It was a dark and stormy night –

The rafters rattled and the storm windows shook as if mindless toys to the mighty wind blowing throughout the countryside. A bitter chill surrounds your new/old Victorian while the distinctive smell of rose peddle perfume wafts through the halls. The light flash – DARKNESS! You dash under the kitchen table, your eyes wide with panic; it’s happening… again.

The kitchen door opens with a creak then slams shut. Dishes fly across the room crashing with a heated vengeance as the baby grand piano in the lounge plays a concerto – minus one pianist. The front door rushes open bringing in a cool breeze and a wind-devil of leaves. Heavy boot-steps lead up the stairs followed by a deep – tha-thump, tha-thump, tha – AHHHHHH! CRASH!

The lights miraculously return to normal and you will your way out from under the kitchen table. Five dishes lay in pieces on the floor and a butcher knife is now permanently implanted in the wall next to the calendar. Out in the hallway, there are muddy footprints leading up the stairs… odd surprising it has not rained in two months. And even odder is a large red stain on the floor at the bottom of the stairs… the same piece of rug you’ve replaced three times already yet the stain keeps returning.

What’s wrong with this house? – well it’s HAUNTED! Yep. So stock up on dishes, invest in some good throw rugs, and call in the haunted houses tours. Why not make a little money in the process? That’s what all the trendy hotels are doing, regardless if they’re haunted or not. Nothing brings customers in faster than a saucy tale of a prostitute and/or sea-captain “done in” by the one they loved. Haunted houses are no different.

In light of the haunting season approaching, I thought I’d pay tribute to our shadowy dead. I understand many have mixed emotions when it comes to ghosts or spirits. Some believe they exist and scare the crap out of us and cause us to wonder why our car keys are in the refrigerator. Or the opposite – you’re crazy and it’s all in your head – you were too wired on NyQuil last night to remember.

Yes, I admit I must be crazy but there’s just too much information out there now to not believe in ghosts. I happen to fall in the first category completely believing that some of our beloved dead are still wondering about causing mischief. TV programs such as Ghost HuntersGhost LabCelebrities Ghost Stories, and Haunted History bring about “proof” that there just might be ghost after death. By taking the “Ghostbusters” scientific approach these shows “investigate” paranormal activity. Unfortunately unlike Ghostbusters, they have yet to truly confirm, let alone capture one.

Wouldn’t be interesting to capture a ghost? It would prove a lot to both the fields of science and theology that – Hey there is life after death…or something like that. But then again I would feel guilty keeping a ghost captive. They should be free to romp about the countryside making cow’s milk sour, right? Or should they be considered pests like a common house mouse? Find a “sticky trap” way of capturing them…  ectoplasm and some cool-looking force-field box-trap?

In my opinion, we should learn all we can about them. If they can throw plates around the kitchen then they can certainly make breakfast in the morning. If they track in mud, leave out a broom and dust-pan out. It’s only right they pick up after themselves considering we all live – um…reside, under the same roof. Oh yes, thinking about it why not hand them a hammer to fix those rattling rafters? If they slip and fall what’s the worse that will happen? They come alive again? That sounds a bit like Zombies… I’ll leave that subject for another time.

Every day we live with the nearly-dead and not give them any respect. It takes a lot of energy being dead and still wandering about…try it sometime. Wait, um – that is when it’s the appropriate time, that is. You’d be amazed at what you’d find out levitating in another ghost’s shoes. For me, I’m looking forward to “ghosting” in my afterlife. My goal: to find an old attic with a vintage Royal typewriter and drive the house’s residence insane by typing at 3 in the morning. It will be more fun than a ghost on Halloween. But at least I’ll have the common courtesy to make coffee in the morning. – BOO!

Yesterday upon the stair

I met a man who wasn’t there

He wasn’t there again today

Oh, how I wish he’d go away

When I came home last night at three

The man was waiting there for me

But when I looked around the hall

I couldn’t see him there at all!

Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!

Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door

Last night I saw upon the stair

A little man who wasn’t there

He wasn’t there again today

Oh, how I wish he’d go away

Antigonish” (1899)