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Do ghosts exist?

  1. Sep 18, 2010 #1
    What I really wanna know is are ghosts real? Do ghosts exist? I got really freaked out after my friend said his friend can see them (like dead people, especially in graveyards), and once his friend was standing next to a stranger and they could both see the same thing (a ghost obviously).... so that kind of proved they exist... but in some other dimension that only some people can see.... that scared me for years!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2010 #2
    yes this a better forum to post this, thanks.
    Ok, well, I dont have much personal evidence for ghosts, but I think there is plenty in the world - a lot of people claim they have seen ghosts, there's footage, and certain places are 'haunted'.... are all these fake?
    If not, what are ghosts? and do all life have ghosts?

    I used to think: if I think there are no ghosts then I will start seeing them (like tempting fate?) but recently I've tried to be 'brave' and think they dont exist, and I havent seen one yet...
    and I've been thinking, if all living things left ghosts, then the world wouldnt even have enough space for them! So that made me less scared...

    yes, I'm a little neurotic...
  4. Sep 18, 2010 #3
    What's more likely, ghosts existing or liars existing?
    Even if they aren't lying, why do you assume people could accurately identify a ghost once they've seen one?
    Be wary of anyone who says they saw a ghost. If they're confident what they saw was a ghost, you can be confident they're full of it.
    How many people say they've seen ghosts? Thousands. How many people are capable of lying or being mistaken? Almost 7 billion.
  5. Sep 18, 2010 #4
    I must say, every piece of evidence I've seen for ghosts hasn't stood up to even the slightest scrutiny.

    Some videos of them look really believable, but most come from tv shows, and if they're on tv (ghost hunters, most haunted etc) the odds are it was staged to get more viewing figures.

    If you could completely seal off a supposed haunted house and then perform scientific analysis under strict testing conditions, and then a video was captured of a figure (or anything out of the ordinary that can't be explained), I'd be inclined to start taking them more seriously, but so far, it hasn't happened and no credible evidence (evidence that can be recreated) exists.
  6. Sep 18, 2010 #5
    :) ok I'm starting to feel a bit better. I used to be scared of seeing the girl from the ring come out of my tv... I know its stupid but I was really scared! and I used to be scared of seeing dead people in mirrors... and behind the shower curtain... and in the toilet... and behind any doorway or wall that I cant see past... seriously! It was horrible!
  7. Sep 18, 2010 #6
    I cannot state categorically that ghosts do not exist. I can merely state that most people do not see ghosts, and that to date no credible evidence exists which supports the existance of ghosts.
  8. Sep 18, 2010 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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  9. Sep 18, 2010 #8
    ah I did not come across that thread in my search. thanks!
  10. Sep 18, 2010 #9
    I personally asked myself this question 4 years ago as I wanted to know if is a true aspect of reality or not as our ability to obtain scientific evidence of ghosts is limited by our level of knowledge and technology. (Science has come a long way over the past century and is certain to continue to advance significantly over the next century and into the distant future - therefore we should not assume that our current level of scientific knowledge is a 100% accurate and complete understanding of the universe we live in.)

    The method I used to obtain knowledge on the subject of ghosts (since most scientists either ignore the subject or aren't able to obtain funding there isn't going to be much scientific evidence of ghosts if they are indeed real) was simply to read as many ghost stories that I could find, and ghosts.org has nearly 1,600 ghost stories available for anyone to read. What I did was read several hundred stories and took notes of the details that I felt may be evidence of the presence of any ghosts as I feel that if ghosts are real than there should be seemingly mundane details that are evident across a reasonable number of stories from different people, but if these stories are detailing things that just appear to be ghosts or are entirely fictional then the details will either suggest something else as the cause or there will be little correlation between the details in the stories.

    As far as your fears go, I would encourage you to face your fears and seek as much knowledge as possible about those things you are afraid of as it is quite often that our fears are based on a lack of knowledge, and educating ourselves helps us overcome those irrational fears. (One bit of advice that might help if you are interested in reading the ghost stories at the site I linked is that it should help if you pay less attention to the people and the events in the stories [otherwise your emotions are more likely to run wild] and pay more attention to the details that may be indicative of the presence of a ghost. This is the approach I used and I barely found any of the stories to be scary. I also read the stories with the assumption that they're just stories and not actual events, which I'm sure also helped keep me calm. Though I was saddened by a number of the stories [this one especially] as they do involve death.)
  11. Sep 19, 2010 #10
    Um, thanks eupeptic, but I dont think I'm ready to do that just yet! I'll just get more freaked out... and wont be able to do anything by myself... lol.
    So after your reading what did you conclude? That there isnt really much evidence for ghosts?
  12. Sep 21, 2010 #11


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    I certainly wouldn't take you friend's friend's word for it. His claim is easily testable since I can also see ghosts. I will observe a ghost, and then allow your friend's friend see it. If he describes the same ghost, then we know he can see it.

    <<smirk>> I'm terribly sorry, this is all incredibly silly. But I hope you see that I can make the claim just as easily as he can. He might not even be lying, perhaps this friend-of-a-friend has at least gone through the trouble of lying to himself so as to not have to lie to you. Additionally, you are setting a very low threshold for proof here (one person claiming to see something and the other one going "yup" is hardly proof).

    No, there is no reason to postulate the ethereal existence of ghosts as they are commonly understood. I loooove ghost shows: Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, and Destination Truth to name a few. These shows offer great entertainment value, but the scientific content is null.

    You should remind yourself strongly that if you were to encounter a real ghost, you should feel like the luckiest person alive. I would welcome the experience to the highest degree. Furthermore, you should not be scared it all: the number of people injured by ghosts is still zero. (The number of people injured in the pursuit of ghosts, however...)
  13. Sep 21, 2010 #12
    yeah! I've never thought about this, but you never see in the news that someone was actually hurt by a ghost! yeah it must not happen very often at all cos otherwise we would all hear of it! yeah and the government doesnt see it as a risk to life - we're never taught how to protect ourselves against ghosts! If I ever get hurt by a ghost I'm complaining to my education system...
  14. Sep 21, 2010 #13
    "(The number of people injured in the pursuit of ghosts, however...)"

    That's still something that makes me wonder. Why do ghost hunters feel the need to go to such dangerous places (old dilapidated buildings seem to be the favourite - particularly hospitals - ooh and sanitariums, something about the name I suppose???).

    They give all that "it's the best place to have spirits appear" talk, but if ghosts truly existed then sitting at home would give just as much chance of them appearing. (I somehow doubt the ground I sit on now has never seen some form of death - human or otherwise, after all why should only humans have spirits?)
  15. Sep 21, 2010 #14
    1) Happen very often? Try never.

    2) See what as a risk to life? If it doesn't exist, how can it prove a threat to life? A ghost poses no more of a threat to human life than the chance of being impaled by a unicorn.

    3) You can only defend against something that poses a real threat.
  16. Sep 21, 2010 #15
    Do you know what I think it is? People scare themselves to death! Cos I can see how it could happen to me if left unchecked - like people who believe in ghosts would see ghosts in their mind, and their brain could trick them in to thinking they see a real ghost, and then they would be so shocked and scared that they could actually hurt themselves...
    I mean as in if someone said they were actually hurt by a ghost, this is how it could happen.
  17. Sep 21, 2010 #16
    I can't and wont say ghosts do or don't exist. But I do know that recently, I saw something that can only best be described as "paranormal". I still don't believe in ghosts, OR paranormal, but my world of understanding has been turned upside down. Maybe there aren't ghosts. Maybe there ARE ghosts, and only .00001% of the population can see them. How do you prove, either way? Scientifically, I don't think you can. I believe it currently impossible.

    I could tell you my story, but since you said
    I'll pass! :biggrin:

    But even if they DO exist, I think you are safe sleeping at night, they aren't scary, our brains are. :)
  18. Sep 21, 2010 #17
    what happened!!! I wanna know now! I'm always intruigued by ghosty things and horror movies even though I know they will mess me up!

    Did it really happen? were you in a sound state of mind? (like not drunk/hallucinating)
    What happened??
  19. Sep 21, 2010 #18
    How about I pm you when I get enough time to type up the story? :)

    There were 3 of us, all of us were completely sober, and I was very scientific and methodical in my examining it. And the weirdest part of all, even with all the stories you can read on the internet, this one is unique. We had ghost hunters/paranormal hunters that wanted to come see if we could re create it, but my friend didn't want to. (she freaks out, too)

    I know, I am the devil for making you wait. :D But work beckons.
  20. Sep 21, 2010 #19
    I would say there are definitely ghosts out there, and there is a select group of people that are able to see them and interact with them as well. It would be pretty hard to just make up some of the stories that I have been told within the past few years.
  21. Sep 21, 2010 #20
    Could you prove this or is this just you 'gut feeling'?

    Not really testable so how would you know they aren't making it up?

    It really wouldn't. You'd be surprised at the human imagination. Especially when looking for attention.
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