think a lot
about religion, god, God and cosmology. I have come to label myself as
a "post-nihilistic existentialist skeptic". That is where you start with
build by experience and kick out the loose bricks -- what-ever is left
is what you subscribe to. That leaves me comfortably in the atheist
camp, accept for one thing: I saw a ghost.
GHOST DISCOMFORTS ATHEIST
122, 2008 September)
dismiss that as a hypnogogic hallucination except that it was
independently corroborated by two people. This is what happened:
a rented house and had got out of bed in the early hours to get a drink
of water; on my way back to bed I saw the "ghost" in the hallway by the
toilet door. It was a purple and violet thing like a head and torso but
very indistinct. I recall thinking 'there's a ghost' and not actually
believing it as I walked straight through it and went back to bed and
about it until later the next day when my family was in the midst of a
discussion about who was the most rational, sensible person at the
table. I was about to tell them that I was totally rational and did not
even believe in ghosts when I remembered seeing it.
discussion others at the table said they had heard noises and felt the
hair stand up on their heads. I could have passed that off as unrelated
but when my wife went to pay the rent later that week she jokingly
suggested that we should have a discount because of the ghost.
office over-heard her and asked if we lived at Reynolds St., which
correct. She said that she had seen a ghost there several times whilst
doing rent inspections and that it was in the hallway by the toilet
door. She thought it was a woman about 160 cm tall.
moving to a different house, a man whom I knew only well enough to say
g'day to asked me if I had lived in the house in Reynolds St. I
confirmed it and he asked if I thought there might have been a ghost in
it -- he is a very solid practical person, plumber by trade, and was
quite hesitant and a little embarrassed to be asking but when I said
yes he became much more open and said that it had become very active in
that part of the house and things were falling off shelves in an
it, I can't measure it, I can't repeat it, I can't read anything about it that
steeped in nonsense (the Jehovah's witnesses reckon its an
spirit but then they reckon we're all descended from Noah so I
give them much credence) and it doesn't fit at all well into my theory
write it off because it was too well corroborated, so it just hangs around and
nags me --
the ghost, just the possible existence of it.
evidence, anything I can bang a nail into would be appreciated.
Designer and sometime fine artist
Regarding Paine's Ghost
124, 2009 January)
welcome to Roger Paine! It's refreshing to have a new skeptical writer
offering such an interesting dilemma: an atheist who's seen a ghost,
one corroborated by others in his home town of Busselton, WA.
in fact seen a ghost, but he believes that he has. There are ghost
towns (Leonora and Gwalia), Busselton ghost tours/trail (part of
Australia's premier industry, tourism), ghost writers, and even a
near-by ghost ship, HMS Swan. They actually exist, but what Roger 'saw'
we can make available the evidence and perhaps win $100,000 from the
Australian Skeptics, once they're convinced, and I'll put in for the
spotter's fee of $10,000! This money has been on offer for about 15
years to anyone able to pass the strict protocols established regarding
any supernatural phenomenon. As yet, no one has, and I'm betting no-one
"hypnogogic hallucination" and "getting up in the early hours to get a
drink" which is a hint that such a process occurred. I suggest that you
make contact with the WA branch of Australian Skeptics and present your
antidote would be to read the articles of the new editor of Australian
skeptic, Karen Stollznow, an indefatigable visitor to supposedly
haunted places, seances, ghost-less ghost hunts and paranormal (non)
events in America. All dead-pan but hilarious reporting of those who
think that the X-Files is a documentary, routinely loud on promises but
mouse-like on delivery.
write again, giving a little more detail on that "purple and violet
thing", and, since you and your wife Wendy are talented artists, please
send The Investigator a drawing. Remember, if there isn't yet
default 'it must therefore be a ghost'
you very far. Beware of coincidental/anecdotal "corroboration": keep an
open "existentialist" mind on that restless Reynolds St.
non - entity!