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Author Topic:   Supernatural/paranormal activity and the power of suggestion
Trixie
Member (Idle past 1264 days)
Posts: 1011
From: Edinburgh
Joined: 01-03-2004


(1)
Message 16 of 33 (646775)
01-06-2012 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Omnivorous
01-06-2012 11:53 AM


Re: Too damn quiet...
This is really, really sad. Your post has creeped me out, particularly this

But when I realize the surrounding forest has gone dead silent--no bird movements or twitters, no scurrying ground squirrels, when even the wind seems to be holding its breath--my hackles rise. I pause, sniff the air, study the woods around me, and only move on when some intuitive, instinctual part of me is satisfied.

That's happened to me in the woods in broad daylight. None of the woods I go near are far from civilisation, we don't have any predators large enough to even try to damage a person, yet that feeling of my hackles rising has happened and I always freeze and do exactly what you do. However I then go a step further and shin up the nearest shinnable tree! Fast! Then sit with my heart pounding.

I've wondered about the cause of this for years. It isn't just when I've been reading scary stories or watching scary movies. It can be in an area I know very well and have walked in many times or it can be a little off my usual beaten track. Sometimes it can be caused by the snap of a twig, but usually there's nothing to explain it, at least nothing I'm consciously aware of.

I think you're onto something when you attribute it to survival instincts of our ancestors. We are rather puny, we don't have claws, teeth, speed, size. We have our intelligence and we use that to get or keep ourselves out of trouble. Yes, we may get false alarms, but they do no harm, however it could save our life if the threat is real.

Having said all that I have to admit that trying to explain to hubby why one minute I'm just behind him and the next minute I'm up a tree hasn't been easy.

I'm a real wus when it comes to the dark, but only indoors. It's always worse after a scary book or movie and that really is down to the power of suggestion. That's probably because it's better to learn from other people's experiences and so we have an inbuilt mechanism to make us wary of what dangerous tales, even if they are fiction. Maybe it doesn't matter that we know they're fiction, this little inbuilt mechanism can't tell the difference in some people.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Omnivorous, posted 01-06-2012 11:53 AM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Omnivorous, posted 01-06-2012 4:53 PM Trixie has responded

  
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 17 of 33 (646791)
01-06-2012 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Omnivorous
01-06-2012 11:53 AM


Re: Too damn quiet...
Everything you say rings very true and I accept. However, two things are what sticks out at me.

    1: What it is that my mind thinks it is. The shit I see in my head aren't visions of very real predators or some dude in the car with a knife that wants to rob me. What I imagine it being is something very surreal. While I am quite aware that these instincts are there for a reason, it's how my mind is using them: for things that I know are not real.

    2: This is not a feeling I have had my whole life. this is the part that I guess is why I am raising the question. "Why now?". Why, when I am 30 years old and potentially at (thus far) the height of my skepticism/rationality/atheism? Why did this stuff all of a sudden have the intended effect? Like I said, I wasn't a scaredy cat kid. Hell, I watched Nightmare on Elm St. with my uncle at age 5, then proceeded to go home and cry....because of FOLLOW THAT BIRD (a very sad Big Bird movie) and not because of the horror flick. My friends and I used to watch, almost religiously, zombie movies.

Perhaps CS is right. Perhaps there is just something in my life right not that has made me succeptable. Stress?


“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 18 of 33 (646795)
01-06-2012 2:36 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by New Cat's Eye
01-06-2012 12:19 PM


That is a little strange to be that concerned about so litte.

That didn't "concern" me, per se. It was just another one of the little annoyances/nuances that have never been there before. it was just something worth noting. It's not like it kept me awake at night.

Maybe there's other stuff going on in your life that's affecting this besides some scary stories on reddit.(?)

Very good possibility. However, I don't want this to be some sort of psychoanalysis of myself, nor am I about to divulge too much personal information...especially since you've already thrown in my face what little I have put out there. This thread isn't about me, it's more about the experience. I just used mine as a jump off.

If its bothersome enough, maybe you should go see somebody.

It's not, really. I think it's just more intriquing than bothersome. Annoying, maybe.


“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11761
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 19 of 33 (646801)
01-06-2012 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by hooah212002
01-06-2012 2:36 PM


That didn't "concern" me, per se. It was just another one of the little annoyances/nuances that have never been there before. it was just something worth noting. It's not like it kept me awake at night.

Oh, okay. So maybe you were having the same experiences before reading the scary stories but now you're just acknowledging it and/or paying attention to it?

Maybe there's other stuff going on in your life that's affecting this besides some scary stories on reddit.(?)

Very good possibility.

Well, its just weird (to me) that you wouldn't have them before but then you are having them now. But then, I was imagining them being something more than what you've now clarified they are.

However, I don't want this to be some sort of psychoanalysis of myself, nor am I about to divulge too much personal information

Fair enough.

especially since you've already thrown in my face what little I have put out there.

I wish a muthafucka would try to troll me

This thread isn't about me, it's more about the experience. I just used mine as a jump off.

I don't really have those experiences... well, I mean, I have had them, it just doesn't occur during normal turning the kitchen light on experiences.

It's not, really. I think it's just more intriquing than bothersome. Annoying, maybe.

Maybe its just because its in the back of your mind... involuntary suggestion from delving into the scary stories.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by hooah212002, posted 01-06-2012 2:36 PM hooah212002 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by hooah212002, posted 01-06-2012 3:00 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 20 of 33 (646806)
01-06-2012 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by New Cat's Eye
01-06-2012 2:50 PM


Oh, okay. So maybe you were having the same experiences before reading the scary stories but now you're just acknowledging it and/or paying attention to it?

Again, that is a very real possibility.

But then, I was imagining them being something more than what you've now clarified they are.

Yes and no. It's not the kind of thing that keeps me up at night (I don't even have nightmares) and it doesn't make me stop dead in my tracks out of fear, but it does make my palms sweaty, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and constantly feel like something is watching me. For example, when I walk out in the living room at night, out of the corner of my eye, I envision something looking at me through the window. I "see" it in my minds eye but I know it's not there. However, the feeling it gives me is very real...goosebumps and all. but what I "see" in my imagination is just something that was described in a story I read or a picture of some ghoul.

Maybe its just because its in the back of your mind... involuntary suggestion from delving into the scary stories.

That is precisely it and that's the fucked up part: that I know that is what it is.


“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11761
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


(2)
Message 21 of 33 (646807)
01-06-2012 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by hooah212002
01-06-2012 3:00 PM


That is precisely it and that's the fucked up part: that I know that is what it is.

That would be weird...

Yes and no. It's not the kind of thing that keeps me up at night (I don't even have nightmares) and it doesn't make me stop dead in my tracks out of fear, but it does make my palms sweaty, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and constantly feel like something is watching me. For example, when I walk out in the living room at night, out of the corner of my eye, I envision something looking at me through the window. I "see" it in my minds eye but I know it's not there. However, the feeling it gives me is very real...goosebumps and all. but what I "see" in my imagination is just something that was described in a story I read or a picture of some ghoul.

I bet if you concentrate on convincing yourself, in the moment, that its all a bunch of bullshit and that you're not *really* scared, then over time you can undo the suggestive stuff that is still new to you.

Just walk around like a BAMF all the time thinking: "you scaries betta watch yo'self" "I dare you to have your hand behind the coffee pot... I'll rip your fingers off".

You just gotta know that you're more badass than they are, and know that they know that... and that's why they're not really going to fuck with you. its your house, they're the ones out of place... they ain't gonna do shit and you know it.

Like a boss!

That's how I roll and it works.

Oh, and if you're wrong, then at least you'll have confirmation of the supernatural/paranormal!

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.


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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 526 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 22 of 33 (646823)
01-06-2012 4:36 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by hooah212002
01-06-2012 2:31 PM


Re: Too damn quiet...
hooah writes:

Everything you say rings very true and I accept. However...

Take more blue pills, cut back on the reds


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

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 Message 17 by hooah212002, posted 01-06-2012 2:31 PM hooah212002 has acknowledged this reply

    
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 526 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 23 of 33 (646824)
01-06-2012 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Trixie
01-06-2012 12:36 PM


Re: Too damn quiet...
Trixie writes:

However I then go a step further and shin up the nearest shinnable tree! Fast! Then sit with my heart pounding.

If I'm unarmed, I look for heavy rocks and sticks.

Gendered? Maybe. Though it could be experience.

I've seen bears climb trees. And you can't run in a tree.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Trixie, posted 01-06-2012 12:36 PM Trixie has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Trixie, posted 01-06-2012 6:45 PM Omnivorous has responded

    
Trixie
Member (Idle past 1264 days)
Posts: 1011
From: Edinburgh
Joined: 01-03-2004


Message 24 of 33 (646844)
01-06-2012 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Omnivorous
01-06-2012 4:53 PM


Re: Too damn quiet...
Interesting thought about it being gendered. When this happens to me, the one thing that does come into very sharp focus is that I'm a very small female and don't stand a snowball's in a physical confrontation, stones or no stones. I'm also acutely aware that though I'm a fast runner, I won't get far cos I smoke.

These are all thoughts that tumble through my head at lightning speed. I've been attacked by a male human in the past so maybe that's why I shin up a tree. It's a position of advantage and I can boot them in the face if they try to climb up. The thing is that, at the time, it never enters my head that I'm getting away from a human, all I'm intent on is being safe. I have no interest in finding out what scared me at the time, I'll deal with that once I'm safe.

Another thing that resonated with me was hooah describing imagining something peeping in the window as he flipped off the light. No matter how hard you try not to, you can't help it. It's like someone saying to you "Don't think about elephants for 5 minutes". You can't!

I'm so glad we don't have bears here. The most ferocious beasties are my four cats. Funnily enough, noises in the night used to make me jump and hubby would have to peel me off the ceiling. Since getting marauding cats I can now sleep through the most godawful racket of stampeding cats. If I'm awake and hear the noise I just think "Bloody cats!" and go back to sleep. That's led me to wonder if the fear has it's root in the unknown - if you hear a noise and don't know what caused it or see a shape out of the corner of your eye that you can't identify.

With young hooah reading spooky stories, it may be that spooky things are nearer the suface of his imagination so that when he hears an unexpected noise or sees an unexpected shape, these spooky things get included in his mental list of what the cause could be.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Omnivorous, posted 01-06-2012 4:53 PM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 526 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 25 of 33 (646855)
01-06-2012 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Trixie
01-06-2012 6:45 PM


Re: Too damn quiet...
Trixie writes:

Interesting thought about it being gendered. When this happens to me, the one thing that does come into very sharp focus is that I'm a very small female and don't stand a snowball's in a physical confrontation, stones or no stones. I'm also acutely aware that though I'm a fast runner, I won't get far cos I smoke.

Testosterone does seem to shift the emphasis from flight to fight; on the other hand, if I were a wee bit who could flit up a tree, I might. As it is, my 200 lb. frame, though fairly trim, does not flit.

I'm so glad we don't have bears here.

The deep woods black bears really are terribly shy--they're hunted here--quite different from the brown (grizzly) bears out west that tend to see us as snackies. The only thing you're likely to see of a black bear is a roly-poly rump in hasty retreat, and that only rarely. To avoid misunderstandings when picking berries in thick underbrush, I whistle and sing.

With young hooah reading spooky stories, it may be that spooky things are nearer the suface of his imagination so that when he hears an unexpected noise or sees an unexpected shape, these spooky things get included in his mental list of what the cause could be.

Yes, I suspect so.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 26 of 33 (648604)
01-16-2012 8:29 PM


Given how much shit I went through in getting this topic promoted, I had hoped it would have garnered more attention. I was hoping we could address some of the obvious (well obvious ot me) implications that have been brought to light.

Or is it just not an interesting enough topic?


“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

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 Message 27 by Trixie, posted 01-16-2012 9:52 PM hooah212002 has not yet responded
 Message 28 by bluegenes, posted 01-17-2012 5:19 AM hooah212002 has responded

    
Trixie
Member (Idle past 1264 days)
Posts: 1011
From: Edinburgh
Joined: 01-03-2004


Message 27 of 33 (648608)
01-16-2012 9:52 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by hooah212002
01-16-2012 8:29 PM


I'm not sure which direction you want to go in, tbh. Give us some of the obvious implications and it might kickstart things.
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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 35 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 28 of 33 (648627)
01-17-2012 5:19 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by hooah212002
01-16-2012 8:29 PM


All supernatural beings are products of the brain.
hooah212002 writes:

Given how much shit I went through in getting this topic promoted, I had hoped it would have garnered more attention. I was hoping we could address some of the obvious (well obvious ot me) implications that have been brought to light.

Or is it just not an interesting enough topic?

It's an interesting topic, but it's just suffered from the nature of EvC. If someone had turned up and strongly objected to what you imply in the O.P. (that belief in supernatural beings has a lot to do with tricks of the brain, essentially delusions) then a lively debate would quite likely have resulted, with people taking strong opposing positions. When there's a good argument going, EvC threads on almost any subject can often gain 100 posts or more in 24 hours. But no-one did that.

I was thinking of bringing up the "paranoia hypothesis" when I supported the promotion of the O.P., but CS got to that general idea in his first post.

One of the aspects of the subject that interests me is the fact that the type of beings that people's brains invent varies around the world from culture to culture. That suggests that, if you actually end up believing that there are beings following you around, things like the novels you are reading and other cultural input during your life will definitely effect the character of the beings.

Maybe you should try to find some novels with sexy ghosts, just in case you do get into that state.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by hooah212002, posted 01-16-2012 8:29 PM hooah212002 has responded

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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 29 of 33 (648634)
01-17-2012 8:12 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by bluegenes
01-17-2012 5:19 AM


Re: All supernatural beings are products of the brain.
One of the aspects of the subject that interests me is the fact that the type of beings that people's brains invent varies around the world from culture to culture. That suggests that, if you actually end up believing that there are beings following you around, things like the novels you are reading and other cultural input during your life will definitely effect the character of the beings.

This is the sort of thing I was hoping we would touch on and delve into a bit more.

One of the more intriguing stories I ran into was about the Pocong.

They cover the dead body with white fabric and tie the clothing over the head, under the feet, and on the neck. According to the native beliefs, the soul of a dead person will stay on the earth for 40 days after the death. When the ties aren't released after 40 days, the body is said to jump out from the grave to warn people that the soul need the bonds to be released. After the ties are released, the soul will leave the earth and never show up anymore. Because of the tie under the feet, the ghost can't walk. This causes the pocong to hop.

There are plenty of stories that circulate about people seeing this in nightmares. There have been movies about etc.

Another thing we also notice is like you said: people "see" stuff from the stories they are told. How often have we heard of a local imam seeing jesus in his toast? How many American christians see Mohammed in their toast? I was having a discussion with my parents this weekend wherein I told them how I had recently became a scaredy cat, so they went on to tell me what sort of stuff scared them. My dad said that, as a boy, he would have night terrors about hell and satan.

Hope this answers Trixie as well.


“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2719
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 30 of 33 (648645)
01-17-2012 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by hooah212002
12-31-2011 1:03 PM


Things that go bump
Hooah, I once had to carry a pager for the Emergency room in Baumholder Germany. My sole purpose was to shuttle pregnant ladies to Lanstuhl regional medical center. This was 48 hours of duty. I had to stay in a tiny little room on all the way on the other side of the hospital. The pages for me always seem to come in the wee hours of the morning like 2 or 3 am.

I made the mistake of reading Stephen King's The Shining.
I know just what you mean. I was so creeped out walking through a dark deserted old hospital with only a flash light for what seemed like miles.


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