“Is my car haunted?”
Having worked in the field of psychiatry for nearly 30 years, I’d be the first person to admit that I have met some interesting people in my time.
For the most part, I’m humbled that most of my patients are just like you and I.
They have all the strengths and frailties that make us human.
And while many people have confided some very personal details, I’m yet to meet someone who has told me that they’ve actually seen a ghost.
While this may simply be an aberration in my history taking, as I ask no screening questions on this topic, I am quite surprised that there have been no apparitions – particularly among those unfortunate individuals who have the severest of mental ailments.
Throughout recorded history, and in most cultures, there is a common element that sightings of – if not belief in the presence of – ghosts is almost universally described.
As a paid-up member of the Skeptics Society, I can assure you that I hold no belief in water divining or homeopathy, but I do know that millions of people around the world do believe in these things.
As a scientist, I can immediately explain this as relating to the power of the placebo.
So if millions of completely sane individuals can believe that a solution containing not even one atom of a substance may relieve them of their ailment, why can’t I for a brief moment believe in ghosts?
My evidence for my car being haunted stems from the fact that, annoyingly and intermittently, my reversing sensors have started detecting something behind my vehicle.
This only began when my car was two years old.
After replacing the aforementioned sensors multiple times, the problem has persisted, with my dealership finally suggesting that my factory-fitted tow-bar was the problem.
But I’m still unable to understand how my tow-bar eluded detection for a whole two years and, according to Google, I’m the only owner on this planet with this problem.
Could it be a ghost?
Some ‘facts’ about ghosts
What is the mass of a ghost?
Most ghosts are the same size as an ordinary human equivalent. The average human has a volume of 70 litres. As ghosts ‘float’ in the air, their mass would be 1.2 kilograms per cubic metre, which means the average ghost weighs 84 grams.
What do ghosts wear?
Clothes silly, just like the rest of us!
Why don’t ghosts have feet?
A good question, which I can answer in a future motoring column if enough doctors need to know.
While not acknowledging that my car may be haunted, the manufacturer of my vehicle has now found a ‘gremlin’ in my gearbox, and will be replacing 30,000 units in Australia to eradicate the pesky problem.
Doctor Clive Fraser