Do you believe in paranormal things?


  • Politics

    I find hopelessly disingenuous and playing semantic games to weasel around them is growing a little tiresome (…) Now, you're arguing for the use of common parlance and 'you know what I meant'.

    Let me go back to that, briefly. Ganymede was lamenting the fact that the thread included an actual discussion of contrary opinions. This isn't playing semantics, the OP titled the thread "Do you believe in paranormal things?", the thread was not titled "People who believe in the paranormal, represent!" This isn't an appeal to common parlance, it is an appeal to inference. The reason why such cutting procedure exists in a court of law is because we storytelling monkeys find it natural to expand upon a statement. If you want only "Yes/No", you don't open a thread, you create a surveymonkey poll with just two switches. The intent was very clear, the question was meant to open a discussion.

    When you're well aware of what she meant

    Not necessarily. I don't know Lithium well, and consider that I live about half an hour away from Boulder, Colorado, which is something not unlike the unofficial Sedona Embassy. I hear talk about 'energy fields' all the time- even from people who are somewhat scientifically literate but still fall for the Deepak Chopra/Marie Brennan/New Age Guru of the moment.

    The argument she was putting forth are consistent with the arguments I have heard before: “How can you say there is no soul, if energy can’t be created or destroyed and the body produces a field of energy,” et cetera. Well, the electricity that is produced is the byproduct of a biological process. Nothing is destroyed when the body dies- those processes change, they don’t produce that electricity anymore, they produce something else as they break down.

    To assume there is a soul means there has to be something ‘extra’ on top of all that. People assume that this means that the ‘mind’, and the ‘personality’ are that it, but they once again are the byproduct of our biological selves. It seemed to me that the energy field argument was the one being made, so I went on to mention that the popular conception of it vs. what’s actually there don’t exactly line up.

    The sheer absurdity and internal contradiction of, "I don't believe in the impossible, ha ha!" when you're demanding that other people prove something actually exists before they could be even remotely reasonable to consider the possibility that something might exist for pages on end before this point. :/ Talk about believing in the impossible, dang.

    That’s a mischaracterization of the position, to be honest. There are things that, according to the knowledge we have accumulated so far, are possible, and there are things that are impossible. The survival of something ‘extra’ after the death of its body, the existence of a never-dying, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being that can rearrange the universe at a whim, these are things that are deemed unlikely or impossible.

    If you’re asking someone to believe that they exist, proof is needed. I’m sorry, but that’s how thinking works- we are not called to disprove a negative so it is not up to us to prove something doesn't exist. Honestly, we'd be at it all of our lives, every moment of the day, for every weird creature you can come up with. To ridicule someone for demanding proof in the face of a claim offered without proof, a claim that -in the face of everything we know - seems positively absurd by making them seem close minded is only an attempt to displace the onus of proof.

    Here, this is a tree- it’s solid, I can touch it, it’s rooted to the ground. If you want to make the claim that there is a Dryad spirit living within it- okay, I’ll believe it when you prove it to me, because all I see is the tree. When I cut it up, all I see are its rings. I can look at its molecular structure, I can even turn it into a chair, and there is still no Dryad. If we are to believe in dryads, then we’re going to have to find them, or sufficient evidence of them outside of fables and stories to make their existence a possibility. This also applies to god, spirits, ghosts, fairies and Justin Bieber’s talent- until proven, they are all claims with very little to support them. I admit they make for fascinating stories, but there's a difference between the story and the grain of truth that inspired it.



  • @Vorpal said in Do you believe in paranormal things?:

    I find hopelessly disingenuous and playing semantic games to weasel around them is growing a little tiresome (…) Now, you're arguing for the use of common parlance and 'you know what I meant'.

    Let me go back to that, briefly. Ganymede was lamenting the fact that the thread included an actual discussion of contrary opinions.

    That... wasn't my take on what she said at all, actually. Contrary is one thing; there's tons of contrary around the boards all the time, sometimes pretty heated (like this gets on and off) and everybody's still pretty chill about it.

    This thread has been a little different, in that there's a lot of derision going around, and that's why it's brow-beating. (Mercy knows @Ganymede and I argue a lot around certain subjects, but there's none of the derisive or dismissive tone present in abundance here.) I don't really see anyone objecting to people presenting alternative views (which exist on a spectrum), and I do not get the impression that @Arkandel's initial intent was 'believers, represent!' at all. Heck, the way the question was initially phrased, the only answer possible was 'no', which many people pointed out at the outset.

    Not necessarily. I don't know Lithium well, and consider that I live about half an hour away from Boulder, Colorado, which is something not unlike the unofficial Sedona Embassy. I hear talk about 'energy fields' all the time- even from people who are somewhat scientifically literate but still fall for the Deepak Chopra/Marie Brennan/New Age Guru of the moment.

    I am reasonably sure we could trade stories of ridiculous silliness, for sure. (I have so many. SO MANY. There is a reason my favorite eps of Supernatural involve the Ghostfacers, and... oh, so many stories.) I also know people who are not, in fact, ridiculous, but have set a different goalpost for what they believe is possible than you have.

    The sheer absurdity and internal contradiction of, "I don't believe in the impossible, ha ha!" when you're demanding that other people prove something actually exists before they could be even remotely reasonable to consider the possibility that something might exist for pages on end before this point. :/ Talk about believing in the impossible, dang.

    That’s a mischaracterization of the position, to be honest. There are things that, according to the knowledge we have accumulated so far, are possible, and there are things that are impossible. The survival of something ‘extra’ after the death of its body, the existence of a never-dying, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being that can rearrange the universe at a whim, these are things that are deemed unlikely or impossible.

    If you’re asking someone to believe that they exist, proof is needed. I’m sorry, but that’s how thinking works- we are not called to disprove a negative.

    Except this was not coming in reply to 'people believe this is real', but 'people believe this might potentially be possible'.

    That's not asking people to believe in anything but the possibility that something could potentially exist. I don't fault people who say 'no' to that ask, but I will point out the difference between an ask and a demand, and further, in the difference between demanding a belief from others and personally considering the possibility that something could potentially be going on for which we have no current explanation, because these things are not equivalent.

    To ridicule someone for demanding proof in the face of a claim that, in the face of everything we know, seems positively absurd by making them seem close minded is only an attempt to displace the onus of proof.

    There's no reason to ridicule someone for demanding proof of an extraordinary claim. Thing is, I haven't, with one exception, seen anyone do so in this thread, either, and that demand has been made multiple times by multiple posters.

    If we are to believe in dryads, then we’re going to have to find them, or sufficient evidence of them outside of fables and stories to make their existence a possibility. This also applies to god, spirits, ghosts, fairies and Justin Bieber’s talent- until proven, they are all claims with very little to support them.

    ...the bolded bit totally earned an upvote. And coffee, spit-taked all over my monitor. :D


  • Admin

    @surreality said in Do you believe in paranormal things?:

    and I do not get the impression that @Arkandel's initial intent was 'believers, represent!' at all. Heck, the way the question was initially phrased, the only answer possible was 'no', which many people pointed out at the outset.

    My initial intent was to relieve my boredom and perhaps to satisfy my mild curiosity about y'all's view on this.

    I had no real expectations on what the general consensus would be. I am not smart enough to know things.


  • Politics

    @Vorpal said in Do you believe in paranormal things?:

    Let's talk about communication, then.

    You said:

    When someone asks "Do you believe in X?" the answer is never "Yes." or "No."

    I said:

    Actually, that is the answer to the question.

    What I should have said was:

    Actually, "yes" or "no" is a perfectly acceptable answer to the question, and are the only responsive answers requested by the inquiry.

    This isn't a point of law or procedure. This is what the interrogatory is requesting. We're presuming, and perhaps correctly, that the original poster wanted reasons for the answer.

    So, it is a simple question. We're making it complex, which was the point I was arguing.

    And I certainly wasn't lamenting an actual discussion of contrary opinion. I was lamenting that the discussion had jumped into the realm of browbeating and belittling, which is, as you say, self-evident.

    To be clear, were the stated premise "yes! paranormal shit exists!", my response would be, succinctly, that I lack sufficient knowledge to form a belief as to the truth of that statement, and therefore deny it.


  • Politics

    Except this was not coming in reply to 'people believe this is real', but 'people believe this might potentially be possible'.

    I would say the stance would be close to being the same. Even a claim of something that seems possible requires evidence when no documentation really exists. Such as Bigfoot- It is possible that there is a species of… whateverthefuck that we haven’t really been able to observe because it’s solitary, non-gregarious, it hides in caves playing video games all day, etcetera. But we’ll still have to prove the darned thing exists because the photographic evidence is so suspect, and there are hucksters all over the place who have successfully recreated sightings and footprints. So, there’s definitely a lot of static in there. With claims of TK, TP, Precog, there’s an even higher threshold due to a few things.

    Let’s take ESP/precognition/clairvoyance as an example. Some people consider it a possibility… okay. The issue with that is that just by itself it manages to break the universe in such a way that even The Final Pam would go ‘no way!’ By seeing the future before it happens we’re basically saying that we can observe an effect before its cause.

    Even the scientific concept of Retrocausality doesn’t quite work that way. For TK, we know just what meager amount of electricity the brain produces, how would it be capable of producing enough to move an object by means of the Lorenz force (which is the nearest mechanism I could even imagine would apply in this situation- and you’d still need a motor of some sort)? These are some pretty fundamental principles that are being rewritten, and I don’t think that a lot of people who believe such things are possible have really thought about the nature and repercussions of those ‘ifs’. Most of these claims go beyond the merely possible- they’re essentially about breaking the laws of physics, causality, and fashion (no, seriously, have you seen how most psychics dress?)

    ...the bolded bit totally earned an upvote. And coffee, spit-taked all over my monitor. :D

    I take no responsibilities for ruined hardware >_>



  • @Vorpal said in Do you believe in paranormal things?:

    Except this was not coming in reply to 'people believe this is real', but 'people believe this might potentially be possible'.

    I would say the stance would be close to being the same.

    And I still maintain the stances are fundamentally not the same -- and even 'close to being the same' is not what you were claiming a few pages ago -- in a number of important respects that do not only apply in this particular arena.

    Even a claim of something that seems possible requires evidence when no documentation really exists.

    I am not talking about people standing on the mountaintop and saying, "This exists!" or "This might be possible!" and suggesting others agree with them or whatever proofs or theories they put forward. It is not unreasonable to suggest either party demonstrate some kind of evidence if they want others to agree with them in this case.

    It is, however, well past unreasonable to demand someone prove something absolutely exists before they even entertain the notion that it might.

    I mean...

    By seeing the future before it happens we’re basically saying that we can observe an effect before its cause.

    You're basically demanding people act contrary to science here, man. You're saying people need a confirmed conclusion before they're allowed to even wonder about it in the first place. In order for someone to actually fit this thoroughly impossible standard? They would, yes, have to be able to see the future. Which is why I keep calling this out as total crazy talk.

    This is essentially what you're insisting people do before they even consider whether something is possible or not on the personal level. I'm not even going to touch the claim that 'wondering whether something is possible or not personally' = 'demanding others believe a thing is true' thing, because... that's just transparently not remotely the same thing at all on any level and I can't believe how much you're trying to justify it being the case at all. And then the whole 'disprove one thing by claiming something entirely unrelated is false' thing, which is also just... this is just bad logic up down and sideways. :/

    There is a reason this is intensely frustrating, and the 'no' side of this debate is not the one being consistently categorized as thinking magic pixies are totally a thing and that they're members of a cult or any number of other deliberately nasty things. I mean, goddamn. :/ Realistically here, our count is 1 solid 'yes!', a handful of 'no!', and a whole lot of 'maybe, I dunno! (with or without 'there is weird shit I have seen, yo')'.

    I'm definitely in that last group, and you can keep mocking me as a cultist who believes in magical pixies if you want for thinking, "Hey, that was weird. I wonder what that was. Nope, it's not that, or that, or that, or damn it isn't that either, apparently we don't have a solid explanation for whatever the fuck that was yet. Freaky!"

    I'm reasonably certain all of those things will eventually be understood or explained as being, yes, a part of the natural world, even if it falls under that heading of 'not only stranger than we know, but stranger than we can know' today. Maybe it won't happen in my lifetime, but I have little doubt we'll get there eventually.

    Basically, I have had three groups of friends who were dead set convinced they were the reincarnations of the Arthurian Court. (Seriously, I totally dare you to even try to count the number of ways in which that's funny.) When told/asked, "OMG, you are so awesome, you must be one of us, who are youuuuuuuuuu?" I cheerfully told them, "Elaine. You know, Lady of Shallott. In fact, I better leave, get back to my loom an' shit, 'cause if I stay out here too long I am clearly going to die." I am still sad no one realized this was an excuse to flee like rabid dogs were yapping at my heels, or why it was also funny. Seriously, that makes me sad. :/ (To be fair, I probably am the only person any of them knew who actually has a loom!)

    Conversely, when I was much younger, friends of the family owned a restaurant, in an old mansion that had formerly been a residence (and I think a boarding school). I stayed there multiple times with their daughter, who was a friend of mine. I dismissed her family as a pile of the flakiest cornballs ever when they'd go on about how the place was haunted, etc. Until I spent a handful of years watching weird shit constantly happen there. Do I think there's 'ghosts' there? Not necessarily. I absolutely see how and why they think there were, though, from things I witnessed repeatedly myself, that I certainly can't explain. Does it mean I agree with their assessment? No. It does, however, mean I'm not going to make fun of them for believing what they did after the experiences they've had, because I can absolutely see how they came to those conclusions.


  • Politics

    you're basically demanding people act contrary to science here, man. You're saying people need a confirmed conclusion before they're allowed to even wonder about it in the first place. In order for someone to actually fit this thoroughly impossible standard? They would, yes, have to be able to see the future. Which is why I keep calling this out as total crazy talk.

    I think you misunderstood what I wrote. I was referring to precognition and other psychic powers of that same ilk. The very concept of precognition essentially contradicts the very basic principles of cause and effect. If effects could exist before their causes, there really would be no such thing as causality. It’s why the whole concept of precognition and clairvoyance needs extraordinary proof- because to anyone who has even a slight grasp on the nature of the universe as we know it, it really does appear completely implausible. And I think that the experiments conducted by Randi and others concerning this alleged power have shown that it doesn’t seem possible at all.

    Operating on a baseline sense isn’t operating from a confirmed conclusion, it’s operating from a base of confirmed data. You know that fire burns skin- do you really need to burn each one of your fingers to know that the principle applies to each fleshy digit? No, you act from an abstraction that has been formed from sensory data (yours, or someone else’s if you were the kind of sibling who tricked their younger brother/sister into touching things that burninate. THANK YOU, BRO) Similarly, the principle of causality is a thing. It’s a very major and important thing in this universe- it’s really what keeps shit from happening all at once. Just speaking on an epistemic level, making a claim that essentially bypasses causality is extremely far-fetched to the point of being one of those seemingly impossible claims. It’s like considering the possibility of a flying pink unicorn with rainbow-farting powers- it’s more likely to exist as a fancy or a thought experiment than in actual reality, and you’re going to waste a good deal of your life trying to find it or prove its existence. There are some claims that are too ridiculous to contemplate.

    I'm definitely in that last group, and you can keep mocking me as a cultist who believes in magical pixies if you want for thinking, "Hey, that was weird. I wonder what that was. Nope, it's not that, or that, or that, or damn it isn't that either, apparently we don't have a solid explanation for whatever the fuck that was yet. Freaky!"

    Again, I think you misunderstand me. Wondering about something isn’t bad. What’s bad is reaching the conclusion of “Well, I can’t explain this, so it has to be supernatural and/or mystical.” Leaving a case folder open is perfectly fine, it’s part and parcel of science- it’s filed under “shit for which we need more information to explain in the future.” However, due to what we know of the nature of the universe, the explanation is not likely to ever be related to ghosts or a divine being. To some ancient cultures, our computers would appear like some serious magic except, maybe, to cultures that designed things similar to the Antikythera mechanism (although it appears that the Greeks had a massive brain fart at some point after 205 BC and completely forgot how to make stuff like that until the 14th century came around,) information and research kill the supernatural pretty quickly.

    I honestly don’t think we’re ever going to find evidence of souls or spirits. If anything, the more we know about our brains seems to indicate that consciousness and what we perceive as our self are real phenomena, but they’re byproducts of our biological nature and not the effects of a supernatural entity acting upon a body. This means that it is most likely that, when we die, we die for good. It’s a very unpleasant thought for most of us, but I honestly think that avoiding that very likely reality can rob us of experiencing life to its fullest if we’re confident that, like Celine Dion, our hearts will go on in another life after this one. One of my favorite moments from one of my favorite movies (“Antonia’s Line” http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/antonias-line-1996 ) has a granddaughter riding on horseback with her grandmother. This scene takes place after the death of a character, and the little girl asks her grandmother what happened to them. Her answer is that they have been put in the ground and that eventually they will be part of the trees and the plants, and she asks her if he has gone somewhere else. Antonia simply says, “This is the only dance we dance.” I thought that was a very poignant way of putting it- there’s only one dance, so it would be a good thing to make sure we enjoy it as much as we can without being that jerk who does the funky chicken and elbows your aunt in the spleen while simultaneously stepping on your toes and farting in your mother's face.

    My brother's wedding was so fun...

    Basically, I have had three groups of friends who were dead set convinced they were the reincarnations of the Arthurian Court. (Seriously, I totally dare you to even try to count the number of ways in which that's funny.)

    Oh man, that is Nikki Minaj levels of cray right there. I do have a dear friend who fervently believes she’s a fairy, and she has found several people who share and reinforce this delusion.

    I am not entirely unfamiliar with delusions- my partner of twelve years is Borderline Personality Disorder (previously diagnosed as Bipolar) with atypical psychosis, and there was a period of three months about two years ago where he basically suffered from clinical lycanthropy. During that period he basically believed he was turning into a raccoon. They eventually found a dosage that stopped the delusions, but man, it’s one hell of an ordeal. This is one of the reasons why, when one of those ‘Otherkin’ people come up to me and tell me how they have a wolf inside waiting to come out, I just want to go bitch, please.

    Once, while going to a movie with my partner (can’t remember which movie), we had this guy basically add himself to our outing. He vehemently stated to us that he was an actual motherfucking elf (because this shit just happens to us). He was very invested in telling us that everything that J.R.R. Tolkien had written had really, really happened and that he was here as a spearhead to herald the return of the elves (even though Tolkien pretty much made it very clear the elves were not coming back, like, ever, because they basically went to the Middle Earth equivalent of heaven.) He bought tickets to the same movie, sat next to us throughout the entire thing commenting ad nauseam. We tolerated it. And then when we came out, he made it clear he wanted to come with us to dinner. We made it clear that no, we would go this way, and he would go that way, and he disagreed. At one point, he started clutching the cane he was carrying rather menacingly (sidenote: he didn’t need the cane, he clearly was carrying for ornamental purposes and it was this fancy frilly shit with carvings and metal, and I’m sure it was Burdened With Great Purpose and Significance or whatever, but it still would’ve hurt.) Eventually I had to tell him that if he didn’t stop following us, I was going to knee his Tom Bombadil so hard that he would probably never get to ring his dong dillo again. That got the message through.

    " I cheerfully told them, "Elaine. You know, Lady of Shallott. In fact, I better leave, get back to my loom an' shit, 'cause if I stay out here too long I am clearly going to die." I am still sad no one realized this was an excuse to flee like rabid dogs were yapping at my heels, or why it was also funny.

    Oh god, that is absolutely hilarious. That almost reads like a Hark! A Vagrant comic. In fact, you should totally send her your story and demand that she turn it into a comic. If you haven’t seen the comic she made of the Lady of Shalott, then you have to see it right here: http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=360

    Conversely, when I was much younger, friends of the family owned a restaurant, in an old mansion that had formerly been a residence (and I think a boarding school). I stayed there multiple times with their daughter, who was a friend of mine. I dismissed her family as a pile of the flakiest cornballs ever when they'd go on about how the place was haunted, etc. Until I spent a handful of years watching weird shit constantly happen there.Do I think there's 'ghosts' there? Not necessarily. I absolutely see how and why they think there were, though, from things I witnessed repeatedly myself, that I certainly can't explain. Does it mean I agree with their assessment? No. It does, however, mean I'm not going to make fun of them for believing what they did after the experiences they've had, because I can absolutely see how they came to those conclusions

    I can see that. Now we know that old houses tend to have a high chance of becoming infrasound factories due to several reasons (materials, for example)- it’s notable that ultra-modern super-slick chrome-and-glass houses and buildings are much less likely to report hauntings. There’s a very big chance that a large part of it is our brains reacting to environmental cues of which we were not aware until recently (and likely there are still some we have not detected yet) and flipping all sorts of survival-based triggers that send messages of fight-or-flight and get translated into the weirdest things. Combine that with old houses and their propensity for settling (and thus sending objects rolling off shelves), the obligatory dimmer lighting and lived-in spaces, and you have a recipe for a thriller.

    I had a brush with what could have been called the ‘supernatural’ in my youth. My bedroom was infamous (no get your mind out of the gutter right now) for being ‘haunted.’ Nobody who slept in that room could get a good night’s sleep- they were always having bad dreams. This started as far back as my brother’s teenage years (we’re 11 years apart) when he slept in that bedroom. At random moments, if you were by yourself, you could get this oppressive sensation that there was a presence nearby, watching you. It would happen at random times, and when it happened I usually bolted from the room like Hatsune Miku after finding out what that ‘rule 34’ thing is. There were constant ‘sightings’ by me and other people in the room, perceiving someone just out of the corner of your eye, but who were not there when you turned to look at them fully.

    All of this eventually came to a head when my flute teacher had a pants-shittingly scary meltdown one day when she thought she was having a conversation (one-sided) with me out of the corner of her eye, only to find out that Macavity was not there I wasn’t there at all. The fact that, a second later, I came into the room from the door directly opposite to where she was facing finished freaking her out and she ran to my mother’s room so that she could have a place to Lose Her Shit. My mom digged into the house’s past and found out that the previous owner’s wife had died of cancer in that very room. Convinced that this meant her spirit was somehow hanging on, my mother consulted a psychic friend of hers, who suggested that she tear down the walls of the room and remodel it to ‘let the energy free.’
    I went with it because it meant getting a bigger room in the end, with enough closet space to hide several dead bodies boyfriends at once (no, I really did hide a boyfriend there once. In the closet. Before coming out of the closet myself. So my mom wouldn’t catch me in the act. Yes, I was bad.) All I knew at the time was that whatever had been done worked, and everybody could sleep peacefully there again.

    I always wondered exactly what the hell was going on with that room, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I ran across studies about infrasound and saw, with interest, that every single symptom of the phenomenon happened in that room. The nightmares were, I imagine, caused by my subconscious picking up the frequencies and trying to wake me the fuck up because my primitive brain thought that there was a big old ass tiger ready to murderate me nearby. Something with how the way that room had been configured must have acted as an amplifier for infrasound, and it changed when the room was redesigned and rebuilt. It makes perfect sense now, of course- but I am not going to say that the sensation you experienced that something was coming to get you and you need to feets don’t fail me now out of there wasn’t incredibly real and visceral.

    One unfortunate reality is that a lot of our systems are still wired to our very primitive survival mechanisms. Most of the time, that isn’t a big issue, but there are times when we are exposed to situations that remind our body of some ancestral terror-pocalypse and we simply lose our shit, see things that aren’t there or feel things solely for the reason of getting us out of there ASAP before that sabretooth tiger from millions of years ago decides to eat us.


  • Coder

    A long time ago, sometime before the birth of Taylor Swift, I lived in a small apartment on the second floor. In the living room there was a large picture window, about four by six feet. One day a thunder storm had passed through and the sun was just coming out. I was sitting on the couch holding hands with an angel when all of a sudden we heard a pop and saw a bright blue ball of light appear in the room smack in the middle of the picture window. The ball was about the size of my fist. It flew about four feet outward in the air, and falling, bounced once on the floor. The second time it landed, it skittered around the floor hissing and changing directions multiple times. It got smaller and suddenly just vanished, leaving the smell of ozone in the air. This took all of two maybe three seconds. I asked the angel if she had done that, and she said yes. It was much later when I discovered that she was, not only not an angel, but a vicious lying demon. I later put the event down to a warning from a real angel. Either that, or some ridiculous thing called ball lightning.


  • Politics

    My mother and I witnessed something like that ball, but orange in color, as it basically sped through our garden and vanished by one of the walls after passing fairly close to us (and leaving behind a very warm feeling). I still don't know what that phenomenon is, though I guess an abortive ball lightning is the likeliest explanation. The pity is that those balls never form when you need to get a hold of them for close study, so we know very little about them. Which is a pity, because they are cool.



  • @Vorpal The kind of stuff you're describing here is the kind of thing the folks I know specifically look into. That's basically what I've been saying here: they're not trying to prove 'it's ghosts!' They're looking at accounts of hauntings and seeing: "Hey, what could be going on here?" They don't automatically rule out 'ghosts', but they also have a lot of different classifications under that heading that are, actually, pretty relevant.

    A lot of what they talk about is, generally, that somehow some event is 'recorded' by the environment in some unknown fashion, and simply replayed like a recording. This has nothing whatsoever to do with magic, pixies, or even whether there's an afterlife or not. It's something most of these folks think is some kind of natural phenomena we simply don't grok yet.

    There were, absolutely, a lot of the 'omg a shadow out of the corner of my eye moved!' 'creepy noises!' 'blinky lights!' etc. going on in that restaurant, for instance, but even as a kid I wrote off stuff like this because there's just too many normal things that could be that people love to scare themselves about.

    Three things stood out about that place, though. Two? OMGWTFweird. One? I'm pretty sure someone could find an explanation for by digging into the walls similar to what you describe.

    The last was something multiple folks experienced, myself included, multiple times. There was one room upstairs which would grow horribly cold -- and I mean cold enough we'd see our breath cold, even in the middle of summer -- in an instant, the lights would start to flicker, and everyone in the room would feel a weight on their chest, not too different from the feeling of that lead blanket someone drapes over you when they take dental x-rays, just heavier. Almost can't breathe heavier. And it'd stop as quickly as it started, generally lasting 1-3 minutes. That? Fucking terrifying as a kid, sure, but I'm pretty sure that could be explained.

    The second is an OMGWTF, but definitely falls under the kind of events you're describing. The third floor of the place was closed to the public, and we'd always be up there during the open business hours. One night, we're meandering down to put in our dinner order (since they'd feed us up in yon attic-land) and we see a man in a suit starting to come up the stairs. We both see him. My friend says, "Hey, no one's allowed upstairs except the owner and family." And this guy, who is dressed like he's stuck in the 1920s (yes, I did know what a 1920s suit and hair and facial hair looked like as a kid, I have been a costume geek forevah) doesn't even seem to see us despite the fact that we're standing right there, too, and he just heads up the stairs right between us, and as we're just having to start to turn our heads to see where he's going? Gone. Nothing. No one. We ran all around the top floor looking for the intruder, and there's no one. She called her father to come up -- no one is there. And this guy? Just looked like a guy. Nothing remotely creepy about him save for his vanishing act and the retro chic. So while weird as fuck-all, there was nothing scary about that, really. That is the kind of thing that folks I know would likely consider potentially infrasound, as you're describing, or the 'something got imprinted on the environment here somehow' notion, which, again, is not something they think is outside the realm of what we may some day be able to explain.

    The last one? Fuck, NO CLUE. Her father's office was a disaster. It was super clutter-land. She asked me to get some tape for some crafty crap we were doing, and I figure I'll go to what I assume is the supply closet rather than trying to find it on his desk, which we weren't supposed to touch. I open the supply closet, and she's going dead white while I'm asking, "WTF, this closet is empty, why don't you keep anything in it?" It was just a linen closet with full-width and depth shelves, and it would have made the desk less of a disaster. Instead of explaining why she was white as a dang sheet, she just picks up a pencil cup from the desk, and puts it in the closet. She closes the door. She opens the door. The pencil cup is now on a shelf higher than it was before, and the pencils are scattered on different shelves throughout the closet. I'm like... actually, "..." really does sum it up, so I gather up the pencils, put them back in the cup, put it on a different shelf -- and same thing, again. At which point she just looks at me uncomfortably and says, "We don't use this closet." She didn't exactly have to explain why, and... explaining would not have really explained shit.

    That one? Zero fucking clue.

    So, yeah, I am not mocking them for wondering wtf was going on in their place, or deciding to dub it 'haunted', ultimately, even if even I would explain it differently. It did accurately convey, 'hooooooooly crap, some weird shit goes down in this joint!' and they were seriously not kidding. :|


  • Coder

    Thesis: Throw a random statement in the center of a bunch of nerds and you will end up with chaos.

    Discussion, Debate, and Commons: Wut? No, you! No, your mom! Wut? Science isn't magic! Magic isn't discussed! But science! Wut? Science! No, science! No, your mom science! Wut?

    Conclusion: Nerds are fucking weird.


  • Politics

    @surreality See, I wish people with places that do that would submit it to James Randi for study and experimentation. I mean, you'd think a hotel like that could benefit from the one million smackaroos.


  • Politics

    @Tyche said in Do you believe in paranormal things?:

    A long time ago, sometime before the birth of Taylor Swift, I lived in a small apartment on the second floor.

    So, your name is Luca?



  • @Vorpal Was a restaurant, and they certainly could have used it, because we'll just say 'sensible financial choices' were not always their strong suit. (They used their profits to build a house that ended up being more than they could afford, and ultimately had to sell the old mansion, from what little I recall of it all. They'd moved away to the new house, so I wasn't hanging out with their daughter any more really, as previously she'd just been in the next development over from us.)

    This was also in... god. 1982-1985 or thereabouts? So quite some time ago. They haven't owned the place for at least 20 years; it's a private home now from what little I know of its eventual fate. It got turned into a 'decorator show home' for a while in the interim, and I was always curious if that changed anything (if anyone could even tell from a show tour length visit), but I only found out about that about 3 months after they stopped doing the show tours, unfortunately.

    I know I would have loved to know WTF was going on there. Especially that damned closet, because yeeeeesh. Of all the creepy crap I've seen over time, that's the one thing that genuinely gives me the shudders. Not really due to any 'omg mean ghost' thing, but just... whatever the heck that was, the idea of being stuck in that closet (not like it would be possible with the shelves in there but still) is frickin' awful to even contemplate, no matter how what was happening was happening.


  • Coder

    @Ganymede said in Do you believe in paranormal things?:

    So, your name is Luca?

    No, Luca was Vega's bass player and actually lived on the first floor.
    He kept everyone up all night with the noise, until he started "running into doors".
    The incidents were totally twisted around into something else.


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