I have this fascination with ghosts; I have since I was a kid. As a little kid, I remember reading stories about phantom girls who get rides home, only to have disappeared from the passenger seat when the driver gets to their houses. Today my fascination manifests as an interest in all the reality shows about ghost hunting. I’ve even gone on a ghost hunt myself with the Baltimore Society for Paranormal Research.
The thing is that I don’t know if I believe in ghosts. I believe that people see things that they think are ghosts; I believe that there is a supernatural world of some sort; I believe it’s possible for creatures to leave energy in places that they have been, like magnetic memories attached to the walls. But I don’t know if I believe that there are ghosts.
My hesitation comes from an upbringing that seems so simple on the surface – moderate but devout Christian (which still forms the fundamental basis of my belief, i.e. Jesus and I are tight), but that was truly complex. Believe in the supernatural, but only in a strict dichotomy of good or evil. God=good; Satan=evil. There wasn’t any room for anything in-between, and I was taught to stay strictly away from the evil for reasons that were obvious to anyone who believes in Satan’s power. But that evil included everything – Ouija Boards (which still scare me), tarot cards, palm readers, wicca, and ghosts.
So now, I’m struggling through how to make sense of all of this. Does a Christian worldview allow for ghosts? If not, then what do I do with my faith in the light of what seems to be “true” for so many people? Do I just say, as many believers do, that every ghost is a demon in disguise? That doesn’t seem right to me.
In the end, I’m still working through this, still reading ghosts stories (check out The Ardennes Ghost Project and Angels and Ghosts), still watching ghost shows, and praying all the while that I’m not dabbling with something that will get me killed.