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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Malpass

Ghost Stories

Do you know any scary ghost stories? I'll wager you do.

Maybe you learned a few as a youngster gathered with your friends around a crackling campfire. The deepening gloom beyond the fire's ring of light only heightened the eeriness as the storyteller revealed how this particular forest was haunted by the spirit of an insane Tonkawa warrior, bent on collecting scalps even after his iniquitous death from a US Cavalryman's rifle. Shrieks and screams followed as the Tonkawa warrior rushed out of the darkness into your midst, wielding his tomahawk; then relieved laughter as the warrior turned out to be your friend Marty wearing face paint. I wouldn't be surprised if there were s'mores involved, too.

Or maybe you went on one of those haunted house tours and the guide told you how in life, the fiancée mistook her betrothed for an intruder and accidentally chopped him in the face with an ax; then, overcome with grief (and maybe bloodlust), plunged a butcher knife into her own heart. The tragic ghostly couple can sometimes be observed dancing a waltz in the grand ballroom—at arms length, though, because of the haunted knife blade protruding from her haunted chest. As the lovers dance, he looks rapturously into her eyes. And she looks back wistfully into his ax handle.

Frankly, I'm a bit skeptical of all these spooky hauntings and ghostly apparitions. After all, with such widespread use of webcams and motion-detecting video security cameras nowadays, it seems reasonable that someone should have captured some very convincing spectral evidence, right? Something to make the doubters like me eat our words? But no, not really. What really seems irrefutable is there are vast legions of amateur Photoshoppers who believe we can't tell they faked that image of their dead Aunt Phoebe eating an apple in front of the television.

Nevertheless, I still get creeped out by this topic. I admit on some level I must've bought into the idea there is a paranormal, supernatural realm that sometimes spills into our reality. And that world seems to be filled with darkness and disturbing characters with an ax to grind. (Ax to grind—nice one, Will!)

Maybe those spooky ghosts would have better attitudes if they would simply enjoy an occasional s'more with their spectral buddies. I'm just saying.

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