OPINION: The spookiest time of year brings up the existence of ghosts


Graphic by: GINA RICARDS

I lived in my grandparents’ house when I was younger and there was a big play area for us kids to play in. It was filled with random toys and a kitchen with a slide as well. Randomly, I would hear the toys go off and they would move.

Next thing I would hear is my grandma say, “Hi Mark, how are you?”

Mark was my uncle who died when I was younger. I believe I was around 10.

I would look over and see the lights going off and the sound of the toys would get louder. My grandma always said it was Mark playing with us kids. He never had any of his own, but loved us. I would go over there and play with him in the pretend kitchen, making food for whoever wanted to eat it. I can’t say I ever felt him or saw him, but I know he was there. 

One thing which always stuck with me was how, when we would acknowledge that it was him, the sounds and lights got more intense. To me, it felt like a way of him telling us it was him. 

It was around that time when I started to believe in ghost and spirits. Granted, I still only believe in the good ones and not the ones you see in horror films. Some movies, like “The Conjuring,” say they are based off of a true story, which makes you think about the horror of those ghosts and spirits compared to my uncle, who just wanted to say hello and make fake eggs.

“I 100 percent believe in spirits and ghosts,” said Elena Neal, a junior at DePaul. “Energy is neither created nor destroyed, so what happens to our spirit and all that energy when we die?”

That is something I think of often and to this day there really isn’t one clear answer. What happens after we die? There are too many options given in entertainment, making it hard to really understand ghosts and spirits. Why are some evil? Why are some not? 

An article from Fox News says that 60 percent of Americans claim to have seen a ghost. Another 40 percent said their pets have seen them as well. 

It is unclear what form these ghosts were in. It could be anywhere from a shadow, a real person or possibly a terrifying figure we’ve come to see in films. It makes you think back to all those times when your pet was barking, meowing or just staring at something for no apparent reason. My cat has done this before, and I close my door instantly. 

“Personally, I’m on the fence on the subject even after three-plus decades of working within the field,” said Bob Jensen, founder and senior investigator/historian at GhostLand Society Paranormal.  “I will say that we cannot be so ignorant thinking that we know everything. Ghosts or spirits may simply be an alternative universe with a rip in the veil between our world and their world. We think it may be ghosts or spirits we are seeing and possibly the same thoughts they have with us.”

I have yet to experience anything too terrifying when it comes to ghosts, but I do believe they are out there and that they do not have to be scary. You often hear of those who have lost a loved one and small things happening to remind them they are still here. That is what my grandma always thought of with my uncle. 

Every time, without fail, she would always say hello to her son. It’s as if she knew that it was him and of course, me being a child, I thought the same and still do. I don’t remember a lot of my uncle before he got sick. I like to think he was always around because he wanted to play with his nieces. 

There are still a lot of skeptics out there and for good reason. The horror films make it hard to believe anything like that could be true. Also, if things aren’t proven with video or picture, it is a lot harder to believe. I personally believe without having to experience anything crazy myself. 

“I’ve experienced a few things I cannot explain so I should be a believer, yet I’m looking for a logical explanation as to what happened,” Jensen said. “Pictures I do not buy into when I see them since it is too easy to fake them. Don’t buy into ‘orbs’ since 99 percent of them are dust or natural occurrences. Video, if not captured by myself or someone I trust, I don’t trust, and personal experiences are just that person and cannot be relied.”

Until someone experiences it themselves, I don’t think they will truly believe. I think movies and shows have made it hard to separate non-reality and reality. Either way, there are definitely ghosts and spirits out there. Whether they come in friendly butterflies or a figure constantly in your basement, they will always be around, questioning your beliefs.