Halloween is upon us! It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to things that go bump in the night — all manner of scary stuff, mostly paranormal things like ghosts, goblins, and the like.
I admit I love this stuff. I like scary movies — not the gore-filled slasher movies, but the truly terror-inducing type where the violence, if present at all, is more subtle. If it involves a “haunted house,” a poltergeist, demonic possession, or aliens, I’m all in.
Which sometimes surprises those who know me well. Because I am also an avowed skeptic of all things paranormal. And when I call myself a skeptic, I mean that in the classical sense. A true skeptic (unlike so-called climate change skeptics or vaccine skeptics) is someone who requires strong evidence to be convinced of the reality of some very rare or undocumented phenomenon.
If you refuse to accept something despite all the evidence in the world just because you don’t want to accept it, you’re not a skeptic. You’re a reality-denier.
Being a skeptic doesn’t mean you completely rule out the possibility of the existence of something otherworldly. It means you refuse to accept it without solid proof. As the old adage goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
The truth is, I would be thrilled to learn of solid evidence of ghosts or alien visitors or some unknown cryptid such as Bigfoot or Nessie. How exciting that would be! But despite numerous claims, there has to date been no good evidence produced for any of those things. But there is always the possibility that the next claim will check out.
Have you ever wondered why, in a time when everyone literally carries around cameras in their pockets, we still have no solid photographic evidence of any of these things? Surely by now someone would have captured the ghost of their dead Aunt Sudie or Bigfoot on camera. And no, common camera anomalies such as dust and lens flare don’t count.
Here’s a hint: the film or CMOS sensor in your camera captures the same wavelengths of light your eyes do, because that’s what they’re designed to do. If you didn’t see it when you took the picture, it wasn’t there, no matter what you think you see in the photo.
All this is not to say we can’t still have fun with these phenomena. So, I’ll keep watching my horror movies and reading about ghosts, vampires, demons, and such. And you may find all of these things depicted in my Halloween decorations. Hell, you may even see me costumed as a zombie this time of year.
It’s just plain fun. And I love it!