Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Haunted Homes Versus Ghostly Graveyards

Whether you've experienced a haunted home or not, you love a good ghost story don't you? Visiting haunted houses, telling tales round the campfire, sharing spooky experiences, the passing-on of urban myths. We all seem to like a good scare now and again. Some people may have concerns about paranormal activity in their own home. Others are genuinely fascinated by this unknown quantity?

I recently came across an article listing the top ten haunted locations that a team of investigators had visited and I was amazed at the number of cemeteries that were included. You may well be thinking that's no surprise, graveyards and cemeteries are spooky places. But I don't find that. I've always found graveyards peaceful rather than scaringly haunted.

It got me thinking and I had a quick scout around various websites and listings. The usual suspects cropped up as haunted locations, that to be honest I am not at all surprised by: Haunted hotels, theatres, airfields (particularly in the U.K.), large family homes, and castles all made numerous appearances. But in the U.S. particularly, (with a few in the U.K.) haunted cemeteries and graveyards appeared far more frequently than I imagined would be the case.

So, why do they crop up so much? Is the perception of a graveyard as a place likely to be haunted cause us to create the problem? Maybe. My theory is that in most, but I'm sure not all cases, it is expected that a cemetery should be haunted, so it becomes so. How? Can that happen? I can hear you ask. Yes, it can. People tend to fear death, they fear the unknown and they seem to project that fear on to the objects or places that symbolise these things. Additionally, people express extreme emotions at grave sides and funerals and this combination can be potent. An essence of such fear and emotion around these final resting places can create an environment which some may pick up on as spooky.

It's just a theory. To be honest, I can't say that I've spent a night in a graveyard. If I had, maybe I'd have a different theory.

Why am I surprised by the number of cemeteries and graveyards listed as haunted? Firstly, I'm surprised because personally I have rarely seen, sensed or otherwise experienced much paranormal activity in graveyards. I can't say it's never happened, from memory, a monk on the Isle of Wight was the first spirit I saw in a graveyard. But I found out that there used to be a monastery next to the church many years previously so it made sense that the monk was hanging around because this area had been his home, rather than for any other reason.

Secondly, what would be the point of hanging around a cemetery? It not as if it would have been the place you spent most of your time when alive. It's unlikely to have been the place of your untimely demise for which you seek vengeance, although it's possible I suppose. And it's highly unlikely that your being there would have any impact on those you love and have left behind, unless they regularly visit your grave and you wish to make yourself known to them. Their home would be a far better place to make that connection.

And why is it more acceptable for theatres, hotels and stately homes to be recognised as haunted? Well, these are places where life is abundant. People spend time in these places, they are living in them, having relationships, expressing emotions, experiencing all sorts of situations, good and bad. As a result I believe they are far more likely to re-visit them in death.

So while I wouldn't say that a graveyard would never be haunted, I do think that other places should probably feature more highly on a list of most haunted venues, and maybe they're just there for effect and to provoke a reaction in the readers of such articles.

Helen Leathers is a lifelong intuitive, clairvoyant and medium, some would say psychic. Helen prefers the term 'a naturally modern mystic'. Helen teaches, inspires and encourages spiritual growth, personal and psychic development.