Death and the Paranormal

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It is well known that people who are in deep grief are more susceptible to experiences of the paranormal than they would be in less distressing times. Such experiences take a wide variety of forms, often involving some awareness of the “presence” of the deceased. Hearing unexpected sounds; observing remarkable coincidences; finding articles in strange places….these and many others are not uncommon.

Sometimes such experiences are frightening; sometimes they are strangely comforting, especially when they have a particular association with the deceased. “His coffee mug was exactly where he put it every night; but I know I put it in the cupboard that afternoon.”

Materialists put all these “experiences” down to the stress the grief-stricken are subject to. Certainly we know that high levels of stress can do weird things to our cognitive functions - and to that extent the materialists have a powerful argument. And it can be comforting to explain away our experiences of the paranormal by putting them down to stress and its associated effects.

We are not convinced, however, that that will explain away the entire phenomenon. Nor, we think, will pure chicanery, as with seances and ouija boards. While we remain very cautious, we do not wholly discount raised levels of awareness of “the other” that some people report. We do not want to make extravagant claims for these perceptions, in terms either of frequency or objectivity: we merely acknowledge their occurrence and wish to play down their significance or power.

What that means for anyone reading this (and they are most likely to be mourning a loved one to be on this website at all) is that we suggest sitting as lightly as you can to any paranormal events you encounter. If they persist or cause you alarm or distress, we suggest you contact your local priest or Vicar. They will be able to put you in touch with an expert in this field: every Diocese has one. They will be pleased to be able to help you.