I have been noticing a trend lately, most people I associate with are not religious at all. However, I run into time and time again a belief in supernatural elements such as ghosts. It seems everyone has had a experience except me.
Granted, I have had weird experiences, for example working in a creepy old building and when its really quiet feeling like someone is watching you and then it makes you jump. But I find I automatically rationalize my feelings, knowing that's its just overactive imagination. I guess I don't project. When I was younger, I used to be involved in all kinds of woo but when I started to study human psychology and how untrustworthy our brain's perceptions are, I guess I lost the ability to believe.
Recently, I have explained to people about psychology, evolutionary adaptations from our days trying to escape predators, ect. It seems nothing ever sinks in.
Why do so think so many people believe in Ghosts?
Ok... I don't believe in god. I don't believe in ghosts. I don't believe in the supernatural. However... I HAVE had experiences that most people would identify as supernatural and I have to admit for most of it I have a very hard time explaining it by any means. I just happen to think that just because you can't explain something doesn't mean you should jump to conclusions and the whole ghost thing really doesn't seem to make any sense at all.
Here it goes...
I grew up in a house that did some VERY strange things. The first thing I can remember I was about 3 maybe and as I remember it, I was lying on the living room floor, leaning up against a large pillow watching Sesame Street. I had that feeling, that you described where you feel like you're being watched, so I looked up. I saw a man standing in the hallway of our house. Now the way I remember it what happened next really doesn't make sense. I shut my eyes, screamed at the top of my lungs (no one heard me) and when I opened them he was gone. I don't remember getting up at that point to look for my mom or anything. Now, this is a very vivid memory and for years I swore up and down that this really happened. I remember trying to tell my mom about it over and over again and her telling me that I must have fallen asleep and dreamt the whole thing. The memory still sticks out in my mind, but the fact is is that I've since come to the conclusion that she must have been right. Why would no one have heard me scream? It wasn't like I would have been left alone in the house at such a young age, and why would I then simply go back to watching TV instead of running out of the house or searching for my mom? So it couldn't have been real.
The second experience that I can remember however, is not so easily explained away. Down the same hall way, where I had seen the man, there were 3 bedrooms and a bathroom. One of the bedrooms was converted into an office, with a big desk and a computer. The type of locks on the doors that led from the bedrooms and bathroom to the hallway were push locks. It looked like a little button in the middle of the door knob and you'd push it with your thumb to lock the door. The door and lock on the door of the room that my parents used as an office would always be mysteriously locked from the inside when no one was in the room. The door would close by itself then the door would be locked. This one was not my imagination, we all experienced it. The door would constantly be locked and we'd constantly have to pick the lock by pushing a pin in a small hole on the doorknob on the hallway side. We always figured that there was something wrong with that lock. None of the other locks did this. We felt that the lock was loose, and maybe there was a draft in the house that would push the door closed? We just sort of chalked it up to a faulty lock and thought that way for years. Until that is, until the Northridge quake in 1994. The door frame was bent, the door wouldn't close correctly. There was a huge amount of damage. So when we did repairs, the wall was fixed, the door frame was fixed, the door was replaced, and a brand new lock (a different kind of lock) was installed. Problem SOLVED! .... Nope! The new lock was the type of lock that you find on most doorknobs now. The kind you have to grasp between your index and thump and twist. How could a lock like that lock itself? I have no idea, but the problem persisted through out the years even after my sister and I had grown up and moved out of the house. My parents didn't move out of the house until 2008.
One night my mom and I were alone in the house, my dad and sister were out of a girlscout father daughter dance... and we out of nowhere heard the sound of breaking glass. We searched the house and never figured out the cause. Nothing was broken, nothing was missing.
This is another experience that I CAN explain and I believe it's possible that it might be a plausible explanation for the breaking glass incident as well. One time I was in the house, alone, and started to hear two unfamiliar voices. It sounded like two men and it sounded as if it was coming from inside the house. I couldn't understand exactly what the voices were saying, but it sounded like a very casual back and forth conversation. I didn't know where the sound was coming from, but I freaked out and went to run out of the house. I thought, maybe a couple of people had broken in, but when I ran through my parents room, to get out into the backyard, I realized the window was open and the sound wasn't coming from inside the house at all but from out the window, so I walked outside and into the yard and looked down into the canyon and realized that the sound from coming from two people standing in their drive way one street over. It was a clear day and now that I was in backyard I could clearly make out their conversation clear as a bell.
Another odd experience we encountered was the bathroom across the hall from that bedroom. Again this is something that happened after the earthquake repairs. For some reason when we were getting ready in the morning for school the lights and radio in bathroom would start going nuts. The lights would flicker on and off, the heater would turn on and off and the radio would turn on and off. This only went on for a few days only then stopped.
When I first started dating my, now husband, I was still living at home. My parents went out of town and I invited him to stay in the house with me while they were gone. I know I know. But anyway, I went outside one morning to dump the remaining contents of breakfast into the compost heap when my husband came to my parents bedroom door and told me to "Get back inside the house to listen to this now!" When I came back inside I heard nothing, but what he described is that he heard the sound of the pantry door repeatedly opening and slamming shut. He went and looked at pantry and the door wasn't moving but he could clearly hear the sound so he opened the pantry door and could hear the sound coming from behind the wall of the pantry, even though there was nothing behind that wall that should have made that kind of noise.
Another incident was another time when my parents were out of town, by this time I had moved out, but my parents had asked for me to come to the house and bring up the garbage cans the day after garbage day and had asked my sister to water her plants. So my husband and I came together and brought up the cans and when we got to the top of the driveway my sister and her boyfriend walked out of the yard, it just so happened we all showed up at the same time. So we all went inside the house and hung out for a few minutes to talk. I walked out of the room for minute to go the bathroom. When I came back into the living room the TV turned on. My husband then said "Oh, you had the remote, we couldn't find it." I said I didn't have it so we searched for it and finally found it, in a drawer in the coffee table. We told my parents of the incident when they came back and asked if the TV had been set on a timer. My dad informed us that that TV didn't have that feature.
One more incident I can recall is (and this was relayed to me by my husband) is my husband and I move out of CA and to AZ back in 2006. The night before we moved we stayed with my parents in the house and we had our cat with us. My husband stayed in the bedroom with the cat to keep him calm and since the cat was in there he had to have the catbox in the same room and he didn't want me exposed to the litter because I was pregnant at the time. So my husband and I didn't sleep together that night. My husband said all night long he could hear the sound of someone slowly walking up and down the hallway.
Now, I'm not trying to convince anyone. I don't expect people to take these stories at face value. I myself always take stories like this with a grain of salt and as you said, human perception is un-trust worthy. Not to mention that in my opinion none of these experiences necessarily point to ghost. The 1 story here that I truly think is unexplainable by any other means is the office door that locked itself, that one I really can't explain. I should mention that the house is old, it was built in 1951. Houses over time start to make strange noises as wood does age. The house is set in the hills south of Ventura blvd in Sherman Oaks, CA. It is somewhat up above the street with a long driveway leading up to it and the backyard looked down on another street that was nestled in between that hill and another hill creating an effect where noise could easily echo and travel upward. The house now has new owners. I have no idea if the new owners have experienced anything out of the ordinary or not.
Googling "brain scan anomalies" or something like it might shed some light on:
1. religious school education vs. public school education in traumatic situations,
2. brain neuron behavior when otherwise normal people are deprived of sleep,
3. effects of science education on neuron behavior, and more.
I left Catholicism 55 years ago for agnosticism and left it five years ago for atheism. A still-Catholic friend who asked if I believe the supernatural exists seemed unwilling to believe me when I told him I don't.
He tried hard to persuade me to enroll in no-cost "A Course of Miracles" program he was conducting several years ago, and more recently in a no-cost Transcendental Meditation program he is conducting. I responded by teasing him about his not having left the plantation, or telling him it's easier to change dogmas than to give up the need for a dogma.
Several times when I've gone to bed extremely tired, I have for maybe a second "seen" myself near the ceiling in a corner of the room looking back at me. I've heard it called an out-of-body experience but I've drawn no conclusions from it except that it was due to my brain neurons doing things when I was exhausted. I suspect that near-death experiences and the whiteness people talk about also result from brain neurons doing things.
Does anyone know of any neuronal imaging that explains such as the above?
Ghosts? They're for people who enjoy fiction.