Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Do You Believe in Ghosts?





As a kid, I loved ghost stories. I don’t mean Casper. The scary stories. The ones that put me on super alert. My skin turned ultra sensitive, my ears became tuned to hear the slightest noise, a creak, a whisper. My lungs lacked oxygen for fear a small intake of air could be heard by some unearthly presence. My heart thumped in my chest and drummed in my ears. Thump. Thump. Thump. Raw, nerve-tingling fear.

I still love ghost stories. While they don’t scare me as much, they still make the back of my neck feel prickly.

My writing partner is addicted to this show on the SciFi Channel called Ghost Hunters, about a group of paranormal investigators, and since I’m going to be rooming with her at RT, I’m preparing myself for her wanting to watch an episode tomorrow night. Now, I love Faye and all but I’m going to be honest with you. I can’t tell you I believe in ghosts 100%. (Especially the ones on that show.) But I’m probably more of a believer than a non-believer. Especially after what happened to me, my husband, and his “boys.” Yup, I mean those “boys.”

It was several years ago. I write travel pieces and work with several PR firms that provide travel to press-worthy destinations. This one was in Fredericksburg, Texas. The event was the anniversary of WWII happening at the Nimitz Museum.

I’m not much on wars or war museums. But I’d received five “writing” assignments from magazines about the museum. So off I went, camera in hand, with a press group. When I stepped into the museum, I had the strangest mood-altering sense of sadness overcome me. And no, it wasn’t that time of month.

Everything in the museum tugged at my heart. The thought that ran through my mind was “War is so ugly.”

Then I came upon a blood-stained kimono on display. A sign stated that an American soldier had removed it from a dead woman, a victim of war. Tears filled my eyes. How sad. This war really was ugly.

Planning on writing this piece with lots of emotion, I pulled my camera to my eye and snapped. Oddly, my hand-held flash didn’t work.

It was fairly new, too, so I didn’t understand. Frustrated, I used all my mechanical knowledge to fix the problem. Which basically means, I turned it off and on. Still nothing.

Unhappy, I walked away, but as I did, I heard a soft but annoying noise. “EEEEE . . . .”

I stopped and listened, it sounded close. Too close. I pulled my camera to my ear. Nothing. I pulled my flash to my ear, and realized the noise came from it.

I made sure the flash was turned off. It was. But the noise continued. I started investigating. I opened the battery compartment and was shocked to find that several of my batteries had burst. This had never happened. The batteries were the expensive ones.

Okay . . . this was strange, right? But I figured it was probably just faulty batteries. Ahh, but I needed those pictures. Nevertheless, the press group was leaving. Frustrated, I left imageless. When I arrive home, I told my husband we would have to return to Fredericksburg to get pictures next month.

He loves war museums and was happy to go. The next month, several photo jobs later, and with a now functioning flash with new batteries, we head off for the weekend.

We arrived at the museum. The moment I stepped inside, I get the same heavy feeling deep in my chest. I didn’t like it. I wanted to get my images and leave. I snapped a few shots, walking quickly. I went to the kimono, to capture what I foresee as my leading picture. I pulled the camera to my eye, pushed the button, and . . . nothing.

I did my mechanical trick again. On . . . off . . . on. Nothing. My husband, totally immersed in reading the displays, stepped into this small room of the museum.

I turned to him. “I can’t believe it. My flash won’t work!”

“Probably need new batteries,” he muttered.

“They’re brand new,” I insisted, still standing by the kimono.

“So they were bad. Don’t you have some extra ones in the car?”

“I need these pictures,” I said in my help-me voice.

He took my camera--did his mechanical check. Which of course, is much more inept that mine. On . . . off. . . on. He frowned, then removed and slipped the batteries into his trouser pocket. “Let me finish looking and I’ll go get your batteries from the car.”

Feeling jittery, I considered waiting outside on him. I so didn’t like that museum, but I still didn’t see a connection. We took a few steps away from the kimono and that’s when I heard it. “Eeeeeeee . . .”

“What’s that?” Hubby asked.

“I don’t know.” Then it hit me. Chills ran up my spine to the base of my neck and then crawled down my arms.

I pulled the flash to my ear. Nothing. I relaxed—then remembered.

I looked at the front of my husband’s jeans to his crotch, which was growing darker as the noise grew louder. “I think you’d better go empty your pockets.”

“Why?” he asked, clueless.

“Because I don’t think “your boys” like battery acid.”

He looked down and shot off to the bathroom. Four of the six batteries had burst.

I looked at the kimono and felt it again—the strong emotion that I can only describe as the ugliness of war. “Okay,” I whispered, “I won’t include pictures of your dress.”

I wrote the articles, and kept my word; no pictures of the kimono appeared in the magazines. I simply don’t think it was meant to be.

So that’s it. The reason, I sort of believe in ghosts. Do you think I should share this story with Faye when she starts in about watching Ghost Hunters? And speaking of GH, how many of you out there watch it? What about Ghost Whisper? Or Medium? Do you believe? Sort of believe? Do you like books that have ghost themes?

Oh, by the way, I know you all are worried and wondering, my husband’s boys were okay.

Crime Scene Christie

37 comments:

Lucy said...

Oh that's creepy. I don't like scary shows so if it's going to leave me with a scared, creepy feeling, I won't watch it.

Irene said...

Interesting story. I don't know what it was that called to you, but it obviously got your attention! Spirits of the dead are very real in my opinion and they can cling, like ethereal tape recordings, to objects. And over and over again they can do their thing...appear in body or gather enough energy to act in some way.
While I doubt that a "ghost" could actually kill someone (push down stairs, stab, that kind of thing) I do believe that the appearance of one could cause a living person to cause injury to him/herself.
Yes, I've seen apparitions. They're real. They don't show up when we or the Ghost Hunters want them to, but they're real.

Christie Craig said...

Lucy,

I find it funny that what intrigues one person turns off another. I don't like evil tales, but just spooky is okay. I'm the same way with mystery/suspense. I love cop shows, and mysteries, but I don't want to get too close evil, or it turns me off.

Thanks for posting.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Too cool, Irene.

Like I said, I'm still sort of on the fence, but the whole kimono thing sort of nudged me to one side.

And I agree, I don't think ghosts can hurt you.

Crime Scene Christie

Keri Ford said...

Uhhh…..shudder I’ve never found having the daylights scared out of me to be all that entertaining. I’d have ran screaming from the building. I did grow up watching one show, Unsolved Mysteries. My parents watched it, so it was watch it or go to my room and flip through only ten channels on a six inch screen (I had one of those mount in the kitchen tv’s in my bedroom).
But you know, I’ve got one those writerly minds and I can’t let stuff go until I’ve imagined every scenario possible. It’s me seeing the ghost from my car as I drive past or it’s me wondering down a deserted road and see the ghost, it’s my house I’m hearing the ghosts play poker in, or I’m the darn ghost. It made for some long night wondering if that was the wind whipping around the corner of the house or if it was a ghost walking around outside. So now I avoid anything that could possibly affect my creeped-out level.

Christie Craig said...

Keri,

I love Unsolved Mysteries. But I admit I know what you mean about being cursed by an overactive imagination.

Spooky stuff.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

terrio said...

That's a great story. And good to hear the boys came out of it unscathed.

I've always believed in ghosts but never understood why people are afraid of them. I think it's the way Hollywood portrays them. My aunt has a ghost in her house. She's talked to him. When her kids are little, he used to cover them up if she left the blankets off.

I don't watch these shows but I do watch John Edward and would love to attend one of his shows. I think it would be cool to get a *reading*. I figure there are always spirits all around us. Sort of the same way I believe angels are always with me too.

Faye Hughes said...

Um...

Okay, you have been holding out on me, girl. Love the ghost story but we're still watching GH tomorrow night! lol.

Faye

Christie Craig said...

Terrio,

I believe in angels too. What's the name of that author who writes about angels? Anyway, I've read a couple of her books.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Okay, Faye, I'll watch it, but don't expect me to believe them! :-)

Crime Scene Christie

Wendy Roberts said...

What a great story! Since my mysteries usually have a ghost or other paranormal element I often have complete strangers tell me their personal ghost stories. There's some spooky stuff out there!

Christie Craig said...

Wendy,

I get a lot of that too. People know I love ghost stories. And yup, there's some spooky stuff out there.

Crime Scene Christie

Teri Thackston said...

Christie, I'm so glad Faye has convinced you to skip an RT party and watch GH. As a writer it's so important to expand your mind. Oh-and keep an eye on the a/c vent door.
Teri

Christie Craig said...

Hi Teri,

Guys, Teri has a book out Final Words with Cerridwen Press that has a ghost in it. Spooky stuff.

Crime Scene Christie

MsHellion said...

Great story! I've never seen a ghost...or had something like that happen, but I still believe in them nonetheless. That Hamlet line always comes to mind. There are LOTS of things that exist that I've never heard of or understand: ghosts are merely one of them.

And yes, War is ugly.

Robin said...

I started reading Hans Holzer's Ghost Hunter books when I was a teen. I'm a believer. Shows like TAPS and Ghost Hunter on tv, especially when they get a glimpse of something extraordinary like a voice or moving shadow, reinforce my beliefs. My motto -- just because we can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

Amanda Stevens said...

I love spooky stories so thanks for the heads up about your post, Christie! Is anyone besides me a faithful Coast to Coast watcher? Not the same without Art Bell but still very good.

Tori Lennox said...

What a creepy story!!! I've been to F'burg, but we never went into the museum. Wish we had now.

I'm still a bit of a skeptic, but Ghost Hunters is one of my top five favorite shows on TV right now. Love love LOVE it!!! Oddly, the show doesn't scare me, but you couldn't pay me to watch a Stephen King movie. *g*

Christie Craig said...

Mshellion,

Yup, you and Hamlet are right. I still don't understand how my television gets a picture, but I believe it.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Robin,

So you watch Ghost Hunters, too? Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on Faye.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Tori Lennox said...

Speaking of ghosts, btw, I just remembered something that happened to a cousin of mine. They were living in a Victorian-era house and constantly heard footsteps going up and down the back staircase. Only they didn't have a back staircase. But when they were doing renovations on the house, they broke through a wall and found, you guessed it, the back staircase!

Not only did they find the stairs, they found Civil War-era newspapers and a Civil War cap stashed on the stairs. As far as I know, they never did find out why the staircase got walled up.

Man, now I'm really having an urge to work on the ghost hunter story idea I came up with a month or so ago....

Oh, hey! I just remembered something else (and to make this comment even longer *g*), the guys from GH are romance friendly. A friend of mine said they spoke on paranormal things at one of their meetings. And they weren't condescending about romance or anything. Makes me love them all the more. :)

Christie Craig said...

Hi Amanda,

I'm not familiar with Coast to Coast. Hmm... But speaking of being scared and totally spooked, go watch Amanda's book video on her website: http://amandastevens.com/

Now that is scary.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Tori,

Ohhh....the whole staircase story is intriguing. Hmm...I think we could all get a plot idea out of that.

You should go to the Nimitz Museum and let me know if you feel anything. They have lots of artifacts and rotate them, so the kimono isn't on show all the time, but I'm telling you, it was spooky.

Good luck on your ghost-story idea.

Crime Scene Christie

terrio said...

Christie - I don't know who it is that writes about angels. I was just told at an early age I had angels around me and never questioned it. Maybe that's a Catholic thing.

My friend's mother passed away several years ago from a brain tumor. She knew when she was going, made the family bring in everyone to whom she wanted to say goodbye and told my friend the angels were in the room waiting for her to finish. Sure enough, after she said her goodbyes, they took her. Very peaceful and sort of comforting to know she didn't go alone.

Christie Craig said...

Terrio,

That's a beautiful story.

I believe the author's name is Sylvia Brown? I think that's it.

Thanks for sharing.

Crime Scene Christie

Jana DeLeon said...

I believe in ghosts - who am I to limit what God might have put on this earth?

Not only does my next book have a ghost as a character, but I went ghost-hunting for research. :)

Virginia said...

That is creepy. I guess I sort of believe. I always watch Ghost Whisper and Medium. Also enjoy reading books about ghost.

Christie Craig said...

Jana,

Too cool. I can't wait to read it.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Virginia,

I'm with you. Ghost Whisper and Medium are my must see programs.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

RM Kahn said...

I have felt the presence of ghosts all my life. From apartments, to homes and even movie theaters. I have even had a few hair raising experiences that are best left for day-light story telling.

Before I had my son, I used to love reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz. After his birth though, it all became too real and my 3-D, living color, imagination got the best of me and I had to stop reading them. But I still enjoy a good scare now and then, like Knott's Scary Farm.

Christie Craig said...

Rm Kahn,

Ohhh, I'd love to hear those stories.

Thanks for stopping by.

Crime Scene Christie

Beth said...

Thank God the boys were spared! Whew!
Ghosts, huh? I suppose I believe. Your story sure makes a convincing argument in favor of them existing. You never know.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Your story had me going EEEEEEEE!!!!

Creepy!

Christie Craig said...

Beth,

Thanks for posting. The whole thing was . . . thought provoking.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Jenyfer,

It had me going EEEEEE too. Of course my hubby said something different. :-)

Crime Scene Christie

Ms Terry in Gadsden Alabama said...

Christie, I look forward every week to reading your blog. The Ghost stories made me think of when we were kids and the spend the night parties we used to have.

Telling the one about bloody bones was going to get you is the main one that comes to my mind. And i bet your brother and his friends knew how to show up just in time to make us think something was going to get us, too.

I dont watch any of those shows but when things like your batteries exploding happen well we got to believe in something.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Terry,

Yup, Bloody Bones brings back some memories. We had fun at those parties, didn't we?

Thanks for posting.