Ghosts and other scary things

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! 

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