Monday, October 29, 2007

Ghost Stories

Since Halloween is quickly upon us, I thought I would head into the "spooky" for a blog post.

Nick and I are really into the Sci-Fi television series, "Ghost Hunters". The series follows a team of paranormal investigators as they set out to resolve or solve, debunk or declare hauntings. They focus solely on hauntings. They don't dip into U.F.O.'s or bigfoot type creatures.

We have been watching for about a year. Most of the time their scientific efforts to record evidence of a haunting results in very little. Occasionally they collect evidence of something that cannot be explained based on the evidence they have and they leave it up to interpretation. Then finally, very rarely, the evidence is sufficient to point to something that truly is beyond explanation of any sort.

I have to say that I cannot remember ever having an experience of ghost-type phenomenon. Family members have had some experiences that could fit into this category. And personal experience is just as real as evidence in the mind of the person who has experienced something.

But I have found myself wondering about the experience of hauntings (I'm using that in a broad way) in the life of believers. A recent survey by the Associated Press resulted in about 1/3 of people saying they believed in ghosts with almost 1/4 of the people saying they have had an experience they label as ghostly. The survey went on to provide the information that,
The most likely candidates for ghostly visits include single people, Catholics and those who never attend religious services. By 31 percent to 18 percent, more liberals than conservatives report seeing a specter.

The results of this survey would seem to indicate that conservative leaning Protestant believers don't give as much credence to ghost stories. This really strikes me as odd. Because it is conservative Protestants who have the most supernatural of belief system. Miracles, angels, demons, and life after death are part of the worldview of conservative Protestants. It is accepted almost universally among them. This may be a reason why belief in ghosts is so low. Ghostly phenomena may be attributed to miracles, angels, and demons.

Here is my position on ghosts: there are a lot of things that cannot be explained in the natural and the supernatural (the miraculous). Some things that people perceive to be hauntings are the mind's interpretation of things that are out of the normal but can be explained by knowledgeable persons. The experience of a haunting is so real that people need to express their stories without being seen as nutcases. A person's fear resulting from an experience is no less real than other traumatic events. Acts of prayer and anointing can bring comfort to the mind of the person who has experienced a haunting.

All of that being said, and in the spirit of the season, I would like to hear your ghost stories. If you have had an experience with hauntings or a ghostly presence, and if you feel comfortable, I would like to hear your story.