Happy All Hallows Eve everyone.
Do you love cemeteries? I do. I love them because it’s quite literally the only place that I find peace. But wait…aren’t cemeteries haunted by all those that walk among the stones?
That’s a cool idea and fodder for fear but the answer is no. I have yet to find a dead person walking the headstones. Lets get serious here. If you are dead, does this sound like the makings of a good eternal lifetime? Wandering about moaning and posing for pictures? No thanks.
The dead are not haunted. We are. Haunting requires human imagination. And we are very good at it.
Several years back now, I found myself in the basement of a reputed haunted house. Having felt nothing but love within the walls of the upper levels, I had traversed the questionable staircase down into the bowels of the home; a dank spot, moldy and aged, it was the perfect location to find whatever ghosts were hiding there.
As I stepped into the small cubbyhole that held the noisy furnace, I placed my hand on the crumbled stone half wall to keep myself steady in the darkness. As I took two steps in I was suddenly and unexpectedly hit with something quite large that lifted up swiftly below me with a groan and then slithered to a silence between my ankles. I won’t lie. I damn near went straight through the low ceiling and screamed as one might anticipate one should when met with something such as this.
The homeowner standing nervously feet behind me quickly fanned his flashlight to the floor to see what creature I had encountered while I stood frozen to the spot and begging to not be dragged off to my great beyond. And there I was. Trembling and praying. With the black sump pump hose curled between my legs. I can clearly remember rolling my own eyes into the back of my own head.
Declared the home haunt free and had a good laugh at myself.
I am what you might call a sensitive. I connect to what others may not see as part of my day to day life. I am very accustomed to seeing some fairly uncomfortable things, and yet I still nearly fainted when someone flushed the toilet upstairs. What can I say? Fear of the unknown is fear regardless of the vocation. I soothe myself with the knowledge that even the priests in the old terror movies get freaked out and they have God almighty on their side. So if they can get freaked out then I can get freaked out. It’s simple human nature.
Homes really aren’t haunted at all. Humans are haunted and we bring that energy into the space and give it another vessel to survive in. I can quite expertly attest to that having been in no less than two hundred homes that were filled with strange happenings. I can also expertly attest to that because I have also found myself running up stairs at breakneck speed trying to outrun whatever was chasing me. It’s simply who we are. We are fueled by family ghost stories, by media and in movie theaters.
I have yet to stumble upon a truly haunted home. And let’s not even get me started on the poltergeist aspect of this. If I see one more video of chairs flying around a kitchen or plates flinging themselves across rooms I might actually scream. This type of manifestation of energy IS possible, but let me assure you that the haunted human component must exist for this to occur. And if you truly believe that this can occur on the scale that some videos might suggest, I would like to put your mind to rest and assure you that it does not. But kudos to the video creators for impressive work.
What we know as hauntings are no more than spirit interaction. Your grandmother didn’t like dirty counter-tops so you might find the dishcloth on the floor each morning as a reminder that you are a slob. And every morning you get a bit more freaked out, you try to understand why it’s happening, you leave the counters dirty again and voila. Your haunting continues until you clean up your own act. You may see whispers of apparitions that appear on the baby cam in the nursery. Lets all relax a little and let your grandfather kiss the baby goodnight without turning it into something more than what it is. Running in to save the child all panicked and breathless won’t serve you to a full nights sleep in the nights that follow because the baby felt your discomfort and isn’t really certain why.
We fuel the other worldly interactions with what we feed them. And once they become aware that you are paying attention to them, you can expect more to occur. It’s cause and effect in action. You have the energy of a small child living in the old farm house you purchased that was built a century ago? Feed the attention it craves and you are asking for a whole whack of naughtiness let me assure you of that. They are very clever and you might expect water to turn on, televisions to change channels and toys to turn on at 3 am. They got your attention…and now they wish to keep it.
Continue to feed it with fearful or nervous attention and before long we will have the makings of a full fledged poltergeist and no matter how hard you try to convince me I will always remind you that the scratches you woke up with were of your very own making. There is no energy anywhere capable of such grievous injury as your own I am afraid. Unless of course your spouse likes to box in their sleep and cuffed you with a poorly placed elbow. Mine does. I have woken with a very sore face on several occasions. I’ve considered the exorcism route to make him stop but that seems a bit overzealous.
The only hauntings that exist, exist because we create them. Just like my Sump Pump Poltergeist . That’s a good name for a book yes?
Now enjoy your hauntingly good Halloween. Be sure to appropriately terrify the neighborhood children. Because it’s fun. Because we need to have a good scare sometimes.
But please. You are not being chased up the stairs by anything beyond your own imaginations.
Or are you? Muahhhhhhh.
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