Posted on: July 2, 2018

Following on from the Q&A I posted on here recently, I thought I’d try and find one that dealt more with people’s beliefs and opinions about the paranormal/unexplained. The one below, from the Psychology Today website, is one of the more interesting ones I found. The only problem is that each question was simply done on a 1-5 rating scale, and I feel many questions (on any kind of subject really) are too complex for that. I think they can’t always be answered with a straightforward “yes” or “no”. So, as a total self-indulgence, I thought I’d repeat the questionnaire on here, but give more rounded, fuller answers, where I could.

If you don’t want to read my interminable wafflings (and I don’t blame you, I largely did it for my own amusement when all’s said and done) but would like to do the questionnaire yourself, then just simply Google “paranormal beliefs test psychology today”, and it should come up first. Now I suppose I should assert up front THESE ARE ONLY MY OPINIONS. I don’t claim for one minute to have all the answers, and I expect there will be times when I completely contradict myself too, as I am neither a total Skeptic, nor a total Believer. It was useful for me personally to focus on the different questions, and finally see what I really felt about them, as all too often I can feel like a bit of a fence-sitter with some topics. If you violently disagree with me, or take exception to what I’ve written, don’t email me with abuse or long-winded, finger-wagging lectures telling me I’m a complete clot and I don’t know everything (I already know that), just go and do the questionnaire yourself!!! There are 67 questions in all, and I repeat, the answers below are JUST MY OWN HONEST OPINION, OK? Good, let’s get started.

(1) Number 7 is a lucky number. Not particularly. My childhood home was a No.7, and like all houses, it had its share of good and bad luck over the years.

(2) I believe in soul mates. Yes I do, I think there are some people whom you connect with at a much deeper level than others.

(3) I believe that voodoo dolls work. Yes, but I believe this is largely down to psychology. If you produce a frightening-looking doll, possibly with pins stuck in it, and tell someone the doll will curse them, it can take quite a tough-minded person who is able to completely shrug it off, so the curse works via psychology. See my piece about Haunted Dolls On eBay for more on this kind of thing.

(4) I believe that some crop circles were actually created by aliens. Gawd knows. The whole crop circle phenomenon is fascinating, but aliens?? The problem I have with that is if it’s aliens communicating with us, you’d think they’d find a simpler way to do it! The patterns are often very beautiful, and certainly have become a fun feature of the Summer here in Blighty, so I enjoy them for that reason, but I’m not really sold on the whole Alien Involvement aspect.  And in some places it has become a bit of a money-making racket.

(5) I believe in the existence of a supernatural power. Yes, there is something at work in the Universe, although I personally prefer the title “Original Source” to “God”.

(6) Breaking a mirror brings 7 years of bad luck. No it doesn’t. It’s a bit like the voodoo doll, if you tell yourself it will bring you bad luck then it probably will.

(7) The Loch Ness Monster is a real phenomenon. I believe there is something very odd and unique about that whole area, but I don’t believe Nessie is a real flesh-and-blood creature. If she is, where does the Big Momma get her food supply? Why have no carcasses/remains ever been found? I believe it’s more a supernatural/occult-related phenomenon. To be honest, I find the whole cryptozoological approach to the subject very boring indeed.

(8) If two people are meant to be together, they will be. Yes, it’s as simple as that.

(9) Love and luck spells work. Although there is a strong Pagan element to me, I never do spells. I think things should happen organically. It’s either meant to be or it’s not. Do the spells work? I’m not convinced on that one at all, it feels like a lot of effort and pointless fiddling around for nothing to me. You might as well just work on the issue on a practical level.

(10) I believe in palm reading. No, not really, and in the wrong hands (ho! ho!) it can be dangerous, “ooh I see a massive break in your Life Line coming up”. Cue traumatised customer. One guy was told he would “die at the end of the month”, although it wasn’t terribly clear which month she was referring to, and I think it’s highly unethical for ANYONE to go telling you things like that. No, leave it alone, it’s a silly profession over-run by charlatans, and if you’re at a vulnerable point in your life it’s not a good idea. I did go to palm-readers on a couple of occasions when I was much younger. Looking back, they didn’t tell me anything that couldn’t have been got at by simple guess-work or questioning. One asked me what my next birthday would be. I told her “21” (it was a very long time ago), and she replied “you will have a party for your 21st”. No shit Sherlock? I mean, 21st birthday parties are so unusual aren’t they! Don’t forget, these people study how to “read” you. And often, they’re not terribly good at it. Just one example, when my Mum was pregnant with me, she went to see one, who told her she would give birth to male triplets!! It has to be said, I do do Tarot readings (entirely on a private level, and not for money). That is about helping people, and giving them guidance as to what they may need to focus on in their lives, it’s not about making wild guesses about a person, or scaring the bejaysus out of them with silly predictions.

(11) Some people are really able to levitate. Genuine question: has this ever been proved on camera? Has it? Have you ever seen someone floating about, entirely unaided? Sorry to sound cynical, but I remember those big magic shows from the 1980s, where some buffoon would levitate over the Grand Canyon. What nonsense.

(12) I believe there is life on other planets. Just going by law of averages, there surely must be, when you considering how vast the Universe is, and how many planets there are. I actually think it would be much more implausible if there WASN’T life elsewhere. In fact, I find the idea that we are the ONLY life form in the Universe to be deeply disturbing. The more pertinent question is … what form does the other life take.  I quizzed my old man, the scientist, about this, and his reply was “Yes there is, it may even be in the Solar System, particularly Europa [one of Jupiter’s moons]”.  Well as I said, it’s more of a question as to what form that life takes.   Also, we always assume other life-forms are more advanced than us, and are able to space-travel much easier, (there’s always someone bleating “why haven’t they contacted us then?”), perhaps they might be even more primitive than we are though.  Just a thought.  And then of course there’s the whole other question of multi-verses and parallel universes … I think this subject is potentially endless. 

(13) In the end, you get what you deserve. Far too simplistic. I DO think that you have a lot of control over your own Fate, but not always. Some things are out of your control. I don’t believe it’s a case of “deserve”. I’ve seen too many monumental shits go completely unpunished, and too many good people go through endless trauma, to believe in this one.

(14) I believe in reincarnation. I think there might be some truth to this one, unfortunately it’s a subject that has been over-run by complete fantasists over the years. You know the sort: “I was Cleopatra/Napoleon in a previous life!” It’s never “I was the poor wretch who swept up the horse-manure in the streets”. I remember one guy telling me, in all seriousness, that he was one of the Knights Templar centuries ago. Course he was. But, having said all that, I do accept we may have lived lives before. It might explain things like “karmic connections” (and/or the feeling that you’ve met someone before when you meet them for the first time), or why people get illogical fears and phobias about things. I once worked with a woman who had a morbid fear of large bodies of water, whether it be the sea, lakes or even just swimming-pools. She said she had no idea where this fear came from, and there was nothing in her life to explain it. I also once read a piece on reincarnation, which mentioned General Patton, the great American military leader, who believed he was a reincarnation of a Roman general. On arriving at a battle site in France during WW2 he said “I have been here before”. On a personal level, it’s the only thing for me which explains my life-long (and completely illogical) fascination with both religious orders and prisons. I have no wish whatsoever to be in either, but I’m still endlessly fascinated by them. I also have an lifelong obsession with being “free” and detesting the feeling of being caged in any way.

(15) I believe that some people can reshape or bend an object using the power of the mind. No I don’t. I was a kid when Uri Geller became a huge star in the 1970s, bending forks on British TV. It was great entertainment, and led to a craze for mangled cutlery, but no I don’t believe it was a genuine phenomenon.

(16) There is life after death. People have had too many odd experiences to rule this one out. I fully accept this might be wishful thinking on my part, but I find it very hard to believe that there is nothing … or perhaps that thought is a concept simply too frightening for me to accept. I don’t know. But as I said, too many people have had NDEs (Near Death Experiences) or even contacts with the Other Side to dismiss it out of hand. The most oddest thing to happen to me occurred after my Mum died. I was only 8 years old at the time, and I was running about with friends in the school playground. We were pretending to be racehorses (the sort of thing kids do, or did anyway). I was suddenly pulled up short when I heard her voice calling my name, as clear as day. To this day I can still remember it vividly. It was very clear. I also had a vivid dream about searching for her in a forest (oddly the forest was in black-and-white). This may well have just been a bereavement dream, but there was something Different about that one. I can’t explain it any more than that.

(17) We all have past lives. I really answered this one in Question 14.

(18) I believe in ghosts, spirits and poltergeists. Yes I do, although exactly what they are is open to many theories.

(19) I believe in the existence of Heaven. From everything I’ve read on the subject in recent years, if there is an After-Life then it is one huge, amorphous place, and “heaven” probably is the best way to describe it. I really hope there isn’t too much sitting around twanging on harps going on though.

(20) Opening an umbrella indoors is bad luck. Absolute tosh, I’ve done it numerous times.

(21) I believe in the lost city of Atlantis. I believe there may well have been an ancient civilisation once a very long time ago, which got destroyed in some terrible cataclysm, and it may well have been situated in what is now the Atlantic Ocean. We know enough about huge natural disasters these days to make it a distinct possibility.

(22) There’s no such thing as coincidence. I honestly don’t know. Some “coincidences” are so extraordinary that it’s hard to believe they were a random accident, but at the same time I don’t believe every tiny little incident in life is preordained. That way madness lies.

(23) Black Magic can be effective. I believe there are people who practise this dreadful thing, but it’s like the voodoo dolls again, they probably rely on their victims to react to it emotionally for it to work. After all, if you want to traumatise someone, you have to make sure they know about it, otherwise it’s just not going to work (think of the runic parchment being passed in ‘Casting The Runes’/’Night Of The Demon’, it wouldn’t work if the victim never knew about it). I don’t actually believe it can be effective as a thing in its own right. I’m with James Randi on this one, Black Magic has never achieved anything productive or worthwhile in its entire history. It’s something people do who want to delude themselves they are powerful, or to make themselves feel exciting. Egomaniac stuff.

(24) Horoscopes can be remarkably accurate. Depends what you mean by horoscopes. I think the daily ones you get in newspapers and magazines are just cheap entertainment, and nothing more. I did use to regularly read a couple of astrologers Onine, until I increasingly found them both to be a couple of wet blankets all the time, constantly issuing warnings, and droning on with things like “you may think this is going to be a good week, but it’s strewn with pitfalls”. Oh shove off. Tedious old bores. Think how many millions of people share your birth sign. Are you all going to have a similar kind of day to each other? BUT astrology is a very complex subject, and I think personal horoscopes, which go into your birth chart in-depth, do often explain an awful lot about a person. When someone says something like “but I’m a Gemini, and I’m nothing like Donald Trump!” it helps to understand that so much depends on where each sign is in each planet at the exact moment when we are born, and where we were born too, so no, not all Gemini’s are going to be like Donald Trump (I don’t think the Earth could take more than one, let alone millions). If you want to find out more about yourself or people close to you, it’s worth studying in-depth, as it can be absolutely fascinating. Use it for psychology, and not prediction.

(25) Some people have taken photo’s of UFOs. Well yes, there are numerous photo’s of UFOs, but exactly what they are is another matter.

(26) I believe in the existence of angels. I have no idea. Some people swear they have a guardian angel, and I would never be so crass as to pour scorn on it. There are also some fascinating parallels with Biblical angels and aliens. But on the whole, this isn’t a subject I feel terribly strongly about.

(27) I believe that the Yeti/Bigfoot really exists. Yes I do, funnily enough, but it’s a bit like the Loch Ness Monster, I think it may not be a flesh-and-blood creature, but something supernatural/occult in flavour. Then again, these creatures are said to reside in some very remote parts of the world, so they may well be real entities.

(28) Some people can really see into the future. The simple fact is that the future hasn’t happened yet, so how can you see something that hasn’t happened? And the whole Everything Is Preordained idea is repulsive. I think Fate can turn on the most trivial of incidences. After all, if Franz Ferdinand hadn’t gone out in his car that day, then WW1 wouldn’t have happened, although I suppose you can argue that something else might have sparked it instead, as countries seemed determined to make it happen back in 1914.

(29) I believe that what goes around comes around. To a certain extent. You reap what you sow. For instance, if someone goes around abusing their power and pissing people off all over the place, they may well get their comeuppance at some point. It’s not a hard and fast rule though. Shits do get away with things (Jimmy Savile died peacefully in his bed), although a harsh truth can be that they only manage this become some people are natural Enablers, who unwittingly help them to do so. They’re usually too gormless to see the harm they are doing.

(30) There are real witches out there. Yes, of all sorts of varieties. And most are even quite harmless. I’ve encountered enough White Witches, who are genuinely well-meaning, and who want to heal the world. They are often very lovely people. There is the dark side to witchcraft too, but as I said in an earlier question, they are only effective if you let them be.  As one White Witch said to me once “they are very silly, and they shouldn’t be doing it”. 

(31) I believe that some beings can appear to give messages to individuals about the future. No not really.

(32) I believe you can be punished for something you’ve done in a past life. Oh blimey, the old “karma is a bitch” mob. I have a problem with these people, in that they’re often deeply unpleasant. No I don’t believe you can be punished for a past life sin. There is an interesting theory that we might come back to try and work out something we felt we did wrong in a previous existence, but I don’t think that’s the same, because it’s not all about punishment, it’s about understanding. For instance, a man who was a bastard to women in a previous life, might choose to come back as a woman, to see what it was like to be a woman, that sort of thing. But I’m not comfortable with the Karma Is A Bitch stuff. It’s too often a bullying tactic, used by some very miserable people who have faces like slapped arses.

(33) Aliens have abducted people and inserted implants into their bodies. Thought long and hard about this one, but no, in all honesty, I do not believe this. I DO think alien abduction is a very curious phenomenon of modern times, and worthy of research for that reason alone, if only on a psychological level, but do I believe extraterrestrials are actually abducting people and harvesting their organs, or having sex with them and creating alien babies? No I do not. It falls down on the question “why?” What would be the point? There has never been a single, solid shred of proof for this, plus a lot of alien abductees I’ve seen have been either troubled people, (for instance, it is a sad fact that some abductees who claim to have been impregnated have a history of miscarriages), or to be brutally honest, attention-seeking narcissists, and it’s getting worse. It really doesn’t help that one woman whom I’ve seen interviewed a lot in recent years (I’m not naming any names) gets extremely belligerent and aggressive, to the point of actually THREATENING people, whenever anyone dares to question her. She is far, FAR too quick with issuing threats for my liking. There is far too much ranting and raving, and stuff along the lines of the “you don’t mess with me, I’m telling you now”, “I shall come for you” [eye-roll], and “the aliens are my people, I’m very special, they’re my army, and they’re coming for you” for comfort.  BUT, having said all that, in fairness I do think she has some very pertinent things to say about some of the thoroughly disreputable characters mixed up in this subject. There are some very shady characters investigating this – I really can’t stress that enough – who seem to use it for dodgy sexual and/or financial ends.  They are like modern-day dodgy religious guru’s, conning gullible believers.  One (also nameless) actually claimed that the space science research laboratory where my husband works – and where I worked myself for over 6 years – are creating artificial aliens in the basement. THIS IS ABSOLUTE POPPYCOCK. WHAT TOTAL CODSWALLOP!  THIS MAN IS  A TOTAL LIAR!!  How the blue blazes they are managing this when, like many organisations these days, they are currently constantly battling Austerity and government cuts I do not know!! I would find it laughable, if I didn’t see that so many people seem to believe this sad, angry, ranting old man and his absolutely outrageous falsehoods* [see below, in The Liar section, for more ranting from me about this silly, irresponsible man] . I’ve been following this lot for the past few months, and I think a good sitcom could be made about them, called ‘The Ufologists’. It would be very dark comedy though.   They are not interested in having rational discussions about this subject, they want to berate you until you submit and tell them how wonderful they are.  I accept that what I’ve written here is controversial, and I will probably now get death threats from this lot. I had bettego into hiding I suppose.

Meanwhile, next question

(34) I believe in the ability to visit the After Life during a period of unconsciousness. Interesting question. I do actually think we might be able to access other periods of consciousness when we are asleep, although, it has to be said, some dreams are just memories embedded in our brains. But the whole Astral Plain idea is very interesting and exciting, and I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

(35) Spilling salt is bad luck, and can be reversed by if salt is thrown over the left shoulder. No, although I have done it myself.

(36) I believe someone can put curses on others. We seem to have already covered this one. I’m pretty sure some people will TRY to put curses on others, but I believe it only works if you fall for their baloney.

(37) I believe in telepathic communication. I believe that people who are very close to one another, or who have known one another a long time, can think the same thoughts, or are able to sense what the other is thinking. Married couples, or close-knit siblings, for instance can often come out with the same things ahead of what the other is about to say. You can become very in-tune. There are also numerous cases of animals and pets able to sense things about their owners or about each other.

(38) The dead can get in touch with the living through a medium or during sleep. Quite possibly, although I think it requires a great deal of energy on their part and is not easy. I thought I sensed my late father trying to communicate with me when I was talking to a psychic medium once, soon after he died, but I simply can’t rule out the possibility that that might have been wishful thinking on my part.

(39) I believe in the existence of Hell. Only in the sense that we can create it for ourselves. Many mediums these days deny that there is such a place, and religion seems to have also disowned it. I don’t believe there is a place of Eternal Punishment. How on earth would it work? Forevermore?? For all eternity?? After a certain length of time you would adapt, you may even get used to it in fact. And the old eternal burning pit of fire stuff? How does that work? Once you’re burnt to a crisp, you’re burnt, how do you keep burning forever?? Someone once argued that in Hell, Hitler would be a cockroach being constantly stamped on by Jews. What on earth would that achieve? It would scarcely reform Hitler, change history for the better, or ensure it never happened again, or give him time to learn the error of his ways. And for the Jews, it would be at best be only a momentary satisfaction, and wouldn’t help them in any significant way. Frankly, it was a silly, puerile argument. I think a very troubled character may well take their problems with them when they pass over, and it may well take them time to work them out of their system. Which I assume is why so many priests over the centuries have urged people to “make peace” with themselves before passing over. But Hell as a place of eternal punishment? Where does the benevolent, forgiving God fit into that? No, I think Hell is a man-made artifice, and something we entirely create for ourselves. I once wrote a short story about Hell, called ‘The Other Place’ (you can find it in my ‘B-Road Incident’ collection), where the central character finally leaves Hell by simply walking out of it.

(40) I believe in miracles. No. Sometimes it’s just that things work out in a way that we can’t immediately see HOW it worked.

(41) I believe that the Bermuda Triangle is a source of danger for planes and ships. It’s a fascinating area, but probably no more dangerous than many other areas on Planet Earth.

(42) Naming a baby before it is born can bring it harm. This is a new one for me, and I think it’s absolute hogwash. This kind of superstitious rubbish belongs in the dustbin of history.

(43) I believe in destiny. To a certain extent, but not entirely.

(44) I believe in the existence of the Devil. Oh crikey, this is the sort of stuff that has fuelled endless debates over the centuries. It’s tempting to say “no”, but the trouble is, if you believe in a good, positive force in the Universe, then the trip-side is that there is a bad, negative force. Someone once argued that if the Devil doesn’t exist, then it means God is responsible for all the bad stuff too, and so is not the all-round good guy that we think he is, OR if the Devil does exist, then God isn’t as all-powerful as He claims. This is the sort of stuff that can do you head in. But it’s the old Ying and Yang thing. Positive and negative go together. Two sides of the same coin.

(45) By casting a spell, some people can influence another person’s destiny. No, Fate isn’t that bloody easy to manipulate! Dream on.

(46) Some people really have psychokinetic powers, and are able to move objects. No they can’t, although they’ll try their damndest to fool you that they can.

(47) Some fortune-tellers can see into the future. See my answer to Question 46.

(48) I believe in the conspiracy theory that world governments are hiding proof that aliens exist. No I don’t. I believe governments may be hiding some things that are top secret, but it’s usually to do with secret technology, the military trying out new aircraft/weapons, and governments may well even have been complicit in mass psychology tests against the populace, but hiding stuff about aliens? No, I think they’re as much in the dark as we are. With this kind of thing we really do credit our world governments with far too much efficiency and intelligence. I keep thinking these days that, if there is an Illuminati, they don’t know their arse from their elbow, and you wouldn’t trust them to do the washing-up competently, let alone organise anything.

(49) A black cat crossing your path brings bad luck. Rubbish. How on earth do owners of black cats cope then? There is a black cat knocking around our neighbourhood who I sometimes see wandering about. Can’t say he’s ever had a detrimental effect on me.

(50) When I want something, I take care not to jinx it. Only in the sense that I don’t believe in counting my chickens before they’re hatched, but that’s because I never take anything for granted. Probably a side-effect of losing my parents when I was young, I know Life can pull the rug out from under you. I’m always astonished when someone says “I never thought that would happen”.

(51) If something is meant to be it will happen. To a certain extent, some things do have a Fated feel to them. Likewise, if you try and actively force something to happen, then it can go awry, or Not Feel Right.  “It plainly wasn’t meant to be”, is a saying you often hear people use. 

(52) Some people are destined for greatness. Yes, I think some people do have a little something extra about them that probably marks them out in some way. Although likewise, some great people often had very unspectacular starts to life. Sir Winston Churchill, for instance, didn’t exactly shine at school.

(53) Some people are able to read other’s minds. I don’t know about reading minds, although I think if you pay close attention to people, or have a high empathy quality, you can get a shrewd idea of how they really feel about something.

(54) When a person is between life and death, their soul can leave the body and look down on themselves. Well this is a classic start to many NDE cases. How much truth in it though I absolutely have no idea.

(55) Faith can heal physical wounds and illnesses. Again, I think this is psychology. If you have an ailment, and a caring person does a sort of “laying on of hands”, then it can only help. (Likewise I find getting into a traditional prayer position can be incredibly relaxing, to the extent that it can feel as if some kind soul is straightening out my limbs out for me). I would never suggest substituting it for proper treatment though, but as a little extra it can do no harm. Positive thought can also help enormously, but it won’t cure entirely on its own.

(56) Thinking negative thoughts of someone or something can cause a tragedy to happen. No I don’t believe this. For instance, I’ve had some very dark thoughts about Tony Blair and Boris Johnson over the years (and I can’t believe I’m alone in that one), and yet the little buggers are still roaming about, being a gobby menace. I’ve also known some quite spectacularly annoying people whom I would have loved to make disappear, but nope, they are still around, being annoying.

(57) Those who disturb an ancient Egyptian tomb will be cursed. Well it makes a great story! But no, when you analyse these cases in detail, then the alleged curse seems to take a heck of a long time (like decades, in some cases) to work its magic. The Pharoahs should ask for their money back.

(58) There are certain people who are born with special powers. Is this any different to people who have a natural talent for some things? Astrology might come into play here, as I mentioned in an earlier answer.

(59) I believe aliens have landed on Earth before / will do in the future. Quite possibly. If they had landed far into our past, we probably will never know about it. And as for the vast canvas of the future, who knows? Never say never. Let’s just hope they’re friendly.

(60) In one way or another, you will be punished for your wrongdoing. Not in any Biblical sense, no. Although if you consistently make mistakes or piss people off, then you are probably piling up trouble for yourself. I knew someone once who was consistently rotten to everybody in her life, even to the extent of driving her own husband to suicide. It was nothing but a relief when she herself departed this mortal coil. She wasn’t technically punished for anything she did, but she never really knew happiness of any kind, and as far as I know people’s lives improved when she went. She left a horrid memory in people’s minds (even her own father said he had no happy memories of her), and I wouldn’t wish that legacy on anyone.

(61) Some people experience real pre-cognition, prophecies or premonitions. Prophecies can be a bit of fun, but I think they have a spectacular failure rate. I do not believe the future is set in concrete, as I’ve said before Fate can be changed on the turn of a sixpence (to use an old phrase). The dire prophets of doom are probably just people who will see darkness round every corner, or have a political axe to grind. I have lost track now of how many times I’ve heard the world is ending, and these days it seems to be an obsession, particularly in the United States. And take a prophet like Nostradamus, his verses are often so obscure, that you can read just about any meaning into them that you choose. According to him, wasn’t the world supposed to end in July 1999 anyway? Old Mother Shipton went back even further, the world was supposed to end in 1981 or some such year. There is a very dangerous tendency these days to see the End Times in everything. I even watched someone on YouTube recently, talking about the current heatwave here in Blighty, and saying that the Sun is the wrong colour, and This Is A Sign. Normally if we get a heatwave here it is in August, when the Sun has lost some of its power, but right now (end June/beginning July) the Sun is at its strongest, so you’re getting more of a white heat than we’re normally used to here. But then what do I know? I only took a scientist’s word for that after all, and we all know they’re in the pay of the Illuminati (!) … gimme strength.

(62) We are meant to cross paths with certain people. Yes sometimes, it can feel like that. I do believe there is such a thing as a “karmic connection”.

(63) I believe in the Apocalypse or that the world will end, as predicted by some people. I really answered much of this in Question 61. The Apocalypse makes a great story. I have a weakness for reading apocalyptic fiction myself, but at the same time, I have great faith that this old World will keep on turning. Some things do disturb me, such as Donald Trump threatening War all over the place in the past year. I think we are going through a period of great change, and transitions can often be painful. Old systems are breaking down all over the place, and there is some fear as to what will take their place. But I don’t believe this is The End, in fact we may even at some point move forward into a better time, although it may not always be easy to see that at the moment.

(64) I believe some souls can’t rest until unfinished business is settled. That one is the staple of so many old ghost stories isn’t it! I do think if someone passes over before they are ready, or if they are concerned about someone or something they left behind, then their spirit can perhaps be restless. But I hope that, on the other side, souls are helped to come to terms with things.

(65) I avoid stepping on cracks in pavements. No. Silly question.

(66) I would be concerned about bad luck if my hotel room were on the 13th floor. Many hotels don’t have a 13th floor! I don’t think it would bother me unduly, nor would living in a house 13, although I once chatted with an estate-agent, who said a No.13 had bought a lot of bad luck for the people who lived there, which led him to wonder if there was something in it after all. Alternatively, the great Fanny Cradock had 13 as her lucky number! Back in 2013 I remember somebody intoning that it was probably going to be unlucky. It didn’t stand out as any more troublesome than other years. I would argue that 2011 and 2016 were more unlucky for many people. Personally, I hate the number ’73’ far more than 13. I really just don’t like it at all, to the point where, if I’m reading a print book, I will actually skim over that page. But having said that, I was once allocated a Room 73 in a hotel, and nothing awful or stressful happened to me. So there you go.

(67) People are in charge of their own Fate. I think ultimately much of your Life is down to you, although we are all of us at the mercy of random events, such as being in the wrong place at the wrong time when something terrible happens, like a terrorist attack for instance. That is out of our hands. But there is a lot you do have sway over, such as you DON’T have to put up with people who are causing you harm or misery, that sort of thing. Likewise, if you suddenly came into a significant sum of money, but blew it all on the horses, and lost it, then clearly that’s all down to you, not Fate taking a hand.


I don’t think I have ever been so angry with someone in the alternative culture community before, and I guess it’s because it’s got personal, and this is one case where I know for certain he is fibbing out of his backside.   The laboratory he rants about is a place I know well, let alone the people who work there.  It has been a part of my life since 1984 (the year, nothing to do with George Orwell).  This creepy, deluded man is spreading outright lies, but unfortunately he seems to have a significant following, otherwise I would just ignore him.  How the heck they are supposed to be building artificial aliens in the basement, when, because of Austerity, they’re currently battling broken lifts, fire doors sticking, and the loos flooding, I really don’t know!!

To add insult to injury, I found a YouTube video, made by one of his adoring chums (a sacked hospital porter, who still has the uniform hanging up behind him when he films his vids, even though, from what I can gather, he hasn’t done that job for several years now), where he got onto the lab’s campus, and tried to claim all sorts of secret skullduggery was afoot there, as if it was Britain’s answer to Area 51 or some such nonsense.   For crying out loud, man!   They build satellites to investigate planetary atmospheres, global temperatures, and space weather, such as CMEs.   In all my years of both working at that place, and being married to one of the scientists there, I have NEVER before come across even the vaguest whisker of a rumour about bloody aliens being built in the basement!  Never!!  FFS.

[And don’t get me started on the whole Super Soldiers nonsense, which dominates the Ufology/Truther movement these days to a quite ridiculous degree.  Frankly, if some of the sad, pathetic characters I’ve seen Online are really MKUltra-created Terminator-style Super Soldiers, as they claim, the rest of us have got absolutely nothing to worry about.  Fantasists, the lot of them].

Incidentally, the sacked hospital porter also once made a big song and dance about buying the Jordan Peterson book, even secretly filming himself going into bookshops in Oxford, to see if they would throw him out for asking for it.  He seemed to have an almost masochistic desire for this to happen.  Jeez, what world do guys like him live in!  I’ve even seen this book for sale in our local Sainsbury’s, so oh yeah, REALLY difficult to get hold of!  In total exasperation, I contacted him to say he could have saved himself a lot of time and money by simply downloading it to his Kindle from Amazon, where it is a bestseller.   In fairness, he did respond to me courteously, but I also got yet another member of the Daft Silly Men Club then joining in with some bizarre nudge-nudge wink-wink joke as a response.  I’m too old for this kind of school playground stuff, and if they really want to be taken seriously, then this isn’t the way to go about it.  But all too often, all this feels like an overgrown Boys Club, so it doesn’t surprise me.

Another member of this Boys Club has his own Online radio show, broadcasting any old conspiracy cobblers he can desperately glean from the days news, and interviewing all the other Conspiracy Lads in a sort of group therapy The End Of The World Is Nigh session, complete with man-hugs.  I’ve often said that the day he actually has a woman on there as a guest, I’ll probably fall off my chair in shock.

Please use your judgement when listening to these sort of guys.  They are absolutely obsessed with spreading Fear.   They should be pounding the pavements wearing sandwich boards with “Prepare To Meet Thy Doom” on. I don’t think they’ll ever be truly satisfied until the World does finally end!  They also seem to have a fixation that the entire World is united against them, and is involved in a conspiracy to hinder them.  They are convinced everyone is trying to silence them.  I’m almost tempted to say “if only that were true” …. But seriously, one ironic thing I’ve noticed in recent years is that all those constantly shouting that they are being Silenced, seem to be extremely noisy all the time.

I really don’t like generalising about people, but it is a startling fact that so many of this sort (although not outright exclusively) seem to be middle-aged men, pro-Brexit, pro-Trump, pro-Putin**.  It would be an interesting one for a psychologist as to why so many of them are so obsessed with conspiracy theories.   I would be genuinely interested in any serious analysis as to why this is.  It might help me understand them better.

**Their adoration of Russia seems to go beyond all reason, and is becoming increasingly puerile.  With all the recent events here in the UK regarding the terrifying nerve agent attacks in Wiltshire, these guys seem more obsessed with defending their great hero Putin, than in showing any concern for their fellow Brits.   And that is where I have finally lost it with them once and for all.


If you’ve managed to read this far, then my heartiest congratulations, you have enormous staying-power! As I progressed with this questionnaire, it began to feel a bit like what some Ufologists grandly call their “mission statement”. As I said at the beginning, it was useful for me to focus on some subjects, and figure out how I really felt about them, and where I was coming from. I now feel like I want to give the Paranormal a rest for a little while, and focus on other things. I do believe that too much of this stuff simply is NOT healthy, and I think some of the current attitudes in the Paranormal/Truther community are pretty abhorrent. There is too much aggression and bullying going on, let alone, as I just said, some people are spreading Fear with hysterical, and irresponsible, abandon.   There are some very strange and disturbed people in this field, and none of it is healthy.  Frankly, it is all doing my head in.

SO I shall take a little break from it for the foreseeable future. If you have been reading my books and this blog, then I thank you wholeheartedly, and I hope you found it of interest. And I’m also blowing a big kiss to anyone who has ever taken the trouble to give me a positive review on Amazon. It’s much appreciated. Always keep questioning, but don’t let the fear-mongers grind you down. Kind regards, Sarah.  Over and out.



© Sarah Hapgood and, 2011-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Hapgood and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Strange Tales on Kindle

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Mysteries, murders and other tales of the Unexplained from my blog entries,
Strange Tales 5: Mysteries, murders and other tales of the Unexplained
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An illustrated collection of 42 more of my blog entries, Strange Tales 4: 42 new cases of the Unexplained is now available for Amazon’s Kindle, price £1.99. Also available on other Amazon sites.


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An illustrated collection of 35 more of my blog entries, Strange Tales 3: A new collection of mysterious places and odd people is now available for Amazon’sKindle, price £1.99. Also available on other Amazon sites.


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An illustrated collection of 23 more of my blog entries, Strange Tales 2: more mysterious places and odd people is now available for Amazon’sKindle, price £1.15. Also available on other Amazon sites.


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Transylvanian Sky and other stories

A second collection of my short stories, Transylvanian Sky and other stories is now available for Amazon's Kindle, price £1.99. Also available on other Amazon sites.

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