Have you ever experienced a ghost? A spirit? Do you believe in them?

I have had some pretty strange experiences in my life. As someone brought up in the scientific world, I don’t actually believe in ghosts or spirits, but I do sometimes wonder what is going on when I put my hands near a person and feel them vibrate in particular ways. Sometimes it is clear pretty quickly that they are injured in that spot. This is especially true when it’s a problem with their vertebrae. However, sometimes it isn’t clear what I am feeling. Is it some anomaly in their electromagnetic field? That is my best guess, but sometimes it seems easier to half imagine that I am sensing a being that shouldn’t be there and tell it to go away. Sometimes, they even immediately remark that they feel lighter. Once I “saw” an Ibis in my mind’s eye coming out of a client’s forehead and she asked me – “do you see horns coming out of my head? I feel like I am turning into an antelope.”


I also have had the good fortune to be on the other side of this equation, lying on the table, having some very weird (to my rational mind) things happen, and yet real issues in my life clearing up along with those mental images. Maybe my imagination is just too active, but how can I explain the following?

When I was still at ISU, I had a few sessions with an energy healer. At the end of one of them, she left the room, telling me to rest for a little while, and then come downstairs when I was ready. As I lay there, with my eyes closed, I saw a blue eye staring at me. It seemed to be in the middle of my forehead. It had eyelashes, and an eyelid and it blinked. I watched it, feeling very peaceful, for a few minutes, then stood up and left the room. When I got downstairs, I said to her, “You’ll never guess what just happened to me.” She replied, “you saw your third eye. All of my clients today have seen their third eyes.” I remember her statement clearly, because it was so far from anything I had ever experienced that it seemed impossible. I swear that I didn’t tell her what I had experienced before she said this.

Sometimes I feel caught between two worlds: one in which I am a scientist who believes in nothing that can’t be measured (or at least theorized within the craziness of physics); and one in which I go along with all of the crazy things a lot of my friends believe. Since I feel this dichotomy so strongly, I ended up exploring it a little in my novel. I have my main character half think she is haunted and half dismiss the idea as ridiculous. One friend “sees” her ghost, the other does not. It makes for a fun exploration of a fairly serious topic.

Some of the people I’ve talked to seem to think that it’s a bad idea to include paranormal phenomena in a serious novel, but, with so many people interested in them (see Ghosts), how could I leave them out completely? (just kidding – of course I wouldn’t have to have them) I’d love it if it turned out there was a neat scientific explanation for all of the whacky things I’ve experienced: mirror neurons, the electromagnetic field coming from the heart, or maybe a new force field never before measured. Perhaps the Institute of HeartMath or Institute of Noetic Sciences will at least figure out those spinal vibrations.

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  1. #1 by Liz Main on February 15, 2012 - 7:46 am

    As always, a fascinating post. I love the way you add links to each post so others can follow along with your background material. Liz

    • #2 by annstanleywriting on February 15, 2012 - 8:37 am

      As always, Liz, you make me blush with your enthusiasm. I have to admit that I cheat a little on the links, as wordpress helps out with suggestions. The ghost idea comes more from personal experience, being around friends who believe fiercely that their relatives and aunts have visited them after their deaths. And then I have a shaman in the novel – more about that later :).

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