Month of Posts - day 17 - a little bit woo

I'd never heard the term 'woo' until I became familiar with Mumsnet and found some great 'woo' threads, I love the woo stuff. What on earth is woo though?!

"Woo is a word skeptics use as shorthand to describe pseudo-scientific and often anti-scientific ideas - ideas that are irrational and not based on evidence commensurate with the extraordinary nature of the claim.  These are ideas that usually rely on magical thinking, are rarely tested to see if they are real, and are usually resistant to reason and contrary evidence." - Skeptico blog

I respect science but have never really enjoyed many aspects of it, particularly the need to constantly delve deeper and deeper into the workings of things. I understand there is a genuine need to understand the hows and the whys, that discoveries can and have helped us all, that's great! I just have no interest in understanding why things happen and how things work myself (if that makes sense?), so I don't need to know about Photosynthesis for example, or the fact that if you crack open an atom there's more stuff inside it. Honestly, I find it all too mind-boggling even though most of these concepts are a) real, and b) just the way of things.
Anyway! What I'm getting to is my Nana's story! For background, my Gramps died two years ago and Nana has kept everything of his (even prescription medicine in the fridge), but she's been feeling increasingly silly about this, mainly because a close friend whose husband died last year has pretty much got rid of all of her husband's belongings. What's the problem? I said, everyone grieves differently, you're different people, you keep Gramps's things if you find them comforting!! I find them comforting when I visit. So yesterday I noticed that Gramps's garden shoes had gone from by the back door and I asked where they were (because it's a big step for Nana to get rid of them).

Nana said that she had decided to throw them away after talking to her friend again and feeling a bit weird for keeping them. She made up her mind but then realised that the bin wouldn't be collected for a few days and she would see them every time she put a bag out, or just know they were there (I really empathise with her on that point). So she held onto the shoes, finally putting them in the wheelie bin the night before bin day.
I can't remember if the following occured on the night in question or later, I doubt it matters. So Nana woke up in the night and saw the shadowy outline of a male figure in her bedroom doorway, the figure was wearing a pink t-shirt. Nana bravely shouted 'get away with you!' and immediately delved into her bedside drawer for a gun. And yes, I did stop her at this point in the story even though what she'd described thus far gave me the willies. 'A gun!?'. But it's ok! Apparently my uncle gave it to her and it's a fake one.
So she got up and went to the landing with her gun but the figure had gone. She checked everywhere and there was no sign of anyone or any break-in. The odd thing here is that she didn't phone anyone, and when I asked her if she was scared she replied that no she wasn't, because she knew Gramps would never hurt her. So she must have assumed that it was him.

Later on in the week she was putting some things away in a wardrobe she doesn't often use and she came across two polo shirts the exact colour the figure (Gramps) had worn. She showed them to me! I believe her and it seems I'm the only one in our family who does; my family are all fairly skeptical despite Mum having worked in hospitals with regular woo occurances.
I was so excited by Nana's story, she was broken-hearted when he died, she still is. I like the idea that he wanted her not to worry about getting rid of his things, that they didn't matter. My uncle apparently suggested that he was probably annoyed she'd chucked his shoes!
Interestingly, having spoken about the events with her friend, it turns out her friend swears she sometimes hears her deceased husband walking about the house, she recognises his tread.

I know that you can have waking dreams, night terrors and all sorts. I know that the brain can do all sorts of mystifying things, I've experienced panic attacks where I felt that I was losing my mind and they were bloody terrifying.. I still believe in ghosts though, only as I find some things can't be explained away.
Mumsnet is full of logical and sometimes very angry skeptics (usually angry about the idea of people being taken advantage of by clairvoyants and mediums). I am very much a live and let live sort of person, so if I disagree with something I simply navigate away from it, I don't attack those who do believe in whatever I don't.
I remember a lady at work whose dad had been murdered and who found seeing mediums really comforting.
There's a current 'woo' thread here, I've loved reading about this type of thing ever since I was young and making my dad sit with me while I watched Strange but True (because I was scared). I loved reading about Borley Rectory as a youngster and remember spending time in the Paranormal section at the library. I like that there are mysteries and things which can't be explained.
This is a good piece from the Guardian, creepy though, I'd hate to experience anything similar.

To summarise: I have to say that I would crap myself if I ever saw an apparition. Sorry to be crass but honestly, how else can I say that!?

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