Anecdotal Approach vs. Pseudoscience

The term pseudoscience is used often in response to paranormal research,
but while the field (as with most fields of scientific inquiry) does
have instances of pseudoscience it would be more accurate to suggest
that paranormal inquiry often follows an anecdotal collecting of facts
and information rather than a pseudoscientific one.

There are few
in the field of ghost hunting, for example, who suggest a ghost can be
bottled and then studied in a lab in a way that would satisfy the rigors
of “proper” scientific testing.  There are, however, hundreds of
thousands of reports of eyewitness observation of paranormal phenomena
that appears anecdotally connected to what many people refer to as
“ghosts.”  This phenomena is largely based around storytelling and the
discovery of historical record that seem to draw a parallel between the
experiences that witnesses report and the possible origins they have. 
In short, the study of ghosts is not understood by the mainstream well
enough at this point to allow for more than basic gathering of stories
and anecdotes  and trace evidence through use of ghost hunting tools
such as cameras, voice recording implements, and magnetic detection

The problem that we run into with the concept of the
paranormal is that there is no way to truly understand the real basics
of what exactly is going on when these “ghosts” return.  Are they
intelligent or are they a facsimile of intelligence that is more an
illusion than an actual conscious being with an understanding that we do
of the philosophical intricacies of their own existence?  Do they
simply exist in a sort of endless loop of consciousness only capable of
barely understanding their environment as they react to living beings in
ways that seem confusing and strange to them?  The reality is, without a
working model of life after death, true scientific inquiry is difficult
if not impossible.  There are several concepts in true hard science
that have not been conclusively proven through testing, but are
estimated through mathematical modeling and the expansion of things that
have been conclusively examined by science.  Unfortunately, life after
death is something we must primarily look to ancient keepers of
tradition for knowledge of.  This is unfortunate primarily because while
it gives us concepts that can work for us, such as in the case of a
home possessed by a malevolent energy eventually finding peace along
with its inhabitants after a ritual cleansing, there is no way to prove
in a scientific way that anything is going on at all.  As a result,
there will always be those who ignore the body of evidence that normal
people are having their lives disrupted and assume the entire thing is
nothing more than an overactive imagination.  Of course the purpose of
science was once to explore new possibilities, but unfortunately the
dismissive skeptical view often leaves much to be desired by believers
of such phenomena.