Talking About Other Ghostly Possibilities
I recently caught up with a friend from the paranormal and we had a somewhat in-depth discussion regarding ghosts and hauntings. Another friend recently purchased the book that Sarah Chumacero and I wrote; ‘Supernatural Synchronicity;’ and has been been sending me the odd question as they read certain sections of the book. These two paranormal conversations reminded me what it was like to engage in open minded discussion around aspects of the paranormal, without judgement and in an environment where there is an understanding that there is no specific answer to our current understanding of the paranormal, especially ghosts, spirits and hauntings. In fact these areas are very much open for discussion and in my opinion perhaps we need to see more of that open discussion, in which many of us can engage without prejudice or judgement of our opinions.
However, as my friend openly stated, we just do not seem to discuss other possibilities other than that of paranormal events occurring at haunted locations being associated with that of survival after death. That is to say, those raps and taps, or strange shadows we may see at the haunted locations are generally attributed to ghosts and spirits. Whilst one explanation is of course a logical explanation, there are other paranormal explanations too.
Generally speaking in my experience and from talking to others, the paranormal experiences that are shared by many ghost hunters often has its source as being that of ghosts or even spirits. Granted these days a chosen few, perhaps encouraged by certain TV shows that do the same, place that source with a somewhat darker entity. The point being is that the source is almost always associated with a probable person that has passed and returned to communicate as spirit.
It seems to have become an accepted norm in the ghost hunting field that we are without doubt dealing with an entity that is directly associated to someone that has passed away. We see this on a regular basis in how ghost hunters investigate and I have to hold my own hands up as its equally something I used to do. It seems that the assumption of the paranormal activity under investigation is caused by a deceased person or persons, is often accepted prior to the ghost hunt even starting. This provides us with a huge problem to consider, that the ghost hunters have began their own investigation under some kind of bias. Already sold on the possibility that any paranormal experience that they may have will be caused by an entity haunting the location. These have become accepted possibilities, which are often already firmly in place for ghost hunters ahead of the investigation itself.
The problem is that this then restricts the potential possible answers we have available to explore during the investigation, because the ghost hunter has already hinged their explanation on a ghost or spirit. It is equally a poor method of investigation, due to the ghost hunter making assumptions prior to the analysis of any data they may capture during the investigation.
As an investigator that had searched for ghosts and spirits in the past, I know it is difficult to conduct an investigation without some kind of focus. Often this will be the search for some kind of ghost that has made several appearances at the location. In other words, our belief that we may encounter ghosts at the location has already shaped our assumption that they exist there.
This does not mean that we need to continue to approach paranormal investigation in this way though. Granted if it is your desire to encounter a ghost or communicate with spirits, then perhaps you may need to focus your attention on achieving that. Part of which, maybe approaching with the belief that is what you’ll find in the moonlit halls of some old manor. After all, having that belief may just be imperative to having the experience itself. However, that creates a question within itself. If being open to believe you may encounter the ghost of the former owner of some Abbey you may investigate, is important to the experience then perhaps its not quite what we thought it was in the first place.
Whilst our imagination is one simple explanation for many of the ghostly experiences that are reported, suggesting that the environment alone was the catalyst for us to imagine their existence. Which means that the experience never really happened. There is also the possibility that our imagination or at least our minds are acting on various information its received and simply filling in the blanks or even formulating a reality we understand.
So, this is a difficult one to fully explain. Mainly as the use of the term ‘imagination’ suggests that the experience is not real and just in our heads. What if the experience is very real, but the interpretation of that experience is just misinterpreted by our minds and represented to feel like we have encountered a ghost.
The point being that just because the ghosts could be considered imagined or hallucinations, that does not necessarily mean that the experience was not real or paranormal. As the source of the information that triggered these hallucinations may well have been received through a method such as telepathic interaction. Just because something may not support survival does not mean that it is not paranormal. We should consider all possibilities.
Interpreting Information From The Ether
The assumption is usually that paranormal experiences such as seeing a ghost or hearing audible phenomena at a location are exactly as we believe them to be, that is we actually see the ghost in our environment or hear something strange. However, the data to support this is often very weak in its nature, which presents us with a problem in itself. Simple issues like; why didn’t everyone see the ghost that was present or how come only one or two people heard a sound that should of been picked up by the whole group. Of course a common belief in this is that others simply missed the paranormal activity when it occurred, but this could be argued as simply a convenient explanation.
When I gave this some thought some interesting possibilities presented themselves. Of course disregarding the solution as those that have reported the experience as simply lying, the following comes to mind. What if the experience occurs simply because of the way that those experiencing them process certain information. For example, let’s say a ghost hunter is walking around a haunted house in search of ghosts. They would have a certain amount of knowledge about the location and unconsciously they may be asking questions of their surroundings as they hunt for ghosts. That may create some kind of link that allows them to receive information about their current location, either telepathically from those local to them or even non-local. That information could be from multiple living minds too, making it fragmented. In order to process it along with the sense data they are receiving from the standard senses, that information becomes mixed. Hence the ghost hunter believes the information is represented in the form of a ghost or audible sound.
It’s a little like having a picture drawn on a piece of glass, then another picture on another piece of glass. If you overlay the two pieces of glass the two pictures create one picture over the other. In this case the ghost hunters sense data (sight, hearing, smell, etc.) and information received from the unconscious reservoir fragmented across multiple minds; is processed together to present an odd paranormal reality.
Our interpretation of information received by telepathy is unexpected by our conscious minds, so perhaps when it receives that information along with standard sense data and information, it gets somewhat confused. At least perhaps our reality gets a little confused. Which is why these experiences are paranormal. It also could explain why only one or a couple of those present have these experiences at the time they occur. As not everyone’s mind will be in receipt of the same information telepathically.
Interestingly within the paranormal field many believe in the Stone Tape Theory, where information could be imprinted on a location. Perhaps in relation to the type of stone present at the location, either in the building itself or the ground. I am personally not a great fan of this theory as its actually a reference to a 1970’s TV show and something that has become popular amongst modern ghost hunters, even though there is little to support it. However, its slightly more possible that the information that is behind these experiences is fragmented across some of the ghost hunting team local to the investigation or non-locally beyond that. Basically, that which is believed to be imprinted on the stone of the location could be fragmented across the minds of the ghost hunter team instead.
Fragmented Information Comprehension
So, the best way to explain how fragmented information may work is by comparing it to your smart phone, social media and cloud storage. Imagine that your smart phone represents your mind in this model. Any memories of experiences you have day to day in your life are recorded through the smart phone, it holds all these memories of the events you take part in during your life. So, if anyone wanted to know about what had happened to you during your life then it could be found on that smart phone. All of which provides a good representation of your day to day life.
Of course as we all know keeping those memories simply on your smart phone alone is dangerous as you’re risking them being lost forever should the phone become damaged. So, you upload data to the cloud to save it for later as a backup. Also, as humans we do not wish to simply backup the data (our memories) we want to share them with friends and family. The best way to do that is through Social Media, as it allows you to upload each of those memories individually and share them. Once they are on Social Media they can be viewed by your friends and family, who then share in your memory. However, they have their own perspective of that memory, that differs from yours. Imagine they have a different device, so how they view your memory on Social Media is actually different from what you recorded originally. It is still the same memory, just viewed from a different perspective.
In this model when you’re ghost hunting you’re smart phone is attempting to access any information it can that relates to the location, so it pulls various pieces from your cloud backup (your memory) and from social media posts (others memories) which together provides a fragmented disjointed view. Its this confused view that produces the paranormal view of events.
We often place a lot of trust in our own memory, believing that it could not possibly be wrong, but in reality it often can be wrong. Whilst we may not acknowledge this all the time, it could be something our unconscious knows all too well and often seeks information from elsewhere; perhaps that place where fragmented memories can often be found.