I’ve never seen a ghost (but apparently about 1% of people have – I know quite a few people in Cerne Abbas who’ve seen one) but I have smelled ghosts on a number of occasions. Actually I’ve met a lot of people who have smelled tobacco smoke when there is no way smoke could be anywhere near. The last time I had a smell experience was in Cerne cemetery, where I smelled burning frankincense. Several other people walking through the cemetery smelled it so it wasn’t my imagination! Then imagine my astonishment when Matt Arnold (a physics teacher, paranormal expert, and theologian) looked it up on a paranormal database and there it was – it’s a well-known phenomenon that has been around Cerne cemetery for years, evidently.
Matt Arnold is the editor of The Christian Parapsychologist Journal, a publication of the Churches Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies. He is also a member of the Alister Hardy Trust, the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (the Education Officer) and the Ghost Club (1862). His website https://GhostsGhoulsAndGod.co.uk is a one-stop resource for Christians wanting to get a theological understanding of the unseen realm. He also regularly writes articles about the paranormal and the Bible for Christian publications and appears in a variety of podcasts discussing these issues. His first book Ghosts, Ghouls and the Afterlife in the Bible is being published later this year.
Matt will be leading two events, on the 21st and 22nd April. They are described below:
Encountering Ghosts: Storytelling Bring and Share (Friday 21st April)
Are you interested in ghosts and the afterlife? Have you ever seen or experienced something paranormal? You are not alone in experiencing the unseen realm! Encountering Ghosts is an open, non-judgmental space, specifically designed for people to bring and share their experiences with others. Facilitated by one of the country’s leading pioneers in Christianity and the Paranormal, Matt Arnold, we explore how these may help us understand more about the unseen world around us. If you wish to submit a story or question anonymously, a box will be available for you on the night (please write it down beforehand if possible).
Tickets for this are £7, which includes a glass of wine or soft drink. If you get a double ticket for this and the next event it is £10.
Ghosts: Breaking Open Ancient Wells in the Bible (Saturday 22nd April)
Ghosts are ubiquitous in cultural beliefs, from ancient times to the modern day. Many Christians today believe the Bible has nothing to say on the subject, or that it’s taboo and shouldn’t be discussed. Yet, hidden away in the texts of the Bible and associated early Judeo-Christian literature, is the very real belief in ghosts as spirits of the departed. We explore these texts and how we can understand ghosts in light of today’s modern ghost stories and encounters.
Tickets for this are £8, which includes coffee/tea on arrival and at a break, then soup and roll at the end.