Spo-fans know Hallowe’en is Urs Truly’s favorite holiday. I am getting into the swing of things listening to podcasts with ghost stories and tales of haunted houses and haunts. I find such yarns jolly good fun; I enjoy them immensely. Lots of ink has been spilled on the subject why we like such things.  Even more ink has been used to explore our fascination with ghosts. Ben Johnson (I think) said “Ghosts! All evidence is against them and all belief is for them”.

I don’t care for the gore/slasher type of ghost/horror stories – how crude. I have an alacrity for proper ghost stories. These are the tales that give you the creeps, that send a shiver down your spine. Often in them the ghost is not even seen but only felt as a presence.

Spo-fans may ask if I believe in ghosts. The answer is I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if ghosts are merely a collective archetype our archaic brains hold onto and won’t let go despite all our 21st century intellect. On the other hand how does one account for the countless reports of apparently sane and reasonable people reporting all sorts of concrete ghostly encounters?  Being a Jungian, the concept of time/space/being get blurred a bit, so someone’s psyche lingering after the demise of the body isn’t too absurd.  On the whole, ghosts are negative upset entities lingering because they have a tale to tell. “Avenge me!” says Hamlet’s father’s ghost.  Other ghosts seem stuck as if their sins or sorrows won’t let them move on.  The concept of ‘the friendly ghost” is almost an oxymoron.

Other than Henrik I have never encountered a specter, but there is a part of me that would like to do so. On my bucket list is to visit a haunted house. I wonder if a bunch of tourists in an alleged house project their own psyches and fears outward to create a self-filling prophecy. As the old joke goes, an old man encounters a ghost and asks it ‘who haunts thi house, sir?” and the spook replies “You do!”.

Do you believe in ghosts?