Have you experienced good or bad spiritual atmospheres in a place, and

if so where and what?
I found the tomb of FDR and his wife in NY State to be full of joyfulness, and the church of Saint Lazarus in Cyprus to be full of deep energy.
Also, the battlefield at Yorktown was spooky and scary.

Just about any ruins I’ve been to have had a deep hum about them. The Mayan ruins at Toulne (sp?), Stonehendge, another place that I can’t even say let alone spell in Balize (also Mayan.) Oh, and the Sacre Coeur in Paris. I had a wonderful meditation in the main part of the cathedral.

This seems to me like a “polling” type of thread so I’m moving it over to IMHO.

The few Civil War battlefields I’ve been to have seemed very sad. Even on a sunny day there is a sort of gloom and a weight to the air.

I felt extremely creeped out in Auschwitz in Poland. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. But I think it was the realization of what happened there more than any sort of spiritual atmosphere.

I often wonder if people feel “good” or “bad” spiritual atmospheres in a certain place because they expect to, and not because of any residual psychic energy. Like their subconscious dredges up feelings of sadness or joy, and that feels as if it’s coming from the place.

I think, if I were to walk on a Civil War battlefield without even knowing I was in the vicinity of a Civil War battlefield, feeling the “bad” energy anyway, and then finding out it was a Civil War battlefield, that would convince me I’d felt negative spiritual energy.

I often get a very sad feeling walking along the abandoned train tracks in my college town. Not so much a feeling of bad things happening, but one of isolation and spiritual heaviness.

That may just be because they’re abandoned train tracks, but I wonder if something might have happened there to create that feeling.

One of my ex-girlfriends from back when I was a teenager had a very creepy horror movie sort of basement in which somebody had once (supposedly) committed suicide by hanging themself. I don’t know if that last part is true or not, but it should be–it was that kind of basement, you know?

It was terrifying just to be down there. Which didn’t stop me from sneaking down there and jumping out of the shadows at my girlfriend after she foolishly told me the story about the hanged man and how frightened she was the basement.

Only time I ever got my ass kicked by a girl . . .

I had a really creepy experience in a hotel room in New Hampshire. I was on vacation with my best friend and her parents. We checked in to a very non-descript hotel, and she and I went downstairs to play pool in the bar.

When we went back to the room, I felt a very weird presence. I looked at my friend, and her eyes were wide and she had goosebumps on her arms. I said, “Does it feel yucky in here?” And she said, “Oh yeah!”

We asked her parents what they thought, and they said that they had been sort of uncomfortable since we checked in.

We tried to ignore it, and got changed for bed. She and I crawled under the covers of one of the beds while her parents were in the bed next to us. The lights were still on and we were just watching TV. Then, her Dad got up and walked to the foot of the our bed. He kind of stopped like a thought had just struck him, and he turned his head towards us. He had the strangest look on his face, and then the creepiest thing happened. His eyes turned from blue to brown. I know I saw it (or at least I really, really thought I saw it.) In any case, both my friend and I screamed at the same time.

That seemed to shake him out of the dazed look on his face, and his eyes went back to blue. At 11pm we checked out and went to a different hotel.

I’m a pretty big skeptic, but I have to admit a creepy thing that happened.

My aunt owned these two big plantation houses in Louisiana. One of them we’ll call “W” and one was called “R” (yes, they had names). My cousin used to live in R, so I would go there from time to time, and the house was damn creepy. It was three stories, and on the bottom level were two bedrooms, one decorated in sort of oranginsh materials and one in blue. I had spent the night in the blue room a few times as a kid and wasn’t happy about it, as it creeped me out for some reason. There was also a stairway going from the blue room to the master bedroom on the third floor, and I had been in that stairway twice, and felt really scared both times. I never really told anyone about these feelings.

Okay, so it’s several years later and no one has been living in R for a while. My sister was getting married at W, and they needed more chairs, so they sent me and my cousin Trey to go fetch some from R. We go in there, and I’m not happy about going in, but I keep my mouth shut. Trey, however, out of the blue, says, “Man, this place creeps me out. I hate going in here.” I asked him to explain and he said, “I’ve never liked this place. I feel like someone’s watching me all the time.”

I had felt exactly the same way. So I asked him, “Is there any particular place in there you don’t like?”

“Oh yeah,” he said. “Those bedrooms downstairs? Those creep me out. And I went in that back stairway ONCE and swore I never would again.”

At that point we grabbed the nearest chairs we could and took off quickly.

I talked to my aunt about it and as far as I know there’s no reason R should feel creepy. In fact, it was W where someone actually died, though it doesn’t spook me at all.

It’s odd to admit, but I haven’t thought about Oklahoma City since 09/11. Just reading this thread title brought all kinds of feelings rushing back to me, though.

My (now ex) husband was in the Air Force and got stationed at Tinker AFB, which is right outside of OKC. We ended up moving there about three months after the Oklahoma City Bombing. I’m about the most pragmatic person I know, and I was a lot younger then. As ashamed as I am to admit it now, I had little interest in the bombing, other than the (gods, I hate typing this, but it’s so true) gore factor.

So, just about as soon as we got unpacked I hurried him along to the site. I was wanting to rubberneck with the rest of the monkeys.

My god.

I have to tell you, you can nay-say all you want, but I am now a believer. Places CAN suck up energy. I was fine, laughing and chattering away as we walked from where we parked the car to the site. It was…jesus. I just don’t have words. As we got closer and closer I could just feel the weight of the horror. And the sadness. It was crushing.

They still hadn’t cleared a lot of the rubble away at the time, but they had the protection/privacy chain-link fence up. As much as all the notes and the stuffed animals and the flowers tore at me, it was just…I swear, there’s no other word for it. The WEIGHT of the place was killing me. I ended up stumbling around the length of that fence twice, literally wailing. My husband did much the same thing, even crying himself, which I had never seen before or since. As he finally led me back to the car, it cleared, somewhat. It was still horrific and sad and the most traumatic thing I had ever seen at that point, but I was calm again. I’d never felt anything like it.

I learned a lot about humilty and suffering that day. I no longer crane my neck at car accidents, for sure.

During the two years we lived there, several people came to visit us and all wanted to visit the site. The first was a friend of mine, and I went with. The exact same thing happened to both of us. I’m surprised neither of us soiled ourselves, we were just so distraught. When my mother came, I drove her there, but waited in the car. All others, I gave them directions and car keys. I never asked any of them how they felt about their visit, but they all came back looking white and drained.

I also visited NYC the Saturday after 09/11 to be with Maeglin and Nen. We needed to be with each other at that time, as many of us did. The closest I got to the WTC was when we went shopping in SoHo, which is where the barricades started. I wanted to be no closer. You couldn’t have MADE me go any closer.

Aw fer Pete’s sake, is there no voice of good, skeptical reason here today? These “good” and “bad” and “creepy” feelings are ALL SUBJECTIVE. I have been to Civil War battlefields and various graveyards, and find them rather peaceful and beautiful. And of COURSE you would have a dreadful sinking feeling at the sites of the Oklahoma and NYC bombings, because YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THERE.

As far as the various “haunted house” experiences, we’ve had threads about those before, and it pretty much boils down to “yes I did!” “no you didn’t!”

I was in a really good mood when I went to Yorktown and was stunned by the tension and horror
I felt there. Only then did I read about the experiences of the British troops.

Places do have atmospheres. You can become sensitive to them.

I have no doubt it is suggestion or autosuggestion, but try walking into a church and then a bar and see if you sense the difference.

Well, duh. The question was, as I interpreted it, “Have you ever been some place and had a really creepy feeling about it?” Yes, I did. And my cousin had a similar creepy feeling. I don’t attribute it to ghosts or negative psychic energy, just a creepy feeling that happened to be shared by someone else.

I am a skeptic but for pete’s sake, I know when people are sitting around telling stories. I’m not sitting at the campfire saying, “This is absurd! Why would he open the door with his hook!?”

So, um, being skeptical means ignoring one’s own feelings at all times? I’m sure that the reason I (me, specifically, not anyone else) felt that way in the battlefields I’ve visited was because of the thought of what happened there. I don’t think it was inherent in the field; others can and most certainly do get a different “vibe” from the same place. However, I got a very sad, heavy feeling. Thats’ what the OP was asking.

Geez.

I’ll second the “geez” Eve. I discribed myself as pragmatic and merely there to be a wide-eyed monkey. I certainly wasn’t expecting to turn into a great big puddle of freak.

Your mileage, as always, may vary. I certainly wasn’t trying to convert anyone, you especially. However, I know what I felt, and it was certainly a different feeling than the usual distress of horrible news, or even watching someone in pain.

Well, I agree with y’all IF you are saying that you yourself have good or bad feelings about certain places. But if you’re saying that the places “beam” good or bad feelings ONTO you, through some ghostly or spiritual hoo-doo, then I must respectfully blow you the raspberries.

I thought this was the SDMD . . . Musta accidentally wandered onto John Edward’s board, or the LBMB . . .

Actually you are on the Straight Dope Message Board but you are in the “In My Humble Opinion” forum. You are not in “Great Debates” or in “The BBQ Pit”.

Back in the mid 60’s my father bought a holday caravan (mobile home) on the North Norfolk coast here in the UK. When we first visited the site ( which was near the sea-shore ) I looked over the hedge into a large tract of empty land and felt a very sad atmosphere coming from these fields. Several years later I was reading a book about the 1953 floods which devestated the east coast of England and it turned out that this piece of land used to house a small colony of wooden shacks , some of them occupied by US Airforce personnel from a nearby air-base. During the floods the whole area was swamped with sea water and nearly 50 people ( including some of the American citizens ) were drowned and many of the shacks were just just reduced to match wood. When I first viewed that site I had no idea of its history but I still picked up those bad vibes.

Back in the mid 60’s my father bought a holiday caravan (mobile home) on the North Norfolk coast here in the UK. When we first visited the site ( which was near the sea-shore ) I looked over the hedge into a large tract of empty land and felt a very sad atmosphere coming from these fields. Several years later I was reading a book about the 1953 floods which devestated the east coast of England and it turned out that this piece of land used to house a small colony of wooden shacks , some of them occupied by US Airforce personnel from a nearby air-base. During the floods the whole area was swamped with sea water and nearly 50 people ( including some of the American citizens ) were drowned and many of the shacks were just just reduced to match wood. When I first viewed that site I had no idea of its history but I still picked up those bad vibes.

Sorry about the double reply . British Telecomm is on the blink again.