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I have a friend who has her TV on all the time. You can walk in her house day or night at any hour and if she is present and conscious, her TV is on. This state of affairs would drive me nuts, but for her it is a kind of comfort. The volume is never very high, but it creates background noise that that works something like company for her. While I am a person who detests and is made uncomfortable by constant noise, she is a person who is made anxious by silence. Our friendship is the kind based on shared values and and beliefs since in all matters of taste and preference we are complete opposites.
We have the kind of friendship that makes people scratch their heads and wonder.
I was at her house recently helping her with a project and her TV was on as usual, and also as usual, I was mostly ignoring it, when a show came on that she insisted I watch as we worked. She assured me that I would find it terribly interesting. Generally, when she says things like that I just continue to ignore the TV because I am reasonably certain that I won't find it interesting at all. Knowing this after all these years, she stopped work on the project, handed me a cold drink, and insisted I watch it with her. I sighed but did as she asked. There are some corners even I can't ignore my way out of.
She explained that the show was a reality show about these people who travel around the country hunting down ghosts, or more specifically, the items that supposedly attract spirits and hold onto the life energy of the now deceased. I groaned. This experience would be doubly annoying for me since, a) I don't care for so-called reality shows, and, b) I am the world's greatest skeptic when it comes to anything smacking of the supernatural. But I soldiered on for the sake of our friendship.
According to the “expert” leading this team of paranormal investigators and collectors, objects of any variety can become conduits for the energy of those either unable or unwilling to pass over to the other side after their demise. Apparently, this is most prevalent with those who have suffered an untimely, violent, or tragic death. I told my friend that this made sense because people who died peacefully in their sleep at the age of 90 just don't make for good television. She glared at me and the show went on. The story for this episode was about some 150 year old grain mill in the midwest that was set for demolition by explosives (something I do actually find interesting) but workers were walking off the site due to all kinds of spooky stuff that was happening, including blood-curdling screams, objects that moved all by themselves, and various close encounters of numerous kinds. The people who owned the demolition company were desperate to resolve the problem since the kind of workers qualified to set explosive charges are hard to come by and the job needed to be done within a certain timeline. With the looming deadline in mind, the pressure was on the team of spook-hunting squirrels to figure out what was happening. They did some research and discovered that there had been a handful of deaths in the mill over the years, which one might expect in any operation like that over the course of 100 years. They did all sorts of technical stuff with little devices that looked like Star Trek props and were supposedly designed to detect electromagnetic fields, cold spots, hot spots, and what not. Mostly they just made annoying noises. The paranormal expert explained that spirits who are attempting to communicate can often not be heard by people, but can be recorded on electronic media. I'm guessing that the theory for this has to do with the transfer of electromagnet energy from a source to a receiver, which I attempted to explain to my friend until she suggested that if I shut-up it would make her very happy. Sheesh...don't come between a girl and her ghost stories!
Ultimately, the team, using thermal or electromagnet or whatever clues found some object (I don't recall what, maybe an old lunchbox buried in cement or something) that they felt might be the cause of all the problems since it could possibly be the conduit for all the bad spirit mojo that was going on. They promised to take it away and neutralize in in their museum where it would somehow be contained and become harmless. Everybody then hugged and they imploded the building, which in my mind, was the most interesting part of the whole show.
Here was my biggest problem with any ghost story. Why on earth would any ghost want to spend eternity hanging around an old grain mill? Why do spirits insist upon spending their eternal rests at places where they were murdered or died horribly? Did that mean there is a kind of life after death thing going on but the dearly departed have no free will at all in it and are forced to spend the rest of time in some nasty location that was the scene of some dreadful tragedy or even just some innocuous place where they had their car oil changed for 50 years? If not, how do you avoid that happening, because what if were to die right then due to some freak tragedy, like a comet fell on my head or something, and I was doomed to spend my afterlife sitting in my friend's house being forced to watch some stupid TV show? If that happens, please...someone call the Ghostbusters.
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