I like to browse second-hand shops. You find all kinds of things that just aren't available any more.
Today I found a DVD of a documentary series called 'Ghost Hunters'. Well, I have a few such DVD's and videos and I'm usually disappointed to find they cover the same, worn-out, sensationalist stories of hauntings and poltergeists everyone's heard about. Still, it was very cheap and the cover spoke of Roman soldiers and of Marston Moor, the biggest battle of the English civil war, and possibly the biggest loss of life on English soil ever. So I bought it.
I had not previously heard of the Roman soldiers seen in the cellars at York. It was worth buying just for that story. York is built on an old Roman fort, the remains of which are now some twelve feet below ground. In the cellars, Roman soldiers sometimes 'replay' their actions.
That, and the descriptions of the Marston Moor hauntings, sound more like 'replay' apparitions than actual spirits. They don't interact with the living. They're just records. Images imprinted on the surroundings that can rerun under the right conditions. I'll try to visit Marston Moor in the summer. It's not pleasant in winter.
What made me shout at the screen was the attitude of some of the scientists on the show. Yes, they accepted that these events were real, even though they were divided as to the cause. However, they all need a slap.
None of them could understand how sound and images can be recorded on inanimate objects. They are videoed while saying this. Their faces, and their voices, are recorded on a strip of plastic tape coated with rust. Under the right circumstances--in this case, in the right machine--everything they said and did is replayed with perfect accuracy for anyone to see. Recorded for posterity on an inanimate object.
Yet they can't see how it could happen. Videotape is made of the minerals found in abundance in the Earth, but they can't see it.
Sometimes words are no use. Sometimes you just have to use a bat.