What Actually Goes Bump in the Night

Kevin Redding takes you through a imagery-filled literary piece about a family in Poughkeepsie in this article.

While the story on its own is enough to leave you with goosebumps, he also covers the fad that comes with paranormal and ghost hunting.

In the article he puts in a quote saying people look for paranormal explanations or try too see past the veil at key moments of crisis, meaning anything from war to economic unrest to religious uncertainty.

The correlation between this type of unrest and the general public looking for a paranormal scapegoat is so strong Business Week actually predicted the huge rise in paranormal belief as a result of the economic crisis.

Another part of the article talks about something called the theory of mind. We have the ability to infer the range of mental states of others, and we can see intentional actions of others because of how social we are as a collective. The side effect of this though is seeing intentions where there are none.

This is why we believe in an afterlife, and that our souls leave our bodies to either move on or repeat something over and over in our own worldly plane.

Even going through all of this, and having a quick moment of existential crisis, I can’t help but wonder if we’re right or wrong. The article said we see intentions where there are none, but to think that there is nothing after this is probably as arrogant to believe we’re the only living things in the universe.

I’m sure quite a bit of what we see as paranormal is placebo effect and mass hysteria, but there are some things that we look at and no matter how hard we try, we can’t find a real, true, solid explanation. We always have theories and reasons that couldn’t hold any weight, but come on. We don’t even know everything about our own planet, or even our own bodies. We’ve barely scratched the surface of space. Why would we be so quick to dismiss another idea that, even in our own homes, we are not alone.

The again, to some people the idea would be terrifying. Something unseen watching your every move, forever. Always quietly lurking and making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you know there is nothing else in your home.

And then there are those who get excited by it and would go looking for this type of place. And the article gave some advice for ghost-hunters and paranormal thrill-seekers alike that I’ve never actually heard before:

Don’t.

There are groups of ghost-hunters, amateur and professional alike, but they both look for the type of stuff you see on TV. Apparently, it’s quite the market. The advice to not go ghost hunting is to keep you safe. Anything from hurting yourself in old or abandoned buildings, not get arrested for trespassing, etc. Which is all well and good but lets face it, they’re making serious bank on this stuff, so to me it sounds like they want to keep the noobs out, and really? Who’s going to tell a bunch of teenage thrill-seekers not to sneak into a creepy abandoned building late at night and re-enact a horror movie?

Quite frankly they’ll probably do it just because you told them not to.

Even though there are tons of people who believe in this, and even more who try to debunk it, paranormal always seems to be around us, even if its just on the edges of our lives. We always have a ghost story to tell. So what is it that makes us look for something lurking in that dark corner?

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