Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Helpful Skeptic

I like slasher movies better than other types of horror flicks.  I think it's because these films, by definition, involve some crazy person slashing or dismembering or chainsawing other people.  This, to me, seems pretty realistic.  As in, it could actually happen.  As in, it's not about a deranged clown who comes to life or a little puking possessed girl.  Serial killers actually exist and are therefore scarier to me than an evil cell phone bent on killing it's owner.  Michael Myers types will always freak me out more than something supernatural.  I actually fell asleep during The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

I take a pretty hard line on this stuff.  The only grey area would have to be ghosts.  I don't believe in ghosts, per say, but I do love a good ghost story.  I'll watch any ghost hunting reality show, truly captivated by the chance that they'll record a voice or see a glowy ball.  The voice never makes any sense and I can never understand it but, by golly,  it's spooky!  The glowy ball could be a street light or dust or something on the camera.  But, what if it's a poltergeist?!  A friend asked me if I'd camp out in an old decrepit possibly haunted insane asylum for a hundred thousand dollars.  I agreed to do it with bravado but the actual thought gave me chills.  But, do I actually think there are ghosts?

Nah.

Every time I've ever played with a Ouija Board, the planchette thingy has moved.  That's because I always push it. I'm a master of Ouija Board deception.  I've spelled out random names; I've ever so slightly moved the pointer to say "Help."  This may seem like a very lame thing to do, but, look, someone had to.  The doohickey wasn't gonna move itself.  And wasn't it more fun that way?  Even as a kid, I knew a ghost wasn't going to communicate with us via Hasbro.  I was doing my part to make the game fun for all ages.  I'm a helpful little skeptic.

Every time I've ever been in, say, an old dark theatre late at night and, say, another actor has asked wide-eyed if I heard a creepy noise, I've said yes.   Even if I didn't.  Just because I didn't hear the noise doesn't mean I don't wish that I did.  I don't want to spoil the fun.  But, do I believe there's a possibility a ghost made that noise?

Nope.

However, I once woke up in the middle of the night and saw an old man in old-timey clothing sitting in an old-timey chair next to the bed.  He looked over me, removed his pork pie hat and sighed.  I went instantly back to sleep.  Was it a dream or did I see a ghost?

I have a memory of having the exact same dream as my next door neighbor when we were both five or six.  We dreamt that an American Indian was buried between our houses.  A couple of years later, we found an arrowhead while playing.  Coincidence or ghost?!

I don't know and the weird thing is I don't really care.  I like the idea of ghosts and that's that.  Here I am, on December 16, writing about ghosts even though it's way past the ghastly time of year.  'Tis the season for bells on bobtails and halls that are decked, not specters.  Oooh, unless there are three of them!  Maybe tonight Jacob Marley will appear up in my bedroom and say I'll be visited by three spirits!

Crossing fingers.

*photo by Quel Beast.