Vampires, Ghosts Aren't Real, Says Physicist

POSTED: 8:21 am CDT October 27, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Think those squeaking floorboards are caused by a ghost? One University of Central Florida professor said forget it.

It's the season for vampires, ghosts and zombies. And physicist Costas Efthimiou wants to remind us that they're not real.

Efthimiou used science and mathematics to skewer Casper. Here's his logic: He said it violates Newton's law of action and reaction. The prof said if ghosts can walk, their feet would apply force to the floor. But if ghosts are able to go through walls they are without substance.

Efthimiou said you can't have it both ways, ghosts are either material or material-less.

Zombies and vampires fare even worse under his skeptical microscope.

The professor took out the calculator to prove that if a vampire sucked one person's blood each month, after a couple of years there would be no people left, just vampires. He started his calculations with just one vampire and 537 million humans on Jan. 1, 1600 and showed that the human population would be down to zero by July 1602.

All this may seem obvious, but to scientists, the public often isn't as skeptical as you might think. The physicist points to National Science Foundation reports showing widespread belief in pseudosciences such as vampires, astrology and ESP.

But Efthimiou said he has nothing against horror movies. He said he's a big fan of "The Ring."