Whatever you do, don't end up like me.
Whenever someone asks if you believe in ghosts, you need to say no. Just say unequivocally, absolutely, without a doubt that there is no way that ghosts exist. Don't even entertain the thought, as intriguing as it might seem. It is just not worth it.
Ghosts are not polite, they don't care, they don't play fair and they will tear your life up. Believe me.
Realize that delving into the unknown comes with a price. It isn't a nice little free ride or something fun to do, getting all scared and the like—although it may seem like that. But once you get too close, too real, that all changes and you can end up with visitors that won't go away.
A Friday night spent watching ghost movies or reading spooky stories may seem like a fun way to pass your time. Go for it! Go ahead and get a little spooked, a little creeped-out, then go to sleep and carry on with your life.
It used to be fun like that for me, until I found out that those whispy little creatures in those spooky little stories WERE REALLY REAL.
That was when my life changed.
It began the day I went to the cemetery.
Always looking for authentic material for my stories, I decided, "Hey! What a great place to find a mist or catch something on tape? Go to a cemetery!"
Well, there I was, shooting pics, studying the headstones. Like a sponge, I walked through the graveyard soaking up memories of the dead, immensely desirous of catching something with my camera, or at least get a "vibe" that would give me something to report.
Something, anything about a ghost—I wasn't picky.
It was a gray, overcast day and rain threatened to soak me at any moment. It sprinkled intermittently the whole time I was there. But the car was nearby, I was wearing my raincoat and I knew I could run for shelter if it started pouring. So undaunted, I roamed.
I spent several hours in that cemetery and all I saw was a bunch of graves, some serious and sad, others whimsical and humorous, and yet others that were very old and seemingly forgotten. But I never saw evidence of a single ghost. Maybe I caught an orb or two, but heck, they could have been the raindrops that came with the threatening little showers caught on my lens.
It wasn't until I returned home that I learned the lesson I'm trying to teach you here.
I think something from the graveyard followed me home.
Although my visit to the cemetery was uneventful, a story had come to me while I was there and I was intent upon getting that story down. I sat down and started writing while the images were coming to me, fast and furious.
I was alone in the house and the night was incredibly quiet. I was writing and thinking and creating, when the telephone rang. I picked it up. For a long moment there was nothing, just silence. But after a time, there was static and a hoarse whispering voice that said, "Watch for us!"
Then a click.
That was a bit unnerving, but I trotted back to my laptop to continue my story. After about thirty minutes, I traveled to the kitchen for a drink of something cold. I needed a break.
I was standing at the fridge, about to grab a soda when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a white face glaring at me through my kitchen window. I turned to visualize the face, but as my eyes fixed on its position, the face dashed out of view. I reached for the back door, turned the knob and stepped outside. After inspecting in all directions, I found nothing and went back inside.
The kitchen was dark because as a Midwesterner, I believe in conserving electricity and had only used a very few, necessary lights. In fact, the entire house was very dark.
I returned to the fridge to get my soda. The light from the interior glared and after I closed the door, for a moment I was blind.
I turned to go back to my room when I was confronted with the image of someone dressed in white from head to toe. It undulated six inches off the ground and the face was pallid; eyes hollow and black. Its bony finger pointed at me shakily and anger emanated from it very clearly and very intensely.
Of course I was terrified at the sight and didn't know what to do. After all, I was alone and it was dark. So I did the most stupid, foolish thing I could think of.
I went back to my laptop and kept writing my story.
I blazed on my keyboard, slurping my soda and getting every mental image I could put into words as quickly as possible.
I heard rappings, I felt chills and I witnessed shadows moving through the room.
After a time, I decided to stop for just a short break to stretch my legs, and a picture in the hall crashed to the floor. This told me that stopping was the wrong move, so I returned to blaze on my keys once again.
It went on like that all night, trapped by the spirits—each one threatening me anytime I quit writing. Pushed forward, I came to realize the story I was writing was not my own, but something I was being forced to write. I didn't mind that so much as the story was good, really good. I just didn't care to be bossed around so much or treated with so much disrespect.
But what could I do? I knew sleep wasn't an option and being alone I had no one to pull me out.
Like a fool, I just kept writing and writing and writing. They were there, I knew it and I knew that they knew what I was doing. They even knew what I was thinking.
They were behind me, in front of me, above and below. But the way they were acting, I knew I was onto something and that alone, kept me going.
I did complete the story, but it was daybreak when I finished. With bloodshot eyes and exhaustion, I stepped out of my front door and onto the sidewalk. The sweet smell of morning air penetrated my soul and drove away the shadows of the night.
I was spent.
And while most of the activity stopped after I finished the story, a few of them have stayed behind. I know they're here. Once you know how they feel, you never forget it and once you've stepped over the line, you can't pretend it never happened.
The story I was driven to write has not been published yet, and it may never be. But if and when I do publish it, it won't be free.
Do you think ghosts are just a figment of the imagination?
Yeah, right. Go ahead, keep thinking that.
Really. It's in your best interest.
Because once you step over the line and start to believe, you are in for a ride that will change your life.
But that ride comes with a price.