By now, I’ve shared my ghost presentation, “Things Still Go Bump in the Night” with groups, clubs and organizations all around this country, always drawing the same enthusiastic response.
But when I’m about halfway through my program, I often encounter the same reaction from one or two participants. He—usually, it’s a guy—will sit there about halfway way back in the group, arms crossed and a slight scowl on his face. His body language screams, “Hey, only idiots and children would be so foolish as to believe in ghosts.”
I look them straight in the eye and respond, “You might be surprised by the number of educated, professional, knowledgeable individuals who profess a belief in the spirit world.” Then I follow with a few famous examples.
Like MADAME CURIE, the pioneering scientist who discovered radiation and won two Nobel prizes. Her commitment to science was so complete, she sacrificed her body in her pursuit, eventually dying from the cancer she contracted as part of her work. She also held a firm belief in the spirit world.
Or THOMAS EDISON, who holds more patents than any other American—1083, by the way. But one patent we don’t ever read about is one he was planning on taking out for a “spirit phone,” an invention Edison believed he could use to talk with the dead, with ghosts.
If I have time, I share about ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the 16th president of the United States. His wife Mary was very much into the draw of mediums and seances, but Abe was skeptical. At least, until he saw the ghost of her dead son Willie in the Oval Office. Abe is said to have conversations with Willie on a regular basis after that.
Abe is not alone, and in some ways is still with us. Shortly after his inauguration, RONALD REAGAN claimed to have seen a tall, transparent figure in the Lincoln bedroom and refused to go back in that room for eight years. Even Reagan’s pet dog refused to go into the Lincoln bedroom, the only room in the White House he didn’t explore. Others have reported seeing the Lincoln specter as well, including Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt and Lady Bird Johnson.
If they want even more current examples, I often share the experience of DALE EARNHARDT, Jr., the NASCAR racing legend. In 2004, Dale was doing a practice run at a race track in South Carolina, when trouble ensued. He crashed and the car erupted in flames. When his pit crew ran across the field to rescue him, they found him unconscious in the grass some twenty yards away from the burning car. When Dale awoke and they asked him what happened, he replied that a ghost pulled him free from the burning car.
Or I could talk about MATTHEW MCCONAUGHY, the Hollywood superstar who ecountered a ghost “living” in his old California mansion. According to Matthew, he met the strange ghost named “Madame Bleu” while strolling through the hallway in the buff. Rather than be bothered by the spirit, he simply made it clear he wasn’t leaving his home and she apparently didn’t bother him further.
Oh, and participants can’t believe it when I share about PAUL MCCARTNEY, the music mega-star. In a recent interview, Paul admitted that the ghost of John Lennon—literally, not figuratively—helped him write some of his recent hit songs.
And these are merely a few examples of many famous, successful, educated people who not only believe in ghosts, but have shared they’ve had actual encounters with spirits. We should not be surprised. In two recent surveys conducted by the AP and Baylor University, I in 5 Americans professed to having some kind of encounter with a ghost.
So why can some people “see” ghosts while most cannot and do not? Perhaps, just like some people possess extraordinary talent as a writer or artist or engineer, there are a small percentage of people who seem to be more attuned to the spirit world and can see and communicate with spirits in a way denied to most people. They are able to suspend that wall of disbelief most of us erect as we get older.
The bottom line on this Halloween season is if you believe in ghosts, you’re in really good company. I don’t know about you but I’d be happy to counted in with Abe Lincoln, Paul McCartney, Thomas Edison and Madame Curie.