When I was little – about 5 I think – I saw a ghost. It was in the woods near my grandmother’s house, and I was tramping through the underbrush with my cousin when I saw it., It was a face peering through the bracken. Scared the poop out of me – I don’t think literally, but I was only 5, so you never know.
I went home and told my mom about my ethereal encounter. She was quite conciliatory and was no doubt envisioning nightmares right up until my puberty as she tried to comfort me.
But, at the end of it, all was OK. I mean, I’ll still swear I saw a ghost, but I was left with no residuals. By that I mean I do not actually believe in ghosts for a second. I liked the premise of the film Ghost, but didn’t believe it was anything but romanticized nonsense. Wendy believed in it more, not because she believes more in ghosts, but she believed there was value in a surfeit of Patrick Swayze.
I don’t believe in ghosts mainly because the stats don’t bear out any factual evidence of unfortunate encounters with ghosts. Oh, I mean there may be apocryphal accounts, but I’m talking ‘real’ here, not the sort of Enquirer ‘real’ of the ilk of UFOs and Yeti sightings.
Seriously, what could a ghost do to you? And why would he/she want to? Why are ghosts always deemed malevolent? Maybe if it was Hitler’s ghost there might be some residual beastliness, but as a general rule ghosts are assumed to be ‘after death’ plain old folks.
And physically what ‘can’ a ghost do to you? Remember the problem’s Swayze’s ghost had in crashing through the wall of the subway coach? I mean, they really have to work at doing physical stuff, don’t they? They are ethereal, after all, and that prevents them from doing a lot of heavy lifting in terms of stabbing or clubbing you in your bed one night.
I mean, I like a good ghost story, like Turn of the Screw, for example, a classic that should not be read with a full bladder or only a single candle burning.
Otherwise, I like my ghosts to be more like Casper, the cartoon ghost, who is a friendly little chap, even though the picture here looks uncannily like a spermatozoa.
My only other favorite ghost is the ‘succubus’, who is a female equivalent of the male ‘incubus’, and she comes in the night and has her sexual way with a fellow. Personally I think the idea was developed in ancient times by adolescent boys to explain to their moms the stained sheets. But, you never know. I personally am still waiting for an encounter.