October 21, 2009
Well. Friday night I went over to my buddy A's house. You might remember A and his house from The Video Game Incident. After the day's small-talk had come to an end, A proceeded to tell me about the latest set of strange occurrences at his house.
Apparently, A and his girlfriend L were watching television the night before, when A began hearing what sounded like footsteps going to and fro (they both later described it as "pacing") in the upstairs house. You see, A's house is a double-decker, with the top level fully furnished but unoccupied, except for occasional use by family members visiting the City. I myself have been upstairs a few times, and have never really noticed anything strange, at least nothing worth commenting on, save for a weird kind of "thickness" in the air surrounding the dining table. I would describe it as if the air were heavier, or misty, but not necessarily visibly.
A informed me that he first heard the footsteps around 10:00pm. He described them as so persuasive I immediately asked if he'd been drinking, to which he replied he'd not had so much as a drop. He then explained that he tolerated the footsteps for a "few hours," hoping that L would also hear them and comment, which — claims of a mutual auditory hallucination temporarily cast aside — would confirm at least that what A was hearing was in fact objective, and not subjective.
L never asked A anything, so finally, A broke down and asked L if "she heard that." L replied, "Heard what," and then A turned the TV off. L was easily able to agree with A that yes, she also heard what sounded unmistakably like footsteps pacing back-and-forth, starting and stopping, in the house above.
Now, for those skeptics like jim from reason vs. apologetics, yes — I realize it's possible that A and L are both lying — again — or coloring their experiences with bias. It's too easy to simply dismiss people on behalf of the fact that lying and bias are possible, and I'm no fan of arguing that something should be accepted simply because it's possible.
Here's something that may or may not be coincidental: as I was leaving, I had a passing feeling that if there was a presence their, perhaps it didn't like our curiosity. I came home and was about to type this up even though it was 3:00 am, and I decided to make some refried beans with crushed Cheez-It's for a late-night snack. The can opener failed to make a clean incision along the circumference of the can, so in my brilliance, I attempted to assist with my digits, which resulted in a rather deep cut (a good quarter-inch deep) to the tip of my thumb, that it probably could've used a stitch or two. I didn't want to get them, or pay money to get them, or wake my carrying fiancé out of her beauty sleep to drive me to general hospital — which for reasons I've described here — I've vowed to never voluntarily set foot in again. So, I iced my thumb until it stopped bleeding profusely, pushed the cut back together, and applied Krazy Glue liberally to the surface. Voila! All good and typing again. It was weird though, not being able to feel the space bar when I hit it for a day or two.
But back to the story. A is no irrationalist dummy. Aside from one of my best friends who's never showed even a hint of being dishonest about anything, he's a grounded guy with a college education that includes subjects from astronomy to genetic anthropology. L's no dummy, either. She's constantly reading books, thinks things through, doesn't come to knee-jerk conclusions, is a non-dogmatic person. A and L were so persuaded by these sounds that A actually considered the possibility of an intruder, and went upstairs "with an open knife" — twice.
Now, would I be justified in claiming the source of the spook phenomena at A's house had something to do with my cut? Certainly not. However, would I be justified in claiming that A's house consistently hosts incidents that are consistent with what we'd expect if my immaterial consciousness hypothesis — or any variant of it that denies the cerebro-centric view of consciousness in favor of a psycho-centric one — were true?