Ah Halloween, tis the time for things that go bump in the night. Spirits that are meant to haunt a particular area have been a popular myth for quite some time, no wonder as it’s a captivating thought. Like all such things however it can be easy to become blinded to rational explanations in the search to validate personal experience. This in part has lead to the growing pastime, and indeed industry, of ghost hunting. The practice of ghost hunting has been criticized as being in reality “Anomaly Hunting” in other words a large amount of data is collected and then sifted through for things that are not readily explained, these artifacts or anomalies are then attributed to ghosts.

It is currently fashionable to load up with all sorts of electronic equipment to track down those elusive ephemera. It has also meant the proliferation of all sorts of artifacts meant to prove the existence of ghosts such as EVP, photos of orbs and streaks, temperature fluctuations and electromagnetic readings, to name the most cited examples. These attempts at proofs are guilty of ignoring the fact that this equipment was not designed for the task it has been pressed into service for and it is not adequately explained what principles are used to justify it’s use. Ultimately the arguments boil down to the Argument from Ignorance (Ad Ignorantium in it’s pretentious Latin guise) or, we don’t know what it is therefore it’s ghosts.

We don’t need to go into the logical problems and inconsistencies of ghosts (come on, walk through walls but not fall through the floor?) , ghosts are a great way to have fun. Who doesn’t love a good ghost story or scary movie? It is enough that they are entertainment, there is no requirement that we should put our critical thinking capacity permanently on hold for them. Still, it’s always good to have a good flashlight on those walks through the inky night. BOO!

Resources

Credulous: http://www.ghosts-uk.net/

Reality: http://www.limk.com/english/limk/13500/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Amityville_Horror ; Refuted

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_5_30/ai_n16714526

http://www.ghost-mart.com/ -For the discerning Ghost Hunter.