Saturday, January 27

Silent Séance

I’ve recently become an atheist.

Like most major life decisions it was influenced by a book. My commitment to Christianity, my conversion to spiritualism and my brief flirtation with the Enchanted Forest were all caused by various reading material. It’s not that I’m fickle, just that I believe everything I read.

This conversion was at the hands of Richard Dawkins, Derren Brown, other books that I was lead to by a guiding spirit I no longer believe in, and a healthy dose of logic.

It’s left a hole. For 22 years of my life I’ve believed in a make-believe entity. He/She/It (depending on my varying beliefs) gave me support when there was none, listened to me when I was depressed, and found me a parking space in busy car parks. I need God. He’s the only friend I have left, all the others lost by not keeping in touch. I’m not about to lose one more for such a feeble excuse as not believing in him.

And so I’ve been desperately trying to find proof of the metaphysical. I’ve researched, conducted experiments and watched Most Haunted but there is nothing that is not fallible to logic, Occam’s razor and an IQ greater than 100.

Finally, I held a séance.

There should be at least one ghost in my building. It was built in the 1600’s and used as a workhouse and pottery workshop. I imagine pauper’s ghosts working the treadmills and pottery workers burning to death in the Kilns. But if I told my boyfriend I was planning to hold a séance he would freak out, so there was no chance of getting some mediums round to join me. I would have to do it alone.

I waited till he had gone to bed and closed the door to my room, drawing the curtains and even turning of my PC, an action in my mind similar to human sacrifice.
There were candles on the book shelf, tea lights but I figured that workhouse ghosts wouldn’t be fussed by the quality.

I sat down and breathed deeply. ‘Is there anybody here?’ Nothing, I waited, focusing on the candle flame.

‘Come on, don’t keep me waiting.’ I’m very impatient even with dead people who are by their very nature quite slow. The room was completely still, not a single noise, not a breath of wind. Just silence and calm like the grave. And then I noticed a candle flickering. Its flame was streaming like it was caught in a gale.

‘Is that the best you can do?’

There was a tapping on the wall behind me. I spun around, but there was nothing there. Something knocked against the wall opposite me, then next to me, behind me, by my computer, then next to me again. It was getting closer and louder, and harder, closing in on me.

I stood up screaming, ‘Who are you!’
And at the moment the candle blew out.

I ran to the light switch, flicked it on. Smoke was pouring off the wick clouding the room. I walked over to it waving the smoke away.

It had run out of wax, burnt itself out. The flickering was caused by the changing wax flow and convection currents from the cooling radiator next to it. The cooling walls caused the taps as the plaster settled and contracted. There was nothing that couldn’t be explained. There were no ghosts, no mystery, Most Haunted was faked, and there was no afterlife. Disappointed and lonely, I walked out the room, closing the door behind me.

But I swear, that night as I was falling to sleep, something whispered in my ear ‘Good Night.’

But that could have just been my boyfriend.


Gorilla Bananas said...

You don't have to believe in God to believe in an afterlife. We gorillas adhere to a karmic belief-system called "reincarnation-deluxe". As for God, you're better off without him, the bad-tempered old git.

The Freelance Cynic said...

Reincarnation deluxe? A new life with air conditioning and central locking?

Gorilla Bananas said...

Possibly, but the difference with ordinary reincarnation is the heavenly pit-stop between lives. Gives you the chance to unwind a bit before getting back on the treadmill.

Scarlet said...

I stopped believing all together. I read too many science books, religion origin books and stuff. Athiest for 20 years now.

But I do say Bhuddism is a very good belief system of the self.

"To thine own self be true"
Hamlet by Shakespeare

The Freelance Cynic said...

Shakespeare said that?

I always thought it was my Grandma...

Shell said...

Check out Sam Harris too. Incredible stuff, really. Welcome to the fold, brother!

Scarlet said...

There is some debate if Shakespeare really wrote all credited to him (true). It could've been your Granma. How old is she? No, really?

wewerethecoolkids said...

Great blog. Spooky story. I might be able to offer a bit more assistance next time you attempt to contact the other side as this is what I do for a living.


The Freelance Cynic said...

She's about 80 or so she says, who reallyknows
I don't believe my Grandma is Sir Francis Bacon though.

If she is, then he was one ugly writer...

The Freelance Cynic said...

Arthur - You're a practising medium?

Wow - I tried to be a medium once but I couldn't make it fit, had to go for XL instead.

Still that's underwear for you...

How long you been talking to dead people for?

Martlake said...

Hmmm... Makes me wonder why we should expect to perceive something supernatural by natural means.

Lord save us from the cynics... they're taking over the world! :p

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