The vital question is this. If you see a ghost, and he is riding a skateboard, would the skateboard be real or would it be a ghost skateboard?

Of course ghosts aren't real, and only a complete idiotic nutcase would think they were, but this is a theoretical question. Now the way I see it is that if it is a real skateboard, then the ghost has to be able to have some control over the physical world. If it is a ghost skateboard, then how does it come to be? Generally ghosts seem to have clothes, except for Casper the friendly ghost who goes around naked all the time. (luckily his body doesn't seem to have much definition to it, so you can't see his bum or his winky. I can't remember if you can see his nipples or not, but I dont think so.) I'm guessing that these are ghost clothes rather than real clothes, allthough in Beetlejuice they weareal clothes at one point (wedding clothes). Allthough then again, at that point I think they are made physical, so maybe it doesn't count. But if we assume that they are ghost clothes, is it possible that they can have other accesories that taken beyond the mortal realm. In which case when people talk about money and say "you can't take it with you", then they are completely idiotically wrong. So how would a ghost come to have a skateboard with them? Would they have to have died of a skateboarding related incident? Presumeably if you die from a skateboard related accident, you are not in contact with the board at the time of death. You would have to be really skillful to stay on it, in death, after being hit by a lorry and sent flying accross the motorway (although it would be idiotic to skate on a motorway) into a glass factory. One possible theory I have been given when I was asking people about this, was that it could be like ancient egyptians thought, and you have to have it with you when you are buried. Im not too satisfied with this as very few people would be buried with a skateboard. Also the "headless horseman" (who really throws a spanner in the works here, as will be revealed later), throws a spanner in the works here, as he had a horse, but he wasnt buried with the horse. You can tell this in the film (Legend of sleepy hollow) because they find his skeleton and there is definately no horse skeleton in their with him (of course it cant be completely relied on, because for some reason the skull doesnt have pointed teeth, even though the character had pointed teeth in life).

One possible way I have had described to me, is that if that person was really, really skateboard obsessed, then that board would have been his life. It would be manifest in him. So that is why it would be such a part of him in life, it would apppear with his ghost. Even though this explanation is a bit vaguer I like it better. This means that a ghost can appear with anything important to them, so you may get to see a ghost on a pogo-stick or a spacehopper. If there was a ghost of radio raheem from "do the right thing" then he would have a ghost-radio.

The idea of a ghost using a real skateboard is more problematic. ghosts that have their bodies seem to have little control of the real world. Like the ghost in "ghost", for example. Generally the sort of ghosts that control things, are poltergeists, who dont have bodies, and so would be less likely to ride on skateboards. The thing that really throws a spanner in the works is the headless horseman in "legend of sleepy hollow". He is a ghost, who has a body (but no head, or skateboard), but he exists quite comfortably (considering things) in the mortal world. He has scraps with people, usually cutting their head off. (you'd think not having a head himself, he would be a bit more considerate in not putting other people into the same situation by cutting their heads off, but no, he only thinks of himself. the selfish bugger). And he has a horse. Where does this horse come from? And Crane, actually sits on the horse at one point, so it is definately a real horse. That horse must be well annoyed. The headless horseman is brought into the mortal realm due to some cow nicking his head. The horse still has a head, and by all rights should be relaxing in horse-heaven, with all the hay he can eat, but instead is having to carry the headless horseman everywhere. So if you go by the headless horseman system, not only the skateboard, but the ghost would be real as well. That doesn't seem right to me.
Do ghosts ride "ghost skateboards" or "real skateboards"?

A reply to CM's (hey that's me!)essay posing this question.

The first important question CM forgot to ask is "What's the essence of a ghost?" - how does it come to exist and what is it made of. From my point of view, ghosts do not physicaly exist. They are a construct of living people. They exist just in the mind of the living. (But that does not mean they couldn't be real - they do exist, but not physically.) So in a way, ghosts are a creation of the peoples mind - if there wouldn't be anyone to see the ghost, he wouldn't probably have any reason to show up.

So the primary essence of a ghost is immaterial. Now a word to the ghost's accessoires. The clothing, the skateboard or anything else the ghost carries is a means of creating his identity and/or to catch attention of the living. The ghost often shows up with something that helps him to be recognized or to communicate with the living. This "tools" are, again, mainly a construct of our mind. This is the reason why the ghosts accessoires are not material either.

According to CM's essay, poltergeists are ghosts with no body which are able to take control of physical things. This supports the theory stated above: Ghosts who are not made of physical substance must use other means to communicate with the living. In this case they take control over physical matters - but the power to move objects does not come from the ghost itself - its source is the mental power of the human "taget" (individual or group of individuals; this statement is based on the assumption people have this power). The ghost is a first of all a message and he needs a medium to transmit the message. This is the explanation how an immaterial subject can carry out control over physical maters.

As CM said in the beginning of her essay, this is a theoretical question. In that case, CM shouldn't rely so much on visible/material evidence as fiction movies. The major misinterpretation is in taking one example (the headles horseman) and making a general conclusion. Even if it was a correct example it would be a highly questionable proceeding. But the example does not seem to be right either, because the aim of a movie is primarily to entertain, the logical aspect is much less important. Illogical moments can be found in almost any movie, especially concerning situations which are generally not clearly defined. It is not possible to find a answer to general theoretical question on the base of a few fiction-based visual examples.

There are two possible answers to the question in the heading of this essay: If you can see the ghost, then he is probably riding a "ghost skareboard". This is the answer to CM's original question ("If you see a ghost, and he is riding a skateboard, would the skateboard be real or would it be a ghost skateboard?"). The other part of the question deals with the other possibility: If you don't see the ghost but you see a real skateboard moving on its own, then it is probably being ridden by a invisible ghost (i.e. poltergeist).

joeb []

"The first important question CM forgot to ask is "What's the essence of a ghost?" - how does it come to exist and what is it made of."

I felt no reason to ask this. Everyone knows that ghosts are made of ectoplasm. This was fully explained on ghostbusters, and they were scientists, so they should know.
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