THE subject of ghosts has come up several times in the office recently following a ‘sighting’ by a colleague’s wife.
It turns out we’re all firmly in one of two camps – those who believe and those who think the believers are idiots.
The latter are the people who say hauntings are a figment of our imaginations; that everything can be explained by physics.
Then there are those who say some things just can’t be explained – and most of them have a creepy, if-there’s-a-power-cut-right-now-I-might-actually-die tale to tell.
Personally I’m a believer – and I’ll champion it until the day I die (and at that point, if I’m right, there’s going to a very self-righteous ghost stalking the streets).
I ‘believe’ because no matter how many times I’ve looked at it since it happened in 1998 I can’t explain how my bed disappeared from my room and ‘appeared’ somewhere else in the house – when only my mum and I were at home, and were as freaked out by the incident as each other.
I’m sure a sceptic would say someone broke into the house, moved the bed without us hearing it and then disappeared without stealing anything – as all burglars do.
However, we’re not the first in the family to have experienced something that, on the surface, seems quite inexplicable.
According to family folklore my great-grandmother, Clara, was a bit of a ‘psychic’.
She allegedly once saw an old friend looking decidedly ill only to find out shortly afterwards that he had died several days earlier.
She also ‘sensed’ on several occasions when people in the family were seriously sick – and was undoubtedly proved right later on.
It’s a divisive issue and a poll by the BBC found most people come down firmly on one side or the other.
“Of course there are no ghosts,” said one respondant. “It’s always the creepy guy from the amusement arcade! Extensive research by experienced ghost hunter Scooby Doo has proved it.”
But another said we all fall prey to ghostly happenings.
“Every month I work to exhaustion,” he said, ”and as soon as I get paid a mysterious ghostly hand dips into my pocket and walks off with half my wages.
“I never see it happen, but I feel kind of uneasy, and it frightens me to death.”
Article first published in The Westmorland Gazette on November 7, 2014.