Friday, 16 January 2015

Scary ghost!

VigilCrossing a familiar room in low light, there was someone sitting on a seat nearby. I stopped, shocked! I knew I was definitely alone in the building! The 'someone' quickly resolved into some clothing left on the seat. So, a misperception ghost but that didn't stop it being unsetling for a few seconds.

As a serious paranormal researcher I am not usually scared of ghosts. Indeed, I willingly seek them out and really want to see them. The only reason this particular ghost shocked me was that it was so unexpected. When you know, for an absolute fact, that you are alone, it is disturbing to suddenly find someone else present!

Looking back at my various ghost sightings, all have come as a surprise though not usually an alarming one. In many cases, I was not even aware that I was seeing a ghost at first, so I didn't have any emotional reaction, good or bad. Looking at reports from other ghost witnesses, these sort of experiences are fairly typical.

Ghosts do, of course, have a reputation for being scary. This has never really affected me. I am more excited at the prospect of seeing a ghost than anxious about it. I do admit, however, that there was one occasion when I was alone in a haunted location and felt slightly uneasy. A team of us were packing up after a night-long ghost vigil in which, as usual, nothing much had happened.

I was, by chance, all alone in the most haunted room putting equipment away. I knew that ghosts typically show up, not during the formal vigil, but at breaks or the start or end of the event. So I wondered what might happen. Also, some people I knew as highly reliable witnesses had seen a ghost very clearly in that very room on a previous occasion not long before. I reasoned that if I was going to see a ghost at all, this was the time and place! I glanced around repeatedly while working. I really wanted to see the ghost but I was not sure how I'd react if I actually DID see it. In the event, the ghost did not show.

I think the scary reputation of ghosts probably derives, at least partly, from their habit of turning up unexpectedly. If you suddenly find yourself looking at someone who you know cannot, or should not, be there it can be unsettling. Another part of their scary reputation, no doubt, comes from the popular idea that they are spirits, despite the lack of any compelling evidence that they are. I am always pleased and excited to see ghosts but they do have a slightly disturbing habit of turning up when and where you least expect them.

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