Do you believe in ghosts? Halloween has just passed and Larry King had an interesting show on Friday night (Saturday morning in Hong Kong) in which he interviewed several people related to ghost appearances, ghost whispers, the paranormal, and the spiritual. I was sucked in from beginning to end. But what really hooked me on the topic was the story of Eastern Airlines flight 401. Have you heard of this? Apparently when this plane went down on December 29, 1972 in Florida the captain died, and returned to haunt Eastern Airlines for many more years to come.
Since I had absolutely no idea about this air accident or the supposed haunting I decided to read about it for myself, but not immediately on the World Wide Web. Instead I am placing an order for this and this. There is something about an unsolved mystery, an airplane accident, and a ghost that intrigues me and (I think) will make for good reading and watching. Delayed gratification. I've barred myself from reading the Wikipedia entry on the matter, and I'm going to anticipate receiving these resources so I can dig in. It will be fun. Something to look forward to.
But that was just an honorable mention during the show. King interviewed Dan Aykroyd and his father Peter. Together, they are authors of this new book. You may think, "well of course he had on Aykroyd. The movie Ghostbusters is one of the all-time classics." But did you know the Aykroyd's believe (sincerely) in ghosts and Peter is a regular at seances? They have studied ghosts (what they prefer to call spirits) for generations. That was an interesting nugget since I just assumed Dan was in the movie because he is a good actor. But the more they talked on LKL the more I wondered about the connection of their idea of spirits and my own ideas about spirits, formed mainly (in my case) by my faith in Christ and awareness of evil spirits that fight in vain with Jesus for my soul. What is the connection between spirits and ghosts?
Larry also hosted the guys from the television series on Discovery Channel Ghost Lab. These two sure do have an intriguing set of stories where they actually record supposed ghosts on film and also the voices of ghosts. King had them show how a hotel down south in the U.S. is haunted by Civil War veterans. They had footage which looked like a woman from that time period in the hallway and they use some souped new technology to record voices (in this case of some Civil War General). You may be thinking what I would normally think, "Doubt it. Doesn't happen. Figment of their imagination." I am generally skeptical as well. Ghost lab guys claim ghosts are an energy that leaves a person when they die, and this energy cannot die. So the person returns and speaks and appears and scares the living daylights out of those they haunt. Well, these guys and many other producers of t.v shows think this is real. Doing all of it for a buck and some ratings? Maybe? Most likely? I don't know, but it sure was interesting. (And there are dozens of other shows, just like this one, tracing ghosts. Check your local listings.)
What was less interesting was guest Joan Rivers who claims her NYC apartment was haunted by the previous owner until she called in a spiritist that cleansed it, and until she hung up a portrait of the old woman in her foyer. Now the deceased former owner is happy and doesn't come through the pad at night while Rivers is sleeping scaring the fur off her dogs and locking doors, etc.
But seriously, why does this fascinate so many people? Why am I getting subtly sucked in to at least explore the reality of ghosts and/or spirits? Beyond the fear and the mystery and the unknown I do just wonder. My conviction still is there is no such a thing as a ghost, but there most certainly are spirits. We need not fear them. We have all the protection we need in Jesus Christ. But I think an exploration of Larry's topic sure will make for an interesting study and I'll come back later to report what I find out, especially about Eastern Airlines 401.