I'm going on my holiday family visit soon, which means I probably won't be able to access my PC. Even if I can access the internet via someone else's computer, I won't really have access to any of my files, so I figured I'd leave you guys with a paranormal debunking before I go be bored off my ass. (I honestly don't see how people can spend a week with their families on holiday after moving out to live on their own. The first 3, maybe 4 days will be fun, after that, I'm going to be tired of them, bored out of my mind with nothing to do, and just wishing I was home.)
Also, when I logged on today, I noticed I got 127 page views.... from only 4 visitors. That breaks down to about 32 page views per person, before noon. That's not normal behavior. Someone's hate-viewing me a little harder than normal. And I think I know why. My Twitter account ended up in someone's video because I was posting to a hashtag called #AltFurry. (It's no real surprise at this point that I'm a furry, I mean, look at the main character of my current project.) AltFurry is a joke, but not a lot of people get that it's a joke. They think it's super serious, despite the fact that many of us go to great lengths to be plainly absurd. Anyway, one of the biggest running gags is copying feminism by taking an image or tweet, retweeting it to the tag, and adding "This is why we need AltFurry." (Not all of them are funny, though. Some have been videos of Muslims hanging small and large dogs, or torturing animals.)
Either way, the one that got noticed by this tiny, nobody Youtuber, throwing a salt-fest on camera was one where I retweeted someone complaining to RedPanels about a furry edit to a RedPanels comic, and I retweeted it with the quote "This is why we need #AltFurry". It's pretty funny. They think we're Nazis.
So I have a feeling one or two of those visitors today have had hate-boners. Hi haters! Thanks for the views! You're the reason AltFurry got so big so fast! The least you could have done was invite more friends to hate-fap to my blog, though.
Anyway, on with the show.
I'll start with the The Wingate Hotel Ghost.
This one should be fairly obvious. The video shows a maintenance guy walk up to a room that's haunted with some fairly horrifying screams, and no one is registered as being checked in. He goes in, and you get feedback of him reporting in on the radio to his manager or supervisor. There's apparently a ghostly figure that leaves the room as he's entering, one light flickers, and then the guy reports back from the room, saying it's empty. The manager tells someone else, someone named Amy, to call the police. The man reporting what the other guy sees in the room said the furniture has been flipped, the carpet is torn up, and the shower is on. (You can easily find it on YouTube if you want to review it.)
Debunking: I'm aware this one has been debunked before, that's why I started off with it, but I'm going to take a crack at debunking it myself without looking up what experts have said about it.
First of all, the ghost is easy enough to fake with overlays. It's been easy to fake a ghost for decades. There were people who managed to pull of faking ghosts on homemade VHS tape, back when that was the standard. The white, ghostly figure leaving the room proves nothing. I could fake it, myself, with my phone's camera and $30 video editing software. Anything with a chroma key function and a footage layering tool would be all I'd need. And even without a chroma key option and greenscreen, I could probably still do it by overlaying footage. All I'd need to do is film myself walking across the screen, then film a clip of the area I walked across with nothing happening in it, then I could take the clip of me walking, invert the colors and bump up the brightness, layer it over the top of the footage where nothing happens, and make the first layer transparent.
Just to prove how easy it would be, I made exactly the same effect in Photoshop.
Look out, World 1-1 is being haunted by a spoopy Mario jhost! (You kind of have to look a little close to see it.)
Ok, I know that's cheating, but I did use two backgrounds just to show how easy it would be to hide the inversion effect on all but the "ghost", using only brightness, a little desaturation, and a partial transparency on the inverted/modified layer ghost layer. Naturally, it would be better to apply additional filters to make the apparition look more ghostly, and hide the filter effects by crushing the image quality down, but I still wanted the Mario ghost to be recognizable, so I only went as far as I could without obfuscating the sprite.
Back to the video. Second, and this one's the most important: they never show us the inside of the room. I know, there are no cameras inside hotel rooms. But don't you find it odd that there's nothing to even prove this had taken place? If all the furniture was turned upside down, and the carpet was all ripped up, you would think there'd be photos taken, and video footage of the inside of the room. So why are there no photos? Because it's all a lie. They couldn't afford to do that much damage to their hotel, so when he goes in there, the room is just fine.
And finally, the light. This one is so plain, it may as well be sugar-free, plain yogurt. The footage is being obtained by the staff, and there are 3 people. John, the room checking guy, the guy you hear speaking, and Amy. Two of these people are never shown, and clearly they work at the hotel. I'm so confident of this fact that I'd place all of my money on it: the hotel staff have control over each individual light in the hotel for maintenance reasons. Either the speaker or Amy flicker the light (rather unconvincingly at that).
Verdict: Hoax. They did it to generate more visits to their hotel.
Next up, while I was looking for name of the hotel in the last video, I came across a related video. I wanted to go for a different setting, but since I've seen this one before, I'm going for it anyway.
The Malaysian Hotel Ghost
This one starts out with a woman on camera in a room. She's on the phone. Something moves, she reacts, but goes back to messing with her phone. Then a chair moves in front of her, she freaks out, more things move, and the video ends either with her getting knocked out, or fainting. Hard to tell which, and the videos never agree on a single answer. Some say she was struck and knocked out, some say she hits her head running into the table, others say she faints. Either way, it ends with her laying on the ground.
Debunking: This one's pretty obvious. First of all, her reaction is a little too overacted to be believable. She doesn't look around like you'd expect someone to do if they didn't know whether the chair moved on its own, or if there was someone else there screwing with her. She just dives out of her chair like she was just told it was a bomb and he has 5 seconds to act. We all have our "if that were me" reaction, so here's my fully honest one: If that were me, I would have been startled and terrified, for sure, but my first reaction would be to stare at it in surprise, then look around to see if someone was doing that. Not to action-movie-hero dive out of my chair.
Now here's the big one. The moving furniture. The first chair is hard to even see, so I'll ignore it. The second one, however, moves suspiciously towards the table in the bottom of the video screen. You'll see why this is important, later. At the very end of the video, several objects move... notice their direction and movement pattern. The table that the chair moves towards, the chair that 'scared' her, and a few other noticably out-of-place, and clearly light-weight plastic chairs all move towards the door. To block her path? I think not. That stuff could hardly block out a 4 year old. I'll give you a chance to figure it out on your own before spoiling it, if you haven't already.
3..2..1.. ready? All the stuff moves towards the door because it's all being pulled from beyond the door by inisible wire. The chair she bellyflops away from is pulled by a wire wrapped around the leg of the table in the bottom of the screen, this is made obvious by the fact that it moves towards it, then the rest of the stuff that moves all happens to move in the same way and in the same direction, towards the door, and it all just kind of stays there. Look at the way the table is leaning at the very end. There's no way it could have just come to rest like that unless it was being partially suspended by wire.
Look at that! No slipping? No weight shifting? No toppling? Not even a little? it just slides into that position and stays there? Even if you argue that the chair is holding it that way, keep in mind that it's a light, plastic chair, it would slip and slide under the table at least a little bit and the table would likely fall to the floor. There's no way it would just sit up against the door like that, after being pushed.
Verdict: Hoax. Here's a rule of thumb: if it happened in a hotel, it's faked to bring in hopelessly gullible people and generate a little more talk and money for their business. Sherlock Holmes would be like "Oh bloody come on, it's obvious! The real mystery here is how people were actually stupid enough to fall for this!" No more hotels. Unless it's something really hard to figure out, I'm not touching them after this point.
Next up, the Mexican Blockbuster Ghost
No, not a Mexican ghost in a Blockbuster, I mean a ghost at a Mexican Blockbuster. If, by any chance, I have any PC police reading this, please keep your XXXL panties on. No one wants to see you Triggly-jiggle with rage.
On to the video! So this one starts out clearly after-hours at a Mexican Blockbuster Video Store. A guy, very obviously an employee, walks into frame pushing a cart full of dvd cases to stack. He does his thing, putting up a few of the movies, but is suddenly startled when his cart moves on its own. He goes about his business and is about to move on when a dvd in the previous row falls off the shelf. He hears it, returns, and puts it back up and goes back to the next row, but it falls off again. He goes and puts it back up again and returns to the next row, but this time the dvd ahead of him falls off right before his eyes. When he puts it back up, more of them fall off, he freaks out and decides to leave.
Debunking: I gotta give credit where it's due, this guy is a much better actor than Action-Suzan from the last one. Instead of leaping away from the spoopy ghoasts like Batman after seeing the Bat Signal, he actually goes about it as if he's not sure what's going on. I would almost have believed he wasn't in on it, but he would have had to have been, and I'm about to reveal why.
Let's start with the cart. Kinda convenient that it only moves in the direction he's pushing it, don't you think? He doesn't do anything too complex with the cart. He doesn't even turn it. Not on the far side, out of view of the camera, nope. He leaves it right where the camera just happens to be able to see it as if he knows to leave it there so it can move and be seen by the camera moving
Alright, alright, typical employee behavior, I get it. I used to work at my high school. I had to stock classrooms before the beginning of the year, and I wasn't allowed to have the keys to turn on the elevators. There was no way in hell I was going to haul 60lbs worth of books and a 20lbs dollie up 3 flights of spiral stairs 6 times. And there was no one on-site to help me, so I left them at the bottom and split them into stacks to carry them up.
So I'm willing to let it come down to coincidence, and that he was lazy with the cart, considering how lazy I was with the books.
But, the coincidence doesn't stop there. Notice how the only dvds that fall are ones that are conveniently facing the camera? Why not one all the way across the store? Or on one of the back-facing shelves? Only the two rows nearest to center frame have dvds that fall off. Now pay close attention to the ones that fall off. There are only 3, and one of them falls 3 times total. Two of them are in the row nearest the camera without being out of shot, and one is in the row nearest center frame. On top of that, the only ones that fall off are ones that are on the top two shelves. Why do only the ones that are guaranteed to be seen by the camera fall? And why only three? If you count the one that falls off more than once, then only 3 objects fall, they're all facing the camera, they're all first and second self dvds, and they're in the only two rows that are as close to center frame as possible.
And now we return to why he couldn't have not been in on it. In order to get the dvds to fall, there would have had to have been a mechanism, invisible wire being pulled or something that pushed them off the shelf. If it was wire, he would have noticed the wire when returning the dvds to their spaces. If it was something pushing them off the shelf and he didn't know it, he didn't look around to make sure he wasn't being punked. He also didn't even bother trying to set the dvd cases so that they'd be less likely to fall over on their own, like you'd expect someone who believed they were falling off on their own to do, so I'm lead to believe he knew and was just good at acting.
Verdict: Hoax. Too much coincidence. And keep in mind that video rental stores have been suffering since the invention of Youtube, Redbox, Netflix, etc. Hell, all of the video rentals stores in my county have completely closed, including the Hollywood Video store, and the American Blockbuster Video, the two giants. They were so big, they even rented out video games for retro consoles. What better way to attract customers than a spoopy poltergeist to dupe the suckers into visiting the "legendary" "haunted" video store?
I want to leave you guys with a large post, so I'm going to do a few more.
Let's mix it up a little with something that can't be so easily explained away with invisible wires.
Giant Creature Climbing Buildings In Russia
This one depicts a massive, spider-like monster climbing the side of a building in what people are calling Russia. Not going to lie, this thing is freaky.
It's even weirder when you watch the video. It's almost human-like as it moves. The thing doesn't do much, it just climbs up the building and climbs on top, and the footage ends.
Debunking: Unfortunately, as convincing as it looks, it doesn't fool me for a second.
First, I'll go into the problems with this, then I'll tackle how it could be pulled off. For starters, why doesn't it appear to be casting a harder shadow? I know it's not exactly bright, but the shadows it's casting are far too soft-looking. I feel like the shadows it casts would be a little bit stronger, but maybe I'm wrong.
More importantly, where the hell is this thing going to go? It just climbed to the top of a building in broad daylight. The camera stops rolling before it does anything on top of the building, but I'll tell you what it can do from there: nothing. Where is a creature like that going to go from the top of what appear to be apartment buildings? It can't go anywhere but back the way it came, because I'm betting just on the other side of those buildings there is a parking lot where many people and possibly building security cameras are going to catch it. So this wouldn't be the only footage.
Let's say it stayed up there until nightfall. Why did the video cut, then? It doesn't leave frame. Surely the camera would have kept rolling if it didn't leave the top of the building. "Low batteries" is just not an excuse I'm going to buy on this one. The camera had just enough battery power to get a satisfactory glimpse at the creature, and the person with the camera had to shut it off conveniently after the thing got to the top of the building? And notice where the creature comes in from: behind the trees and out of sight completely. How did this person even know to start recording and where to point the camera? It doesn't look like they should have even known it was there.
To Fake It: Unfortunately for whoever made this, I happen to know exactly how this could be done. Over a decade as a game developer with experience in powerful, professional 3D software, and two years spent watching Freddie Wong and his Behind The Scenes videos have taught me that not only is this possible to do, it's rather simple to do, and cheap, if you have the software already. Go watch some Freddie Wong videos. He even does this one where he takes other Youtuber's videos and "jumps" into them to steal objects in the background.
All it would take is some 3D software, create a CG spider thing, map out the building for it to crawl on, render it with matching lighting, and layer it over the footage with a professional video editor, and render the final video. Why does it stop when it gets to the top? Because the person just shot the footage, put the creature in it, and likely didn't have enough room at the end of the video for one reason or another. Either impromptu without a storyboard, and therefor didn't film enough footage, laziness, or something happened at the end that forced them to ditch any potential remaining footage. Or maybe they imagined it moving faster than it ended up moving. Most likely, though, the camera made a mistake at the end and didn't correctly capture the rest of the footage that was meant to be used, so it had to be cut there.
Verdict: Fake. It's just too easy to do. Hell, I could do this myself, all I'd need is some HD footage and a video editor, and I could most likely do something very similar, as I already have capable 3D software.
One more. Let's make it a bigger one. One by a ghost hunting team. A popular ghost hunting team.
Ghost Adventures Season 2 Episode 4's Flickering Light
This one may be harder to find the video to follow along with. If it's not on Netflix or ripped on Youtube, I don't know what to tell you. The segment I'm referring to is about half an hour into the video. If you're able to find it, it's a night-vision scene in the middle of the night. They walk up on some kind of abandoned shack that was meant for slaves by the sound of it, or something, and a light inside goes on. They point the camera and start walking towards it, and the light goes off, prompting them to start running. They get there and look into the window, the light is on in, but the wooden planks make it hard to see much. They try the doors, but can't get in. They shine their light in through the slats to prove to use it's not a light sensor that is activating the light. They talk it over with someone who apparently knows the area very well, and he admits he's never seen the light flicker like that.
Debunking: This one is weak. First of all, they try to show it's not fake by shining a light into the building to prove it's not being activated by light, but this is a redundant point, because it's the middle of the night, and light to trigger a light wouldn't make any sense. And even if that were the case, how was it being turned on in the first place then, in the middle of the night? So pointing out that it can't be faked simply because it isn't activated by shining your light into it, proves not a single thing. It just shows these guys are dumb.
Second, and this one's the big one of this section of the video: They never go inside, and they can't see inside too well. Well gee, that sure as hell doesn't open up a whole host of possibilities.
It couldn't be that there was someone planted inside, controlling the lights, nope not at all. It couldn't be that the light was installed by them before the cameras started rolling and they had remote control over it. It most definitely couldn't possibly be a lamp of some kind designed to flicker on and off much like Christmas lights, no way! Not possible in the least!
Sarcasm over, they don't even go inside, nor do they try very hard to get in. They don't try picking the lock, they don't attempt to break in, they don't try removing the planks to get a better look in the window, they just stand around outside the window reacting unconvincingly to the light seeming to go on and off in response to them and talking about it like slackjawed morons. Then as soon as someone who seems to have keys to the place shows up, they don't ask to be let in, they just let him tell them "I've never seen anything like that before in my life" in a rather unconvincing way, and then they leave and don't even mention it again for the rest of the video. They cut to some 10 minute-long theatrical bullshit, a haunted hospital with scary screams, probably hoping to get people to forget about the light they failed to investigate. I don't care if they were trying to respect the site. Any paranormal investigator worth his salt would have smashed in the door to get a better look.
Verdict: Fraudulent. I see no way that a place would have its light turn on or off if the light switch were set to off in the first place. If it had been left on and the flicker was caused by a fault somewhere, it would have been more erratic with the flickering, not just off for a few seconds, on for a few seconds. But the fact that they don't even try to give us a reasonable look inside leaves me to believe there was something they didn't want us to see. They only give the camera a shoddy, 1-2 second glance from 4-5 feet from the window, through the gaps in the wood, and then they never get the camera close enough to the window again. There sure are a lot of edits, as well. I know, I know... run time and all that, it's a TV show, I get it. But they could have cut a lot of the fluff that comes in the beginning of the video where they're interviewing people and meandering around during the day. Most of the episode is just them wasting time during the day, and you're telling me that not even a second of the daytime garbage couldn't have been axed to give us a few seconds to get a good look through the window? I'm not buying what they're selling.
Spirit Boxes are junk. They don't do anything paranormal. They work by scanning like a radio. People are able to fool themselves into thinking the words and things they pick up are paranormal, they aren't. Sometimes it picks up a frequency that it can read clearly enough, and sometimes that station will have someone talking, and sometimes that person will say something we recognize, and sometimes they say something we can interpret as a word or words, and sometimes it can pick up multiple people saying things one after another and to the easily-fooled, that can seem like a message that means something. It doesn't. It's about as meaningless as a message in alphabet soup.
It's called The Law of Truly Large Numbers. And there's exactly zilch paranormal about it. Hop on the Google machine and look it up. Actually, you could go right ahead and test this out yourself. If you have access to a Scrabble board, take all the letters out and toss them on the floor so that they spread out and fall relatively close, but in a haphazard way. Flip over any that are face down. See any words in there? That's the law of truely large numbers in action. In fact, if you did this enough, you might just find your name spelled out in there one of the times, or the name of your pet, or the name of someone special to you, or the name of the city you grew up in, or the name of your crush. There's nothing special about it, it's just the laws of chance.
Same goes for the spirit box. If you cycle through radio stations fast enough, you'll pick up on things by chance and some of the times out of those, it will be voices saying words. It's meaningless crap, and a waste of your money. No one is trying to communicate with you through it, I guarantee you that.
Anyway, I think that about wraps it up. I'm only just realizing that by posting this, I'm running the risk of people thinking they can submit more for me to do, and that's fine. If you want my opinion on paranormal videos or stories that you know of, or find, feel free to direct me to them and I'll see if I can debunk them, but I need to slap a warning/caveat on there. Before you go wasting my time, please make sure the video is at least credible. I'm not trying to be harsh, I'm just trying to avoid getting people submitting paranormal stuff that's crap.
Here's what you gotta do. First, review the video and pick out everything that's just 'take my word for it' stuff. Examples: "Dude, there's no one else in here!" or "Holy crap, did you feel that chill?" or "I didn't catch it on camera, but <X> totally fell over all by itself, guise, honest! It wasn't me, it was teh spoopy jhoast!" or "The person filming the video claim <X,Y,Z> happened but the microphone/camera didn't pick it up." or literally anything claimed to have happened after the footage ends. "Not captured on tape were the ghastly wails of the spirit that haunts this residence." Cool, cool, I'll be sure to file that under Useless Crap To Discard, thanks for the information, disembodied voiceover lady!
There's no way to analyze, prove, or debunk what's not on camera. It's a waste of time. That's unfalsifiable anecdotal evidence, and when conducting legitimate investigations of the paranormal, anecdote is worth nothing. After you've discarded anything you can't see or hear in the video, are there any paranormal events remaining? If no, throw the video out.
I'm also not going to be tackling unsolved disappearances or mysterious deaths. Those really can't be analyzed properly. If the police and FBI can't solve them with access to the scene of the crime and eye-witness account, and forensics, then some idiot game developer on the internet isn't going to fair much better. A popular one is Elisa Lam. I have reviewed everything there is to know about the death. I've watched the videos, I've watched analysis of her behavior in the videos, I've even listened to all forms of speculation over the incident, and I still can't explain what happened. I read a comment somewhere that says those particular elevators do get stuck like that if you push all the buttons like she can be seen doing, but other than that, I have nothing I could add to the discussion. And after Paranormalana vanished after drawing more attention to a mysterious death believed to be a government covered-up homicide, I'm just not interested in accidentally dropping a weight on my neck while accidentally shooting myself in the back of the head 8 times with a gun I don't own.
Fourth, no possessions. They're all either madness, mental illness, or faked for attention, money, notoriety, etc. Every single last one of them. There's no way to debunk a possession, because they're too easy to fake: just flail around groaning. Bam, instant phony possession.
5th, if it looks like it was filmed on a Motorola flip phone that was powered by a potato, don't bother. It doesn't have to be high quality, but it has to be of at least some quality above a McDonald's health code grade point.
And finally, no stories. If there's no video evidence, it's as good as anecdote. I can speculate on true stories, or supposedly true stories, but there's not a lot I can give based on word or hearsay. "I was using a Ouija board once, and I was thrown across the room by an invisible force. True story, breh." My motto is "Pics or it didn't happen." or in this case, I guess that would be "Vids or it didn't happen". And definitely no pastas. Those are typically made up and can't be trusted. (For the normies, a "pasta" refers to a "creepy pasta" usually a scary, and often paranormal fake story, or any other "pasta" type story.)
If it passes that litmus test, then you can feel free to send me videos. But you don't have to, because I'll just find some every so often to anyway, otherwise.
Also, please keep in mind that any paranormal video sent my way will be getting analyzed to find ways that it's fake. I don't just present paranormal videos and go "Golly gosh, this sure is spooky! I don't know if it could be a hoax or not! It could be real, you never know! What do you guys think? Comment, favorite, like, and subscribe if you think this is real and 3spoopy5u, and let me know what you think!" No, I'm going to use my knowledge in film tricks, CG, and graphics to tell you how the video is fake, can be faked, or what I find to be off or suspicious about it. I'm saying this as a disclaimer, just in case people send me their own videos hoping I'll help them out by confirming their video as legit. If you made a video you think can fool me and pass my scrutiny, you're welcome to try. But keep in mind that if I can find a way to call it fake, I will call it fake. I'm not going to play along with the hoax, either, even if you ask real nice........ Though I might if you also include nudes of your legal age, female body, or your legal age girlfriend/wife.
I'm just kidding, though (mostly). Please don't send me naked photos. I don't want people thinking they can get favors out of me that way.
Just don't send me any paranormal activity videos you aren't prepared to have revealed as fake.
I think that does it. If you liked this post, feel free to avoid making use of the comment section as usual. But if you didn't like it, you really should tell me, because if you don't and you'd prefer for me to never do paranormal video debunks again, I need to know, because if no one says anything, I'm going to take that as a positive, and I'll likely end up doing it again if I feel like making it a thing I do regularly, or rather... something that I end up doing more often.