Ghost Hunting In Your Head

Ghost Hunting is scary.

In a very literal sense, Ghost Hunting media, where you have people with cameras and recording equipment to some location where ghosts ‘are’ and then get ‘proof’ of them, is a scary business, because it’s a business. There is an economic engine that can monetise the way that these people can spend time and money searching for people and locations to bother and record in the hopes of finding something spooky on camera.

That is, there is an entire business that, as with many other such businesses, wants to make money out of the fact you can be afraid of things, and which encourages you to confront your fear by attributing to it not the scary possibility that your brain is unreliable and can throw out phantom information, but rather that there’s an entire supernatural reality overlaid on ours and it mostly functions through manipulating videocameras and crap radios.

A moment, if you will, of direct empathy with Ghost Hunters. Not all of these people are actively manipulative, film-editing, blatantly exploitative awful shitweasels who are trying to launder their own ability to be mildly convincing into making money off people’s grief and fear. A number of these people are, themselves, credulous and hopeful and want to try and divine something about the world they’re in and often want to explain their feelings and their fear because understanding people is very hard and understanding yourself is extremely hard. The Ryan Bergaras of the space: Sincere believers who are actually scared of ghosts and are doing their best to confront these fears in safe and non-exploitative ways. To those ghost hunters, I must say, well, fine.

They’re a minority.

And almost always, they need to be surrounded by the assholes.

One of the things that hurts your ability to maintain beliefs in this kind of supernatural nonsense is an actual reliable record being kept of what you’re dealing with. If you think you heard a noise that was like a voice, but you can listen to that noise again and again, or recording the audio of an area, it suddenly becomes a lot harder to think ‘that was a voice’ when ‘that sounds like all the other sound in the area.’ We are coincidence seeking machines, and the ‘evidence’ that converts some people is extremely flimsy, often only made into ‘evidence’ by the confirmation of collaborative people, people who are in some cases, incentivised to make sure that you think, yes, that thing you heard is real.

What is real is that brains exist, as best we can prove, and brains do weird things. Brains seek patterns. Brains misrecord. Brains forget things.

And that’s what’s scary.

An entire industry built around keeping you looking for ghosts, so you don’t look inside yourself

Where the real scary stuff is.

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