I love a good ghost story. I really do. No part of me can watch slasher films and enjoy them. I don't care for reckless murder as entertainment, but a good piece of mythology gets me all excited. It can be campy or pop art, it doesn't matter. I'll get just as excited watching the Paranormal Activity movie as I will reading Lovecraft. It's that spooky fun that gets your eyes wider and makes you curl up in a sweater under a covers and quiver a little.
The paranormal has always been pretty normal for me, meaning my interest in it - not my experiences. I have had one truly horrifying experience and that is talked about more in the vlog post below, but first I want to talk about the scary stories you think of when October turns rainy and the mind wanders.
So, I don't have any creepy stories of growing up, I just always remember a love for folklore and mythology. Both my elementary school and public school libraries had decent occult sections and I remember a book called "How to find a ghost" a children's guide to paranormal investigation that fascinated and terrified me. It had cartoons and charts in it for drawing chalk lines around chair legs and such, but what intrigued me was the authors frankness for what I considered extraordinary. So I remember that book, and the infamous "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" series. Watching "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" on Snick and memorizing the first segment of Poe's The Raven. This makes me sound like Wednesday Adams but I was more of a little hobbit, always in the woods. Always going on small adventures. Always around dogs.
It's late and I'm not sure what the point of this post is besides the observation that rainy days heading towards colder weather make me crave a good tale, and they remind me how much I always craved it. I feel lucky to have grown up in my own version of Sunnydale, with great reference and just enough small town superstition to make this month a little magic. In the video I say I don't celebrate Halloween, but that doesn't mean I don't savor the 31st. Samhain is a big deal and matters very much. There's a special dinner here with friends, and it is beautiful. It's an important day for sure but you won't find rubber masks, fake blood, slutty costumes or tombstone-shaped cookies on a platter while The Monster Mash plays. Samhain is a different vibe, more of a harvest festival mixed with a wake, but special. And while I don't expect ghosts to show (nor will I be tracing chair legs), there's a little spark of my childhood reading habits that makes me believe they could. I'm okay with some whimsy in my life, even if I'm hiding under the covers when it happens.
So here is a story about ghosts on this farm. And I hope you enjoyed your rainy days, wherever they take you!
P.S. If you like stories of the unusual, there are some great podcasts out there. My favorite of all time is the now debunked, Hometown Tales. That podcast is still available to download and tells urban legends and folklore from all over the world. Gene and Bryan, of New Jersey, do an amazing job and I can't recommend them enough. The new Jessica Chobot show (of Nerdist News) is called Bizarre States and I enjoy it a lot as well.