So If Ghosts Were Proven to Be Real

Yep. OK, there are ghosts, but what the fuck do you mean when you say “ghosts”?

Like, for instance, Santa Claus is real. Turns out the real Santa Claus was a Bishop in the city of Myra in the ancient Roman Empire. He was once rumored to have given a gift of gold to some people.

So, now that we know Santa Claus is real, it turns out that he’s just some old dead guy who lived a long time ago. All the other stuff that we thought would happen when we learned Santa Claus is real–like, you know, flying reindeer, a factory at the North Pole, presents to good little boys and girls–that stuff isn’t real. That’s just legend. So, if ghosts are real, are they still interesting, or is it just something stupid like finding out Saint Nicholas was a real person back in ancient Rome?

Couple of things:

  1. The cool thing about science is that it can be proven wrong. That’s what makes it science. Everything is up for debate - including whether ghosts are real or not.

  2. If somebody proves that ghosts are real, think about all the amazing questions that we could then investigate! Ghost-ology (or whatever) would be a whole legitimate realm of science with papers and classes and experiments and all that. Cool!

If ghosts were sentient and communicative about the afterlife, imagine the implications for religions . . .

Or it could be like in Harry Potter. Harry asks the ghost Nearly-Headless Nick about the afterlife because he wants to know about his parents, and Nick says he has no idea. Ghosts don’t know anything about the afterlife because they’re the people who failed to go on to the afterlife.

OMG, you just gave me a horrible vision.

Let’s say ghosts are real, and scientists figure out how they work, and can replicate the effect at will. You know what would be the first thing they’ll make?*


Ads walking through your bedroom at night! Ads in dark hallways! It’ll be hell on earth. You bet we’ll need to block them.
*OK the first thing they’ll make is ghost porn. But the second would be ads.

As far as ghosts are concerned, we’re the porn.

Not ghost ads, spirit spam.

Actually, it sounds like you’d be dynamic.

Ghosts aren’t permanent though. Or maybe it’s just a matter of recording. The oldest must be of Roman soldiers still marching in a cellar in Italy.

Or cave men ghosts.
Or earliest bacterial life ghosts.

AHA! So that’s what “rods” really are. Bacteria ghosts. It all fits!

What exactly are the ‘ghosts’ that are proven real, and specifically what properties do they have? People use the word ‘ghosts’ to mean anything from ‘smears of light in a picture’ to ‘a non-corporeal being that is fully sentient and can interact with the real world in a variety of ways’, so it’s a pretty broad category.

The way I figure, if people are coming out of the other end of an encounter with it breathing, non-possessed, and not covered in slime, then it’s not a ghost worthy of the name.

OK – add “serious skeptic” and that was basically the boat I found myself in. It really didn’t change my view or opinions much at all. Most haunts are crap, Armstrong really did walk on the moon, and Oswald may or may not have acted alone; who knows. No-one has ever been probed by an alien and Loch Ness is just a damn pretty lake. About the only difference is a slight willingness to admit that I could be wrong but I seriously doubt that I am.

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

Now, if it turns out that ghosts using homeopathy can cure cancer, then I give up.

If ghosts are real it wouldn’t make much difference. Ghosts would still be rarely encountered, and unreliable sources of information. If the result is some better understanding of what ghosts are and how to communicate with them it might make some difference. Otherwise it’s no different than saying dreams are real but exist only while you sleep, or that TV shows are real but occurring in some universe that is unreachable except at scheduled air times. Ghosts may as well be real now to people who believe they are.