The subculture of pseudoscientific ghost hunting continues to evolve. Have you heard of a “ghost box?” It seems all you have to do is put the word “ghost” in front of something and it becomes technical jargon for ghost hunters, and also a great example of begging the question. A cold spot in a house is therefore “ghost cold.” An electromagnetic field (EMF) detector becomes a “ghost detector.” And now a radio scanner has been rebranded as a “ghost box.” Of course no one has ever established that any of these phenomena have anything to do with ghosts, so they are putting the cart several miles ahead of the horse.
A more scientific and intellectually honest approach would be to declare such phenomena as anomalous (although I don’t think that they are). Ghost cold would more properly be termed anomalous cold, or a regional cold anomaly, or something like that. One hypothesis for the alleged cold anomaly would be some sort of supernatural entity (call it a ghost) that acts as a heat sink generating cold spots. First, however, researchers should endeavor to find a mundane explanation for the cold. In fact before declaring it an anomaly they should thoroughly rule out any possible explanation. Only when that has been adequately done would they have a tentative anomaly.
It would then be reasonable to generate a hypothesis as to what is causing the anomalous cold, but such hypotheses are only useful if they lead to testable predictions. If the regional cold anomaly phenomenon is the result of “ghosts”, then what might we predict from that and how can we test it?
Read More: NeuroLogica Blog » Ghost Box.
- “Top 10 Real-life Haunted Houses” (illuminutti.com)
- ghost hunters – Skeptic’s Dictionary for Kids (illuminutti.com)
- Ghost Hunters Returning to Syfy on September 5th; Synopses of the First Four Epsiodes (dreadcentral.com)
- Watching Paranormal TV Shows… Not Watching Paranormal TV Shows… Does it Really Matter? (greenfringe.wordpress.com)
- TV Ghost Hunters television listings: August 20-26 (Video) (examiner.com)