With Halloween around the corner, it’s the time of year for all things spooky. Between scary movies and haunted houses, we at The Pillar started to wonder – what does the Church actually teach about haunted stuff?

One Response

  1. Fascinating article. I think that is an excellent point about the mockery of evil being an act of good. I believe Saint Thomas Aquinas battled his night demons through mirth and mockery. I have more to say on that but that’s another tangent.

    As for hauntings, I believe the divine works miracles using the material world as a conduit. For instance, it is possible for a person to sprint at a wall and run directly through it if said person’s atoms and the atoms that comprised the wall were spaced at such a formation as to pass each other. In praxis, however, this probability would work out mathematically to zero and would violate the null hypotheses, proving that it could not happen accidentally. Applying this same logic to the human body, it is theoretically possible for the human body to rebuild itself if its own atoms could rearrange themselves in perfect formation through sheer fortune and circumstance. What if this happened once in human history? Statistical probability would conclude that it is more likely the work of the forces outside our understanding, ie, the Divine, than random chance. Perhaps the Resurrection of Christ happened through natural means. Research on the Shroud of Turin also implies that either it is a master forgery or a miracle, and forgery can be ruled out once one realizes that this dark age forger would have to have possessed modern medical knowledge in addition to historical mastery in order to accomplish such a scheme. “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth” [Arthur Conan Doyle]. The only reasonable conclusion would be that the divine manifested its will using the material world as its mechanism, that is, Providence.

    To arrive back to my previous point, I believe the Divine’s antithesis should therefore work the same way. That is, Satan would accomplish his works through schizophrenia, drugs, psychopathology, etc.

    Therefore, if there is any theological legitimacy to the idea of a haunted house, then the same principle could apply. That is, a haunted house, whether haunted by good spirits or evil spirits, could potentially be revealed to be natural phenomena. If good and evil exist beyond the physical world, and Catholic perspective posits they do, then good and evil, that is, angels and demons, could have accomplished their “hauntings” through this very same natural phenomena that scientific analysis revealed to be “natural”.

    Great read. If you would like to discuss this more, my contact information is attached.


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