I just read a great blog post by James Everington, titled A Drunken Conversation About Ghost Stories.
This post brought back memories of when I was a kid, having conversations with friends about whether or not we believed in ghosts. These kind of conversations happened regularly, and inevitably the ghost stories would come out.
When I got older and began drinking with friends, the ghost stories became more and more animated. Yet, as I get older, the less people want to talk about ghosts. The people I know now either get too spooked about such topics or they are complete atheists.
Which is cool. I'm an agnostic in pretty much all matters regarding the supernatural and spiritual, myself, so I find both atheistic and theistic conversations about ghosts fascinating.
Here is my comment in James's blog post:
"Great post. I love a good ghost story, but I don't think I believe in them. That makes me sound indecisive.
What I mean is, I've seen and experienced some things in my life that I cannot explain. But I know that they could have been hallucinations. If they were not hallucinations, then that doesn't mean that the things I've seen were ghosts. I don't think we can know for sure until science proves it, or more than one person actually talks to a ghost at the same time."
The things I've seen and experienced, as I said above, could have been explained as anything but having seen something supernatural. There was one time, and I didn't mention this one because I wanted to write about it here, when a friend and I were sitting together in the basement of a mutual friend's home. I was on the phone with my girlfriend of the time and there was some music playing softly. The lights were very dim. Someone entered the basement. He was wearing a sweater with brown and white stripes. He sat down on the easy chair next to us, and then faded and disappeared.
As you can imagine, both me and my friend made a strained "ahhhhh!" sound at the same time. This, however, was reassuring; my friend had seen it too. If that wasn't bad enough, the figure came again, doing the exact same thing and eliciting more "ahhhhh!" sounds from us. My girlfriend, still on the phone, kept asking, "What's going on?" but I was too afraid to speak. I hung up on her and me and my friend took off upstairs where everyone else was.
Once we explained what had happened,, we were told by the people who live there that we had just met Bill, their ghost.
Despite having had this experience, I still realize that there might not be any such thing as ghosts. Granted, my friend saw it and reacted to it at the same time as I did, but the lights were so low as to be nearly nonexistent. There was just enough light to see the mans sweater, the white and the brown stripes. His face was lost in shadow.
I cannot explain what it was we saw that night, but I've thought about it a lot since. Ghosts, or things like it, could be anything from mere imprints we leave on space and time, or they could indeed be lost and confused spirits. It's certainly more fun to think of them as the latter, but when it comes down to it, I don't believe in ghosts.
I suspect they might exist, but that's just me. I spend a lot of time sitting on a fence, observing. One thing I do know, though, is that if I was an eccentric millionaire with time on my hands, I'd be a ghost investigator. The Skeptical type, but I'd do it nonetheless!