By John S.
One night when I was six or seven years old I saw a ghost. More specifically, I saw the orange glowing head of Abraham Lincoln. Lying in my bed, I watched it float down the hallway of my single-wide mobile home. Needless to say it left an impression.
Fast forward 20 years and you might have found me–tape recorder in hand– trying to record EVP (electronic voice phenomena) in some old dusty manor house. I would never say that I was a real ghost hunter by any means, but I did take the paranormal very seriously. I bought the gear and read the books.
10 years have since passed, and I’ve wound up a complete and utter skeptic. I laugh at the idea that I ever believed in such fantasy as ghosts and demons and so on. The transition from full-on believer to student of skepticism was not a painless one.
The journey started when I found my life in crisis. I had never been religious, but I went to the Bible for answers all the same. What I found was so much more, and no I don’t mean Jesus. As I started reading Genesis I noticed a few odd problems with the order of things. God creates light, and then the sun and starts? “Hold the phone!” I thought.
But I didn’t stop there. I eventually found a website called the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible. Someone took the time to explain every single line in the book as well as to point out any contradictions. We don’t need to get into the bad stuff I learned like slavery or killing babies and gays, that’s not what this story is about.
Now I was hungry for skepticism. What exactly was it? I started listening to all the supernatural podcasts I could as well as the skeptic podcasts. My mind was officially blown. I could use the critical thinking skills I learned in the skeptic podcasts to debunk my own beliefs in the supernatural and paranormal. “because magic” would never be good enough for me ever again.
Yes, it hurt letting those beliefs go. I love the idea of ghosts and magic, but would be lying if I didn’t say that I like my newly empowered brain more. Now when I think back to the floating head in my old trailer, it looked an awful lot like headlights passing through the hall window whenever cars drove down my street.