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It’s time for some ghost adventures

Coming from the Greek word for ‘Para’ which means ‘next to’ or beyond and ‘nomos’ which means ‘rule’, the paranormal has been something that has fascinated humans for hundred of years. The definition of the paranormal; phenomena that cannot be explained with logic or  experiments using the scientific method. Putting it simply, it is the things that occur in our world that we cannot explain. Most commonly associated with ghosts aka spirits, it also includes physics/matter, energy and culture. ( In every culture throughout the world, there is some aspect of the paranormal. For example, in Catholic/Christian beliefs, there is the demon and angels. In Egyptian beliefs, there is Ba, an entity that can travel between the world of the dead and the world of the living. In Celtic lore, there is Ankou, the personification of death.)

 To  better explain something that is considered paranormal the way we know it, I’m going to give you an example of a well known haunting. About forty minutes outside of Chicago, Illinois is Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. It’s first burial was in 1844 and the last recorded burial was in 1989. I say recorded because the small lake/pond the cemetery is located near became the burial place for people killed by the mob in Chicago. This cemetery is unfortunately extremely vandalized. From people digging up bodies to stealing the gravestones which created a legend that the gravestones move by themselves.

It’s common paranormal phenomenons are ‘phantom vehicles’ which might be a residual haunting, and floating lights. These lights have no source and are often red or blue in colour. It’s most common apparition is not a person but a house. According to witnesses, the house is always far away and always described the exact same. It’s a white house with porch pillars, a swing and soft lights in the windows. Yet whoever gets near it says that it will disappear before you can get close. The house is never reported in the same spot.

Photo taken by Mari Huff in 1991

There are also other apparitions seen in the cemetery and the forest that surrounds it. Some of them include a farmer and his horse who is said to have drowned in the pond, a two headed man and a large black dog. The most famous is the “White Lady” or the “Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove.” One of the most famous photographic pieces of proof that the cemetery is haunted as well as one of the best pieces of photographic evidence  is of a woman, possibly the “White Lady” sitting on a tombstone. It was taken in 1991 by Mari Huff, a member of the Ghost Research Society. Mari said that the woman was not there when she took the photo. Some people argue that it is a double exposure but professional photographers say that is it genuine.

When you think of the paranormal you might think of psychics and people standing in the dark and asking “can you give me a sign that you are here?” That is the metaphysical approach. In the Paranormal, there are two approaches. The metaphysical way and the non-metaphysical way. The non-metaphysical way is very scientific, using equipment to document phenomenon and disprove it as well as prove it. However, skeptics find the paranormal hard to believe in because the paranormal even with the non-metaphysical approach because it  cannot be tested with the scientific method.

“We have to understand that we are dealing with the unexplained. We only know what we can see, hear, smell, taste and feel; everything else is just a theory. Sometimes I feel that humans have the mentality of a two year old. Why does it do that? Why is this the way it is? Why, why why, why? We’re curious beings who are programmed to ask questions, but if there isn’t an answer than it must not exist and we ridicule it or make fun of those who believe in it. Anyone who has spent a day in the paranormal field has experienced this kind of skepticism. ‘Ghosts aren’t real and you’re an idiot if you think they are’ people say. – Zak Bagans, lead investigator of the Ghost Adventures Crew

Since this is a metaphysics post though, I’ll keep it to the metaphysics, but if you want to explore the non-metaphysical side of the paranormal like seeing some of the devices used to research the paranormal, you find some references here. (x) (x)

People believe that with a sixth sense, you can sense spiritual energy through different ways  from empathy to telepathically. Yet because of  so many frauds and lies, it is hard to believe these people. I, myself, am skeptical of people who say they can communicate with spirits, saying they can talk to them and hear them.  I do believe however, that people may be able to see or sense them more easily, sensing energy that others cannot. Maybe this is could tie into the collective consciousness idea that we are all connected in some way and when we die, that connection might become weaker for some and/or stronger for others.

This topic has been one that has been talked about for centuries, becoming increasingly popular since the Victorian era when things like Ouija Boards and  Spirit photography were invented. As well, people were starting to really think about death, especially during and after the first world war when death was something people faced every day. People want closure when they lose someone. People want to know that this isn’t over, that there is something that makes all of this worth it.

Photo my friend took at Riverview Hospital in 2014.

Photo my friend took at Riverview Hospital in 2014. A face is visible in the window.

There is more to the paranormal than things that go bump in the night. If you truly believe, a ghost is more than something scary. It’s someone’s consciousness. It’s someone who lived a  life like you and me. The paranormal is like direct contact with our past. For example, if you were to go to a place where there was a battle, you can still experience sounds, and see things from that time.

When you look past the things people experience in the paranormal, you realize that something must be keeping this energy here and that is the greatest mystery of all. Maybe it’s their actions and choices from when they were alive. Maybe it’s something that is bigger than what we can possibly understand that keeps them here. (I haven’t even touched on demons/demonology and other entities that are not human-like that have been documented. If you are interested on reading more of that, you can go here (x) (x) )

That only leaves more questions that with our current technology and thinking cannot even begin to answer yet. What is consciousness? What keeps a soul/spirit here after death? Why are some more connected to these spirits than others?

So until we fully answer these questions, all we can do is stand in the dark and ask “Are you here? Can you give me a sign?”

 

 

6 Responses to It’s time for some ghost adventures

  1. vanessaf says:

    A+ post. I’d love to hear what you think about how the more scientific approach to the paranormal relates to how we view reality.

     
    • asmith says:

      There are many approaches in the paranormal community that is scientific! They are still very metaphysical in a sense that they are still asking for a response with the same questions like “are you here?” “Can you talk into this recorder?” “Can you manifest in front of this camera?” The questions are still the same, just a bit more specific. Advances in technology has allowed for new equiptment to made that allows us to get closer than we have before to prove that life exists after death. For example, the SP7 and the SP11 Spirit Boxes is one of the greatest and most used pieces of equiptment by investigators. All it is is a radio decives that sweeeps through radio waves at an extreme rate so all you hear is white noise. However if you are asking questions, sometimes a voice might answer. There are also devices like the Ovolus which uses electormagnetic energy to say words. There are also you good old digital recorder.
      For visual, the most important thing every investigator has is a nightvision camera. Now, people are using ultraviolet and all spectrum of light cameras to see in spectrums that our normal eyes can’t see. A personal favourite of mine is the kinetic camera. When first used, it was just using an Xbox kientic system. Now, that technology has put into a camera, allowing for energies and movement to be mapped in on the camera and seen as stick figures.
      These devices allows us to pursue our metaphysical questions and back up our answers with science so when a skeptic wants to fight us, we can back ourselves up!

       
  2. Samson says:

    Can frogs be ghosts?

     
    • Samson says:

      For real though, can ghosts be things that aren’t human if ghosts are supposed to be some sort of remainder of a consciousness?

       
      • asmith says:

        There is a big theory that animals can be ghosts! There have been many stories of people witnessing seeing animal apparations. A very common legend that many people know of is seeing a large black dog. Others have said that after they had lost a pet/when their pet died, they see or sense their pressence there still. It isn’t a part of the paranomal that is more looked into though so all we have is just theories. Other objects, say like a lantern or a table, can’t become ghosts simply because they are just objects.
        However, some objects like wood or stone can hold energy and project it in a form of a residual haunting. That is something that is not intellegent and cannot be interacted with which is what the Stone Tape Theory suggests.
        To answer you first question though…can frogs be ghosts? I think we should really be addressing the real problem. What are frogs?

         

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