REPLY #4 TO
"PSEUDOSCIENCE AND THE PARANORMAL"
are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.
My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text
and are prefaced by my initials (MB)
(R) As the only american to study for the priesthood in ireland, i of course had no place to go for the holidays. On my second night, a saturday, around 9 pm i heard the familiar sound of feet walking up the marble hallway, heading for my door. They stopped there. After a moment i opened the door, nobody there. Strange i thought, must have been echos from downstairs? Closing the door i sat again reading my stephen king novel. I then heard the footsteps walking away. Being slightly of a logical
person i figured id investigate. To help you picture this i will describe the layout of the building to you.
To the left of my door is a staircase which went down to two unused rooms, a dead end. To the right is a marble hallway, with a large doorabout fifty feet away. ok?
Checking all areas i confirmed i was alone, then went back reading. The footsteps approached again, i went to the door to listen, and i waited till they got to my door, and i opened it, nobody there. Convinced someone was playing an elaborate joke on the american(who said many times i would not be afraid to see a ghost) i stood there waiting.
Then i heard the steps again, right there in my path, yet saw nothing. Now you can understand what i mean when i explain that i can hear where the shoes are hitting the ground, i knew they were hitting at my feet. Amazed but skeptical i walked down the hall following the sounds, hearing them as if someone were walking beside me. Angry at my self for not being able to figure out how this was happening i stopped, and listened as the steps continued
down the hall. As they quieted i rushed fowards, thinking there might be someone at the other side of the door playing a joke on me. But before i got to the door, it opened. I jumped out to surprise the jokester behind the door, nobody there. I watched as the door remained open for a moment and then swung closed.
Listening to the footsteps heading down the main stairs i figured id had enough, and returned to my room. For the rest of the night the steps came and went. When i awoke sunday morning i heard footsteps and again rushed the door, scaring the hell out of a fellow classmate who had stopped by to say hello. I told him the story but was not believed. That is untill we both heard the steps coming back.
As he was standing in the doorway, it was he who jumped aside, feeling a cold breeze on his neck, and as we both sttod inside the room, we listened as my wooden floorboards creaked as the footsteps made there way to a window. I had a bookcase there, it tipped over to the ground. My irish friend(believing ghosts are bad) decided to simply leave, begging me to come with him. The fearless american declined.
My belief is that ghosts are people who arent ready to leave, so i sat down and talked with him(her?it?) i told whatever it was that it could stay as long as it liked.
It was later that night when i found out that a priest who had lived in my room for ten years before i got there, had died at nine oclock the previous evening. My feeling is that he returned to a familiar place and didnt enter the room untill i opened the door wide for him. For the following months things in my room would fall, many incidents witnessed by dozens of others.
Id often stand at the door and tell the ghosts to knock a few things over, id close the door and my friends would hear a bang, open the door and the room would be a mess. Many were convinced i was a master magician.
Before this tale goes on forever i will tell you of its conclusion. A month before i returned to america, we had a socail gathering in the hallway. As the night quieted two men were standing near the main door, by coincedence the two biggest skeptics. i heard them crying(yeah like babies) and this is there story....they saw the door open and a shodow walk towards and through them, they were so frightened they both left the next day. The priest
hearing this started taking my ghosts seriously, came and blessed mt room and i never heard him again. This is my tale, take it as you like, but please comment` bye
(MB) It's impossible for me to pass any qualified judgment about what you experienced since there is no evidence for me to go by other than your own testimony.
Did nobody consider videotaping these incidents to help verify what happened?
Were any forensic experts called in to examine the premises for evidence? The smallest bit of verifiable documentation would have produced a real scientific blockbuster.
One thing bothers me about the description of the ghost and its activities. You said it produced audible footsteps and could knock over physical objects. This strongly suggests that the ghost had a substantial mass. You also said that it was apparently invisible and "passed through" a witness -- which would suggest that the ghost had no mass at all. There is an inherent conflict here that would seem to produce a problem.
Considering the ghost to be made of pure energy wouldn't solve the problem. If the ghost was the "soul" of a deceased person, it could contain no more energy than that present within that same person when he was alive. This amount of energy would be well short of what would be required to knock over objects as large as bookcases and could never produce noises that sounded like footsteps. I don't doubt that you experienced something. Just what it
may have been, however, could fall anywhere in the range between real ghost and elaborate practical joke.
There is one other thing in your story that might tend to lead one more towards the practical joke side. The pertinent details are that you said that you were "the only American to study for the priesthood in Ireland", that it was your second night there, that you admitted that you "wouldn't be afraid to see a ghost", that you have a belief that ghosts are people who aren't ready to leave, and that you were told a story about a priest who had died
the previous evening in the room you were occupying. Somebody who is already predisposed to believe something supernatural and who is essentially an "outsider" or the "new guy" in a group is a natural target for a good-natured prank.
If I've read things accurately, there is one apparent inconsistency in your
story. You said that the ghost appeared on your second night there. Yet, the ghost was supposed to be that of a priest who had died the previous evening in that very room. This means you must have been there when the priest died and couldn't have first found out about it only after the ghost made its first appearance.