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    Thread: Ghosts and the paranormal

    1. #1
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      Ghosts and the paranormal

      I find myself wondering just how many people here believe that ghosts exist--and if anyone here has had what they would consider paranormal experiences. I do believe in ghosts, largely because I have personally experienced paranormal activity for myself. In fact, one of my goals is to become an amateur paranormal investigator one of these days. I've experimented collecting EVPs and even gotten some pretty crazy things in pictures. For that matter, I've gotten some very clear and creepy EVPs too!

      As for experiences, one that SilentDream and I both had was very VERY creepy. One day were were in the living room of our house. We were alone, there was nobody else there. All of a sudden, there's this loud cracking noise. Before you ask, no it wasn't the TV--it was off. Anyway, we look around while this is going on, wondering wth is making that sound. It seems to be coming from the shelf where Mom (SilentDream) kept all her little nick-knacks and stuff. And, right before our very eyes, this ceramic unicorn just falls apart! I kid you not, and I do not exaggerate. It literally just fell into pieces. It didn't explode, it just freaking crumbled. Nobody was touching it, or messing with it. In fact, nobody had for quite some time, it'd just been sitting there on the shelf. I cannot think of any rational explanation for that.

      There's one of my experiences, now how about you?

      ~SilverWolf~

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      I saw a ghost when I was a child, but I don't believe in ghosts. I am not sure what I saw but it was late at night so I suspect that perhaps it was something dream related. Perhaps a false awakening I thought was a real awakening. I am not sure but it was so long ago that I don't believe myself to be a credible eye witness.

      I have never heard an EVP that sounded anything even remotely like a voice. People always tell me it sounds like a voice but then I listen and I just can't hear what they hear. I believe they are just picking out random patterns in the static. There is a name for it, Apophenia, which is the experience of finding perceived meaningful patterns in random objects. Case in point EVP is random statics but you think you hear a voice. Another common example is seeing faces or objects in a stucco wall which is just random.

      I don't know much about ceramics but my guess is that the loud cracking noise came from the unicorn. My guess is that some kind of chemical reaction started to take place either because of a temperature change or a moisture change in the room, and the result was the cracking sound you heard. Once the chemical reaction was completed the unicorn fell a part.
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      Well, I have an EVP on my computer that I transferred from my micro-voice recorder. I let my mother listen to it before I even told her what it was, and she heard the voice. I wish I could post it, it would be interesting to see if you could hear it!

      I am not against looking for a rational explanation for the unicorn breaking. In fact, I welcome one. But, my question is could a temperature change actually make that happen, or a moisture change for that matter? I pretty much decided the cracking was from the unicorn--just surprised by how loud it was. As far as the idea of a temperature change, wouldn't we have felt that? I can buy a humidity change, that might go unnoticed, but any temp change drastic enough to cause ceramics to break would, in theory, be noticed by the people inhabiting the house.

      I have heard of that Apophenia affect, I'm not discounting it--but I think sometimes that explanation is a long shot when the voices seem to perfectly answer questions or respond to paranormal investigators. It just seems a bit much of a coincidence to me.

      ~SilverWolf~

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      The thing about EVP is that they always occur in static, why is that? You can get more or less sensitive recording devices but that doesn't seem to matter, it just requires static. If there was a ghost actually talking, then a high quality voice recorder should be able to record the ghosts answers without any static being heard, yet that has never happened.

      As the the temperature, maybe. What if the sun was shining through the window directly on it? You wouldn't notice that. Or if a lamp was sitting next to it, and the heat from the lamp was heating it, you wouldn't feel that. In fact if it was in close contact with any electrical device, it could cause high heat. Also how long has that unicorn been there? If it is a recent addition, then that makes it very likely that a chance it temperature or moisture levels caused it, since it might of been stored in a very cold or very hot location prior to you receiving it. It is possible that some ceramic materials might also easily absorb water from the air if not properly glazed.

      I did look it up a little and found that the sound might of caused due to the glaze crazing. During crazing you get tiny cracks that spread all throughout the object. Usually this is limited to the glaze, however I am not sure and think it can go deeper into the object and that even the glaze crazing can cause instability in the object. I don't know a lot about this area however.

      My hypothesis is that there was some defect in the unicorn. Then either heat from light shining on it or moisture in the air caused it to expand. The cracking you heard was due to the extra internal stress put on the unicorn due to the expansion and tiny fracturing began to occur. The object was able to withstand the fracturing as stress shifted around the object until it hit it's breaking point, then boom. All the fractures collapses at once and it fell apart.
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      Member TheSilverWolf's Avatar
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      That's an interesting theory; I've never heard of glazing before. As for how long it'd been there, the answer would be years; it's one of those things where it was put on a shelf, and completely forgotten about except to move every now and then in order to clean under it :p

      As for the EVP, I'm using one that doesn't generate static. There are two different kinds of what one would call EVP's--those that are gotten from white noise generating devices, and those gotten from recorders. For the record, I'm using an Olympus digital voice recorder, model VN 7200. It works very well, and I always use it on it's high quality setting, because I believe the more minute sounds it can pick up, the better the chances of picking up a spirit's attempt to communicate.

      The white-noise generated EVPs, even I am a bit skeptical of, because if you are listening to static, well...you may hear what you want or expect to hear. Being aware of this, I try to limit the background noise as much as I can, plus I note anything going on so as not to mistake something for nothing. I don't suppose there's a way to upload an audio file is there? I haven't seen one yet.

      ~SilverWolf~
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      It is possible that the cracks could of been spreading across the unicorn for years. Since they are very tiny, you wouldn't notice unless you looked closely. Then when the stress inside got to a certain point it starting making the sound as the speed in which the cracks formed rapidly increased then it fell apart. It is also possible that a tiny cracked form and then bacteria grew in it or something and weakened it further, then the same thing happened.

      Honestly it is hard to tell, especially since there are many types of materials used for those sort of things, and different ways to make and shape them. I think all those possibilities are more likely than a ghost however. If you wanted to think it was ghosts you would need to try to explain it? Why would a ghost cause a cracking sound? If a ghost was attacking a unicorn then why would it fall apart? Wouldn't it shatter or break? If a ghost was applying a physical force to it, it shouldn't just fall apart.

      Using a ghost to try and explain what happens only raises more questions than it answers.

      As for the EVP, do you have a recording that has no background noise at all? I would be interested in hearing it if the voice was clear, as I never heard anything even remotely clear on the EVP before.

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      It is clear, you hear a bit of background noise (mostly, this is the heater in our house), and that's pretty much it. I didn't even ask a question, I was watching TV and thought that I should try to get an EVP. I turned off the TV, got my recorder, turned it on and set it on the desk. (I have gotten a few EVPs in our own home, and I just felt I should try, as if something was prodding me to do it or as if I subconsciously was aware something was there, if that makes any sense). Sure enough, on the recording, clear as day, was a voice saying something. I won't say what it is, in case I can find a way to post the actual recording; that way it wouldn't influence others

      ~SilverWolf~
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      Well I know you can post on her if you put it in a zip file. Was there anyone else in the house when you recorded it? The next most likely situation if it isn't just random static you are imaging is that it was a real voice, but from a living a person, a tv, or a radio or some such. Which might be playing some where in the house, or a person just outside that you didn't hear but got picked up.

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      Well, first things first--the outside thing. I would actually give that real consideration, except I live in a rural area. There aren't alot of people that go walking down the road--and it's not like I live right by the road either; our house is a ways back, so it's very unlikely that my recorder would be able to pick up someone walking down the road--especially considering my room is one of the "inner" rooms of the house. There's the kitchen between me and the exterior wall that faces the road.

      It could have been my mom or dad, and I would think so except A: it didn't match their voices, and B: the voice was a whisper, not spoken in a normal voice. While I would not put it past my dad to play a prank like that (my mother and I already made a pact with eachother that when paranormal investigating we wouldn't do that), the recorder was in my sight the whole time; and dad was in the bedroom taking a nap. Mom was surfing the web on her computer, volume off.

      Since dad was taking a nap, the TV is not an option--it wasn't on. I'll throw the thing in a zip file, once I find it, and post it

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      It might of sounded like a whisper due to the distance, and because of the walls in the way. Also it is possible for people to talk in their sleep. Are you also sure the computer's volume was off?

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      I personally don't believe EVP or most of the "evidence" presented by paranormal investigators but I do believe in ghosts. I don't know what they are but I think there's obviously something going on regarding witness accounts of haunted locations. So far skeptical explanations don't make any sense, if they were merely hallucinations then why do so many people of varying brain chemistry have them in regard to particular haunted locations, regardless of whether they know these locations are haunted beforehand? It's not a scam, conversely hauntings are usually kept very quiet, and the staff of the haunted building are quick to take necessary steps to try and curb the visitors from speaking too loudly about their experiences.

      That being said I think paranormal investigations are kind of a scam. I almost joined one and their evidence came off so silly, but they were so convinced I was being obtuse because what to them sounded like voices just sounded like static to me. Right now I think ghosts remain in the realm of case studies and witness accounts, and hard evidence can't be approached until a better theory of mind can be developed, because I believe our current assumptions about the universe hold us back from proper investigation.

      Personally I've never seen a ghost but I've seen shadow people here and there in specific locations. For example, I saw them all the time when I worked at an old folks home. I also saw them here and there at a circuit board factory and various other places, particular houses and such. But I wouldn't see them in most places, just very particular places. I've stuck with the idea that they're illusory, I understand why for the purpose of survival our brain would twist vagueness into body whenever possible to keep us aware of potential predators, and an outsider reading this could only assume I take more notice of this in buildings I assume haunted. In reality, I didn't assume any of these buildings haunted nor held any fear of ghosts nor awareness of their possibility. When I saw a shadow figure, I shrugged and went about my business.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 02-21-2014 at 04:31 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      what to them sounded like voices just sounded like static to me.
      If I were a ghost, I'd find it vastly easier to manipulate a neurotic person's hearing than to create waves in the air. So I think a possibility is that it really was just static to you, but it wasn't to them.

      This would be why Moses heard God in a burning bush. Its a source of white noise. If you relax your mind, a very subtle influence can amplify your perception of some frequencies and diminish others so that you hear voices. Its 'in your imagination', but its not necessarily entirely made up.

      As I experience it, practically all old houses are at least mildly haunted. But I doubt that very much of it is the ghosts of dead people. Its unfulfilled desires of people who lived there or something else like that.
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      It sounds as though you agree that our ability to collect empirical data on ghosts remains limited by our current paradigm's beliefs on the mind and perception. So long as we rule out unique perception as hallucination and believe in an objective reality that a sane brain see's more clearly than a compromised brain we won't really be able to investigate perceptions manipulated for communication like that. And it's really dubious anyways, there's no way to differentiate between wishfulness filling white noise with what you desire to hear and willingness filling white noise with what you're desired to hear.

      But I have an inkling that you're right in some respect. When I open myself up to the path, I find the path, and likewise in many facets of life. But I don't think in this case, the other researchers were more open to me, I think they were more exploitable to confirmation bias. I don't think they were hearing anything differently, I think they were making something different out of it. We hear the same static, and I can hear why they think the static was "Hello" rather than "grghshr" because two phonetic syllables occurred after the question, "grg-hshr." At this point the excited researcher will exclaim, "Did you hear that!?" and I did, I heard radio feedback that occurs during the recoil back to silence after registering sound.

      I think to investigate the effect of wishfulness and willingness further, you'd have to be able to mark detail differences. One detail I hold as necessary to believe I'm seeing a UFO is a hard turn as Ufologists have mentioned this phenomenon repeatedly in sightings. So far, I've never seen a UFO do this, though I have a friend who believes adamantly if I spend enough time with him, he'd "break [my] UFO cherry" as supposedly a lot of people have seen their first UFOs around him. Then, one particular evening, he pointed out an airplane in the sky, complete with a blinking red light and we've remained in disagreement as to what it was ever since. His excuses seemed foolish, like that it was too big or that airplanes never travel that way or the light with blinking differently. I'm looking for the hard turn, plenty of witnesses account for it, I'm sure it's possible. I believe I'm open enough to see it, I believe I could see one eventually if I went to a clear-sky state like new mexico or arizona and ushered myself a visitation.

      I'm starting to ramble but quick question, do you believe that if I stare at the same sky as an unwilling pair of eyes, it would reduce my ability to see a UFO (and likewise if I share the same space with a closed minded individual, would it lower the chance of a ghost experience?) Do you believe strong detail changes are possible between subjective minds, perhaps as strong as one person seeing a plane and the other seeing a UFO complete with a hard turn?
      Last edited by Original Poster; 03-03-2014 at 02:47 AM.

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      I think that if UFOs are a physical phenomena in the way that airplanes are a physical phenomena, then the presence of a skeptic generally isn't going to make a lot of difference. If UFOs are a supernatural phenomena, then I think the skeptic's presence will have some effect, but it depends on your attitude in relation to him. I think that most UFOs are supernatural phenomena, they're not space-ships, they're something else that we interpret as alien craft because we feel the alienness of them, and because its an idea that makes sense to us. If we were a part of a different culture, we'd see them as genies or demons or something else.

      I also believe, based on my experience, that its possible for two people to witness contradictory physical events, and that this isn't always a matter of the brain erroneously filling in details that aren't there. How common this is I don't know, apparently its not very common, but it can happen. For that to apply to real physical alien craft, I think there would have to be a pretty strong karmic reason for one of the witnesses not to see them though, I doubt that a typical fear of the unknown would be sufficient. It would be a lot more likely for one person to simply filter out the experience because they don't want to deal with it, rather than causing the universe to temporarily split to accommodate two separate events. In any case, this wouldn't account for why you don't see UFOs, since seeing them would seem unlikely change your reality much. It seems more likely to me that your friend is seeing something that seems strange or difficult to understand, and then projecting the experience into it.

      A few years ago I was outside when a stealth bomber (B-2) went over at night. I was also outside once when a stealth fighter (F-117) went over in day time. The sight of it made a strong enough impression that I had nightmares about it 30 years previously, in part because I knew what it was for and what that meant to me. I guess that in either case your friend might have felt the sharp potency of it, without understanding what he's seeing, and seen it as a UFO.

      When I was about 3, I saw a bee that was about 20 times the size of a normal bee. I've noticed that small children have difficulty judging size and distance, since a big thing that's far away looks like a small thing that's close, and they don't have much experience to help distinguish the two. So presumably that's what happened. But I also remember what I saw very clearly, and the bee was next to a small bush of definite size to help with scale. It sure seems like I saw an enormous bee, even though that doesn't make any sense.

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      I had zero belief in ghosts until a few years ago when I lived in a 'haunted' house.
      The housemates who already lived there told me about some supernatural activity they had witnessed, but I honestly didn't believe them and figured they were either exaggerating or hallucinating.
      I started to witness slightly strange things - distinctive footsteps moving through the house, doors opening/closing by themselves - but those things could be easily explained away.
      But then something happened that I have no logical explanation for: a pillow flew halfway across the room, from my bed to the door, without me being anywhere near it. My housemate was right next to me and saw it happen too, and we just looked at each other for a minute, speechless.
      That is the kind of activity the housemates had previously described - objects flying across rooms like they were being thrown.

      I'm still not convinced of the idea that ghosts are external entities.
      I think it's more likely that our own thoughts/energy have a greater ability to affect the physical world than we realise.
      I remember reading something once about a psychiatrist who noticed an increase in reports of poltergeist activity in families where a teenaged girl was experiencing angst.
      So, perhaps pent up negative energy is responsible for some of these supernatural experiences.
      In my case, collective expectation could have played a role as well.

      UFOs are something I've always been more open to.
      I have personally observed a red light making multiple hard turns, hovering on the spot in between, and then disappearing. I have also seen a video that my friend took, of a white light doing something similar, and there were about 5 other people present who claim to have seen the same thing.
      I don't rule out the possibility that these UFOs were of alien origin (I think it's pretty ridiculous to think that we are the only intelligent life in the universe,) but there are other explanations, including secret military operations, optical illusions, etc.

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      there is something called critical/skeptical thinking... like ghosts, not all people believe in it, but I do.
      I know it's very rare and only appears occasionally, but it exists.

      It's said to enhance knowledge and intelligence of society, but it's way too rare, so you can't measure the benefits.

      but seriously, how can anyone believe in stuff like this? I'm not sure if I sound too cynical...

      never forget, the 2 greatest enemies of knowledge are ignorance and the illusion of knowledge

      in general, if you can't measure it, make it measurable. As long as it's not measurable, it technically doesn't exist.. Make ghosts measurable and I'll start believing in them.

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      Around 25 years ago, I was around 11 years old I had a VERY vivid to this day experience with ghosts. I was at my friends house and we were going to camp in his living room. So, we made a makeshift tent out of a loveseat and a matching chair. For some reason or another it took both of us to move this chair, it was heavy as hell. Next we draped a blanket over the top and we had our makeshift tent finished.

      A little side information. My friend was Asian and ghosts in there culture were very prevalent. I remember talking about them all the time and hearing stories about them. In other words, we put a LOT of energy into the whole subject. This house he lived in was probably atleast 70 years old. It had a cave in the basement for some strange odd reason. I could never take a shower down there alone, it was pretty scary.

      I remember waking up in the middle of the night under the tent. It naturally had no sides since we only had a blanket draped over the top of it. Anyhow, I was facing a large room that was connected to the kitchen. The kitchen was connected to the basement. My best friend was sleeping right behind me. When I woke up I noticed 3 red fuzzy images standing in front of me maybe 20 feet away. They were see through and resembled maybe the figure of someone's aura but they were completely energy and you could see right through them. They stood next to eachother. I was petrified. I completely froze up and like clockwork as I about shit myself, my friend whispered in my ear.. "do you see those Shawn?" I don't even remember moving but I do remember pulling our blanket over our heads. After awhile I must have fallen asleep again with my friend and the blanket must of shrugged off. Again I mysteriously woke up. Now about 10 feet in front of me were only 2 now apparitions. One was missing. Oddly my friend woke up again and whispered in my ear, "Shawn do you see that?" As soon as he said that the chair that took both of us to move fell over on us. We were so scared we couldn't even move. We layed there until the next morning. All I can figure was that they got closer to us and the missing one was behind the chair and pushed it over. To this day we are still best friends and will NEVER forget this experience. Sends chills down my body just thinking about it now.

      I guess my take on this whole thing is that if are open to belief and give something your energy that anything can happen. For instance, a friend I hadn't talked to in over a year, myself and my wife had an intense conversation about him one night. The next day he calls me. Or, the friend in this story. A few months ago we drove past his house while searching for a new home. We were in debate about stopping by his house and talking a lot about him (IE giving it a lot of energy). About 10 minutes later while we were still driving he called me. I felt like a douche bag because I thought he saw us drive by. I asked him if he did and he said no. I only talk to him maybe once every other month. Not that long ago I put a lot of energy into having a shared dream with someone here on DV. And well, we had some pretty incredible things that happened with this.

      We are energy beings. Believing in something and focusing your energy enough can have amazing results. To this day from time to time I have things that can happen as far as ghosts but I try to write them off because I am scared if I pay too much attention they will happen more often. They are rare though to be honest. Interesting subject, thanks for the post.

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      Who knows but not everyone is as susceptible or maybe even sensitive enough to see things such as ghosts. Not to mention that in this time and age there are so many distractions from basic reality. Many years ago life was probably as simple as hunt/gather/survive. Nowadays it's about a job, cell phones, television, cars, materialism, politics, laws, rules, etc. There are so many distractions from reality now that they are multiplied and stacked on one another that we are so far away from the core of the basics of life. Everything you see around you in my eyes is a illusion from the truth. It's all lies mainly based on greed or making someone a buck. This is just my opinion but I do think people have certain psychic powers. Some know they do and some don't. Maybe some don't have any at all. I try to be open to things and base my beliefs on my experiences. Judging things in my eyes closes the doors on understanding. Stay open to them and you never know what you will see or experience.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Conscience View Post
      in general, if you can't measure it, make it measurable. As long as it's not measurable, it technically doesn't exist.. Make ghosts measurable and I'll start believing in them.
      I sent someone else this video recently for a different reason, but the ideas are relevant to your point as well, Conscience.
      It's a presentation called 'The Primacy of Consciousness' by physicist Peter Russell.
      A key point covered is that consciousness itself cannot be measured or explained, but the fact remains that we are undeniably conscious (aware) beings.
      Peter Russell suggests that a scientific paradigm shift is needed, to allow us to explain consciousness and other metaphysical phenomena.
      The video is a bit slow, but I think it's a provocative theory for anyone interested in these topics to consider.
      The Primacy of Consciousness - Peter Russell - Full Version - YouTube

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      I guess my take on this whole thing is that if are open to belief and give something your energy that anything can happen.
      interesting point, enigmatik. I'd personally explain it in a different way though. Do you know what selective memory is? It means when you believe in something, you only remember the occasions when something has proven your belief, not when it has proven it wrong. So if you are pessimistic for example, you'll only remember days when you had bad luck, not when you've been lucky
      Same goes for this issue. You focus on ghosts and suddenly you start noticing 'weird' things, things you'd normally ignore. In reality they're normal, but you've never paid attention to them.

      Judging things in my eyes closes the doors on understanding. Stay open to them and you never know what you will see or experience.
      I totally agree. Even though I personally judge things that are unscientific. I'm just too much in love with science


      here's a thing I just remembered: Some people say just because there's no evidence for something's existence doesn't mean it doesn't exist. (Essentially: There doesn't need to be evidence for everything's existence)
      but what if I told you "an elephant just ran through your hall and living room"... and there are no broken glasses, no footprints, no feces on the floor, no evidence for the elephant.
      if there's no evidence for that particular elephant, you wouldn't believe me... you'd say "no way, everything's like I left it, clean and tidy"
      furthermore if you come home and see a crack in the wall, you won't think "I bet there was an elephant when I was at work", you'll think there's a good explanation for this, even if you don't know this explanation
      (I don't think I explained my idea well, but hopefully well enough)

      thank you for this link Dreamer, I'm pretty busy now, I might watch it when I have time and send you a message if it's thought provoking.
      I know Russell, he's a quite special physicist. Let's see if his ideas appeal to me

    21. #21
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      I have a hard time with some of those ghost shows, where they record something that goes WUP WUP and they say "did you hear that? It was a ghost saying Abraham Lincoln!".

      I'm more a believer in events crossing time barriers. Where you're not actually experiencing a ghost with awareness, you're experiencing an event that has occurred or will occur. For instance, I slept in my grandmother's house and awoke out-of-breath with a feeling of pain in my chest. Turns out my great grandmother died in that bed of a heart attack, a fact i hadn't known of until after my experience.

      Or you may see a shadow of a figure that is demonic that throws an object, it may just be an event where a horrible person did something tragic in the past that is leaking thru time.

      A good read is 'An Experiment with Time' by Dunne. An actual prominent science guy that uses Quantum Theory and relativity to explain precogs and our perception of time.

      I believe the way we define time is based on how we see it. It's like the way we use the visual spectrum to see objects and can't see something in the infrared spectrum. So we see the world with a bias.

      As for EVPs, it may just be an event that already happened that's popping through.

      I remember as a kid being in a classroom all by myself and suddenly out of no where were all these clicks that sounded like static. It happened a couple of times. I've never experienced that as an adult. I always fantasized that it was the people I knew in a previous life reaching out to me.

      I'm pretty skeptical but the more I experience, the more I'm open to any ideas. Science is more crazy than fiction. If you believe in science then why not other crazy ideas.

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