So I’ve always wondered why people take so much pleasure in recanting stories of ghosts and encounters with spirits, given the horror element of most ghost stories you’d think that it would be more of a scarring experience than a joyous one but I suppose that the media doesn’t have an infinite degree of grasp on the minds of the masses, just a very strong one.
You see for a long time I had nightmares about seeing ghosts, the idea always terrified me, I would go around dark rooms in fear that there was something else there, these superstitious thoughts fueled by the ambiguity of television, never telling you that there was no such thing, hinting that they were real, and by anecdotal stories of people who I couldn’t possibly perceive as having fooled themselves, I was naive, admittedly, but I was younger and I believed in a lot of stuff.
What I found was that the idea of turning around and seeing something that wasn’t supposed to be there, this inhuman consciousness that could follow you around and stare blankly at you, was not a nice thought, and I was quite unhappy thinking that there were such things, in fact, I was so badly paranoid that I would leave the bedside light on and the door open at night (this was a looooooooong time ago) just so that I would be able to see if anything was coming, and when it did, I would have more of a chance to escape.
Yet again I must stress that there is not enough media dismissing these superstitions as nonsense, the fun, or so the media seems to imagine is fun, is in trying to convince children etc. that there are these magical and horrifying things around, not just for the purposes of fear, but to try and keep them innocent.
Alas it doesn’t work like that, because people don’t truly grow up too much, and if no-one reaffirms that there are no such hauntings, you get ghost hunters etc. running around searching for electricity and claiming that there are ghosts there, which is fine, but if there had been less of them around I believe I would probably have been able to see sense a lot earlier.
I fell into the trap many people fall into, thinking ‘how can this many people fool themselves?’ well, it’s not that large a percentage, the power of suggestion is vast and magical thinking is comforting to many people.
The power of crowds is unquestionable, which is why, I believe that my children (suspend your disbelief folks) will probably have to go through the same thing.
What would probably really surprise some people however, is how comforted I felt knowing that there were no ghosts, I felt a freedom, I didn’t have to be so paranoid anymore, I could walk around dark rooms without being an idiot and feeling like I needed to go somewhere else where I could see, I was free of the torment of this particular superstition, which is the opposite of how I felt about losing my faith in God, which again, would surprise some other people.
It was a blessing however, to have that revelation, and I just hope that less people will be convinced by certain savvy ploys to help them have more things to be scared of.