Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

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Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#1  Postby Emmeline » Oct 30, 2010 10:12 am

(...) When actress Joanna Lumley moved into her 18th-century parsonage at Goodnestone in Kent, she was confronted by a ghostly removals man, in old-fashioned leather jerkin, who demanded that she leave.
“We experienced many strangenesses,” she says, in her autobiography, No Room For Secrets. “Lights that turned themselves on in the attic, no matter how often we turned them off. Footsteps across the big, spare room when we had friends to lunch in the kitchen below.”
Having looked out of the window one night to see a freshly dug grave that was gone by morning, she decided that was the final straw. She and husband, Stephen Barlow, sold up and moved out.
By contrast, comedian Jack Dee decided he was not going to be driven out by spirits. He hired a faith healer to exorcise his home in Wandsworth, London, after he and his wife, Jane, started having exactly the same nightmares.
Following two visits from the exorciser, the Dee household is now reported to be 100 per cent spectre-free. (...)

What to do if you think you've got ghosts
Check electrics Those spooky, flickering lights may be just a loose connection
Bleed radiators Tapping sounds may not be skeleton fingers drumming, but air locks in pipes
Burn dried sage leaves It allegedly helps cleanse the house of spirits, as does incense
Call in a medium Ask to speak to one of their previous clients first
Ask the vicar Most dioceses have a designated house-cleanser (oh, all right, exorcist). If yours hasn’t, contact the Church of England (020 7898 1000)
Act quickly According to mediums, unpleasant spirits feed on fear. The earlier you evict, the better.

More here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/pro ... operty3010
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#2  Postby Animavore » Oct 30, 2010 10:22 am

I never expected that from Jack Dee.

I'm quite disappointed now.
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#3  Postby twistor59 » Oct 30, 2010 10:35 am

I never expected that from Sapphire either.
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#4  Postby Animavore » Oct 30, 2010 10:38 am

:think: Who?
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#5  Postby twistor59 » Oct 30, 2010 10:45 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmhSA1gZ2Sk[/youtube]

Old low budget but very good scifi/fantasy thing from the 70s
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#6  Postby Animavore » Oct 30, 2010 10:47 am

I'm not sure why Joanna Lumley should surprise you. She is a woman after all :hide:
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#7  Postby twistor59 » Oct 30, 2010 10:53 am

Animavore wrote: She is a woman after all


How do you know ?
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#8  Postby Animavore » Oct 30, 2010 10:56 am

twistor59 wrote:
Animavore wrote: She is a woman after all


How do you know ?


:o
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#9  Postby twistor59 » Oct 30, 2010 11:00 am

Animavore wrote:
twistor59 wrote:
Animavore wrote: She is a woman after all


How do you know ?


:o



To really know, you'd have to have examined her.............chromosomes
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#10  Postby Maxtonight » Feb 27, 2013 8:19 pm

If we can agree that, Homo Sapiens Sapiens are creatures, which evolved on this planet over millions of years, and if we can think critically, logically, and calmly, we can solve the mystery of ghosts and hauntings. If anyone would like to have a rational discussion about my assertion I would love to discuss it with you.
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#11  Postby Mazille » Feb 27, 2013 8:43 pm

Maxtonight wrote:If we can agree that, Homo Sapiens Sapiens are creatures, which evolved on this planet over millions of years, and if we can think critically, logically, and calmly, we can solve the mystery of ghosts and hauntings. If anyone would like to have a rational discussion about my assertion I would love to discuss it with you.

Do go on. I am intrigued.
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#12  Postby Scarlett » Feb 27, 2013 8:45 pm

:popcorn:
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#13  Postby campermon » Feb 27, 2013 9:32 pm

Maxtonight wrote:If we can agree that, Homo Sapiens Sapiens are creatures, which evolved on this planet over millions of years, and if we can think critically, logically, and calmly, we can solve the mystery of ghosts and hauntings. If anyone would like to have a rational discussion about my assertion I would love to discuss it with you.


Welcome to the forum!

:beer:

You might find something of worth in this discussion. One day, me and Jerome (our resident woo master) might finish it! :lol:

:cheers:
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#14  Postby Maxtonight » Feb 28, 2013 3:11 am

Then let’s have a go at it!

If we apply the evolutionary model we can reasonably assume that whatever sense or sensory apparatus facilitates the ability to detect, “ghosts and hauntings” (for lack of a better term for now) must have afforded us a survival and/or reproductive advantage and that the occurrence of this particular trait within the population must have been secondary to, as yet, unidentified selection pressures. (Ghosts don’t kill you or keep you from reproducing!) This is the fundamental basis of evolution.

Although, I couldn’t think of any scenario where this ability, as presented, would have been evolutionarily relevant in the world as it currently exists, or the natural world of our Hunter-Gatherer ancestors.

However, death avoidance behavior, that is, not only avoid your own death, but also a place where predation of your species has occurred offers a very definite survival advantage! The ability and its associated behavior is a virtually ubiquitous characteristic of the many different species with which we share a common ancestor dating back 300 million years ago when the basic ability first appeared. From worms, to insects, reptiles, birds, mammals, etc… and even the mighty Great White shark will swim away like a, “ghost” is chasing it when it encounters these species specific markers!

I don’t think that correctly detecting and interpreting the places where human beings had been killed by a predator (say a leopard) would have been a problem for our Hunter-Gatherer ancestors. However, I do believe that the real confusion began when we left the natural world, where the ability was in context and essential for survival, and started building a different world with semi-permanent structures.

The combination of the lack of context for the psycho-physiological affects, and the suitability of the material with which we build to concentrate and store the markers long term is, I believe, how and why we created ghost mythologies in the first place. This is not to say that the subjective experience is impossible in the natural world, just that it would have been in context and comparatively short lived unless predation continued.
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#15  Postby Maxtonight » Feb 28, 2013 8:06 pm

… And the crowd is speechless! However, I will continue …

The typical argument here is that we as human beings have a puny olfactory system that is not capable of detecting these (Yet unidentified) con-specific molecules, as say, a dog or rat can. It turns out that this assumption is very far from correct. The human being has over 1000 genes dedicated to the G-protein coupled receptors of the olfactory system with 300 - 350 still active. This is by far the largest gene group in the human genome with the second largest at just 15, which control brain functions. Research has demonstrated that in the area of our expertise (air-sniffing long chain hydrocarbon molecules) a human can perform on par with a dog, and slightly better than a rat. The two barriers to understanding the truth of this reality is that the system is so old in evolutionary terms that, unlike all of the other senses, it is not directly connected to our higher functions, but rather largely affects us on a visceral, subconscious level. That is, before, or even without being aware that we are being affected by a scent, we have already responded physiologically, psychologically, and of course, behaviorally. In the natural world this works perfectly because if the creature has to think about reacting it often does not eat or live to reproduce. The second barrier is that we have all (scientists included) been culturally conditioned to ignore our olfactory sense, as being relevant, and that sniffing odors is for animals not people. As absurd as this mythology-based conclusion is, it has nevertheless been the blind spot that has led us astray and caused all of the confusion for over 150 years.

For now let’s take a quick look at what are commonly considered by many to be, The Most Haunted Places on Earth,” and see if we should go forward. That is, the places where the greatest numbers of people sense what they consider to be the presence of a ghost or haunted environment. Depending on which list you are looking at the locations vary, but I have chosen the top three from most of the lists. The Haunted Vaults of Paris, The Haunted Woods of Japan, and New Orleans, Louisiana. I don’t think it is necessary to point out that all of these places work perfectly in the context of my assertion.

The olfactory system, beyond all of the other uses we have found for it, really only evolved to facilitate only three things: Survival (Hazard avoidance) Food acquisition, and mate selection. We know a lot about two of these, so why is it so difficult to understand the third? If I suggested that even before you are consciously aware of the scent of say, “Cinnabons” in the mall, popcorn in the theater, or exotic food in the food court, your stomach would already be growling, nobody would argue. This makes perfect sense when you realize that it is physiological reaction is what draws your attention to the scent before the concentration of molecules are above the conscious threshold. It is the reaction that draws your attention and causes you to seek a source, not the other way around as often believed. In the case of mate selection one’s subjective interpretation of the scent of another may only be that they smell good! What is never consciously realized here is that by scent alone we can detect genetic compatibility, symmetry, and the relative health of the other. These, of course, are all very important in mate selection. If reciprocal, these olfactory cues can and do trigger a psycho-physiological cascade, which can and does often lead to pair bonding and reproduction. “They have chemistry!” (You bet they do!)

The seven questions one should ask oneself are: Do we have the means? (Yes) Do we have a motive? (Yes) Do we have opportunity? (Yes) Is there precedence? (Yes, countless cases.) Does the evidence fit the facts in the case? (Yes) Is there a simpler answer that requires less supposition? (No, not even close.)
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#16  Postby Maxtonight » Feb 28, 2013 8:17 pm

Oh, and one more: Is it incongruent with known and accepted facts and scientific theory? Not only is it congruent, but it turns out, as you will see, to be the missing element in many scientific theories across several different disciplines!
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#17  Postby BlackBart » Feb 28, 2013 8:24 pm

You'd have to demonstrate the existence of 'ghosts and hauntings' before you could make meaningful statement about the evolutionary reasons for being able to perceive them.
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#18  Postby campermon » Feb 28, 2013 8:30 pm

BlackBart wrote:You'd have to demonstrate the existence of 'ghosts and hauntings' before you could make meaningful statement about the evolutionary reasons for being able to perceive them.


I'm confused.

Is Max trying to give evidence for ghosts and that? Or just explaining them as an artifact of our evolved senses (i.e. not real in any objective sense)?
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#19  Postby BlackBart » Feb 28, 2013 8:45 pm

campermon wrote:
BlackBart wrote:You'd have to demonstrate the existence of 'ghosts and hauntings' before you could make meaningful statement about the evolutionary reasons for being able to perceive them.


I'm confused.

Is Max trying to give evidence for ghosts and that? Or just explaining them as an artifact of our evolved senses (i.e. not real in any objective sense)?



If we apply the evolutionary model we can reasonably assume that whatever sense or sensory apparatus facilitates the ability to detect, “ghosts and hauntings” (for lack of a better term for now) must have afforded us a survival and/or reproductive advantage and that the occurrence of this particular trait within the population must have been secondary to, as yet, unidentified selection pressures. (Ghosts don’t kill you or keep you from reproducing!) This is the fundamental basis of evolution.


Reading this first paragraph, he appears to be starting from assumption that "ghosts and hauntings" are objectively real and that we have sensory apparatus to detect them.

If not, I'd be equally sceptical that perceiving things that don't exist would have any evolutionary advantage. :think:
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Re: Haunted houses: Got ghosts?

#20  Postby campermon » Feb 28, 2013 8:51 pm

BlackBart wrote:
campermon wrote:
BlackBart wrote:You'd have to demonstrate the existence of 'ghosts and hauntings' before you could make meaningful statement about the evolutionary reasons for being able to perceive them.


I'm confused.

Is Max trying to give evidence for ghosts and that? Or just explaining them as an artifact of our evolved senses (i.e. not real in any objective sense)?



If we apply the evolutionary model we can reasonably assume that whatever sense or sensory apparatus facilitates the ability to detect, “ghosts and hauntings” (for lack of a better term for now) must have afforded us a survival and/or reproductive advantage and that the occurrence of this particular trait within the population must have been secondary to, as yet, unidentified selection pressures. (Ghosts don’t kill you or keep you from reproducing!) This is the fundamental basis of evolution.


Reading this first paragraph, he appears to be starting from assumption that "ghosts and hauntings" are objectively real and that we have sensory apparatus to detect them.

If not, I'd be equally sceptical that perceiving things that don't exist would have any evolutionary advantage. :think:


I can't find the source now, but I remember reading/listening to richard Dawkins (or someone like that!) discussing how the fright response (a definite evolutionary advantage) is possibly an explanation for belief in ghosties/stuff that ain't there i.e. it is probably better to believe that the sound of the wind blowing in the grass is actually a fucking big lion sneaking up on you and about to get you then not.
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