Today I will tackle a topic that has always interested me though out my life, the topic being, the paranormal. This is a topic that has been fascinating man for ages, yet at the same time, a topic that has gained a bad reputation, due to many hijacking it VIA hoaxes, or otherwise dishonestly using the term. The photos above are a good example of the bad side, as imagery isn’t foolproof even if the person isn’t deliberately trying to pull off a hoax.
I touched on a VERY tiny portion of this topic in a previous entry, which was about psychic’s (or more so, how I felt a family member was being deceived by one, and a short explanation as to how pretty ANYONE can pull off such a deception). But though its relatively easy to debunk people whom claim to COMMUNICATE with the “Other Side”, the bigger issue of “the other side” is, not so easy to dispel.
The first place I personally heard about the paranormal, was though stories ive heard from my family (mainly my dad), over the years.
My dad grew up with both parents and 7 siblings in a huge old farm house in rural Manitoba, and there was quite a few stories from there. One interesting factor, was that none of the male occupants or visitors of the household ever had an experience within the house, but all the female occupants (and many visitors), did have experiences.
Not all of them recall the incidents today (as they occurred in childhood, and you forget stuff over the years), but from what the others have said, it was mostly visual, apparitions. Mostly of a man.
In one instance, a visitor would not step past the porch (into the house), for she said she felt “a bad vibe” about the place. One overnight visitor, sleeping in one of the bedrooms, claimed she awoke in the middle of the night to see a silhouette of a man standing in the doorway of there room. And upon trying to wake her husband, she was not successful (though it was the first night of a pre-planned weekend stay, they left hastily the next morning).
And a third story, this one from my aunt. Apparently she was running up the stairs to the 3ed floor (attic) of the house, and as she rounded a corner, she ran into (and right THOUGH), an apparition of a man. She didn’t realize what had happened, until she was though him (she says it felt like running though a cold shower). An interesting side note to this story, is that it was later found out that the builder of the house had passed away on the day (and within the hour), of this “incident” occurring.
Though all this is indeed hear-say, I consider it all interesting, because its from my family. I knew there backgrounds, and the people telling the stories aren’t the kind to fib or embellish anything.
When it comes to ME personally, ive never actually SEEN anything “paranormal”, like apparitions or anything like that. But I have had a number of interesting (and sometimes humorous) situations happen, over the years.
The first, im not exactly sure how long ago it occurred, but im thinking I was in grades 7 or 8 at the time. We were staying at my aunties house, which was located a short distance outside the settlement of Otterburn Manitoba (I quote wikipedia lol). Known primarily for the Providence University College and Theological Seminary (located in the town), there was not a whole lot else. Only a local post office. Not even a restaurant or food store.
The days were usually filled with a trip to Winnipeg, or nearby Steinbach or St. Pierre for shopping (or other errands with my aunt and uncle), but at night, there was never a whole lot to do at there place. In the winter, me, my sister and my cousin (same one mentioned in my Candles & Campfires entry) would play video games, or hockey on the frozen Rat river (located down a hill, and behind there house).
In the summer, we would sometimes walk to the town, and walk around there. I remember that the town always had a creepy feel to it, all quiet and eerie. But of course, the senses can do funny things in strange situations.
In the back of the town, right beside the road to my aunts place, was small graveyard.
And during one visit, us 3 decided to visit the grave yard, look around at the names. We were accompanied by “buddy”, a big black dog owned by my aunt’s neighbors, but who was allowed to run loose (so he usually ended up at my aunts LOL). Anyway we walked to the grave yard, buddy in tow, and looked around a bit. Then, buddy stops, and starts barking at a grave right in the middle of the cemetery. When he didn’t stop, we all got creeped out and left LOL.
The next night, we decided to go back. So we walked back there, buddy once again in tow. We were looking around again, reading the headstones. Buddy was following us, today, not focused on anything in particular. We were just past the grave that buddy had barked at the night before and looking at another one, when we looked back to see buddy peeing on that very grave. We laughed, then moved on.
Then, out of nowhere, it got REALLY windy (it was a calm night). We quickly, decided to get the hell OUT of there LOL (did buddy “piss” someone off?). When we were a short distance away, the wind once again died down, and didn’t return. Though we walked to the town at different times after that, we never went back to that cemetery lol.
My aunts house itself, has had its fare share of activity in the time that they have lived there as well. It was apparently a replacement to a home that had been there before (which had burnt down), but im unsure if anyone perished in the fire though.
But when it comes to weird occurrences in the house, my uncle once seen the nightlight flicker in the bathroom, and seen an apparition standing in the room. My cousin had just come home from work after a late night shift (got home at around 1am), and seen an apparition walking up the basement stairs. My sister always felt creeped out and had trouble sleeping in the house (and avoided the guest bedroom at the very end of the hall, as it REALLY creeped her out).
I have personally, never seen anything in the house, nor did I ever feel “creeped out” anywhere in it (including in the back bedroom). I can explain the “creepy” feeling my sister had.
For one,we slept in the living room (on the couch), which had big windows on both sides, that were uncovered (being in the middle of nowhere, all that was across the road was an empty feild). At night I didn’t like it, because with the bright overhead light on, you could not see out (but people could see IN).
And after dark, outside is a whole lot of blackness. So thats likely a big part of it.
Plus we often talked about paranormal things (or watched paranormal videos) with my cousin, so he was of no help lol.
When it comes to my “personal” experiences in the house, I can only think of are 3 things.
The first, I admit, is not exactly a “personal” experience, but it involved me in an interesting way.
I was told by my uncle told (the next morning ), that he thought he had seen me standing by the patio door in the middle of the night (they made a sun room in the back of the house, and that was where I usually slept). Apparently he called my name and I didn’t answer. Presumably because I was sleeping on the couch 5 feet away.
Another experience that I “had”, also happened in that sun room, but in broad daylight. Me, my sister and my cousin often play fought each other, and my sister and my cousin were. I was about 15 or 20 feet away (the other side of the room), looking out a picture window, when I felt a punch in the back of the arm.
I quickly turned and said “OW CUZ”, then realized they (him and my sister) were on the other side of the room. And they seemed just as surprised as I was. Of course, its entirely possible that 1 could have been messing with me, but they would have had to move across the room pretty fast to beat my quick head turn.
Another “incident” (if you even want to call it that), occurred in the back bedroom of the house. At night it was normally occupied by my dad, but during the day, I liked going in there and reading. One time I must have fallen asleep, but the interesting part was that when my aunt and dad tried to wake me up, they didn’t have any luck, no matter how much they poked and moved me around.
I did not consider this an “experience” at the time, but later on, I found an interesting correlation to one of the stories of my dads childhood home. Its likely a fluke, but considering the status of the house, one can never know. One thing I can tell you, is I did not remember any “dreams” from the sleep, nor do I have even a recollection of them attempting to wake me (not to surprising).
I did have a BIT of an experience, fairly recently (maybe 2 or 3 years back), at my best friends parents place when they lived in a house in the western most area of Brandon.
The family is Wiccan, and are very spiritual in nature. And it showed in the way they decorated there home. Some found it creepy, I found it very relaxing.
In any case, a reoccurring issue, was my inability to fall asleep in the downstairs rec room area (though a part of that may be uncomfortable sleeping arrangements and the room being to hot). But every time ive been down there, even with much hard liquor in my system, ive always got little to no sleep.
One time, my friend was having a party there, and we were all in the hot tub (inebriated. lol). And he said he wanted to do a Wiccan cleansing ritual. A couple of us were curious, so we tried it. We held hands, closed our eyes, and let ourselves get completely relaxed, totally calm, minds clear. It felt relaxing, but I felt this strange sensation, like something was pulling at me from behind (not in a literal sense, more like a feeling. Its the best way I can describe it).
I was told that, apparently I was feeling spirit that was to the right of the hot tub (I heard them mention this “spirit” before, but I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention. And I didn’t make the connection, because right of the hot tub was BEHIND me). That was an interesting experience.
The above may paint me as being a believer in this phenomenon, but in reality, im on the fence. In the middle. An agnostic to the concept.
Though “the paranormal” is an umbrella term that is inclusive of a whole host of different phenomenons, the area I am most familiar with is the “Ghostly” aspects. Ghosts, disembodied spirits and such.
Though I consider all the stories above as both amusing and interesting, they are not a confirmation of a belief that any of it is INDEED super natural. In fact, memory is a funny thing. All may be 100% explainable to events and processes in reality. But they are just what I say they are, stories. Fun and interesting little tales, that make the topic interesting and (somewhat) personally relevant.
When it comes to the paranormal, though there are people that try to stay in the middle, ive found that most tend to gravitate to the extreme edges. You are either all in, have no doubts in your mind. Or you are flat out opposed, certain that there is no such thing as paranormal phenomenon.
Having an unwavering stance on either edge of the scale is irrational.
When it comes to those who believe with absolute certainty, you run the risk of falsely equating something explainable as something “paranormal”. Assuming the incident isn’t scary or causing fear, this may not be an overly harmful thing (can make for an interesting story). But putting all your eggs in the paranormal basket, CAN be risky. For example, people often pay good money for a “psychic” to read to them from the “other side”, when realistically, there reading YOU. I covered it awhile ago here.
On the other side of the coin, we have the paranormal deniers. Those that refuse to even entertain the possibility of anything paranormal. Based on the fact that, you can not see it, test it. Which in a sense, is alright. I look around the room, and I see nothing.
But on the other hand, that does not tell us anything. One can not see radio waves.
But you would not see this, or any of my other entry’s, without them (WIFI). And my cell phone would be a paperweight, without those invisible waves carrying information back and forth between the tower/WIFI router.
But some have argued against this argument, because though you can not SEE radio waves with the naked eye, antennas “see” the waves (like my computer and my cell phone).
So though the above argument is rendered moot, one still can not draw a definitive conclusion.
Indeed, many a person has done there own “testing”, using all kinds of methodologies. All looking for some sort of answer to that ever present question, is there such a thing as ghosts?
And more often then not, they come up empty, or with easily explainable findings. But even this does not mean a whole lot.
To use a quote I heard recently “If you test a cup of ocean water and don’t find fish, does that mean there is no fish in the ocean?”.
One big problem when it comes to the paranormal is, people using the curiosity (gullibility?) of others, to make a buck off of it. Past and present, many have successfully made a buck with flimsy “evidence” caught on camera or tape recorder. And though the technology is now more advanced, you can still see the same thing happening. Your favorite popular Ghost Hunting show may be guilty.
Though its hard to prove, I go by the findings of a small local group in my area called “Assiniboine Paranormal“. They have a lot of material that one could call “possible”, but nothing that can be called “definitive”.
Though many, especially the “Ghost Hunting” shows, claim to be in it primarily to debunk, looking at what is considered “good” often begs to differ. A good rule of thumb, if there looking for ratings or DVD sales, then be very mindful of the content.
In fact, finding something “genuine” that is related to the paranormal ANYWHERE in the media, might be impossible. Though there is more available then ever thanks to the internet, one would not be able to tell is anything is indeed “genuinely” paranormal, amongst the ocean of explainable and doctored material. Just the nature of the material, automatically renders pretty much everything found by anyone else, suspect.
Its good to be suspicious. And its good to ask questions. Anyone that takes the integrity of the field seriously, should not be afraid to answer your questions as best they can.
Even though the paranormal field has gained a bad reputation, one must not forget that the concept itself, is still a question mark.
So one must be careful when applying the label of “supernatural” or “paranormal” to anything. But also, one must be careful in writing off what does not have the proof to back up such an action.
You can not get a can not get a positive OR negative result from an informational void.