This is the time of year when we make things go “bump” in the night, when we decorate with ghouls, ghosts, and zombies. At least we do here in Canada and the US. October 31st is fast approaching, and so me an’ my neigh-bohars are gettin’ ourselves sum Halloween fun!
It is, as far as I can tell, the only holiday that is all about the kids. Costumes, free candy, knocking door-to-door, the motion-activated animatronics that scare my kids to pieces are all about playing. The adults who celebrate do it at kid level – and often with the adult version of empty calories. It’s fun, and it’s one night only.
This is the time to get into horror films and ghost stories. We love ourselves a good scare, and for now it’s expected and all good-natured. But what would you do if something happened for real, something that you couldn’t explain? Or maybe you have explained it, but the “reason” just feels wrong, or it doesn’t fit with all the facts. You might just brush it off, because it happened only once. Or twice. Or several times, but nothing was odd enough to send you, screaming, to the local ghost hunting group.
If you have, you are not alone.
I’ve had so many of these incidents I can’t even remember them all. My mom, my neighbours, my friends, my husband – they’ve all got at least one story to tell. They are often little things, mostly unexplainable and easily forgotten. Some are huge, but only on a personal level and completely unsupported by scientific evidence. Or to be exact, the evidence falls outside that which mainstream science is willing to accept as normal.
How do I scientifically prove that I spoke to my brother-in-law and my father-in-law on the day of their funerals, thirteen years apart? I don’t, but I know it happened. The orbs and the mists I’ve seen, the simple knowing I am not alone – none of these can be validated, but they are all “proof” to me. Whether someone believes any of it has more to do with what they think happens after death, when we enter “that unknown country from whose borne no traveller returns”, than in their confidence of my truthfulness.
Many of you may now wonder about my sanity. You may think I’m a nice lady, but I’ve got a couple of screws loose. Or that I’m so open-minded that common sense has slipped out. Yet even the skeptics can be shaken by what defies all rational explanations.
My father is the perfect skeptic. Solid, logical thinking defines him. He’s practical, rational, and calm, and he generally accepts as real only what he can see or touch, or what science can prove mathematically exists. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, does believe that aliens cannot leave their home planet and visit Earth, and he accepts that there could be a heaven but is more certain about the fourth dimension.
Over the decades that my parents have lived in their house, we’ve had several odd goings on. Mostly it happens to my mother or me, but all of it has been benign if somewhat weird. As these tales were told my father would shake his head and, like a smart man, keep his opinion to himself.
Then one bright and sunny morning my mother phoned to give me a short rundown of what just happened. I won’t repeat the story because it is not mine to tell, but I will say that my father, Captain Calm, was seriously freaked. When I dropped by later that day, he was still dazed and unsettled. He privately told me everything, and he was deeply troubled that he could not explain it.
Months later, the incident came up in conversation. My father waved it – and his reaction – away. He cited some perfectly rational possibility, and announced that was all it was. But to fit his explanation his story had changed, and key points had been dismissed or altered. He even called his reaction a form of confusion.
I don’t bring it up around him anymore. It makes him uncomfortable, and I would rather let him believe what he wants. I only mention it now to illustrate how you cannot prove the paranormal to those who don’t want to accept it. It isn’t the fault of the evidence, it’s the boundaries of the comfort zone.
With this topic now opened, I would like to extend an invitation. If you have paranormal experiences you wish to share, or if you need to talk to people who will offer insight or help find rational explanations, I encourage you to visit http://ghostplace.com. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s supportive (so supportive, in fact, that they even have a skeptics’ page). It’s filled with normal people who either have paranormal experiences or are interested in them. There, you can discuss a benign, a mischievous, or even an evil presence. No matter what your experience, you are not alone.