A ghost of a chance of a glimpse a ghost


Ghostly Photograph

Ghostly Photograph

When chatting recently, someone said they had seen a ghost. She volunteers at a stately home. Walking across the courtyard she saw a man dressed like a World War I soldier. When she looked again he had vanished. At first, she thought a film crew was using the place as a set. But her colleagues said it was not the case.

Another person in the group said she once saw some monks walking across the grounds of an old abbey. When she remarked it was nice there were still monks living there, the guide replied there had been no monks for centuries.

Both said they were not thinking about anything in particular when they saw the apparitions; they were just sort of daydreaming. Also the apparitions did not seem aware of them. One said it was like looking at a scene from a movie. The other thought it was like she was looking through a window to the past.

Years ago, I read a book of real-life mysteries. In a similar story two women saw people ‘like Marie-Antoinette’ in the gardens at Versailles. They said it was only when the figures vanished they felt something was amiss.

I suppose it is one thing watching Most Haunted as you expect television programs to be hammed up – after all ‘that’s entertainment!’ But listening to two sensible women chatting quite matter-of-fact about seeing ghosts is something else entirely.

When both women said they thought the apparitions were just vibrations, it got me thinking…

Objects record impressions. We have lots of examples. Wax cylinders and vinyl records – where a needle vibrating in a grove faithfully plays back what was recorded. Photographic plates and film use a emulsion of silver. Audio and video tapes used a thin iron coating.

Now we have digital media… and I don’t even pretend to know how they work. In your phone is a micro memory card, half the size of a fingernail, holding entire libraries of music, movies, photos and books – all somehow permanently recorded when an electric current passes through. Is it such a leap of faith to imagine the same could apply to a building?

Everything has an electromagnetic field. Sharks use electro-magnetic fields to hunt. Birds use the earth’s electromagnetic field to migrate thousands of miles. Emotions and sensations cause changes in a person’s electro-magnetic field. It is how EEG machines work… by picking up changes in the brain.

Then there is the brain itself. We do not experience the world directly. Everything we see; hear; taste; smell; touch (i.e. everything we know) is the brain’s interpretation of a series of electric nerve impulses.

It may surprise you to learn the brain’s main job is not to take in information – but to actively block out irrelevant stuff. A lot of what we take in we ignore. But we don’t forget. Hypnotic memory techniques work by helping the brain focus on information it has suppressed as being unimportant. If you don’t believe me, try remembering a song or TV show from years ago – you’ll be amazed at what gets dragged up from the past.

So my argument is this…

Given that people give off electro-magnetic currents that vary with emotion.

Given small electric currents are used to record impressions on a variety of media with traces of metal in them.

Maybe every one of us leaves ghosts of ourselves all over the place when our emotions are strong enough.

Maybe the reason we don’t see ghosts is because our brains dismiss these fleeting impressions because they are not essential to our daily lives.

And so, we only notice them when our minds are wandering.

If that’s true, perhaps we can train ourselves to see ghosts… or at least ghosts of the past.

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