This is the question that a group of researchers from Toronto decided to investigate. To do it, they enlisted a group of volunteers who made up a fictional character: "Philip, the Imaginary Ghost."

They created a backstory for Philip, and began holding séances. After a year of trying, they had a breakthrough: psychokinetic phenomena in the form of table raps. Shortly thereafter, the group was able to ask Philip questions based on the raps (one rap for yes, two for no).

Soon, other phenomena began to appear:

Through the table-rapping communication, the group was able to learn finer details about Philip's life. He even seemed to exhibit a personality, conveying his likes and dislikes, and his strong views on various subjects, made plain by the enthusiasm or hesitancy of his knockings. His "spirit" was also able to move the table, sliding it from side to side despite the fact that the floor was covered with thick carpeting.

The complete story is here: There is even a short film documenting the phenomena.

What do you think? Truth, or cleverly-crafted fiction? And the larger question: are ghosts just manifestations of our own thoughts?

asked 17 Nov '09, 03:38

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 17 Nov '09, 03:52

There is a movie called .. Sphere. This movie is my answer :)


answered 17 Nov '09, 16:38

Adel's gravatar image


You mean the Michael Crichton one? Great book...Terrible movie.

(17 Nov '09, 16:43) Vesuvius

That's because you read the book I guess. I didn't. in fact you just reminded me to do so. thank you !

(17 Nov '09, 20:08) Adel

I decided to watch it again...It's not nearly as bad as I remembered it from first viewing. Certainly much better than your average flick on the syfy channel.

(20 Nov '09, 22:16) Vesuvius

Really hope that you enjoy it. it's well done and the main message wasn't lost because of too much CGI effects we see these days. ''Stop calling me Jerry !'' :)

(21 Nov '09, 03:08) Adel
showing 2 of 4 show 2 more comments

Ghosts or spirits are all around us all the time. My father's home is 176 years old and has 3 children spirits and one dog. As my siblings & I were teenagers, these ghosts would play practical pranks on us. They would move things around and hide things from us. As an adult, I experienced walking into the den one day to find one sitting with my young daughter on the floor playing with the dolls. They swing on the swing set and walk all around the house with us. My parents had numerous foreign exchange students when we (their children) were grown. One was a school teacher from the UK. After arriving she stayed in bed for more than a week chain-smoking and crying. My parents asked her what was wrong and she said it was the voices, that it was so very sad. They had to send her to another home. Visitors to Dad's house often remark of a great tragedy that occurred near the fireplace. Once my boyfriend & I were swinging on the swing-set in the yard. I was sitting on his lap facing him and while we were swinging, one of the ghosts moved through us. It was an eerie feeling.

My husband's grandfather told me that whenever he thinks bad thoughts he notices a dark shadow following him that gets closer and closer like a real shadow if he maintains the bad thought long enough. He claims to have seen these dark shadows around other people when they are talking about mean or evil things.

A few years ago I did a regression series while alone in my home. In the series, you count down having less and less time to live until you are at the zero moment. Upon arriving there, I looked up and saw all of my dead relatives and friends in the room with me. I felt exceptionally peaceful during this time (about 30 min) and all of them were talking to me and smiling and very happy and at peace.

My older brother was killed by a drunk driver at age 18 when I was 16. One day I was alone at home fretting over a boyfriend who was late arriving. I looked beside me to find my brother sitting next to me on the couch telling me that everything would be fine and not to worry. I heard a sound and looked outside to see my friend arriving. When I turned back to my brother, he was gone.

Then on the night my grandmother died, I woke in the middle of the night. I went to the bathroom and as I was walking out into the hallway, there in the opposite doorway (my brother's old bedroom) stood my brother. I reached out to touch his arm, but he said no. Then he told me not to worry that they were all alright now. Then he moved a big crock that was used to prop the door open and shut the door. The next morning, my younger brother who had been sleeping in that room asked me who had shut the door in the night. My older brother and one of his friends had both been killed in his accident, so I wondered what he meant when he told me that THEY were all alright. The next day my parents came to school to get us because my grandmother had died and we had a 16 hour drive to go to her funeral.

Three years ago, I went to stay near my father to help him get medical issues taken care of. He had married a younger woman 10 years prior and she had moved her entire worthless family into my father's home. He told me that since they had all arrived, the ghosts had disappeared. I ran the inlaws off and made my father get a divorce. A few weeks after they left, I saw the ghost dog "Charlie" pass me as I walked through the den. I did a double-take as it occurred to me that the dog walked right through a recliner. This dog was a grey-white Schnauzer that had died decades ago while my parents were away in Europe. My father has only brown dogs now so I knew that this was Charles. There is no doubt in my mind that ghosts or spirits exist because I have experienced them on many occasions.


answered 18 Nov '09, 03:05

Karen%201's gravatar image

Karen 1

No, they are real and they are spirits because when the human body dies the spirits doesn't die. Now some stay around for an while after death and some move on.

God breathe into man and he became an living soul. So we have souls.

Some people can see ghosts or spirits and some cannot. But just because you can not see something does not mean it is not there.


answered 18 Nov '09, 06:25

flowingwater's gravatar image


I think ghosts do exist around us all the time just like any other human being but we are all too busy and have too many other distractions around us to normally be in a state to notice them.

A friend of mine spent some time in a huge old mansion house surrounded by dense forests. He was there alone for a few months. He told me that it was there that he started to really feel that there were other beings around him that he could not really see himself but that he could feel.

I think it is when you get away from the normal day to day distractions of life that you can actually tune into a state where you can feel and see those beings (or ghosts as you call them). I am not too sure though why they are there.


answered 18 Nov '09, 21:37

Pink%20Diamond's gravatar image

Pink Diamond

There are an lot of other beings and entities here on this earth and in other dimensions and planes. Some times we call them to this place called earth like an movies I saw an archaeologist who found an book with writing of saying in it in an old language and he recite it a loud an entity came an got into his wife and all he could do was put an magic spell to keep anyone from going in or out of the house which of course he died for he couldn't get out. But years later some found a way to enter by reading what he had read and she was still there as an unearthly monster of some kind. Be careful

(22 Nov '09, 07:40) flowingwater

Everything is here, now, and you’re tapping into whatever you allow. So if you’re -knowingly or not- allowing people from other “times” or “places” to interact with you- or at least not resisting them! Then they can.


answered 08 Feb '19, 14:32

flame-eternal's gravatar image


No way is this true! So many people have had interactions with spirits; I have written about this here on IQ, and so have others. About seven years ago, I was sitting in Wade's bedroom with him, and we had an encounter with a spirit. His room was a typical guy mess with stacks of books, papers, DVDs, and the like. I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder. A spirit was directing me to give Wade a message. She said to me it was to prove that angels exist (or ghosts, or spirits). She said that some important documents were buried on his desk beneath piles of notebooks. She told me exactly where they were.

I was quite surprised, but I gave Wade the message. She said that the papers he was missing were in the second spiral notebook in the stack on his desk. I passed on the message, feeling a bit crazy, and a bit frightened, too. He looked there, and sure enough, his graduation papers he had misplaced were right where she said they would be.

This wasn't my only encounter. I cannot say that this information came from me; I knew nothing about Wade's desk, and also, it didn't feel like it came from inside me at all. It came from someone else.

When I was in eighth grade, I was lying in my bed when I began to feel that someone was standing at the foot of my bed. It freaked me out! I got up and told my dad. He checked the room, but no one was hiding anywhere. I went back to bed, but I became sure that someone was standing there. I ended up sleeping on the livingroom couch that night. The next morning, we were notified that my grandfather had passed, and that was when I knew Who had been standing by my bed; it was grandpa!

We have become so separated from the spirit world. Religion adds to this separation by almost forbidding people to meddle in this because it is "evil". It isn't, but there are malevolent spirits, just as there are bad people in this world. I became a shaman in 1999, and have spoken to people all over, helping them deal with ghosts and spirits. It just seems quite normal to me.

Your video of the "conjuring" of the spirit doesn't prove we make ghosts up. Who is to say where the spirits come from? To me, they exist outside of me, just as people do.

Check out these links:



answered 10 Feb '19, 20:54

Jaianniah's gravatar image


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