I am Terrified of Ghosts Even Though They Don't Really Exist

A photo of a person in a traditional ghost costume (sheet over their head with eyes drawn on), sitting on a bale of hay in the middle of an empty field.
Photo by Tandem X Visuals.

It's Halloween, so I'm going to talk about ghosts.

I don't believe in them at all, but also, I very much fear them, which means I also definitely believe in them.

I haven't had any traditional hauntings myself, but people I know and love and trust have seen and heard things that they could not explain. These stories scare me enough I genuinely don't want to hear them and will absolutely leave the room if I have to.

Some people say ghosts are nothing to be afraid of, that we can talk to them, even befriend them, but my imagination and gut feelings cannot abide that as an option.

Instead, I try to pretend they don't exist. Occasionally, I take comfort in reading debunkings of ghostly experiences.

I know, for example, how easy it is to mistake light catching the corner of your eye for something more or how sleep paralysis explains many nighttime "encounters" with the paranormal. Our minds fill in the blanks with stories and we are primed with enough spooky ones to pull a Mulder and jump right to the other-worldly.

The one thing that's always gotten me, however, is that deep sense of foreboding that can relate to ghostly presences. Sure, sometimes it's primed: I've been told a house is haunted, and now I feel like some creepy presence is watching me. But sometimes, it just arises as if out of nowhere and I suddenly feel like I am not alone.

Well OH MY WORD it turns out that intuition-like feeling may just be low-frequency soundwaves that hit our bodies and make us feel like doom is upon us. Freaking. A.

Also, apparently these kinds of experiences are a side effect of CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING. So that's something to actually be afraid of.

Aren't bodies wild? We feel vibrations or breathe in poison and then suddenly feel like a spirit from the nether realm is hovering just over our heads, watching us.

Now if only this knowledge would actually help overcome that terrible, terrible feeling.

Have a spooooooky Halloween!

An animated gif with a cartoon of a real ghost floating up and down next to a person dressed in a ghost costume. The real ghost calls the person a poser.

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