I've long told bemused friends that I'm not afraid of being haunted and that I actually think it would be quite cool if it happened. Whilst some say that they would rather die themselves than be visited by the dead I don't see what all the fuss is about.
I must point out that I'm not saying I believe in the paranormal, I'm no sceptic but I wouldn't say I believe in the conventional mythology. Yes, I think there is undoubtedly something after death, but as to what it is I don't think it's something I'm supposed to know about. I also don't think it's something we could understand. Imagine trying to explain life and planet Earth to someone who'd never lived here. How our bodies work, how oxygen sustains us, how plants and animals exist in harmony or just, you know, the fact we are on a huge chunk of rock orbiting a massive fireball somehow. That concept would blow some people's minds and I think the same is true of what comes next, the concept is too much for our human brains to contemplate.
Whilst I'm not sure if I believe in ghosts, I love ghost stories. When people tell me something actually happened to them I am beyond engrossed. I love to hear logical people that I know and trust tell me about their encounters with the paranormal. People that have no reason to be fibbing and are convinced of a personal paranormal phenomenon. However, with that topic you can never be sure, seeing is believing and seeing it for myself is the only way I will ever know if such things really exist.
To have a personal experience with the paranormal would be exciting for two reasons. Firstly, it would undoubtedly mean the world just got so much bigger and the parameters of reality as I know it have just been blasted out of where I thought they were. Secondly, having plates and knives inexplicably flying across the room would be fantastic. My first reaction wouldn't be terror it would be 'OMG I have a haunted house, I'm gonna be rich! Call the papers and let's start charging admission'. Humans are logical and it's in our DNA to explore that which we don't understand, it's the reason the paranormal is explored in countless, films, TV shows and documentaries each year.
I'm of the understanding that yes we live in the modern world of science and Twitter but let's not forget that our very existence is a mystery. We've made the best of an uncertain situation, created cultures and societies where we have more to do than constantly look up at the stars and wonder 'what the hell is all of this?' I therefore never discredit anyone's theories on existence and the parameters of reality, it wasn't that long ago that we thought the sun orbited Earth, anything could happen in the future and who knows what is out there still to be discovered by mankind?
Some find comfort in religion, others in science and some just focus on their lives rather than concentrate on the uncertainty of our existence. I've always said I believe somewhere in between God and the Big Bang. I don't think this all just happened on the off chance of some chemicals exploding a few billion years ago. Similarly, I don't believe one majestically being created the world in six days and had a rest on Sunday because, who created God? I believe somewhere in between, yes we had to be formed through some sort of chemical reaction physically but I feel like there was more at play, powers we couldn't hope to understand and couldn't imagine in our wildest dreams. Applying this logic, I feel that I can't rule out the possibility of the paranormal.
According to new research by Syfy I'm not alone. Half the UK think people can be cursed or possessed, and 47 per cent believe the same can happen to a house. A quarter of Brits think Ouija boards can hold demonic spirits, and 17 per cent won't keep creepy dolls at home in case they turn evil. Media seems to play a big role in people's concept of the paranormal, how many times have you heard someone say how terrified they were after watching a film about hauntings? Especially when they are based on true events. However, it appears that I'm in the minority finding the paranormal interesting not terrifying.
Syfy who conducted the research to promote a new 10-part TV series The Exorcist which starts this Wednesday at 9pm charted the top ten scariest films ever made and it appears that the majority all centre on paranormal themes. Personally I find the concept of a guy donning a mask and going around stabbing people much more terrifying - I know that 100% could happen for reals.
Check out the full list below and see how many of them you find scary.
· The Exorcist (1973)
· The Shining (1980)
· The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
· The Blair Witch Project (1999)
· The Birds (1963)
· Saw (2004)
· Carrie (1976)
· 28 Days Later (2002)
· Scream (1996)
· A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)