I don’t blame anyone too much for the stupid things they did or thought as a kid; adults earn the majority of my ire. I have no problem recalling childhood, before my critical thinking skills had developed, when I was scared of the dark, aliens, clawed men in stripey sweaters, and people with disfigurements (which I now recognize makes them less formidable if anything). I even had a friend who as a child was afraid to flush the toilet and ran from the bathroom before the sewer monsters could grab her bottom. These irrational activities are easily understood because we were just kids.
Children are little balls of instinct and can’t be expected to know any better. Sadly, even worse than their natural ignorance, children are at the mercy of oftentimes gullible adults (parents, teachers, priests, celebrities) in regards to gaining knowledge. So when I meet someone young who is, for instance, fanatically superstitious, I think to myself “hopefully they’ll pull their head out of their ass someday and develop reasoning skills past what they’ve seen.” In fact, I have a rule of not overly judging others based on their opinions until they’re 22 years old. Before people are 22, in my mind their views end with a footnote stating “but then again, I may still be buying into someone else’s tripe; ask me again in a few years once I’ve lived a little.” Some may think 22 is late for me to start fully blaming people for their nonsensical beliefs, but I like to give the benefit of the doubt. I know that many of us undeservedly sucked while growing up, because until our brains developed the ability to disbelieve, we bought into the irrational shite that adults shoveled into our heads.
Which brings me to ghost hunting. Here it is, the third millennium of our present calendar, and there are still full-grown ADULTS that claim this as a profession. Not only that, but these toddler-brained ghost-afeard rubes are making bank on this! They run haunted houses, conduct
ghost-tours around major cities, and even star in television shows about ghost hunting! The first time I saw a ghost hunting show on TV, the obvious thing that popped into my head was “if ghosts really existed, wouldn’t we know for sure by now?!” This isn’t like a rare species or even some cryptozoological B.S. creature like Bigfoot who can be explained away because he dwells deep in a forest— ghosts live where we live!! They supposedly reside in houses, cemeteries, and asylums, all places right around humanity. I really hate to ruin the surprise ending, but GHOSTS ALMOST CERTAINLY, 99.99999999% CHANCE, DON’T EXIST. I kept it “almost certainly” because truly rational people don’t believe in absolutes. Anyhow, let’s say for the sake of argument ghosts do exist: they apparently have so little effect on humanity it’s as though they don’t. Really, how scary is something that’s typically described as intangible and deceased? That sounds to me like the wimpiest creature ever. And really, isn’t “intangible and deceased” pretty much synonymous with saying “nothing”? I’m sorry, but I get haughty about ghosts— that’s right, haughty. I mean, they were foolish enough to get killed or die or whatever, whereas I’m still alive. Why should I worry about those chumps?
Now back to ghost hunting— is that really even the correct term for it? How many ghosts have been snared by these “hunters?” I say until one is caught, it should be renamed “ghost seeking” or maybe “ghost spotting” (I believe a therapist would call it “self-deluding”).
The only thing that disappoints me more than ghost hunters are people who think they’re “no big deal” or “just for fun.” These days you can go to any major U.S. city that’s been around more than fifty years and spot a group of mouth-breathing tourists being led about by some vamp-goth theater major drop-out. This creates an interesting question: what came first, the vamp-goth or the ghost delusion— that is to say, did seeing a ghost make them run for the nearest Hot Topic, or are spirits drawn to people wearing designer Victorian-era bondage attire? It is truly a puzzle for the ages. Anyhow, what these identity-crisis subculture wannabes are pushing is the reinforcement of people’s irrational beliefs. This is one of the most dangerous activities: adults reinforcing other adults’ irrationality. The same thoughtless tolerance that allows ghost hunting to be viewed as “good fun” also backs up every other crackpot’s beliefs. I mean, if ghosts are real (and look at how many adults go on these ghost tours; that’s evidence, right?) then maybe other unfounded beliefs are true as well. Things like ritualistic healing, putting one’s trust in a psychic advisor, or believing in a rewarded afterlife for killing those who are different. The same adults who subscribe to these hazardous myths gain credence by their acceptance from the public. Ghost hunting is about as “fun” as praying over a dying kid whose fanatic parents won’t allow them to go to the hospital for real treatment. I’m waiting for a clever, benevolent serial killer to start offing ghost hunters and leaving spooky signs to make it look like spirits did it. Slime on the ceiling, all hair on the dead body dyed white, “ghosts 1 humans 0” carved into the wall, that sort of thing.
Every time I meet someone who claims they’ve seen a ghost, I challenge them to show me. Surprisingly, no one has ever been able to! What a shock. When I was 17 (so don’t judge me too harshly) I had a girlfriend who called me in the middle of the night claiming her grandmother’s ghost had grabbed her. The grandmother had died in a certain room of the house and my girlfriend was in said room when a ghostly hand supposedly grasped her leg.
Now I don’t know why she was creeping around her dead grandmother’s room in the middle of the night, but even then, my budding rational side took it like this: Maybe her grandmother’s ghost did grab her, but so what? It didn’t hurt her or anything. Even as I tried to calm her down I couldn’t help but think about how silly it is that ghosts just like to grab people for a second and then nothing else. All I could picture was a naked pervert in a graveyard caressing himself while saying “ghosties… I’m ready to be groped…!” Back at 17, I was too naïve to realize my girlfriend was just insane (and not even in a fun way); I figured that out as more time went by.
It’s interesting how ghosts happen to be found in traditionally “scary” places like asylums, abandoned houses, and graveyards. Personally, I like graveyards and walk around them quite often. Though they’re really a waste of space, I prefer them to crowded parks. To me, graveyards are the ideal park for an introverted realist, since they display how pervasive superstitions are. For example: while in a college class, I was grouped up
with three people who all thought I was soooo weird because I wasn’t afraid of ghosts or graveyards. These were university juniors in a school of business. And honestly, why would ghosts hang around these dank places anyhow? If they bear any similarity to live humans, a good number would still be obsessed with sex even if they couldn’t have it. By my theory, if ghosts exist, the most haunted places would be the showers and bedrooms of attractive nymphomaniacs, not some crummy abandoned buildings. Furthermore, if ghosts are real, they can’t have much self-respect or surely they wouldn’t allow things like Boo Berry cereal
or their cheesy depiction in movies like “Ghostbusters.” Surely one would have materialized just long enough to shank the guy who wrote the “who ya gonna call” song (Ray Parker, Jr. in case you wanted to know). That reminds me—whatever happened to the ghosts of old? You know, the ones with rattling chains moaning “woooooo…!” and such. Nowadays, ghosts in movies and TV just stand around looking glum and creepy from a distance. These new ghosts aren’t going to convince Scrooge to buy Timmy Cratchit those gold-plated crutches he needs.
OK, now it’s time for a spine-chilling ghost story: Shut all the doors and windows, snuggle up with a pillow, put on some pants (for god’s sake), and turn off the light.
Once upon a blood-curdling time, I had an otherwise rational friend who told me they knew ghosts existed. Their tale of chilling madness begins with a grandfather who randomly left them presents when they were a child. Anyhow, the reaper soon came and took the grandfather away, but to my friend’s horror the presents kept appearing!! As my friend grew up, gifts labeled to them from their deceased grandfather continued arriving from time to time and that was their evidence the spirit world exists… Spooky, huh? I dare you to sleep now!
The moral of the story: That’s right, you guessed it— my friend’s mind was severly ****ed up by her parents! Now she believes in ghosts and who knows what other bull**** thanks to misguided intentions.
Yes, her grandfather died and to hide up the harsh reality he was gone, they deeply imbedded in her mind that perhaps he wasn’t; perhaps no one is ever really gone and maybe they watch over us from the afterlife. A creepier, darker tale is difficult to come by. Parents forcing their ignorant beliefs upon children…
Seriously, I wish there were ghosts. Not so that there would be an afterlife, but rather to haunt assholes that I hated while alive!! Honestly, if ghosts existed and had any influence over the living at all, dickheads everywhere would be constantly getting pummeled. I’m not even going to get into the materialization aspect… Why a spirit would grab someone they wanted to scare rather than lay their ghostly genitals on the person’s forehead is surely a mystery. Thinking about this makes me wonder how many people commit suicide each year in the hopes they can haunt the people who drove them to it. If only life was that fair. And screw ghost hunters.