Few responses could compare to what one tenant said the cause was when neighbors confronted her about loud parties. Leanne Fennell of Hull, East Yorks said a ghost was to blame for the loud music neighbors were having trouble dealing with. And the strangest thing is, ghosts are increasingly having fingers pointed at them when things go wrong.
It's unclear how serious she was when she said a poltergeist was turning her stereo on full volume in the middle of the night, but when she was called to appear in court she did not materialize. The tenant was fined Â£370 and evicted from her home. And she's not the first to come up against skepticism when making the claim that a paranormal entity is the one causing trouble.
Ghosts are being blamed for everything from domestic abuse to loud parties and beer cans being tossed out the window. But while the increased publicity these cases get may make it look like there's an army of irresponsible ghosts getting busted, the history of paranormal patsies goes far back into antiquity. Several of the earliest folk stories were little more than accusations directed at the spirit realm for why bad things were happening to good people.
In Germany, the very word "Geisteskrank" means "to suffer an ill mind" which is derived from an earlier time when aberrant ghosts were said to be the cause for mental afflictions. Tracing the history even further back, shamans would engage in the practice of trepanation, drilling a hole in the skull of the mentally ill in order to release evil spirits said to be residing therein and causing the disease. Trepanning was not uncommon in certain areas of prehistoric France.
An examination of some 120 skulls from the era discovered in the 20th century provided evidence of 40 trepanning procedures. In a time when one in three people was having a hole drilled in their skull to release mischievous spirits, there is little doubt the paranormal received blame for much of what happened.
More recently, however, there are other accounts. Sometimes comical, sometimes disturbing, these stories of ghost blaming range from the mundane to the very serious.
In the 999 records of Scarisbrick, Lancashire, two men involved in a car wreck walked away from the incident with quite different points of view. The driver of the car said he saw a rabbit run across the road which was responsible for the accident while his passenger said he believed the creature was a phantom, which disappeared just before they were run off the road.
Similar accounts have been blamed for everything from noise complaints to domestic abuse cases. One such case in January of this year was met with scrutiny when a man claimed a ghost had punched his wife in Wisconsin. Police noted the level of intoxication the man was displaying and booked him, not believing his ghost story.
But in all of these accounts involving ghosts, there are occasionally those that seem to ring true - where an unexplained event transpires that defies logic - and casts some serious questions on whether or not somewhere lurking in the shadows something else might be out there. Of particular note are cases where people freely come forward to describe paranormal events, knowingly facing ridicule but volunteering their voice to the cause that this world is not always as simple as we believe.
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