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ghostly contest update

I’ve already blogged about the TT/sci-fi-ish responses to my contest questions, but what about the paranormal ones – specifically, the questions about ghosts and reincarnation?

Well, the most entertaining surprise in those answers was the number of people who reported personal experiences with one or both of those phenomena.

First, the stats:

How many believe in ghosts? (note, several persons clarified that they believed in spirits, not ghosts – I counted those as yes; one person said no, but she believes in demons – I counted that as a no):

26 said YES; 14 said NO; and 12 said MAYBE

How many believe in reincarnation?

20 said YES; 26 said NO; 6 said MAYBE

But here’s the good part: of the 26 who believe in ghosts, 6 have had personal experiences with them! Yikes.

And of the 20 who believe in reincarnation, half of them have personal experience with it! 10 out of 20! Very cool.

If you happened to read my April 9th blog entry, you know that some researchers conducted experiments on people who claimed to remember past lives. The results? The researchers “found” that believers are the kind of people whose brains process information in a particular way, specifically, they don’t seem to have a good grasp on where the information came from.

The article states: As for what might make people more prone to committing such errors to begin with, McNally says that it could be the byproduct of especially vivid imagery skills. He has found that people who commonly make source-monitoring errors respond to and imagine experiences more strongly than the average person, and they also tend to be more creative.

Then the researchers start throwing in more and more “theories”
 that believers tend to be people who don’t sleep well, and thus are more prone to memory mistakes (How about the fact that they’re haunted by past-life memories? Wouldn’t that explain the sleep problem?)

 that believers “might” have a fear of dying (um, is that really so odd?)

 that “once people make this kind of mistake, they might be inclined to stick to their guns for spiritual reasons” (pre-supposing that it’s a mistake, of course; and why shouldn’t they stick to their guns? It’s not like these pseudo-researchers actually proved to them that the memory was false)

It’s hilarious, actually. Talk about close-minded!

I have developed my own counter-theory – that these researchers are showing serious signs of being irrationally threatened by this notion, so much so that they are overeager to disprove it. Probably some sort of fear of living, or lack of imagination, or an unfortunate tendency to fear spirituality. Hmm, I think I’ll conduct my own experiment.

And just for the record, I don’t have a past-life memory of my own. But during my firstborn child’s first week or so of life, he responded to spoken French in a way he did not respond to English or Spanish. I always thought that was … intriguing, especially since my background is Irish and my husband’s is Mexican, and we don’t hang around with any French folks.

And then in school, my son was top in his class learning French. A natural.

Cue twilight zone music….

So who knows?

Kate a.k.a. Bridey Murphy

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