Thursday, 28 August 2014

Followed by a ghost?

Crows in a treeWalking along a quiet street the other day, I became aware of a sound behind me, like someone dragging a trolley. I hadn't seen anyone in the street before that moment, so I was mildly surprised that there was suddenly someone directly behind me. I walked on for a while, resisting the temptation to turn round. Then the sound stopped so I turned round to see what was happening. There was no one there! I looked all around but there was no one, with or without a trolley. It was slightly unsettling.

One possibility is a ghost, of course, but there are others. It would be entirely possible for someone to have come out of one of the houses, followed me with a trolley and then gone into another house before I saw them. Unlikely, but possible.

Another possibility is the the sound I heard did not come from behind me at all but from a different direction. It was raining gently and I had a hood on. It is more difficult to tell where a sound is coming from when you wear a hood. I think this possibility is less likely than the last one because I looked in all directions and saw nothing likely to cause the noise.

I've read reports of alleged ghostly sounds based on similar events to ones I've described here. They, too, suffer from the problem that it is difficult to eliminate natural causes, even if they are highly unlikely. You could say that any natural explanations relies on an unlikely coincidence. But then, unlikely coincidences are often the causes of apparent anomalous reports. And if you can't conclusively eliminate natural causes, you can't realistically claim that something paranormal is the only likely explanation.

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