I post this today because I generally don’t appear here on Saturday, and for all that our son is putting brakes on our usual efforts to creepificate the house, there’s still some tombstones to be set askew in the front yard and a pumpkin to vivisect.
Some years ago I was with a group of friends at a Scout Camp about an hour’s drive outside the city– all adults, this group, we’d just rented to place from the Boy Scouts for the weekend. The camp centers on a building erected in the late 1800s, and was reputed to have been the site of treatment for tuberculosis victims by the doctor who constructed it.
There is a camp-fire circle not far from the main building, and it being a fine night, many were gathered about the the fire. At one point, one of the company breaks away, takes a few steps out into a clear space before the building, then returns.
“I’m not sure I recognize the person looking out the upstairs window,” says he. “They don’t look too happy.”
Someone else goes for a look, also failing to recognize the woman at the upper window (the lower ones, by the way, were permanently boarded over against vandals). The action repeats until several have failed to recognize her. Finally, an enterprising person decides to go in and see who it is.
Upon entering the building, it is forcefully recalled to them that the upper floor was removed a decade previous. There is no one at the window, nor could there have been.
“Stuff,” you say? “Hooey?” A couple of years before this event, at the same place, a discussion was engaged, prompted by reminiscences of one of the people who had helped remove the upper floor, regarding the general eerieness and occasional manifestations during the reconstruction. ‘Stuff’ and ‘hooey’ were frequently called, culminating in one of the sceptics saying, “It would take an awful big something for me to believe in ghosts.”
Just at that moment, the heavy fire-doors which had been installed at the end of the place both banged open, suddenly and violently as the end of the swing of the hydraulic closers would allow, and then crashed back closed in a way a very heavy and strong person would have trouble replicating with one door (we checked, there being several heavy and strong people at hand), never mind both. The deck beyond was empty, and no one stood within ten feet of the doors within.
Proof? Of course not. The very nature of ghosts, theories regarding infrared cameras and elecromagnetic fields to the contrary, is that they defy proof. A dozen people saw each event, and half of them felt it proved nothing. But they all, in the latter case at least, jumped and shouted at the time.
I wonder how they’d feel about it if they’d seen the whitish transparent indistinctness drifting down the place where the stairs I’d removed the previous day had been? The absent upper floor was in part my doing, and I was the instigator of the door-crashing discussion.
Todays altogether canny and natural pen: Wing Sung 612
Today’s upsetting ink: Hallowe’en home-made special– on a base of Skrip red, small amounts of Herbin Lis de Thé and a touch of Quink black to make a nice not-quite-fresh blood colour. It’s the hit of the office (amongst those who notice).