Physics Proves Horror Movies Get It Wrong?

<  Physics Proves Horror Movies Get It Wrong?

Who needs ghostbusters when you’ve got Newton, says a scientist who has used physics and maths to poke holes in the way Hollywood depicts ghosts and vampires.

In a paper, published recently on the physics website arXiv, theoretical physicist Professor Costas Efthimiou of the University of Central Florida shows that when it comes to things supernatural, the figures just don’t add up.

For instance, the ability to walk through walls is a common talent of celluloid ghosts.

But Newton’s laws of physics suggest that if a ghost can walk it shouldn’t be able to pass through walls, say Efthimiou and Cornell University postgraduate student Sohan Gandhi. I want you to read it all and then let me know if you feel that humans know everything there is to know in the universe or not.

I want you to read it all and then let me know if you feel that humans know everything there is to know in the universe or not.

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5 Responses to “Physics Proves Horror Movies Get It Wrong?”


Two excellent posts in a row from you and protected static. I actually address those questions regarding the physics of the supernatural and why vampires haven’t taken over the world in my novel, The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire.


My…pleasure, Carnacki. I try to be ‘thoughtful’ about these things.

I’m reading your book now.



Concentrating on the vampire part, as I would, that does depend on the “bite turns you into a vampire” theory. Obviously in I Am Legend, the contraction of vampirism – either airborn or through a bite – had the effect of turning the whole world, bar the immune protagonist. Used by Romero this became a staple of the zombie genre, where again the whole world turns.

The vampire genre has many theories, more often than not a passing of energy or blood is needed in order to turn a mortal into the undead. In some genre films, The Breed being the prime example, a bite might be enough but it is not guaranteed and a large number of the mortal population are immune. Even Stoker had it that the victim had to die (and to kill the main vampire would cure those not turned). Interestingly Kim Newman postulated that Lucy turned because Van Helsing killed her, by giving her transfussions of untyped blood.

So, well done science for grabbing onto one myth part and missing out the majority of the genre. Also well done for missing the most obvious and important thing – these movies don’t have to add up – they are all about entertainment!


I consider myself a deeply spiritual person who understands and respects the importance of reason and logic, but I find myself often annoyed by pure physical skepticism. As human beings we have creative inner worlds, and if we allow logic to completly dominate our brains our inner world becomes starved and stunted. It is one of the reasons why I like to visit sites like M.O.T.H.V because it offers a type of nourishment.
English author Colin Wilson wrote a very thoughtful book called Mysteries. New Scientist hailed it as a “major work… will materially help to bring both sides (science and paranormal studies) together in a way which could lead to real and important advances in our view of the universe”
And I don’t believe in vampires which suck people’s blood, but I know there are vampiric mystical creatures who feed on people’s energies. 🙂


Ghosts are supernatural/magical beings that exists/functions outside the scientific paradigm.

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