Last Gasps


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Ghost 101

Ghost 101 is a basic introduction into the world of paranormal investigation. This text was developed as part of the introductory class for members of the Last GASPS.

Presented by Kyle T. Cobb, Jr.

Nos tibi credere.

A  Literary History

And yet more science…

Review of a few science fundamentals.

What is a theory and what is a Law?

A theory is a set of statements or principle devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.


A law defines a phenomenon of nature that has been proven to invariably occur whenever certain conditions exist or are met.

So the difference between a theory and a law is that while a theory is always believed to happen, a law MUST ALWAYS happen.

Gravity… Not just a good idea, it’s the LAW…

Gravity is constantly at work pulling smaller bodies toward larger bodies. On the surface of the Earth, gravity nominally exerts a force of 9.8m/sec2 (or 32ft/sec2). Simply put anything on Earth with mass is pulled toward the Earth’s center. This is extremely fortunate because without gravity, everything would be flung of the planet as it moves through space at over 500 miles per second. If it were not for the Earth’s crust on our mass pressing against each other everyone would be pulled to the Earth’s core.

Because mass is needed to both keep objects on Earth and keep them from been pulled to the center, it can be asserted that an entity must have mass to remain on the Earth’s surface.

Newton’s Laws

The next set of fundamental laws of physics that must apply to all paranormal entities are encompassed in the Newtonian laws of motion. Here is a brief review of those laws.


Newton’s First law of Motion

An object at rest will remain at rest and an object in motion will remain in motion unless acted on by an external force.


Newton’s second Law of Motion.

The force needed to move an object is equal to the mass times the acceleration.



Weight=mass * gravity

Equal and opposite

Newton’s Third Law

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

In short, the three Newtonian Law force the idea that any paranormal entity must have mass if it can interact directly with any physical object. Just for thought, this includes producing sounds!

Conservation of Energy

A seemingly strange law to bring into a paranormal discussion is the Law of the Conservation of Energy. The law states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant over time. A consequence of this law is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed from one state to another. The only thing that can happen to energy in a closed system is that it can change form: for instance chemical energy can become kinetic energy.

If energy in a system is neutral, then the energy required to move and object (or create a sound) must come from somewhere. There are lots of implications to this statement that will be discussed momentarily.

Paranormal Activities

Now that basic science has been reviewed, it is possible to apply this knowledge to the understanding of paranormal events.

There are 3 general categories of paranormal events that are generally encountered by investigators.

Residual Haunting

A residual Haunting shows no real recognition that the observer is present. In every case, the haunting repeats a pattern of activities and usually repeats the events at a regular interval. The residual haunting is locked into geography and most frequently occurs in high water and high granite/marble locations.

Several examples of residuals include:

There are a number of theories concerning the origin of a residual haunting. While most have the same level of probability, here are three of the most popular:

Time recording

This theory holds that the energy of the event has left ridges in the material around it and that energy plays like a record player.

Non-paranormal examples of this recently have been discovered in the some elements trapping sounds as they move from solid to liquid.

A time window

According to this theory, a particular geographic point borders on a “thin point” in reality next to a fragment of time. The replay is actual the original event occurring (when it really occurred) but it is blending into our time.

A time loop

The theory that a segment of time has been broken off and repeats over and over.

Because of a really complicated reason dealing with time not being uniformed, this theory is mostly crap.


Because residual haunting have no real interactive element with the modern world, they present no threat. Even if they were a threat, because they are essentially a recording or a moment in time, there are no confirmed solutions for stopping the event. In many cases, Residuals may even persist after complete destruction of location.

Intelligent hauntings

Intelligent hauntings are generally defined as paranormal experiences that respond to external stimuli. The interactions can be as simple as a word on a digital recorder or as complicated as an object moving. While the exact categories are open to interpretation, they fall into two general categories: Of human origin and non-human. A ghost (or apparition) is the most common version of a human intelligent haunting. Since a poltergeist is also most often linked to an adolescent, it may also be considered a human haunting.  The most widely known of the non-human hauntings is the demon. This creates fill literature from the earliest writings of man until the present day. Shadow people may also be considered non-human hauntings.

There are various theories concerning the origin of human apparitions. Some of the more common theories (that are discussed under the Apparition section of this site) include:

Poltergeists are believed to be the outward telekinetic expression of an adolescent’s anger. The source is often unaware of their linkage and as terrified of the paranormal events as other observers.


Dealing with Intelligent Hauntings is not without risk. Generally speaking, human apparitions present little to no threat. The greatest harm a human apparition presents is the nuisance factor or scaring someone they encounter. Often the human apparition may not be malevolent and may be as confused as the observer.  Often a simple dialog can resolve a human apparition haunting if required.

A poltergeist can present a great physical threat to observers as well as the source. While there is no direct solution, often making the source aware of the situation or uncovering the cause of the anger can be helpful.

While shadow people are not considered to be of human origin, most often they are not considered to be threatening. There also is no know way to remove them from haunting a location.

Demons (and daemons) are perhaps the most dangerous of all paranormal entities. Since the dawn of man, these creatures have been featured in the earliest writing including Gilgamesh. These extremely intelligent beings require special weapons or ceremonies to expel or destroy them. These creatures are considered such a threat that the Catholic Church has dedicated 200 specialized priest to exorcising these creatures.



Virtually no orb photos exist prior to digital cameras. Those that do are easily explained as lens flares or ball lightning.  Since the digital age, thousands have been photographed.  Is this a result of improved technology?

Prior to 1980, orbs were not considered paranormal. In the 1980s, Photographs of the Unknown was published featuring orbs are supernatural. Suddenly, orbs were everywhere in paranormal photos.

The reality

Digital camera process images differently than film. As a result object between the camera and the primary target get identified and pixilated as they are encountered. Milliseconds before the target. So suddenly, dust is mighty shiny! 99.999% of orb photographs can be identified as one of two things:

• Dust particles reflecting light

• Bugs

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Ghost 101 p3

A residual haunting is much like a dog chasing his own tail around and around.

Orbs are most often not a true haunting. In virtually every case, orbs can be explained as dust particles or bugs reflected into the digital camera.





Demons Orbs



Residual Haunting

Shadow People

Shadow People

Residual Hauntings