We Are Not Alone by Maggie Tideswell

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Ghosts and apparitions have held great interest to humankind through all the ages. At first, ghosts of the dearly departed were accepted as fact and formed part of everyday life and rituals, but as we became gradually more technologically sophisticated, so the skepticism grew. It is a basic instinct to fear what one doesn’t understand or can’t reasonably explain.

Because “ghosthunting” isn’t a real science and has depended on amateurs with imperfect methods and imperfect equipment, knowledge has remained rather sketchy. Of course ghost stories are steeped in folklore. As tales get passed on from generation to generation, they becomes embellished and distorted. These stories were told to warn and to entertain and weren’t necessarily meant to be accepted as fact.

Personally I’ve always been interested in the paranormal, and have recently started questioning the nature of apparitions of the dead. I wanted to know why the spirits of some people linger after death and others not. To find answers, I first had to explore the nature of ghosts in general.

Let’s be honest. We’ve all heard inexplicable little sounds we hear at odd times for which we couldn’t find reasonable explanations. And because we’re scared of ghosts and things that go bump in the night, it makes one feel better to blame the noisy neighbors. And what about the movement we catch from the corner of the eye that we assign to shifting light casting shadows? Sometimes when we can’t come up with a logical explanation, it’s just more comforting to blame our own overactive imagination. But is it possible that all this space around us is not empty?

I believe we’re all born with the ability to “see.” Unfortunately our perception changes over time as we mature. This suggests that in the process of socialization, the ability is blocked when it’s assigned to the child’s imagination.

Here are a few interesting “facts” regarding the experience of ghostly activity:

•                Whereas children can see ghosts, only about one in ten adults retain that ability.

•                Women are more likely than men to see a ghost.

•                The higher the IQ, the lower the likelihood of seeing a ghost.

•                People actively looking for ghosts are the least likely to see one, and by the flip of a coin, those who disregard their presence are quite likely candidates to have a ghostly experience.

The most common explanation of what ghosts are, is that they’re the spirits of people who have died prematurely and so still have unfinished business to complete. The soul incarnates into each new life with a set of prescribed tasks to complete in that life for the development of that soul. When death comes unexpectedly or early, some of the tasks might still be incomplete and the soul is unable to cross over to the spirit world. The spirit then lingers around his or her old haunts and friends and family. This kind of sighting is highly interactive, and not only is a conversation possible, one may even capture the spirit in a video or photo. Some people stick to this theory of the nature of ghosts because they seem to accept it as proof of life after death.

Another theory is that high-impact events are recorded in the surroundings where the event takes place. The recording is then replayed so to speak, over and over, but can only be seen by people who have retained the sensitivity. This could manifest as the actual seeing of the apparition, but it could also take the form of recurring smells or sounds. The recording consists of a very strong emotion or a violent event. As this is only a recording of an event, it makes sense that there can be no interaction with the ghost as such. This is what is called poltergeist activity, as a poltergeist is attached to a place or house or even a single room in a house and doesn’t respond to the people occupying the space.

Recently in South Africa, our own Paralympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius, was accused of murdering his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013. The trial is still continuing as of this writing. The state has tried to prove that it was premeditated murder, while Pistorius has claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Then Pistorius’ legal team announced that Pistorius’ home, where the murder took place, was to be sold to offset his escalating legal fees. It is a beautiful house, in a good neighbourhood in Pretoria, South Africa. But the intense fear and violence of Reeva’s death has to be recorded in that bathroom where she was killed. Also, as in all murders, life is cut off prematurely, which leaves the soul with unfinished business, making it impossible for her spirit to cross over. For some this house will be even more desirable for this possibility; for others it will become a place to avoid.

A third theory of what ghosts are, states that they are naturally occurring electromagnetic events. We all leave impressions on the places we visit during our lives. So, one place could have the impressions of many people who had visited it over time. I’m not sure if these impressions would be interpreted as ghosts, though.

Similarly, there is a theory that ghosts are actual people living in parallel dimensions that overlap our dimension for a time. I suppose one must consider all options, but this one seems unlikely.

And the theory that ghosts live only in the imagination would seem to satisfy only those who have lost their ability to perceive.

Whatever the nature of ghosts, I believe they are there, whether one accepts them or not. And remember, if you don’t believe in the existence of such spirits, then you stand a much better chance of being  visited by one.

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South African born and bred, Maggie loves all things paranormal. Her stories reflect her interest of things unexplained. Maggie loves books (the smell of paper), tea, wine, and her cat Felix, who is her constant companion. https://www.amazon.com/author/maggietideswell

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13 thoughts on “We Are Not Alone by Maggie Tideswell

  1. Trish Jackson

    Maggie,

    I love this posting. I do believe in ghosts, having experienced some unexplained phenomena myself. I also actually know someone who had a real life exorcism performed on her because of the evil spirit that was grabbing her bed and shaking it in the middle of the night! Afterwards her priest said he felt an almost unbearable burning heat pass through him when the spirit left her home.

    Reply
  2. Micki Peluso

    Well done, Maggie
    Having lived in a haunted house for six years in Williamspot, Pa., I can attest to the validity of your words. I had six kids, five of who were teenagers and four psychic like their father. As a result they all saw and heard things that I did not–until the night I woke up to hear the house breathing. My one daughter was killed in that town and I have to say that this time it’s my grandkids who have seen and spoken to her in the years after she died. Like most kids, as they grew older they lost that talent, probably upon realizing that they were different. I, on the other hand, became more intuitive and psychic after dying several times in the hospital and was then able to see and hear things I never could before. Yes, Maggie, there are ghosts. :) Thanks again for some info I didn’t know.

    Reply
  3. Monica Brinkman

    Enjoyed the investigative work; nicely done.
    Growing up in a haunted house, I always thought everyone saw ‘ghosts’ and only learned as I interacted more with other children and my parents, that was not the case.
    I doubt it is ‘age’ that plays such a huge part in the ability to see the ‘unknown’, but fear of societies judgement. We tend to suppress what is not accepted as ‘the norm’.

    Thanks for sharing your article with us.

    Reply
  4. Cynthia B Ainsworthe

    Maggie, Thank you for your fascinating topic. Most interesting and enjoyable. My late parents visit me not only in my dreams, but by the sense of smell. Sometimes my Mom’s fragrance or Dad’s pipe will color my world. No one else around me during these visitations will smell what I do. Seems their visit is solely for me.

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  5. Salvatore Buttaci

    We don’t really know too much about ghosts, but one thing’s for sure: they are not Mom’s white sheet activated by a blast of her vacuum cleaner!

    Maggie Tideswell’s article here is excellent. Having read her work, I know so many of her readers agree.

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  6. Delinda

    Maggie, I look at the phenomenon from the perspective that energy is neither created nor destroyed it only changes form. We are energy. I keep dreaming that my mom is still in her house and really pissed with me for getting rid of all her furniture. Her interactions with me are so typical of her other stories that I’m inclined to believe that something about her visits me and expects me to replace her furniture. She will not accept my explanation that she died. She was 94 when she did so I don’t think it was premature.

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  7. Marta Merajver-Kurlat

    Powerful writing, Maggie! I’m afraid my own experiences with the paranormal always dissolved in a perfectly logical explanation… to my utter disappointment, I feel bound to confess. However, Hamlet was probably right about “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    Reply
  8. Martha Love

    What a fun article, Maggie! I love true ghost stories. Oh shivers! I have not seen a ghost but I have heard ghosts—a series of different new born baby cries coming out of furniture in my son’s room when he was only a couple of weeks old—and they were shared experiences with two other people hearing them when I did. Had there not been others to hear these cries, I would have had doubts. Most ghost sightings do seem to be by individual people rather than people in groups, so that may be why some people have doubts.

    You raise a very interesting esoteric question as to whether these ghosts are energies left from the person or whether they are the spirit of the person themselves. When my father, who is not generally into examining the unseen world, was 12 years old, he was visited by his father’s ghost just moments after his death by drowning. My father was taking a nap and a shadow of a man with a hat like his father’s appeared to him at the foot of his bed and then went into the wall. This was just seconds before the door opened and his uncle came in to tell him and his brother that my grandfather had died. To me, that was his father’s spirit, not just a shard of his energy. But days later—past the period that the spirit most likely would have passed on into the Light—if there had been “appearances”, then I might think it was his shard, his energy left on earth galvanized in some way. Either way, it is all ghostly to me!

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  9. Bryan Murphy

    We all love the tingle of fear that good ghost stories like those you write can give us. I find it intriguing that we are so willing actually to believe in ghosts and the like. I guess it’s because the laws of nature are so implacable and cruel – we all die and even the universe seems destined to be zapped by entropy – that we clutch at straws of hope that they might be waived.

    Reply
  10. Sharla

    All you have to do is experience a ghostly encounter for all doubt to be erased. A perfect example of seeing is believing! I saw, I believe!

    Reply

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