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On the Mark, Episode 15: Do Ghosts Know How To Moonwalk?

July 13, 2009

Hi everybody,

This just in to our news desk . . . Michael Jackson is STILL dead . . . Details to follow as we follow this ongoing story . . .

If you're like me, by now you have Michael Jackson fatigue. Well, thankfully, this week's topic isn't about Michael, but about a side story that developed as a result of his demise.

Millions of people have flocked to You Tube to watch video from a Larry King broadcast. In the clips, people are seeing images of Michael Jackson. Dead Michael Jackson. As in, the ghost of Michael Jackson.

A family member of mine mentioned this to me last week while we were visiting, so of course we powered up the computer to go check it out.

First there was a shadow of a figure which appeared to walk across the hallway of Neverland Ranch. This is the video that has gotten the most attention worldwide.

I admit, it was kind of spooky. Until we found another video by a CNN reporter that explained that it was a shadow created by a cameraman who was walking around in another room. Once you take this new information into consideration, it does seem logical that it was merely a shadow of a real human being.

As in, a person with real flesh and blood. Not a ghost doing the moonwalk.

Then there was the face of Michael Jackson behind a person's shoulder, right in the fireplace. I have to admit, it was kind of creepy. However, without having seen the video at the time it was first shown on the air, the skeptic in me wonders if someone doctored the video and posted it online. In today's day and age of computer editing programs, even a person with basic skills can pull something like this off.

The third evidence of Michael Jackson's haunting of Neverland Ranch was in the leaves behind Jermaine Jackson's head while he was being interviewed. To be honest, I couldn't make out any image of Michael Jackson . . . all I saw were leaves.

And again, the skeptic in me would say that you could also make out an image of Dumbo the elephant if that's what you were trying to find. Because we can see what we want to see, if we look hard and long enough. Kind of like looking up at the clouds in the sky.

So some people will believe that Michael Jackson is haunting Neverland Ranch, and some people won't. Just like some people believe in ghosts, and some don't.

I found a stat somewhere that said that about 30 percent of Americans believe in ghosts. Which, if my Cloverleaf education is serving me well, means that 70 percent don't. And if I had to put myself in one of the categories, I'd have to pick the nonbeliever side.

But the problem I have, though, is that people close to me believe that they have had experiences with ghosts. And these are close friends and family members . . . people who I have no reason to doubt. I trust them. So I have a bit of trouble try to reconcile my beliefs in relation to my trust in their stories.

To be honest, I can safely say that I believe what they are saying is true, from their point of view. Now I still reserve the right to think that there might be a logical explanation for the various things, but I have no doubt that they are being honest in their accounts. No, they certainly are not making up stories, because it's not in their character.

In one case, a family member has said that their household has had things happen to lead them to believe that a couple of our dead relatives have been paying them a visit. Not only does this give me a bit of the heebie-jeebies, but on the other hand it makes me kind of jealous.

As in, "Hey, why are they visiting them, and not me? Not fair, why are they playing favorites?! After all the love and things I did for them, they don't even bother to come and visit me anymore . . . I guess they're playing favorites, so fine, be that way . . . don't bring your haunting act over here now, because it's too late for that."

Ha ha ha.

But then I stop and think about it, and I wonder what I'd do if I did receive such a visit. I think it would scare the crap out of me. So I rationalize it by saying to myself, "They know I can't handle it, so they aren't going to add that burden to my mind."

That, or they just liked my other family member better, lol.

But what about people who say they have unwanted visits from beyond the grave? Have you personally had any of these experiences? Do you believe in ghosts?

I live in a house that's almost a hundred years old. A lot of people have lived in this house. It's fair to say, that over the course of the past 100 years, surely at least one person has died in here. And more than likely, multiple people. And who knows, some might have died in ways other than old age. I'm picturing bones of people hidden inside the walls of my bedroom, and other wild, macabre stories.

So why aren't there any ghosts haunting me . . . but spirits decide to haunt other people and their homes? And why would a ghost decide to hang out at a 5-year-old ranch (instead of my old house with plenty of former occupants), other than that they have a bigger television than I do?

So I don't know what to think about this ghost business.

Scientists say that almost all ghost stories can be explained. Here are the various explanations that they would give:

1. The person is making it up.

2. The person has a medical condition, or they had a random moment where their brain misfired and caused a hallucination.

3. Natural phenomenon are causing the event -- a rodent in the wall makes a dragging sound, for example.

4. Someone is playing a prank on the person. For example, they move an object in a strange place, then play dumb about how it got there.

I think it's fair to say that sometimes a dream can seem like a real event. Especially when you are halfway between being awake and being asleep. There is a medical name for this phenomenon, which escapes me at the moment.

I remember once being in bed and waking up to hear some movement in the living room. I laid there, trying to figure out what the sound was, and then I started to get scared. A robber was in my house!

Next thing I knew, this ghostly woman figure comes running into the bedroom and around my bed. I was paralyzed in fear, and couldn't move or scream.

Next thing I knew, I jumped up and it was gone.

Now, being more of a logical person, I decided that this was all the case of having a waking dream. I actually had a dream that I had woken up and heard the movement in the other room, before seeing the ghost woman. Being paralyzed and not being able to scream was part of the dream, as my body tried to wake itself up.

Then when I jumped up, that was me waking up from the dream.

Now, another person would believe that they saw a ghost. So sometimes these things are open to interpretation.

People who believe in the spiritual world would have two explanations regarding the mystery of ghosts:

1. There is no such thing as dead people staying around on Earth. They are really evil spirits who are impersonating real people (because the souls of real people would be in Heaven or Hell).

2. Ghosts are real. The souls of real people are indeed having trouble moving on, or somehow part of their energy has remained back on earth.

Now the question I would have for all of you ghosts out there would be:

"If you are real, why do you resort to all the cheap parlor tricks?"

I mean, if I were a ghost I think I'd come up with something better than walking across a hallway in some boring person's house. No, I'd go pick a house that was much more interesting. I'd go sit in the White House and listen in to all the top secret meetings.

Or I'd go find some evil person like Osama Bin Laden and scare the crap out of him. To make him go crazy and jump off a cliff to make this world a safer place.

Or I'd go hang out at Christie Brinkley's place . . . Now that's what I'm talking about! Being a ghost could be really fun.

But all these ghosts do is moan and walk around in hallways in houses where pro wrestling is revered as something sacred. They tap on walls and haul out a fog machine. What a waste of such potential. Go out there and do something REALLY impressive. Show us what you're made of (or not made of)!

Instead of Abraham Lincoln showing up for a second as a shadow in a hallway in the White House and then disappearing, why doesn't he hold a press conference and tell us misguided Americans how we should get our country back on track?

See what I mean? Ghosts need to step up and start being more productive in their haunting activities.

My logic is, if you're going to hang around this earth, why not make yourself more useful?

Hey ghoulish dude, instead of loitering around down the hallway, how about grabbing the vacuum cleaner and helping me out around here? If you're going to live here, you've got to pitch in just like the rest of us.

And could you take out the garbage, while you're at it?

That's it for this week. If you aren’t alive and well for next week's episode, don't come knocking on my door to pay me a visit. That's just rude. Haunting gives you a whole world out there to explore, so make the most of it.



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