Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts

I love to be scared. No, I don’t mean when some jackass makes a loud noise behind me, I mean that sensation of eerie discomfort, of not knowing what lies in the dark before me. I love it when I hear a strange sound in the distance at night — my imagination runs wild with freaky figments, and my very psyche is perturbed. I love it because it’s true and real emotion, a catalyst for creativity. Moreover, it speaks to the human desire for the incomprehensible, the need for mystery and un-knowledge in a profane and ordinary existence.

So it pisses me off when people exploit that desire for fun and profit. Here, check this shit out:

“Spirit boxes” are quite possibly the most blatant examples of “ghost hunter” bullshit you’ll ever see. What these cheap contraptions do is spin through all the local FM frequencies, from highest to lowest, at high speed. They repeat this cycle ad nauseam. This means that they’re little more than radio scanners, but ghost hunters would have you believe that they are conduits to the netherworld. Hunters sit and talk to these things, ask boring questions, then take whatever strings of words that their radios pick up from various stations, and present them as legitimate responses from the dead. How are simple radios able to connect with the spirits? No one knows. Even their inventor admits that he doesn’t understand the functional principle, and that’s a pretty big matzo ball right there.

The subtitles piss me off. They’re meant to be “translations” from radio garbage to whatever the hunter wants to hear. Of course, the responses are always brief and static-filled, and the hunters can never maintain a conversation, but that hasn’t stopped the YouTube rubes from eating it up. I’m sure that if viewers listened to the audio without reading the subtitles, they’d probably hear very different things from what the hunter does. It’s a perfect example of forced suggestion, a kind of cold reading, designed to grab the attention of desperate, grief-stricken people.

Then there are the hauntings.

Here, look:

This is a pretty cool idea, something that would fit well in a movie, but it’s hardly convincing. Notice that the recorder of this stuff is happy to make (and sell) an attention-grabbing “documentary” about this supposedly supernatural experience. Did anyone consider the possibility that it might be the guy’s own daughter pawing at the glass door, and then hiding in a nearby crawl space? She certainly looks the part, and she’s obviously interested in Daddy’s little attempt at a viral joke:

Her acting is atrocious, by the way.

This shit sucks. I don’t care if ghosty folks want to have some fun and creep people out for a good time, but they should at least be honest about it. For them to package this fake stuff as though it was real…it’s just cruel. People really believe this shit. How much money and faith is squandered on it? As someone who’s now on the fence about spiritual forces, I’d like to see some serious evidence from people who’ve had real divine experiences, not a bunch of charlatans out to make a few cheap hits. I said it before and I’ll say it again, attention-seekers, get lost.

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Author: lisvender

Writer and animator in Central California.

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