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Science Gives Ghosts and Demons the BEATDOWN

Science Gives Ghosts and Demons the BEATDOWN

By Chrissie Gruebel

Remember how people used to think the sun revolved around the Earth and you could bleed out sicknesses and if you swallowed gum you'd grow a gum tree in your stomach? At the time, “science" said all this was true (except for maybe the gum one, which is just something my mom said I guess). Anywho, now that we have stronger Bunson burners or whatever, we proved everyone wrong (sorry, Ptolemy) and science is bored again. So what happens when we know everythang about the world? We start looking into other worlds. Yeah, I’m talking about ghosts and demons and mailer-deamons and stuff. Let’s see what science has to say about that!

Porphyria, the Vampire Slayer

Even though vamps are now The Plastics of the supernatural world (no thanks to the Twilight GLAM-pires), people are still not okay with the idea that there may or may not be a creature of the night waiting to suck your blood and turn you into Robert Pattinson. So porphyria, right? It's a motorcycle gang of diseases that, at its worst, eats away your nose and ears and also erodes your gums so it looks like you have fangs. Also! From Scientific American: "Some historians speculate that in the dark ages people with porphyria might have tried drinking blood as a folk remedy." Ew. AND! "They might have learned to avoid garlic, too, for some chemicals in garlic are thought to exacerbate the symptoms of the disease porphyria."

So it was alll a misunderstanding! I get it now. Other diseases that could be vampire-y? Tuberculosis and Catalepsy. Check it.

Zombies, Zombies Everywhere & Not a Drop of Braaaains

If vampires are The Plastics of the supernatural world, then the whole zombie apocalypse thing is kind of like Lindsay Lohan's career. Some people swear it’s gonna come out of nowhere, some people don't think it actually exists, but when it comes down to it—we’d all be completely flabbergasted if it took the world by storm one day. BUT, back before Lindz was but a wink in her parents’ (crazy) eyes, a man named Wade Davis came along with a degree in ethnobiology from Harvard, a lot of time on his hands and a whole lot of dreams. He went Haiti between 1982-1984 and studied zombies. The result? He claims that certain poison powders contain neurotoxins that'll put you in in a deathlike trance and then you'll reawaken from the grave all mad and psychotic. People don't seem to buy what he's selling.

HOWEVER, Flash forward to 1997, British anthropologist Roland Littlewood and Dr. Chavannes Douyon went back to Haiti to diagnose some "zombie" people who were dead and buried … until people saw them shopping (lady zombies love saaaales). But Littlewood & Douyon decided these zombies were actually catatonic schizophrenics and epileptics. This makes a lot more sense until that dude in Miami ate that other dude in the 2012 news story that will give me nightmares until the end of time. I can't even link you to it or I'll start screaming uncontrollably at my desk.

I Ain't Am Afraid of No Every Ghost

Straight up? I'm gonna be scared of ghosts no matter what science says because I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night and see a ghost standing at the foot of my bed all like "told you." Unless it's Patrick Swayze in which case, we would dance together.

But if you don't care about that stuff, then fine, here's the proof that makes you strong. There's something called infrasound. It's not "noise" so much as it's not… noise. It's a sound you can't hear but your ears can feel it and the more intense the vibrations, the more it makes you feel 'fraidy and panicky and filled with dread. An awesomely named researcher, Vic Tandy, discovered this phenomena in the '80's. If you'd like to test this shiz (the sweet spot’s between 7 and 19 Hz) do what a bunch of jerks scientists did and ruin a concert for everyone.

This is why we can't have nice things.

"But what about wet, dead children crawling out of TV sets," you're asking? The physical apparition of ghosts is explained by scientists as… drumroll, please… infrasound! Again! When it’s high enough, it makes your eyeballs resonate, which can cause optical illusions such as "seeing" wet, dead children crawling out of TV sets. Other explanations include drafts (the ones your grandma feels) and sleep paralysis, which is when you wake up but you can’t move and that can cause visual hallucinations.

What supernatural craziness are you just SURE science can't explain? Besides the popularity of Twilight.

Tags: twilight, zombies, science, vampires, ghosts, life, demons, supernatural

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About the Author
Chrissie Gruebel

Chrissie Gruebel is a bunch of things separated by commas, but more often than not, she’s a writer, comedian, and wearer of too many colors at once. Here she is on Twitter: @chrissiegruebel.

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