Should You Try Ghost Hunting Methods Before You Dismiss Them?

It is explained to me time and time again that I don’t think something is true simply because I haven’t tried it or because I lack experience in that certain subject. If I just tried these things, people explain, then I’d have a completely different opinion about it. Whether the it in question is Electronic Voice Phenomena, Psychic abilities, the latest ghost hunting gadget or any such thing that I have written sceptically about at some point, people are quick to point out in the comments ‘Hey, why don’t you just, like, try it!’

The truth is that I’ve been actively involved in ghost research since 2005 and was a keen observer of ghost research long before that. I have done the vigils in the dark, I have sat in seances, tried glass divination, table tipping, dowsing, scrying, automatic writing and more. I have attempted to record Electronic Voice Phenomena, tried my hand at Instrumental Trans-Communication, set up Trigger Object experiments, called out, attempted ghost photography and all manner of other methods of capturing evidence of ghosts… and at one time in my life I believed that all of those things could be true.

Then I stopped believing. I realised that those methods did not make sense and that the conclusions reached using those methods were flawed and, more often than not, giant leaps of logic.

Despite all of the experiences I’ve outlined above- the very experiences that people in the comment section of my blog insist will change my mind -I still do not believe that those things provide evidence of ghosts or the survival of the soul. I do not believe that they are good research methods because the evidence does not support that claim.

Here’s the real kicker though… even if I hadn’t tried all of those things it would still be okay for me to not accept that those methods prove ghosts are real because the evidence that supports such claims relies on flawed reasoning, leaps of logic and misrepresentation of actual science and research. You don’t have to try ghost hunting first hand to examine the claims and find them wanting, and to suggest that your personal experience is somehow more reliable than the reasoned processing of such claims against known facts is kind of arrogant.

Having research experience is all well and good but it doesn’t make you an expert and it doesn’t put you and your claims above being questioned or doubted and, to be completely honest, if your expertise is pseudo-scientific ghost hunting techniques then I don’t really think you have the grounds to demand that people try out your methodology before dismissing it. Awkward…

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Hayley Stevens

Hayley is a ghost geek and started to blog in 2007. She uses scientific scepticism to investigate weird stuff and writes about it here while also speaking publicly about how to hunt ghosts as a skeptic.

2 thoughts on “Should You Try Ghost Hunting Methods Before You Dismiss Them?”

  1. Why so one-sided? Aren’t the majority of so-called sceptics also arrogant in assuming that someone claims to have seen a ghost are wrong and in error?

    You can’t prove a negative, and every event is a unique observation, requiring a unique hypothesis, just because we have no proof of ghosts is not science saying that someone, somewhere will never spot one…the fact is, each event that the sceptical naysayers are putting down to brain-farts or delusion, are events that they and no scientist on Earth has witnessed…it is arrogant to just dismiss what someone says just because science says it ain’t so…the Higgs Boson was for decades ridiculed, what if science all scientists said: “Hey, there’s no evidence for it, so it don’t exist, ergo, there is no point in looking”.

    Do I believe in ghosts? No. Do I know that ghosts do not exist? No, nor does ANYONE on Earth…

    1. You’re right, Erique, it is arrogant to just dismiss people and say because ghosts have never been proven they never will be. However, it isn’t arrogant to not take someone and their word as evidence. That is the point I was making here. It is good to examine individual testimony and to listen to what people have to say – and I love doing that because I find this stuff really interesting, especaially considering my own weird experiences – but that testimony just isn’t enough to provide evidence of anything. All is says is “people have weird experiences” and that’s what I was trying to point out here.

      However, the equipment that ghost hunters use is different because those are specific claims that we can examine and decide is nonsense, and that is the case with the majority of the techniques used by ghost hunters.

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