Years ago I had a discussion with someone about ghosts. I can't remember who it was, or where for that matter. Oh all right then, I'll admit it. It was with a drunk bloke in a pub. It wasn't really a discussion either. More of a heated argument. In fact he was so blind drunk that he didn't know what I was talking about. I was only slightly drunk, so naturally I recall the occasion very well.
I also remember it so vividly, because when I asked the drunk bloke what he thought of my theory, he said it was a load of, "pretentious old twaddle." I took exception to this remark, and told him exactly what I thought of him. At which point I was thrown out of the pub. It turned out that he was the landlord.
During the course of that learned and thought provoking afternoon drinking session I propounded the theory, that ghosts or spirits, whatever you like to call them, do not exist. That which we think of as ghosts, are, according to the theory I propounded, actually simply memories, or emotions. I used the following reasoning to explain why I thought this.
A woman has lived in the same house all her life. When she was a little girl one of her main chores was to go to the well every morning and draw a bucket of water. She had continued to go to the well every day of her life, sometimes two or three times a day, until the very day she died. She had a long life. Let us say for the sake of argument that she reached the age of 95. Let us suppose that she began going to the well when she was 10 years old. That means 85 years of two trips a day. That makes the number of journeys she made in her entire lifetime, add up to.... er.. erm.. 364 x 2 equals.. er .. 728 days.. erm no..728 trips a year. That makes 7280 trips in 10 years, times 80 equals.. no times.. no wait.. hold on a minute.. I can do this.. well anyway as I was saying that old woman made an awful lot of trips to the well in her lifetime.
Therefore I would suggest, indeed propound, that the memory, or emotions, of the old woman, would still be there, drawing water from the well, for some time after her death. If you had known the old woman, I think it is not unreasonable to suggest, that you would feel her presence so strongly you might even see her there. Further to this, even if you had simply been told about her, you might also have felt or seen her. Particularly if you have an emotional or sensitive nature. Anyway that is my theory.
They believe emotions form the atmosphere of a room. The experts, from Stanford University and Columbia Business School in the US and two universities in India, say they have now identified "contagion".
A spokesman said: "The emotions people experience emanate from their body and leave a trace or residue in the physical environment. When other people enter that physical space, they can sense and are influenced by it."
That, as far as I am concerned, goes a long way towards validating the theory which I came up with many years ago. Not bad for a bloke who finished his schooling at the age of eleven. His schooling, but certainly not his education. Apart from maths that is. I never did get to grips with that.
I should have written a paper on it all those years ago. I could have been famous. Think of the kudos. Maybe I would have been given an honorary doctorate. Too late now. They'll say they propounded it. Well, they didn't. I propounded that theory. Maybe they'll send me a cheque in the post.
I make no apologies for my continued use of the word propounded. It came into my brain from somewhere, and I like the sound of it, and it is after all, the way we learned people talk.