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Why I Hate Ghost Fakery | How the Skeptics Win

Ghost Guide Daniel – – Fake ghosts get to me. And it hit me while listening to the Joe Rogen Podcast.  For the first time I can remember, he had on paranormal investigators. Never heard of these fellows before listening to that show.  Their names are Sam and Colby.  Well known and followed on YouTube by millions.  They go to the most haunted places to search for ghosts.

So, why was my BS sense going off the entire time.

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Why I Hate Fake Ghosts - What makes the Skeptics Win - Ghost Guide Daniel Article


Investigation Back in my Day

This is not an example of the “good ol’ days”.  Investigation in all generations was similar with two schools of thought…

  1. Spiritual
  2. Scientific

During my experience in the field.  About 5 years from 1999 until 2004.  It was our team’s goal to combine both types.  Mix skeptical minds with psychics.  All overseen by a coordinator and a journalist (that was me). 

And it worked.  From many investigations we came away with interesting results.  And an unforeseen reward… everyone got along!

Why I Hate Fake Ghosts - What makes the Skeptics Win - Steve and his camera, investigation course
Investigator Steve during a Vintage Course at Steam & Tech Museum, Hamilton

Sure, there were disagreements.  Few and far between.  Under a set leadership, everyone was respectful.  On both sides. 

Lots of Fake Ghosts

That was us.  But not the norm.

Most investigators (then and now) tend to lean only on the Spiritual.  Bringing along untested psychics to locations, giving them the leadership, and only going on what they say.  Mixing in some ghost tools like EMF detectors, cameras, and such.

Uncontrolled sessions returning many orbs and EVPS (electronic voice phenomenon or recorded ghost voices).  No controls or scientific thinkers. 

Why I Hate Fake Ghosts - What makes the Skeptics Win - Sound Waves

No way to back up the evidence.  And no way to answer the important question… what would a skeptic say? 

I asked that question with the experiences.  Because, in my mind, the only reason for investigation was to prove ghosts are real.  Right?

Custom House Story

But I’m far from perfect.  An example of a non-control investigation happened inside Hamilton’s (Ontario, Canada) Custom House.  Back in 2000.

Why I Hate Fake Ghosts - What makes the Skeptics Win - Hamilton's Custom House
Hamilton’s Custom House

We were on the second floor in one of the side rooms.  My partner and I, new to investigation, had teamed up with one of the most known investigators at the time.

His style was Spiritual, serving as his own psychic. 

Very little happened during the investigation.  My partner and I keeping notes as we went along.

Afterwards, the Known Investigator messaged us with a sound file.  Said it was a great EVP (ghost voice).  We listened and were amazed.  It sounded like a voice, acknowledging my partner after she asked a question. 

Then we went to our evidence. 

In that room, at the same timestamp, we’d noted conversation.  Showing the Known Investigator had answered my partner’s questions.  Same as the EVP.

Also, we listened to our recording.  A different angle, closer to the Known Investigator. 

Obviously, this wasn’t a ghost EVP, it was fake ghosts.

We shared that our findings.  And… he didn’t believe a word of it.  Set in his mind that it was supernatural.

A Queen Mary Ghost Talks

Over the years I’ve gotten a strong sense towards BS.  My catch-all term for those who refuse to question paranormal experience.  And for people who knowingly fake ghost evidence.

Why I Hate Fake Ghosts - What makes the Skeptics Win - Postcard of Queen Mary Ship
David Wilson

Turned on my BS system for Sam and Colby, as they shared a story of ghost communication while investigating a room on the haunted Queen Mary ship, currently docked in California. 

They told Joe Rogen about it.  How they tried to make contact, and nothing happened. 

Until the end.  Cameras turned off.  They said, “… the bathroom faucet came on by itself”.

Then, “… one of our team members started weeping…”  That seemed a little over the top, but I kept listening.

They were sure the spirit wanted to communicate without video cameras.  Continuing the session off-camera. 

However, unbeknownst to Sam and Colby, one of the team members turned on an audio recorder.  Capturing the communication with something knocking Yes/No answers on the wall.

Do you see why my BS sense went off?

It’s much easier to pull off a fake ghosts session on audio, than on camera.  Truly, both can be done, but this is much easier, and it makes for a better story.  A great trick.  Houdini would be proud!

Why I Hate Fake Ghosts - What makes the Skeptics Win - Houdini with fake Lincoln's Ghost
Houdini with Faked Lincoln’s Ghost

I’m not a Skeptic

Don’t get me wrong dear reader.  I’m not a skeptic.  Had too many experiences over the years.  What I’m skeptical about is ghosts-for-clicks. 

Then my thoughts go to an investigator’s past.  How did Sam and Colby get their start?  As Pranksters! 

They were part of that genre still getting clicks on YouTube today.   People who prank others (real or fake).  It’s popular!

Credit to the boys, they were honest with Joe.  Told him one incident in a mall, where they took a couch and threw it on the escalator.  Riding it down on camera, as people gawked and stared.

I don’t disparage anyone’s way to make a living.  Except when it’s at the expense of others. 

Pranksters (the real ones) hurt people for clicks.  The mall incident is an example of property damage and causing stress to workers forced to deal with those actions.

Prank History of Sam & Colby

I didn’t hear remorse.  Only a slight shocked amusement.  And they didn’t admit to any growth. 

It’s Cool to Believe in Ghosts

It’s damaging to the belief in ghosts when people fake results for attention and clicks.

To the majority skeptical minds, this is another reason to disprove everything.  To answer, “Science!” when asked, “Why ghosts aren’t real”. 

Today, the most popular investigators are the ones who get quick results.  No one cares about a detailed, scientific laced investigation taking time to disprove natural phenomenon. 

This doesn’t sell!

Value of Ghosts

There’s a whole other world in the spiritual.  Forget ghosts for a moment.  Think mindfulness. 

Being connected with the energy making up our reality.  Because “… science!” has failed to answer the most important question … what’s the meaning of life? 

I believe we’ll never find this answer.  Our brains unable to contemplate beyond the material.  Because we are material.

So, what’s left?  The spiritual.  Being able to accept there’s something more beyond this reality.

Better Relationship with Death

And finally, there’s our ultimate fear… death.  This is the true reason and value for belief in ghosts.

That there’s more beyond the material world.  Something existing after death.  I believe it!  Not in a religious way.  More a, “… it just makes sense …” way. 

The energy making up our bodies shouldn’t die.  We animate living material for a lifetime, then the energy-body moves on. 

To where?  This is a great question. 

If repeating patterns exist in this reality, then maybe it’s recycling.  We go back to a source.  Eventually emerging in a new form.  You may know this as Reincarnation.

It’s an interesting thought.

And maybe we have the choice to stick around after the body dies.  Hanging with loved ones, making sure they’re okay.  And when the time’s right, we move on.

That’s a beautiful thought.

Ghost Guide Daniel talking about Fakery

2 replies on “Why I Hate Ghost Fakery | How the Skeptics Win”

I’ve seen ghosts. Twice. (Same set in my apartment in Thailand.) It made such an impact on me that I ended up creating a main character who sees ghosts in a series of paranormal vigilante thrillers. I’ve written up the story in a version that fits my main character–but the details of the ghosts, the vision, and how they appeared is 100% accurate. I think ghosts are everywhere, but it takes the right set of proclivities and openness to see them. If you want the story, there’s a link to The Ghost of Ekamai Towers on this page:

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