Daily 49er

The paranoia behind paranormal beliefs

Hanna Suarez, Staff Writer

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There are a few reasons why I don’t worry about ghosts or paranormal activity in general. The first and more practical reason is that I believe in the power of a full eight hours of sleep. I can’t afford to stay up late and lose sleep over some disturbing horror s**t that I’ve read or watched.

This belief works in relationship with a few things — my own fear of mortality and the pain of physical trauma, coupled with my own radically secular beliefs that free me of fears of possession, evil spirits, etc.

I do believe that our minds are a terrifying place, and that our subconscious imaginations have their own way of twisting and altering the realities we see and hear to manifest some really f****d-up images.

But our dreams, like our perceived realities (what we think we see and hear), have logical explanations. Sometimes when I was a kid and couldn’t sleep at night, I swore I could hear something reminiscent of a glass being placed on the kitchen counter, and I let my fear lock me into place. I let myself believe that Mr. Sandman was pouring himself a cold glass of milk. In reality, those incidents could have been assigned a number of logical explanations — the water filter, the sounds a building makes when it settles, something beyond the thin drywall that separated our tiny apartment from our neighbors’.

I think that staying away from horror films and media has made me less susceptible to irrational fears of paranormal activity. If what we dream and fear and think originates from the knowledge already present in our brains, why poison our conscious minds with images that are likely to manifest those fears? My own mom was watching original horror films like “The Omen” and “Dracula” when she was just a kid — and she continues to watch cult horror films. Not surprisingly, she strongly believes in paranormal activity, even claiming that she has seen spirits in broad daylight.

One day while my mom was visiting my apartment, she swore something brushed up against her, but I was in the other room. The building is like, a hundred years old, but I have no evidence to prove that there is a paranormal presence.

Okay, a couple weeks ago I ate an edible before bed, and I thought it was a dud but then it hit me. My mouth was dry, my head was spinning, and my cat was making these weird, inquisitive meows and staring up at nothing in particular. And I thought I could feel this presence and I couldn’t fall asleep while my cat was chasing ghosts around the apartment. But cats are f*****g weirdos, especially at night! So why would I believe myself, why would anyone believe me, when there are logical explanations for these feelings of paranoia?

People! There’s some really scary, f****d up s**t that goes on in the world, like, oh I don’t know  — climate change, state sanctioned genocide, the US Food and Drug Administration, the meatpacking industry, militarized border patrol, the Executive Cheeto and his white cheddar cracker cabinet. The list literally goes on and on. So, why the f**k am I gonna worry about ghosts and ghouls in a time like this?

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