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Do You Believe in Ghosts?


Do You Believe in Ghosts?

  • Yes

    Votes: 30 44.1%
  • No

    Votes: 12 17.6%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 14 20.6%
  • I've Seen Them

    Votes: 12 17.6%

  • Total voters
    68

tyder001

Paranormal Adept
May be off target a little but I read a book way back in the 80's that scared the yell out of me. Malachi Martin was a Catholic Priest who was sometime interviewed on Art Bell back in the day. Anyway, he was also an exorcist. He wrote a non-fiction book called "Hostage to the Devil." It was about exorcism. Now, I'm not saying it proved the existence of the demonic to me. But, as a spritual or as a Psycological read it really was errr, disturbing. Don't know if it's still in print but if it is I would recommend it if your curious from either a spiritual or just cultural angle.
 

Gerardo Pelayo

Paranormal Novice
I am going to say yes I believe in ghost because I have been in enough situations where I really feel that I saw or felt something that I would say was a spirit / ghost. The best was at a hotel in Seattle. We stayed at the Moore Hottel next to the Moore Theatre, I say if you want to see s ghost stay there are you will see something.
 

Bob Watson

Paranormal Adept
I beleve in ghost because. Of two things.
1 the TITANIC door key I own. The key feels wrong Rikki and I can not hold it long without getting the chills.
2. When I was younger I took a trip to europe I walked in old places and felt pressences there. Never seen a ghost but it was enough for me to beleve.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Just want to put in my input for what its worth. Lived in England for about 18 years of my life and my house was most definitely haunted so I guess I have been lucky in knowing there is a life after death. There are a lot of experiences i could go on about but i'll say a few which happened because i dont want to write an essay. One incident involved the staircase of our house, I was lying on the sofa apparently unwell (just trying to get out of going to school really) and then from our stair case came a series of bangs like 4 big, consecutive footsteps then on what seemed to be the last stair came the loudest bang as if someone had leapt and landed in it full force. Now this house was fully detached, with the way the sofa was positioned i could see the bottom 2/3 steps of the staircase and i saw nothing (though i did try) and it was only me and my mum who was in the kitchen at the time. On different seperate occasions my family have heard someone coming down the stairs as well as people walking in the house when theres no one else but i have just shared my experience.

The most significant experience for me however was when i was about 10 years old. I had been awake for a few minutes and was sitting up in my bed then from out of the wardrobe area came a figure, it was the outline of a person though, like a sort of fuzzy line which outlined a person and the only distinguishable feature was the eyes which were also just outlines. Now as a kid i didn't get scared because i didn't have a clue what i was looking at I just thought it was weird. So i remember ditinctly i rubbed my eyes, still there, i turned my head away and back, still there. The figure which was followed by 2 others in a line formation came out of the cupboard and turned into and through the wall. All the whilst ime rubbing my eyes turning my head but they were still walking until the last of them went throught the wall. A few days later i told my mum about it quite innocently not knowing what it was. My mum knew what it was however and it was then that i was told about ghosts and so on. This is just one of many experiences but trust me, their real!
Children seem to have more of these strange experiences than adults. Or is that some kind of myth? It seems so easy to write off their experiences as the wild imaginations of young minds. I had a couple of strange experiences as a child too. But the experience I had with an apparition was when I was in my teens. I haven't seen anything since, unless a fleeting shadow figure counts.
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
No, but that doesn't prevent me from creeping myself out when I need to get something out of the unlit attic at night.

George
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
No, but that doesn't prevent me from creeping myself out when I need to get something out of the unlit attic at night.
I think there is a reality show now where they put people in a blacked out room and try to freak them out with various silly things while filming them in night vision ... sounds like you'd make a perfect participant ! What will they think of next?
 

not even wrong

Skilled Investigator
True story, when I was in high school we moved back to the house where my dad grew up. There were always rumors of ghostly voices in one of the bedrooms. It just so happened that it was going to be my room and when we used to visit I would stay there and here something. Always faint and I could never make out the words. Sometimes one voice sometimes many. When we moved there, we replaced the old bed in that room with mine and the voices disappeared. To this day I am convinced that the box springs acted as an antenna and my brain was changing the sounds into voices.
 

Christopher O'Brien

Back in the Saddle Aginn
Staff member
True story, when I was in high school we moved back to the house where my dad grew up. There were always rumors of ghostly voices in one of the bedrooms. It just so happened that it was going to be my room and when we used to visit I would stay there and here something. Always faint and I could never make out the words. Sometimes one voice sometimes many. When we moved there, we replaced the old bed in that room with mine and the voices disappeared. To this day I am convinced that the box springs acted as an antenna and my brain was changing the sounds into voices.
COOL theory! State your hypothesis, get a budget, set up your controlled experiment(s), document the data properly and then (if possible) replicate your data! Wouldn't it be nice to publish groundbreaking results and after surviving peer-review, disprove the skeptical boo-birds that this whole area of scrutiny is booshwhaa?
 

Muadib

Paranormal Adept
I answered no, Ghosts are probably one of the only aspects of the paranormal that have never interested me or freaked me out a little bit, I can honestly say I've never seen, heard or felt anything that would lead me to believe that they're real and I've been to a few of the so called "most haunted" places in Ohio with friends. We broke into Lake Erie College one night because we heard that the tower in the main building was haunted by the ghost of a girl who hung herself, we ended up running for our lives but it wasn't from the ghosts, it was from the security guards.
 

not even wrong

Skilled Investigator
COOL theory! State your hypothesis, get a budget, set up your controlled experiment(s), document the data properly and then (if possible) replicate your data! Wouldn't it be nice to publish groundbreaking results and after surviving peer-review, disprove the skeptical boo-birds that this whole area of scrutiny is booshwhaa?
COOL theory! State your hypothesis, get a budget, set up your controlled experiment(s), document the data properly and then (if possible) replicate your data! Wouldn't it be nice to publish groundbreaking results and after surviving peer-review, disprove the skeptical boo-birds that this whole area of scrutiny is booshwhaa?
I think you misunderstood. I was trying to say that it is very easy for your mind to trick you in to believing things.
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
All I can say is that I've slept on many old beds with box springs and never received any radio. Do you know if there was a broadcasting station or radio post nearby?
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
... To this day I am convinced that the box springs acted as an antenna and my brain was changing the sounds into voices ...
You're not alone in having these "out there" kinds of theories. There is also the urban legend about picking up radio from your fillings. It's also odd how sometimes people will get a song in their head, sometimes one they haven't heard for a long time, and then turn on the radio and it just happens to be playing. Who knows for sure? Radio waves do go through people's heads with songs that repeat over and over. Maybe the brain gets used to some kind of subconscious pattern that triggers the memory. What seems more likely is that the brain, being a pattern recognition device, tends to try to make sense of random noise. It's possible that the springs in your bed were acting kind of like a spring reverb and at the faint volume your mind was associating the random sounds from the movement of the springs into patterns that seemed like faint voices. I had a similar experience with our fridge freezer. I would hear what sounded like faint unintelligible voices in the house, and after about the eight or ninth time tracked it back to the fridge. When the pump started it moved the coolant and the fan sometimes has a hard time getting started, and between the coolant going through the exchanger and the squeaky fan, it would make that strange sound. Up close it was obvious, but 10 feet away it was hard to tell exactly what was going on.
 

RenaissanceLady

Paranormal Adept
On the early morning hours of October 28, 2009, I completed writing the following account after a very dear friend of mine had repeatedly urged me to do so. That one night I couldn't sleep because this was racing through my head and I felt I had to write it. It was initially published on Open Salon (also under the name RenaissanceLady, though that blog has been deleted except for my first ever story published on OS) and immediately copied it over to my own blog, where it still stands. This was written just a couple of months prior to my moving back to Colorado.

It should be understood, the night that I absolutely couldn't sleep and had to write this was the very night that my friend died unexpectedly in his sleep. I swear on everything that has ever held any value to me. (If any of you ever visited Wellington Lake outside of Bailey, he had been the caretaker there. Many people, especially those interested in the paranormal, knew him.) I have since wondered about the coincidences in all of this and much more:


"Has Anything.... Odd... Ever Happened Here?" A True New Mexico Ghost Story

“Has anything…. odd… ever happened here?”

I've heard that question asked before, by a neighbor just before they moved out in the middle of the night, breaking a lease which they had only recently signed. A previous neighbor had also broken a lease and left. Now, again, I'm hearing that same question. I even asked it myself when I first moved here. Those first neighbors answered in the negative but still moved to another house very quickly. Then I took a trip to the Nambé Trading Post, a mere stone's throw from where I live, to look at the merchandise and to learn what I could about my house and the area. As fate would have it, it was the owner's grandmother who built these casitas and he used to live in the one in which I have been renting. That one, short conversation would have greater impact on my life than many of the ones which I thought would be life changing. Yet somehow, it was also a validation which I desperately needed.

I had quite literally moved to New Mexico on a moment's notice. A week prior I had interviewed for a job and was told I needed to move in or near Santa Fe as soon as possible. That Friday, my Strictly Platonic Male Friend, Dennis, helped me settle in a motel as Monday I would be starting my new job and hopping on a flight to El Paso for a week of training. That weekend, Dennis and I would be looking for a place for me to live. During the week prior, since the interview, I had been on Craig's List looking at properties I could rent. As I had been recently divorced, my credit had taken a hit and I knew I would probably be limited to where I could live. I e-mailed the properties which seemed like they might work and there were some owners who seemed willing to work with me. A woman who owned a little casita in Nambé was the first to respond with some charming photos of her property and didn't seem to take issue with my credit being less than stellar. In fact, she seemed more than eager for me to see this casita as quickly as possible.

That Friday evening, Dennis and I drove down from Colorado to Santa Fe. The next day we had seen several properties and the landlady of the casita decided to meet us so we could follow her to see it. Just turn onto the road for Nambé, make another turn right at the little cemetery and just a very short distance later we would be there. By Sunday a check was being written for the deposit and rent on the casita. The grateful landlady, in turn, was being as helpful and charming as anyone could possibly be. By Monday morning I was flying to El Paso and later in the week upon returning to Santa Fe, I was buying a few supplies and a little inflatable mattress on which to sleep as my furniture and cats would not be coming down until sometime later in the month.

Nambé, to say the least, is a lovely and rather historic area. As I was learning, the Nambé Pueblo and lands were just a tiny distance off the property I am renting. Nambé, meaning "people of the rounded earth" has existed there since the 14th Century. The village of Nambé, where I am living, was once an original Spanish Land Grant and many of its descendants still live in their ancestral homes here. Time in New Mexico and especially in Nambé seems to move a bit more slowly. This was something which, in the chaos that had been my life, I was welcoming.

My little rented casita is one of four casitas on a smallish plot of land which extends back to a river. Over 100 years old, fully renovated, mine has a high adobe wall and gate enclosing the front porch. High windows give light onto a small loft area. Old cottonwoods line the property and through them I could glimpse the mountains. There were so many reasons this was the property where I wanted to live while starting my new life in New Mexico. The hope of stability in a lovely environment was top among them.

That first night I unpacked my few supplies and inflated the mattress. I believe I was in bed about the time it started to get dark, both due to exhaustion from a hectic couple of weeks and because the only lights I had were in the bedroom closets and in another room.

Actual sleep, however, was a different matter.

I kept awakening during the night after the same recurring nightmare: I knew I was on these lands but the casitas were not here. The outline of the landscape and the views still caused me to be certain where I was. It was dusk and I was watching a young Indian man and a much older white man make camp for the night. The Indian appeared to be a recent convert to Christianity. He was holding a long wooden pole with a wooden cross fixed atop it. I remember thinking in the dream that I've always seen these with brass or otherwise golden crosses, never with wood and it struck me as being rather odd. He seemed extremely proud to be holding this cross and was completely transfixed by it. During his concentration, the older man came up from behind him and slit his throat.

It is not my nature to watch extremely violent movies. There was nothing I had seen nor read which would have put such a graphically violent image in my mind, yet there it was. The dream played out over and over again that first night - and never again. As silly as it sounds, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was watching actual events from a distant time.

The second night I was even more exhausted from not having slept and having been going full speed since that interview. I was in my little inflatable bed and must have dozed rather quickly. Sometime during the night I awoke due to what was the most ghastly smell I had ever experienced. It was hideous beyond reason - an overpowering stench of something horribly burned or burning mixed with a sickening sweet.... something. As the house was almost empty with only me, a suitcase, some clothes as well as water and paper goods, I kept telling myself that there is nothing which could be causing such a stench...... AND WHY THE HELL IS IT SO COLD IN HERE?

Somewhere, in the darkness of the front room, I could hear crashes and bangs - sounds which I would have blamed on the cats if they had been here and had things which could be knocked over and broken.

There was absolutely nothing, not even furniture, in the other room.

The stench was so unbelievably strong it was to the point where I thought I might actually choke from it. I had decided to turn on the closet lights and leave them on for the remainder of the night. Though the crashes and bangs diminished, I could now distinctly hear the sound of heavy footsteps running up and down the stairs leading to the loft. This was along with the sounds of movement and running in that loft, directly above my head. Didn't get much sleep that night either. Welcome to my new home.

Within the next few nights I would frequently be awakened by that same, ghastly odor mixed with the sickly sweetness. This often occurred along with the bitter coldness and the sounds of various noises and running in the other room. Other nights, though, there would be nothing unusual whatsoever. Often the stench which awoke me was nothing more than one of the many skunks which seemed to use this area as a maternity ward.

By the time Dennis and a friend had moved my furniture down from Colorado, it had been decided that my cats would stay with him until after the move as we didn't want to risk them either getting hurt or lost during this time of transition. By then, I was already starting to talk about the strange happenings at my place. On one of the first nights I was finally able to sleep in my real bed, it jolted with such a force that I was nearly knocked out of it. Again, I would have tried to blame this on the cats had they been here but realistically it was as if someone had body-slammed the bed. It was also very, very cold but the sickly stench did not occur.

It was during this time I decided to stop at the trading post. I had introduced myself to the owner and mentioned that I had just moved into a place nearby. Upon further discussion, I learned that these casitas had been built by his grandmother and it is part of his family heritage - and that I was actually living in the casita where he had once lived. He mentioned what a nice job the new landlady had done in renovating them. At that point, I could hold back no longer.

"Um, do you know, has anything....odd... ever happened here?"

"Oh yes, your house is haunted."

And with those six words, I had confirmation of what I truly had already known but couldn't make myself admit.

He didn't want to discuss much and had seemed cagey, though he was very nice and somewhat curious when I was discussing where I was living. However, that one question essentially ended the conversation. He did add that it was the casita diagonal from me which REALLY seemed to have the issues. This is the same casita which has never finished being renovated - the casita where no one lives nor has lived in quite some time.

As I was learning from books and my own research, Nambé has this.... reputation. I would discover that Nambé was known for the number of witches who were known to have lived here. Evil witches. In one case, cannibal witches. I would read about two men from Nambé who were executed for eating small children in order to practice their craft. Another witch was burned alive in her house. Supposedly she had evil dolls hidden throughout the house which came to life and tried to escape. There are many other alleged cases of witchcraft in the village. One book describes Nambé as "the Twilight Zone of the Southwest". Another book I had found shortly after I had moved is called "More Mysteries and Miracles of New Mexico", by Jack Kutz. In it, the very first story is about a divorced woman who moved into an old adobe house in Nambé, surrounded by old cottonwoods and a high adobe wall. Shortly after moving in, she begins to have strange and frightening occurrences. Though I don't believe the description of her house too closely matches my own, one thing which caught my attention what that she described being plagued by a horrible stench "like something from the depths of hell."

I couldn't have phrased it better myself.

Shortly thereafter, Dennis finally came down with my cats and stayed to visit for a while (I suspect because he knew he would truly miss my cats and their guardian human). More than a month had passed since I had moved into the casita and I had only had this conversation with the owner of the trading post a few days prior. As could be expected, he took these stories with more than a few grains of salt. He's never lived it and I do seem to be prone to ending up at places which have paranormal happenings. I have lived in ghost stories in the past. This, however, was something much more powerful and incredibly more frightening.

It was, surprisingly, one afternoon while he was visiting that the overpowering stench came again from out of nowhere. There was no sudden chill and no other odd occurrences, yet Dennis described it as being like the smell of a crematorium. As it was broad daylight, I went outside to investigate but there was absolutely no odor outside. It seemed to simply materialize inside the center of my bedroom and spread throughout the main level of the house. Even with my opened bedroom window, I walked outside to that window and there was no odor while standing next to the screen.

As Dennis would comment, it was the kind of stench which not only seemed to be something we could taste but something which also seemed to leave an almost residue inside our noses until we could not be certain it was even still in the air. Horrifying. Disgusting. But as the months would pass, less frequent. That's the thing about living here. There can be extreme activity lasting anywhere from part of a night to every night for over a month, as well as long periods of absolutely nothing. I seem to think it's like some sort of poltergeist which keeps returning and yet I sense there is more than one entity. These entities are either connected to the casita or are others which are connected to the land, both inside and outside.

About 7 weeks ago my cat died. Though he was 17, to me it was still a shock when I took him to the vet and they determined there was nothing more I could do for him. In hysterical tears, I decided to put him down.

I had lost the job for which I had moved to New Mexico back in April, four days before my birthday. At this time, another job to which I had applied had been stringing me along for weeks, calling me for a second interview to occur the day after I lost my cat. I had no money, no food and nowhere to go. Being in this kind of shape and quite literally falling apart, Dennis came down to visit and help for a few days. As his car broke down shortly after he arrived, he ended up staying for three weeks.

On one of those first, sad nights, he was helping me tidy up my bedroom when he noticed that a bottle of water I had been drinking had sometime in the days prior rolled under the bed. He joked, sarcastically, if I liked storing my water under the bed and asked if I was still planning on drinking it. As the lid had been securely tightened and the water barely touched, I told him I would and he put it on my bedside table.

Later that night I had gone to bed and was trying desperately to fall asleep, only too aware that I was in pain and extremely restless. I very clearly heard an older woman's nicotine voice ask me sarcastically, "Are you still planning on drinking that water?" Dennis was asleep on the love seat. I wanted to reply but couldn't. Realistically, I couldn't swear that I wasn't half asleep and that this was, therefore, a dream. Still, I must also admit while in that state, dreamy voices are anything but clear and that I definitely seemed awake enough to be aware of my physical pain and of how badly I wanted to sleep. I wish I had a voice-activated tape recorder to know for certain if this truly occurred. This had been one of many times I wished I had one.

As is his custom, Dennis was up late one night and decided to work on his car when my neighbor, who also works until late at night, came home from his shift. He started asking Dennis some questions and Dennis thought it would be best for him to ask me.

"Has anything......odd..... ever happened here?"

"Yes, these casitas are haunted."

We discussed what the owner of the trading post had said, what the books said and what happened to me. I told him about coming home at night and seeing my moonlit shadow cast into the grasses - and another shadow belonging to someone or something else appear beside it when no one and nothing was around. I told him about seeing shadowy figures along the trees bordering the property and having rested on the love seat at night with only my front door open, only to get up to close and lock the door after hearing the most ghastly sounds coming from outside. Sounds which even at the time I couldn't describe yet made the hairs on the back of my neck quite literally stand up. I told him how I could no longer sleep, even in the summer, with the door or windows open. I also told him about driving home late on a beautiful June night during the full moon, the fields and trees so clearly visible from its radiance at these altitudes, only to find that our little cemetery - the one right by our casitas - appeared pitch black in spite of the surrounding light. No rational explanation for why the fields and homes around it would simply glow while it remained absolutely black. For that matter, no rational explanation why my headlights suddenly dimmed while I was driving past. Ah, almost home. Get inside and lock the door, again.

The neighbor told me that for 45 days straight, after his baby was born, he and his family would hear the sounds of heavy footsteps right outside their house. They could clearly hear limbs breaking and heavy breathing but never saw another person. They even threw rocks at it but it was no deterrent. Dennis would admit that, on the nights he was working on his car, he also heard sounds from that area but blamed it on livestock, though those neighbors have no livestock and nothing was ever seen.

The neighbor hinted that there were other things which were occurring but were not discussed. I was left with the impression that he may have seen something up in my loft. He said he was considering breaking lease and has been home very little since this discussion. A previous neighbor indicated that these incidents were often worse when I wasn't at home. This might have been due to my smudging and blessing the house when I was aware of activity. It might not have liked that. During one major smudging, the front door slammed shut though there was no breeze. I do know that after I had spent the night at a friend's house in Albuquerque after a long day's visit, I came home the next morning to find my cat hiding under my furniture, crying and terrified.

Was it simply that she was afraid of being home alone now that my other cat died? Did something scare her? Did something hurt her? I will never again leave her at home, alone at night, in that house.

What can be said about all of this? It took some odd experiences for me to look for a job in New Mexico. Some very bad experiences seem to be keeping me here. I'm out of money and need to move, possibly back to Colorado, if there was only some way to do it.

It's seems as though I've had such horrific luck living here but is it really due to Nambé's violent and bloody past. Is it truly a haunting or is it New Mexico being....well... New Mexico? So many people are having a dreadfully hard time now. The haunting may just be stress coupled with me needing to blame all of this on something outside of me and yet....

And yet.... So many people have been having these experiences here long before I came onto the scene. Whatever is inside the house seems angry though not, necessarily, hostile. Whatever is outside is another story. Seeing the shadow people, the feeling I had was that I was witnessing something absolutely evil - something which would hurt me if it could. The ghastly noises from outside followed by a chorus of dogs barking and growling only adds to that fear of an unknown and unnamed horror. Somehow, I suspect this land of the 100-year-old adobe and giant cottonwoods knows a secret which it won't, quite, reveal. My time here among them is at an end. It's time to move on now.
 

RenaissanceLady

Paranormal Adept
While my friend died sometime during the night I had to write that, I didn't learn of his death for almost 3 weeks later and then I learned about in on Facebook. For some reason, I think this is relevant to the story.

Another thing I think is relevant is that several months after I had moved out of the casita and back to Colorado, a new tenant who had some of my un-forwarded mail decided to find me on Facebook because she wanted to know if I ever had anything unusual happen to me while staying there. After I told her my story, she told me she was going to break lease and leave. That would make at least 3 tenants of which I'm aware who broke lease at those casitas. I'm the only one who didn't. That lady also told me that she tested the casita for radon as she was having health problems and that those tests came out very high. I don't know if radon is relevant to the story - or to the problems - but I thought in all honesty it should be mentioned. The tenant also said that the landlady was going to put some of her relatives in the casita.

As I have long since created a Google Alert for "Nambé" (in part because I'm half-expecting more horrors to be found there or to occur there),I'm aware of whenever my old casita comes up for rent. Apparently the landlady's relatives did not stay there for very long. I also find it interesting that an earthquake took place there one or two years ago that was actually strong enough to do some damage. Friends of mine joked that it was the "Hell Mouth" opening.

I need to stress that I've given enough details about where I was living that someone who wanted to could fairly easily find the place. This would be bad. The general consensus from pretty much everyone was that my landlady was truly, certifiably, off the Richter Scale batsh*t crazy and we don't need any problems - or lawsuits - coming from her. She only acted nice prior to my renting her damn haunted casita. The instant the lease was signed, she went from Dr. Jeckyll to Mr. Hyde's even crazier twin.
I should also add that, after moving back to Colorado, I bought a book about (and I believe entitled) Witchcraft in the Southwest, entirely to learn more about the area. Once it arrived, I discovered it had a chapter called something like "The Tragedy of Nambé." Oh yeah, it was an eye opener. I will say that while I'd love to visit Nambé again, I refuse to ever be there after dark and I could never again live there. Something is horribly wrong with that village and it's like an open secret.

Anyway, that's my story. Take from it what you will.
 

not even wrong

Skilled Investigator
You're not alone in having these "out there" kinds of theories. There is also the urban legend about picking up radio from your fillings. It's also odd how sometimes people will get a song in their head, sometimes one they haven't heard for a long time, and then turn on the radio and it just happens to be playing. Who knows for sure? Radio waves do go through people's heads with songs that repeat over and over. Maybe the brain gets used to some kind of subconscious pattern that triggers the memory. What seems more likely is that the brain, being a pattern recognition device, tends to try to make sense of random noise. It's possible that the springs in your bed were acting kind of like a spring reverb and at the faint volume your mind was associating the random sounds from the movement of the springs into patterns that seemed like faint voices. I had a similar experience with our fridge freezer. I would hear what sounded like faint unintelligible voices in the house, and after about the eight or ninth time tracked it back to the fridge. When the pump started it moved the coolant and the fan sometimes has a hard time getting started, and between the coolant going through the exchanger and the squeaky fan, it would make that strange sound. Up close it was obvious, but 10 feet away it was hard to tell exactly what was going on.
Audio pareidolia. Everyone who slept in that room heard voices. The box springs were probably from the 60's which might have had something to do with it to. Add in the fact that my grandfather passed away in the house and you have a situation ripe for thinking they were ghostly voices. The main point is that the mind is very powerful and can convince you of things that aren't there. I don't believe in ghosts but it had even me convinced. What I have a hard time with is when people that I trust swear they have seen something. I have had someone very close to me describe what they saw and it just wasn't possible that it was something else than a ghost. The weird thing is that they saw someone who was still alive at the time. The only conclusion I can come to is that the brain is more powerful than we can understand and the senses can be deceived.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Audio pareidolia. Everyone who slept in that room heard voices. The box springs were probably from the 60's which might have had something to do with it to. Add in the fact that my grandfather passed away in the house and you have a situation ripe for thinking they were ghostly voices. The main point is that the mind is very powerful and can convince you of things that aren't there. I don't believe in ghosts but it had even me convinced. What I have a hard time with is when people that I trust swear they have seen something. I have had someone very close to me describe what they saw and it just wasn't possible that it was something else than a ghost. The weird thing is that they saw someone who was still alive at the time. The only conclusion I can come to is that the brain is more powerful than we can understand and the senses can be deceived.
Interesting. I wasn't aware of the name for it before ( pareidolia ). Although I agree with your quote above, there is more than one way to look at it. Skeptics tend to look at the down side and ignore the flip side of the coin. Often times it can balance out the exaggerated negative spin that is put on human ability and experience. Specifically, yes the brain is the most powerful processor we know of, and yes our senses can be fooled. However because our brain is so powerful, we also have the ability to filter out irrelevant information through the process of analysis and investigation ( as I did with the fridge voices ). Additionally, although human perception and intelligence combined is limited, it is still very powerful and reliable most of the time.

The stimulus response is a scientifically recognized process for identifying objective realities. Only recently have optical recording mechanisms been developed that match the real time dynamic range of human vision ( the ability to see details in both shadows and sunlit areas at the same time under changing conditions ). However processing the incoming light is only part of the challenge. Even when combined with sophisticated computers, these machines still have difficulty recognizing certain patterns ( that's why we have captchas ), and we still haven't got an AI anywhere near the ability of humans ( yet ). Also, it tends to be implied in skeptical arguments that machines are infallible, but they're not. At any given time there are millions ( perhaps billions ) of mechanical failures and repairs going on. Failure of machines and devices is a certainty and most devices don't have a useful lifespan nearly as long as humans. Consider the failures and replacements for computers and vehicles alone ( our most hight tech devices ).

What does this mean? It means that normal human experience is far more often than not, based in reality and not fantasy or misperception. Consequently it is more valuable than the skeptics want to admit. Strange things do happen, and we don't know with certainty that they all have mundane explanations. I've seen something that some people would call a ghost. Do I think it was the disembodied spirit of a dead person? I think where we go wrong is jumping to those kinds of conclusions without sufficient evidence. But at the same time, I'm very open minded about the existence of actual phenomenon that give rise to such beliefs.
 

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