April 5, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Five: E is for Ectoplasm

Do you remember that scene in Ghostbusters when the little green ghost goes straight through Bill Murray's character, Peter Vankman? Vankman is covered in green slime that is called ectoplasm.

Well, forget about that, because it's not like "real" ectoplasm.

Ectoplasm is spiritual matter that has been given a physical form, usually by a physical medium "exteriorizing" the ectoplasm from her body. The substance looks like gauze or petticoat netting and is said to sometimes be a pliable material, sometimes a vapor of sorts and sometimes being more like paste. Mediums in the past have said ectoplasm can't survive harsh light of any kind.

So what does ectoplasm do? According to some mediums it is a substance spirits wrap their spiritual form in so they can interact with the physical world. A spirit wrapped in ectoplasm can make knocking sounds, move objects or even physically harm the living.

Science has not substantiated the existence of ectoplasm. In fact, researchers have recreated famous old photographs of ectoplasm coming out of people's bodies using different physical materials, leading many to believe past reports and photographs of ectoplasm have all been false. Also suspicious is the fact reports of ectoplasm have fallen off sharply in modern times as methods for measuring such events have greatly improved.


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I have to tell you, those pics are going to stay with me all day. Shudder!

Steven said...

Madeline, those are actually some of the more tame photos of the stuff.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Someone else posted about ectoplasm today. It looks disgusting.

Steven said...

Alex, I'm telling you the photos of it coming out of people's mouths are much, much more grotesque.

Lexie C. said...

Oooh, very weird and interesting. I may go and look up some of those grosser photos!

VR Barkowski said...

I'm glad ectoplasm reports have fallen off in recent years because it's really kind of, well, gross. Logically, I never understood how or why the outer layer of a cell (or whatever ectoplasm actually is) could be "exteriorized" during a spiritual event.

Steven said...

Lexie, hope you have the stomach for the grosser photos; some people just can't handle things like that.

VR, sadly I think ectoplasm has fallen off because of modern photography, which would easily prove it was a hoax from the get-go. It looks suspiciously like batting or cheese cloth to me. In fact in one photograph you can see a rubber glove in the "ectoplasm."