Ectoplasm (from the Greek ektos, "outside", + plasma, "something formed or molded") is a term coined by Charles Richet to denote a substance or spiritual energy "exteriorized" by physical mediums.[1] Ectoplasm is said to be associated with the formation of ghosts, and hypothesized to be an enabling factor in psychokinesis.

Contents [hide] 1 Phenomenon 2 In popular culture 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

[edit] Phenomenon Ectoplasm is said to be produced by physical mediums when in a trance state. This material is excreted as a gauze-like substance from orifices on the medium's body and spiritual entities are said to drape this substance over their nonphysical body, enabling them to interact in our physical universe.

Although the term is widespread in popular culture, the physical existence of ectoplasm is not accepted by mainstream science. Some tested samples purported to be ectoplasm have been found to be various nonparanormal substances, including chiffon and flakes of human skin.[2][3] Other researchers have duplicated, with non-supernatural materials, the photographic effects sometimes said to prove the existence of ectoplasm.[4]

[edit] In popular culture

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Since its inception in the field of spiritualism, the concept of ectoplasm has escaped to become a staple in popular culture and fictional supernatural lore. Notable examples include Noel Coward's 1941 play Blithe Spirit, and the 1984 film Ghostbusters, in which "ectoplasmic residue" secreted by ghosts is portrayed as viscous, cloudy and greenish-white, similar to nasal mucus, famously referred to in Bill Murray's lines "Your mucous", and "He slimed me!". In fact, Ghostbusters 2 revolves around ectoplasm, which is displayed as being pinkish and causes humans to become aggressive and murderous. It also brings inanimate objects to life.

In Aldous Huxley's Island, Huxley alludes to ectoplasm: "Will suddenly remembered his favorite worst line of poetry. 'Who prop, thou ask'st, in these bad days my mind?'. Answer: congealed ectoplasm, Early Dali:" It is unclear as to whether Huxley is referring to a paranormal 'substance' or to the biological meaning of ectoplasm.

In Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs, the narrator repeatedly alludes to "Ectoplasm" though its specific meaning is not clear.

In Castlevania: Symphony of The Night (1997), a hovering enemy called "Ectoplasm" is found in the Long Library, which curses Alucard when it touches him. Many future Castlevania games featured the same enemy after this.

In the computer role-playing game Eschalon: Book I, ectoplasm is dropped when Poltergeists are destroyed. It is a re-agent that can be used in the creation of various potions.

In the White Wolf game Mage: The Awakening, ectoplasm is a substance that can be created to act as a body for manifesting ghosts.

In Dungeons & Dragons, in the campaign setting book "Ghostwalk" Ghosts are not undead creatures, but in the city of Manifest they can create bodies and weapons out of ectoplasm.

In an episode of the television show South Park, Stan's dad claims a "spooky ghost" caused the "ectoplasm" covering the walls of the room after having been caught masturbating.

Ectoplasm appears regularly in the Hellboy comic books. In the short story "Goodbye, Mr. Tod", a psychic medium is overtaken by a ghost while conducting an out-of-body reading. The creature attempts to manifest a physical form made of ectoplasm derived from Tod's bodily fluids, consuming him in the process. Also, one of the current members of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.), Johann Kraus, was out-of-body during a psychic reading when his mortal form was slain. His ectoplasmic form currently resides within a containment suit to prevent it dispersing.

In the movie Topper based on the novel of the same name, the ghosts George and Marion Kerby attribute to their material form to a limited supply of ectoplasm. To save ectoplasm, they dematerialize, leading to visual gags of actions without a visible cause.

The cooperative online role playing video game Guild Wars uses "Globs of Ectoplasm" as a very expensive ingredient to make in-game armour.

In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, ectoplasm is a very common potion ingredient found when dispersing spirits.

In the Nickelodeon animated television series, Danny Phantom, the titular character, Daniel Fenton, gains his superhuman abilities by standing inside his parents 'ghost portal' (an artificial gateway into the 'ghost zone') when it activates, therefore being infused with ectoplasm on the molecular level. The 'Ghost Zone' is stated to be an otherworld composed of variations of ectoplasm.

In the Japanese media franchise Bleach, ectoplasm is the same as living tissue, naturally charged with spiritual energy. This makes beings made of ectoplasm impossible to be seen except by extrasensory perception.

In the American TV show Supernatural, it is said that ectoplasm is created by "seriously pissed-off spirits" and thus not a typical symptom of a haunting.

In the video game Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, ectoplasm is a material exuded by ghosts that blocks doorways and levers, weakening any player's character that passes through it. It can be removed by the spell Skurge, which releases ghosts.

In the 2009 horror film The Haunting in Connecticut, Ectoplasm takes on a form resembling weightless defecation floating out of a medium's mouth, and for some reason, catches fire and explodes occasionally.