones that do are under the effect of suggestion, rings hollow for me. 

In the cases I've looked at, witnesses rarely agree precisely with what they report, unless they have been talking about it with each other. This is also true of when non-paranormal events, like accidents, have multiple witnesses. It would be odder if everyone saw things exactly the same way.

In some cases witnesses can differ markedly in what they see with one person seeing a ghost while someone next to them sees nothing. It is what happens in cases. What it means is open to individual interpretation.

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Ian Topham
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Re: Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings

If something is open to interpretation can it truly be an absolute fact?  I took some quotes from afore mentioned article on the ASSAP website supplied by Mysteryshopper.  For each numbered point below, how would you rate your agreement on a scale of 1-10 (1 being total disagreement and 10 being agreement and that it is an accepted fact).

Note these quotes do not the article justice and I do recommend you read it thoroughly.

1)      Ghosts can be seen at all times of the day or night and any time of year.
2)      Ghostly encounters are usually brief.
3)      Ghost can be seen anywhere.
4)      Many ghost reports are one-offs, not associated with any pre-existing haunting.
5)      Ghosts usually appear as clothed figures.
6)      Ghosts are not usually surrounded or accompanied by any background scenery.
7)     Most ghosts look like normal people - not transparent, or glowing.
8)      Ghosts  often vanish spontaneously or occasionally walk into walls
9)      There are dark figures, reported as shadow ghosts. These are very often seen in peripheral vision, sometimes moving.
10)  Apparitions appear not to interact (or communicate) with witnesses or even their physical surroundings
11)   Few ghosts are readily identifiable to a real individual, past or present.
12)  Ghosts appear not to affect their surroundings, apart from being visible to witnesses.
13)  Though object movement is a common symptom of hauntings, ghosts are not observed actually moving anything.
14)  The evidence that ghosts can be photographed appears thin to non-existent.
15)  Most ghosts are seen by a single witness. Where there are multiple witnesses present, some may see the ghost and others not. Rarely do all the witnesses see exactly the same thing.
16)  Many ghosts are not recognised as such at the time they are witnessed.
17)  Hauntings almost invariably show no obvious purpose. There is no evidence of any intelligence behind them.

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Red Don
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Re: Absolute Facts: Ghosts/Hauntings

1) Ghosts can be seen at all times of the day or night and any time of year. -  10
2) Ghostly encounters are usually brief.  - As the norm, I would say yes, but not all are brief are they? 8
3) Ghost can be seen anywhere.- 10
4) Many ghost reports are one-offs, not associated with any pre-existing haunting. - 7
5) Ghosts usually appear as clothed figures.  - 7 Not all ghosts are people, but most are.
6) Ghosts are not usually surrounded or accompanied by any background scenery. - 10
7) Most ghosts look like normal people - not transparent, or glowing. - 8
8) Ghosts often vanish spontaneously or occasionally walk into walls - 10
9) There are dark figures, reported as shadow ghosts. These are very often seen in peripheral vision, sometimes moving. - 9
10) Apparitions appear not to interact (or communicate) with witnesses or even their physical surroundings - 10
11) Few ghosts are readily identifiable to a real individual, past or present. - 10
12) Ghosts appear not to affect their surroundings, apart from being visible to witnesses. - 10
13) Though object movement is a common symptom of hauntings, ghosts are not observed actually moving anything. - 10
14) The evidence that ghosts can be photographed appears thin to non-existent. - 10
15) Most ghosts are seen by a single witness. Where there are multiple witnesses present, some may see the ghost and others not. Rarely do all the witnesses see exactly the same thing. - I don't know enough to comment.
16) Many ghosts are not recognised as such at the time they are witnessed. - 10
17) Hauntings almost invariably show no obvious purpose. There is no evidence of any intelligence behind them. - 10

It would be easier to score if you made the statements less broad.  Rather than 'Most ghosts look like normal people' have 'All ghosts look like normal people' or maybe '80% of ghosts look like normal people'.



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