The Secret Shame of Hauntings: Coping With the Paranormal

by Tony Harrington

Most people who experience a haunting were, up until the moment they realized things were happening in their home that defy explanation, skeptics.

Yes, there are those people who have become so enamored with the many reality shows out there depicting ghost hunting teams traipsing through historic locales that the minute their ice machine stops working they chalk it up to ghostly phenomenon and forsake the more logical plumbing issues.

Those people being the exception, most people who find themselves in the circumstance of facing a possible haunting do so with trepidation and fear. Fear of the supernatural, but they also face the more rational fear of being judged or made to feel foolish for entertaining such a notion that occurrences in their homes fall outside of the realm of normalcy.

It is this fear of being judged or laughed at that keeps most home and business owners suffering in silence as they face frequent experiences of paranormal activity.

Where does the fear of being laughed at or judged stem from? For a majority of people involved with a haunting it comes from the very fact that they have been raised to believe that ghosts simply do not exist. How can they be experiencing something that does not exist? The only explanation is that they are misinterpreting some natural phenomenon or they are going crazy. The misinterpreting natural phenomenon is a valid concern but personally I would rather believe in ghosts than jump to the conclusion that I have lost my mind. And let’s face it, crazy people seldom know they are crazy.

From an early age, those raised in a Christian upbringing at least, are told that when we die our souls ascend to heaven or descend into hell based upon our actions in our life and how Godly of a life we lived. The fact that ghosts can exist is an affront to the very biblical teachings that have been engrained in our psyche. It simply does not make sense that someone has been left to wander this realm. God does not make mistakes after all. Being faced with a haunting forces someone to question everything they thought they knew about their faith and their beliefs.

Additionally, people are ashamed to admit being plagued by something that has been fodder for books, movies, radio shows, and campfire tales for centuries. Since the dawn of time, for as long as there have been unexplained phenomenon, there have been ghost stories. For many that is all ghosts and hauntings are…stories.  A person suddenly realizing that they are faced with something that for years they have said is not real is a bitter pill to swallow and coupled with the fact that their friends and family most likely share their beliefs makes it all the more difficult to come to terms with what they are experiencing.

I never believed in ghosts until I experienced some things that lacked explanation. Even now I am very skeptical when it comes to claims of paranormal activity, but having seen what I have seen and felt what I have felt, I have to admit that we are not alone in this world and in admitting that I have opened myself up to being laughed at and questioned and ostracized.  But one truth remains above all else:

For the person experiencing a haunting, it is very real to them and it is terrifying. To feel they have nowhere to turn instills a sense of shame and helplessness in an already hopeless situation. What are their options after all? Move? Many people have simply uprooted their lives and left the home or business where paranormal activity has occurred without fully comprehending the myriad of other options. There are legitimate groups out there who can help and do so regularly without judging.

Many people choose to ignore the “problem” in hopes that it will simply go away and end up facing an escalated issue. What started off as a few misplaced things is now coupled with mysterious odors, disembodied voices, bangs and moving objects. This is not always the case but is a possibility.

Paranormal investigation teams should have the ability to help you cleanse your home of negative energy and teach you how to live with your haunting if a cleansing is not feasible for your situation.

There is nothing to be ashamed of when faced with the evidence of a haunting. You don’t have to tell anyone about it but you don’t have to suffer in silence for fear of being judged. Most contacts we receive start with a disclaimer of “I feel so foolish for even contacting you but…” and our response is “We formed a whole group based on the very thing you are experiencing. If that makes you feel foolish, what does it say about us?” I will tell you what it says, it says that we believe you because we have experienced it ourselves and that is why we are here.

It is not for glory or media attention, it is so that we can help out those people who have nowhere else to turn, the very people who feel ashamed for admitting that they may be experiencing a haunting.

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