Posts Tagged with "ghosts"

Ghost in the Machine

August 27th, 2008 at 12:36 pm by Mark
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     For whatever reason, the house I’m in now has some pretty bad wiring.  It’s a relatively new house — built in the 70’s, perhaps early 80’s — and shouldn’t have the problems it does. 
     Unfortunately, that’s one of the things you’ll always get into when you own a home.  There are quirky things about most every house.  In this one, the fuse box may even be a bit overloaded…

     Last Friday night, I had an overwhelming sense of dread.  I felt like someone close to me was in trouble, and there was nothing I could do.  I was distraught, and I couldn’t shake that feeling.  My car had messed up the night before, and just everything seemed to be going the wrong way.  And what should happen but every time I came into the room and sat down on the bed, the ceiling fan would begin this eerie whining, and shake violently back and forth.
     But it only happened when I came back into the room and sat down on the bed…

     I tested that theory seven or eight times, and finally decided to pull out the voice recorder and leave it running in the otherwise silent room for a few minutes… I mean, a little EVP never hurt anyone, right?

     And so, two things became obvious:

  1. Those weren’t ghosts.  They were telephone signals.  There’s obviously a massive amount of Extremely Low Frequency radiation pointed at this upstairs room from “somewhere,” and somehow, it’s bleeding through.  Perhaps it’s the fault of bad grounding in this house’s wiring, or perhaps having a telecommunications transmitter inadvertently pointed directly at this room is the whole problem with the wiring.
  2. The ceiling fan was never mounted straight, and it was extremely loose.  I opened and closed the door each time I moved from the bed, walking into the hallway, and just that amount of air pressure was enough to make the ceiling fan go crazy.  A few twists of the screwdriver fixed the problem, however, it’s still off balance… just not so much that the door makes it appear to be a murder weapon from the afterlife.

     This really made me give a lot more thought to the whole EVP phenomenon.

     Sure, you can make recordings in silence, and end up with all sorts of noises.  Ambient and background noises, wind and air pressure changes and other miscellaneous sounds that you wouldn’t normally notice become amplified.  Since the dynamic range of most microphones is significantly wider than that of the human ear, and the fact that the final recording becomes compressed to fit into an audible bandwidth — not to mention the problems of noise from the internal mechanism on tape recorders and sounds created by digital processing on voice recorders — you end up hearing all sorts of noises that can sound rather ghastly.  It’s the perfect illustration of the old saying, “ghost in the machine.”

     You simply have to take a scientific approach to this sort of thing, otherwise, you’ll end up convincing yourself of all sorts of crazy stuff.  As another old saying goes, “Enough research will tend to support your theory.”

     Inspired by movies like Stir of Echoes, Sixth Sense and White Noise, and entertainment television shows like Ghost Hunters, I know too many people who run around recording EVP.  Most of them are convinced that Ghost Hunters is real, as they’re unable to distinguish the difference between science, pseudoscience and entertainment. 
     These types also totally buy into most of the crazy conspiracy theories going around.

     But, like they’d assuredly tell me … I’m just too cynical… *rolls eyes*

     As for that “feeling of dread” I had Friday night (and through the weekend), I was more than right — in fact, I was dead on, right down to times.  As cynical as I might be, there’s still the fact that I perceive things that I shouldn’t be able to.
     You either get used to that or you don’t.

Supernatural Intervention?

October 31st, 2007 at 7:42 pm by Mark
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This isn’t a Halloween prank.  It’s absolutely true.

So, first off, let’s get one big-ass presumtion outta the way: I don’t believe in ghosts.  I generally think they’re a nutjob’s way of attempting to give order to a chaotic life.

In fact, I’m an extremely logical person, with a stranglehold on reality.  Truth is stranger — and, generally, funnier — than fiction, so I don’t bother with the latter…
…even though I’ve had a couple of really weird experiences which’ve made me question my own sanity.

So this?  This is a weird one.  It’s one of those borderline, “Oh, yeah, he’s nuts, look!  There’s the proof!” kinda posts.  But honestly, I don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.  Fortunately, there were other people with me, witnessing the same things, and saying, “Oh crap!” right along with me.  Or words to that effect…

Earlier this year, the twenty-first of February to be exact, the Pirates and I lost a close friend.  The reactions were mixed.  Some were angry about the way she went, some were distraught that she was gone, and some were nostalgic.
A very tiny minority of us remembered the way she was, laughed along with our memories,  and kept right on laughing and smiling.  Our attitudes helped us be there for the others who weren’t doing so well.

On February 25th, after a brief meeting with some of the aforementioned, Zacque and I decided to head off somewhere other than the usual hangout to have a drink.
That’s crucial to this story, see, because neither of us had been drinking yet.

So I’m driving down I-75 when all of a sudden, my telephone rings.  I always look at the Caller ID, and was shocked to “Susan” appear.  I decided, logically, that her daughter was calling from her phone.
“What’s up?” I answered.
“Nothing much,” the voice on the other end replied.
That voice… “Susan?”
“Oh, HA-HA!  You don’t say!” she laughed.
“Uhhh, what the Hell?  This isn’t funny!” I yelled.
“Oh, Hey, hey, hey!” she yelled, still laughing.  “You know what you should do?”
“What?” I snapped.  It was her… but I knew it couldn’t be her.
“You should take Zacque out for a drink!” she said.
“That’s what we’re doing…”
“Yeah, I figured.  Well, you two be careful, ok?” she mothered.
“Always,” I monotoned.
“Love ya, bye!” she said.  Same as she ever was.
She hung up.

I was about to tell Zacque what was going on as the tears welled in my eyes, but the phone rang again — again from Susan.

“Oh, hey!” she yelled when I answered.  “Mark, listen to me — this is very important!”
I was pulling into the parking space at the bar.  “What’s up?”
“You have to check your right, rear wheel.  It’s really important!”
“Uhhh, what?” I asked, confused.
“Just do it, ok?  Promise me!”
“Okay, I promise,” I said.
“Oh, and fix your speaker!” she added.  “Love ya, bye!”
I turned the car off.  The tears began to stream.  Was I losing my mind?

I looked at Zacque.  “Look at the Caller ID,” I said as I handed him the phone.
“What’d she say?”
“To check my rear passenger wheel and fix my speaker…”
We sat in the parking lot for a few minutes, finally deciding to head to my place instead of hanging out drinking.  Zacque was visibly shaken, nervous.
“Ok,” I said.  “Guess I’ll drive so I can check my wheel tomorrow…”
As I started the car, the right rear speaker blasted out nothing but loud static.
I turned the car off.
“On second thought, Zacque,” I started.  “You drive.”
I lost it… Crying. Scared.

The next day, with great hangovers, we drove back to my car to inspect this mysterious “right rear wheel.”
As we laid down on the concrete, we simultaneously saw a quarter-inch off-brand wrench hanging precariously from the brake’s bleeder valve inside.  It was close to falling off by itself, and most probably would have locked the wheel, if only temporarily… but certainly enough to cause major damage to the car, and maybe even to me if I hadn’t found and corrected the situation.

Saved by a phone call from a dead friend?

Oh, there was more over the next few months.  Sporadic phone calls, voice mails, and miscellaneous other forms of “contact” which were witnessed by others.

In April, I was going through a bit of a legal mess.  One night, while sitting around with a group of friends, I got another of her strange phone calls.
“Well, hey!  Well, hey!  Well, hey, hey, hey!  Do you know what you should do?” she said.
“Well. goddamn!  What happened to you?” she said with concern.  “You have to remember one thing.”
“I’m rat-cheer,” she said in her best Southern drawl.
“Right here?”
“No… You’re not.”
“But if you need me to testify for you, you know I will.”
“I’m rat-cheer.  See ya!”
I turned off my phone that night.
As for the court case I was involved in, I wished Susan could’ve been there.  She witnessed a lot of what I was testifying about, as well.  In court, I attempted to get another witness to repeat what Susan had said about the incidents, but the testimony was kicked out as hearsay (which it wasn’t).
Still, I won my case.  Her call made me get my ducks in a row.

The last fully verifiable contact I received from her was on May 19th, 2007 at 9:26AM EDT.  Here it is:

On June 29th, a girl I know told me she had late night conversation with Susan when calling my telephone.  I was verifiably passed out at the time, having taken a tumble through a glass tabletop.  Others who were around that night swear that no one talked to the girl in question, either.
At the time, I chalked it up to nonsense.  But in retrospect, perhaps it was her way of keeping me safe again…

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