“During the day, I don’t believe in ghosts. At night, I’m a little more open-minded.”
Do you believe in ghosts?
Not too long ago, I would have answered, “Well, I do believe there are more things in Heaven and Earth that are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.”
Skeptical, yet open-minded, that was me.
Is it any wonder?
My stepmother was a paranormal investigator, who wrote literally dozens of ghost story books based on Carolina hauntings.
My father, a minister, assisted in her research.
And sometimes, I went with.
I’ve been down in the deepest tunnels of the Reed Gold Mine.
I’ve sat on the Blue Ridge Parkway till long after midnight, watching in vain for the Brown Mountain Lights.
I’ve visited Alice’s grave at All Saints Cemetery at Murrell’s Inlet, walked backwards in a circle around the grave thrice (and still did not go missing my rings).
I’ve visited Ocracoke Island. Never found treasure; never saw Blackbeard’s ghost.
As an adult, I’ve wandered through old castles.
Crawled on my hands and knees through monolithic tombs.
Wandered through the crypts of old churches.
Taken tea in a graveyard.
Spent All Hallows Eve and All Hallows Day exploring Celtic cemeteries.
I’ll admit, I’m sensitive to “feels” and some places have felt very calm, peaceful, and welcoming, while other places have felt … well, not very welcoming at all. (The two worst places: Parts of Westminster Abbey and the basement of the Biltmore Estate.)
And sometimes – well, not just sometimes, but often – my camera will malfunction in churches, crypts, and tombs. It’ll take perfect, beautiful pictures for awhile – and then it’s like the energy says, “Enough.” And from that point on my camera refuses to focus.
For example, the picture above, taken in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, came out beautifully, even in dim lighting. I was absolutely enthralled by these statues – often, the best art you’ll see is in old churches and crypts. I was especially amazed by this man’s feet, complete with bunion and maybe some arthritis or gout. But when I tried to get a close up of his foot …
The same thing happened at the Canterbury Cathedral in the UK. Beautiful pictures, until I tried to snap a photo of the candle burning for Thomas Becket. OK, you’re not actually supposed to photograph this but everyone does. All I can say is, good luck to you if you try. It took at least a dozen clicks to get one in-focus pic.
And by all rights, my house should be haunted. Several people are rumored to have died here. At least one did; I know because I was holding his hand when he died. (Before you get excited, imagining me holding the hand of a poisoned lover – I was holding the hand of my step dad, in his final stages of cancer.)
And then there are all the furred and feathered creatures that have lived here – and died here.
Yet, despite all of these situations … and circumstances … I have never encountered a ghost.
Maybe some kind of general energy.
Maybe an echo.
But never a “ghost.” A personality. Something – or someone – capable of interacting.
Until last summer, that is.
Maybe because, until last summer, there was never a ghost or spirit interested in interacting with me?
To be continued next Wednesday