Question of the Day

[We’ve done this one before, but it was great fun, so it’s time for a re-run…]

Do you believe in ghosts (or spirits, or whatever your preferred term)? Does your belief or lack of belief in ghosts correlate with religious belief? Ever had any experiences with ghosts, or something awfully strange you can’t explain in that general area?

My answers are no, no, and yes. And I’m quite certain that “yes” is attributable to my desire to have such experiences, because I find them totally, exhilaratingly fun.

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56 Comments

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56 responses to “Question of the Day

  1. I don’t believe in shit! BUT… I had a roommate in college that believed her dead boyfriend, her abortion, and her future children were living in the house. I told her that she needs to pay more rent because it is CROWDED!

  2. 1.) Nope. But I’m willing to be proved wrong.

    2.) Quakerism doesn’t speak to this. We tend to focus more on the here and now as opposed to any after-life.

    3.) Yes, and I agree: it’s probably because I WANT to, rather than actually having HAD a real experience like this.

  3. No, no, and no. These days, I’m skeptical about everything that most people would call “paranormal”, though that wasn’t always the case.

  4. Believe in ghosts? No.

    Correlate with my religious beliefs? Yes.

    Had any experiences with ghosts. YES!

    I was staying in a room at the historic Monterey Hotel.

    http://www.montereyhotel.com/Rooms.htm

    I believe it was the same room shown in the photos. It has a bedroom and a separate sitting room.

    I went to bed and left the door to the other room open.

    At about 2:00 a.m., both of the ceiling fans turned on full speed and the lights went on.

    I jumped out of bed and turned them both off.

    About 10 minutes later, it happened again!

    I turned off both fans and looked for some kind of remote control on the fans. I didn’t find anything.

    Again, I got into bed. That time, the fans turned on before I could even get under the covers.

    I threw on my robe and hurried downstairs to the front desk. I rang the bell and a young woman came out to the desk. I asked her, “Do you know your hotel is haunted?”

    She said, “We’ve never had any hauntings in YOUR room.”

    Then, she picked up the phone and said to someone on the other end, “A guest just met Fritz.”

    I asked, “What did you say that ghost’s name is?”

    “Fritz,” she replied.

    “That’s MY name, too!”

    Ooooooooooooo!

    Isn’t that spooky?

  5. Yes, no, and yes.

    I’d been fascinated with ghosts and the supernatural world since I was a kid, but it was more along the lines of ‘ooh, story material’ than any ‘hey, maybe people are on to something’ until I was in high school.

    My friend’s older brother died in a car accident. She was always close to him, and after his death moved upstairs into the room he stayed in when he came to visit. Kept his radio in place, the pictures he’d had on the walls.

    One morning we were sitting upstairs listening to the radio, and we both went downstairs to get some breakfast. From the kitchen, we heard the radio turn way up, and the station dialed over from pop music to a hard rock station. And my friend says as calm as can be, “Oh, that’s just David saying hello.”

  6. 1. Yes.

    2. No.

    3. Yes. And it was after I stopped drinking.

    A couple of months after Sam died and I had put his ashes in a little urn, I put his collar with all his tags around the base of the urn and set it on the piano. When Sam shook rain off, he used to rattle the collar and tags loud enough to wake the dead. One night I was in my den writing on the computer. The radio and TV were off; I rarely have them on when I write. I was in the middle of a sentence when I swore I heard the tags rattle, just like Sam used to do when he came in out of the rain. I stopped writing. Silence. I dismissed it as just my overactive imagination and went back to writing. A moment later I heard it again, and this time I was beginning to freak out a little, so I got up and walked into the living room and looked at the collar. It hadn’t moved. I chalked it up to the last stages of grief over his death. That night I had a very vivid dream with Sam in it; he was healthy and happy.

    I don’t know whether or not there was anything spiritual or paranormal behind that incident, but every so often I’ll pick up the collar and shake it just to remind me of him. In fact, I think I’ll go do it right now.

  7. 1) Open-minded about them. I don’t consider the question closed, one way or the other.
    2) Nope.
    3) Yes, sort of – there are other explanations on offer for the experience, but none of them are more ‘sensible’ than ghosts. Except, obviously, that it was a hallucination of some kind.

  8. I think my answers are all no.

    I’ve eventually come to realize that years of watching “Scooby-Doo” cartoons and reading “Three Investigators” novels when I was a kid, helped train me to expect that there was a rational explanation for everything, or at least some old guy hiding projectors in the baseboards of the old house.

    I am, however, an absolute fanatic for a good ghost/horror story.

  9. i don’t believe in ghosts, but that won’t stop me from getting so scared from watching a ghost story on TV that i have to leave the lights on.

  10. No, cubed.

    I will admit, it’s interesting to read the thoughts of others who answered yes.

  11. Arkades

    Yes, yes, and yes.

  12. nope, don’t believe in ghosts
    nope, it doesn’t relate to religion (although the traditional apache stuff if loaded with ghosts, mostly bad, mean, ghosts who are all pissed off about being dead)
    yes, i have seen some of the old ones on the rez do things that i have no explanation for. i’m certain that an explanation exists somewhere, i know i don’t have it.

  13. SAP

    Yes.

    Yes.

    Yes. And I really don’t want to talk about it.

  14. Yes, No, and Yes.

    #1 Yes — I find that I now think that it is incredibly stupid to assume that something beyond what I can touch with my hands, receive through my eyes, ears, skin, etc., exists, when physics has already observed that something that is not measurable with these devices clearly effects many experiments. Whether you call these “spirits” or “quantum movement” — I’m not so particular about that.

    #2 No — not “religious”, but maybe “spiritual” — I define “religion” as a codified, static belief about how the universe works. If I can observe evolution, order, and transformation in my life and the world that surrounds me, and I believe in some kind of “intelligent force” (which I do) that backs this evolution, order, and transformation (whether this is “god” or “physics” or whatever), then I must assume that that “something” is evolutionary, ordered, and transformative, so how could a codified, static religion represent it fully? I believe that, if the universe can transform, whatever created it must also be transforming.

    #3 YES! So many experiences that I can’t possibly include them all here, but I may make this my next blog entry. As a dear friend of mine says: “You look for miracles. Then, when they occur, all you say is ‘That’s so weird‘!”

    But here’s one that contributes to my YES on question #3:

    I lived in apartment with a long hall. At the end of this hall was a room that WOULD NOT stayed organized. (I didn’t “believe” in ghost at this time.) When we would clean the room, really strange things would happen in the rest of the apartment. Completely new visitors to the house would suddenly turn at the entry to this hall (which you had to go down to get to the bathroom) and say “Would one of you just walk me down there?” Objects in the rest of the apartment would move, or go missing, and we would find them in the room at the end of the hall. I would wake in the middle of the night and be certain that someone was standing in the hallway.

    If the room was left to a dis-organized state, these things would not occur. Only when it was cleaned and organized.

    This went on for three years, before I asked my 85-year old landlady about the previous tenants of our apartment, in a very casual, non-leading way — “Who lived in the apartment before we did?”

    She said: “Oh, that would be Ellen, poor dear — she was such a scatter-brain — a complete pack-rat — she passed away in the back room, and you can’t believe what a mess I took out of there after she was gone.”

  15. Sorry, should have been “does not exist”

  16. katecontinued

    I’m with Jack Goff on this one. I used to be wide about about it all – even when I was a Christian I chanted with the rest of them . . . blah, blah and the HOLY GHOST.

    But, is there a sort of Overton Window thing being played out in the em ess em with all of the programming like, “Medium” “Ghostwhisper” and even the BBC had “Afterlife.”

  17. I’m a Jesusy type, I guess, but I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t really even believe in angels or demons, I think, maybe.

    I do believe that I have had experiences of the divine, but they’re very hard to describe even though they’re fresh in my mind.

    It’s a very confusing topic for me.

  18. 1. There’s no evidence for ghosts, spirits, the soul, anything but worm food after death. No, science doesn’t have an answer for everything, but we haven’t been doing real science for more than a few centuries, and haven’t been able to see with anything but eyes or hand-ground lenses for much more than one. Yeah, there’s spooky action at a distance, but still. No belief or disbelief required. I doubt that such things exist, but doubt isn’t belief either way.

    2. Similarly, there’s no evidence of any gods, goddesses, or less classifiable divinities, or activities attributed to them.

    3. Nope. No experiences with ghosts or creepies.

    Why yes, I am a big-time skeptic.

  19. 1)Rationally speaking, no, but…. (see number 3)

    2)N/A

    3)Several years ago I was part of an attempt to convert the basement of an old Woolworth store into a theater. I was the technical director for the company and, due to my mad construction skillzz and willingness to work for practically nothing, ended up as the ‘architect’ and ‘contractor’ for the buildout.

    Most of the time, it was just me in the semi-darkness, constructing away. I began to notice movement in the periphery of my vision occasionally over in one corner of the space. I wasn’t sure what it was, but it happened repeatedly. I got the vague impression of a woman, dressed in white, but, as I said, I only saw her in my peripheral vision. I didn’t say anything about it to anyone else, but in my mind I started calling her Betty.

    One afternoon, the artistic director, another board member and I were discussing plans for the space (and our upcoming production) and the other board member suddenly asked me, “Is there anyone else here?” as she stared into Betty’s ‘corner’.

    “No,” I replied. “Why?”

    “I could’ve sworn I just saw a woman over there,” she said, gesturing towards the corner.

    “Oh, that was just Betty,” I answered jokingly.

    “You’ve seen her, too?” the AD said incredulously. “A woman dressed like a cook?”

    Turned out the AD had seen the Betty several times as well, and hadn’t said anything, believing that I would think her crazy. She was seen on many occasions after that, by several people, always walking toward the old kitchen, where the food for the lunch counter upstairs was cooked.

    We decided it was a good sign, because everyone knows that theaters are haunted. We even talked about making her a board member emeritus.

    Betty’s presence wasn’t enough, though – but that’s a different story (and one I think I have recounted here before).

  20. Just five days and counting until a new baby is born.

    Little ghost, little ghost
    One I’m scared of the most
    Can you scare me up a little bit of love?
    I’m the only one that sees you,
    And I can’t do much to please you
    And it’s not yet time to meet the lord above

    The first moment that I met her
    I did not expect a specter
    When I shook her hand I really shook a glove
    She looked into me so sweetly
    And we left the room discreetly
    No one else could know the secret of our love

    Little ghost, little ghost
    One I’m scared of the most
    Can you scare me up a little bit of love?
    I’m the only one that sees you,
    And I can’t do much to please you
    And it’s not yet time to meet the lord above

    Every morning I awoke
    And I see my little ghost
    Wondering if it’s really her that’s lying there
    I lean to touch her and I whisper
    But not brave enough to kiss her
    When I held her I was really holding air

    Little ghost, little ghost
    One I’m scared of the most
    Can you scare me up a little bit of love?
    I’m the only one that sees you,
    And I can’t do much to please you
    And it’s not yet time to meet the lord above

    Though I try my best to keep it
    There really was no secret
    Must have looked like I was dancing with the wall
    No one else could see this apparition
    But because of my condition
    I fell in love with a little ghost and that was all

    Little ghost, little ghost
    One I’m scared of the most
    Can you scare me up a little bit of love?
    I’m the only one that sees you,
    And I can’t do much to please you
    And it’s not yet time to meet the lord above
    No, it’s not yet time to meet the lord above

  21. Moira speaks for me. Really.

  22. konagod, I’m touched! Want a beer?

  23. I’ve got one but I’ll always take another!

    I was nearly done anyway.

  24. Constant Comment

    Yes, no, yes. I have had a couple experiences (my mom, grandmother and one of my cats) and have known many friends who also did. For those of you non-believers, there have been a number of scientific inquiries into the question of ghosts and an afterlife with many interesting experiences that could not be disproved.

  25. At work I’ve got strangers who know my name and I dont know who the fuck they are. And I even do research.

    Where am I?

  26. Disprovacation.

    Speaking of research.

    Where am I?

    I mean, what thread? Am I off-topic?

  27. 1. Yes, but not in the same way that I believe the sun will come up tomorrow. i.e. I don’t take it as a fact, but I think there’s enough evidence for it to be a possibility. Also, lack of scientific evidence isn’t proof of non-existence; our perception of hot and cold has been around as long as the human nervous system, but it wasn’t til a couple hundred years ago that they discovered how temperature works. In short, it’s easier for me to believe in ghosts than it is for me to believe that science has the tools to prove or disprove their existence.

    2. Yes and no; pagans sort of take the existence of spirits for granted, but it’s not a doctrine or anything.

    3. Yes. I had a dream about an abandoned house with a large empty room and two smaller empty rooms at one end. There was a woman there who I saw briefly and then couldn’t find, but who I felt it was imperative that I find, to find out what happened to her. A while later I was looking through photographs with my mom and saw the woman–it was my maternal grandmother, who had died of uterine cancer. I asked what had happened to her and ended up finding a LOT of family medical history that I hadn’t known, and which led to my “mood disorder” being correctly identified as PMDD and from there, eventually led to having a complete hysterectomy, which has been one of the best things that ever happened to me.

    So I could’ve seen an image of her, then forgotten it and remembered unconsciously, and it could be a coincidence that that led to my finding out exactly what I needed to know; but I like to think she showed up and gave me a push in the right direction.

  28. Well it’s my nose that keeps on bleeding
    because it’s rita I’m needing.

    the truth don’t make a noise.

    i sense the white stripes are ripping my guts out again.

    5 more days.

    then, oblivion.

    right? Angelos?

  29. Why do I hear chickens scratching?

  30. Most of the hypotheses around ghosts and the afterlife are unfalsifiable. The existence of purple sparkly unicorns cannot be disproved either.

  31. Appreciation is tantamount to objectivity.

  32. The existence of purple sparkly unicorns cannot be disproved either.

    I’m not so sure. 😉

  33. Oh. Never mind. “disproved”…blargh.

  34. Legally Blonde is a Annie Hall knockoff. No one is original any more.

  35. No across the board.

    I am also a skeptic.

  36. As I said, it’s a night of Disprovacation. Fucking toss off and go to bed. Sleep long and tight.

  37. “Across the board” is an S&M term anyway. I wouldn’t use that one if I were you, DG.

  38. Liss, I just wanted to say, off the record, that I do like the new photo you have chosen for your posts. It’s like the “Queen Cunt of Fuck Mountain” pose again.

    Glad to see it.

  39. “Across the board” is an S&M term anyway.

    😆

  40. Once I opened my bathroom door and was shocked to see a petite blond woman standing there – so shocked, I couldn’t stop myself from stumbling right through her. Then I said, “Thanks. Next time, wait for me in the living room.”

    I come from a family of women who see them. I don’t usually, but I see enough.

  41. LS

    1.) Yes, absolutely. Do I believe in rational explanations for some so-called ‘hauntings’? Yes. Do I believe in the ability of conciousness or energy to remain beyond death? Yes.

    2.) Not really. If anything, it’s the other way around. I don’t belong to any organized religion, and would probably describe myself as ‘spiritual’ rather than ‘religious’, but my beliefs have been influenced by a number of things, including the kind of percievable aura that pervades sacred spaces. (Note that by ‘aura’ I’m not talking about flashy lights and colors, but the kind of hushed feeling you get walking into places with long traditions of worship/veneration, like old cathedrals or some megaliths, and the like.)

    3.) My cat haunts the house. Usually on the chair she liked to sleep on, but she’s also been spotted playing in the living room and darting into the kitchen. (For some reason, cats seem to be more prone to hanging about after death. 90% of the ghost encounters I’ve heard about involve cats.)

  42. “Across the board” is an S&M term anyway.

    Here I thought I knew most of ’em. I learn something new every day.

  43. Doktor Wankenstein

    (1) Maybe.

    (2) No.

    (3) Not directly, but the Missus is full of experiences which I’ve heard about.

  44. Fran

    yes, no, yes

    When I was in the second grade my best friends’ (who were identical twins)mother died. Fast forward ten years, their Dad remarried a lovely woman who snored like a locomotive, the twins’ bedroom was upstairs, and I was sleeping over. At about 2am I have to go to the bathroom, so I tiptoe downstairs, open the door to the main floor, and slip off into the bathroom. S was snoring away, but in my sleepy state, thought it was their Dad because a woman was sitting in a rocking chair looking out the front window, all in the dark. After we woke up in the morning, I mentioned to S I saw her sitting in the living room. She said she was sleeping and didn’t she hear me snoring? It couldn’t have been her. I was adamant I saw someone.
    They all thought it was weird, but not too weird because they had strange things happen around their house for years. I never told them, but I always figured it was their mother. It was definitely a woman in a nightgown sitting there, and she had the same hairstyle as their mother.

  45. Mama Shakes

    My weird experience:
    The summer I was 13, I spent several weeks in Pennsylvania with my best friend, Linda Plenge, and her family. We stayed at a rooming house owned by her dad’s friend, Mr. Heitmann. One night Mr. H. asked if Linda and I would sleep in a bedroom on the third floor, so that some elderly friends of his could have our bedroom on the second floor just for one night. He assured us we would be the only ones on the third floor.

    We agreed and slept on the third floor. The next day Linda and I got up and got dressed and started down the hall to the stairs. We passed the partially opened door of room 13 and, hearing snoring, peeking inside. There was a man with a huge stomach, lying on his back and snoring loudly. We couldn’t see his face because his stomach was in the way. Being 13, we had to clap our hands over our mouths to stifle the giggles generated by that sight and sound.

    Still laughing, we told Mr. and Mrs. Plenge about it at breakfast, and Mr. Plenge angrily went to confront Mr. Heitmann. “You told me the girls would be by themselves up there, yet they saw a man in Room 13.”

    Mr. Heitmann said, “There is no Room 13.”

    Linda and I said, “Yes there is! We saw the number above the door!”

    Mr. Heitmann swore there was no Room 13.

    We all marched upstairs to see what was going on, but where Linda and I had seen an open door, there was nothing but a blank wall.

    I have no explanation for this. We were both awake. We both saw and heard the same thing. We didn’t talk about it for years because we were so freaked out by it.

  46. I had a bright idea to travel from Florida to Boston by train one summer. Always the airline traveler, I thought this might be a good experience for my kids and booked three tickets north on the Silver Meteor for our annual vacation.

    First error in judgment…trains don’t check luggage, at least for compartment passengers. We were stuck carrying luggage for three persons planning a month long stay. Upon arrival in New York, we had to schlepp our luggage around Penn Station until time to board our train to Boston.

    Taking the steps to the platform, all was a balancing act…dragging the luggage on a cheap set of wheels, keeping an eye on the kids with constant motion swirling about us. The wheels caught on something or other and one quick jerk later-the luggage, a manual typewriter, kid snacks, toys-tumbled all the way down the steps-sort of like the baby carriage scene in The Untouchables.

    Before I had time to think about taking a good long cry, a guy appeared out of nowhere. He wore a Con Ed hard hat and was dressed in a work uniform…he scooped up everything I dropped and said, “Where’s your train?”

    He escorted my kids and I aboard and after stoying my luggage up front, he suggested I sit down with the kids and just relax for a second, the stuff would be fine where it was for the time being. I watched my son and daughter scramble for a seat and turned to thank this guy who came out of nowhere.

    He was gone.

    Just like that.

    As suddenly as he had appeared…now nowhere to be found.

    Do I believe in angels?

    You better believe it.

    Mine wore a hard hat.

    (P.S. For the return trip, I shipped our luggage back home. We never traveled by train again).

  47. I had a bright idea to travel from Florida to Boston by train one summer. Always the airline traveler, I thought this might be a good experience for my kids and booked three tickets north on the Silver Meteor for our annual vacation.

    First error in judgment…trains don’t check luggage, at least for compartment passengers. We were stuck carrying luggage for three persons planning a month long stay. Upon arrival in New York, we had to schlepp our luggage around Penn Station until time to board our train to Boston.

    Taking the steps to the platform, all was a balancing act…dragging the luggage on a cheap set of wheels, keeping an eye on the kids with constant motion swirling about us. The wheels caught on something or other and one quick jerk later-the luggage, a manual typewriter, kid snacks, toys-tumbled all the way down the steps-sort of like the baby carriage scene in The Untouchables.

    Before I had time to think about taking a good long cry, a guy appeared out of nowhere. He wore a Con Ed hard hat and was dressed in a work uniform…he scooped up everything I dropped and said, “Where’s your train?”

    He escorted my kids and I aboard and after stowing my luggage up front, he suggested I sit down with the kids and just relax for a second, the stuff would be fine where it was for the time being. I watched my son and daughter scramble for a seat and turned to thank this guy who came out of nowhere.

    He was gone.

    Just like that.

    As suddenly as he had appeared…now nowhere to be found.

    Do I believe in angels?

    You better believe it.

    Mine wore a hard hat.

    (P.S. For the return trip, I shipped our luggage back home. We never traveled by train again).

  48. rxl

    I love the supernatural. and I love the CW’s Supernatural BUT…I don’t believe in any of it. I wish I believed in gods, demons, ghosts, vampires, zombies, aliens colonizing earth, astrology and all that In Search Of stuff…but I have too much of a rational and scientific mind to really believe. I’ve been having thought experiments on my commute as to how logically a ghost, etc could exist and either I need to bring in some quantum physics, or there’s no way anything exists beyond what we can physically sense.
    I work in a hotel that’s supposed to be haunted by a little girl. Some coworkers are afraid to go to the older part alone. I’ve never seen or sensed anything beyond the mildew funk.

  49. Marc

    My answers: all no, but with caveats;

    a) I routinely claim that I don’t show up on film. You’d be AMAZED at how many people act as if this is normal.

    b) Multiple friends have claimed that the house I grew up in was haunted. My grandmother, who loved me dearly, had just died, and each of these people was someone she would not have approved of. I’ve never felt/noticed anything odd.

    c) A wiccan friend of mine claims that Hawaii, esp. the highly urbanized Oahu, are somewhat ‘magical dead zones’ and that workings are more difficult for him than they were in other parts of the world.

  50. TOAC

    Probably not, definitely no, and yes. I have way too much fun with this stuff, here’s my best story – it quickly becomes written in the California vernacular of the time – for obvious reasons.

    When I was in the 9th grade, I had a random Friday sleepover with 5-7 of my girlfriends. We spent the evening chasing each other around my parents property, dancing without music and for no reason whatsoever, and talking deep (any talk remotely beyond surface-level to us was “deep” then) about our place or lack thereof in the new high school hierarchy. I have no doubt that we also got “deep” about the supernatural as this was shortly after 2 straight summers of Slumber Party Ouija-Boarding. The latter was also the summer of making each other pass out by constricting that person’s airways – I believe this trend was one of the “but what about the children?!?” stories on 20/20 or Frontline several years ago – but that’s a whole other story. I grew up in the country – we made our own fun.

    We bunked in the living room that night and were gradually falling asleep with the radio on. The lights were out, we seemed done with the stereoptypical slumber party girl talk, and at least one person had already fallen asleep. I laid on my back in a sleeping bag, staring up into darkness when! suddenly! I felt all the hair on my body standing on end and – !!! – a PRESENCE above me. At the same time that I was saying “Omigod – did you guys feel that?” my other awake friends said “Holy shit!” and “what the hell?” and “Omigod – you guys!”

    We turned on the lights and were all “you guys, something incredible just happened.” I busted out my Parker Brothers Ouija Board, natch, and we got down to business.

    My friend Bonnie immediately protested. As personally ambitious and feminist as she might be, it took many years for her to move past the Mormonism she’d been indoctrinated in, and at that time we were very used to seemingly logical arguments that ended with her admitting her reasoning stopped at “God’s will.”

    We were well accustomed to ignoring her God’s will, so we proceeded with our Ouija Board adventure.

    The three of us who were still awake gathered around and my friend Alice and I laid the board on the floor and our hands on the navigator-thingy. Wikipedia says it’s a planchette. The first questions we asked, of course, were who are you? what’s your name? As we asked, Bonnie’s protests become more vehement and high-pitched. The planchette moves to D – A – Bonnie’s railing against the evil gets louder – R – E – and then Bonnie bursts into tears. For me, this is totally frustrating and we’re all “Godammit, Bonnie, WHAT is your problem this time?”

    Well, we got our secular comeuppance because it turns out it was the two-year anniversary of her favorite cousin’s freak hunting accident death. His name: DAREN. Omigod, you guys, it was SOOO freaky. You don’t even know.

    What’s fucked up is that after we comforted Bonnie in her real-life – and incredibly tragic – experience, we continued with the Ouija-Boarding. We were after the TRUTH, dammit, as raw and titillatingly supernatural as it might be. In deference to our good friend’s totally understandable emotional reaction, we should have stopped. However, while Bonnie dried her eyes in the bathroom we chose not to. The next letter was D, so we were apparently speaking to DARED, not Bonnie’s cousin DAREN. Convenient, fine.

    It doesn’t get a whole lot more interesting after that.

    If I remember correctly, we demanded that the spirit prove itself by moving a glass of water we’d placed on the coffee table. That glass never moved, but we all definitely saw a shadow cross it. Definitely!

    True supernatural experience? Teen hysteria? I honestly don’t care – I just really enjoy telling this story. And I cannot deny that I felt that hyper-aware, hair-standing-on-end physical sensation as related above, without obvious provocation.

    I know other total skeptics who have also had weird ghostly experiences, most even later in life when they weren’t susceptible to what you might consider group teen hysteria etc. I’m seriously fascinated by these stories, and try not to judge. My immediate reaction is to poo-poo all of it cuz I’m cynical like that, but there’s no crime in wondering. And I am as much, if not more guilty, than anybody else in experiencing and or believing this crap.

    Fun! Thanks for the topic, Shakes.

  51. sundry

    a. yes, or something
    b. no
    c. yes, or something

    I’ve had several experiences that would qualify, I’ll share two.

    First, when I was a teenager (30+ years ago) I slept with a radio next to my bed. I would set the thing to turn itself off in 60 minutes – this was pretty high tech stuff back then. It had a big button on the top that you could press at any time to turn the radio off, but turning it on involved smaller buttons on the side. One night I set the radio, turned off the lamp and lay down to go to sleep. The radio went off. So I turned back on the lamp, turned back on the radio, turned the lamp off, lay down to sleep. The radio went off. *sigh* I turned back on the lamp, turned back on the radio, turned the lamp off, lay down to sleep. And the radio went off.

    That happened several times, and it seemed that the radio was going off quicker and quicker. Finally, I sat up in bed, picked up the radio and turned the dang thing on and glared at it in frustration. The big button on top depressed itself and the radio shut off. The button actually went down, just as if a finger was pressing it.

    So I put the radio down and turned out the light and went to sleep without music that night.

    The second happened when I was married. We were living with my parents at the time. I was in the kitchen, it was kinda late. My dad had a habit of sitting in the living room late at night in the dark, smoking one last cigarette before bed. I thought he was in there, but apparently he had already gone to bed. Anyway, at one point I thought he came out of the living room and was walking down the hall to go to bed. I looked up as I thought he was passing the kitchen door and said “goodnight”. But it wasn’t my Dad passing the door – it was a really thick shadow. That’s the best way I can describe it, like a shadow that has substance. Not a lot of substance, mind you. I could see thru it. But you couldn’t have missed it. Does that make sense? No? Anyway, it was about my height and seemed to be wearing a sash across it’s chest. I kinda gravitated to the doorway and watched it move down the hall. It didn’t seem to be aware of me at all. It just walked or maybe marched (definitely didn’t float) down the hall and right out thru the back wall.

    Weirdly, the event I described first didn’t creep me out nearly as much as the event I described second.

  52. Pingback: Daily Round-Up at Shakesville

  53. carol

    Yes I believe in ghosts.

    Not sure if it correlates to my religious beliefs. I am a Sunday School teacher in a Methodist church. I guess not technically, but whatever.

    Yes, have had definite experiences.
    1. Neighborhood cat (dead years before said neighbors moved in) definitely inhabits the kindly lesbians next door. They are cat people, and if I were a dead cat, I’d want to hang out there too. One of the women described the cat to me, and I confirmed that it had lived on our street, before they did!

    2. My grandmother actually communicated with myself and my uncle several times after her death, in physical, real world ways. It would take a long time to write it all out, but suffice to say it’s the type of thing I wouldn’t believe unless it happened to me. In fact, I think that is why she choose my uncle and myself, because we were the biggest skeptics, the “normal” ones of the bunch. People would know that we weren’t lying or making it up. I guess she had a few more things to do. She definitely died too soon. I miss her terribly.

  54. Fizgig

    Ooo, fun stories! My answers are maybe, maybe, and maybe (how’s that for non-committal?)

    I suspect there is something beyond what we perceive with our senses and with our scientific instruments, gods, angels, ghosts, demons, dunno what they might be but I’m willing to believe.

    2 stories:
    1) I bought a house in LA built in 1927. The woman who owned it before died of old age in her home and the guy I bought it from claimed she haunted the place. I laughed at him politely. So, the house needed some work before I could move in and the guy I hired to fix the bathroom lived really far away so I let him sleep there for a few days while he worked on the tiling and such. After the second night he called and flat out quit. His reason – the ghost wouldn’t let him get any sleep and scared the crap out of him. This is not the kind of guy you would expect to admit being scared of anything.

    Anyway, sure enough, every evening between 10 or 11 I would hear the door to the loft upstairs close and what sounded exactly like footsteps creaking above me. That was all I ever heard and for all I know it was the house settling in the cool evening, but the woman did sleep upstairs and no matter what I did the damn door would ALWAYS be closed when I woke up in the morning. I found it comforting for some reason actually.

    2) More freaky to me, I woke up one night after a horrible nightmare where I was walking around my parents house scared, convinced there was an intruder hiding in the house somewhere. In my dream I snuck around, opening closets and looking behind doors and every time I came to the sunroom, the sliding glass door was open and I would get that subtle depth-charge of horror in my stomach knowing someone must have opened the door and was now in the house! I woke up so freaked out I woke my boyfriend at the time up and told him about it.

    The next day I called my mom since my dad was out of town just to check up on her. Turns out the night before the alarm company had called her in the middle of the night to tell her that the sensor on the sunroom door had been deactivated and that it could mean someone had cut the line. Terrified, she did a few circuits of the house convinced that there was an intruder. Turns out the wire just came lose – but I have no explanation for my dream other than that I picked up her scared vibe? No idea really. My boyfriend, a dedicated skeptic, was genuinely disturbed, I think it actually made him scared of me….

  55. Yeah, well I don’t think that we ever die in some sense, our cells all go on to transform into something else, a slime mold for awhile, maybe. Or a vapor, so if there’s any coherence to the living remainder it could be a ghost.

    And so we take new forms, and karma goes along through that too. So yes, that ties in with religion too.

  56. Alix

    1. Yes, sort of.

    2. Not exactly.

    3. I tend to have more encounters with, hm, spirits of place (like the curious gray catlike fog that is a manifestation of my house) than with ghosts.

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