My writing and other perversions
Monday, October 27, 2003
What are ghosts?

At age 11, I saw something I cannot explain. It was an experience that left me forever changed. Had I seen a ghost? Over the years, I've formed my own opinions and conclusions based on scientific phenomenon as well as paranormal studies.

So far the only proof that I have regarding what I saw is that it was not some figment of my imagination. My sister was with me. She saw it too. It happened in my bedroom.

My parents had our house built from scratch on land that had never been lived on. So, the house was not haunted, and no, it was not on a Native American burial ground. I lived in a fairly rural area called Edwardsburg on the border of Michigan and Indiana.

One night, a man who had been murdered in South Bend, Indiana, had his body dumped in the woods behind my house. I had no knowledge of this when I had my experience.

It was fairly late at night, and my sister and I were in my bedroom. Sometimes she'd get scared and night and crawl into my bed. We were talking, trying to fall asleep, when a light came through the window. It didn't come from outside because the window wasn't open. It was a glowing ball of light. It was yellow-white, very bright, like a small sun. My sister and I were speechless, in a state of shock.

It floated past the bed and into the closet, through the closed door. Then it returned to the center of the room and hung in the air in front of our feet for a couple of seconds. Without a sound, it went back out through the window, disappearing as oddly as it had appeared.

We started screaming as loudly as we could, as if that would keep away anything else that might be floating by. Our parents came running upstairs and we poured our story out to them. They could not believe what we were saying but they encouraged us to talk about it nonetheless. My mom had us draw pictures of what we saw. We all speculated for a long time about what it could have been, the most popular choices were spook lights, ball lightning and perhaps an actual ghost.

Spook lights had several different explanations. Scientist theorize that they were caused by refracted car or locomotive headlights through atmospheric gases. For years, though, the popular thought was that they were created by methane gas, escaping from decaying matter in swamps. The house was near a swamp, so the possibility of refracted car lights was possible.

The window to my bedroom may have been closed but the shades were open, leaving plenty of opportunity for light to enter. The only thing that doesnt agree with the spook lights is that the glowing ball went into my closet. No matter what kind of refraction was at work, there was no mathematical possibility that the light could have bent into my closet without some other refracting object to help it, and my bedroom walls were bare.

After reading a book I had purchased on unusual natural phenomenon, I began to speculate that the light may have been ball lightning, an electrical force caused by a thunderstorm. It creates a ball of plasma in the air, which can be outside or inside an enclosed area, usually manifesting in a spherical shape, although it can sometimes have projecting rays or be rod-shaped. Ball lightning can change colors throughout its brief life, ranging from voilet, red, and yellow.

Ball lightning is also dangerous as it contains high voltage electricity like a real lightning bolt, and can burn, singe and sear anything that comes into contact. A smell of electricity or ozone is associated with the appearance of ball lightning. But neither my sister nor I smelled anything different from normal. Ball lightning also tends to disappear with a detonation. My sister and I did not witness an explosion nor did we hear one after it had left our presence. The window glass, as well as the clothing in the closet were normal. No signs of burning or damage could be found.

The two scientific explanations I found failed to cover what happened to me those years ago. There are too many variations from the typical classifications. Ghosts, however, have no boundaries or typical classifications. Some occur in houses, old buildings, corn fields or automobiles. Some of them are full bodies, some of them are mists, some are pieces of bodies, others only manifest as an unsettling feeling, or a patch of cold air. Some, are balls of light.

Perhaps that man that had been murdered and left to decay in the woods behind my house released his soul, his ghost, and thats what my sister and I witnessed.

So, we ask, what are ghosts?

Many believe that they are a manifestation of a soul trapped upon the earth, forever denied rest for crimes commited to them and by them. Some think that they are souls stuck on earth either not good enough for heaven, and not bad enough for hell. A ghost could also be a manifestation of the electromagnetic field that surrounds us all.

It is a proven fact that every human body produces and runs on electricity, from our cells to our brains, we are a biological machine.

Metals that are run through with electricity become magnetic. Given that, its not so unheard of that an electromagnetic field surrounding us could be created, which some people call an aura. After all, we do have iron running through our blood. We can postulate that what is known as a soul could actually be made of electricity. There might be areas in the world where a person may die, and although their bodies have long since passed, the energies that made that body do not. This would also explain why ghosts are not seen as much now as they used to be, with so much electrical energy of our technological age around. It would disrupt their forms, throwing static into the systems that made them up.

What did I see, and was it a ghost? I think it was. My sister thinks so too, but this isnt the first ghost she had ever seen. I think we just happened to be in the right place at the right time to see that mans soul leave his body and wander the earth before venturing to his final destination. Could what I saw have been ball lightning? Sure, anything is possible. It could have been some phenomenon yet undiscovered by mankind.

However, with the information I have, and the experience a part of my life, the only explanation that suits what I saw with what I know, is a ghost. A free floating, wandering, bright ball of human existence.

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