Monday, 22 December 2014

White floating thing

MoonI stood by a busy road staring into a dark field at night. At first I could see nothing but then, there it was - a white shape floating over the field. I was about to write 'silently' but with lots of traffic just behind me, the scene was anything but quiet. There was, however, no obvious noise coming from the floating white shape that flitted over the field. A spooky white shape floating over a field just has to be  a ghost, surely?

A floating white shape is certainly one popular image of a ghost. However, most reports of ghosts involve perfectly normal, solid-looking human figures firmly attached to the ground. So while my floating white shape might have looked like a typical ghost from a movie, it wasn't like the ones reported by most witnesses.

The white shape certainly wasn't mist, which has often been reported as a cause of ghost reports. The shape, which changed often, was moving around far too quickly for that. It was, in fact, a Barn Owl. In daylight it's unlikely anyone would see a Barn Owl in flight as anything other than a bird. But at night, illuminated only by street lights or the moon, it can appear ethereal and eerie.

I'm not sure where the idea of ghosts as white floating things, often transparent, comes from. It is, however,interesting that the idea persists in popular culture, despite the evidence from real ghost reports.

1 comment:

  1. Barn owls can be quite an impressively eerie sight at night. I've seen them a few times. Thay look like ghosts--of birds.