Do you believe?
According to a 2017 poll by Essential Research, some 39 per cent of Australians believe angels and demons are active in the world and 35 per cent of respondents believe ghosts exist and can influence their will on the living.
Scientists have come up with many reasons for spirit sightings, ranging from the physical (low-frequency sounds, magnetic fields, thermal patterns) to the psychological (suggestibility, fear of mortality).
But while ghosts can’t be proved to exist, they cannot be resoundingly debunked, either. We’ve selected five of the Internet’s most vivid firsthand experiences with the paranormal.
Read them, and then ask yourself: Do you believe?
1. The Little Hands
I’ve never lived in a haunted house, but my mother did as a teen.
Other houses on her street had strange things going on too.
A few homes away from her lived a man and his family.
One night, one of his daughters went to bed with a bad headache.
The next day, she was dead – she’d passed away from an aneurysm.
After the funeral, the family went away to get their minds off the tragedy, and the father asked my uncle – my mom’s brother – to check on their pets.
My mom and dad (they were dating then) went with my uncle; my mother had heard there was a grand piano and she wanted to play it, and my dad was studying to be a veterinarian.
After entering the house, my uncle and my father headed to the basement to see the animals, and my mother went to the piano on the ground floor. She was playing it when she felt something brush her ankles.
She thought a cat must have left the basement and walked past her. She kept playing, and she felt it again. She looked under the piano and saw nothing. When she started again, she felt hands clasp her legs and grab them tightly.
She dashed to the basement door, called my uncle and father, and waited for them. When they all walked outside, my uncle could tell my mom was rattled and asked what was wrong.
She told him what had happened, and he turned white.
He told her the daughter who died used to play a game with her father. When he’d play the piano, she’d crawl underneath, grab his ankles, and push his feet up and down on the pedals.
—Reddit.com contributor PatentedSpaceHook
2. The Unseen Patient
The ambulance company that I used to work for had a “haunted” ambulance: rig 12. A lot of EMTs had stories about it, but I never put much stock in paranormal stuff. That is, until I had my own experience with rig 12.
My partner and I were working in a rural community at 3 a.m., and it was pitch-dark and completely quiet. We were both dozing; I was in the driver’s seat, and she was in the passenger seat.
I woke up to a muffled voice, and I thought my partner was talking.
I told her I was trying to sleep and closed my eyes. I distinctly heard a male voice say, “Oh my God, am I dying?” followed by a few seconds of heavy breathing. My partner and I sat up straight and looked back into the patient compartment, where it sounded like the voice had come from.
Things were quiet for a couple seconds; then we heard the click of an oxygen-bottle regulator and a hiss, as if it was leaking. I turned on the lights, and we ran out of the rig.
I thought a transient might have climbed in while we were asleep, so we opened the rear doors. No one was there. I checked the oxygen bottles; neither was opened. We didn’t sleep much after that.
—Reddit.com contributor Zerbo