Well, almost everybody likes a good ghost story, don't they? It's actually enjoyable to be scared in a good way. I don't mean being terrified in such a way that one is scarred for life. I'm talking about entertainment.
One of the books I mentioned having ordered from the Writers' Digest online bookstore is The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Sprits. I soon found myself skipping over all the entries except those about historic places. Supposed hauntings aside, they were fascinating!
When Donna urged me to consider writing some articles for a history magazine to which she has sold some, I came up with two ideas: china dolls and haunted places. The china doll article is almost complete. I spent Friday in town taking pictures of china dolls at two antique shops, and I plan to go back next Friday to interview a woman who works at one of the shops and who is a china doll collector. She'll have some good first-hand information that might have been missing from the print resources I consulted.
But I digress. I found two more books (used) at prices I couldn't turn down, and yesterday they arrived in my mailbox: Haunted Theatres by Barbara Smith and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ghosts and Hauntings by Tom Ogden. I had decided to narrow my focus on haunted places to haunted theatres---spurred by the house elf's story of the "ghost" that haunted her college theatre.
Mr. Ogden, a professional magician, expresses my personal feelings in the introduction to his book when he says, "Do I believe that ghosts exist? Well, yes, I believe it's possible that they do."
I have no desire to become involved with the occult. In fact, I'm quite sure it's not the thing for me to do. But as I said, almost everybody loves a good "ghost" story, and I'm no exception. I love the history involved and stretching my imagination beyond the confines of what is "real" and "practical". Isn't that what writers do?