Science of Ghosts?

emf-ghostmeterIs there a ‘science’ of ghosts and ghost hunting?  A 2009 event in the UK, Hauntings: The Science of Ghosts seems to suggest that.

But really… can science prove anything about ghosts and haunted places?  For many people, it’s laughable to use the words ‘science’ and ‘ghosts’ in the same sentence.

Let’s be honest about our studies.

Something odd is going on at many locations.  We find unexplained EMF surges and drops, odd voices in our recordings, strange temperature variations, and photos with baffling images.  (You can learn more about these phenomena at this website.)

PROOF?  NOT YET… and, really, not ever.

Something strange is occurring.  That’s usually labeled ‘paranormal’ , especially when supporting evidence, history or folklore suggest ghosts.

However, while we may have evidence that something odd is going on, we can’t prove to anyone that it’s a ghost. (If we could, the controversy would cease.)

And — for the record — when we use the word “proof,” we’re not talking in scientific terms, anyway.  In science, there is no “proof.”  We can only talk in terms of credibility and evidence.

That’s why science is such an important element in our studies.

question-75The real explanations could be anything from pranks to an overactive imagination, from underground streams to quantum realities, and from environmentally-induce hallucinations to actual ghosts.

Until we have more documented facts, we can only guess from the preponderance of reasonably credible evidence.  (‘Credible’ being in the eye of the beholder.)


To support (or refute) the reality of ghosts — as it says on the Wikipedia scientific method page — ‘experimental and theoretical results must be reproduced by others within the science community.’

For this reason, we must find ways to reproduce our results, at least within the paranormal research community.

That means

  • improving our work
  • expanding the scope of it
  • tracking relevant scientific discoveries, and
  • sharing our findings.

It’s fine to talk about the ‘science’ of ghosts, but it’s more important to actually approach our research scientifically.   Let’s not reduce our investigations to ‘entertainment’ or some variation of scary stories around the campfire.

Sure, we all love to share ‘ghost stories’.  Almost everyone loves to talk about his or her field of study.

That’s different from conducting research just to have a story to tell.

Paranormal research is a developing science.   No matter which scientific tools we’re using, we must first achieve professional-level skills.

For example, my EMF findings at a paranormal site aren’t ‘scientific’ unless I’m also a competent EMF researcher in normal locations.  (This goes far beyond casual baseline studies.)

Whether I’m using a hiking compass, a Cell Sensor, or a KII meter, I need to know why my tools work, what’s normal for them,  and how to recognize a genuine anomaly.

To talk about a science of ghosts, we need to be as educated about science as we are about ghosts.

The best approach may combine personal and academic studies, field research, and tips shared with other researchers at meetings and conferences, and at online forums.