I love Halloween. I’ve long outgrown the need to have communion-sized servings of candy begged off of strangers, but that doesn’t matter. Halloween isn’t about the candy as much as it is about the fun of it all.
We always celebrated Halloween in our house; it is my dad’s birthday and he loves having all the excitement to come in tandem with his special day. My mom had only one rule, and that rule has followed me to my own house. No witches, devils, or demons could be used as costumes or decorations. Other than that we are full-on Halloween Christians.
I have this thing about ghosts. I’m not sure why–I bet a therapist would have a field day figuring it out–but I have been fascinated by ghosts since I was a little kid. For me they rank right up there with Dragons and Water. Any one of those three things touches a primal chord in me and I am drawn in.
I’m not wanting my house to be haunted. The ghosts I like aren’t the ones that make your faucet ooze maggots and have little pockets of hell spring up out of your sump pump. Those fellows can just stay in Amityville for all I care. I like the spectral Disney ghosts that look like they formed from glowing steam and imagination. I like the cute little ghosts with black button eyes and a round spooky O of a mouth. They look as scared of me as I’m supposed to be of them and I just want to mother them like a puppy.
I do think ghosts are real but as I grow older I’m thinking that they aren’t the spirits of the dead. Rather I believe that some ghosts are echoes in coil of time. If time is non-linear in entirety–and I fully believe that it is–then I suspect that it’s possible for a ghost to be something from another time peeking through a place where the fabric is worn. Further explaination: Picture time as a folded quilt, with you on one square and somebody else on the square beneath yours. Ghosts are like places where the backing and batting have somewhat worn away and you can picture bits of that other square. It’s just a theory, but it’s one I like. I think that the batting wears away perhaps when there are strong emotions or breaks in the pattern. So often the ghosts people glimpse are troubled somehow. Again, just a theory.
I do like ghost stories because they’re the stories of other people and places. A good ghost story is like spiked history. The best modern ghost stories I’ve come across in awhile are by my friend Betsy Phillips. (Yes, this is a shameless plug for her book. Shameless but sincere.) She writes about hauntings around Nashville and she does it with a literary style not always common in haint tales. She also writes spooky stories all through October. I understand this year’s is good but I was saving it all to read tonight in one go so I can’t promise anything other than to say it’s by Betsy so I bet it’s awesome.