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THE STRANGE PHENOMENON OF HAUNTED UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCHES
by The Notorious Doctor
The Unitarian Universalist Church is a very theologically liberal church founded in 1961 when the American Unitarian Association joined with the Universalist Church. It was probably the biggest and greatest team up since Batman Joined Superman in World's Finest comics!
OK, maybe not.
is a liberal religious view where basically all religions
are viewed as true, basically making it the anti-thesis of Atheism,
which says all religions are false. The Universalist Church began from
Christians who believed God was just too darned nice a guy to send
people to burn in Hell for all eternity, or even just instantly destroy
them in Hell like annihilationists believe (such as Jehovah’s Witness,
Seventh Day Adventists, and Armstrongites). Eventually out of this idea
evolved the belief that all religions are true. Meanwhile, Unitarians
believed that since the Trinity seemed like a logical impossibility,
there was only one God, not three in one. Eventually their beliefs
outgrew their label, as well.
free and responsible search for truth and meaning”.
UUs (pronounced Yoo Yoos...it's how they refer to themselves) are
famous for is coffee and conversation immediately following the
services after church, along with being all inclusive and involved in
For instance, how can Islam, which says there is only one god, be true
while Hinduism, with its many gods and goddesses, also be true? How can
Taoism, claiming to be "the way", be so if Jesus of Nazareth said he
was "the way"? How can the Zoroastrian idea of Heaven or Hell be
compatible with the Buddhist view of hundreds of lifetimes via
reincarnation? How can Judaism be compatible with Neopaganism, when the
Tannahk (Old Testament) says all Pagan gods were merely idols and
should be avoided? Furthermore, the one thing all religions agree on is
that they are the only ones with the truth, and all the other religions
Or, maybe Universalism simply amounts to this. Yeah. This is it.
UUs have opened their church doors to occultists,
such as Wiccans and Neopagans. "There are a number of women
the church who identify themselves as witches," says the now retired
Rev. Brian Kopke of the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, Canada
(who claimed to be an atheist). Many UU churches allow Wiccans to
perform rituals and hold Sabbats. Scotland UU Churches have members
identifying themselves as Druids, and the UU church of Columbus, Ohio
allows the Three Cranes Grove (affiliated with the Neo-Druid group Ár
nDraíocht Féin) to
Universalist meeting house of
(built around 1847), is one such church
that's said to be
haunted. It meets all the criteria for being a haunted house because a)
it's an old building, and b) it has a creepy history (it was used as a
morgue during a 19th century epidemic). Like all haunted houses, people
report seeing "something" moving form the corner of their eye and also
"felt a presence" when alone. The Church has weekly 12 Step meetings
there, so is it possible some of these people are experiencing the
after effects of alcoholism, maybe?
At the Little
Hickory Universalist Church of
Ramsey, Illinios, according to one ghost hunting website, members of
the church claim to have heard "strange noises" (if you were sitting
next to me and heard strange noises, um, sorry about that), "felt" a
presence (um, unlike lost of
people who claim to feel a “divine presence” in church?), doors that
"have been known to open and close" (but aren't all doors supposed to
open and close?),and "images" have been seen through windows (but what
else are you supposed to see through windows?).
Haunted Unitarian churches aren't a new phenomenon,
either. An article from the Milwaukee Journal dated Dec. 22nd 1894
mentions a Unitarian Church that was best known for a ghostly
apparition which frequently appeared at its front entrance. A reporter
even claims to have seen the ghost before it vanished. The ghost
doesn't seem to haunt the place anymore, and could simply be the
product of 19th century yellow journalism. A few days later the same
paper reported a “copycat prankster” who deiced to imitate the ghost
until she was almost shot by a policeman...assuming it wasn't the
prankster pretending to be the ghost all along. Or maybe the
journalists at the Milwaukee Journal knew they were lying
they ran the first story, which is why they seemed so sure the girl was
just a “copycat”.
Milford, New Hampshire has a haunted Unitarian
Universalist Church, and their ghost is a basement dweller. A cold spot
in front of a place marked "not storage" under the staircase is where
the ghost hangs out. He's serious about people not storing stuff in
that spot, apparently. Supposedly it is a male ghost that, according to
ghost hunters who have investigated, is "guarding something". How do
they know this? Why, they used a pendulum, of course! According to a
ghost busting webpage, "there seem to be two portal-type
energy-openings" in the basement, so there's that. A cold
a dark dank basement and swinging pendulum can only mean ghosts, and
any Nimrod knows this!
I guess ghosts are really, really liberal and concerned about social activism. You won't find a ghost within a mile of Jerry Falwell's church, I bet! Seriously though, read the article on Bloody Bucket Bridge on this website to see how ghost stories evolve. Quite a few ghost hunters and believers in the Paranormal seem to be UUs, and when you toss Wiccans, Pagans, Druids, and other garden variety occultists into the mix, well, don't be surprised at reports of haunted churches! So there you go.
You may live in an imperfect world but the frontiers are not closed and the doors are not all shut.
- Dr. Maxwell Maltz