Hana Shafi Ghost Stories

My friend claims to have experienced a mild haunting. Nothing too serious, just peculiar shadows, doors opening when they weren’t supposed to, knocking when no one was home, that kind of thing. I riddled my mind for logical explanations. I wasn’t just going to fall into the trap of enticing ghost stories. There had to be another reason.

When I asked my friends whether they believed in ghosts, almost all of them said yes right away. None of them were particularly religious, a couple of them a bit more spiritual, but it seemed none of them could wholeheartedly say that ghosts just didn’t exist. The idea is enticing; it’s adventurous and exciting, and we all secretly loved ghost stories as children even if it made our skin crawl and our nights sleepless. And with my overly superstitious family, I’ve heard my fair share of ghost stories, from levitating tables to a phantom at the foot of the bed, and one aunt who claims she’s been followed by one ghost her entire life. These were the tales that thrilled my childhood. But I couldn’t really bring myself to say: yes, I believe in ghosts. 

My reasoning for never really believing in ghosts is that I’m not religious, and generally ghosts equals afterlife equals god. And for someone who’s agnostic, though sometimes I think bordering on atheist, I can’t believe in ghosts if it then means that heaven, hell and god exist. I can’t believe in ghosts as souls that just haven’t passed into “the light” because I don’t believe in souls or “the light.” Then again, a few of my friends told me of some eerie incidents that happened to them, some of which I kind of found myself believing.

That’s when I realized I could take a different approach. Maybe some ghost stories were true, but ghosts aren’t what we think they are. Humanity once thought the weather was a supernatural occurrence, only for it to be debunked and explained by scientific reasoning; maybe the same will come of ghost stories. Perhaps ghosts have nothing to do with lingering souls or a demonic presence, and more to do with black holes, or cosmic energy, or some scientific phenomena we don’t even have a name for yet. It still doesn’t totally convince me that they exist; nonetheless it’s interesting to think about and I may not be a little kid anymore, but I still love hearing ghost stories. 

Besides, whether they’re real or not, I’m still not going into my basement cellar when the lights are off. Hell no. 

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