I recently received the following narrative:
My name is Andrew. I'm 38, live in Illinois, and have mostly lived my whole life in the midwest. The one thing that might set me apart from most people is my religious upbringing. My father is a pastor, my mother's family being the reason he ever turned toward faith in the first place. We've had 3 pastors in our family, most of my extended family attends church regularly--very much a 'Bible Belt' kind of upbringing... except many of us have had experiences.
These aren't precisely ET/UFO experiences (although a close family friend once worked security at Wright-Patterson and said he had seen 'Them'). Our experiences (and of those people around us who have also experienced things) are very much of a spiritual nature. My mother has seen at least one 'ghost'. One of her sisters almost died from a truck running a stop except someone said her name right before entering the intersection which made her stop--she was alone in the car.
When my grandfather died from cancer at the hospital, my mother and my 2 aunts happened to be walking through the hallway when the other sister saw '2 angels carrying him away' and she said, "He's gone". They went back to the room to discover he had just passed at that moment.
My aunt and uncle's house had some apparition that materialized every now and then as a green light or a green humanoid form.
That thing seemed mostly to appear to one of my cousins till he moved out, then to his youngest brother afterwards. There used to be footsteps in the hallway at night when no one was out of bed, and once the toilet upstairs flushed when everyone was downstairs watching tv (which my grandmother joked about about saying at least it was potty trained).
I went once to confront/investigate the bedroom it typically showed up in (which was always cold, but was the most interior room and furthest walking distance from the front door) and as soon as I turned the doorknob, the lights went out--which made me rethink that particular choice.
I have personally experienced sleep paralysis/terrifying dreams and have seen shadow figures twice in my life (once as a child and once recently). My experiences are limited, but many around me have shared theirs. I have had a college roommate from Kenya who was spontaneously invited by a friend to attend and help in an exorcism in a neighboring village (in Kenya) where the supposedly possessed man greeted him by name and said "we have been expecting you"--even though he had never met or seen him before and no one there knew he was even coming to the village for this exorcism. The pastor of the current church we are attending has had and still has members of his family involved in Santeria/Vodoo from Cuba. He has seen some stuff, but we haven't had much conversation to delve into the specifics of that story yet.
Basically, I say all this to say one thing: The supernatural is very real. Many of your readers, I'm sure, are aware of this. However, many may not be aware of the reality BEHIND these experiences. This is where things get controversial. I believe all supernatural and paranormal happenings stem from one of two sources. One source is good and amazing and full of love and hope. It is pure. It's rarer than the other kind, but it is openly truthful about its nature.
The other kind seems to be more common but very sinister. And above all, it is deceptive. It does all it can to appear to be one thing while hiding its real nature--which is evil. It may appear or even feel like it is good and benevolent, but only so far as you obey its demands and suggestions without questioning it. As soon as you do that... look out.
If there's one thing that really pisses off the Devil, it's calling him out on his bullsh*t. Don't take aliens or ghosts or Mothman or Sasquatch or anything else paranormal/supernatural for face value. The Bible says we should 'test the spirits' and ascertain if they are truly are what they say they are. I believe in spiritual warfare, and it is a very tricky battlefield.
Sightings and experiences may be increasing in the upcoming years. Be ready. Do not be deceived. Andrew
NOTE: For the most part, Andrew is correct...dealing with the supernatural is a constant battle. A person does not need to be religious in order recognize and take on evil. As far as being wary of unknown entities and otherworldly beings...absolutely. But evil is not around every corner. Many of us are aware of incorporeal entities on our Earth plane, but the veil does occasionally open between worlds. We must be cognizant of 'visitors' with the ability to transverse the divide between these realities. Their intentions are not always clear, but they are an evident measure of our lives. Proving their existence is only one part of finding the truth. Lon
When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Beyond Good & Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future
Ghosts Among Us: Uncovering the Truth About the Other Side
An Exorcist's Field Guide: to Blessings, Consecrations and the Banishment of Malevolant Entities