Around here, ghosts (spirit entities, call them what you will) should be receiving a paycheck because surely they work hard. Paranormal entities on the payroll, why not?
Start from the basics, and respect science
Also, in my personal view, ghost hunting needs to update its views of physics. In fact, the whole theory of what ghosts are needs review. Call it scientific baselining. Bargain basement physics means the data and the metrics are inexact, they lack rigor. Which means the science is flawed. Also — with some rare exceptions — devices that are used currently in ghost-detection are, on average, pretty basic.
I don’t mean we should update our language about ghosts to sound more scientific. I mean we should get tougher about demanding science to play a role where it can. I’m a proponent of what could be called basic scientific literacy — enough knowledge to understand principles and theories of cognition involved in basic science.
I mean in general, not necessarily in detail (yes, the devil is in the details…). How can our legislators develop a body of rules for safety in — say — nanoscience, if we don’t understand particle scales of size? the basic dynamics of what can happen?
Far as the average stuff regarding ghosts … there are enough podcasts, YouTube, and blog entries about the paranormal. But paranormal entities on the payroll or not, the whole concept needs updating.
Ghost tours, stories, and theories
Anyway, our little town (pop less than 100,000) has a ghost tour. I kid you not — and I hear it is pretty good. Not luridly imaginative or pushing the limits of sanity, but interesting. I haven’t been on it because personally, I don’t really believe in ghosts. Let me put it this way: I am sure many of the “experiences” I have read or seen programming on, are quite fictional. On the other hand, I’m not militant about that point of view. In fact, I’ve had some experiences that could use clarification. Maybe it’s just the current social distancing thing, but I’ve thought about this topic recently.
Just a pretty saltbox house, at 1 AM
A couple of years ago when my writing schedule was crazier than now, I sometimes walked my dog at 1 AM, 2 AM, even 3 AM. My neighborhood is a kind of rural suburb, sleepy and settled — very safe place as these things go. On a street about a quarter of a mile from my home, there was this house. When I walked past it at 1 AM (not midnight, not 2 AM), I would sometimes stop because it felt strange.
I am pretty analytical so I looked at the house, trying to figure out what was unsettling. There was really nothing different about it — just a regular two-story saltbox style of home. If I walked past it without looking, at about 1 AM or so, my skin would tingle on my neck, back and arms. Even my dog would behave strangely. I felt uncertain as if there was a threat to our safety.
(An aside — I read an article on the Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket — we just reviewed this device. My dog would have loved it… )
Just nerves, or a strange creature between dimensions?
One night as we approached the house, about a half-block away, I became tense. I should be vigilant while passing by. My dog seemed hesitant too. There was a row of three cars parked on the street in front of the house. As I am about 20 feet from the gap between two of the cars, there is this figure that leaps out, not toward us, but across our field of view.
It is about the size of a human, but definitely not human. It is shiny, scaly, serpentine, aquatic or avian, I couldn’t decide. Very startling. With beastly head and face; it has claws. It went by so fast that I didn’t get a chance to contemplate it. But the image still lingers. Sure you will want to know, was I drinking? No. Could I have imagined the whole thing? Of course, it’s possible, but… I don’t believe so. I mean I could have been tired, stressed, under the influence of something. But I wasn’t. However, perceptions are not as tied to objectivity as we think. It could have been a visual anomaly, a hallucination, or a trick of the eye or visual field — maybe it was, but it didn’t feel that way at the time.
We walked on but when we got home, I decided not to take walks at 1 AM — not past that house anyway…
By the way, the image at the top of this article is of a currently unavailable ghost meter on Amazon. In the meantime, here are a three well-reviewed detection devices. I don’t own them, but now I wonder whether they would have registered anything…