I've got serious issue fatigue. That's why I didn't post yesterday. I spent all day reading the post Super Tuesday analysis and frankly I'm spent. I can't bring myself to write about racism or sexism or the economy or super delegates or the media. I just can't.
I can't even bring myself to read about weighty issues. I stayed off the computer last night. No Salon. No Politico. No Huffington Post. No New York Times. I didn't even surf over to my favorite blogs. Instead, I crawled into bed with a magazine to watch "Ghost Hunters International" on the Sci Fi Channel--a cheesetastic, guilty pleasure.
I am fascinated by things that go bump in the night--not hockey mask wearing maniacs or glassy-eyed aliens, but spooks and specters. I love a good ghost story, especially local legends: Resurrection Mary who roams Archer Ave. southwest of Chicago, the chilling tale of the LaLaurie house in News Orleans' French Quarter, or the Grey Lady of Evansville, Indiana's Willard Library. Want to know the hidden history of a place? Take a local ghost tour. New Orleans and Chicago offer great ones.
To me, the best kind of ghost story is a true one. Forget Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King, I like to hear about real people's encounters with the supernatural.
Once, my most straight-laced, no-nonsense friend told me about a haunted house she and her family lived in when she was small. Her voice caught in her throat as she explained that once, while lying in bed, she clearly saw a little girl standing in the hallway. Thinking it was her sister, my friend called out. "What," her sister answered from a twin bed in the same room. Another time, my friend, her sister and brother, while home alone, saw what looked like a figure in red descending the stairs. Things also tended to disappear in that house; nothing ever seemed to be where you left it. My friend's family moved after little more than a year.
I got a chill just typing that story.
The only thing I know for sure about the other side is that none of us know for sure what happens there. I imagine the truth is more spectacular than anything we've dreamt up. Today, with all our knowledge and technology, we tend to think we have it all figured out. We understand it all. For me, a good real-life ghost story provides a rip in that certainty. It suggests that some things still are unexplained. It says that in this vast and wonderful universe, human beings only know a fraction of what there is to know.
For some reason I find that comforting. So I believe in ghosts.
What about you? Have you had any encounters with the supernatural? Do you believe in ghosts? Or, are you as politics and big issue fatigued and I am?
Photo: Famous ghost photo from Chicago's allagedly haunted Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
"The photo was taken on infra-red film during a daytime excursion to the reputedly haunted graveyard. In the developed photograph, there appeared a semi-transparent figure of a woman seated on a tombstone within the cemetery grounds. She was not visible to anyone who was present and in fact, the image appeared in a much larger, almost panoramic view of the cemetery. The portion of the photo where the woman appears was enlarged when investigators noticed there was something out of the ordinary about it." SOURCE