The Afterlife: The Angriest Place You’ll Ever Be


While we’re on the topic of seasonally inappropriate deathways, I figured I might as well squeeze in a horror, or at least paranormal, related post.

Go onto Facebook, or hells, just google ‘ghosts’ and read the forums.

The most common adjective that comes up in relation to the ghosts is ‘angry’.

And I think that we’re projecting.

I think that if we’re working on the assumption that ghosts are the souls of those who have passed, there’s no real reason to assume that we’re going to be stripped of all personality. The conversation that triggered this entry was something to do with ‘why would a ghost be flipping my lamp on and off’. One of the most common answers, other than the completely sensible ‘are we sure it’s a ghost and not faulty wiring?’ was, ‘omg, the spirits, they’re angry!’.

Finally someone said, why are they angry? Why aren’t they curious, or pulling a prank, or just really not impressed with your choice of light fixtures? Why are we working off of a baseline of ‘anger’?

Here’s my personal, only quasi-scientific assumption: I think that we’re in the mindset that they’re angry because we can’t currently fathom a reality in which being a ghost would make us anything other than angry. Taking the fact that historically, a great many cultures have had spirits that aren’t ghosts in their mythologies, spirits that would do things like flip on lamps because that’s sort of what they do as their higher calling, completely out of the equation, then we’re left with the spirits of the dead. There are cultures that have a specific answer to the anger, such as disrespect in life or mistreatment during burial rites. But we’re talking here primarily about Internet culture, such as Facebook.

What is the greatest argument, and underlying fear in relation to death? Where do we go when we die. Do we go anywhere, or is that the end? I think the ‘anger’, at least in terms of Internet culture, stems from this: if we’re working off the ‘fact’ that what is flicking the lamp on and off is Great Uncle Charlie and not a bad light bulb, then it means that Uncle Charlie is most likely stuck here-suggesting one of two things: we have the capacity of getting stuck here for unknown reasons, or everything we know about the afterlife is wrong. It suggests that we have somewhere to go-but that someone’s living room may be that place. Which is kind of a terrible afterlife, if we’re being honest with ourselves.

So in other words, the original poster probably needs to invest in a new lamp, and we’re afraid that the afterlife involves messing with light bulbs-an anger we then project onto the dead.


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