Do you believe in ghosts?

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Strange, but mention of the paranormal evokes strong feelings in lots of people. Some get unaccountably angry and vociferous, declaiming that ‘it’s all nonsense’ and anyone who believes in such phenomena are deluded dimwits or liars. The same people who have strong religious beliefs, which exist on the basis of faith alone, can still be furious at the prospect of any kind of psychic phenomena, and I wonder just where this anger comes from. Are they secretly afraid of something?

The question itself ‘Do you believe in ghosts?’ always seems a bit simplistic and banal to me. No one but a fool would believe that every person’s alleged supernatural experience is genuine, but again, no one but a fool would condemn all of those who claims such things as dishonest or deluded. The question should really be: ‘Do you believe in the possibility of there being ghosts?’ I do. Very much so.

I have never seen a ‘ghost’ or had any paranormal experience, but I must admit the prospect of other dimensions to life beyond death I find absolutely fascinating. Because a great many rational, honest, intelligent people claim to have had genuine paranormal experiences so even if 99 per cent of them can be discounted as mistaken, or rational explanations can be found for them, what about the one per cent that cannot be explained away?

Obviously many ghostly tales are invented or are the product of an overactive imagination. In a house I once stayed one door kept opening on its own, and someone said this was a ‘mischievous spirit’, until I set a spirit (unintentional pun) level against it, finding that, as it was slightly askew, gravity would cause it to close on its own. There are scores of other reasons for unexplained phenomena in a house: shrinking woodwork, underground water, noisy rats and mice, ordinary sounds magnified by particular acoustics, and I daresay many other things. But what about the cases that are reported where all these possibilities are examined and excluded, so that there is no realistic explanation at all?

An old lady I knew was absolutely certain that at her husband’s funeral, when she was at her lowest ebb, she felt his hand on her shoulder, and she ‘knew’ he was there beside her. A friend reported that her mother appeared to her in a dream very shortly after she died, and she was aware of her presence somehow. After my mother’s funeral, at the gathering at the house, a photograph came off the mantelpiece, and fell to the floor – it was a photo of the granddaughter of one of the guests in the room. He said ‘That’s Margot’s spirit did that!’ Afterwards I was certain it must have been a draught or a gust of wind, yet when I put it back and blew from all directions, nothing moved the photograph. The next morning the record player stopped working for no apparent reason. Then started. The radio in my car did the same thing: stopped for a few moments then started again.

The talented painter, Tom Keating, in a radio interview, calmly referred to a castle in Scotland where held been employed to restore paintings, was haunted. He made no big deal about it, just referred to it in passing, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. This is the point. If phantoms or the spirits of dead people do exist they’re not something separate and phenomenal, they must be in the real world, unexciting, there all the time, part of normality. There are also a great many groups of individuals, teams who professionally investigate unexplained happenings. These aren’t fools, they are predominantly scientific people with scientific instruments, who want to record facts, and they presumably do so and publish their findings.

Most alleged sighting are non-provable things that scientists would scoff at. But there are other unexplained things I can think of. The dream I once had of a man telling me about a German pilot shooting a British pilot who had bailed out of his plane, and his anger at such a despicable act. And the very next day a man said exactly that same thing to me in those same words. When I was 19, and about to go out one evening, the fact that my mother (who I lived with at the time) had a horrible premonition that something would go wrong. The car chassis cracked and I barely made it out of the drive, and when I told her she was delighted and relieved as she ‘knew’ something unpleasant was going to happen and was just pleased it wasn’t a crash.

There was once a marvellous TV series on Channel 4 (in Britain) called ‘After Dark’, where experts in a particular field would gather together and have a live discussion. Once there was a gathering of spiritualists. And they were casually talking of people they could ‘see’ who had recently ‘passed over’ and describing what they looked to the others. This wasn’t rehearsed or scripted, you could tell, and they were unremarkable casual very ordinary people, not what you call imaginative in any way.

Again, recently on television, the likeable and eminently honest actor Joe Swash did a programme I believe in ghosts, where he travelled around Britain investigating reported phantoms. Predictably most of it was pretty unimpressive, despite his best efforts, with eccentric people waffling on about paranormal happenings, but Joe saw nothing untoward. However right at the end he spent the night in the underground passageways somewhere in Edinburgh, which were reputed to be haunted. He felt uncomfortable, and towards the end of the night he could stand it no more and left. Apparently nothing more than his inherent fear had overcome him. However, he had recording equipment with him, and a sound engineer magnified what had been recorded on it. There was conversation, in a language that couldn’t be deciphered, but it was beyond doubt human voices, even occasional words could be delineated. And the sound engineers carefully considered the possibility of sounds being bounced from some other location and this was completely discounted. So, again, it comes down to trust. Do you accept that Joe Swash, as a man of integrity, and his sound engineers, who have a professional reputation to think of, might have falsified this evidence? I don’t. It’s down to trust, and I trusted Joe Swash and his team to be honest and truthful. They could have falsified other evidence in the programme and they didn’t.

So I’d very much like to know about your experiences. Do you believe in ghosts?

Please tell me, and share your experiences. I would love to hear from you.

Brrrrrrrr!

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17 thoughts on “Do you believe in ghosts?

  1. I have never experienced a ghost or phenomena but, my nephew has been a Medium. He us an honest man and I believe him. I have seen lots of programmes ghost hunting. One a spoon was hurled from behind cameras to the presenters a few feet away???? In another on board the Quern Elizabetj berthed now in California, they were filming lower deck in an old swimming pool. And a wet footprint was filmed, there was no water around. So, is there sonething we in the normal world we are not privy to, except for some people who can ‘discern’ glimpses from this other plain? I would not, myself, gainsay it. “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy”, I think that is, near as damn it, the quote?
    Evelyn

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    1. Yes I have heard of angels coming to someone just before they die, to ‘smooth the way’. I say Carol, would you mind saying more about your experiences of them, would love to know more

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  2. Interesting post Geoff and whilst I haven’t had any paranormal experiences myself I don’t discount the experiences of others. My mother went to a medium once years ago and there was a whole room full of people yet this medium picked my mother out and sent her a message from a friend, Jules, who said that she was okay but that her neck hurt. My mother had lost her best friend, Julie but always called Jules, a few months before in a car accident in which she’d broken her neck. How can you just ignore that?

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    1. Exactly. Mind you, if your mother happened to be thinking about her friend, the medium could have picked up on her thoughts – but then again, even it it’s telepathy, that’s pretty unexplained, isn’t it?

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  3. I’ve had some odd experiences, Geoff, and I see no reason to doubt the evidence of my own eyes. I lived in a house in which a lonely old man had taken his own life and although me and my four young children never had a ‘bad’ feeling there, some odd things happed. One was an apple core spinning around on a table. Another time my bedroom door burst open in the middle of the night when my kids were at their dad’s. My 2 year old daughter saw a man who I couldn’t see and one of my sons also saw someone there. Eventualy, though, I got the feeling the former resident was pleased to have a young family living there.

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    1. that’s really interesting Tracey, you often hear of children seeing things that adults can;t . One theory is that we all have this psychic awareness, but learn to ignore it as we grow up, whereas children see it naturally and don’t have that instinct to block things. What’s also interesting is that you don’t say the children were afraid, just remarked on it without any fuss. Thanks for telling us about your experiences.

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      1. Interesting post, Geoffrey 🙂 I grew up in a haunted house so I definitely believe in ghosts. I have had many paranormal experiences. As a consequence, most of my novels and stories have ghosts in them LOL. It’s funny but as a child it doesn’t frighten you as much with all these weird things going on. I’m sure I’d be terrified living in that house now as an adult. I actually found it all quite interesting back then as I’ve always liked ghost stories. I’d be minded to think that I imagined a lot of the stuff as I have a vivid imagination, but my mum and my sister also had paranormal experiences in that house, so I wasn’t the only one. Your post reminded me of something I saw on TV a while ago. I heard that the machine that recorded the voice of the ‘speaking clock’ broke down on the same day as the person whose voice had been recorded on it died. That can’t be a coincidence, can it?

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      2. I gave birth to three of my children in a house in we lived in in Hull, Geoff. Just after I had my third son, my husband was taking our second boy to the loo in the middle of the night, and he saw a woman in a blue uniform coming up the stairs with a cup of tea in her hand. It was a Victorian house and dozens of babies must have been born there in the past.

        My husband was prone to waking up and ‘seeing’ things that I couldn’t see, it’s not just children! As a result I’m very open-minded about these things.

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  4. Thanks Maria, very interesting indeed. I never heard about the speaking clock thing, but it doesn’t surprise me. Rather like the old tales of an old grandfather clock stopping dead the moment its owner dies. I think this kind of thing is just the only way that those ‘on the other side’ can make contact.

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    1. Again, extremely interesting tracie, that sounds like that ‘photographic image’ theory, that ceertain people leave their imprint, that can be seen years later. Still unexplained

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  5. I had a childhood and early adulthood full of weird experiences. Those around me also experienced some of it. My new book – My Haunted Life – is an account of those strange experiences that I just wrote and is now out and available on Amazon etc. I often post true tales of the paranormal on my personal blog too. I think we all create our own reality…. there are ghosts in mine.

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      1. The fairness of your article is refreshing. My mother was psychic but never went out of her way to prove it. She said only through personal experience could a closed mind be changed.
        I have not inherited her gift entirely, having never seen a ghost (to my knowledge) although I have heard things and had dreams that came true. On my website http://www.maiwriting.com I have noted everything I can recall since my childhood – 15,000 words!
        Much of what I have described was verified at the time as explained in the narrative but this will never be regarded as ‘evidence’ by those who don’t hm@maiwriting.comave open minds.
        Having accepted quite naturally, all my life, that there is life after death, I fictionalise the paranormal in the hope that by doing so, readers might gain comfort in the idea that their loved ones are not lost to them forever. In my old age, the knowledge consoles me anyway!!

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