CSICOP's Library & Research Center

The idea of disembodied souls or spirits of the dead is perhaps one of the oldest, strongest and pervasive beliefs in human history. A ghost is the often faint, sometimes transparent, vision of the bodily likeness of a human (or animal). Ghosts called apparitions are usually passive and do not interact with the observer. They are reported to be seen doing the same activity repeatedly in a certain location. Noisy or active ghosts are known as poltergeists and exhibit more of a playful nature. Over the centuries, descriptions of ghosts and their relationship to the living have changed somewhat, depending on the culture.
There have been and continue to be some scientific-based inquiry into the existence of ghosts, though most are done by enthusiasts, not trained scientists. These investigations consist of attempting to obtain documentation on film or audio tape, photographs, and use of various metering equipment to measure electrical, magnetic and temperature changes. With this equipment, paranormal researchers try to detect shadowy figures, orbs of light, cold patches in a room or unknown voices as evidence of ghosts. However, investigations rely heavily on unsubstantiated eyewitness reports of experiences and often fail to obtain documentation of paranormal activity. Parapsychologists now believe that ghosts might be manifestations of some remnant energy left after death, possibly recorded in some way by the surroundings. There is currently no evidence widely accepted by science to suggest the physical reality of ghosts. But, there are many paranormal investigators who keep trying.
- Sharon Hill (Scientist)
CSICOP Resources
Skeptical Inquirer Online Articles

Book review: Talking to Heaven by James Van Praagh
Mysterious Australia
Haunted Inns
The New Paranatural Paradigm Special APS Session Examines Pseudoscience
News and Comment
Paranormal Lincoln
Ghostly Photos
Miracle Photos
The Ghost in My House: An Exercise in Self-Deception


Skeptical Briefs Online Articles
Midnight Adventure in a Graveyard
The Visit
Spirit Painting: Part 2
The Case of the Missing Poltergeist
The Searchers Trilogy
Spirit Painting: Part 1
Skeptiseum Online Exhibits
Other Online Resources
Ghosts.org : Obiwans UFO-free Paranormal Page
NESS Encyclopedia: Ghosts
Skeptic's Dictionary: Ghosts
The Skeptic Report: Ghosts
Museum of Hoaxes: William Mumler's Spirit Photography
Museum of Hoaxes: Ghostwatch
ParaScope: Ghosts & Visions
Tampa Bay Skeptics: Do Cars Really Roll Up "Spook Hill"?
Obiwan's UFO-free Paranormal Page: Ghost Lights
About.com: Spook Lights - Where to Find Them
Pro-Paranormal Online Resources
Strange Magazine:Haunts
Monstrous:Famous Ghosts and Hauntings
Paranormal News:"True" Ghost Stories

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