Ecto Mist – What Is It?

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There is so much terminology in the world of the paranormal, that it can sometimes be a bit confusing. Today I want to talk about what Ecto-Mist is. Sometimes people will refer to it as ectoplasm, but there are some differences. Ecto mist is a term that you will not hear nearly as often, but it does have some of it’s own distinct history. So today I want to go over exactly what it is, when the term is used, and why we don’t hear it that often.

What Is EctoMist?

EctoMist is essentially now understood to be a swirling mist or fog that is closely associated with the appearance or sighting of spirits, ghosts, or paranormal beings. With modern cameras and technology, there are thousands of images of the Ectomist. Although there are certainly images that are fraudulent or can easily be explained with environmental or scientific reasoning, many of these images are hard to refute.

Now let’s talk a little bit about the history of the term Ectomist, and how it’s meaning did not start out the way we use it now.

The History of Ecto Mist


Ectomist has an interesting history. Originally it was used synonymously with the term ectoplasm. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, mediums would enter a trance like state, and would claim to communicate with the dead and pass messages along to loved ones. These mediums would sometimes begin to have a ghost like mist or other substance come from their bodies, often from orifices like their mouths or ears.

The image on the right is of a medium from 1912 named Eva Carriere who was famous for this. It was later discovered that many of these appearances where actually cut out faces from newspapers draped in muslin cloth.

Although fraud was rampant among mediums, this EctoMist or Ectoplasm was a very common occurrence during spiritual communications, and often was representative of the psychic energy of the mediums performing the communications.

Since it often showed the abilities of these mediums, the appearance of EctoMist or EctoPlasm became extremely popular. Many mediums began going to extreme measures to have these substances appear, even doing things like swallowing cheesecloth to later have it appear from their mouths.

The Society for Psychical research ousted many of these mediums at the time, exposing fraud and disavowing them.

Over time, the appearance of these cloth like spirits became exclusively known as ectoplasm and the term ectomist faded into obscurity.

Modern Use Of The Term Ecto Mist

Ecto Mist

Now, the term ecto mist is used commonly to describe the swirling mist or vaporous clouds that are often photographed during paranormal investigations or ghost hunts.

It’s more often reported now that cell phone cameras, video cameras, and digital cameras are all staples for ghost hunting.

Usually when photographed, ecto mist usually appears in a bit of a swirl, like the photograph to the right. Some people will say that the mist usually appears 7 or 8 feet off the ground and can move or change form very quickly.

Ecto-mist does not seem to be geographically specific, photographs have been taken in nearly every country and by people of all walks of life. The mist is usually white, gray, or black, but like the picture here can have bits of other colors as well.

Ectomist FraudSkepticism About Ecto-Mist

There is certainly a lot of skepticism and doubt when it comes to ectomist, or really any kind of evidence of the paranormal. From it’s fraudulent origins, to the ease of photoshop today, it is something that is easy to fake, and that some ghost hunters have been known to do.

Sometimes photographs of ectomist can accidentally be mistaken. First, if it’s very cold outside, the condensation from your breath that forms in the air can appear like paranormal mist when hit by the flash of your camera. In fact the photo to the right is a common type of photo that you will see claiming to be ectomist of a spirit. You can see a skull and the silhouette of a man in the mist. However this photo was in fact the photographers breath being reflected back. You also should be careful about smoking as this too has been known to produce a similar effect.

Difference Between Ectomist and Ectoplasm

These days the terms are used interchangeably for essentially the same thing. However there is a subtle difference. Ectomist is almost always used only for describing the white or gray mist that is photographed and associated with spirits. Ectoplasm is the more commonly and broadly used term for the photographed or witnessed physical evidence of spirits or paranormal beings.

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