Do ghosts exist? Ghost stories and hauntings are very controversial subjects. Those who have had paranormal experiences of hauntings insist they are real, while those who have not with logical minds insist they cannot possibly be. There are many ghost tales out there which range from the outright ridiculous to the incredibly persuasive and logic-defying.
Regardless of whether you believe in ghosts and spirits, when considering the size and complexity of the known universe, not to mention the as yet un-observable universe, the possibility of the existence of spirits cannot be simply discarded. Below is an example of a haunting case as told by the experiencer themselves, which we will use to illustrate some of the possible explanations of such a case.
Now this is all real, and I am not exaggerating what transpired. A few summers ago I was hanging out in my pool with a cousin of mine who was living with us at the time. Coming out of a tanning daze I look up from my intertube and noticed that the attic light was on. Nobody was home at the time except for my cousin and I, so I figured I’d ask my parents when they got home from work. Later that evening we were hanging out at the back deck and I asked if either of them been up in the attic at all recently. They all told me no. I said the attic light was on, and I know I haven’t been up there in ages. I always turn it off before heading downstairs. My Dad volunteered to go check and see if maybe the bulb was freaking out.
Although certainly unusual, this kind of incident has many potential causes. For example:
A) The storyteller or their cousin may have switched on the light earlier and forgotten about it (unless of course it was noted earlier that the light was off previously)
B) Any kind of electrical surge or anomaly could have caused the light the switch itself on, such things happen fairly regularly and are not unheard of.
C) Although unlikely, something as simple as a faulty piece of wiring, or an object overbalancing and striking the light switch may also be a potential cause.
D) An unknown energy force or intelligent being was able to influence the electrics and cause the light to turn on.
Looking at the account as it currently is without going forward for now, my opinion on the cause of this anomaly would not be supernatural. I would instead lean towards option B or C as the likely trigger of the event. But as we move through the story, this conclusion is challenged:
Meanwhile we were all outside still, and the window to the attic was open, so we could hear what was going on. Suddenly we heard thumps and my father shouting “DAAAAAWNNN” (my Mom’s name). She comes rushing up the stairs. My cousin, Grandma, and myself stayed put. Mom and Dad came back downstairs, thankfully okay. My Dad said when he opened the door to the attic, a game of Scattergories came midflight and bashed him into the chest, almost leaving a mark, followed by our birds travel cage that came tumbling down afterwords.
Now things start to get a bit obscure. When games and birdcages begin to fly into people with no discernible thrower more options must be considered. This is not to say that the cause is paranormal, however now the possibility is more pronounced.
My first thoughts when looking at this is the fact that the storyteller was reliant on an accurate account from the experiencer as opposed to a direct first hand experience. As it is very widely known, when experiences are passed verbally from one person to another, there is always the potential for misunderstandings or subconscious exaggeration. For instance, one possibility could be that these items were stacked somewhere near the door. Perhaps when the door was opened, with unknown force (e.g. maybe carefully opened or forcefully opened), this caused the items to fall into the experiencer.
Although this is one explanation, to me it seems unlikely as there is a distinct impression of being hit with force, as one would from a powerful throw. Especially if, as mentioned, the collision almost left a mark. Of course, opening a door to a supposedly haunted attic and having something hit you will leave you somewhat shaken, possibly leading to unintentional exaggeration or inaccurate memory of the actual event. It may have been that the items simply fell from a shelf, but in a moment of panic and fear this could certainly be exaggerated in one’s mind.
My Mom knows exactly where both of those items were. Neither were near the stairwell where it could’ve easily been tipped. The game was already in mid-air when my father opened the door. My mother went back upstairs, sprinkled some holy water, and yelled: “Uncle Eddie if this is you you better knock your shit off!!”….
We haven’t had that kind of activity since then.
My house is over 114 years old and I’m the 5th generation to live in it. 99% of the happy and not-so happy hunts are family members, I’m sure of it.
Taking the first paragraph into consideration, it now seems unlikely that opening the door caused the items to fall from shelving or loose storage, assuming that the storyteller’s mother was accurate in her descriptions of where the items were, and the fact that the game was in mid flight on opening the door. If this latter fact is true, and there was nobody else in the attic at the time, a paranormal explanation seems to be the only really justifiable position. After all, a game can’t fling itself at somebody without a flinger.
However, there seems to be a very very slight confirmation bias here. Whether this actually had any effect on the event or not, it seems that from the account the family believed the house is haunted by a ghost or ghosts prior to the experience, so of course the natural conclusion for them to make was paranormal.
This preconceived belief may have resulted in certain parts of the experience being subconsciously altered in the mind in order to fit with this paranormal cause. Although to me this seems unlikely, it is a possibility that must be taken into account, and such a thing is known in human psychology.
Conclusion – Ghosts or No Ghosts?
I myself am a believer in paranormal occurances and in the possibility of the existence of intelligent non-incarnate beings (spirits / ghosts), so I have no problem accepting that this account may indeed indicate something beyond material explanation. To me, the possible logical explanations I have mentioned as well as others all seem to fall short and rely a lot on very unlikely scenarios.
Please feel free to comment below to give your opinions on this experience. Is it a genuine paranormal haunting, or can it be explained logically?
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