ectoplasm (mostly for luminon)
though i'm hardly anywhere near lending it credence, i've always found the idea of ectoplasm interesting. i just finished reading hell house by richard matheson. matheson has always been one of my favorite writers of horror and weird fiction--a lot of great twilight zone episodes were based on his work--but i found hell house to be a bit silly, especially the slapdash ending. however, in it there is a paranormal researcher who is convinced that there are no conscious spirits and that all paranormal phenomena are projected by physical mediums utilizing electromagnetic radiation in the air. in the book there are some interesting manifestations created from ectoplasm emanating from a medium's body. the researcher obtains a sample and determines that its composition is purely organic, and that everything in it can be found in the human body.
so what i'm asking luminon (or anyone else who cares to weigh in), what do you think of the idea of ectoplasm? i once read a blog by a self-professed paranormal researcher (don't remember where), and he said that any "true" paranormal expert scoffs at the notion of ectoplasm--that it doesn't really exist at all and that it's just an idea made popular by books and films. then again, i know matheson prided himself on his knowledge of the paranormal and he claimed that nothing in hell house was "made up," but was all reworked from actual reports.
"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson