The question of the week is: Have we ever been in a house that everyone said was haunted?
With that being said, I would like to take this opportunity to complain about how movies and books have exaggerated haunted houses and the people who experience things that we will never truly understand in our lifetime. (I am hoping for some answers when I cast-off this shell of clay).
I, in no way, consider myself a clairvoyant, a medium, ghost chaser or whatever anyone else wants to call herself. I don’t go looking for trouble, and I believe often spirits are more than likely trouble; they usually don’t belong here, although, some might be passing through and been given the grace to be near loved ones for a moment, or to escort their loved ones beyond.(My mother’s room seemed downright ‘crowded’ in the two days before she died and I was shocked to find that my sister perceived exactly what I did.) Other specters/noises/movements/experiences might not be exactly ‘ghosts’,(according to any given culture, there’s a lot out there, People). But spirits make their presence known from time to time to unsuspecting persons…like Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, who fainted dead away when she saw Abraham Lincoln’s ghost in the White House.(Many have seen him there; many have seen him at his young son’s grave nearby, where he spent many hours.)
Most of us dismiss encounters with the spirit world; we don’t want it to be real. We shirk from these things because, well, maybe we usually should. Heaven knows that I have talked myself out of what I know I have seen and heard until there was no longer any way to be in denial, especially after others asked if I had seen/felt/heard the same thing. It just doesn’t seem right; we like to think we know everything and that everything is cut and dried, just as it seems, out in the open, easily explained. We are told, and tell ourselves, that evil or good, angels or devils and ‘ confused souls’ are things of unlearned persons’ imaginations or of superstition, especially when people, (usually those who don’t want us to worry or get involved with questionable things…or even those frightened and in denial themselves), tell us it is just our imaginations. Uh-huh.
And many of the reasons for this is that movies, TV and books sensationalize encounters and those who experience them, cheapening with grandiose theatrics even those tales ‘based on’ true stories. Houses don’t have to be old, in fact, supernatural encounters don’t have to be in houses at all, nor do they all stem from violent acts in the past, or acts in the far past. And the answers are not as easy as simply ‘finding the truth’; which isn’t simple at all.
Some people do imagine or fake encounters. I am not gullible; in fact, even with all that I have seen/heard/felt, I am usually skeptical. You can usually tell the fakers by how movie-like their descriptions are, how their stories grow with the telling, how anxious they are to tell very many details, (and how those details change), how ‘sure’ they are of not only that what they had seen/heard/felt was supernatural, but that they often say they know exactly what they were dealing with. That is hardly ever the case.
The worst movie for grating my nerves is the favorite ghost story of many people: “Poltergeist”. The little squeaky-voiced medium who told the parents that they had to listen only to her and forget everything they learned or believed in made me very angry. Very few religions, (none of those of any age or substance), will deny the reality of spirits or other ‘other-worldly’ entities. Some religions have more answers than others, but I don’t think any of them know it all, (or teach it all), since I don’t think we are supposed to know everything, not now, not here. I am a Christian. Christ certainly never denied souls and entities; I can’t.
Don’t let Hollywood or others tell you that you have to leave your faith or be a weirdo to accept the reality of spiritual experiences. Our fore-bearers believed, not out of superstition as most would tell you, but because they were more in tune with nature and the natural course of life. Their faith was probably stronger than most peoples’ today; was that superstition? No, and if you have experiences, you don’t have to turn your back on your faith and change your religion. Shakespeare said it best in Hamlet:
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
But, I must caution, don’t go looking too hard for the supernatural. You don’t know what you might find, and they know more than you do.
As an adjacent note:Today is All Souls’ Day, the day Catholics set aside to pray for all of those gone before us, those that , it is thought, were not perfect,(who is?), and may have a bit of a wait before they get their full Heavenly reward,(as opposed to Saints, who are all who are in Heaven). I don’t think anyone wants to face God ‘unclean’, so personally, I am willing to buy into it. After all, not a funeral goes by that the person isn’t prayed for. And this is not an unhappy day; the prayers are for those who are in no doubt on their way to happiness and total peace.
So, whatever your thoughts,(and I personally ,roguishly, think some come back and go through the loop again), today say an extra prayer or keep a special kind thought for those we will join one day.
Lovely post. Well said. Those tv shows where the hosts provoke spirits make my blood run cold. Disrespectful.
I agree about the squeaky woman in Poltergeist. LOL! and love the Hamlet quote.
Thanks,Jillian.I hated to sound preachy and I was afraid I’d gone too far with my tales from the dark side(!) before. The ‘Unknown’ should probably stay that way, but sometimes, the choice is THEIRS!
I’ve never seen the film Poltergeist, other than a few clips and the trailer.
I’m actually quite frightened of the spiritual world and know it’s nothing to dabble with.
I enjoy horror movies and scary sci-fic films, etc. but I won’t watch things like “The Exorcist” .
“The Exorcist” is exactly the type of movie that I take issue with,Jeff.They say it is ‘based’ on a real story, but the real story is much more subtle (and frankly, much more frightening). People either expect all the over-the-top theatrics when dealing with the spiritual, or they discount the supernatural altogether because of it.
I know you say your prayers,Jeff and you are a wise man to just leave well enough along! I’m glad you came by.
Yes, I had also read that that film took considerable liberties.
Another “expose” I’ve read — though many years after the fact — was that the Amityville Horror (movie) took considerable liberties with the book. Furthermore, the book supposedly took considerable liberties with the TRUTH. Ha.
Anything to sell a story.
And scare the willies out of people!
I saw an interview with an older priest who had been a young priest assisting the priest in the exorcism the story was so-called ‘based on’. It was not for the timid. But , shoot, they take liberties all the time with the truth…I never read the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy , but I have my husband and my niece ready to choke Peter Jackson for the changes he made….and those characters were never real people!