Do you believe in the grim superstitions of ghouls and ghosts? Do you wonder about those cold chills upon your neck, or even those creeky sounds made by your newly polished floor when nobody is home? Sorry, ghost believers! I hate to be a ghostbuster, but the only ghosts that could ever exist are those in white sheets with the holes poked out for the eyes and mouth during Halloween. How can this be?, you might ask. This could all be explained by our good friend, Physics, which can be used to further elaborate on the inconsistencies and provide practical explanations for these preposterous parables.

Can Ghosts Really Exist?

According to Cornell University’s C.J. Efthimiou, it is physically impossible for ghosts to have ever existed. Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion clearly states, “every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.” This famous law of physics ultimately disproves the theory of the existence of ghosts.

“For ghosts to have the ability to walk like humans,” states Efthimiou, “they would need to put a force upon the floor, which would exert an equal and opposite force in return. But ghosts’ ability to pass through walls and have humans walk right through them demonstrates that they cannot apply any force.”

In common phantasmal flicks, such as Ghost (1990) with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, and Thir13en Ghosts (2001) with American rapper and actress, Rah Digga, ghosts are personified with the ability to walk upright (straight through walls!) and pick up objects; in Thir13en Ghosts spooky souls, such as The Juggernaut, The Angry Princess, and Hammer Head can only be viewed with special goggles on.

All in all, the infamous folk tales of these incorporeal beings are all fun and games when sitting around the campfire with a flashlight pointed upward at your face. However, these fictitious apparitions are no match for physics.