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Author Topic: How would you make a ghost trap?  (Read 650 times)
Atterton
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« on: December 11, 2016, 05:35:23 pm »

Within a steampunk story, how would you construct something to trap ghosts? I'm curious what ideas people might come up with.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2016, 08:39:24 pm »

Depends on what kind of ghost trap you want.

You want a "ghots friendly" trap, I'd suggest attaching the subject ghost to something portable. For instance, a person that was murdered by knife, connects to that knife. Putting the knife in a secure casing would also secure the ghost. The material of the casing would have to be some kind of gem or mineral. As long as the knife is inside the casing, the ghost will be trapped.
upside:
- ghost friendly;
- easy to carry and store.
downside:
- it's ghost specific;
- accedentally opening the casing will free the ghost.

If you don't care about the safety of the ghost, I would turn to a long lost Thomas Edison pattent. Perhaps a small alteration to the Phonograph or Kinetoscope. Or as mondain as the lightbulb. With the right filament material and inert gas used, a simple lightbulb just might attract ghosts, like moths to a flame, burning them as they make contact with the filament. As long as the light is on, it will catch ghosts.
upside:
- not ghost specific;
- low effort trap.
downside:
- it attracts ghosts. So you would catch and kill the initial ghost, but it attracts other ghosts from the surrounding area.

(Notice: use both traps with caution. Do not try them at home. Smiley )
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 05:59:19 pm »

a special, consecrated box/chest.  ornate gold workings with symbols and stuff.

lure the ghost into the box, close it.  Perhaps by placing the object that the ghost is bonded to as bicycle suggests.

For a lure, a lantern, fueled by cemetary gas (that is vapors emitted from decaying corpses and collected).
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RJBowman
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 07:09:27 pm »

If you connect ghosts with religion and mysticism, a ghost trap may be created through ritual, or constructed from materials with mystical properties. Maybe consecrated fish netting, or fiber from a mandrake plant. Read up on ghost related superstitions and 19th century occultism.

If your ghosts are related to energy or magnetism, your ghost trap might use electromagnetic forces to trap the ghost, like Dan Ackroyd's device. Read up on 19th century electrical apparatus.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 07:54:33 pm »

Well, first you get bit of ghost cheese, and...
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 09:07:22 am »

1) go to japan
2) spend 37 years studying the esoteric "way of the mountain priest", (especially the "sacred bow") so you can both "see" them and defend yourself
      if you are extremely lucky you'll get a Mountain Tengu as a teacher.
3) spend 13 more years studying the ofuda and sacred objects of the onmyouji, specifically the subset pertaining to "exorcism and sealing"
4) spend a few more years manufacturing your own paraphanalia per above
5) now you are a professional, go forth to bait, trap , and seal or exorcise said spirit
6) put out an flyer advertising your services so you can eat, since you just spent your entire inheritance on the above studies

-or-

put out a want ad on one of the japanese forums to hire one of those fellows

take plenty of notes and videos, because then you can put out both manga and anime on your adventures and rake in the residuals from
Sony, TV Tokyo, and Shounen Jump.

yhs
prof marvel
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 04:40:02 pm »

I just tried 'steampunk ghostbusters' in Google Images.

It seems that jet packs may be adapted for the task, particularly when teamed up with goggles and corsets.

That's perhaps too much derived from the movie for your purposes though.

Were I to attempt to design an effective Engine for this, I think I'd want a Device to locate the ghost, another to cause it to manifest itself, a third to immobilise it, and finally a Contraption to entrap it.  The last might involve something like a Steam Engine working in reverse to draw the ghost into a container.  I'm not sure what the first three might look like, but they probably would involve Steam, Electricity, X-Rays, Coils, Dials and Controls, as a start.  Possibly some of the power might come from entrapped Ghosts, Demons or other Spirits.
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 09:14:33 pm »

According to the Anglo Saxons, a ghost can be trapped in something as simple as a bottle - have a look towards the end of http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-spirits-of-england-2119329.html. It may help to have holy water in the aforementioned container (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8557222.stm).

As for bait, I'd imagine an ancient artifact, one which had been coveted and had blood split over it for centuries; I'd imagine the emotional energy ingrained in it would be a siren call to spirits.

Yours,
Miranda.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2016, 11:23:05 pm »

A magnet wire coil with a Ferrite core and a Leyden Jar, of course.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2016, 10:19:39 am »

In the Victorian era and some time after that, people took pictures with the dead in order to keep their spirits alive.
Also back then, many Native American tribes didn't like them being the subject of a photograph, as they believed the photo would take part of their soul.

A mirror or reflection is often referred to as a portal to the other side. Many ghost stories and urban legeds involve a mirror.

So, with these two items, a camera and mirrors, one could make a contraption to capture spirits. One would go to a haunted area, use this contraption to take a picture of the spirit and keep the film undeveloped. As long as the film is not developed, the spirit will remain trapped. But, when one would develop the film, the spirit is free and able to haunt whoever has or looks at said picture.

But there is a Schrödinger's cat situation with that. One only know for certain there is a ghost captured unless the film is developed, but developing the picture would free the ghost. One would have to develop and fix the film in order to keep the picture. Because, over time, an undeveloped picture will fade and loose it's power to trap the ghost.

This is not a perfect, ironclad plan, but it has enough room for error to keep the story you are working on, interesting.
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chironex
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The typing jellyfish monster


« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2016, 01:04:16 pm »

Iron and silver would be involved. Iron has been used against ghosts since the Dark Ages, when the legendary Utburd terrorised the countryside around the village where its parents lived after slaying the mother. Splashing through a stream worked too, as ghosts don't appreciate water so much either.
A jar within an iron cage filled with water?
http://pro.bols.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Deneghra-3-paint-025.jpg
For some reason these Soul Cages in Warmachine are always painted brass, bronze or gold. Iron just isn't enough to stand out...
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morozow
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2016, 02:11:32 pm »

In the Victorian era and some time after that, people took pictures with the dead in order to keep their spirits alive.
Also back then, many Native American tribes didn't like them being the subject of a photograph, as they believed the photo would take part of their soul.

A mirror or reflection is often referred to as a portal to the other side. Many ghost stories and urban legeds involve a mirror.

So, with these two items, a camera and mirrors, one could make a contraption to capture spirits. One would go to a haunted area, use this contraption to take a picture of the spirit and keep the film undeveloped. As long as the film is not developed, the spirit will remain trapped. But, when one would develop the film, the spirit is free and able to haunt whoever has or looks at said picture.

But there is a Schrödinger's cat situation with that. One only know for certain there is a ghost captured unless the film is developed, but developing the picture would free the ghost. One would have to develop and fix the film in order to keep the picture. Because, over time, an undeveloped picture will fade and loose it's power to trap the ghost.

This is not a perfect, ironclad plan, but it has enough room for error to keep the story you are working on, interesting.
I think it's great.
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Sorry for the errors, rudeness and stupidity. It's not me, this online translator. Really convenient?
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