1. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    How would you attract ghosts?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by WriterDude, Dec 2, 2011.

    Yeah, I've been listening to the Ghostbusters theme-song again. How did you know? :p But anyway, it gave me an idea I've been thinking about for a while. Basically a few people get a bit too inspired by Ghostbusters and want to start their own ghostbusting. In short, this results in a story inspired by the Ghostbusters-movies, but it's much darker and more mature. The ghosts will be scary, and people will die. Even some of the Ghostbusters.

    But anyway,the Ghostbusters will have big weapons and stuff like that, and some of their equipment will attract the ghosts. This is partly to make the ghosts easier to destroy (why bother trap them?), and part to keep them away from the civilians. Of course, it also means the ghosts will be much more dangerous and attack in greater numbers, but no one said the job would be easy. The question is how to attract the ghosts. Sound? Pheromones? Ectoplasma? Smell? Anyone have any ideas? It should fit in the equipment, so not be too big, yet not too small either. It would be even better if they could adjust the strength, so they don't attract all the ghosts in the city at once. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Trying to remember.... I watched this ghost hunter/psychic thing (I love that stuff!) a while back that said something about this one place having so much energy from some kind of minerals in the ground or something... it like collected memories (like rocks can play back sounds) and it was one of the most haunted places on earth. I could be screwing that all up, of course, heh. Maybe it wasn't minerals... I'll try to find it.
     
  3. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks. :) Minerals storing energy could work. If you remember the Ghostbusters-movies, the backpacks could store a lot of those minerals and still be possible to carry. Not to mention they could bring a lot of those minerals into a huge pile in the finale for a decent climax. It could indeed attract all the ghosts in the city to one place, so they can all be destroyed once and for all. It would be ridiculously dangerous even for the Ghostbusters, but then again that's the point in an epic finale. :)

    Edit: I don't mean the backpacks in the movies can store anything, being nuclear reactors and all. But backpacks designed to look like them could store a lot of stuff.
     
  4. je33ie
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    je33ie Member

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    From watching a few reality TV shows about psychics, spirits seem to be near their loved ones, especially if they're trying to get a message across to them. Or they're 'trapped' within their place of death.
     
  5. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I love Trish's rocks storing memories idea. You could have the rocks draw malevolent energy (so no Casper type ghosts). :)
     
  6. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    @je33ie: Having spirits near their loved ones won't really work, sorry. Or will it? Hm... the whole point in "attracting ghosts" is to get the ghosts to chase the ghostbusters, so they stay away from civilians. It's a high-risk job, and yes, at least one of the ghostbusters will be killed. And imagine if you knew all the ghosts in the entire city was pretty darn p**ed off and coming after you. You better hope your weapons work. :p But that said, I could use the loved ones as bait, perhaps. It could be pretty fun. We know the ghosts are really dangerous, so putting a civilian in jeopardy? That just might work. :)

    @AmyHolt: Do you remember the Viggo-painting from the second movie? Multiply that with a hundred times scaryer and make it last through the entire book, and you get an idea what I'm aiming for. There really won't be any Caspers around. :p Or Slimers, for that matter.
     
  7. cobaltblue
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    cobaltblue Member

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    If you are attracting the ghosts to the ghostbusters then they might be pulled away from their loved ones, and so even the sappy 'just want to be with my family' ghosts would become seriously p****d off and attack the ghostbusters (maybe?)
     
  8. seelifein69
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    seelifein69 Active Member

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    Well lets see...

    When trying to coax a ghost out of hiding if getting a psychic, or yelling or talking to it or setting cameras up worked then TV would be WAY more interesting.

    So try something that hasn't been seen. Perhaps getting someone living who is suffering in the same way (i.e. a ghost is haunting *where-ever* because she was raped and murdered, so they go and find a woman who was very recently raped and beaten. And the soul will come to her because of the familarity in pain.)

    Or because you're already doing fiction, you can make something up.

    If you're going for gruesome, perhaps they must sacrifice a soul to the evil spirits, and then they capture them. So in turn killing one evil man, and capturing one evil ghost.
     
  9. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, every ghost would be attracted to the Ghostbusters. (or Ghosthunters, to be precise. Or is that too similar?) Good ghosts, bad ghosts, they will all the wiped out. Having a friendly ghost getting p****d off would be fun, but it would be fun the other way around too. The ghost is friendly and has never had the intention in hurting anyone, yet it has to be destroyed simply because it's a ghost. So who's the real bad ones? The ghosts or the ghostbusters? ;)

    You have some interesting ideas. Using someone with the similar emotions as bait can work, but in that case, I think it would work better with some people attracting ghosts more than others. For instance, did you know that most poltergeist-incidents evolve around a specific person? I think it's usually a young girl, though don't quote me on that. But anyway, instead of drawing her away from the ghosts, why not draw the ghosts to her and then destroy them? ;)

    I'm not sure about the sacrifice-part, though. I mean the ghosts are the souls of dead people, so if they sacrifice someone to a ghost, won't they risk creating another ghost?
     
  10. seelifein69
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    seelifein69 Active Member

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    LMAO I didn't think of that. But I think only 'tormented' souls can't cross over. I think that a bad guy kinda knows he deserves it! haha

    Do you mean most poltergeist activity happens to a specific kind of person (like little girls) or ONE specific person?
     
  11. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha, I think I would be pretty darn tormented if I got sacrificed. :D

    As for poltergeists, it was just something I read several months ago. But I think most poltergeist-incidents seem to happen around a specific person, and usually happens when that person is showing strong negative emotions like anger, fear and so on. For that reason, there are many theories that poltergeists are not undead spirits at all, but uncontrolled telekinesis used as a defense mechanism. Not sure which theory is the most plausible, though.
     
  12. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the rocks you are thinking of are quartz. When quartz gets hit with a certain level of energy it resonates. (Think of the old 'self-winding' quartz watches.) Some areas of the world, even within one country, may have very high or very low levels of quartz within the ground. Generally speaking more quartz would be found in rockier areas (below the surface as well as the rocks (mountains) you can see above ground) as opposed to beaches and soft sandy or loamy areas.
    As far as 'attracting' ghosts ... good luck. I'm more of the "Ghosts are people, too" view of them so, just like bone bag people, they have their own agenda and ideas and, if they don't want to be around you, they won't.
     
  13. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hm... so they could have a little reactor or something (I need to do some research, don't worry) that sends energy into the quarts crystals, causing the crystals to emit a far more powerful "force field" that attracts the ghosts. That way the ghost-trap can be switched on and off. Thanks. :)

    And yeah, ghosts used to be peopel too. That doesn't mean all people are nice, though. Some ghosts can be quite deadly. The ghost hunters can simply try to help the ghosts cross over to the other side peacefully, but if they fight back, the ghosthunters are prepared. :)
     
  14. agentkilljoy_v
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    agentkilljoy_v Member

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    Maybe unbeknownst to the ghostbusters in your story, their weapons are cursed and this is what attracts the spirits. Just imagine if you went to a Chinese auction where you got a sword that is not only your only line of defense but also is causing all the trouble.
     
  15. agentkilljoy_v
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    agentkilljoy_v Member

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    Teenagers is what attracts poltergeist activity, usually. Underground water is also a contributor but poltergeist are not exactly something to fear. Demons on the other hand tend to feed off of emotions like fear, anger, sadness and other negative emotions. This is just another idea. A little closer to real thing this time.
     
  16. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeh. I think the 'quartz field' is highly plausible. And, as far as not all people are good - or evil - so not all ghosts are either? I've been I've been saying that for years! So are you planning on banishing ALL the ghosts or just the bad ones?
     
  17. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can definitely use the cursed-object idea to explain a ghost or two in the story. But keep in mind the ghosthunters wants to attract the ghosts, to make them easier to destroy. That's why I'm going with the quartz field in the first place. Instead of running around looking for ghosts, they can make the ghosts come to them. ;)

    Friendly ghosts? Actually I don't know. The initial idea was to make a story inspired by Ghostbusters, but making it as scary as possible. Stephen King once said he tries to scare himself when he writes his novels, and if so, I think that can be one reason why a lot of his older works are terrifying. So imagine if you could write a story similar to Ghostbusters, but where you try to scare yourself as best you can the whole time? The end result could be brilliant. I'm not sure if friendly ghosts fit into that, though. If you have a haunted house where a lot of weird things are going on, and it turns out the ghost is just sad and trying to set the bad things right, it could be an anti-climax. But then again I read a story a long time ago about a haunted house where there were mainly three ghosts. The two most active ghosts were young girls trying to get help, but they were misunderstood by the living because a lot of bad things were going on. It turned out the bad ghost were their father. He had killed them and commit suicide, and ever since he was trying to torment the girls as best he could and get revenge on the living. (I know, that doesn't make sense, but I read this over two decades ago.) The point is it was quite scary, even though it turned out the two girls were innocent. A setting like that could work. The ghosthunters could go after all three ghosts, then change their mind when they realize there are more to the ghosts than they thought. Maybe they could simply help the girls cross over and get peace by destroying the father, perhaps.
     
  18. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    "How do you plan to attract the ghosts, Doctor Falconer?"
    The doctor emptied a small pile from his bag. "These, of course, Godfrey."
    "What? Eggplants?"
    "Certainly." The professor nodded. "We have no idea why, but ghosts love the things. Oh, they don't usually apparate, but the ectometer picks them up all right. There are always a few hanging around an aubergine. Oh, and put on this DVD of Halloween IV. Ghosts find the theology hilarious. No good for getting the ghosts of suicides, though. They're all much too emo to be seen at a comedy show."
    Godfrey knelt to put the disk into the player. "Does it have to be this slasher stuff? Won't they come for something nicer? I see you've got 'A Wonderful Life".
    "Now you're just being silly. A word to the wise, though." The doctor pushed his glasses back up his nose. "Never invite a stranger into your house when that is playing. Last thing you want is vampires wandering around your living room."

    Ok, sorry, you wanted darker, more mature. But my point is, it's your world, you can have ghosts attracted by whatever you like.
     
  19. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Having good ghosts doesn't necessarily make it non-scary, as long as the bad ghosts are bad enough. Personally I find it raises a lot more suspense if you can't immediately tell what side a guy's on by what they are. Maybe some ghosts are nice, some are mean, and some act nice then kill you when you least expect it.
     
  20. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Technically, I can attract ghosts any way I want. I could let the ghost hunters use a vaccum cleaner to suck them up, and sure, giving the ghost hunters jetpacks would be an easy way for them to get around even during rush hour. However, even though (or maybe because of) I mainly write science fiction, I want to base the stories as much in reality as possible. For instance, I wrote a story about monsters that looked like a cross between humans and wolves. They looked a lot like werewolves, like in Teen Wolf, The Wolf Man and so on. But they were genetically bred from two species (wolves and human), and the science behind it is all real. (google 'geep' for an example of a goat-sheep chimera). All I did was ask the question what would happen if someone had the lack of ethics and morale to use humans and a predator instead of something silly like a sheep and goat. In my current novel, I have two people from another world, created from a parent in this world and the other world. The other world is fictional, of course, but the rest of the story is based on reality. They use weapons and gadgets not found in the real world, but that doesn't mean the weapons and gadgets can't exist here. It depends mainly on whether someone is crazy enough and skilled enough to build them.

    The same goes for the ghost hunter story. Yes, they are hunting ghosts, but other than that it's based heavily on reality. If there is a way to attract ghosts in the real world (at least in the way quartz crystals do), why not use it in the story instead of making up some random stuff? The same goes for destroying ghosts. Of course, no one has proven if ghosts exist or not, but there are countless of ways to get rid of them. We don't know if it works as we don't know if ghosts exist in the first place, but still, why not use it in the story? Werewolves don't exist, yet it's commonly accepted that silver bullets can kill them. Why not kill ghosts the scientific way too? ;)

     
  21. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Have you considered cheese? It might work with mouse ghosts!

    On a slightly more serious note (only slightly mind) I just watched that movie with the guy from the office (British version) who can talk to ghosts. They chase him everywhere simply because he can see them. So maybe you hunters have a psychic with them who ghosts want to talk to.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  22. Metus
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    Metus Senior Member

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    I personally wouldn't be sold on some artificial way to attract ghosts. You'd have to come up with a very good way to explain how a protagonist finds out about what attracts ghosts. Unless this universe is very different from ours, I don't think somethign like that would be general knowledge. Secondly, you'd have to make all of the ghost physics in your book work with said artificial tecnique. Let's say you have a vacuum cleaner that sucks up ghosts (I'm not saying that you do, this is just an example), there would have to be a reason why every vacuum cleaner ever didn't suck up ghosts and trap them in small, dusty prisons for all eternity.

    Maybe, to attract ghosts, you desecrate something that was important to them in life. It's hard to explain miracle minerals or magical vacuums- but everyone and everything, assuming it has a mind, understands rage, empathy, nostalgia, and the whole gamut of emotions associated with life and death.
     
  23. RobinWriter
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    RobinWriter New Member

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    Ha, interesting discussion! In my mind a ghost is trapped in an unhappy state between life and death, and they're looking for release. Perhaps the ghost hunters have worked out a method for one-way communication with ghosts - low frequency sounds, notes written in a certain way, etc - and they start broadcasting bogus offers of help to these lost souls. When the ghost shows up and discovers they've been duped, well of course they're gonna get nasty, resulting in some fun action sequences and lots of potential for the death of the living...
     
  24. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    I'm a big scaredy cat, so I don't read or watch too much about ghosts. However, I remember in Poltergeist, the ghosts came because they built their house on an old cemetary or something. Or you could have characters mistakenly uncover a portal. Or you could have a character unwittingly mess with someone who is dead somehow. I'm sure there are many ways to attract them. I like the idea of having them increase in strength. Perhaps through a seance (spelling?) or a Ouija board of some sort. You may want to look into witchcraft and spells. On True Blood, they are always conjuring up different beasts and beings through those kinds of activities. You may even make up some sort of legend, and then have a character do something aligning with the legend to draw those ghosts. The possibilities are endless!
     

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