There is no conclusive and quantifiable evidence (nor has there ever been) that tells us (without a shadow of a doubt) that ghosts, apparitions, spirits, shadow people, and paranormal activity (and everything in between) exists. Remember, having a belief in something is not evidence of that something's existence. The lack of substantial evidence (something that can be experienced by the five known senses and measured scientifically) is what keeps the scientific community (by and large) away from this area of exploration.
Hollywood (for the most part) doesn’t do us any favors either, as most of their stories revolve around sensationalism and fantastical visual effects. These are mostly things that defy the laws of known physics.
However, just because (for the most part) the scientific community wants no part in such stories or cases, doesn’t mean that all of these experiences and stories are nothing more than an illusion. There is no doubt something very unusual is happening. The question is not whether it’s happening (it clearly is) the question is... what exactly is it? Is it a trick of the mind? Are they all hallucinations? Are people making up stories for financial gain? Are people making up stories for a sense of celebrity and to become famous? Or perhaps they’re mistakenly confusing rational explanations for paranormal activity.
All of the above is correct. There are (whether skeptical and cynical people want to believe it or not) genuine, educated, rational, and (for all intents and purposes) normal people who experience this type of phenomena all the time.
I was one of them.
Ghost hunting may be fun, but it doesn't answer any questions. EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) may be creepy and mysterious, but it doesn't answer any questions. Those strange and unusual images in photographs and on video may be weird, but it doesn't answer any questions. And the dreams of your dead relatives may be comforting and emotional, but it don't answer any questions either. They just create new ones. To truly understand what this phenomena really means (or if there truly is something more beyond this world) we must start from the very beginning. What happens when we die?
The experience that happened to me between November 2000 and April 2001 was extensively investigated by everyone involved. We used the best resources that were available to us at the time.
Remember, research doesn't mean walking through a dark house with an EMF reader getting excited over blinking lights.
The history of the house on Port Robinson Road and its property was investigated and researched. Neighbors and even family members (who used to live in the house in the 1970's) were contacted and interviewed. Many audio cassette tapes and photos were documented. Real estate companies and agents were interviewed. Police stations and medical departments were contacted, and every resource at the local library was used. I estimate that I had visited the house at least 100 times in 5 months.
It's very important to keep in mind that our investigation into the house on Port Robinson Road was during a different era. The year was 2000. "Ghost hunting" (I hate that term because I think it devalues the true nature of what the exploration could and should be about) was not something people were doing. This was also several years before pop culture began to become more invested and interested in the idea of "ghost hunting." There was no Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Paranormal State, Long Island Medium, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Paranormal Activity, Ghost Adventures or practically every other modern ghost hunting or paranormal based T.V show or movie you can think of. We did not form a group, nor did we call ourselves ghost hunters, busters, finders or extinguishers. We had no t-shirts, no hats and no websites. This was before YouTube, before Facebook, before Twitter, before Vimeo, before smartphones and before most digital recorders and cameras. MSN messenger was only a year old. And Hotmail was the dominate email force. We were not doing this for money, popularity or any kind of exposure. We were just in College going about our everyday lives. This was nearly as raw and as real as it gets.
I am a firm believer (because of my personal experience at the house on Port Robinson Road) that something does in fact survive the process of death. What that something is however, I don't know. Our consciousness seems to make the most logical sense to me. But even if that's true, we are left with another important question. What is consciousness and where does it come from?
My personal experience has allowed me to become even more open minded and made me realize that not everything in life we see is real. And not everything real in life we see.