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The Role of the Skeptic

by Scott Spinks, Artist, Writer and GSI Investigator

Believing has nothing to do with fact. Just like accomplishment has nothing to do with dreaming. As a paranormal investigator with Ghost Stories Incorporated, I think many people assume I know for a fact that ghosts exist. I believe they do, but I have never seen any evidence strong enough to convince me that my belief is true. I have seen shadows, heard voices and felt the goose bumps climb up the back of neck. But was it the wind I heard? Or could it have been a dog barking at the end of the street? Did the light from a passing car bounce off five different surfaces and eventually cast light on to a coat rack making a shadow for a split second on the wall in front of me?

I have opened my mind to the possibility of ghosts as I’ve wandered down the dark hallways of old buildings. I have talked to empty rooms, in search of an EVP and I have reviewed hours of video footage hoping to see something that looked like a ghost. I believe the possibility of ghosts exists, but I don’t know for sure.

As a skeptic, it seems I spend more time reminding everyone else of the facts and less time exploring the possibility of paranormal activity. It’s an active world we live in. Electronics and machines operate 24 hours a day. Old things squeak and pop as the temperature changes. New things create reflections and noises we just wouldn’t expect, unless we took time to Ferris Bueller (look around a bit). Ghost “hunting” and ghost “creating” are two different things.

On a recent investigation, the home owner shared with us a number of very exciting personal experiences. The thought of a ghost interacting with its home owner is stirring, especially to an investigator who is searching for absolute proof that ghosts exist. After a walk-through the building with the home owner, the investigation began. I soon began trying to debunk each claim the homeowner made. Not to call them a liar or to label them as a storyteller; but to try to find the absolute truth. Remember, I believe ghosts exist. If I were to walk in to a location, snoop around for a while and then walk out screaming “it’s haunted” just because I want it to be haunted, I wouldn’t be an investigator; I’d be a showman. I want proof so I can rest assured that my beliefs are true.

During this investigation, I was unable to confirm any of the activity as paranormal. Some of the experiences the home owner described were possibly caused by faulty wiring, seasonal temperature changes and unusual shadows being cast by normal, everyday objects. Unfortunately, I found no evidence of a ghost or any haunting.

So what does a skeptic do in a situation like this one? Especially one who is looking for a little creative inspiration AND proof of the paranormal?

Proof is not easy to find; creativity is. For creativity, I simply remove my need for a “rational explanation” and I move forward, allowing my imagination to lead the way. But, as a fact-seeking investigator, I must pursue the truth. I keep in tow my desire for concrete evidence about the paranormal and I do everything I can to prove (100%) that ghosts exist.

I am in no position to say whether ghosts exist or not. I’ve seen some impressive evidence supporting the idea of ghosts. I’ve also seen a lot of assumed hauntings that turn out to be nothing more than misidentified “normalities”.

So, do ghosts exist? I like to think so, but I’ll keep you posted.

Scott Spinks / Artist, Writer and Paranormal Investigator /

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