Skeptics and Why Ghosts Go Missing

Bishop's castle - or palace - Galveston, TX
Bishop’s Palace, Galveston, TX.

Some sites are so haunted, even hard-core skeptics have to admit that something odd is going on.

But, in many cases, vocal, snarky skeptics can drive away ghosts.

Remember that — if you believe in them — ghosts are basically people. What makes ghosts different is this:  They don’t seem to have bodies in this plane of existence.

Other that that, they’ll react the same way that you or I would, when ignored or dismissed.

Have you ever been ignored? Was there a time when someone looked right through you, as if you weren’t there?

Or, do you remember when someone talked about you as if you weren’t in the room?

Young woman, alone.A lot of people experience this at some point, especially as preteens or during their adolescent years.

In most cases, they avoid any situation where they’ll feel snubbed again.

It’s the same with ghosts.

A spirit may be doing his best to be noticed. It may not seem like much, compared with what a person with a body can do.

However, if a skeptic repeatedly ignores him or finds normal explanations for what’s going on, the ghost may feel offended.

If you go to a haunted site and nothing happens, be patient. Perhaps the last visitor to that location was an insensitive skeptic. The ghosts may still be there, but they’re stung by being ignored or even ridiculed.

It may feel silly to talk out loud to a spirit as if he or she were physical. But, maybe that will help the ghost feel more comfortable with you.

Many ghost hunters expect to wait at any haunted site for at least 20 – 45 minutes before anything ghostly happens.

PhotographerSome ghost photographers recommend waiting that long before taking photos, even if ghosts seem obviously present.

Keep in mind that many ghosts may be from time periods when cameras  — especially flash cameras — did not exist. They might be afraid that the camera captures their soul (or a part of it).

It’s worth repeating: Be very patient with ghosts. If ghosts are real, they’ve been traumatized by dying. They may even be in denial about death. Like the lead character in the movie, Heaven Can Wait, maybe they think that they’re entitled to a different outcome.

We can’t be 100% certain about our communications with ghosts. We can’t be certain why they’re here, or why they manifest to some people and not others. We can guess, based on everyday psychology, but many ghosts are profiles in abnormal psychology.

It’s difficult to make generalities about ghosts.

Few ghosts act like they do in fiction, movies, and on some TV shows.  Ghosts may behave one way at one site, and completely differently at another.

They’re individuals.  Remember that.

Keep an open mind and be very patient. If there’s a vocal and insulting skeptic in your group, leave. Come back without him or her, later.

Fiona Broome's adviceI don’t mean a healthy skeptic, or someone who’s keeping an open mind.

I’m always in favor of people using their critical thinking skills, when ghost hunting.

Someone who’s too eager to believe or who jumps at shadows can be a significant problem during an investigation.

The problem is critical, snarky skeptics. That person is a distraction. He or she always has a smart, “logical” answer for everything. His or her mind is locked tight against any possibility that ghosts might be real.

If someone on your team is being rude to the ghosts — and that includes “provoking” or bullying the ghosts — get that person away from the site.

Be as respectful and polite with ghosts as you are with the living. Be compassionate.

That can be the difference between a successful ghost hunt and one that’s disappointing.

EMF Reality Check – Are EMF Spikes Really Ghosts?

At haunted places, many ghost hunters look for spikes in electromagnetic fields (EMF). Those spikes can be detected with devices like EMF meters and hiking compasses.

Are EMF surges ghosts?However, many ghost hunters think the ghosts create the EMF energy.

I’m not certain that’s true.

Let’s assume that humans have at least two parts: a physical body and a spiritual presence.

The spirit lives on, perhaps as a ghost.

But, in life, why don’t those spirits (or the bodies containing them) give off similar EMF energy?

It’s true that the human body contains some measurable electrical charge. Some people believe that bodies responds to magnets.

However, even on the highest setting, EMF meters rarely measure any significant energy spikes caused by a living human body… even a highly emotional one.

The spirit-EMF connection?

A body + spirit does not emit significant EMF spikes.

So, how and why would ghosts create them?

Here are the leading theories:

  1. The body limits the spirit’s ability to generate electromagnetic energy, OR…
  2. A living person’s spirit is not entirely in the vicinity of his or her body. When the spirit becomes whole again after it’s freed from the body, the spirit regains its power… literally. That increased power is measured as EMF energy, OR…
  3. EMF spikes at haunted sites aren’t energy emanating from the ghosts, but from “the other side” as portals open for ghosts to enter our world.

We don’t have enough evidence to know the real answer.

EMF and portals?

I lean towards the idea that EMF spikes indicate open portals.  I’ve talked about this before.

I’m basing that idea on recent studies in quantum physics, especially related to gravity.

Physicists know that gravity is leaking into our world or out of it. No one is sure where the leaks are, or if they’re uniform across the unified field (aka, reality) that we inhabit.

Let’s say that most physicists are right, and parallel universes are real.  Temporary openings between worlds may involve a transference of energy from one side to the other.

Yes, I’m building on speculation. To me, it seems logical that EMF spikes indicate open portals (or doorways) between the worlds.

Of course, if that’s true, it leads to another puzzle: If ghosts are passing through a doorway or portal, it means that they’re not trapped here. In fact, they’re “crossing” back and forth regularly.

Also, I can debunk my theory with this question: If the EMF spike comes from the open portal, how do ghosts use EMF devices (meters, Ovilus, ghost radar, etc.) to communicate with us? Are they opening and closing doors between the worlds, to create the EMF spikes as replies?  That seems preposterous. (Not impossible… just unlikely.)

I’m not sure where this discussion leads, but it’s important to question why we have EMF spikes in haunted locations.


This article is part of the Broome Theory series.

Investigating? Try anything

Remember, we don’t know anything about ghosts. We’re guessing, based on the data we’ve collected scientifically, psychically, spiritually, from history and from folklore. Sure, we think we’re correct about most of it, but it’s vital to remain open-minded about all possibilities.

I’m not sure who first experimented with EMF meters and discovered EMF spikes at haunted sites. Likewise, cold spots were discovered by trial-and-error.

Orbs, other photographic anomalies, EVP… the list goes on & on. Though we talk about them in matter-of-fact terms today, researchers found them by saying, “What if?” and looking for patterns among anomalies.

We need to find more of these patterns and manifestations at haunted places. We’re still looking for answers. But, to find those answers, we need to ask more questions… and different ones.

So, try anything. In my article, EMF reality check, I talked about the possibility that some “ghosts” aren’t dead… not in their time period, which may be where they are when we sense or encounter them.

Maybe we’re connecting with them across a “wrinkle in time” (tesseract/wormhole), as Madeleine L’Engle described in her novel of the same name. It sounds far-fetched, but the more avenues we can explore, the better.

I’ve suggested this before, and I’ll continue to: Try anything you can think of.

Metal detectors, motion sensors, pH sensors, tools that measure air pressure, humidity, etc… try them all and look for more patterns.

Read and watch sci-fi and fantasy stories, and look for new ideas to test. (My “EMF reality check” article was inspired by a Torchwood episode, and the H. G. Wells novel, The Time Machine.)

At this point, it’s all trial-and-error research. Anything is possible! Don’t feel silly trying any measuring tool, no matter how unlikely.  Take notes.  Always take notes!
And, no matter what you find out, share that with others. The more data we can share, the faster we’re likely to make sense of hauntings.

Ghosts and the Fourth Dimension

Tower of London, photo by MysticEartIn a 2007 article for the Dallas News (now unavailable), Mary Ellen Botter talked about a Tower of London watchman who saw two ghostly figures.

When the two figures vanished, the watchman wondered, ‘‘Was the past seeing the future or the future seeing the past?’’

That’s a good question.

When we encounter a ghost that’s not simply stored, residual energy, why do we assume that he or she is in our time?

Is it possible that we’re in a doorway – perhaps a vortex – and the “ghost” perceives us as spirits, too?

It seems like many ghosts have a specific reason to visit our world. For example, the spirit may have unfinished business. Or, the ghost may not realize that he or she has died, and is confused about what to do next.

But, some instances – particularly in profoundly haunted locations – where the fourth dimension of time seems transparent.

Or, maybe both the ghost and the modern-day observer are at a spot where each can see into each other’s universe or time. (If that sounds vague or confusing, keep in mind that this is just a glimmer of an idea.)

In an episode of the BBC TV show, Torchwood, the “Captain Jack Harkness” episode offers intriguing possibilities for ghost hunters.

What if we don’t assume that ghosts are dead people? What if we ask them to do something – leave a note, or move something specific – that we can find in our (later) time? (The movie, Kate and Leopold, is another example of this.)

I’m not sure what would be necessary to suspend disbelief enough to actually witness the change or find the note that was requested. (I’m reminded of the movie, Beetlejuice. In a book, the couple read that the living won’t see the dead.)

This may sound too fantastic. However, it’s important to explore every possible theory and avenue of research.

If you encounter a particularly vivid spirit that may actually be in his or her own time period, ask them to leave a sign for you to find.

If that works, I’d love to hear about it.