By Associate Editor Natalie Gates

Do you believe in ghosts? Spirits of the dead who appear to the living.

I have never really considered myself a believer because I haven’t had any especially compelling “sightings” myself. But I also don’t consider myself a non-believer; I welcome the possibility of something existing bigger than our mundane human lives.

Fear has a hand in it. Sometimes I double-check behind the shower curtain or feel the tiniest bit of unease when I look in the mirror of a dark room. I believe karma has an influence and I will never speak ill of a ghost when someone insists they exist.

I’ve had several friends describe instances that seem unexplainable by conventional science or “the wind”. Jewelry on the floor one moment and a shelf the next. Fruit that jumps off the counter and ends up in the hallway. Lights that turn on by themselves. Glasses of milk that shatter and explode with no physical trigger. Animals growling at nothing. Detailed visions of deceased relatives. Strangers that suddenly disappear and reappear.

I was chatting with fellow Nav-er Catherine and her parents the other night when the topic of supposed ghosts in their house came up. It’s an old home on Milton Street so there surely have been many different people who’ve lived and died there.

Her mom described waking up one night to a strong presence in the hall outside her bedroom.  Standing there was a woman with dark hair parted down the middle and tied up in a bun. She wore a dark dress and a white apron. She wasn’t threatening, but rather brought a great sense of peace.

Cat’s mom didn’t mention this to her at the time because she didn’t want to frighten her.

Turns out Cat saw a woman that matched that description one night; she stood above her bed and tucked her in peacefully. She described the woman to her mom, who, shocked, said she had seen her before.

A ghost? Maybe. Or perhaps these things are caused by a different otherworldly phenomenon. In Cat’s example, perhaps her and her mother share a psychological connection that runs deep into their subconscious, causing them to both dream or imagine the same woman. I know my mother and I have seemingly read each other’s minds in strangely accurate ways many times.

Perhaps tension and vibrations we emit can be strong enough to move objects. Maybe it’s reincarnation and former lives that give us the ability to “see the future”. Maybe, some people have a sixth sense that makes them more sensitive to such happenings, or gives them the ability to imagine them vividly.

In this issue, you will read about a couple first-hand encounters with “ghosts” in the spread and Point of VIU. Do their stories affect your belief in the paranormal at all? For myself, each time I hear a convincing ghost story, I start to believe a bit more, or at least question the universe further.  While some are described as very peaceful and positive spirits, ghosts are largely considered a frightening concept. Yet, part of me can’t help but hope that I experience seeing or feeling one someday—a friendly one, that is.

Why do these experiences happen to some but not others? Do some people subconsciously open themselves up to them, while others shut them out without trying? Is it by chance or for a reason?

Whether you decide to summon the spirits with a Ouija board or sleep with one eye open and the lights on this Halloween, I encourage you to welcome ghost stories with an open mind. Believer or not, a little bit of perspective can be powerful. It might make you think about the universe and your life a little differently, or, at the least, just make for some stimulating conversation.


Now in her fourth and final year of a political studies major and journalism minor, Natalie has been on The Nav team for about two years. When she’s not brainstorming stories or studying, she’s usually on her yoga mat, going for a hike, listening to Springsteen, or fantasizing about what to cook for dinner.