Ectoplasm: Ghostly Goo Appearing During Seances (T.G. Hamilton's Work)

Updated on April 21, 2017
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Kitty has had paranormal experiences her entire life. These experiences have fueled her passion to write about all things supernatural.

What is Ectoplasm?

Ectoplasm is a paranormal phenomenon in which a strange, liquid-like substance flows from the orifices of a medium, specifically during a séance or other forms of contact with the dead. The word ectoplasm is derived from the Greek word "ektos", which means outside, and "plasma" which is a liquid substance found inside the human body.

The existence of ectoplasm really became well-known in the early 1900s, specifically due to research done by a man named TG Hamilton. TG Hamilton held hundreds, if not thousands, of seances in his home in Winnipeg, Canada in an effort to capture the purpose or essence of ectoplasm. I believe that he was searching for validation of life after death and he was also trying to truly comprehend the mysteries of the paranormal. One of the paranormal phenomena that TG Hamilton obsessed over during his life was more obviously ectoplasm.

There is a collection of ectoplasm photographs, taken by TG, that displays the creepy and somewhat revolting effects of psychics who were caught on camera exuding this "ectoplasm" from their bodies. Most of the ectoplasm is spewed out from the psychic's mouth and nose, sometimes one will see it depicted as coming from the ear or even vagina of the psychic medium. A video has been created of TG Hamilton's ectoplasm photos and can be viewed below, but be warned...the video will leave you indefinitely CREEPED out, after you watch it.

Debunked Ectoplasm Photos

In the early 1900s through the 1920s, seances (including ectoplasm) thrived as an extremely popular pastime for people who had prematurely lost loved ones and seemingly disturbed housewives. TG Hamilton was only one of the many paranormal researchers who photographed ectoplasm. Unfortunately, many of these photographs were debunked on separate occasions.

One of the stories I read involved one particular psychic medium who used a silk scarf in which to create the illusion that this ectoplasmic fluid was seeping from her orifices during her contact with the dead. Of course this seems like a silly scam to us, but back then this was something that many people believed...and it was easy for people of that time to be more naïve than we are today. All a phony psychic had to do was to create the perfect setting for the ectoplasm scam...she turned the lights down low, sat behind her séance table, and positioned the scarf so that she could convince her clients that this paranormal fluid was spilling from her orifices. This ectoplasmic fluid was supposed to prove that she was a very powerful psychic and that she held the ability to acquire contact with that client's lost loved one. I am not sure who exposed her scam, but the scam was eventually exposed and she discontinued her work.

In some pictures of ectoplasm, one will notice the uncanny image of a human peeking out from between the watery, ectoplasmic waves. Many of these particular photographs of ectoplasm were discredited to photography tricks...some of the peoples' faces displayed within the ectoplasm were discovered to have been copied over from newspaper clippings and other printed media. Still, there are many researchers and scientists that still claim that ectoplasm has not been fully debunked. It is difficult to discover who these particular scientists are, however. I did much research on the topic of ectoplasm and found that many other people have tried to find a more detailed account of what researchers still believe about the existence of ectoplasm, but to no avail.

The appearance of ectoplasm has inevitably evolved from what ectoplasm was once known to be. Today's ectoplasm is much different than the undulating fluid exiting from the psychics' bodies in the roaring twenties. Ectoplasm in modern times is any sort of orb or light caught in film or photography that is believed to be directly related to spiritual activity.

Ectoplasm Today

Modern photographs of ectoplasm are rarely discovered online today. This is most likely because the ectoplasm photographs of the past were either fake or maybe the truly powerful psychics have all died out? If you were to do a search for pictures of ectoplasm of the new millennium, you will find that most of the photos are of unidentified orbs of light or veils of fog, captured on camera in highly paranormally-active locations.

Is ectoplasm real? I don't know and I do not have the experience to say one way or the other; however, I believe that I have a picture that demonstrates the misty-smoke ectoplasm that ghost hunters believe in, even today. Whether ectoplasm exists or ever existed, one thing is for sure...ectoplasm is a creepy concept and thought.

Ectoplasmic Fluid?
Ectoplasmic Fluid?

Questions & Answers


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      quartzeyez 6 years ago

      Ectoplasm is real, but not like old school. It looks like a comet but the front half is white as a cloud and the back half is grey like smoke from a campfire. Along the edges it is puffy. When you magnify it, you will see the edge is made up of many smaller orbs.

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      Questioning 6 years ago

      Is there a specific term for this act - where ectoplasm forms and comes out the nose and mouth?

      thanks for the website, very interesting and insightful stuff. The slideshow was a good spark to get some conversation going, too.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from the Ether

      Hello, Muldanianman! Great to hear from you again. Your insight to this matter is very clarifying; however, I must say that people even today experience things similar to ectoplasm. Though the concept has been widely dominated by frauds/fakes in the early twentieth century, it is quite possible that the phenomenon does occur...maybe just on a different level. If you read mariahpoo's comment above, she explains an experience that she had with possible ectoplasm. There are many others who have had similar experiences that don't go around claiming to be psychics and taking peoples' hard earned money. Thank you so much for your insight, you truly are an intriguing individual. I would love to know more about this "Spiritualist Church" that you attend, as I have never heard of one! :) Thanks!

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      Muldanianman 6 years ago

      I am a member of a Spiritualist church, and know that the reason ectoplasm is no longer produced is because it was proven to be entirely faked by mediums. Cheesecloth was a popular medium, soaked in water, and hidden about the body or in the mouth. Some of the photos from the early 20th century are almost comical now, yet people fell for it, even the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle, even though his own wife was a fake medium, so he should have known better. It is such a shame that Spiritualism has been dominated by frauds ever since the time of the Fox sisters. Yet still, I attend meetings, because I find it so interesting.

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      Nicole Canfield 7 years ago from the Ether

      wow, mariahpoo! how awesome to be born on halloween! maybe you have some sort of gifts that others don't? what you are describing sounds exactly like ectoplasm. i have actually heard that it can come from underneath the fingernails, as well as other orifices of the body. as you can see, some of the cases were proven to be fakes, but there were others that could not be proven fake. i guess you could say that i totally believe you. maybe a spirit was trying to make contact with you? i have no idea but whatever it was the story is truly intriguing. thank you for sharing. i can't wait to read some of your hubs! :)

    • mariahpoo profile image

      mariahpoo 7 years ago from Northern California

      I was born on Halloween. The paranormal has always intrigued and interested me deeply. I have studied it for a while. My friends and I were even creating a show geared around the paranormal. One of the days we were together discussing it and researching different paranormal cases, I experienced ectoplasm. At the time I had no clue what had just happened to me.

      I went to the fridge to get my friend a soda and when I shut the refrigerator door it felt like the was a cold noodle attached to my finger but intensely odd. I flung my hand a I saw a noodle like thing filing with my movement and come off my finger. My friend was looking right at me and saw nothing. I have a very small kitchen so we looked around for this noodle. I am a clean freak. We never found it. I asked one of my friends and she said it sounded like ectoplasm. I thought ectoplasm was a made up term for the Ghost-busters movie. But when I looked it up online, it described what I had just experienced. To this day I still have no clue why it happened.

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      Nicole Canfield 7 years ago from the Ether

      thanks for stopping by, goody7! i'm going to have to check out your ghostly hub. post away! :)

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      goody7 7 years ago from over there under the sycamore tree

      Great hub, and I'm glad to be your 1st visitor. I find this subject totally fascinating. I put a link from my own ghostly hub to yours. Hopefully this will bring you much more deserved traffic. If you don't like this link, then just please let me know, and I will remove it at once. Keep on hubbing................