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What is Paranormal Ectoplasm?

What is Paranormal Ectoplasm?

In the 2009 movie, “Haunting in Connecticut,” there’s a scene where a teenage boy, who is a “physical medium” between the living and the dead, is conducting a séance. A white substance starts to come out of the boy’s mouth, in slow motion, and forms above his head. It’s hard to describe the substance. It’s not really like a cloud or a puff of smoke but is more solid than that—more like cooked egg whites suspended in air. If you saw this scene, you will probably remember it. It’s a movie special effect, of course, but it’s sure to give you the creeps if you are at all susceptible.   

The white substance is known as “ectoplasm,” or, more accurately as “paranormal ectoplasm.” The word “ectoplasm” is derived from the Greek work ektos, meaning “outside” and “plasma,” meaning something formed or molded. Simply stated, “paranormal ectoplasm” is a substance excreted from the orifices (ears, mouths, noses) of physical mediums when they are in a trance state. Spiritual entities (ghosts) are said to drape this substance over their nonphysical bodies to allow themselves to interact in the physical world.

Paranormal ectoplasm has not been proved or accepted by the scientific world, so there is good reason to be skeptical of its existence. Substances that were purported to be ectoplasm have been studied and found to be much more mundane substances, such as human skin or chiffon. People who have actually witnessed paranormal ectoplasm firsthand—or believe they have—believe it’s truly a ghostly emanation, but the rest of us aren’t so sure. It’s like believing in UFOs or haunted houses or guardian angels. Either you believe it or you don’t.

Copyright © 2011 by Allen Kopp

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