Growing up, I lived in a fairly old (I’m assuming), kinda weirdly laid out house. It had it’s usual sort of symphony you find in places like this, creaking of the wood expanding and depressing, rumbly pipes when in use, that sort of thing. However, from time to time, we’d hear or see something a little more dubious: footsteps up and down a hallway or a figure lingering at the corner of your eye. My whole family has various creepy stories that came from that house. Nothing exceptionally aggressive or crazy, just creepy stuff. Very subtle things.
There was one time I was headed to my room to change into my swim trunks so I could go swimming with my brother and his friends, and as I did I heard a loud crash along the way of what sounded like glass shattering. Now, my room was upstairs and all the way down at the end of the hall. About halfway down the hall was the bathroom, which had a standing shower and no tub. As I reached the bathroom, I found glass spread out into the carpet of the hallway, which I shrugged off as something I’d deal with later and carefully stepped past to change. When we came back to it later, we discovered the glass was from the light cover that was inside the shower, which was one of those fishbowl type covers. As we started to clean it up, we found little to no glass inside the bathroom itself and practically none in the shower, as if the glass had all been tossed or swept into the hallway. For a little perspective, the shower was on the right hand side once walking into the bathroom about 3 feet in. It was a standing shower, as I mentioned before, and had a magnetic metal door with obscured, frosted glass, which was only slightly ajar during this incident. I suppose it may be possible that as the dome fell, it fell from one side losing grip and causing it to swing out with potentially enough velocity to fling it into the bathroom proper instead of dropping straight down into the shower, but that seems like a stretch to me. I’m not saying it was certainly a ghost, but I am saying I can’t explain how it happened.
Honestly, thinking back to it, I’m glad I didn’t drown that day. When you look at how the events lay out, it feels very “ghost trying to warn you of danger,” and my stupid ass was just way too excited about pool time to catch the message.
I share my stories from the house with people whenever it comes up. I tell them about the noises and the figures. I tell them about the large, grinning face you could see in the swirls of one of the wooden doors or the time we found a piece of what looked like a tombstone out in our backyard when we were fixing some drainage. I mention the night I flew into a panic because my ceiling was covered in spiders, only to turn the light on and find nothing. Some find it cool, some find it untrue, but ultimately it is my memory, and I can only retell it the way it was experienced. After that, people are free to believe or not.
What I think is important is that people keep an open mind about things that aren’t inherently debunked. The common phrase is “I’m sure there is a reasonable explanation for that” and often times, that may just be accurate. However, if the reasonable explanation is as unclear or undiscovered as the unreasonable one, then we can’t really write off either, even if we have a predisposition toward one. I choose to not say outright “my old house was haunted,” honestly unless I’m going for dramatic effect. Instead, I like to say “My old house may have been haunted” or “I experienced some unexplained things in my old house.” I am more inclined to believe they were the work of some being or energy that resided there, but if someone asked if I knew that to be 100% true, I’d honestly say that I did not.
What’s important to any mystery like this is to keep an open min. Be skeptical, sure, but understand that if you are not able to literally hold in your hand a noisy pipe and say “this is what’s causing that,” then you are as unlikely to sway someone away from their belief as they are to sway you to it. Try to remember that there is still mystery in our world. While we know a lot and discover even more as time goes by, there is still so much uncovered. We may at some point be able to adequately debunk everything supernatural, a thought that hurts my gothic-literature-lovin’ heart, but then and only then should it ever be acceptable to completely close our mind to the possibility that things could be a different way than what we assume them to be. Personally, I feel like retaining that sense of mystery in the world around me makes it a much more exciting place to live. The idea that even though I’m skeptical this particular place is haunted, what if I’m the story that gets told to others to prove it. What if I go into these supposedly haunted woods and come out a raving lunatic? What if I stay the night in this abandoned asylum and then immediately go missing? It’s those “What ifs” (and obviously other, less dramatic ones) that keep the world exciting.
Granted, I’m not saying blind belief in things is healthy, since there is plenty that has been all but proven false. I wouldn’t suggest going so far as to lend credibility to ultimately already debunked things that people are still grasping tightly too, like the Loch Ness monster or flat-earthers or a genie movie from the ’90s that starred Sinbad. The argument I have is that until something is proven to be true or false, it’s important for both parties to remain open to the opposing side’s views in order to fully explore the potential of the mystery. However, the caveat is that once proof is found, it’s time to let go. Sure, I can’t go into space and look at the spherical shape of the earth, but rationalizing a disproved and antiquated concept with talk of conspiracy or misinformation just makes you sound like a whack-job, which most of you are, so… bravo, I guess. Keep up the good work.
So whether you believe in ghosts or not, whether you think my story about the glass is a sham or not, just remember that the mystery of the world around us is real. Pockets in our genetic code, behaviors of our own minds, energies and the effect they have on us, corners of our reality untouchable by perception, they all combine to make our incredibly visible, social-media-covered world just a little bit more obscure. Ghosts may be disproved one day, but until then it very well could be possible that they exist in someway, somewhere out in the world.
Possibly even in your home right now.