Thursday, May 16, 2013

Do I Believe in Ghosts?

Do I believe in ghosts?  It's a question I get asked quite a lot, from clients, friends, and from the occasional media source.  Being a paranormal investigator who spends quite a bit of time not only investigating claims of paranormal activity, but researching and writing extensively about local legends, it might seem obvious what the answer is; people just assume that of course I believe in ghosts.  Why else would I be wasting my time with such "silly pursuits?"

Of course, some people may have a slightly different perspective and accuse a skeptical approach to ruling out things that are NOT paranormal as meaning that I DON'T believe in ghosts, and have set out on a mission to debunk everyone's claims with cold-hard, unyielding science facts, lol.

To me, the answer actually lies somewhere in between.  Years ago someone taught me the phrase "playing Switzerland" as a means of describing someone who doesn't take sides, and at the risk of playing Switzerland again, my answer to the ghosts or no ghosts is definitely neutral.

I believe in something.

Since recorded history people across all cultures have had run-ins with what we'd classify as "ghosts."  Obviously, these people are experiencing something...something that doesn't just have one cookie-cutter explanation.  Therefore, I do believe in "ghosts" as a cultural phenomena.  I believe that the experience itself is very real.  The debate lies in the idea of just what exactly is being experienced and what is causing it.

I'm not really sure what causes ghost sightings and paranormal experiences, but I can attest that there isn't just one explanation that covers the gamut. This is where a good solid foundation in studying history, folklore, and even sociology, as well as the "hard sciences" comes in to play.  I'm skeptical, but I'm very open-minded and love the idea of ghosts being intelligent, human entities that can interact with us.  I'm also fascinated with ghosts as being residual stimuli that has somehow imprinted itself on our environment, much like a video tape. Whatever the cause or causes may be, I do think that one day we'll have at least SOME of the answers, and what we call "ghosts" will be explained through a yet to be discovered natural phenomena...after all, how long did it take before people accepted that the earth was round?

It's this fascination and this quest for the answers that keeps me in this field through it all.  Of course, I love being able to help educate and empower people to not fear this unknown, but at the same time, my ultimate goal is to make that unknown KNOWN.  I don't try to prove or disprove a haunting...I strive to find the truth, no matter what it may be!

*This filler post has been brought to you by a very sleepy Theresa!*

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