Writing Prompts: Do you Believe in Ghosts? Why or Why Not?

For this prompt, I have returned to Ariel’s Writing Radiation post on… prompts!

two people in ghost costumes standing beside an illuminated jack o lantern
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Ghost stories are a classic means of scaring someone. The question is, what truth lies behind the fables?

Not far from where I grew up is Knebworth House. This venerable country estate plays host to film crews and events, and has a long, rich history. This history includes claims of spectral visitors. One ghost, said to be of a yellow boy, foretells a rise to power, and a gruesome death.

The wider question, of whether I believe in ghosts, is a tricky one. Phantasms and spectres lend themselves to the possibility of something beyond our world, a place that exists after death. If ghosts are real (and scientific study has not produced any evidence they are, though it may be argued science cannot evaluate the supernatural), then the chances are, so is some form of afterlife.

Ghosts are a phenomenon that spans the globe. Nearly every culture on earth has some form of paranormal legend, some haunted location or locations, and numerous stories. Does this make the idea more believable? I am not sure. The existence of ghost stories across various, far-flung societies can be explained through various rational means. It is only that slither of uncertainty that keeps me asking ‘what if?’ Ghosts and spirits and ghouls make for spine-tingling tales. The tantalising notion that they might truly be apparitions from beyond the veil is hard to resist.

I’ve tip-toed around the question. Do I believe in ghosts? I don’t know. There are plenty of things that remain unexplained in this world. I believe ghosts are among those things. We may yet find a reasonable answer. We may not. I don’t know.

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