21 May 2010
‘Do you really believe in ghosts?’
By Joseph Racioppi
I drove by a big, old house awhile back. It was rundown and had ivy growing over the front and sides. No lights were on. A few windows were broken. The big oak trees surrounding the house added to the eeriness. It looked “haunted”.
Almost everyone has a story involving a ghost or the supernatural that cannot be explained away by rationale thought. A vision, dream, clairvoyance or a feeling of déjà vu. Or, you know someone who has had a similar experience or “incident”.
One of my favorite stories, “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” by Charles Dickens, is a ghost story. They are fun, because they are scary.
As you read this article in the lamplight or sunlight, the mood is not proper. You must imagine yourself in a cemetery, alone, at night where no doubt you would feel uneasy, or afraid; perhaps almost in another realm. The wind creates noises that during the day would be meaningless, but now are terrifying. Under all those headstones lay the bodies of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, lovers, etc. All with their life stories and secrets resting in eternity. Some of the lost souls cannot rest and roam the earth in limbo due to an untimely death or unfinished business.
Just do a Google search of “ghosts” or “hauntings” and you can read about ghost sightings all over the world. In Ireland, the word banshee literally means ‘female spirit’. Her wailing was seen as a warning of impending death. The banshee is not thought of as evil; she was mourning out of love and respect.
Granted, many TV shows purporting to track down ghosts are extremely suspect and often boring. Some stories however, are not so easily written off.
A friend of mine, a teacher, lives in an old house. He was going away for several weeks in the summer and asked the local police to watch the house for him. Upon his return, the police contacted him. They asked him if anyone had access to the house and he replied, “Absolutely not.” The policeman asked if he could see my friend in person and he said sure. When the officer arrived at the house, my friend asked him to come in. The officer told my friend that he saw an elderly woman with blonde hair in a bun like they wore in the 50’s and 60’s walking around the house.
While they were talking, the officer pointed to a picture on the wall and yelled, “That’s her! That’s the person I saw in your living room.”
“That’s my mother,” said my friend. “But she’s been dead since 1985.”
My friend’s sister will not stay in the house, claiming it’s haunted.
One story I cannot forget appeared on the TV series “Unsolved Mysteries” many years ago. A couple is driving along a dark, lonely road when the wife says: “What was that?”
“What was what?” her husband replied.
“I just saw a naked woman lying in the road back there, go back,” the wife said.
The husband reluctantly turned around and when they came to the spot, nothing was there. However, when the husband walked over to the steep embankment, he saw what appeared to be a car turned on its side at the bottom of the hill. The police were called and it turned out that the car was there for days, the woman driver dead, but her young son, 3 or 4-years old, was still alive next to his mother!
The wife said she believed what she saw was the ghost of the dead mother seeking help for her son.
Like I said, everyone has a “ghost story” to tell. Can all of them be written off as hoaxes or the result of our imagination? Send your story to Jras3@verizon.net for an opportunity to be published in The Progress.
The writer is an attorney and longtime Roseland resident whose column appears the third week of the month His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.