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Trust No One

Let me preface this: I don't believe everything I see and hear, but there are things I've seen and heard that I believe.

This isn't as confusing as it seems. There are millions of eye-witness accounts of paranormal activity, or really, subjective stories of unexplained instances which people believe they've experienced. That's something we as humans have done since our brains evolved large enough to imagine and hypothesize outside our own perspectives. Our altruism and imagination have garnered us the ability to make believe. Whether or not the stories we tell are actually true is not what's important.

To these stories and ghostly claims I say, "I believe you believe that." Whether it's an idea or a physical experience of the paranormal, I can in no way deny it of the person; it is theirs to carry forever in their reality. It isn't mine though. I take the same stance with self-proclaimed psychics and sensitives. I believe they believe they have a power, or ability. I do not believe in the supposed ability myself.

I was even a blonde investigator for a while.

As far as what I believe I've heard and seen, there are only 4-5 occurrences in over a decade of consistently seeking out the paranormal (with different teams, friends or like-minded acquaintances) that would be considered unexplainable. I'm not the only one who witnessed these different situations, and having never sat those individuals

down to video interview them on the details, it's up to me to carry these experiences in my reality as I remember them.

Would any of those people corroborate what happened now? Probably not. Even if it were possible, that doesn't do anything to validate what I believe I experienced. That's for my brain alone. I've seen a full-bodied shadow person straight on (incredibly disturbing), I've heard a person climb a squeaky staircase 10 feet in front of me with the lights on yet NO ONE was visibly there, I've heard a door that didn't move an inch slam shut in a building full of people, (only the other person in the room heard it too, wtf). There are a few more. There are a few EVPs that leave me wondering as well.

I'm only at an "I don't know" with the electronic things. Those might have a technological explanation I haven't come across yet. But the things I saw, and things I heard? All counted, they are FEW, but they are mine. This paranormal shit does not happen often. Any mouth-breathing idiot should be able to tell that what's on TV is not reflective of our actual experiences in the paranormal. Even if you go looking for it often, you'll find it's really rather quiet out there. I consider myself lucky for what unexplained fuckery I can count on 1 hand.

It's primarily other people who have the most influence on what we believe, even when we lack experiences of our own to back the beliefs up with hard evidence. Save for the the obvious example of every holy book in every religion, what we read, see or hear tend to determine and shape our belief system. Per the Bible in particular, no one I know has been resurrected after 3 days in a fucking cave. I doubt you've got a friend who's been through that either. But yet, there are those who's faith is unwavering in the Bible's words, whether they were indeed said by some omnipotent sky god or an old dude in a cave writing in the 2nd Century.

I know about religion, I studied it. The minor of my Bachelor's degree is officially Religious Studies, FFS. What stopped me in faith and had me questioning facts is what I can only explain as a "reality enlightenment."

Proof I'm not a fucking moron.

It's not a faith-based life, it's a fact-based life; the more I learned, the less I could find myself blindly believing other's words. When it comes to the facts, the hard science, I know that we still don't have ALL of them to explain this universe, let alone this planet. I'm okay with "I don't know."

So no, I do not blindly believe all those who claim to have experiences in the supernatural. I use a large grain of salt (or that rad black salt for witchin' out!) to approach much of what I take in, and only trust a select few individuals as far as their own ghostly claims. I don't even have faith in much of the dogma of the paranormal at large (spirits are energy, cold spots are spirits using heat energy, dead people hang around chillin', sage is cleansing, ouija boards are portals, etc etc). I can only believe myself, because that's the only perception of the world I CAN trust. Just the same way you don't have to believe I saw or heard jack shit that I can't explain. My dogma doesn't have to be yours, and vice versa.

See? At least I'm fair.

Thanks for reading (listening to me rant),

I'm Amy L. Bennett-Bradway, a writer, multimedia artist, recovering archaeologist and YouTuber from Upstate, New York. I've been invested in all things strange and unusual since my dad gave me the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy when I was way too young. Along with my husband, Ryan, we've explored countless haunted locations in the US and abroad in search of the Weird.
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