Raising the Skeptic Signal! What Do You Think of These Videos?

This Youtube video features what are supposed to be “real” videos of “actual” ghosts. I’m curious what you skeptics think. Fakes? Misinterpretations?

I feel like there’s always a natural explanation, and often it’s just that people are so easily taken in by practical jokes that they refuse to see it as a practical joke.

But anyways… what’s your opinion? Quick warning, though… I wouldn’t watch this at night. The music and background images used are a bit creepy, and if you’re easily creeped out, this will creep you out…

Also, sorry for the lack of a transcript. It’s kind of hard to transcribe this one, I think, though someone’s certainly welcome to try! And I apologize if the video autoplays. I have a Chrome extension that keeps videos from doing that, so I don’t know whether or not this will autoplay if you don’t have that extension…


  1. Hj Hornbeck says

    Here’s a tutorial on how to overlay a synthetic 3D object over a real scene in the span of a few hours. The cost of the software in this video? $0.

    The tools to fake a video have never been more widespread, and a lot of what I saw didn’t need any of that. A chain moved? Some distance away in a tunnel with uneven walls? A cart which isn’t fully in the shot moved, in a security video that’s unusually high-resolution and fluid for security footage? There are odd visual fluctuations, in a video of a video plagued by video compression artifacts that’s been zoomed into?

    Honestly, I’m more shocked at how lazy the people behind these videos are.

  2. says

    I do find it funny that in the video of the moving chain, there’s actually a second, and if you look very closely, a third chain also moving. So there are actually three chains moving, but only one moves the most, and only that one is focused on. It that guy’s return to the mine a year later that fascinates me. I’m not subscribed to the channel in question, but I have watched multiple videos from there (including the two in question), and they were not uploaded on or near Halloween or April Fool’s Day; the rest of the videos are otherwise similar… explorations of abandoned mines. I wonder what would drive him to fake two random videos that otherwise have no bearing on his channel?

    And I don’t mean that question to suggest that I think the videos could be real (I obviously don’t think any of the videos are real). Perhaps somebody else played a prank on him, or maybe he felt it would be funny to do, given the history of the particular mine.

    The hotel one, with the screaming room and the upside down furniture interests me, as well, although, of course, we never get to actually see the furniture so, you know, that could easily have just been a couple of bored hotel workers messing around on the security cams and then deciding to upload it to YouTube…

    My favorite may be the last one, but I remember reading that that was part of a viral marketing campaign for the horror movie mentioned, and not real security cam footage. But I also can’t find where I read that anymore…

    ETA… actually, in the first mine video, I watched it again, and I saw even more chains moving behind the one that was swinging. I love how the narrator says that the chains are 40 pounds, so a “simple gust of wind” could not move them, but this is a mine… there’d be more than a “simple gust of wind” coming from down there, and that would also explain the ambient drop in temperature rather easily.

    And it always sort of bugged me that when ghosts want to scare someone, they choose such easily explainable means to do it. So we get that last video, where the woman is “attacked” in that break room, which, if I were a ghost wanting to scare or attack someone, that’s how I’d do it… but, ironically, that also makes it the most fake-seeming of all of them.

  3. says

    I think it’d be fun to actually try and create a “real” ghost video to upload to YouTube, just to prove how easy this stuff is… I’d love to get together with a group to pull it off…

  4. says

    Except when you reveal that it’s a fake, nobody will believe you. Instead, they’ll take the original video and spread it far and wide, with no reference to your name. Ten years later, a best selling book will come out that cites your video as proof of the existence of ghosts and the anonymity of the maker as proof of a government coverup.

    No, I’m not kidding.

  5. says

    I honestly wouldn’t have figured you were kidding. We’ve seen that very thing happen (crop circles, for example).

    I still wanna do it, though… 😀

  6. lorn says

    Interesting. But objectively my objections start with mention of “ghost videos”. Nothing like setting up a response by suggesting context.

    Second, there is the music and sound track. Turn the sound down and it all seems much less ominous.

    Third, the perspectives all seem quite convenient in that they show just enough to raise a mystery but not so much to allow any obvious explanation.

    -- The chain moves but obviously it is attached in some sort of depression in the roof because at roof level you can see the chain moving side to side. The other chains, the ones that stay still are visible over their entire length. I suspect this guy is being pranked. The siren is a bit too far over the top.

    -- The furniture moving mainly moved toward the door. This suggests thin fishing line being yanked. Notice how the table is on top of other furniture after the initial move, but it, after a few seconds, falls back down. Suggesting that the piece was held up on the other piece by a string of some sort and someone let go. Convenient that the camera is just at eh right distance, perspective and resolution to make thin mono-filament line a possibility.

    -- In the case of the staircase the stairs are at the very back of the room, farthest from the camera. The orbs are clearly lighting flare from suspended particles or bugs. Simple enough to stop filming, get a couple people on the stair, have their faces emerge from shadow and them back while filming at lower resolution, stop, overlay. Made to order ghost footage. All made possible by the quirks of camera placement, lighting, variable resolution, and digital overlaying. The woman seems to be overacting.

    -- The hotel scene is remarkable for the sound and what it doesn’t show. Where does the ‘screaming sound’ come from in the video? Most security cameras lack sound. Did someone add it after the fact? Clearly someone added the script that adds to the atmosphere. And, of course while we are told the furniture is inverted we never see it. Watch that section with the sound turned off and the video window scrolled to cover the text and it just looks like a lonely guy checking out a room. Far less drama. But then again, that is the point.

    -- The video store clip is spooky until you notice what you are not seeing. The cart is not fully seen so it would be simple enough to push forward. Notice that all the DVD boxes that fall are facing the camera. Simple enough for someone to sit on the other side of the shelves and push off DVD cases by simply poking finger through from the other side. Again, the effect is helped along by the spooky music and context of this being a ‘ghost video’.

    Humans seem to have a talent for spotting oddity and incongruity, and we are quick to make up stories based upon not enough information.

  7. Hj Hornbeck says

    Nate Heavens @5:

    I still wanna do it, though…

    I’d say go for it. Take a look at the way Captain Disillusion works; he points to a video, explains why its altered or exaggerated, then does the same thing himself. It’s a lot harder to cut out of context, but gets the same information across.

    On top of that, think of your resume; the skills you build up crafting these videos are the same skills needed to make it as a freelance video artist. People do that sort of work with Blender, too, so you could hit two birds with one stone here.

    Well, a stone and a shit-tonne of work, but you know.

  8. grumpyoldfart says

    I’d like to see a ghost walk stand in front of a camera and sing a song, or make a cup of tea, or piss on the carpet, or something — but swinging chains seems to be their limit.

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