Friday, November 05, 2010

Listen, do you smell something?

'I want to believe' proclaimed the poster that adorned Fox Mulder's office wall, and later my student bedroom. You see I'd love to believe but I'm a man of science. I need data, statistics & evidence. That's why I was a tad disappointed when I tagged along on a local ghost hunt to mark Halloween last weekend.

There were no PKE metres, no Ecto-goggles. Just a pair of duff movement sensors and a pair of mediums.

Yes, mediums.

There are people out there that fully believe in psychics/mediums but it's not for me. I follow the Derren Brown view that it's all trickery & performance. Ouija boards are less likely to be a form of communication with the spirit world - more an indicator of the ideomotor effect I didn't see anything that night that convinced me otherwise. The mediums put on a good show but that's all I ever felt it was.

So with such a sceptical outlook why did I even bother to go? Well, skeptics aren't nessecarily non-believers. For so many reports of hauntings and spectres throughout the history of humankind there must be something in it. But what? I don't actually believe that ghosts are restless souls. Instead perhaps they're some kind of recording? Some fluke of atmospheric condition or geo-magnetics. Perhaps they're not even physical but all in the mind, triggered by something unique to the locale in which they're sighted.

Anyway my ghosthunt last weekend proved fruitless, but it was great fun and it was amazing to gain access to historic buildings in Hereford that are usually out-of-bounds. The strange, pale, glowing monk in The Black Lion even agreed.