One of my new favorite shows on TV is National Geographic Channel's Is It Real? I have written on it before. The show picks a topic (UFOs, Bigfoot, Lake Monsters) and they analyze the evidence for and against the phenomena, and often ends with the show asking you to do the same and draw your conclusions. Sometimes they flat out state that the topic is bullshit.
The other day, the topic was ghosts. The program destroyed all the photographic evidence for ghosts. "Ghost orbs" are particles of dust, ghost mist is water vapor in your breath lit up in the flash, double exposures explain many mysterious images, and pareidolia the rest.
The most humorous moment occurred when the expert brought in to explore a haunted house discussed his warm-up methods in preparing to commune with the dead. The gentleman discussed his meditation to prepare to feel the vibrations of the ghosts, mentally preparing himself, and "I've got my coffee." Coffee? This is the great secret to sensing and communing with ghosts, coffee? After exploring the outer grounds of the house, he made sure to have a second cup of coffee before entering.
This is a new technique! Bad photos, electromagnetic frequencies (EMF), electronic voice phenomena (EVP), all this I'm unfortunately familiar with. But now I find out that I should see ghosts on a regular basis, since I do imbibe in the coffee often enough.
Coffee, the drug of choice for loons and believers.
The picture is apparently some spirit vapor (or ectoplasm) rising from the graves in Salem, Massachusetts. I've got a great photo just like this from Leavenworth, WA on a night that was below freezing. Funny, but I never even thought it was ectoplasm. Hmmm.