On the Subject of Ghosts



For someone who doesn’t believe in ghosts, I can’t get enough of them.

When I visit a place with even a whiff of history, I get the normal questions out of the way, and then I ask about the ghosts. Because that’s what I’ve really come for. “Built in 1838? Philandering spouse murdered in the bedroom? Alright then, out with it: let's hear about the ghosts.” 

I get looks, but mostly people play along.  

Yesterday one of these conversations ran its normal course and ended with a brawny Tennessean producing this picture. I submit it for the scrutiny of skeptic and believer alike. Snapped by a motion-activated camera on his friend's hunting property, it seems to capture the shape of a human figure. The Tennesseans were stumped to discover the photo, an isolated still in what would have been a burst of images, had the camera been triggered by a fleshy, moving bod. Of course, about 100 feet from the spectre in question is an old overgrown church, adjacent to an even more overgrown cemetery.


Because, of course. What would a haunting be without its haunt?   

For a good ghost story, you need both a suitable place to fill with ghosts, and an audience eager to fill it; give us our Manderley, and we’ll do the rest. The stories I hang on may just be hyped-up tales of camera malfunction and squeaking pipes, but I am eager to believe, because I prefer to live in a world where there is magic. A skeptic ever hoping to be proven wrong, I will continue to pester every hotel clerk and tour guide who crosses my path. And until I actually meet a ghost, I’ll conjure them in my work.  

*On a sidenote, when I asked a friend whether posting this photo would confirm me as a lunatic to family, and acquaintance, he offered sage insight:

“To be fair, your website is filled with miniature monkey skulls and rodent bones. I think that horse has bolted.”

Point taken.  

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  ©1927L. Delaney