Thursday, December 01, 2011

Keeping it light first thing in the morning!

For years, Gigi has struggled with the existence of ghosts. She'd had several experiences (written about here) as a young toddler and fewer as a preschooler. By the time she'd started grade school, she had forgotten about these and ceased to have very many inexplicable events occur in her life.

Lately, however, I had been hearing more and more about ghosts around her school. The children in her class -- a few of them anyway -- actively exchanged stories about different sightings around the school ground. Gigi shared these with me, in no great detail amid tons of chatter, over the past couple of days.

It wasn't until this morning that a couple of things occurred to me. First, Gigi's pre-tween angst over whether or not ghosts existed was gone. While she used to beg me to tell her if they existed or not and I would always say that she had to figure it out for herself, now she herself believed. Secondly, while I had since the start of school dismissed Gigi's reports of ghosts on campus as simply school lore, I could not anymore.

As the morning sounds of our home began to wake us up, I found myself in the living room and Mimi stealing covers from me; Gigi, I noticed as I walked past her room, was not in bed; instead, I found her curled up beside her Daddy, frightened.

"What's the matter?" I asked.

"Gigi had a bad night."


"No, Mum, I saw a ghost."

"You did? Where? What do you mean?"

"In the mirror." The full-length mirror on her closet door is parallel to the bunkbeds that the girls share.

"What did it look like?"

"Like a head but without any skin or hair . . ."

"A skull." I gave her the word she needed.

"With a white hat."

"Oh, wow, that does sound like it would have been very frightening. But, you know, they won't hurt you."

Then, feeling a little safer, she went on to describe some events she -- and others at different times -- experienced at school. Some of the sightings sounded plausible -- the children could reasonably be thought to have had paranormal experiences. Others, like the sight of corpses in one of the washrooms, were just too far-fetched and even made the principal laugh.

"But, Mummy, I told you that I went into the washroom to wash my hands the other day and I was sure someone was in there using the bathroom because I could here them. Then, I realized that nobody was there."

I nodded.

"Another time, I saw a boy coming through the wall! In the girls' bathroom, out of the wall!"

"What do you mean?"

"He came through a crack."

I explained two things at this point. First, he would likely have thought she herself was a ghost as many of them do in my experience. Those that figure out you're not a ghost often ask for help or try to help you.

"So, if you and the boy are both afraid, does it make sense for either of you to be afraid?"

"No. . ." she agreed.

Secondly, he may have come through a wall because it's an old building. When he was around, there might have been a different layout of the rooms, etc. Buildings often get remodeled over time, especially schools.

"Oh," she said, seeming a little relieved.

Then, she started to sound frightened again.

"But, Mum, I saw a girl with blood all over her face. She was small and blonde."

"Oh, dear," I said. "That does sound pretty awful. But, you were in the washroom right?"

She nodded.

"Well, where do you go at school when you get hurt? To the washroom to get cleaned up, right?"

I believed her without reservation but I was trying to contextualize, to show how, without knowing the reason for a ghost's visit, the experience can be quite frightening.

Then, I tried something.

"You believe in ghosts now, don't you?"

She nodded slowly, seriously.

"Well, I grew up in haunted house . . ."

"You did?"

That's when I told her a few of the experiences that my family and I'd had.

"Mum . . . my school is haunted. I think some people died there."

What a way to start the day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Canadian content

I have an enormous collection of ghost stories -- from eye-witness to classic fiction -- and, over the years, I have found myself unable to read as many as I was buying. So, the "to read" list is so very long. I've been thinking that I should tackle this soon.

Tonight, I am sitting down to read, Jeepers Creepers: Canadian Accounts of Weird Events and Experiences by John R. Colombo.

Monday, November 29, 2010

White-haired and Quiet

A few minutes ago, my little niece came running past me and said, "I saw a ghost! I saw a ghost!"  She had just come from upstairs and then from the living room.

I picked her up:

"What did you see? I didn't hear you." Just to be sure.
"A ghost. I saw a ghost."
"Where did you see it?"
"In the living room."
"Was the ghost a girl or a boy?'
"A boy."
"A little boy or a daddy?"
"A daddy."
"Was his hair light or dark?"
"It was white!"
"Did he speak to you?"
"What was he doing?"
"Standing there, looking."
"Could you take me to where he was?"

We go to the living room.

"There!" she said, pointing to the coffee table area where Mimi was standing.
"Was he smiling?"
"Well, there's no need to be afraid.  He was just visiting. Just saying, 'Hi.'"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Downstairs . . .

A couple of weeks ago, I expected a guest of ours to appear at the top of the stairs in the middle of the night.  After all, somebody climbed the steps and stopped at the newly-installed fish tank on the first landing.  That's been going on every night since.

Also, Mimi has played with someone called "Lucy" -- younger, maybe two -- on the porch. 

"Do you play with her often?"



"She usually just watches me."

And the other night, I was afraid that our youngest, visible houseguest might be wandering around downstairs in the middle of the night.  It sounded like a little child in the kitchen -- the indiscernible words, the little shuffling of feet -- so I went down to investigate, noting that the cat was on our bed.

Nobody was awake. 

Lucy is with us for now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Deadline (2009)

It was one of Brittany Murphy's last films and it's the one whose poster was quickly recalled after her death because it depicted a scene similar to the circumstances in which the actress was found.

It is definitely a ghost story and I will almost always watch a movie because it is a ghost story.  Besides, I've always liked Brittany Murphy (and especially enjoyed The Ramen Girl).

In case you're wondering: Scully did not watch it with me. I watched it alone.  (But he has now agreed to re-watch Shutter Island with me.)

Personally, I found the ending confusing and some aspects of the character's life seemed undeveloped.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Hello again

Oh, boy. I did take an extended break, didn't I?

I didn't mean to do it. I think sometimes I'm overwhelmed with responsibilities and I end up trying to simplify everything to the detriment of my interests, viz. writing this blog.

I took a weekend trip to Lily Dale (an upstate New York Spiritualist community) recently -- even though I am not a member of the Spiritualist Church -- and it ended up being a retreat: napping, shopping, thinking, just . . . being. That really helped.

I want to extend a big thank you to everyone who has written me with questions and requests for guidance. I'll do my best.

I also want to thank everyone who voted in the poll concerning whether or not Scully should re-view the movie 'Shutter Island' with me. So far, he hasn't. But, then, he hasn't seen the results yet, either.

Finally, thank you for just hanging in there as I periodically break from the blog to collect myself.

The Girls

Recently, Gigi and I have continued a really interesting dialogue.

"Do ghosts exist?"

"You have to decide that for yourself."

"But it would be so much easier if you would just tell me!"

Aint that the truth! But I have a strong commitment to ensuring that my children are independent thinkers and I don't want them to be spoon-fed beliefs.

"But YOU believe in ghosts."

"Yes, I do."

The Ghosts

As for the activity in the house, there has been some. To wit, the dining room again. A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in the living room when Gigi just kind of quietly slipped into the room and uneasily perched on the side of the sofa.

"What's the matter?"

"Um, I just heard someone speaking. In the dining room."

"Oh, you mean outside? You heard someone from inside the house?"

"No, it was inside. Right beside my ear."

"What did they say?"

"I couldn't make it out."

"Are you OK?"

"I think I just had a ghost experience."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A poll

On the way back from my in-laws' house tonight -- about an hour away from our home -- Scully told me that he refused to see Shutter Island with me again.  This is just because I fell asleep on both previous occasions after taking care of our two adorable children ALL DAY with no breaks, both times.

So, I told him that I would put a poll up on this blog: Should he see it with me again?  He didn't believe me. It's on the sidebar.