Do you believe in ghosts?

Do you believe in ghosts?

new orleans 045

Historic Cemetary in NOLA

I don’t believe in ghosts and neither does RM. Of course, he is an engineer and doesn’t believe in much that can’t be proved with logic and science. But we still love a good ghost story and we love to hear and listen to friends and families experiences with the paranormal.

We live in a nearly 90-year-old house with an array of creaky baseboard, well-worn hardwood flooring, settling pipes and foundation noises plus this cottage was “home” to three different long-standing families living and dying in our little adobe on Ashland over these many years.  Texas families on Ashland have lived through the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, World War II, Vietnam, Cold War, the millennium, 9/11, various plagues, heat and drought without even a hint of a ghostly presence left behind and if these experiences don’t cause a soul’s unrest, what would?  When we moved into our home here in 1988, there was an inside closet with access to the outside through a small hole which exposed a tiny room that looked suspiciously like a prohibition bootlegger’s operation with rows of shelving inside and a very small rectangular passage door on hinges for sliding open or closed (enough for only a hand to poke through and back to either pass the bottle or collect the payment).  See… obviously a vivid imagination exists here in this house so we should be prime candidates for seeing ghosts, right?

We have never heard anything, smelled anything or saw anything that could remotely be interpreted as ghost-like.  Our ears perk up and our eyes peel to house sounds and sights of too many sleep-walking-kids bumping against our door, feral cats screeching outside our screen windows, and the distant Union Pacific freight trains’ constant chatter that ebbs and flows dependent on the direction of the southern wind.  The train noise combined with the playful rumbling and tumbling of raccoons on the roof and gutters are so common they have become our white noise… we may have interrupted nights of sleep on Ashland but not due to ghosts.  Many people do believe in ghosts and, please know, dear friends,  I want to believe you but I simply can’t find the evidence.  One day, I may be proven wrong.  I have ventured to some of the hot spots of ghosts including New Orleans, old houses, grave yards, and Roswell but no sighting yet.

RM and I and the kids all traveled to Roswell, New Mexico, several years ago to experience the world-renowned International UFO Museum and Research Center. The name sounds very official but the museum is not sanctioned by NASA or international officials but it is instead lovingly run by a small local nonprofit of enthusiasts for paranormal activity.   My dad would call them scam artists but then he was always a straight shooter.  In 1947, something happened northwest of Roswell, New Mexico, during a storm.  Believers are sure it was an alien space craft, others a balloon or a weather event.  Today, the town celebrates the Roswell UFO Festival.  The museum is a bit weak on primary and secondary source documents but it is a tribute to the human spirit and our fascination with the world we are unable to see or understand. Our children will never forget their thirty minutes in Roswell before trekking on to Santa Fe and the mountains.

2014 is the 30th anniversary of the original Ghostbusters Movie.  I loved that film and can still sing the theme song.  If you  needed to refresh your memory of the complicated plot, here is a link to the commemorative anniversary webpage.   Love Harold Ramus:  may he rest in peace (no irony lost here, I am certain).

In the end, and despite mountains of ambiguous photos, sounds and videos, the evidence for ghosts is no better today than it was a year ago, a decade ago or a century ago. There are two possible reasons for the failure of ghost hunters to find good evidence. The first is that ghosts don’t exist, and that reports of ghosts can be explained by psychology, misperceptions, mistakes and hoaxes. The second option is that ghosts do exist, but that ghost hunters are simply incompetent. Ultimately, ghost hunting is not about the evidence (if it was, the search would have been abandoned long ago). Instead, it’s about having fun with friends, telling stories, and the enjoyment of pretending to be searching the edge of the unknown. After all, everyone loves a good ghost story.  Happy Halloween from Ashland!

Below is the link to the tourist trap in Roswell….


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