Back in the day, when I started writing Ghost Hunters, I briefly flirted with the idea of taking up a new hobby.
Big City is pretty famous for its haunted locations. There are several ghost stories lingering around strange roadside figures and disembodied voices in graveyards. Tales of bizarre apparitions and monsters emerging from mirrors when their names are chanted five times abound. Heck, not too far away we even have a werewolf legend. The area is rife with activity for those so inclined to investigate the strange, the ethereal, the cryptozoological.
While my magnum opus didn’t start life as a novel (my beloved saw to that), it did express a fascination I’ve always held for things laying just outside the boundaries of our everyday world. Things hovering beyond the edges of human periphery, glowing a soft, preternatural beacon for the curious, the naive, the hapless or the deliberately inquisitive. In fact, after the usual round of ghost stories from the Christmas season, I was stirred into dreaming up another one, the outline for which I’ve started and which even now is swirling in my brain like a storm cloud on the horizon; a storm all of you helped along with your contributions and stories of the unusual.
Anyway, the seductive whisper of joining in the search for the weird, the haunted and the ghostly didn’t draw me hard enough to overcome not being paid to do it (any paranormal investigator who charges for their service is a sham, period). And now, as I sit in my cozy living room surrounded by beloved children and wife while the temperature outside plummets well below zero (with windchill temps stabbing into areas only suited to Arctic or Antarctic regions of the planet), I’m not particularly sorry I didn’t get into it at the time. (Being unemployed doesn’t facilitate taking up new hobbies with no opportunity to recover the outlay of capital required for them, either.) But the seduction was definitely there, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t seriously think about it.
In the end, I settled for Internet (yes, that word is CAPITALIZED, because it’s a proper noun!) research and information. Not all of it was good, but what I did find useful I incorporated into my book. When it at last became a book, that is. And I suppose there will need to be more when the maelstrom in my head finally makes it to text. But I doubt the allure of sitting in a “haunted” location with genuine believers of the paranormal will assist as much as I thought it might at one time.
On the other hand, it could be big fun to watch a bunch of people who want more than anything to believe in ghosts whip themselves into a frenzy and skew things into “evidence” that something more exists beyond our ordinary world.
I, on the other hand, already knew that.
How ‘bout you? Are you a believer in otherworldly things, or is our perception all there is? Sound off.
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