An Introduction to the Paranormal

An Introduction to the Paranormal

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By Chelsea Wilson

As children our parents do their best to assure us that there is no such thing as ghosts or monsters. Those strange noises and shapes we encounter at night have logical explanations. It’s always just the wind or a shadow, and a nightlight is the only defense needed.

I grew up believing these notions to be true. In my mind, accounts of the paranormal were entirely fictitious. I would roll my eyes at the “based on a true story” horror movies and television shows. I would likely still have this outlook on the world had I not met people who opened my eyes to other possibilities. These individuals have taught me to accept that some mysteries can’t be explained away by the wind.

My first encounter with someone who was unequivocally interested in the paranormal occurred my freshman year in college. A boy named Daniel sat beside me in my biology class and ended up being one of my lab partners. He always had stories to tell about the supposedly haunted places he would visit in his spare time.

web-shutterstock_82431748 Scary eyes of a man spying through a hole in the wall horror film

Ghost hunting seemed like a strange pastime to me, but I always found Daniel’s stories fascinating. I even went with him on one trip to a house that was said to be haunted. Even though I didn’t experience anything paranormal, I did suddenly develop an interest in ghosts. I began watching those television shows about paranormal research teams just to find potential places to visit one day.

Despite Daniel’s best efforts and my new fascination with creepy places, I still didn’t exactly believe in ghosts. It was completely by chance that I met a girl in my literature class my sophomore year who believed in the paranormal world just as much as Daniel did. She, however, had an entirely different view on it.

Raised by a very superstitious family, Caroline believed in nearly everything: Ghosts, vampires, witches, and more. Unlike Daniel, she never went looking for these things. She believed that messing with the supernatural only led to suffering. She was horrified that I had gone looking for spirits and would tell me stories and legends to try and scare me from doing it again.

While I was hesitant to believe anything Caroline said, her genuine fear began to make me wonder if maybe I was wrong. It also seemed like a strange coincidence that I met Daniel and Caroline in such a short period of time. Still, nothing completely convinced me that there might be more than just us here until I saw proof for myself.

Emily is a girl I grew up with. She has always been calm, easygoing, and never prone to drama. When she told me her boyfriend’s childhood home was haunted, I was instantly interested in seeing it for myself. One night a few weeks later, Emily, her boyfriend and I sat in the living room of his house to begin watching a comedy; I could have never guessed that I was about to get my first real glimpse at the paranormal world.

About twenty minutes into the movie, Emily began shaking my arm violently when she heard a shuffling sound in the hallway. Not expecting much, I got up and looked into the hallway and the rooms connected to it. I didn’t find any sign of what caused the noise and decided that it was probably nothing serious.

On the way back to the living room, where the other two had remained, I suddenly felt as if someone was standing behind me. I even imagined that I could hear them breathing. I chalked it up to paranoia caused by Emily and forced myself to remain calm.

Thirty minutes later, I was having trouble staying that way. Several times we heard more sounds in the hallway, which sounded very similar to footsteps. Then, to my complete surprise, a cabinet in the kitchen actually opened while we were all in the living room. We heard a creaking noise, turned to look behind us, and could see that a cabinet that had been closed all night was suddenly wide open.

Despite thoroughly investigating the kitchen and cabinet itself, I could come up with no explanation for it. Nor could I shake the persistent feeling of being watched. I even thought I saw a figure walking down the hallway before I left. Emily was nearly in tears by that time and I have to admit that I was a bit disturbed, also. Emily’s boyfriend, who had grown up in the house seeing and hearing strange things, even seemed wary of just how much activity occurred that night.

I can’t say for certain that the house was definitely haunted. My own mind could have caused some of what I thought I saw and heard, but I was spooked enough that I didn’t go back when invited.

Daniel, Caroline, and Emily are the reason that I am now more open-minded to the paranormal. I have realized that I don’t know everything and there is the real possibility that we are not alone. There are too many accounts of supernatural events and experiences to simply ignore, especially when adding my own to the list.

Image courtesy of Shut

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