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Phasmophobia: Real Danger in a Pretend World


I’ve lost count of how many locations reporting “paranormal activity” that I’ve studied were actually originated by human interference. I’m not saying they faked the hauntings; I’m saying they caused them. By bringing that creepy doll or holding a séance, they invite “something” to the location that then decides to stay. Why?


You know that old saying, “Must be a full moon,” right? It’s because everybody in the area was aware of the moon, and by simply being aware, tended to act out whatever behavior was expected from a “full moon.” I commented on this a few blogs back, but there is also a much more supernatural application to consider.


Once again, I find myself returning to the video game Phasmophobia to help illustrate this phenomenon. In this aspect of the game, the developers got it right…too right, in fact.


I’m talking about cursed objects.


Within most game maps, there are several different “cursed objects” that may or may not randomly spawn. Players may interact with these objects to potentially gain an advantage—or disadvantage against the ghost they are dealing with. In older versions of the game, these cursed objects existed as static props within certain levels and presented a kind of “lore” for the game as to why there were ghosts present at these locations in the first place. How did an ancient demon come to haunt a home that doesn’t look to be more than 5 years old? Even if the house was built on ancient sacred grounds, how did the ghost get inside and upstairs? Perhaps that Ouija board in the upstairs bedroom is the answer.


In the latest version of the game, cursed objects can be interacted with—sometimes to the detriment of the players involved. In some cases, using the cursed objects gives a substantial advantage in achieving the objectives of the level. Other times, it pretty much guarantees that the player using the object is going to get killed (well, their character is going to get killed—which is not a very permanent condition in this video game).


Having experienced paranormal encounters in real life (and, as my author’s bio points out, having been “bullied by a Ouija board”) and having encountered other video games that manifested outside of the console to the point of frightening my family in real life, my family does not interact with such cursed invitations in neither the real world nor the game world. After all, an entity able to use electromatic fields to interact with reality has little trouble crossing over from an imaginary world to the real one (I have an entire blog coming about this phenomenon). Or perhaps it has always existed in the real world, watching us and waiting for anything perceived as an “invitation” to manifest in our lives.


Of course, in real life, nobody has ever used a cursed mirror or a deck of tarot cards to call a ghost into existence that haunts or even kills people. And even the concept of the voodoo doll (which I have, unfortunately, real-life experience with) is not used to summon such manifestations to the location of the doll.


But in real life, there are very unpleasant paranormal phenomena that we can inadvertently “invite” into our lives simply by interacting with the objects they are associated with. Or at least, that’s what the “lore” tells us.


I had this happen to me with a Ouija board and, as I’ve already explained in a previous blog, a voodoo-like spell that featured several little “dolls” in a fetish bag. Did these phenomena open portals to the paranormal world and invite bad things to happen to me? Or were there already bad things waiting to happen to me that then gained additional “permission” from my interacting with those objects?


Another real-world example of this—and one of the main reasons our family does not interact with cursed objects in Phasmophobia--is the Harry Potter marathon my family watched on a vacation several years ago. At the time, not all of the movies had been released, but we had access to enough of them to find ourselves binge-watching the first three before several members of the family suddenly felt ill. Needless to say, our illness was the least of our worries. We had been visiting relatives during a time of strife, and the sudden onset of illness only fueled the downward spiral. By the time I realized what had happened and confronted the spirit responsible, our car had broken down, stranding us hundreds of miles from home.


From the skeptic’s perspective, of course, there is a different story as to what happened, with the creeping darkness of Harry Potter merely influencing the feverish dreams our family experienced while ill. One of the family members we were visiting had been ill the week before we arrived, and it was entirely possible that those germs had remained within the home until we got there. The other series of unfortunate events (actual events, not the other book series) that piled upon us could have just been coincidental.


So all in all, the jury is still out as to whether we “invited” misfortune upon ourselves by interacting with those “cursed” Harry Potter DVDs. And whether similar misfortune may befall us should we step into the pentagram on the floor in Phasmophobia…well, we have yet to test that hypothesis.


But, considering the amount of unpleasantries involved, unless that kind of battle truly needs to be fought…why take that risk?

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