Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ghost Stories

Last night Ron and I watched a show on SciFi called Ghosthunters. It is usually followed by Ghosthunters International (GHI). The shows are about a team of investigators who visit supposedly haunted locations, and try to debunk or find alternative explanations for the reported phenonema. Sometimes, they succeed in doing this (which either relieves or disappoints the people who are experiencing strange things), sometimes they are unable to find a "logical" reason behind the activity, but might have personal experiences that can't be backed up with sound or video, and sometimes they even capture, using high-tech devices, paranormal activity.

Now, I know this can actually be a contraversial topic, as it touches on the concept of spirits (good and evil), the afterlife, and what is the energy that actually animates us. Why are these beings hanging around? What do they want? Are they trapped? Is this their sentence, do they even know they are dead? All age-old debates that a lot of people shy away from. I actually find it very fascinating, admitting humbly that I do not have the answer, and probably never will during my lifetime. I just like the discussion.

Seeing these teams capture images and sounds that are (if you watch the show, you'll know), arguably irrefutable evidence of paranormal activity, can actually be a bit scary! It's late at night, and then we head to bed... suddently I am hearing every little bump and creak in the house, and what was that I saw out of the corner of my eye? Maybe I'm just in a high EMF area... I'm comforted somewhat by knowing that if there is anything out there, it can't hurt me. Afterall, these teams seek this stuff out, and they aren't scared (usually).

Talking with friends and relatives who are trustworthy and definitely not insane, I have heard several stories about apparitions, and I have also seen photos with white mist in front of the (film) camera - no one was smoking, they were outdoors on a sunny day. My friends's mother took the photo and never saw that mist when she pressed the shutter, only when the photo were developed. It is pretty obvious that it isn't an error in the developing process. At the same home they report a child's footsteps on their second story, doors closing, and things moving around in the house and yard. Oooohhh... I'm sure there are lots of skeptics who have quick answers for all those things, but don't tell that to Jenny and Mitch because they would definitely disagree with you. I've had one personal experience, and so have plenty of other people I know. On top of that, the previous owner of our home died, we presume, in our bedroom. We haven't seen or heard her though, but she comes to our minds all the time. What does that mean?

So, is it wrong to attempt to communicate with "spirits"? I'm torn on this. I don't like the idea of messing with, or provoking evil spirits. I have seen people on Ghosthunters physically (and emotionally) touched, sometimes knocked over, by something. I would not particularly enjoy that. However, some of the things they communicate with seem to be harmless, passive, or even playful. On on the TAPS vs. GHI debate - I realized that usually we are only able to tune in at the tail end of Ghosthunters (USA), and therefore we have gotten to know the GHI team a lot better. Last night's "forced" extended watching of Ghosthunters was definitely interesting, and they seemed to catch some good stuff. Some of the respective team members have been on both shows, depending on which season they are showing an episode on. Since Lucy was in bed earlier than normal we could check it out more. The show itself, as well as many of the commercials, are a bit scary for her.

Even if you are a total skeptic, I believe this show is something worth watching. The team members have had loads of personal experience and evidence captured, but each time to visit a new location their initial reaction to something they see or hear is to figure out a non-paranormal cause. They never jump to conclusions without painstaking investigation. And each week you watch it, it gets a little less frightening. The first time we did, we were totally freaked out...


Chris Winkler said...

For a word on this from Scripture (there is more, but this is all I have time for), check out Leviticus 19:31. "Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God."

Also Deuteronomy 18:10-12: "For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you.

Mindy said...

Understood. But what if something presents itself to you, and you *weren't* seeking or summoning it - as in, the people who own the house, hotel, hospital, what have you, report these things happening to them, and in most cases are quite scared or uneasy about it, but certainly weren't calling forth any spirits...

I completely respect a Biblical statement about this type of thing. I am even unsure, as a Christian, how I feel about anyone tapping into the "other side" (for lack of a better term)...which is why I won't be engaging in that kind of thing myself! However, I think there must be something going on that we don't fully understand. I appreciate you sharing those verses.

Chris Winkler said...

I believe Satan uses these spirits (including those who "initiate contact" for lack of a better term) and experiences for his purposes. Unfortunately, it's late and my brain is fried from packing for our trip, so I can't write anything better now. If I think of it when I wake up, I'll try to pull some more materials on this for you, if you really are interested. It's an interesting topic, to be sure.