Halloween raises questions of so-called ‘bumps in the night’

Halloween raises questions of so-called bumps in the night

by Joshua KullaStaff Writer

At some time or another, almost all of us have felt a strange presence lingering somewhere behind, just out of view, but not out of perception. Granted, in some cases, it’s only a creepy roommate or a stalker that haunts one’s periphery, but those less explicable cases remain.

What does one make of those invisible companions on late-night journeys through irregularly-heated dormitory hallways? Are those of us who have had such experiences schizophrenic or over-imaginative? Or are we witnesses to the signals of those who once walked among us?

This question can be taken down any number of paths. Some claim to have meters for reading the presence of spectral activity in a room, while others have modified toasters into ghost-trapping boxes (Ghost Busters, anyone?…anyone? Fine).

Quasi-science, often in the form of television with haunting musical accompaniment, or the “bold, new” book-of-the-week, also does its best to shed laboratory-light on all things paranormal.In this writer’s mind, however, one case of interaction with a ghost-like creature stands out.

When I was a freshman in high school, my family and I moved to a house previously owned by an elderly couple. Neither member of the couple died in the house, and to my knowledge, no one ever has. Curious, then, that I should encounter an animated, man-shaped object through whom I could see the wall opposite me. The image was fairly detailed, with discernable clothing and leg hair (the ghost was wearing khaki shorts, as I recall).

At first, I thought that the excessively-pale, semi-invisible character was my own father, but before the fact struck me that my father was and is, as far as I know, not semi-invisible, I remembered that my father was not nearly so skinny and trendy.

At the time, I was more superstitious, and religious, than I am today.

I’ve always had a very active imagination, but what was strange about the occurrence was that such an image had not been playing through my thoughts. Furthermore, I had never seen a man who looked like that, to the best of my knowledge.

Is that it, then? Are things such as ghosts simply manifestations of a random and aggressive imagination? Had I been taken to a shrink for this occurrence, I think that such would have been suggested.

Superstition, and to some extent, belief in physical-spiritual events, is what defines most of my view on the subject. Expecting Jesus to (re) appear at any moment has an interesting way of opening one’s mind to the appearance of other mysteries, I think.

What of so-called bumps in the night? Are they burglars’ footsteps, air in the pipes or ravenous, flesh-hungry ghouls who frequent closets and the undersides of beds? I feel that these cases are a lot like seeing ghosts, but that in cases of ghost-sighting, the mind has a more common image to work with. Do you know what a ghoul is supposed to look like? I make no claim to, but ghosts are thrown about from prime-time dramas to that ever-tempting costume and make-up aisle at Wal-Mart.

This time of year, it is not difficult to let Halloween thoughts slip through the cracks in our rational, collegiate minds and kick around those dormant, childhood fantasies that we never quite proved out from the shadowy corners of our lives.