Ghost I was channel surfing (as usual) Astro the other day when I arrived at this programme called ‘Is it real’ by National Geographic channel. Intrigued by the name – which I thought was something like ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’ – I stopped pressing the button on the remote and soon found out that the programme highlights something which was not-so-close to people’s hearts – Ghosts.

As I followed the programme through, which includes experiments conducted by university’s professors of psychology on the reaction of people when placed into certain ‘spots’ that are considered haunted, I can’t help but wonder why humankind is afraid of (ahem) them. Yes, maybe there are some who are not afraid, but I am sure the percentage is not very high. I am not saying this cos I am not afraid of them – yes, of course I do, especially when I hear real-life stories from my colleagues and of course, I don’t intend to meet any of them either! *gasp*

But the funny thing is, why are we afraid of them? Is it just because they are dead? I can’t help but wondering – let’s say if no one told us (from young) that these things are horrible, to be kept away from and never to be seen, would it change our mindset that seeing one is not so bad after all? It is because that this so-called ‘fact’ that was pre-set in everyone’s mind that made them so scary (maybe). Maybe if it was not, then us living beings would not be so afraid to see them.

That actually brings me to two examples which I have heard from (somewhere last time). First: had anyone ever told you to stop when the lights are red? If yes, do you remember the first time or who was the one told you? This instance might date way back to the time when most of us were young, but not many can fully remember exactly when we were told. The person who threw the question at us (I can’t remember exactly but we were a group that time) also mentioned that (if we could remember) no one told us exactly to stop – not the driving instructor, not the policemen. We just somehow knew that we must stop. And if we were waiting for the lights to turn green during – say, the wee hours in the morning – where there aren’t any cars at all and we are the only one car – will we still wait till the lights turn green. Can’t we just go if there are no cars? After all, we are sure and the lights are just merely a ‘tool’ for us to organise traffic flow. If there is no purpose for it at that time, will we still follow? Well, I’m sure a lot of us will mutter ‘What the heck!’ and just drive on. That shows that it’s just a matter of pre-programming inside us.

The second example was more light-hearted. I think I got this from a kind of variety show. The host was challenging the guests to stick their fingers into some poo (yes, poo!) And when people express disgust, etc, the question came. If we were not told that poo was something disgusting (and dirty, unhygienic, etc) will we hesitate to touch it? Maybe not. Its all in our mind. Well, at least that’s what Fear Factor always tells us.

Anyway, back to the topic. Maybe we should start instilling in the human mind that these thing called ghosts are not so scary after all. Stop all kinds of horror movies. Air nice ones, like Casper-types. Instill in our young ones that smoking or robbery (or whatever) is scary instead, and you should not be touching cigarettes or guns or rifles. Maybe this will make the whole world better.

What do you think?

By the way, Happy Halloween..


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