Last night, the Syfy channel aired an episode of one of its many idiotic ghost-hunting shows, "School Spirits." You can probably guess what the show's theme is—ghosts haunting things related to schools. In this week's episode, a Penn fraternity detailed the year its house was haunted by the 1800s Native American killer "Sam Mohawk." Oh, boy. Here we go.
Making fun of these shows is picking at pretty low-hanging fruit, but I feel it's my duty to tell the fraternity Bros that, no, you were not haunted. Much like no one is ever haunted in these shows. Let's take a look at what the show says happened to the frat house during the year Mohawk tried to get his revenge on the White Man, and then look at what actually happened in real life.
"Doors mysteriously locked, objects moved without explanation, and temperatures went to extremes in the house."
You live in a fraternity house! Half the time you're drunk and not in the best condition to remember where you put stuff. The other half, well, look where you're living—do you have any idea how many shirts, iPods, sunglasses, and other assorted items completely disappear every day in frat houses? These things f*cking suck in stuff. It's not a demon. It's your roommates taking your copy of "Anchorman" and forgetting to return it.
And extreme temperatures? Many of these houses are 100 years old. Not exactly the best places at keeping in heat.
"Then the scariest experience of all—one brother says the spirit attempted to kill him while he was sleeping. 'I could feel my body being lifted. I wanted to yell 'Help!' but I couldn't get that out. The sheets were getting tighter and tighter '"
This is called sleep paralysis, dude. It's a relatively common condition where you can't move, feel like something is constricting your breathing, and you can't yell out. According to Wikipedia, "Many people that experience sleep paralysis are struck with a deep sense of terror because they sense a menacing presence in the room while they are paralyzed which will hereafter be referred to as the intruder." In the middle ages, people who went through this thought they were being possessed by a demon. Today, we know that it's just your body stuck half-awake and half in REM sleep.
Also, one of the major causes of sleep paralysis is drinking. I have no idea if the guy being interviewed drinks, but he did live in a frat house, so there's strong evidence pointing there.
"They contacted the spirit with a Ouiji board.... They don't know why the spirit started attacking them, but they were able to rid the spirit by burning the Ouiji board."
They contacted it with an arbitrary device, and they ridded it by doing an arbitrary thing. In other words, once one person brought up the idea of a ghost, the rest of the guys began looking for signs that it was there, creating a mass panic. When they burned the board, the "events" coincidentally stopped because they had convinced themselves this burning would work. Mass hysteria, gents.
That was fun. Anyone have any other college ghost stories for me to debunk?