avatarJohn Whye


Things That Go Bump in the Night-Are You a Believer?

There is so much in life that we overlook-Halloween makes us all more aware

Photo by Debashis RC Biswas on Unsplash

Do you believe in things that go bump in the night? They are usually ghosts but can also include other supernatural beings that are the source of unexplainable and frightening noises that we only hear at night.

Probably not if you only believe in solid, tangible objects and phenomena that can be verified by measurements or dimensions.

Halloween is the perfect time to explore some of these often misunderstood and sometimes hotly contested encounters.

The author Spike Milligan poo-pooed the concept in his book, “The Little Pot Boiler,” with this quote:

“Things that go Bump in the night,

Really shouldn’t give one a fright.

It’s the holes in the ears that let in the fear,

that and the absence of light.”

Well, that’s one way of looking at it. But belief in the paranormal is very strong in America.

1) Approximately half of all Americans believe in ghosts. Most of us are familiar with the Charles Dickens novel,” A Christmas Carol” where the miserly Scrooge is confronted by the ghost of his former business partner, Marley, and several other ghosts. The heavy clanking of chains is definitely something that goes bump in the night and alerts Scrooge he is entering the spirit world.

2) The Brown Lady, named after her dress, was apparently photographed in Norfolk, England as a ghostly white figure on a staircase. She was apparently murdered in the 1700s and her spirit still haunts the area. People swear they can hear the rustle of her brown taffeta dress as she passes in the night at the college she attended, especially on Halloween.

3) The inspiration for Stephen King’s famous novel, “The Shining,” is set in The Stanley Hotel in Colorado. Staff have reportedly heard music in the ballroom when it was empty, and maybe a fight. Non-existent children are heard running in the hallways and ghosts often appear to gaze at guests trying to sleep. Good luck!

4) The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California was constructed with the help of ghosts under the guidance of a medium for Sarah Winchester. She was the wife of the inventor of the infamous Winchester repeating rifle that killed so many people. Organs are said to play at weird hours, and voices are heard and ghostly apparitions are often seen in the house.

5) Alcatraz, the former federal prison in San Francisco Bay, is often the site of howls and screams out of nowhere, as well as mysterious injuries to guards and inmates over the years. It is one of the spookiest spots in America, especially at night.

For many reasons, interest in the paranormal is especially connected with Halloween. It is supposed to be a scary night.

I once had a very personal and scary encounter with things that go bump in the night myself. I am normally very dismissive of ghosts, spirits, and demons, at least in the light of day.

All of the above instances refer to malignant, vengeful spirits. This is as far away from comforting, benign visits from a loved one or a pet who has passed peacefully from one dimension to another as you can get.

But this one night, I was alone in my house in San Francisco late at night when I started hearing these otherworldly sounds.

These were more than bumps in the night. I heard them from the backroom of our Victorian flat, just off the kitchen, while I was way down the hall in the living room watching TV.

I heard loudly repeated unholy screams and howls, an unknown, persistent noise that frightened me. I won’t lie, I was scared.

I screwed up my courage and forced myself to pass down the long hallway to find out what was going on. The closer I got to the kitchen, the louder the noises grew.

I located the noise as coming from the back steps. I thought maybe someone was being murdered.

I had to find out!

I threw open the back door and discovered-

My cat and another cat having a very noisy, screaming and howling fight!

When I opened the door, the other cat fled and my cat came inside, rather indignantly, at my slow response.

Halloween is spooky. Imagination is a wonderful thing. We are all connected…

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