Paranormal Activity – a love affair

Song of the Day: Halloween Theme Song

Best frightening book ever!

My first book I ever read for pleasure was Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. I became hooked by the  paranormal theme and quickly discovered and promptly devoured all Dean Kootnz books.

I played with the neighbor’s Ouija board as a kid. In my teen years, I had a love affair with Vincent Price. Tarot cards hidden in the den drawer held an appeal. The ghoulish Edgar Allen Poe wooed me in college. I’ve been on ghost tours in Louisiana, a ghost hunt in Texas, and have traipsed through graveyards at midnight more than once, or twice. And I have snuck through a handful of supposedly haunted, abandoned (and structurally unsound) houses.

Vincent Price – master of evil!

Oh yes, I love to be scared to the point I nearly wet myself.

When it comes to the paranormal, I’m a the skeptic that would love to be proved wrong. It’s not good enough that my sister regularly saw a ghost at the

top of the stairs in Aunt Evelyn’s house. Or that a specter sat down on the bed next to my grandfather, leaving an indention in the mattress, at the century-old homestead nestled in the backwoods. Those incidents happened to them, not me. Listen hard enough, ask questions often enough, and there will always be a ghost story to enjoy.

For me, anything I’ve experienced that could be labeled paranormal could just as easily be discounted by some explanation or other. Because I thumb my nose and taunt the  preternatural, you would think I’d be the perfect conductor for otherworldly tricks. But alas, ‘contact’ with the metaphysical has been limited to what I conjure in my mind.

This is a cemetery I literally stumbled upon as a kid deep in the woods near where I grew up. Spooky!

And that’s what we do, right? We feed our imaginations with chilling tales and  terrifying horror flicks. We tell ghost stories around campfires (my personal fav – The Man With The Golden Arm). We watch Ghost Adventurers or Ghost Hunters on television. We delight in zombies and vampires.

Why? We fear the unexplained. We search for answers to life and death. This has been going on since the dawn of man.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

For a writer like me, the research in this type of macabre theme is like a playground. I am fascinated by the fear. I am fascinated by how people throughout history reacted to their fear, to the unknown that is death. I even did a research paper on it in college. And I have a collection of books on necromancy, demonology, and  mythology. So many of my earlier short stories ended in someone’s demise. Mwuahahaha…

So what truly scares me? Children that go by the names Damien or Malachai. And clowns. *shivers* Can you say Poltergeist?

How about you? Are you enticed by the unknown?  What are your favorite scary books? Are there any movies that really creep you out? Have a scary encounter you’d like to share?

Happy Halloween, MuseTrackers!

18 Responses to Paranormal Activity – a love affair

  1. I call myself an ‘open-minded skeptic’. I want to believe, but show me something solid, something concrete. I do not discount paranormal experiences (having had a couple of my own), but I want to see some serious unquestionable proof.

    I prefer my ‘monsters’ of the fantastical kind: Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney. Don’t know why, but I discovered them when I was a child, and have re-discovered all the old classics in recent years.

    There was a theory going around a few years ago that the myths of vampire/werewolves/boogeymen started as an attempt to explain what we would now call ‘serial killers’. People could not comprehend that kind of atrocity, so ‘monsters’ were invented in folklore because we as humans try to understand what cannot be explained.

    P.S. King’s best book? THE DEAD ZONE. Koontz’s best book? WATCHERS.

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  2. jbrayweber says:

    I’m with you, Will. I need unquestionable proof. Something I, perhaps, witness with my own eyes.
    I don’t know about that theory. Sounds good, but mankind has been capable of many atrocities throughout time. And Count Dracula was one of the worst, skewering people alive on pikes….*shiver* There is truth in those old folklores.

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  3. I can’t read any of it. It gives me nightmares.

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  4. jbrayweber says:

    Certain horror movies gives me nightmares, Ella. What is seen cannot be unseen. :-O

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  5. I think you should both, Jenn and Will, be very careful for what you wish for. Once they make contact, I’m told your life becomes a living hell….hence all the movies.
    Do I believe that all the paranormal activity is real? Uhhhh NO! (Remember I traipsed through one of those said cemeteries with you.) But do I think evil and the other side exists- absolutely. I believe there are greater powers, both good and evil, that we can’t begin to fathom. They can stay on their side and I’ll stay firmly rooted on mine.
    Occasionally I like a scary movie but some of them “haunt” me for years to follow. My favorite campfire scary story are the Drip Drip stories…they still get to me.

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  6. jbrayweber says:

    Whoa! No one said anything about conjuring up evil entities and stirring a pot of bad juju. No seances, no black magic, thank you very much. Not looking to striking up a relationship with evil. Just the same, I am fascinated by the fascination. LOL!

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  7. Oh, no, Stacey…. *I* don’t want to be the recipient…:) I’m talking about scientific evidence, controlled environment, and all that. When I was in college, I studied just enough about all this to scare the #&^$ out of myself.

    There are some things just too scary to mess with…. you know, like The Angels…:)

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  8. jbrayweber says:

    …controlled environment….that reminds me of medical machinery, white, sterile rooms, lab coats, straight jackets …things that to me are terrifying!

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  9. carlakempert says:

    I’ve had some experiences of my own. I live not far from Valley Forge National Park, and stopping to look into the windows of one locked-down house, the hairs on my arms stood straight up. There was definitely an energy there I couldn’t explain and no one else felt. Sadly, I haven’t felt it on later visits.

    I also had a visit from what I assume to be the previous owner of the house where I grew up. In 11th grade I sat on my bed, poring over chemistry texts, getting ready for the Regents (NY) exam. At some point I got fed up with it, pushed the textbook aside, and reached for a magazine. Shortly thereafter, I felt something cold slide up my back. With a shiver I said, “Yes, Mr. Searles!” and got back to studying. I’m convinced without that nudge, I would have done more poorly than a 75. (I sucked at chem.)

    I also have an uncanny knack for predicting songs on the radio or my iPod. I love it when I think, “Wow, I haven’t heard ___ in a while” and it’s the next song that comes up. I call it Luke, after a character I once wrote who was a ghost, and his only way of communicating with the heroine in the story was through songs that played on her iPod. Every now and then Luke picks out just the one song, out of 1400+, that I needed to hear right then. Even if it’s not what I wanted to hear. (Like after a fight with my BF and the next song to play is Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”)

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  10. jbrayweber says:

    Man…nothing like a spook making you do your homework, Carla. HAHA!
    I do think we can be receptive to odd energy. Especially in a place where there might be many people who lost their lives like a fort or battlefield.
    Next time you are down in Houston, you’ll need to hang with me so I can listen to all my favorite songs without having to search for them. We can sing karaoke-style to them. 🙂

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  11. Rosa Brand says:

    When we moved into our new apartment, both my husband and I were having strange experiences. The cats wouldn’t settle down. They were actually worse than the move from California, having endured two days of travel in a car to get here. My gray would run from room to room and hissed at nothing. I would see shadows darting from one room to another. I had gone into the master bedroom, because I thought my husband went in there. I swear I saw him go in, but he was in the living room the whole time. I felt my hair touched one time while I was trying to write. We didn’t say a think to each other, thinking it was just the stress of the move, work or our senses playing tricks on us. I figured the cats were upset from the move, nothing more. However, things were getting so bad it was occurring nightly and sometimes during the day.

    Finally, after being there for three weeks, my husband came to me and said, “You’re going to think I’m crazy…” He went on to explain what he had been experiencing and it was exactly the same thing I was, except I felt someone sitting on my bed next to me. I even felt the spot and it was pressed down, as though something were there. It freaked me out, because that kind of stuff doesn’t happen to me. I’m very much a skeptic, but that scared me out of my wits.

    Shortly after Clint and I spoke, a friend of mine who considers herself “sensitive” contacted me out of the blue. I hadn’t spoken to her in almost a year and she said we needed to talk. The first question out of her mouth was, “Are you experiencing stuff where you are, because I think you’re being haunted.”

    After a few more nights of this–I was losing a lot of sleep because of it–I finally got pissed off and said out loud, “I have had enough. Go to the light or where ever h*** you belong. Leave us alone!” Yes, I realize how crazy that was, but it worked. From that point on the apartment seemed okay as though a light had been turned on and all the weird stuff stopped. So we settled into our cozy little lives and the cats are doing just fine.

    I’ve had a few strange occurrences here and there, which still make me wonder if maybe it was just me. Or maybe there is something to all this paranormal stuff.

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  12. jbrayweber says:

    Oh wow! That is CRAZY, Rosa! Good thing your ‘friend’ wasn’t malicious. Just fresh. 😉 And to have your real friend call you to say your were being haunted…geez. I’d really be spooked then. So glad you were able to exorcise (or subdue) whatever it was.

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  13. Rosa Brand says:

    If only there were an edit button. Nothing like hitting send without rereading what you wrote. 😦 Sigh!

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  14. jbrayweber says:

    LOL. I’ve done worse, Rosa.

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  15. You stole my childhood!!! LOL. Pet Cemetery, first horror book I ever read, Poe in high school, Ouija board experience, the whole nine yards. Voodoo tour in New Orleans? Done. Random tours of cemeteries? Every time I visit a new city.

    I’ve had too many experiences not to believe that things linger. But once attuned to some of that, there are ways to block it out or tap into it. Went on a cemetery tour over the weekend talking to the “ghosts” of Victoria. One did such a good job that I started conversing with the person as if talking to the “real” person.

    I’ve never looked at it from the researcher point of view before. Thanks for the insight Jenn!

    As for Poltergeist? Thanks to that pic, I’ll be having nightmares of that damn clown again. :/

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  16. jbrayweber says:

    Whoa…it’s like we’re doppelgangers, Melanie. LOL! Glad to hear your new friend didn’t attach to you. As for the clown, I’m just sharing the wealth. There’s safety in numbers right?

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  17. Suzan Harden says:

    Ghosts are kind of like Higgs-Boson particles. Some people are pretty sure they’re there; we just have no way to detect them yet. Some think the theory is a bunch of hogwash.

    Do I believe in ghosts? Yep. I’ve had too many experiences not to.

    But I think the problem in proving/disproving their existence goes back to physics. Any tests done to prove General Relativity yields non-sensical results under Quantum Theory, and vice versa. Until a Unified Theory is developed that melds GR and QT, we don’t have any way to figure out what tests are necessary.

    I think a UT would explain why some ghosts want to interact, but others seem to be reliving certain events of the lives over and over again.

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  18. jbrayweber says:

    Um…you lost me and Higgs-something or other, Susan. HAHA! Nothing like a little scientific talk to make my eyes glaze over. 🙂 Okay, that’s not really true. I do believe many things can be explained through science.

    And from what I read over at your blog today, it seems you have had many encounters with ghosts. We should chat about that sometime.

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