I don t believe in ghosts

The rational, daylight, functional, get-about-and-do-things part of my mind welcomes the broom of reason as it sweeps away the cobwebs of spookery.

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Then, led by the museum director, a handful of us descend into the bowels of the museum to begin our very first EVP session. It was the vivid pictorial craziness that caught my mind at first. It should be noted early that along with one of the members girlfriends, I'm in attendance as both a museum volunteer and a skeptic.

My imagination comes to life only in the presence of the uncanny; the despot I serve is the part of my mind that feels a thrill as fierce and sudden as lust when it encounters a deserted graveyard, or comes on the idea of personal daemons, or hears those old familiar words: ''Once upon a midnight dreary.

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We never get full sentences. He didn't say anything, but you could see in his eyes he'd started to believe. After a flurry of discussion, it's discovered that it was simply the result of an NPI team member knocking something over.

If we don't bring everything we have to the task of writing a story, there's a psychological cost: we feel that it's a fundamentally trivial and worthless occupation, and we despise ourselves for wasting our efforts on something so contemptible.

I don t believe in ghosts

As we hunker down, Nikki asks if I'd like to start the session off by asking a question. Or, to put it another way, belief in the paranormal seems a lot like genital warts: problematic, transmitted from person to person, and once you've got it, it's damn hard to get rid of.

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We've evolved to search for patterns in the world around us. Although I've been tasked with keeping an eye on NPI and making sure their investigations don't impact any historical artifacts, the team seems relatively well-behaved—perhaps owing to the shame of the mystery bang, still less than an hour old. But my imagination doesn't. And there may be something in that. As co-founders, Nikki and Darryl field questions, and their brusque, businesslike tones dominate the group's chatter. So there ain't no ghosts. For the next six hours, the organization will split into two teams and conduct a series of investigations, livestreaming the experience to its Facebook followers. The pair went in and took readings, addressing ghosts they were sure were there. If you want to write anything that works, you have to go with the grain of your talent, not against it. Others want to help. By one in the morning, the night is winding down. But one of the remarks they sometimes make about my work does coincide with a mild puzzlement I feel about it myself: in common with some other writers whose work is read by children, I am chided for writing fantasy, because fantasy is a lesser form than realism, and everyone knows that there are no such things as elves or hobbits or, for that matter, ghosts and disembodied spirits, so nothing interesting or truthful can be said about them. While another, arguably more understandable part is helping comforting those who call on the Ghost Hunters.

Gerhold, along with partner Alex Schollain, are the otherworldly experts Berlin calls on when something spooky is afoot. One team member tells the story of a night spent in "a private residence" where, during an EVP session, their REMpod—a device which allegedly interacts with the electromagnetic fields given off by ghostly presences—went crazy.

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What It's Like to Go Ghost Hunting When You Don't Believe in Ghosts