by Karen Frazier
Paranormal Underground e-Magazine
I’ve had a few experiences in my life that have made me go hmmmm. As an open-minded skeptic, I always seek logical explanations. But sometimes, my mind goes hmmmmm anyway.
One of the things that happened was about three years ago immediately following the death of my grandfather. Before my mother called to tell me of his death, I was in our back hallway when I heard a distinct click and the lights went on in the hallway. Our hallway has light switches at the front and the back. They are the wide rocker switches that give a slight but distinct click when they are flipped on and off.
As soon as the lights went on, I looked back to the other end of the hallway. There was no one there, which wasn’t surprising since I was alone in the house.
A few hours later, I was playing the piano when my mother called to tell me of my grandfather’s death early that morning. I was sad, but not surprised. He was 98 years old and had been telling us for a long time that he was ready to go.
Later that afternoon, I was in the back hallway coming out of my bedroom when the light switch made the clicking noise again, and the lights went on. This time, I was right next to one light switch, and could clearly see the other switch. There was no one there. Then there was another click, and the lights went off.
This strange clicking on and off of the lights in the back hallway continued for several days – always when I was alone in the back hallway, and always with the light switches in my line of sight.
It was also during this time that I became increasingly upset because I hadn’t dreamed of my grandfather. Always when someone I love has died, I dream of them within a few days of their death. I find those dreams a comfort, as if they are signal that even if I can’t be with my loved ones during times of consciousness, they live on in my heart ready to visit me when I am asleep. But my grandfather hadn’t visited.
One night, after about two weeks of the strange clicking on and off of lights in the back hallway, I finally dreamed of my grandfather. In my dream, I asked him if he was making the lights go on and off. He said that he was, and he was doing it because he wanted to let me know that he was okay. The lights never went on and off by themselves again.
I am sure there are plenty of logical explanations for what happened. Imagination. Circuit problems. Wishful thinking. Those are just to name a few.
But the truth is that I didn’t look too closely. I didn’t want to look too closely. Because when the phenomenon I was experiencing felt like it had such a personal message, I wanted there to be only one answer. I wanted my grandfather to be communicating with me, and I needed to believe that our relationship would expand beyond our earthly relationship.
Certainly this is outside of the tenants that I profess to follow when it comes to the paranormal. Always be skeptical. Consider logical explanations first. Set emotion aside in order to do true scientific analysis.
But it goes to show you. We are all vulnerable. When it comes to something that is deeply meaningful to us, we want to believe that something magical can happen. And maybe it can.
This is why the field needs truly impartial and unbiased investigators to investigate claims of paranormal activity. Because behind every report of paranormal activity lies a deeply personal story. And some of those stories are like mine – based upon an unrealized personal agenda built upon wishful thinking.
This is the psychological component of parapsychology, and it is important that there is someone on an investigatory team who has some level of understanding of it. People have agendas. We have hopes, wishes, and dreams. And we bring every single one of those things with us to our interpretation of every experience we have. How could we not?
To this day, I have never looked too closely at my experiences during the time following my grandfather’s death. He was a wonderful man, and a very important person in my life. No matter what the explanation, I want to believe that in those moments, he was there with me. In this case, my skeptical mind has been overtaken by my wounded heart. And maybe that’s okay. Because it brought me a certain comfort that I couldn’t have found in science. I choose to believe that he is with me and always will be.