Have you ever seen a ghost?
I think I have. When I was going to school at Augsburg, the college bought up a number of houses in the neighborhood and had them demolished to make way for a parking lot. However, one of them was picked up and moved to a new location by its owners. One early morning during this elaborate house-moving process, as Shawn and I were headed off to our respective classes, we both saw a figure of a woman in the upstairs window. It was just a flash, and she was gone. When we asked each other about it, we both described her looking sad, and I thought that by the way she had her hand on her belly she was pregnant. Shawn said she hadn't wanted to say anything, but she’d gotten that impression too. Was she a ghost? Someone living saying a final good-bye to the house? Who knows?
Then there was that Halloween visitor to our house who passed through the kitchen and up the stairs that are no longer there. That one was a fast-moving ball of light about the size of a quarter, but three of us saw it.
While up at the cabin this past weekend, I read a friend's copy of Elaine Mercado's GRAVE'S END, which is billed as a true life story of a haunted house. It's a very compelling story. What makes this particular account so engaging, I think, is the fact that Elaine, the author, begins very much as a skeptic and stays one quite a long way into the memoir. She and her husband are constantly trying to come up with rational reasons for the paranormal events. Also, she talks about how the family got used to a lot of the phenomenon and how, since it wasn't a constant every day occurrence (outside of the feeling of being watched), they tended to forget about it in between episodes. It took her something like fifteen years to finally admit her house was haunted and to pursue having it "cleansed."
Throughout the book, she is just a regular person who happens to have all this weird crap happening in her house.
I think GRAVE'S END would be a good book for someone who is curious and open to the idea of ghosts, but who doesn't already believe. I guess my feeling about ghosts can be summed up this way: while at Augsburg an English professor asked us if any of us believed in the possibility of witchcraft (or something like that), and I said, "Hell, yes. I believe in the POSSIBILITY of anything."
What about you? Any ghost stories out there?