This I Believe

James - Hampton, New Hampshire
Entered on November 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: science
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This I Believe

Since I was young I have always had calling for science. Whenever I had some free time I would be in the kitchen mixing baking soda and vinegar and trying t make the coolest reactions I could. Sometimes I would even try to put it in a bottle and make a rocket out of it. As I got older I started to make some more advanced things. One of these was a device for separating water to form Hydrogen and Oxygen. This kept me entertained for a long time because I just needed to know how it worked. I researched these things and found out more about them and other scientific explanations. All of it really caught my attention and got me hooked on science.

When I was a young kid, up until about the age of ten or eleven years old I was petrified of monsters such as vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. As I got older I heard less and less about vampires and werewolves. The only time I heard about those was around Halloween so I started to realize that they were made up creatures. The thing that still scared me though was ghosts. No matter what time of year it was I would always be hearing things on the television about ghosts and haunted places. This made me start to believe that ghosts might possibly be real. It also made me much more scared whenever I heard a noise from a system in our house, such as a heater or water pipe. I can remember when I was younger and scared of these things I used to not go into the basement or upstairs alone. Every time I had to do something on a floor where my parents were not I would make up an excuse such as “I need help carrying it” even if it was just a baseball bat or something small like that. Either that or I would tell my parents I wanted to show them something and then just make up a random thing while we were down there. This way I thought that a ghost would not come out if my parents were there. Another thing that I would do is every time I woke up in the middle of the night I would tuck up to my ear under the blanket thinking that a ghost could not penetrate that.

It was not until I was watching a scientific documentary about ghosts on the Discovery or History Channel that I realized that ghost are most likely not real. Many of the common effects that people often report are hearing noises, having lights flash on and off, feeling cool drafts, and in some cases actually seeing the “spirit”. From science (and common sense) I have found that the hearing noises could easily be explained by a mechanical system or animal. The lights flashing could be explained by a short in the circuit of the lights. The cool draft could easily be from climatic change. All of these things I could figure out on my own. The actually sighting of ghosts though can easily be explained through science as charged particles being held in air by and electromagnetic field. After hearing this I became much more secure knowing that if I ever did see a “ghost” I could easily explain it through science.