October 22, 2014

Do you remember Ghostbusters and the slimy the ghost who left ectoplasm all over the team? Or maybe you have seen the photographs of Victorian mediums with white stuff coming from their mouths. It all seems a bit farfetched to be honest, what exactly is ectoplasm and does it exist?

Ectoplasm is believed to be a gauze-like substance that came from various places on the medium’s body and spirits would drape this substance over themselves so we could see them and an interact with them. For some mediums ectoplasm would start out as a clear and viscous substance that would darken and harden as the spiritual energy increased.  Some mediums even claimed it had an odour, like ozone but most also stated it could not form in fully light conditions as if would disintegrate.

The mediums believed ectoplasm was formed when the medium and the ghost’s energy were equal and they ‘met’. The spirit would use the mediums skin and energy to materialise and communicate with the others in the circle. There was another theory that the ectoplasm came from the spirit itself and this was its life force coming from its dimension to ours.

The objects and shapes produced by ectoplasm called a pseudopod, and could often move like a real arm or hand. They could hold things, pick stuff up, and shove things around. They even shook the hands of those people taking part in the séance. Whatever was produced through ectoplasm was cold to the touch and often damp.

There were famous witnesses to the production of ectoplasm like Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, one believed and one did not. There were a variety of frauds using cheesecloth, rubber gloves, muslin, tissues and magazine cut-outs. These were well publicized and by the 1930’s this kind of meduimship had almost died out.

Today it is hard to find any evidence of mediums using ectoplasm, maybe they were fake or that powerful physical mediumship has died out. If you were to do a search for pictures of ectoplasm of today you will find ectoplasm has been replaced with fog like substances and orbs.

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