On Ghost Hunters

the-demon-haunted-world-hcrdpnlcPumpkin ale and scary tales aren’t the only things which come around this season. Have you heard a strange bump in the night? Perhaps a door mysteriously opened or slammed shut? Or maybe your druidic harvest ritual backfired, summoning an ancient elder thing that is tormenting your life? So what do you do? My advice, read Carl Sagan’s Demon Haunted World.

This is recently inspired by The Conjuring

A film which has the Warrens as protagonists and claims to be based on a true story. Now, it’s not a bad flick. Hell, the first half is actually a good example of how a horror movie should be directed. But I’ll tell you the most fictional aspect of it: the skepticism of ghost hunters and paranormal researchers.

The-ConjuringI’m no stranger to the weird — having heard, seen, and experienced things I’ll probably never understand. I’ve read books on transcendental Kabbalistic magic, hippy dippy quantum Akashic hokum, and had my fill of religion. But I’m a man who can sleep in the dark because I’m a man of science.

Whether or not paranormal anomalous occurrences truly happen isn’t what I want to debate. When I ponder all the interactive possibilities in a reality with multiverses and higher spatial dimensions, it wouldn’t surprise me if strange things weren’t just hallucinations, misunderstandings of the mundane, trickery, or merely made up. No, my problem is with “experts” in the unknown and pseudoscience.

The modern ghost hunter has little or no respect for the old ways. You won’t find pentangles, salts, divining stones, or anything else to do with the mysterious, far more interesting occult in their backpacks. The pagan superstitions that have laid the foundation for their religions or demon dictionaries is thrown to the wayside for pretend science.

If I remember right, it was Penn Jillet who said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “if you’re going to go nuts, go Dungeons and Dragons with it.” And I can respect that level of dedication a lot more. But I can’t help but laugh when I hear them talk about how scientific and skeptical they think they’re being.

imagesReal science isn’t a few hours in a dark house with an IR cam. A scientific experiment has controls, control groups, a working hypothesis, and can be repeated by anyone. Yeah, they’ve gotten a bit better over the years. I’m glad most of them stopped pointing out reflections on dust particles or bugs on camera lenses as spirits, but they’re still a long way off from doing anything academically / intellectually respectable and honest.

Instead of stepping up to the plate and getting the education and credentials to help their investigations to be taken seriously, they’d rather play the victim to a bullying scientific crowd that rejects their good evidence because it contradicts a materialistic “dogma.” Well I’m sorry, but a video tape of something barely visible with added background music and spooky sound effects isn’t, and never will be, good, scientific evidence for anything. This goes doubly so for amplified, otherwise inaudible, background sounds and EMF fluctuations from unknown utility sources.

And I do have a problem with somebody telling someone else their house is haunted. I see a lot of vulnerable and mentally emotionally unstable people on these paranormal shows. And Instead of getting a much needed dose of reality or an appointment booked with a doctor, they are getting exorcisms, blessings, or, in the very least, their dysfunctional mindsets validated.

My advice to anyone who thinks their house is haunted, call in actual skeptics. Anyone can run a digital camera, but somebody with a rational mindset and training in logic is infinitely more valuable to the investigative process than a group of people with far too much time on their hands and little talent to do anything actually worthwhile.

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