Smartphones have really revolutionized the world. What an age we live in where we can access any piece of information we need from Google from pretty much anywhere, watch a YouTube video, play video games, or rate our favorite beer at the press of a button. There is seemingly an app for everything. And now some ghost hunters are selling an app they claim can talk to the dead. I’m going to create and app that can find other apps that don’t really do anything except take 99 cents from you.
Those thumps and bumps in the night, or the item that mysteriously falls from a shelf, are more than coincidence and may be signs the spirit world is trying to communicate. At least that’s what a Greenwood, Ind., couple is banking on.
Ghost hunters Roger Pingleton and Jill Beitz, founders of StreamSide Software, have developed an iPhone app they say gives the dead a voice.
In developing the Spirit Story Box app (99 cents to download at the Apple app store; there is no Android version), Pingleton said his goal was to improve on other paranormal apps for the iPhone.
“Bottom line is we wanted people to have fun with it,” Pingleton said.
Beitz, Pingleton and about a dozen others recently used Spirit Story Box to search for ghosts at the Wayne County Historical Museum in Richmond.
“They had a blast with it,” Pingleton said. “They had numerous words spoken that related directly to the areas where they were hunting.”
The Spirit Story Box app picks up changes in random electrical noise to select words from a preprogrammed vocabulary.
When the app hits on something, it comes out of the iPhone as a spoken word.
Some paranormal investigators think the spirits can manipulate random streams of data. Scientists, of course, denounce the idea.
The app, like myriad other devices that claim to detect or communicate with spirits, cannot be proved to work.
Wanda Lou Willis, 75, a folklore historian and author from Indianapolis, has researched the supernatural and haunted locations for several books. She said many people believe that electronic devices can be tuned to communicate with spirits.
“Electricity seems to attract the spirits,” Willis said. “Human beings have a lot of electricity in our bodies. It is believed that when we pass over, our spirit becomes something in the universe, sort of an electrical current.”
Skeptics, and there are many, say devices and programs like the Spirit Story Box iPhone app are neatly packaged random word generators. Any connection the selected words or phrases bring forth, critics say, is found solely in the minds of gullible users.
For every critic there’s a believer. A 2003 Harris Poll found 51percent of the public believes in ghosts.
“There is nothing in this world that doesn’t exist for someone, somewhere, at some time, including being able to connect with and contact a spirit,” Willis said. “You have to have your mind open to it to have it really happen.”
I do, totally and completely, get the theory of ghosts being energy and being detectable by devices that can detect such energy. What I don’t get is how people can claim to fine-tune these devices to not only to pick up spirit communications, but to also allow said spirits, many of whom I would gather have never even seen a television much less a smartphone, to interact with said device. The human brain makes sense our of chaos. People will hear the words they want to hear from this app, just like the Spirit Box or the Telephone to the Dead.