- Religion and Philosophy
Looking for Proof: My Ghostly Experiences
I’ve never seen a ghost - yet. I’ve seen movements out of the corner of my eye. I’ve been afraid in a dark room. I’ve heard noises, but I haven’t seen any definitive proof. Still, I am a believer in ghosts. I do not believe every ghost story, but I don't think that every paranormal experience that has ever been told was made up or was a figment of the storyteller's imagination. Below are my limited but treasured paranormal experiences. Without being scared out of my mind or encountering anything evil, I hope to have more experiences that will give some weight to my beliefs.
One Halloween, I was roaming the neighborhood with my sisters usual. My sister snapped a picture of my back turned as I stood in a zombie pose. On the screen around me were several orbs. I’ve taken pictures of the street at night and never had orbs show up. It only makes sense that they would appear on All Hallows Eve.
Orbs are fairly common in pictures, but there is no rhyme or reason as to why they appear and when. I've seen them show up in the daytime, nighttime, inside, outside and in any kind of lighting. They also appear in different areas of the photo. Usually, a person is in the shot, and the orbs float nearby. They haven't been proven to be evidence of spirit activity, but paranormal believers like to link them as such. I've yet to capture a mist or outline of a human being, but I still get excited when an orb pops up in a picture, usually when I least expect it.
Photos from the Accident
Witnessing A Death
One year while I was on spring break from college, there was an accident on my street. A garbage truck was turning onto the alley at the end of the road when the top of the truck snagged some low hanging wires of a street light. This brought the entire utility pole crashing to the ground. The garbage man hanging off the back of the truck was struck and pummeled into the ground by the pole. He was killed instantly, I hope. I did not see his body. The coroner had sheets hanging around him as they removed the body. A dark red, almost black puddle of blood had pooled into the road. I could make out a glove and a boot but nothing else. I could have snuck around to the other side of the street to see better, but what I did see was enough to haunt me for the rest of my life.
It was a big local news story that day. The block was lined by emergency vehicles, utility trucks and reporter vans. It was exciting and horrifying at the same time. Blood stained our road for weeks. People rode by to see what remained of the accident. There was eventually a trial which took years of preparation. Pictures and measurements were taken for months. Then, it all faded away into a bad memory.
The night of the accident, there was a bad windstorm. No rain or thunder, just wind. Wind storms are fairly rare where I live. The street was dark without the street light shining on the corner, and there was a terrible screeching noise outside. Haunted by the events of the day and freaked out by the storm, I went to bed early that night. Sitting in my parents' living room alone with the wind screaming outside, I couldn’t help but think that I was being watched. It was as if any minute I would see the face of that poor garbage man. Everything had happened so fast, did he even know that he was dead? I’ve never seen anything on my parents’ street since the accident. There has been no spirit activity that I could make out, and I have been down to that light pole both during the day and at night. Hopefully, that guy knew what hit him, and he didn’t linger behind.
Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
When A Close Relative Dies
My grandfather died from complications following knee surgery and advanced Alzheimer's when I was 19. It was a slow, drawn out death staring with the broken hip and ending in a short hospice stay in a nursing home. We hoped his mind was too far gone to feel any discomfort that the pain killers couldn’t mask. I watched a priest give him his last rites that week. I sat at his bedside taking it all in. When we weren’t at the nursing home, we stayed near the phone waiting for the call. Each night, I expected it to be his last. The suspense was terrible. Knowing that he wasn't going to make it, I just wanted the release of knowing that he was at peace.
One night, I went to bed early. I had class the next morning, and I was exhausted by the events of that week. I had dozed off for about 40 minutes when, for no reason at all, I woke up and sat straight up in bed. It’s not unusual for me to walk up one or more times during the night, but sitting up in bed was different. Thinking that I had heard the phone ring, I waited a few seconds and found that all was quiet. I laid back down and tried to fall back asleep.
Five minutes later, the phone rang. I opened my eyes wide and saw my mom switch on the hall light and run downstairs to grab the phone call that we had been waiting for. It was a sad relief. Waking up to hear the call was comforting too, but I wondered why I had done that. Had I woke up at the exact moment that he died? Had his soul passed by me as I slept and awakened me? I don’t know. Again, I saw nothing and even felt nothing but the usual sensation of awakening abruptly from my sleep.
I stayed up with my parents for a few hours before going back to bed. Just as my head hit the pillow, a wind storm began. Just like the night of the garbage man's death, there was no rain or lightning or anything but wind blowing. Was this just a coincidence that a wind storm had hit the night of two significant deaths in my life? Luckily, I haven't lost anyone else recently to know for sure if they all leave a wind storm behind when they cross over.
I’ve dreamt of my grandfather since his death. He rarely addresses me directly. He’s usually mumbling in the background, but that’s how he was in life. Is he coming through in those dreams? He never had much to say in life so I doubt he needs to pass on any messages or advice. Sometimes I wonder if he just wants to hang out for a few hours while I'm asleep.
Monongahela Ghost Walk 2013
I look a ghost tour once through my aunt’s town. We walked from building to building, hearing stories of other people’s personal paranormal experiences. There were tales of voices, noises, orbs, and apparitions. Most of them were harmless or even friendly. We didn't go into any of the homes so we didn't get a chance to see them in their natural environment, but we were encouraged to take pictures of the exteriors of the homes to see what we captured.
In one backyard, an evil spirit was said to haunt the grounds of a house that no longer stood. It was said that people occasionally felt a tug as they exited the yard. That was not the kind of spirit that I wanted to encounter. Luckily, I have felt more uncomfortable in non-haunted places, and we didn't see anything or capture anything on film.
I did snap several pictures that night. Many orbs were present in my pictures. One building had dozens floating around it (see below). At one of the first homes we visited, our guide told us that the ghost of an old man whose face could sometimes be seen in the front window. I took a picture of the front of the house. No orbs or mists appeared, but after I took the picture, the camera drew a box around that window and asked, “Did someone blink?” The image gave me the chills, but because it was just a setting on the camera popping up, the proof was gone as soon as it had appeared.
Ghost Tour October 2013
Gettysburg Trip 2014
Gettysburg is said to be one of the most haunted places on earth. It’s not hard to believe considering that thousands of men died there. Gettysburg offers your pick of ghost tours. The “Sleepy Hollow of Gettysburg” tour is one where you’re given paranormal investigative tools to track down spirits.
During the two hour tour, the tour guide takes you along the edge of the battle grounds to try to communicate with spirits. The group is given pendulums used to ask questions and find out details about the spirits. They also hand out EMF meters to pick up on electromagnetic fields, a radio to listen for messages in the white noise, dowsing rods to ask spirits yes or no questions and EVP meters to search for spirit voices in the area. I was hoping that the tools would give me the proof I needed to say that I’ve had a definitive paranormal experience.
Throughout our time in the search area, I feel like the guide tried to make more out of moments than they were. He could make his pendulum swing at will while the rest of us struggled to get ours to spin whenever we felt that a spirit was nearby. The radio waves did answer our questions, but the answers were so abrupt that they could have just been passing words between stations, saying things like “hi” and “git”. The EVP meters would spit out sounds like "run" and "hide," but they didn't come in clear. The EMF meters would flash from green to orange to red, but we were warned that sometimes a regular electric current such as power lines could set it off.
I took dozens of photos hoping to see a mist or outline and ended up with a few measly orbs. I was more afraid of tripping over tree roots than of encountering a ghost. It may be because of the large group that was with me, keeping me from feeling isolated and spooked. Still, I don't feel like the experience was totally wasted. It was interesting to hear stories of the battle and understand the horrific mental and physical conditions that the soldiers endured. If there were any spirits out there, they probably feel like animals in a zoo after nightly ghost walks where the living shout out the same questions over and over and take pictures like paparazzi.
Gettysburg Ghost Tour Photos
Ultimately, I'm still searching for definitive spirit activity, hoping to add some undeniable proof to my collection of experiences. Hopefully with more ghost hunts and experience in the physical world, I’ll get the confirmation that I need that there is a spiritual world waiting for us when when leave the earth. Until then, it's important to remember that life is limited, and one day, we'll all know what happens when our life ends. This evidence is just a comfort to me that there is another existence waiting for me when my time here is up.
What is your best personal ghost story? Leave them in the comments below.