So we've examined the terms we're using, and now we kick off the sample scenario so you can start to see how these elements take shape in the way of a paranormal event(s),
This is a sample, but it contains hallmarks that you'll no doubt have heard before. Later, we'll examine real accounts, and the people, places and situations that surround the activity.
For now, and for the sake of simplicity let's not focus on what we usually do: the phenomena. We're going to talk about the people within their circumstances who experienced it.
Dan and Jane are newlyweds. Being young with Jane still in her final year of college, they buy a fixer upper home, one built around 1900. Just starting his career full-time, Dan's not making a ton of money. His income is their only monetary source, and so an inexpensive house was the best option. They would, as Jane graduated and started work at the local hospital, earn more and be able to devote her funds to home renovations.
As they move in, they have only a small amount of cash from the home loan to devote to making the place a little more their own. Old houses are usually quite 'chopped up' into small rooms and Dan suggests that they ought to start by knocking out a couple of walls to open up the space. Namely, the non-load bearing wall between what they called the living room and small nondescript room adjacent to it. Jane says she'd like to live in the space for a few months and see how she feels about it. They agree.
While they struggle somewhat financially, life settles into a routine of Dan dropping Jane off at the college when he goes to work - she takes the bus home. Dan arrives home at 6 and Jane usually has dinner ready. It's a peaceful place. Jane likes hanging the laundry outside to dry in the warm sun, and having no neighbors nearby she doesn't worry about her unmentionables being seen by prying neighborhood eyes.
As she cooks a modest dinner one night she tells Dan "This kitchen is ridiculous. It's so cramped, and I can smell the gas from the stove because it's so tight in here. How about we make the kitchen our first thing?" Dan agrees. The weekend comes and Dan goes out to Home Depot for supplies, and enlists his brother Bob for some help.
Now let's keep in mind that Dan and Jane have been married now 6 months, and have had no issues with the house, or each other. Life has been stable, if not slightly stressful due to finances. But nothing they couldn't handle.
Dan and Bob prepare to demo (tear down) the wall between the small room and the kitchen. They've had a contractor friend look over what they want to do and he says it's no issue. The wall isn't load bearing and they shouldn't have any surprises, as these houses are pretty bare bones. He tells Dan only to watch for power and plumbing lines and gives him note on what to look for.
As they tear out the wall Dan gets up on a ladder to get the upper part of the wall removed from the ceiling.
BANG - as he removes the last bit, something comes down from above - a metal post...looks like oil rubbed brass.
"Thats our bed post." Jane says with her arms crossed. "I know it."
"Calm down, lemme look" Dan says as he heads upstairs. Sure enough, it's the leg of the bedframe - and not only that, half the floor is sinking on the kitchen side of the room. Dan immediately realizes he's out of his depth. The contractor confirms, there's wood rot in the floor/ceiling and the couple is in for not only a new floor upstairs, but a new ceiling downstairs.
Way more trouble than they bargained for. Where is the money going to come from for this.
"Now we're out a bedroom and a kitchen. Great." complains Jane. Dan says he can pick up some overtime and it shouldn't be that bad. But it is that bad. The contractor wants $3k for the work and then Dan can start the kitchen. "We can have ya done in a couple weeks" says the contractor.
Dan borrows money from his parents, and works the overtime. Jane, can't cook in the kitchen so they order in. If it's not that, it's Ramen. Take out is costing too much - it's Ramen. This causes Dan to get a little irate - he works hard and is sick of it...quickly. The couple can't sleep in their room for fear of collapsing into the ceiling downstairs. Dan sleeps on the floor and Jane on a futon in the living room. It's uncomfortable. Dan wakes up late 2 times in a week and he's dragging. Like a zombie he gets up in the morning and makes coffee on the small table in the living room. It's makeshift to say the least.
They aren't sleeping well. There's financial pressure. The couple is out of routine, and not eating at their normal time. On top of school, Jane has to figure out what she's doing for dinner without Dan giving her a raft of grief for getting KFC tonight instead of those goddamned microwaved noodles.
Jane wakes up one night thirsty. She walks towards the remnants of her kitchen for a drink of water, when she sees...it.
A woman. There's a woman in the kitchen. She's stirring something...where the stove used to be. As she leans over for a sniff of the not visible food, or kettle, she looks up at Jane - and promptly vanishes.
Jane is frozen with fear.
"What the f--??!!" is all she manages to mumble from her numb lips and fear constricted throat. She bolts to Dan's side.
As the two discuss the event, Dan says "You always hear about all those people who buy old houses and when they renovate them, the ghosts don't like it and start up."
"Jesus Dan - don't tell me that" Jane says with wide eyes. In coming days Dan would also see phenomena, small lights that floated in the upstairs hallway, and noises that sounded like voices were heard - usually around 3am.
This sparks an inordinate amount of fear in them both. Life has become more than either can handle. The contractor gets done his work, and Dan plows through the kitchen renovation. He works all night some days. In those couple of weeks, Dan becomes resentful of Jane's original request to do the kitchen - this all wouldn't have happened if Jane hadn't asked for this. "Now we've got ghosts...and I don't even believe in such stuff" he thought.
The couple fight. It gets bad. Fear, the money, the sleep disruption. It all contributes to a chaotic life. Dan considers telling Jane maybe they rushed into marriage. Some days he considers just leaving.
But they stick it out. The renovation finished, Jane cooks her first meal in the new kitchen. She realizes it's been a week since she saw or heard anything ghostly in the house. Life moves into a nice routine again. The couple like the new floor upstairs. The house is silent.
It was all worth it.
It was all worth it.
Now this is a general story laid out with a simple progression: normal life is disrupted by chaos. Financial woes, living quarters in shambles, loss of routine, and stress. So you're probably recognizing the anti-structure and liminal sates, right?
The kitchen is in a liminal state: between being what it once was and what it will be when complete.
The couple by virtue of the liminal state of the kitchen, experiences anti-structure. Not sleeping the same hours or in the same space, not eating at regular times,
There's the change in routine schedules, and the notion of someone being in the house (contractor and his workers) who aren't normally there.
It doesn't have to always be the case, but one thing you might have missed? The couple themselves are in the liminal state - transitioning from living apart in their own respective homes, to living together in a totally new one. Their own personal routines change because they now live together. They may be experiencing new routines, or dealing with emotional issues with that transition.
As mentioned in the story, the couple begins to split emotionally. After the paranormal rears it's head the couple is steeped in the anti-structure and liminal states, and more often than not that's just not a good spot for relationships of any kind.
You may note that ghost hunting groups and UFO study groups never seem to last all that long. They fall apart and split after only a short time together. Many are in a constant state of flux - and these groups curiously enough seem to experience more success at ghost investigations. We'll get more into what might help these groups to stick together later - but here's a teaser for that: there's a reason that a meal often follows after a funeral, or ritual of some kind.
|It's the proverbial broken record - one need only listen.|
This is all over the paranormal account(s). From UFO sightings to alien visitation and hauntings.
So, you'll hear many paranormal mavens say that "the renovation stirs up the spirits because they don't like their environment being altered from what they remember." One thing you'll find in the paranormal across the board is that people claim too much information. To make such an inference is blind speculation at best, and absurdity at it's worst - actually no...it's just absurdity. To say such a thing is to portend the mind of a spirit, or ghost...and not even know what that title really means. Is the 'ghost' Jane saw a self-aware spirit of the dead - or something else? (and the possibilities are endless.) Yet, you hear this sort of unfounded notion trotted out time and again, "they've upset the spirits". We don't even know what the 'spirit' really is yet. Therefore attributing anything of meaning is nothing short of wish fulfillment and myth building. There's no substance to that.
It's too early for theory, really. We need to establish what surrounds the paranormal event - because the event itself while important, doesn't reveal enough about itself to arrive at productive questions, or generate useful hypotheses.
If you think the story resolves too quickly? Don't. Because paranormal phenomena can vanish as unexpectedly as it appears - often quickly. We can surmise that the phenomena ended because life in the house became routine again (structure), renovations concluded, and the liminal state was over.
Stop asking why. I know it's the question we need answered. But no one is there yet. More information must be gathered, and so then experiments can be proposed knowing the nature of what the phenomena operates within.
NOTE: The above illustrates one layer of the paranormal experience, and it's 'envelope'. It's by no means the whole ball of wax, but it's a good starting sample. You'll begin to see these things in ghost programs you might watch.🔻
Next: a real life scenario, from a surprising source.