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Have you ever seen a ghost?

October 31, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
In honor of Halloween this week, I rewatched the movie "Conjuring," a purportedly true story about a family tormented by demons in their big, haunted house. It's a good movie, but probably mostly fictional. As usually happens in movies like this, the family flees in the middle of the night, never to return, but in real life, the family lived there for many years and the haunting was never quite so dramatic.

Still, I don't entirely rule out the possibility of demonic possession or supernatural happenings, especially on a night like Halloween when I jump at shadows. While I've never had personal experience with ghosts and nothing whatsoever happened when I played with a Ouija board as a kid, I have had family members far more psychic than I tell me some stories that defy rational explanation. I am also still Catholic enough to believe that there might be an actual need for the occasional exorcism.

What about you? Have you ever seen a ghost or had anything happen that you couldn't explain?


Article Comments



Nov-01-13 11:55 PM

My Dad died many years ago in a mobile home that he lived in with my Mom and me. We lived for two more years there after his death. If we returned after dark, many times the lamp in the living room was turned on for us. We did not turn it on before we left. My Mom always blamed it on mt late Dad. We ended up selling and bought a house.


Nov-01-13 1:41 PM

Nope. I wouldn't watch Duck Dynasty. Alien abduction stories were popular for awhile, about the time that The X-Files was on. I remember interviewing the local head of the MUFON network who warned me black helicopters were following my car. He later found God and gave up MUFON. The last time I saw him was when I interviewed him at a Christian rally. But I also interviewed a few law enforcement officers who also said they'd seen UFOs and they were quite credible, all the more so for being a little skeptical about it.

I think a lot of phenomena can be attributed to things about the brain that we don't yet know, but just because there is a physical explanation doesn't mean there might not also be a spiritual element. I believe in God, both because of upbringing and natural inclination, and think there's more to the deity than the flying spaghetti monster so dear to the hearts of some segments of the population.

Nov-01-13 1:25 PM

Ever watch "Duck Dynasty" and see all the things "Si" is completely convinced of?

There is nothing that can be tricked as easily the mind. Politicians love this fact.

Nov-01-13 1:16 PM

I've heard and seen stories about people that are convinced they were abducted by aliens. In interviews, they seem like rational/normal people.

So then the question becomes, are they just liars? Take a hit to the head and are imagining things?

"There's no such thing as ghosts" isn't just something you tell kids to calm them, it's a true statement.

The brain is a fascinating organ.


Nov-01-13 12:35 PM

Whose truth? Whose reality?

Sometimes things happen that cannot be easily explained; sometimes there are simple explanations. A house creaking and lights flickering on and off is probably floorboards settling and bad wiring, not a haunting. A person who seems demon possessed is likely schizophrenic. TV mediums are usually just really good at doing a cold reading on members of the audience, who usually supply them with more information. Who hasn't had a relative die or doesn't have a friend or relative whose name starts with S? It's always wise to look at these things with a skeptical eye, though I wouldn't rule anything out completely. I, too, have heard stories I couldn't account for by rational, scientific means.


Nov-01-13 12:18 PM

I used to live in an apartment downtown. Every night, right as I was falling asleep, I would have the feeling that someone was holding me down. I couldn't move, speak. I was just pinned to my bed. It would only last a few minutes, but it was terrifying. Needless to say, I broke that lease and moved out after a couple months. Ghost?? I can't say - but it never happened after I left that apartment.

Nov-01-13 11:57 AM

Truth, facts, and especially reality, seem to fly out the window when it comes to the discussion of the supernatural.


Nov-01-13 11:40 AM

There are more things in heaven and earth, ZRider, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Nov-01-13 10:59 AM

Lots of people believe lots of ludicrous things. It's part of the human condition.


Nov-01-13 9:41 AM

But what was really weird was when I returned to the living room. Everyone was still there. When I asked if everyone stayed, they acknowledged that nobody had left while I was away. I have no idea what it could have been, but it's the closest I have to a "ghost story".


Nov-01-13 9:40 AM

Well, I've had a few really strange things happen. I hesitate to assign it any of the easy pigeonhole explanations.

Example: this one time when I was a little boy, I left my family in the living room of the house to go get something from my bedroom down the hall. No big deal, but it was nighttime, so if the lights in a room weren't on, I couldn't see in.

As I returned from my room, I passed by another room in which the lights were off and the door was open. At the moment I passed the open doorway, one of my wooden blocks came sailing out of the darkness and struck me squarely in the side of my head. I turned in the direction from which it came, bewildered about what had just happened, but the block was right there on the floor. I picked it up and thought, "Weird".


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