Strange Days: Our inception and the ghost
Gregory A. Williams, Anchor Contributor
Strange days are upon us indeed, and it will only get stranger. Welcome wee folk, cryptids, spirits and other supernatural beings to the birth of this humble column. I am proud and honored to be writing about the world of strange phenomena and all of its many unusual inhabitants. There is no shortage and the world grows only stranger by the day.
With that said, there is much ground to cover and given the limited space I will spare you the preamble and dive right in. The English word ghost, not to be confused with spirit (often used interchangeably) comes from the Old English word gāst (“spirit”) and derives ultimately from the Proto-Germanic word gaistaz (“anger, agitation”).
If I were born 100 or even 50 years ago I would have been labeled a lunatic for openly and full heartedly broadcasting my beliefs in psychic phenomena and the other parasciences. Thankfully, times have since changed and it seems like people are now more than ever willing to give the existence of ghosts and the paranormal in general the benefit of the doubt.
A 2013 Harris poll revealed that 42 percent of Americans believe in ghosts, while a 2005 Gallup poll showed that three quarters of Americans hold at least one paranormal belief, with extrasensory perception, also known as “the sixth sense”, being the highest. Another poll showed that a whopping 52 percent of United Kingdom residents believe in ghosts. Let’s hope those numbers continue to rise.
I am just about out of space so I will close this column with a few words by the writer Joseph Addison: “A person terrified with the imagination of spectres, is more reasonable than one who thinks the appearance of spirits fabulous and groundless”. Well said, Addision.