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Ghosts?

A post by eponine119 reminded me I've been wanting to do this poll. I'm a bit in the same conundrum as Dean Winchester: I believe in ghosts, but not necessarily the whole "heaven and hell" thing. How, then, can I reconcile that? How do you? What do you believe? Feel free to leave a comment if I've left out some obvious angle!

Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes
23(76.7%)
No
7(23.3%)

Ever seen or "felt" a ghost?

Yes
7(23.3%)
No
6(20.0%)
Maybe, I'm not sure
9(30.0%)
No, but a good friend/relative/neighbor has...
4(13.3%)

What all do you believe in?

God
0(0.0%)
angels
0(0.0%)
demons
0(0.0%)
heaven
0(0.0%)
hell
0(0.0%)
psychics who can talk to the dead
0(0.0%)
other mental powers
1(3.7%)
possession
0(0.0%)
ghosts
2(7.4%)
aliens
1(3.7%)

What's more plausible?

Ghosts
14(48.3%)
Aliens
15(51.7%)

What *are* ghosts?

Trapped spirits of the dead who can't move on
5(17.2%)
A bizarre accumulation of energy from the living or dead
5(17.2%)
Hallucinations or dreams
1(3.4%)
Hoaxes of some kind
0(0.0%)
I don't know but there's bound to be a logical, scientific explanation
1(3.4%)
Some other entity, but not human
2(6.9%)

How do you explain ghosts if you don't believe in Heaven or Hell?

There is an afterlife, just not the one described in the Bible
16(69.6%)
Ghosts exist but once exorcised, cease to exist
0(0.0%)
I can't: Ghosts eventually either go to heaven or hell
3(13.0%)
I can't explain ghosts, they don't exist!
1(4.3%)

Okay, what do you wish *did* exist?

Vampires
6(27.3%)
Werewolves
1(4.5%)
Zombies
0(0.0%)
Frankenstein
0(0.0%)
Resurrected mummies
0(0.0%)
Chupacabres
2(9.1%)

Best ghost movie you've ever seen?



Tags:

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
eponine119
Oct. 19th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
Awesome poll.

I'm a lot like you, beliefs-wise, I think. I'm mostly agnostic, but I believe in ghosts and sometimes other weird things like reincarnation that would seem to indicate a belief in a higher power/heaven/hell. I can't reconcile it.

I do think there are things that have explanations we haven't found yet. In the 1500s, they believed diabetics were possessed or cursed, because they didn't know what diabetes was or how it worked.
halfdutch
Oct. 19th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)
*nods* I like to believe in more than just what we see but I don't buy into the whole religious dogma either.

We may well have the answer to some of life's current mysteries down the road!

And I should make a list of my favorite ghost stories & authors. :) I have a really great collection!
rhopalocera
Oct. 19th, 2007 02:58 am (UTC)
Hmmm...I couldn't think of any ghost movie off the top of my head except for Ghost, which I refused to name just on principal.

I tend to be a pantheist, so I believe in God and all the other Gods and Goddesses as well. Who am I to play favorites and pick just one? ;)

But, if I'm going to believe in all the various deities...I guess that means that I believe in all the possible after lives as well. Reincarnation? check. Catholic heaven? check. Baptist heaven? check. 72 virgins? check.

You get the picture.

I guess I believe that there are ghosts and that there are probably multiple explanations for them.

As for my answer of wishing vampires were real, I'd like to qualify that by saying that I wish sexy Spike-like vampires were real....or even a broody poofter like Angel. But none of that nosferatu stuff, thanks.

This is possibly the most interesting poll I've ever answered on LJ. Thanks for posting it! :)
halfdutch
Oct. 19th, 2007 03:33 am (UTC)
I was having a chat with the little boy next door and he seemed sad that his mother told him cats and dogs don't have souls. So I thought I'd mention that some people believe every living thing has a soul and he quickly added that he thought trees were worshipping god when they wave their branches. I thought that was very sweet. :) Me, I don't know exactly what I believe. I hate dogma but am a little bit mystic so I definitely lean towards the pagan. :)

And yes, I'd much rather have sexy vampires around like Spike than Nosferatu! But I love vampire movies of all kinds!
demonqueen666
Oct. 19th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
I've only seen maybe three ghost movies in my entire life, and that's counting Casper...I don't do scary movies. So I was sort of forced to answer The Grudge.

I think a lot of what we are in life does not so easily translate into death...so I think ghosts are more like fingerprint smudges left behind on the glass, and when we die we become pure spirit and rejoin the power from which we are first created.
halfdutch
Oct. 19th, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)
You might like some of the older ones that are all atmosphere and suggestion .. or not, if the very idea spooks you. I love the old horror films, myself. I recommend "The Uninvited," but I don't think it's on DVD.

I love your idea of what ghosts are. :)
demonqueen666
Oct. 19th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC)
The problem is I never watch scary movies, so I'm horribly oversensitized to them. It's not even that I mind freaky movies: I just get too damn scared. Most people seem to agree that The Grudge is not even scary at all, but after seeing it I literally had problems sleeping, being alone and looking in mirrors for about a week. I got through the entire Knight's Tale in the Canturbury Tales in one night because my choices were "read the crappy overdone romantic story that makes you want to stab babies" or "turn out the lights and attempt to sleep while you lie there convinced the Grudge ghost is going to pop up at any moment to AHH WHAT WAS THAT SOUND??!"
I was jumpy all night after seeing the second Resident Evil. I kept looking for zombies to jump out at me.
crowgirl13
Oct. 20th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
No, you're not overly sensitive- the Grudge was friggin' scary. [though the Ring was *worse*]. And zombies are always creepy. *shudders*
cmonkatiekatie
Oct. 19th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
hmm, I believe in absolutely nothing. Fantastic.

Nah, not really, I'm an atheist who believes in the possibility of the supernatural? Oh, and aliens, but only in that Carl Sagan the universe is a big place kind of way, not in a visitation/probing kind of way.

Also, so not a good idea to take ghosty polls @ 11:30 in the night time, no matter how curious.
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
Aww, Carl Sagan! :) I watched that show and yet I'm not that interested in space exploration. I feel like we have enough of interest here on this own planet (the human mind, the human body, the depths of the ocean!) to occupy us. And honestly, do we need to spend the money?

And I have been known to spook myself out late at night. Sorry, hon! Hope you got a good night's rest!

(And aww, your ghostly!Shannon icon. *sniffs*)
bachlava
Oct. 19th, 2007 08:01 am (UTC)
I don't believe in ghosts, but I don't think that people who believe that they've experienced them are necessarily wrong or crazy. The universe is a vast, crazy place; we're all getting some of it and missing other parts. As I think I mentioned to eponine119, I don't have much use, on the one hand, for so-called "mediums" and ghost professionals on the one hand, or for pseudo-scientific explanations of what ghost experiences "really" are on the other. I'm a fence-sitter; what can I say? ;)

Vampires, werewolves, etc., are all very cool bits of folklore and literature, but I'm not sure I'd actually want to deal with them in reality, if push came to shove! Chupacabres are cool yet manageable, although I wouldn't want to see poor nice goats getting hurt, either.

Best ghost movie? The Others, with Nicole Kidman et al. Loosely based on James' The Turn of the Screw, although with enough variations that if you've only read that novel, I haven't spoiled the movie for you.
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2007 12:29 am (UTC)
I definitely believe in ghosts, perhaps because I was raised on mysteries. I do believe that most people who claim to be in touch with "the other side" are phonies who are just good at reading people and prompting them to reveal things about themselves.

And I've read The Turn of the Screw! There's a 1960s film version of with the (just recently departed) Deborah Kerr called "The Innocents," I think, that I've been wanting to see for quite a while now. It's supposed to be excellent. And yes, I think The Others owes it a great deal! ;)
alemyrddin
Oct. 19th, 2007 08:35 am (UTC)
mmm... interesting poll.
I don't believe in ghosts, but I find them an interesting subject for books and movies. And I do believe in a sort of afterlife, so it's not entirely impossible that there can be some sort of communication between the 2 worlds. Just, I don't think at it as a "ghost".

Also, I don't "believe" in aliens in the sense that I don't think they had ever been here - but I believe that in the vaste universe there's some other form of life.

:)
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2007 12:27 am (UTC)
I definitely believe in the possibility of ghosts and I've read several accounts that seem very plausible. (And very scary!) I don't really care if aliens exist, honestly. We need to focus on our planet first and exploring the rest of the universe doesn't much matter, if you ask me. *shrugs* They can come contact us, right? ;)
crowgirl13
Oct. 19th, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
There were two closely related explanations for ghosts that don't fall into your categories, both of which have more to do with *place* than individual souls. One: there are 'thin spots' in the world where the physical laws don't work as the should. So ghosts can be either glimpses of the past/out of time or glimpses into other plains of existence [it depends on your belief system].Another possibility is that a *place* collects energy or memories, because of great truma/tragedy, or simple elements of geography. So you can get snips of repetion - a woman walks down the stairs, lantern in hand, checks the lock on the front door and vanishes - that have worn a groove into the house's memories.

While I was raised as Catholic, it never really took - Pagan beliefs have always made more sense to me. I guess I'm a Spiritual Idealist, very open-minded and willing to include the unusual in my world view. But then, I've seen a lot of weird stuff in my time on the planet. I think that things like Heaven and Hell have validity, that they are real for those who believe [willingly or not] in them, but I feel that your *own* belief also orients you towards particular afterlife options. The general rule of thumb I stick to: never underestimate the combined strength of human will and spirit. It applies equally to what happens after death as to choices made while living.
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2007 12:25 am (UTC)
Do you watch Torchwood? There was an episode called "Ghost Machine" where an alien gizmo could read ghosts - which ended up being intense moments from people's lives, not all of whom were dead. So yes, something got trapped in time and was still able to be experienced by someone else who came across it.

I tend not to be religious but I believe in more than what we can see and touch. Certainty about "one true religion" bugs me but so do people who dismiss any chance of the existence of things we can't really explain.

I like your idea that you end up in a different afterlife, depending on your beliefs. I just can't accept that one religion is right and all the others are wrong, you know?
crowgirl13
Oct. 20th, 2007 02:20 am (UTC)
I have yet to catch up with either Torchwood or the new Doctor Who [though I was a fan of the older series from the Jon Pertwee re-runs they played on PBS on]. I think this is yet another indicator that I need to change that tardiness.

Notice how I avoided making a TARDIS pun there.

But yes, that's *exactly* the principle I was taking about - tis fitting that the Time-Lord related crew addressed it. Not that phenomena is limited to sci-fi shows, o'course.

I find the 'one true religion' concept to be the height of arrogance, and boring besides. Variety is far more interesting. But then, I *am* a Pagan soul, so my pantheon naturally holds a raucous multiplicity. Those folks who are strident 'scientific explanation' supporter simply believe in another 'one true way'.

So yeah, the whole singlar religion right and wrong thing is just silly.
siluria
Oct. 19th, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
Mine and my dad's theory about ghosts is that they're not spirits of the dead, but representative of two different times crossing in the same geographical location. Both sides see echoes of the other. Time is a human invention to make life easy, therefore I find it easier to believe that two existences can cross rather than life after death :) I'm a complete atheist, and have a firm belief that religion is an excuse people hide behind to justify conflict and derision of others, I can't think of a single war that didn't come about because of differing religious beliefs... but hey, each to their own :) I do however believe in the human soul, so I'm not convinced there's an afterlife as such, but whether the essence of who you are continues after you die is something I haven't made my mind up about.
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
Very interesting theory. I read somewhere (forget where!) that ghosts are living people having out of body experiences. Who knows? And man, I'm with you. The amount of suffering in the name of religion is shocking. I don't really know what I believe, myself, but I'd like to think that there's a doggie heaven too, if there's one for people.
foxxcub
Oct. 19th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
All I can think is Justin would be so disappointed in my answers! He's been trying to "break" me of my "habit" of believing in ghosts and aliens for years now, LOL.
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2007 12:20 am (UTC)
Hee, well, you didn't vow to not believe in ghosts and aliens when you married him, did you? ;) I'd say he needs an "I want to believe" poser.
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
LOL, I mean POSTER.
frightened
Oct. 19th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
I ended up not ticking the God box, because I don't think what I believe in fits with the connotations that capital-G-God has. Does that make sense?

'How do you explain'... I don't know, and that's alright! I'm just open to the possibility. And, well, seems like more people have seen ghosts than seen the afterlife, and it more reliable, less near-death conditions.
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC)
I'd have to say this seems to cover it: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." ;)
emiliglia
Oct. 19th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC)
What's it say about me that I believe in demons but not angels? :P
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)
I think it means you fall on the Dean side of the equation and not the Sam side. ;)
emiliglia
Oct. 20th, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)
This is true.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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