Sunday, June 14, 2009

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

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?


K9friend said...

In writing, we explore areas that interest us. Otherwise why would we bother to learn more about a particular topic?

The idea of spirits that visit us from time to time can be scary or comforting...depending upon your point of view!

nlindabrit said...

I too like the idea of haunted places, especially theatres, so I await your articles with interest!