I am still cataloging and listing the immense gift (immense as in, two tons) of books my parents gave me. I have no idea what I have. So when I wrote that post about Halloween asking if you could spare a shiver, I didn’t know I had this book.

Real Ghosts Restless Spirits and Haunted Places Brad Steiger

Real Ghosts Restless Spirits and Haunted Places Brad Steiger

I had to crack this book to check its condition before listing it. OH NO THERE ARE PHOTOS! NGAH! SHUT IT QUICK! It is 10.44 pm and I don’t need that visual in my head!

At least I am not in the garage- ahem, the office- by myself. Both of us decided to hit some work hard tonight in order to feel better about what was on our plates in the morning.

Yeah, the person who wrote that jaunty Halloween post? That was me. Sometimes my veneer of soul, acceptance, hope and positivity can’t help but shake loose or crack a bit.

So… I think this is a pretty darn good resource. It has a nice index, and it includes my old friend The Bell Witch. I wonder if it includes the haunted hotel on the way back to Norfolk from Virginia Beach.  This book would be a good (and scholarly, in terms of how hard the author worked to gather and compile sources for the book) read. IN THE DAYTIME.

I listed it for $20 but for a Wine Country Books reader it is $15. Email me, winecountrybooksnapa at gmail.

During two recent late nights with friends, those of us found ourselves puzzling through, thinking aloud together. On the first occasion, one of us had just lost her sister. We were talking, earnestly and wholeheartedly but a bit wine-ly, about all that we know we don’t know and what we think we know.  All I could think of was a quote I love so much. We read it in church at a certain time in a certain lectionary year.

 In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace… In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble.

I find that visual so beautiful, and the words immensely comforting. Do I know for sure that sort of thinking about death is accurate? Absolutely not. But I’ll take the sweetness of the words and the brightness of the imagery any day.

And thank goodness, the next time we went to that family’s house six people were playing six guitars and we all just sang, no deep thoughts. Whew.

On the second occasion, just the four of us huddled under a propane heat lamp in my friends’ dark and chilly back yard, one of us absolutely KNEW ghosts were real, and two of us were trying very hard to remember that even if ghosts are real, there is nothing to be afraid of.  It is just energy, energy that has to go somewhere when someone dies, because we know nothing is lost or gained in the Universe. Right? Well… not quite. This article explains it rather well. The author touches on the 21 grams thing too (Cliff notes: The sample was too small. ) I know as much about which parts of the Bible are true and which are made up as I do about the physical processes that support life and what happens when they end, so I could easily discount or defend either one with all my heart. But… this sounds good. And… but what about quantum physics / mechanics? Hooboy. (Need you ask? Yes of course we talked about UFO’s and space aliens too! )

Several friends, people I trust and know well, have told me they absolutely did have ‘experiences’. Even as I type that, thinking of the stories they told me, my throat closes up a little. Ngah. Gack.  Like when I hear someone is getting married, you know?

I think the stories, oral histories, first person accounts, photos… what they say about ghosts in aggregate, what they say about what we think and say about ghosts, is more interesting than the ghosts themselves, actually, if you see what I mean. They show what we think we saw, or heard, or can prove, or share, about who what where why how of ghosts. As a body, the cultural aspect of it, or the frequency of particular phrases or experiences that seem to pop up over and over… interesting to think about. And… who first had this bright idea that a spirit or soul might come back after death? I mean… it is pretty ridiculous on the face of it, right? How on earth could, why on earth would, someone back in the mists of time just make that up?

Great things to ponder-

In the daylight.


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