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Do Skeptics get Spooked?

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Re: Do Skeptics get Spooked?

Postby caniswalensis » 02 Jun 2010, 07:44

Hi all,

Spotting this topic was a prime motivator for me to register here. It touches on an experience I had at the end of '08.

I think it is perfectly predictable and natural for skeptics to get spooked. Whether skeptic or believer, we are all humans, and all subject to the same psychological & physiological processes.

Below in green text is a post I made at another forum shortly after my "experience." I hope you find it appropriate to this thread. I would really be interested in hearing opinions on it.

Regards, Canis

Hi all,

Well, I'm a skeptic and I had a disconcerting experience a few weeks ago at work. I was working late, and was the only one in the building. I left my office to go over to the factory floor to retrieve some documents that needed updating.

The factory is housed in a large wooden-framed metal sided building. When all the machinery is shut down & the people are gone, there is still a fair bit of noise from the building itself. It creaks, little bits of debris fall from the ceiling and there are a lot of small little noises that come from who knows where. Almost all the lights are shut off as well. So you understand, it is quite a bit different to be on the floor after normal working hours. I have never considered it spooky or anything, just different. If I had to describe it in a word, I would use "peaceful."

So anyway, I am down there looking at this document book with a flashlight so that I can see which documents I need. Like I said, most of the lights are off. When all of a sudden, there is a relatively loud crash about ten feet behind me. It startled me pretty good because every thing was quiet and I knew that I was the only one there.

After I retrieved my skin and got back into it, I grabbed the documents and started to hurry for the door. I was actually shaking at this point.

Then I made myself stop. What was happening to me? I was the only person in the place, so I was in no danger, and I don't really believe in ghosts. Why was I shaking? Why was I hurrying? It didn't make sense, but I was overcome by a feeling that I can only describe as "dread."

I forced myself to go back to where I was standing. I turned around and looked at where the noise came from. I was looking at a rack of die boards. I went to look at it and closer and found one of the die boards lying on the floor where it should not have been. The die board falling over would have made a sound consistent with the crash I heard. I assume that the station operator left it leaning against the rack (a common practice) and it just happened to fall over when I was standing there.

So there I had the explanation. It was a perfectly normal thing. There was nothing to be afraid of. I was never in any danger. So why did I have this feeling of dread? I made myself stand there until the shaking stopped, but I felt very nervous the whole time.

I know that I was shaking because I got a huge shot of adrenaline. I am guessing that the whole experience put me in "fight or flight" mode. I suppose that's why I started to hurry away from the scene.

Now, here is the really interesting part. It has been a about a month, but now whenever I am working late and alone one the factory floor, something that I used to consider quasi-pleasant, I get a resurgence of these feelings of dread. I feel like I am in danger and I want to get out of there as fast as I can. Every little noise now makes me start & look in that direction, when before, they barely even registered. I half to remind myself that there is nothing that can harm me, and I make myself stand around a few extra minutes to listen to the noises, identifying them and looking around at things to reassure myself.

I am slowly retraining myself to accept being in the darkened factory as a pleasant experience again, but I am left wondering at the need to do so. I am not normally averse to being in the dark, and will often walk around in the dark at my home, since I know where every thing is. I am not more easily startled by noises than the average person either. I am not sure why this one got to me so bad.

Did this startling noise trigger some kind of primal mechanism in me? Was I somehow instantly reprogrammed to perceive the dark factory as a place of danger? If so, does this say anything about how we perceive reportedly haunted locations? I am really interested in hearing other peoples take on this.

Regards, Canis

P.S. I know this was a long read, my thanks go to anyone that made it through.


.....and there it is, folks.

As an update, over the next couple months after originally making this post, I was able to successfully "reprogram" myself to not feel this dread on the factory floor. I went down and worked there after closing as much as possible, and would spend time walking thrrough the place at any excuse. I even had a "ghost hunt" at the urging of some online friends. I took pictures and attempted to communicate with any spirits there. I found no spirits, but did catch a glimpse of "Big Doug," a large racoon that we named after the maintenence man. The upshot is that I am once again at ease in the dark factory, and feel like it is a peaceful place without all the daytime ruckus going on. :)
Last edited by caniswalensis on 03 Jun 2010, 00:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do Skeptics get Spooked?

Postby ciscop » 02 Jun 2010, 10:12

what a great story!!
thanks for sharing
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: Do Skeptics get Spooked?

Postby Nostradamus » 09 Jun 2010, 05:31

Great story. Much appreciated.
Scimitars were not available - beware January 19, 2038 is upon us.
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Re: Do Skeptics get Spooked?

Postby ProfWag » 09 Jun 2010, 05:35

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Re: Do Skeptics get Spooked?

Postby Scepcop » 20 Jun 2010, 22:03

“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Do Skeptics get Spooked?

Postby Scepcop » 20 Jun 2010, 22:07

“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Do Skeptics get Spooked?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 20 Jun 2010, 23:23

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Re: Do Skeptics get Spooked?

Postby Scepcop » 21 Jun 2010, 00:07

The thing with the doorknob is that it was not used or touched. I always left that door open. Plus the door knob does not stick at all. If you came over and examined it, you'd see that. Perhaps someday I can make a video of it and show you. So I ruled out that explanation.
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Re: Do Skeptics get Spooked?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 21 Jun 2010, 00:18

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