Paranormal Challenges

So my son loves ghost stuff, paranormal things. He likes to watch all those paranormal reality shows on television and such, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal Challenges, and others. He says he wants to go to school to become a paranormal investigator.

Now, this is the same kid who wouldn’t go outside to the side of the house to flip the breaker on the switchbox, because it was dark out there at ten in the evening. This is the same kid who used to get freaked out that there were people standing outside his bedroom window and made me put a board up on the window so he could sleep. But now he wants to be a paranormal investigator? Yeah. I get a kick out of him.

I’ve been doing some research on something recently, for a novel I was tossing around in my head. When I’m feeling so lousy, I can’t write, but I am constantly thinking of plot ideas for new things. I have so many ideas, I could probably write every day all day for the rest of my life and never use up all the concepts I have for novels. Some of them are very good too.

But one of the things I’ve been tossing around has a bit of a paranormal bent to it. I’m not all that into fantasy and magic and such, never really did get into vampires and werewolves and the like. Just not my thing. The more fantastical, the less likely I’d enjoy it. The stories that usually get me are the hard core stuff, suspense, action and adventure, science fiction, and crime novels. A good legal or medical thriller makes my day. I can, however, really sink my teeth into humorous women’s fiction when the mood strikes. I don’t like chick lit. Too shallow for me. I like a bit more substance. I’ve never been a girly girl much, in that I’m not into shopping, makeup, nails and pampering. Shopping for clothes is a necessary evil for me. I’d rather just go naked, but I’m sure my neighbors would protest if I did.

I’m curious though – how much is something ‘paranormal’, versus probable?

I mean, if there’s a story that has a ghost in it, and you believe in ghosts, and the ghost part of it is really negligible, then is it really a paranormal story? What about religion? Are ghosts and spirits and demons and possessions and those sorts of things based in religion?

I wonder if there are ‘rules’ people expect to be followed if you’re going to write like that. I mean, I’ve seen vampire stories that had all sorts of non-accepted non-cannonical types of things in them. Are we, as writers, able to make up the rules as we go as long as we are consistent in our own universes?

Just little rambling thoughts of mine I thought I’d share while waiting for my pills to kick in and the pain to go away so I can go to bed. I’m awfully tired. I actually tried to cook dinner tonight, and while it turned out great, it took a whole lot out of me, and I haven’t recovered yet. I can’t even get my pulse ox up over 90 right now, and we like to try to keep it over 92 at all times. Ah, well.

So while I kick back and let the cake finish baking in the oven and let the pain pill and gaba kick in so I can rest, why don’t you share with me in the comments your favorite paranormal encounter? Did you have a ghost story? A close encounter of some kind? Something spooky or unusual that you can’t explain away?

Share it in the comments or on your blog and leave me a link to it and I’ll go read it…

Love and stuff,

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3 comments to Paranormal Challenges

  • Michael  says:

    Hey Michy,

    Interesting subject. Like you, I tend more toward SF than Fantasy. But my son is just the opposite, so I sometimes read what he reads. The short answer to your question is a qualified yes: you can sort of make the rules in Fantasy as long as you’re consistent over the series. I’ve even considered a series that blends SF & Fantasy in an interesting way. But to wrap such a big nut up in a quality way would take at least a decade of my life to invest in. Probably two. Not sure I have that much time.

    You can’t make a dwarf a giant or an elf an orc. They also tend to follow certain personality characteristics across races, and to depart from that as a species is to risk losing that audience. Tolkien pretty much defined that with his work, and writers have followed his lead ever since.

    Like your son, when I was young, I was terrified of things in the dark. When I got older I eventually developed an interest in what could have terrified me so – so I understand perfectly why your son has done the same. He’s searching for answers to the realities of the fears he dealt with as a young child. Was he dealing with something real? Was it just in his mind? My personal feeling is that some people are more sensitive to what is called the paranormal than others. I don’t really care what you call it, but we’ll just say it is outside the realm of physical reality.

    I personally believe it is real, and that therefore, your son’s experiences may have been real (what does he think about them now—and will he give you the answer he thinks you want to hear?). But beyond that, I can’t really be sure what we’re looking at.

    You asked for an experience I can’t explain. While I’ve had a number of experiences personally, a rationalist would simply call them products of my mind. And maybe they’d be right: our minds are pretty powerful things. However, this experience involved not just me but my wife at the time. We were asleep in bed, and both awoke to find a presence on each side of us. On my side, it was a woman, on her side, it was a man. They were not light but dark: they didn’t luminesce. They were not angels. I don’t know if they were devils. They were spirits of some kind because they disappeared as we both became fully aware of them. I did not perceive them as benevolent, but in some fashion hostile. This was also the perception of my wife. But as has always been the case in my solo experiences, once they knew that we were aware of them – they left.

    The house we lived in at the time was not some old place but fairly newly built. I don’t think they were ghosts. Neither of us saw the other’s visiting spirit, but that it happened at the same time is to me compelling that something happened outside the ordinary, and that rationally, a mutual and similar experience at the same time that didn’t have some reality to it was/is unlikely. I am neither a skeptic nor a true believer in the paranormal: but it does seem likely to me that we shouldn’t discount the huge range of human experience over millennia, of things outside what we commonly accept as physical reality. There is also the similarity of many of those experiences.

    Think of all the things in our lives that operate at a level invisible to us that we commonly accept. The manufacture of thoughts comes to mind. We know we think. Can we see a thought? We cannot with our eyes see the flow of electricity—but we know it’s there. We cannot see with our eyes radio waves, cell phones broadcasting, infrared, or ultraviolet. We cannot even explain very well the quantum mechanics we use in our cell phones—it does not change their reality though.

    So why discount other things we cannot normally see? Reality as we understand it is strange enough anyway. Think about quantum entanglement: one atom acting in exact (but opposite?) tandem with another atom—no matter how great the distance. There are supposedly 10 dimensions. The so-called rationalist accepts this wide-eyed as acceptable: some scientific human told him so. The so-called rational scientists of a previous century rejected the platypus as an absurd fantasy. The coelecanth was supposedly extinct 10’s of millions of years ago. We do not know what we think we know, but we humans think we know most all of it—until we learn the next new thing.

    – michael

    • admin  says:

      I agree with you, Michael, about not discounting things that we cannot see. There is so much we can’t see, but we do have proof it exists. I think perception is 99.9% of reality too… think of it this way: The person in an insane asylum who is scratching their skin off to bleeding while screaming that there are spiders crawling all over them… we treat them as ‘crazy’ because we can’t see the spiders. But to that person, in that moment, those spiders are just as real to them as the spiders I don’t see aren’t real to me.

      Which sort of means that the realm of possible is absolute limitlessness…

      An that’s both scary and wonderful at the same time.

      I am a big time nut over quantum physics… no one understands it, even those who study it, but I find it soooo fascinating!

  • Tas Wanita  says:

    This was a interesting post to read, thank you for sharing it.

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