Ghost stories bring out the primal in us. We want to be scared. It goes back to the days when we huddled in caves, a fire kept going all night, not just against the real threat of the wolf and cave bear, but also against the spirits and monsters the tribal shaman warned us to beware of around the fire. Today, that tradition is kept by someone telling legends and urban legends to us as we sit around a warm campfire with friends or family, or in a building, locked tight against intruders. Which being the logical people we are in today’s modern world, kept safe from the living who might do harm to us. But ghosts can walk through walls and locked doors, and forget the outdoors, the unseen hover all around us more than we think.
Yet, we crave these ghostly tales, whether myths and legends, or what paranormal investigators or other people experience for real. The titillation of experiencing second hand what others have gone through is a safe way of almost being there. Still there are those who suddenly realized that second hand is not good enough. They need to experience it first hand! They need to see if there is life after death, proof to back up what they suspect, or if a skeptic, to maybe have their disbeliefs proven wrong. Most of all, it’s the thrill of actually coming face-to-face with an actual spirit or paranormal phenomenon, where the shackles of safe second hand hearing and viewing no longer are there as a safe-guard. The titillation has gone up several notches in the hair rising on the back of the neck.
I admit after researching in person for my four nonfiction ghost books, especially leading investigations at night with paranormal groups that I’d never done before for this new one, Haunted Richmond II, published by Schiffer Publishing (www.schifferbooks.com), I was not ready to go back to the safety of my couch and read about ghosts or watch them on paranormal shows on television. Not to say that I still don’t enjoy reading ghost stories or watching them on shows like Paranormal Witness or Ghost Adventures. No, even for many times noting happens on an investigation when absolutely nothing happens, the times when it does by evidence of ghostly presences in photos, EVPs on my recorder or hearing a voice from my Frank’s box (ghost book-- http://www.angelsghosts.com/ghost_box), or even a personal experience, makes me appreciate that sometimes we need to get out of that building or away from that campfire and really test the boundaries and learn something. Sometimes, we need to be a part of those ghost stories.
Don’t you agree?