I’ve always held science in esteem. I honor those who seek answers to the unknown. However, as someone who’s had a life-changing supernatural experience and works at a college, I’ve found many academics rigid and biased in this regard.

Acknowledge your mindset

The American culture promotes the stereotype that those who believe in the paranormal are uneducated, drunk or easily swayed. The problem is that scientists, who hold the same view, impede their ability to impartially study this field.

Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander M.D., who wrote Proof of Heavenadmitted what I believe applies to the majority of researchers: “Like many other scientific skeptics, I refused to even review the data relevant to the questions concerning these phenomena [ESP, remote viewing, telepathy]…I prejudged the data and those providing it.” He realized his prejudice only after he endured a near death experience and experienced heaven.

Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., author of The Afterlife Experiments and researcher studying mediumship, said we’ve been conditioned from birth to think the supernatural is impossible and that scientists allow this conditioning to get in the way of research. Answering peer criticism about his studies, Schwartz repeatedly revised the methodology making it very difficult for the research to be compromised. Even though he was able to replicate results, most scientists dismissed his work.

A professor who teaches at the same college where I work insists that all researchers who’ve proven the paranormal exists used poorly designed studies. There’s no discussing this topic with him as he gets condescending. When I mentioned Schwartz’ study, he insisted Schwartz’ work couldn’t be valid, but couldn’t give me a straight-forward reason for his conclusion other than he said that Schwartz knew what research was being done.

Scientists can’t demand a specter appear

I believe studying ghosts for science is problematic. Why? Because apparitions possess free will and can’t be commanded to show up. Like us, they possess free will. I know every experience I’ve had with spirits has happened when I’d least expected it.

Don’t discount every paranormal encounter as a hoax or hallucination

Some say that people can activate a part of their brains that causes “ghostly hallucinations.” But what about groups that simultaneously experience spirits? Could their brains all activate at the same time? When I was at the Goldfield Hotel, three of us had the same experience and there’s no explaining it away.

Of course, frauds do exist and that leads many who’ve had legitimate experiences to isolate themselves in the shadows, afraid to share their stories with others.

If you can’t prove ghosts exist, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there

Over time, science has disproven old ideas with new facts, such as the physics finding that matter isn’t solid. I believe one day, once the technology is developed, researchers will prove the spirit world exists.

In the meantime, I applaud academics who acknowledge that we do not understand everything in our world and that closing one’s mind to the possibility is unproductive at best.