Thursday, 13 August 2015

Talking To Dead People

Everyone loves a good ghost story.  There's real pleasure in the little shiver of fear we get from sharing frightening and unusual circumstances.  But we don't tend to think too much about the actual ghosts.

I guess most people don't really believe ghosts are real, even when they're enjoying the stories.  I lean more towards believing than not, although I like to think I have a healthy skepticism when it comes to most of the reported stories.  I believe most encounters have a rational explanation but there are a small number which aren't easily explained.

What keeps drawing me back are the "what if" questions.  What if some people really did become ghosts?  What would their experience be like?  What circumstances could make someone into a ghost?

My family teases me because I'll often end up crying while watching the various paranormal shows.  I imagine long-dead soldiers still struggling to fulfill their duties or murder victims wandering aimlessly, trying to find their way home.  The idea of people being trapped somewhere between worlds bothers me.  The idea of myself being trapped that way is why I'm so interested in mediums.

Mediums are those who can (or claim to depending on your skepticism level) speak to the dead.  Some mediums describe it as hearing whispering voices, others say it's more like a feeling and still others claim it is indistinguishable from speaking to the living.  Some do it for profit and some do it because they feel an obligation to help trapped spirits and the living people they're tormenting or disturbing.  Some do it for both.

It's not a gift I'd want to have.  When I created my own medium, Gwen Harris, I actually made her crazy because I thought listening to the dead nonstop would do that to anyone.  She's crazy but it doesn't mean she's not aware or trying to convey something important.  Getting to translate her dialogue into metaphors and impressions was a lot of fun.  She turned into a delightfully creepy and surreal character.

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