Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Question for my Readers

So I have a great collection of readers and followers here.

I have RPG types, Horror fans and para-normal/supernatural authors and fans.  A great group really.

So here is a question for you all that I have been pondering the last couple of days.

Given you have only "mundane" means, how do you kill a ghost?

I was thinking something like a shotgun full of rock salt or something.  Silver buckshot?  Something else.

What do you all think?

16 comments:

Trey said...

Destroying the item/location it's tethered to?

farawayeyes said...

A ghost is already dead. You can't necessarily kill them. Best to just send them on.

Simon Forster said...

Reciting the ghost's history, up to its death, reminding it that it has lived and died, thus sending it to whatever afterlife awaits it.

The Happy Whisk said...

I'm going to agree with Trey. Destroying them by removing whatever is holding them here.

Then maybe they can move on.

I've heard salt before though, but never tried it so I can't tell you if it really works.

seaofstarsrpg said...

If ghosts are ectoplasm and ectoplasm has a physical existence, fire.

If the ghost believes, an exorcism should send it away.

keithboyle said...

Depends on the type of ghost being killed... er, dispensed with, I guess. Working from a ghosts-as-electromagnetic-fields perspective:

Death echoes could be dispersed by setting up a counter-noise generator - like the ones in noise-cancelling headphones, but on a room- or house-sized scale. Remember those multiroom speakers that transmitted sound through the house wiring? this would be the lo-fi DIY way of implementing this.

Intelligent/Interactive ghosts would be best handled through negotiation. The trick would be to get them to stay still long enough to have a meaningful chat. So I'm thinking EM Pump combined with Carnacki's electric pantacle with Spirit Box as vocal translator. Then have the conversation - what you want, what they want, how to find agreement, that sort of thing...

Poltergeists as rogue PK in children/teens also fits this model, so ground them via conductive jewelry, cutting their hair shorter, and good old patience as they grow out of this phase should work as well.

You said no supernatural, so I'm going to call the "demonic hauntings" of current TV ghost hunting fashion "anomalous idiopathic EM fields" and recommend Faraday cages around the sensitive spots. It doesn't destroy it, but it does contain it...

keithboyle said...

The lore on salt goes something like this: it's the only rock that's pure enough that we can eat. That purity is incompatible with the "uncleanness" of the spirits, Thus, ghosts can't cross it. Getting shot with it would just be forcing them to not cross themselves and causes dispersal.

Not a huge fan of calling that sort of thinking "mundane only," but salt's about as mundane as you can get.

The Kripke Trinity - salt, iron, burn the bones - works really well as weapons for adventure stories like SPN, though their meaning and uses in traditional ghost stories is quite different...

Woodclaw said...

Given the "no supernatural" rule I think that the main methods are already covered by the previous posts.
Either destroying the links of the ghost to the mundane world (if possible) or destroy its mortal remains might work.
The whole reminds him/her that he/she is already dead is tricky because I'm not sure a ghost is willing to listen.
Keithboyle pretty much covered the scientific/technobabble angle.

Another option is running water. According to the Celtic tradition large bodies of water (especially rivers and lakes) are doors into the afterlife, for this reason a ghost can't cross running water. If someone can force a ghost close enough to a river or a stream the proximity might do the trick.

Timeshadows said...

As an Aetheric entity, they are susceptible to Void attacks.
--If executed in perfect symmetry, there should be nothing left. Too much Void, and a Shade is created. Too little, and a Spectre is created. Sad, really.

On a more Humane level, it is possible to find the event-complex that has the being pinned in the Aether, and un-pin it by meeting the requirements for the thing to achieve its necessary criteria for passing through to dissolution.

tarotgames said...

@Technobabble: EM Pumps and Spirit Boxes are considered legitimate tools for ghost hunters/paranormal investigators, in the same way EVP is. Granted, it's a pretty biased piece of reasoning to go from unexplained phenomenon to explainable and exploitable technology, but truly critical thinking isn't normally a well-used tool in a ghost hunter's bag. It's akin to forgetting what the U in UFO stands for and saying that the odd lights in the sky are aliens here to rule the world...

I threw out the Carnacki reference because, frankly, it's Tim who's asking the question. The real-life analog to what Hodgson described is a Faraday cage - aka the shielding & grounding frame inside the computer that you're using to read these words.

Mongo avoids the [tech] like the plague: even if the terms aren't that familiar, they're not entirely meaningless or made-up if I can help it...

JWRouseIII said...

Blow it apart with a leaf blower.

Laura said...

Using a lot of moxy and deduction, I'd reveal that it's only Old Man Grimley, the owner of the abandoned amusement park, out to scare off the current owners so he can collect his money. He'll call me a meddling kid, but a good day's work is worth it.

Timothy Brannan said...

Awesome responses all!

I'll have to respond here in a bit.

Jensan said...

Treat it like a hiccup: scare it away!

llama1996 said...

Iron is suposed to affect spirits and the supernatural (even more than it affects people) or you could just go ghost-whisperer on its magical ass and "help it to cross over" by finishing its unfinished buissiness that keeps it in this realm. Unless it's an unhelpful ghost, then you could just do what Trey said and burn down its house :D

Timeshadows said...

Timothy,

Did you delete my post?

"Timeshadows noreply-comment@blogger.com
1:11 PM (10 hours ago)

to me
Timeshadows has left a new comment on the post "Question for my Readers":


As an Aetheric entity, they are susceptible to Void attacks.
--If executed in perfect symmetry, there should be nothing left. Too much Void, and a Shade is created. Too little, and a Spectre is created. Sad, really.

On a more Humane level, it is possible to find the event-complex that has the being pinned in the Aether, and un-pin it by meeting the requirements for the thing to achieve its necessary criteria for passing through to dissolution.


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