Ghost Busted?

(via wikipedia)

I spent the last few days trying to decide what topic I should talk about in my first post here. Should it be a political topic? Healthcare? Science in the media? Well, my pondering quickly came to an end when I saw a post by one of my favourite DC bloggers, Prince of Petworth. It’s a guest post so he didn’t actually write it. The post is titled “John on the D.C. Metro Area Ghost Watchers.” Oh no.

I really want to say that the post isn’t that bad, but I can’t. Example:

“The D.C. area in particular has a lot of folklore and history around hauntings. Some people believe that Abraham Lincoln haunts the White House. There is also supposedly a demon cat near Congress that predicts doom.”

Yup. A demon cat that predicts doom. And then there is this complete lack of understanding of physics:

“The body runs on electrical current and, according to Einstein, you can neither create nor destroy energy. When you die, all of that energy has to go somewhere, so we look for that.”

When you turn off your TV, the energy in it has to go somewhere, and that is how you get ghost TVs roaming around your house. The body creates this “electrical current” through chemical reactions. Those “electrical currents” are then converted into other types of energy. It’s naive to think that the energy is released in some kind of spirit form. These chemical processes stop when we die. Wouldn’t that mean the body no longer creates electricity? 

I also like how he name drops Einstein. This has been done many times before, often with hilarious results. It’s a really bad version of the “argument from authority” logical fallacy.

I should also point out that the dude in the PoP picture is holding a Geiger counter. I have that same model. Its surplus from the 60s (maybe 50s). I got it for around $20 on eBay a few years ago. Not sure what it has to do with ghost hunting though. Maybe his website will tell us more!

Lets check it out:

“DCMAG has conducted over 125 official investigations since its beginnings, and never charges for an investigation.  DCMAG is professional, discrete and 100% law-abiding. We are also a scientific-based group that makes our decisions based on fact and evidence that we have found in our investigation.”

It makes me happy that they don’t charge. I might write an angry letter (or at least think about writing an angry letter) if they charged for their service. I am wondering about their claim that they are a “scientific-based” group. Ideally, they should not be looking for ghosts, but for the simplest possible explanation. Take orbs for example (the second picture here). It’s a ghost!!!!!!

Or…maybe not. What about a dust particle reflecting the camera flash. Seems like a much simpler explanation, and it is based in reality. Also notice that in that same photo there is a shadow on the wall, but there is nothing to cast a shadow!!!1!!!1! It must be aliens!

I really like “Amomoly #3” too. I’m not even sure what that was supposed to be a photo of. I see a blurry white thing on a blurry dark thing. Obvious proof of ghosts.

I have had many fun adventures driving around with my friends exploring “haunted” areas and mostly scaring ourselves. But that is all it is. That is all the show Ghost Hunters is. People running around scaring themselves. And bad photography. A lot of bad photography.

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