Belief

Every October I look forward to the spooky stories post, as a lot of us do. Every year I spend hours that I don’t have to spend clicking “load more.” It’s such a delicious diversion. I teach argumentation and logic, so I get paid not to fall for fallacies. Somehow, though, I get sucked into this thread every year.

It’s funny: by November, I’m no longer intrigued. After Halloween passes, I’m no longer interested. I can see that people are making stuff up, or I can think of a rational explanation for the phenomena being described. But mid-to-late October, I can’t get enough spooky stories.

I have my own inexplicable stories, but I really do believe that they are explicable—I just don’t know enough about physics to explain them.

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I’m an atheist. I honestly do believe that life is accidental, consciousness is chemical, and death is final. I’m fine with all of that—it’s comforting in its own way. I also acknowledge that I don’t know everything, but I do believe that physics (not metaphysics) can explain most “hauntings.”

But I was raised actively and devoutly Catholic. By a scientist. I’ve been confused from day one.

My current anxiety-producing situation is this: My daughter has brought a Ouija board into the house. (Well, it was given to her as a gift by one of her more woo friends.) I keep asking her to get rid of it.

She is not a believer. She thinks it’s no big deal. “Mom,” she says. “Mom. It’s made by fucking Hasbro. It’s not a portal to hell.” I know she’s right.

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But I read this thread every October. And I just want the thing out of my house. Sure, I could take it and throw it in the dumpster, but THEN she tells me that there is a whole procedure that we have to go through to get rid of it respectfully.

My response: “Okay, let’s do that?”

And her response is, “Mom. It’s made by fucking Hasbro. Chill.”

I can’t tell who’s fucking with me at this point.

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