Some time ago, I used to have an account on a site called Bubblews that paid you a cut of advertising feels based on the amount of traffic you generated. After awhile, it became apparent that the site wasn’t going to survive, so I downloaded a copy of my articles to repost on my own blog. Since my plate is a little full at the moment with work but I don’t want to leave the blog completely bare, I’m going to post this again. If anything, I would love to hear about your creepy supernatural experiences.
Many people in the atheist community are surprised when I tell them I believe ghosts exist. I think it’s because these people confuse atheism with skepticism. Atheism is a non-belief in deities while skepticism is a mode of thinking that precludes a belief in certain thing without evidence. An atheist says, “I don’t believe god(s) exists because of x,y,z reasons.” A skeptic says, “I don’t believe in x, y, z unless you can show me proof of x, y, z.”
You can be an atheist without being a skeptic and you can be a skeptic without being an atheist. The two are not conjoined. Having said that, most atheists are skeptics and I suppose it’s only natural for them to assume that, as a fellow atheist, I’m just as skeptical about everything as they are. For the most part I am.
However, my belief in the existence of ghosts is one that persists despite the sketchy evidence for them. Many ghost claims can be attributed to natural phenomena. For example, <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrasound”>infrasound</a>, which is low-frequency sound, can make the eyes vibrate slightly and lead to visual hallucinations. If a person is predisposed to believing in ghosts, then he or she may attribute those hallucinations to supernatural causes when really it’s just your brain playing tricks on you.
Thinking back on of my experiences, I can find real-world explanations for some of them. When I was nine or ten, I thought I saw a disembodied horse head on my wall. It scared the Jesus out of me and, after that, I would sleep with the covers pulled over my head and hugging a flashlight. Later in life, I realized I had had a picture on my wall in the spot where I saw the horse’s head and it was a full moon that night. The way the light hit the picture made the image look like a horse’s head. Additionally, I was predisposed to seeing a horse’s head that night because my older sister had decided to torture me and my younger siblings with ghost stories involving dead horses and the like.
Some of my experiences, though, cannot be so readily dismissed. The most disturbing of them happened in a home my grandmother lived in that, to this day, I honestly believe was haunted. The weirdest things happened there. One time, I was lying in bed and it sounded like someone was tapping the mattress from inside of it.
Another time, in the middle of winter, I woke up to the sound of snow crunching like someone was walking in it. The sound stopped directly outside my window which was above my bed and it felt like someone was staring at me. I was scared, but I sat up anyway and looked outside. If there was a pervert standing there, he was getting his ass kicked by my dad. No one was there. Even worse, the next morning I looked and found a set of footprints right outside my window.
The last clear memory I had of crazy stuff happening in that house happened about two weeks after the phantom window visitor incident. I was lying in bed–these things always seemed to happen at night–and wide awake. The door to my room was open and I could see a little bit into the hallway. I felt like someone was there. I thought it was one of my parents, so I was expecting to see my mom or dad walk into their bedroom, which was right across the hall from my room. Instead, I saw a shadow jump into the wall. Shortly after that, we moved into base housing.
You just don’t know how happy I was to get out of that place. That house was just so creeptastic, I even hated visiting. Thankfully, the Navy moved us cross country about six months later and I never had to see that house again.
I’ve had other experiences but this last one is the one that sticks out in my mind the most. With Halloween just a month and a half away, I think this would be an awesome time to start sharing ghost stories. Have you had experiences with ghosts? Tell me about in the comments.