New York University says ghosts aren’t real. "It’s just mold." Yeah, okay.

New York University says ghosts aren’t real. “It’s just mold.” Yeah, okay.

petri-dish-art copy

It’s time to pack it all up, paranormal investigators. Apparently science has finally found the explanation for all of those strange experiences people keep attributing to ghosts… it’s just mold.

Nerd scientists at New York’s Clarkson University have been busy collecting samples of spores, molds, and fungus, not just for fun, but because they believe there’s a possible link between the furry Petri dishes and some of the common experiences reported by people who have had a run-in with a ghost.



“Hauntings are often reported in older-built structures that may also suffer poor air quality,’ explained Shane Rogers, a civil and environmental engineer. “Similarly, some people have reported depression, anxiety and other effects from exposure to biological pollutants in indoor air.”

So there you have it folks, grant money put to good use. Ghost hunters like to hang out in old buildings, therefore it’s not ghosts, it’s mold.

What do you think about the great mold/ghost debate? Let us know in the comments below!


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  1. Red Pill Junkie

    04/20/2015 at 11:47 AM

    Maybe the mold morphs into slime? 😉

  2. Diane Muckey

    04/20/2015 at 12:31 PM

    Yeah, like the godhelmet stuff..keep trying

  3. Coppertop

    04/20/2015 at 7:56 PM

    Man, the Metro article doesn’t even link to the original report or paper. Boo, hiss.

  4. Ken Summers

    04/21/2015 at 12:35 AM

    Even the Clarkson University news release doesn’t link to the full study: But in Roger’s defense…

    “As a longtime fan of ghost stories, Rogers said his goal is not to debunk the legends but to instead provide insight on why certain places are perceived to be haunted.”

    The problem for me is that mold spores of every imaginable type are everywhere, all the time. It’s an easy answer. Too easy.

    I mean, I get it. After 20 years of searching for spooks, part of my brain is still looking for some kind of answers. But if I’ve learned anything it’s that the answers are far more complicated than calling it all hallucinations, swamp gas, tricks of the light, etc. And anyone looking for a singular answer doesn’t know just how complicated and broadly-ranged ghostly phenomena really is.

    And if it is all just inside our heads, then how is it that people can hallucinate specific things at specific places without knowing that they’re experiencing something documented in the past that they have no knowledge of ever having happened? And why do multiple people hallucinate the exact same thing? Some answers just make the incidents even more baffling.

    But what do I know? I’m just a moldy old bookworm who loves a spooky story.

  5. Old Knudsen

    04/21/2015 at 1:31 AM

    So over the years when I’ve seen things appearing and vanishing with no logical or medical reason while outside it’s mold? … good to know.

  6. JK

    04/22/2015 at 4:42 PM

    This type of story just cracks me up. I have been an active paranormal investigator since 2004. One day, I was conducting an EVP session in a ghost town inside a dilapidated school house built in the 1880’s and had been used as the mining community’s main learning site for children.

    Killing time, waiting for the rest of my group to get back from hearing a lecture from the site’s caretaker. I conducted practice EVP sessions. I asked if there was a presence in the building to “rap” twice on the wall. A few seconds later something walked right by me to my left and out the back door of the building. All I heard was heavy footsteps and saw nothing but it was captured by my little recorder.

    The building had no attic or basement and was surrounded only by bushes and shrubs.The roof was torn and was built with a severe A-Frame so I was able to inspect it entirely. There was no one there.

    Years later, a retired Navy sonar and sound specialist asked me to send the audio clip to him. He checked it out on his special equipment and said the sounds of the footsteps showed that the sound waves were abnormal and mishapen to what they were supposed to look like.

    So, that was enough for me. I encountered something that MAY be described as a ghost. To this day it still bothers me when the super skeptics can’t wrap their heads around the concept of the paranormal.

    It’s frustrating.

  7. difficiles

    05/19/2015 at 8:14 PM

    Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a great article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

  8. norseofOz

    12/24/2015 at 5:08 AM

    I am a sceptic that started as a believer. I have been on many ghost tours, stayed in supposedly haunted places and I am yet to see, hear or feel anything paranormal. I have a theory – TV shows and those in the ghost hunting business are selling a product, the more believable they can make it the better the sales. Haunted places, lodgings etc want to attract tourists – hence a ghost story. Now being a sceptic doesn’t mean I don’t believe it means I am hard to convince. Some people can be so highly strung that for any little noise or activity they will disregard any rational or logical explanation. I do love a good ghost story but trying to convince me it’s true will take some doing.

  9. Greg Newkirk

    06/14/2016 at 9:58 PM

    Sure, guys.

    • Martin Kilmer-True

      06/14/2016 at 10:06 PM

      But ghosts are scary! No ghosts!

    • Kathleen Wilson

      06/14/2016 at 10:25 PM

      So….. mold can talk too? Here I thought I had captured EVPs but it was just a spore got into my voice recorder and rattled around exactly like an entire sentence? Wow! Now that’s some talented fungi! Or gosh, I must be hallucinating. And that means I better tell everybody whose listened to it and agreed with me that they better have their houses demolished and rebuilt cause clearly they’re all hallucinating too! Glad we got THAT settled! LOL

    • Martin Kilmer-True

      06/14/2016 at 11:39 PM

      Kathleen Wilson Yep! Consistently hallucinating over and over! Happens all the time!

  10. Jeremy Puma

    06/14/2016 at 10:00 PM

    Why not both? Maybe some ‘ghosts’ are attempts by the microbiome to communicate with us?

  11. Mark Newbold

    06/14/2016 at 10:59 PM

    Mold, a distant cousin to swamp gas.

  12. Janet Davis

    06/14/2016 at 11:01 PM

    This is STUPID

  13. Meghan Schaffer Hamilton

    06/14/2016 at 11:07 PM

    I think it can account for some things, but not all of it.

    • David Yates

      06/14/2016 at 11:45 PM

      That’s exactly right!

    • Jack Rainier

      06/15/2016 at 1:58 AM

      True. Having a contractor inspect your home can figure out the rest.

  14. Jeri Michelle

    06/14/2016 at 11:20 PM

    Pack it in, guys. Show’s over. The mysteries of the universe have been explained. We can all go home.

  15. Martin Kilmer-True

    06/14/2016 at 11:41 PM

    I do find it rather pathetic how desperate some (emphasis on some) aspects of academic and rationalist circles are to close the books that cannot be closed, least of all the way they want it to.

  16. Jamie Thomas

    06/15/2016 at 12:46 AM

    The links between Black Mold exposure and observable psychological effects it has on people have been well documented and replicated many times in repeatable experiments and has been well peer reviewed. Of course it can not assume to explain all ghost experiences, mainly because no one likes to admit they may have had a temporary lapse in judgment, and of course we haven’t caught a ghost yet to ask what it is 🙂

  17. Christina Papadakos Root

    06/15/2016 at 1:43 AM

    Are you sure this isn’t a Tim Holmes conspiracy?

  18. Steve Hall

    06/15/2016 at 1:48 AM

    I remind my investigators about mold everytime we wind up in a basement, bathroom or some place damp.

  19. Richard Becker

    06/15/2016 at 2:03 AM

    I wonder what people who actually experiment with entheogenic substances think? Rather than those who work with civil and environmental engineering?

  20. Mizzie Jones

    06/15/2016 at 9:57 AM

    So when my picture frames are thrown off the wall or chucked across the room not disturbing the ornaments in front of it … it’s mold?

  21. Aaron McNees

    06/15/2016 at 11:18 PM

    I collect mold, spores and fungi.

  22. Tina Smith

    06/15/2016 at 11:39 PM


  23. Ashley Katlyn Fletcher

    06/16/2016 at 12:49 AM


  24. Marie Petitto

    06/16/2016 at 5:43 PM

    Got a lot of mold in my refrigerator. My refrigerator must be haunted.

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