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Freaking out on Halloween

The other day I was reminded by a friend about perhaps the biggest scary collective experience of our generation, when the BBC aired their Ghostwatch ‘documentary’ on 31st October 1992.

This was a genius bit of television; recorded weeks earlier but presented as ‘live’ television, and using regular BBC presenters to give it credibility, the show resulted in 30,000 phone calls to the BBC switchboard in the space of an hour. Such was its impact, it was never broadcast on UK television again.

I still have the occasionally disturbed patch of sleep thinking about the protagonist in the show, a ghost called ‘Pipes’. Shudder.

I was 13 years old at the time the show was broadcast, clearly allowed to stay up past the watershed to scare myself silly. I blame my parents.

It’s fair to say, I’ve never been a fan of the haunted movie genre since that night. Give me a good zombie horror flick and I’ll happily watch, relishing in the gory bits. Suggest a quiet night in watching What Lies Beneath or Stir of Echoes and I’ll be hiding behind the popcorn bowl, sobbing like a little girl.

I still don’t know where I stand when it comes to a belief in the supernatural. I guess I’m probably agnostic on that front; happy to be proven right or wrong in the face of unwavering evidence. This is not, by the way, an invitation for any ghosts, ghouls or poltergeists to prove their existence, in my face or any other way, please.

Something in which I definitely don’t believe is the notion of cosmic ordering.

For the uninitiated, this is the name given to a branch of positive thinking which involves writing down your wish list and waiting for it to become reality. I’ve mentally filed cosmic ordering in the same drawer/dustbin as books such as The Secret or Manifest Your Destiny.

Except for the undeniable fact that during the past week, something which feels a lot like cosmic ordering has been taking place in my life.

We spent a couple of mornings last week in workshops with a marketing consultant. One of the exercises she gave us was to write down the names of clients who could give us referrals, people we wanted to foster as centres of influence, and gaps in our professional networks.

Within minutes of writing down this list of names, I received a referral from a name on the first list. Later that evening, three of the names on the second list booked tickets to attend an event I’m hosting next month. This afternoon, only a week after writing the lists, I was out shopping and a gentleman on the final list approached me and enquired about becoming a client.

This was of course all entirely coincidental. There was nothing cosmic about a client referral, three professional connections and a local centre of influence all manifesting themselves seemingly out of the blue within a week of writing down their names and thinking positive thoughts about them.

But then again, I can’t see any harm in making this a regular practice. The universe might not be delivering my wish list, but the act of making a wish list and then taking action to turn it into reality is no bad thing.

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