My Grave Nightmare: A Halloween Story

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Was it a day in full blinding sun or a night in deep gloomy shadows?  Was I asleep?  Awake?  I don’t remember.  No, it was both.  I wandered about in my dream with my eyes open, my dream that quickly became a nightmare.

What I looked upon were reflections of my darkest thoughts and fears.  My sub-conscience was trapped in the dreaded landscape of the land of the dead–the churchyard, the cemetery, God’s Little Acre, the lawns and fields of the departed.

AngelOverlookingGraves

The angel stood on the rock and watched over the mute stones.

“O, What has come into this world that these once vital souls, who lived, loved and danced and sang must now repose until the Day of Judgement?”

I stood watching a man mourn the loss of his wife, lover, child, parent or self.  He cannot bear the loneliness of existence.  He pulls at the door.  It is solid and firm in its closure.  The door is thick bronze.  I touch his shoulder to offer solace.  He, too, is bronze.  It’s all metal and stone except for the dust that lies within.  He will remain in this torment until the acids of the rain reduce him to molecules.

BronzeAtDoor

I walk on.  I don’t know why I do this.  I know what awaits me behind the next tree or over the next hill.  I walk into the trees.  Roots have begun to ensnare a gravestone.  The trees will absorb the crystals in another century.  Then, who will remember?  Where will the flowers be placed?  Where will the tears be spilled?

RootedGrave

The only comfort for my eyes are the green and living leaves, mosses and lichens.  Objects with life hold firmly to the ultimate symbol of death.

True irony.

I leave the dark trees and stand to meditate the monument before me.  I read the inscription.  It’s not an epitaph–it’s a promise:

Somewhere in Mexico–when you were hurting and in despair, I sent my angel to comfort you.  You are not alone.  I will be with you even unto the end of the earth. 

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There is an old house with an open door.  I grew up and passed from childhood into manhood in an old house.  I must enter.  I walk into the foyer and along the hallway.  There she is.  The transparent image of a long-ago lover.  Or is she the sister I never had? Or is she my mother as a beautiful youth?  Or is she someone unknown to me–coming to hold my wrinkled hand and place her young cold lips on my warm cheek.

Instead, she passes through me and ascends the stairs to meet another shade–someone her own age to play with–someone as spectral as she.  I watch her ascend the stairs and experience an overwhelming sense of melancholy.  I wished to know her in life.  I probably would have given her my heart–the heart she would break when she passed away.  My heart breaks as easily as ancient Oriental porcelain.

SpiritGirl

I leave the house to her spirit.  I whisper a prayer for her restless soul.  Does anyone hear my words?  I walk on into a monochromatic world.  There at my feet is the grave of a man who is holding…is it his own face?  The head of someone he is longing for?  The visage of a family member?  I walk by and he continues to stare, without terror or anger into another pair of eyes.

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I have seen too much for a living and mortal mind to comprehend.  I want to be awake.  I don’t care if it’s just past mid-night or if the sky in the east is becoming pale.

Pale!  Enough pale! I want to be amongst the living and the breathing.  I want to mingle with lovers who embrace with a terrible passion for life.  I want to walk along flowered paths rich with bees and insects and birds singing for the company of a mate.  I want to help a lame farmer till his field, an old woman with arthritic joints knead her bread, a teacher tell his students the truth about life, calm a couples angry words, write a song a child will love, write a book that will make a man weep, kiss a wanton woman, drink a dark ruby wine, eat a mushroom in a desert, draw a picture that a blind person could see, dig a grave, speak words at a burial, pour Holy Water on an infant’s forehead, stand on a mountain peak so very sharp and pointed that the highest crystal pierces my thick boot soles and makes my foot bleed so that red stains on the heather will guide a lost soul to the low meadows.

I can feel sleep falling away.  But, I sit up in bed, still in a deep slumber and see my last vision for the night.

It’s the Angel of the Fog.  But is she fading away or growing more real?

FoggyAngel

I rise and boil water for tea.  I wrap myself in flannel.  I rub the Sandman’s leftovers from the corners of my eyes.  I am fully awake and fully alive.  I will use and live this day to its fullest.  I will live with faith and hope.  As I slowly stir a drop of honey into my tea, I begin to wonder…

What will tonight bring me as I put my book down and let the dark envelop me?

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Walking Charleston In The Light And Dark / A Few Tales To Tell

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Midnight in the Laundry Room.

I’m writing this in a laundry room.  Four washing machines are on my right and four dryers to my left.  I’m here because the promised WiFi signal is very weak in the R-pod.

Here the signal really smokes.

Yes, it’s midnight in the laundry room, a spooky place where a sock can vanish before your eyes.

The fluorescent lights bring out all the blemishes of the white formica table top.  Above my head is a full moon.  I can’t see it because the remnants of a major storm passed through Georgia today.  The sky was left overcast, but, the weather is slowly moving eastward, out to the Great Atlantic Ocean.  If I step outside right now, I may see a brightness that reveals the moon’s location.

This post is about Charleston but I’m not even in that city anymore.  The day before yesterday (its past midnight now) is when we stayed just outside Charleston, SC.  Today, we’re in Brunswick, home to the fabled Golden Islands.

But, let’s go back to Monday.  It seems like I’m a day or two behind in my posts.  So, if your curious about Brunswick, wait a day or so.  For two tired travelers, we packed quite a lot into a single day in that most interesting and beautiful city.

We spent the daylight hours seeing the sights that all the tourists come here to see.  However, this city has two separate personalities.  There are the magnificent homes, with the flowered gardens, ivy and palm trees.  At night, there is the melancholic Spanish moss, greenish-gray and drooping from the Live Oaks.  We strolled under the overcast sky during the day and we spent the evening, the dark time, lurking around haunted buildings and spine-chilling churchyards.  You will have to pony up $20.00 a person for one of the four or five Ghost Tours.

Daylight Walks

The main thoroughfare through town is Meeting Street.  It’s a restaurant-lined avenue that acts like a reference to walkers and shoppers and diners.  We decided to take it easy on ourselves and take a 90 minute Grey Line tour.  My neck is sore from trying to see the tops of the houses.  I felt like Linda Blair trying to keep up with what the driver/guide was telling us.  (He’s a former teacher, so that explains a lot.)  The buildings are some of the most beautiful and interesting I’ve ever seen.  Pastel colors are common choices.  The heat and humidity of the summer days forced the designers to come up with inventive ways to maximize the sea breezes.  The great porches wrap 3/4 of the way around a building.  The porches are large enough to earn the title ‘piazza’ style.

That’s where you would find me, if were a wealthy planter, sitting in a wicker chair and sipping a mint julep on lazy afternoons.

Here is an example of one such house.  I can’t say it’s typical, the styles are highly variable:

CharlestonHouse

I walked the streets.  I turned corners and peaked into secret gardens.  I stopped to smell the flowers.  I rested on park benches and bought post cards.

And, I looked down at just the right time to notice something interesting.  We’re outside a locksmith shop.  The owner, in a raging fit of creativity, had placed dozens of keys in the wet cement when the sidewalk was being poured.  An easy to miss, but interesting approach to advertising.

KeysInSidewalk

We continued our stroll along Meeting Street, or was it King Street?  As we approached a fire station, I was amused by the statue of the Dalmatian that appeared to be sleeping on the sidewalk.  I hesitated.  I was curious if they had one of those brass poles that you see the fireman slide down (in the cartoons and movies).  I went in and asked a fireman if they had one.  This led to a tour of what he said was the oldest continuously operating fire house in the U.S.  He took us up to a building in the rear and there were three antique fire engines.  One was of special interest.  The story goes that the company that made those particular trucks was once on the verge of bankruptcy.  Along comes The Three Stooges.  They filmed a skit on one of those trucks that was very similar to the one we were looking upon.  After the film came out, the company was besieged by fire companies all across America.  They couldn’t make them fast enough.

3StoogesFireTruck

[A true classic isn’t it?]

He also showed us a very interesting display in one of the side rooms.  There, on the wall, was a typical red ‘fire-box’ that would be found along any city street.  He flipped the switch to demonstrate.  The signal would come into the fire station and trigger a teletype machine which would punch out a code.  The code was then referenced to a chart which gave the street where the fire was burning happily away.

FireHouseAlarm

The daylight was fading.  We had dinner in the one restaurant that had the widest reputation.  My friend, the poet, Dara Reidyr, who grew up in South Carolina,  said we simply must have dinner at Hyman’s–and be sure to include grits and hushpuppies.  This we did.  It was a four-star establishment in my book.  Thanks, Dara!

Hyman'sDinner

After sun sets

And, now for something completely different.  Night has fallen on the city.  We had booked a “Ghosts of Charleston” tour at 7:30 pm.  We met our guide by a circular fountain at Waterfront Park alongside the Cooper River.  Off we went to see the places that the TV “Ghost Busters” crew had claimed were “really hot” in terms of paranormal activity.

Our first stop is outside the Southend Brewery & Smokehouse on the corner of East Bay and Queen Streets.  Back in the day, the day of King Cotton and Indigo plantations, it was a three story cotton mill.  The rough work with the freshly picked white fluffy stuff was the first floor.  The finishing work was on the second floor.  One more flight up was a gentleman’s club where a planter or merchant could enjoy a whiskey and a cigar and talk the talk of men who made their fortunes from the labors of West African slaves.  Real gentleman, these.  One planter was celebrating a recent transaction of ‘selling’ his cotton to the merchant.  The goods were aboard a ship that had just set sail for England, where the quality of the South Carolina cotton was highly prized.  As this guy (forgot his name) gazed out of the window overlooking the harbor, he saw what he believed was the ship carrying his precious cargo, catch fire and then explode.

He stared in mute horror.  He was now a broken man, financially and otherwise.  He downed a few more fingers of whiskey before he realized he couldn’t go home and admit to his wife that all had been lost in the ship’s fire.  So, he did what every broken-spirited man with no future had done from time immemorial.  He fashioned a noose of twine and stepped off a chair into eternity.  The twine, of course, acted like razor wire and he essentially bled to death…his life’s blood dripping down three floors.  Clearly that wasn’t the end of the story.  You see, he still wanders the building to this day.  Was there anything good that came out of this tragedy?  Well, his widow got a very large check from the sale of the cotton and went from mourning black to bridal white in a very short time.

You may reasonably ask why she got the money.  Here’s the punch line to this sad tale:  The poor fellow had witnessed the wrong ship explode.  By the time he finished the last whiskey of his life, his cargo was already out of the harbor having departed on the outgoing tide.

Here is a dark and rather spooky cemetery.  Often, a kneeling woman is seen at the grave of her daughter who had died of a childhood disease in the 19th century.  I saw nothing.  Do you?

DarkCemeteryCharleston

A short distance away was the infamous “Dueling Alley”.  I can’t go into the fifteen stories of duels that took place there.  I’ll only mention that a prominent physician was killed in this alley sometime in the 19th century.  He used to walk the path and whistle on his way to work.

People have reported hearing the whistle and seeing a man in period clothes stroll the walkway.  Again, I saw nothing.

DuelAlley

It’s a long distance from the alley to this laundry room.  The alley was dark and forbidding.  The laundry room is blinding bright and a persistent noise is coming from behind the washers.

I can say one thing–it’s not a whistle.

[Next up: The Scary Halloween Blog.  Don’t say you weren’t warned!]

Elegy From The North Country

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The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day;

The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea;

The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

                                     -Thomas Gray

Well, if you’re travelin’ in the north country fair

Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline

Remember me to one who lives there

She once was a true love of mine.

Well, if you go when the snowflakes storm

When the rivers freeze and summer ends

Please see if she’s is wearing a coat so warm

To keep her from the howlin’ winds.

                               -Bob Dylan

Driving north from Saranac Lake to Malone, one notices that the country has a peculiar and distinctive appearance.  Mostly covered by trees, there is a the occasional pond or lake–even a farmhouse or, as you progress northward, a cornfield may come into view.

Odd, is it not?

FallMaloneDrive

I’m driving to the county jail to tutor a few inmates in the correct methods to write an essay for a G.E.D. (now called, T.A.S.C.).  I sit and listen to a thirty-three year old woman in prison orange (with matching orange CROCS), tell a tale of a life spent smuggling drugs, addictions, abuse and even witnessing a murder.  Yes, I sit and listen.  I hand her a golf pencil and a few sheets of paper.  No staples, paper clips or pens that contain tiny springs are allowed.  I keep myself from staring at the diamond stud in her nose.  She wants her G.E.D. very badly.  I seriously question what meager skills I can offer this poor misguided woman who, ten years younger than my daughter, has already lived a lifetime of grief and bad judgements.  I feel helpless and not a little insignificant when I hear my voice explaining the meaning of a “Thesis Statement.”

But, I digress.

As I drive, the clouds are low and heavy.  It has been raining steady all the previous night and day.  The spectacular colors for which the North Country is so famous, are muted in the dull monotones of a late afternoon sun that is hidden beyond a layer of gray, slate and approaching darkness.  Darkness comes early around these parts this time of year.  Usually, in these weeks of approaching winter, the dusk begins around the end of the day.  If the sun was shining, the shadows would be long.  But, it’s a world without shadows–because the day is one of clouds.  I am losing the npr station so I slip a CD of bluegrass into the player.  The group is called the Welfare Liners.  They sing a sad song.

I become aware of the date.  It is September 30, 2015.  In a few hours it will be October 1!  That should come as no surprise since there are only thirty days in September (April, June and November).  All my senses are now on alert.  I have yet to plan my 2nd Annual Countdown To Halloween blog series.  I will be weary and depressed when I get back home after the tutoring.  How will I ever have the energy to write an interesting post that will live up to the standards that my readers have come to expect?

I worry about these things.  But, something strange has happened in my subconscious.  My lateral thinking skills kick in.  Thoughts begin to fill my brain.

One terrifying thought concerns the date, October 1, 2015.  Another, relates to recent events that have happened.  I have stumbled on somethings so strange that I am fearful of revealing my discoveries.  But, I shall:

  • Consider that a vast number of those attending the 50th high school reunion of O.F.A. have been stricken by a mysterious aliment, myself included.  What did these people have in common?  I have discovered the following: All were present for the dinner dance at the Treadway.  Even the name, tread and way denotes caution.  And, all listened to me make a short speech.  Did the sound of my voice somehow carry with it a strange and mutant virus.  Many of my friends have felt this has been the case for many years.  Perhaps…just perhaps????
  • Many of those attending had undergone a process known as aging, something we all swore would not happen.  So, why did it?
  • All of us have recently been exposed to a rare Blood Moon Eclipse.  The next such astronomical event is not scheduled to occur until 2033.  Is there anything strange about that year?  May I be the first to offer the theory that in all likelihood, many of us may be deceased by that date!  Statistically speaking, that is.  Does this suggest a curse of some sort placed on those attendees?  I’ll let you decide.  This may sound shocking and unusual, but the facts are the facts.
  • And, now the date: October 1, 2015.  If written out numerically in numbers, it would read 10/01/15.  That makes 6 digits!  Now, if you add the numbers together the sum of the total is 26, again, a 6!  That makes two 6‘s. Using the same logic, if you take the total of 26 and divide it by 4, the number of Beatles (before Paul was killed in the car accident), then you are left with 6.5!  Eliminating the decimal point, it is the very year of our graduation!
  • It gets stranger.
  • What about the 19 in 1965, you may ask.  Well, simply add those two digits and the result is 10!  If you then add my present age, 68, the number is 78!  Now, subtract the reoccurring number 6 from this number and you get 72! The present age of Mick Jaggar.  Sound familiar?  Simply reverse that number and you arrive at 27, the age when Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain died!  Further, if you add the 2 and the 7 the result is clear, 9.  If you then subtract the estimated number of Rolling Stones who have OD’d (3), the inescapable number is 6!
  • And, know you have it! The dreaded number: 666, the Number of Satan!

My fingers tremble as I type these words.  This is due to pure fear combined with the fact that the outside temperature is 37.8 F.  That isn’t far from the temperature from this dining room where I am writing this.  Hey, I’m always cold.

This, then is the first of an irregular blog post relating to Halloween.  The posts that will follow will be something like I did last year, a collection of scary and frightful things.  WARNING: The images I post may be too intense for those with gentle hearts and delicate natures.  Guys like Chuck Carter, for example.  But, be fore-warned.  You may be exposed to pictures of ghosts (I will state here that these images are in no way intended to disrespect those individuals who are “life-challenged”.  Some of my best friends are like this.)  There may be depictions of female vampires or zombies with cleavage.  I have viewed hundreds such images and I have selected only the most appropriate for general viewing.  I apologize ahead of time for this.  There may be graphic images of kittens dressed in goofy Halloween customs.  There will surely be photos, graphic photos, of disfigured and hideous pumpkins.

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But don’t expect too much too soon.  I’m going to toss in a non-Halloween post on my ancestral castle in Ireland.  (Sorry, but I wrote it as a back-up to having failed at my speech at the reunion.)

I welcome public comment on the posts.  If you have something strange and frightening to share, please don’t hesitate, as long as it does not involve sleeping puppies.

And, speaking of curses–it is well-known that if a person reads a blog and fails to “like” said blog, well, I cannot be held responsible for the aftermath.  The most dreadful action, they say, is to take no action.  So, find the little button on my blog and click “FOLLOW”.  That way, my posts will come to you as email, along with all the other important emails you get every day.  (FYI–there a sale at Macy’s coming up!).

Sleep well, my friends.  Keep you collars turned up against the chilly winds of Autumn and keep your loved ones near you at all times.

You never know…

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All Souls’ Day

The day after Halloween is All Saints’ Day (in the Catholic Church calendar).  The next day is All Souls’ Day.

The soul.  Many agree it is the mystical core of our being…our existence.  This is the blank slate that gets stained and marked and written upon through our deeds in life.  When our corporeal bodies are laid to rest…the soul ‘lives’ on.  In some religions, it is what gets passed along in the reincarnation cycle.  In Christian theologies, the soul is what gets looked at during the Last Judgement.

When I was in Catholic school, I was told that on All Souls’ Day, I could go into the church and, after saying a certain number of prayers, a soul would be released from Purgatory.  I could do this all day…freeing souls to continue onto Heaven.  The only catch was I had to get up and leave the church…then come back in to start over.  A hassle for me in foul weather, but a good thing for the souls stuck in the line to Bliss.

Then, quite to my surprise, the Church demoted Purgatory.  It wasn’t an item of belief anymore.  (I still think I’m destined for the place…so I fall back on the indulgences of the past, also on the “out” list of the official Church teachings.)  So, I let cars make turns in front of me to keep the flow of traffic going and to keep knocking off those million years I’m sure to spend paying for the sins of my youth.

But, the soul is also supposed to be the entity behind ghosts and hauntings.  These souls are “caught” between this world and the next…according to theory, anyway.  I tend to go along with this concept.  Especially when I think of  murder victims…who never saw it coming. That is why I think battlefields are probably quite haunted, indeed.  A poor 17 year-old gets hit by a mini-ball in the temple and…one minute he’s thinking of his girlfriend…and the next he’s looking down on the carnage below.

The soul.  I read that there was an experiment by a Doctor who put a terminally ill patient on a very accurate scale…and waited until this individual took his or her final breath of earth’s air.  He found, much to his astonishment that the soul had mass (weight).  For those of you interested in these things, the soul’s mass is 21 grams. (There was a movie made in the last few years with this title).  For you non-metric types, think of 21 average sized paper clips.  Heft those clips in your hand.  That is the mass of whatever it is that has been called the “soul”.

All the collective human experiences of sins, good deeds, pain, tears, fear, loss, joy, love, knowledge, hate, and pity are in that tiny mass that feels like the paper clips in your palm.

I’m not a religious person and I am a skeptic when it comes to ghosts and apparitions.  (But I love a good scary tale).

But, since science will never be able to explain certain things…then the power of belief must fill in the blanks.

The soul. I feel that something is within us.  Something that knows the difference between evil and good, love and hate and the satisfaction of forgiveness.

I think the soul and the heart are the same.  Not the heart of muscle and valves…but the heart that can be filled with joy and amazement…and the heart that can be broken by a single word.

The photograph below is one I found on several Internet sites.  It is purported to be the “soul” of a deceased person taken at the moment of death.  I cannot speak to its authenticity.  I just thought you’d find it interesting if you’ve never seen it before.

SoulAtTimeOfDeathHospitalPic

 

 

 

 

Waiting For All Hallow’s Eve XIV: “Great Ghost Photography, Again”

The camera captures an image.  It’s nearly always a moment of joy, celebration and living.  But every so often something creeps into the frame…something the photographer didn’t see through the view finder.  And, the wonderful people in image almost never see what is happening behind them…in the bushes, windows, doorways, behind the tombstones or standing beside them.

In the older days of photography, the image was on film.  The cameras were simple.  Darkroom tricks could be used to ‘doctor’ the photo.  The cameras often had the ability to create ‘double exposures’, an easy thing to do.

But, today, with digital photography almost universal, such creative effects can be photoshopped into the picture.  Usually an expert can pick up a doctored photo quite easily.  Even double exposures can be detected.

Still, some things show up on film that cannot be explained.  The experts are baffled.

Personally, I am a skeptic…but I find these ‘spirit photographs’ fascinating in so many ways.

In the end, who knows with absolute certainty what is real and what is not?  Some things cannot passed the ‘scientific method’ and be explained.

So, if you dare…take out some old photos and look them over.  I mean, really look at them with a suspicious eye.  Get a magnifying glass.  What is in the window? A curtain?  What blur is that beyond the large tombstone in the country churchyard?

Do you have a suspicious photo?  Post it.  I would love to see it.

Meanwhile, as we wait the coming full moon and the days of zombies and goblins and ghouls…ponder these photographs:

GhostPicWithPoolReflection

What’s going on here?

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The dog once belonged to a military officer…when the dog was alive.  These students never saw the dog when the portrait was taken.

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Who is in the car?  The photographer claims it was an empty junked auto.

GhostPhotoOfHusband

The husband stands behind his wife.  She’s still alive.

Waiting For All Hallow’s Eve XII: “More Spirit Photography”

As promised, I have more photographs of spirits.  Are they real? Faked? Do you believe?

These are taken from various places on the internet.

jims_grave_2000

A photo attributed to Tom Petty. It was taken at Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. The monument in front of the man is the new stone marking the grave of Jim Morrison.  Jim is seen in the background in a “concert” pose.

GhostPicBaby

This was taken by a mother of her child in a toddler seat. Who is in the background?

GhostOfBrother?

Here is a young girl crying.  Did her brother die? Is she mourning his passing? Is that him sitting on the stairs?

Remember, these were taken and published long before Photoshop was invented. The real question here is this: did the camera pick up something that the photographer did not see?

Sweet dreams….

Waiting For All Hallow’s Eve: IX “Smile! Say Boo!”

FIRST IN A SERIES OF SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHS

[WARNING: WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE IN THE FOLLOWING SEVERAL POSTS WILL SCARE THE DOGGE DOO OUT OF YOU.  SO, TELL THE CHILDREN TO GO BACK TO THEIR GAMEBOYS…LIGHT A CANDLE…AND ABOVE ALL, TRY TO STAY CALM.  NOT ONE OF YOUR NEIGHBORS WANTS TO HEAR YOU SCREAM AT NIGHT.  THOSE DAYS ARE OVER…FOR MOST OF US.  BUT, BE WARNED…READ AND VIEW THESE BLOOD-CURDLING, HORRIFIC, TERRIFYING, HAUNTING, GHASTLY, SPINE-TINGLING, AND FRIGHTFUL IMAGES AT YOUR OWN RISK.  ONE MORE THING, IF YOU DON’T CLICK ‘LIKE’ AND/OR PASS THEM ON TO FRIENDS AND RELATIVES, I WILL SEND ONE OF THESE SPIRITS TO SHAKE YOUR NIGHT LIGHT OR EVEN, YES, I AM CAPABLE OF MORE…LEAVE YOUR REFRIGERATOR DOOR OPEN! DO YOU REALLY WANT YOUR CHUNKY MONKEY TO MELT? DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DROP THE $5.69/PINT FOR CHERRY GARCIA BY TURNING IT INTO MUSH?  I DIDN’T THINK SO.]

In 25 days it will be one of my favorite holidays…Halloween (in case you haven’t guessed).  Here is probably one of the most famous ‘spirit photos’ ever taken.  Is it real?  Is it fake? (I know, it’s really the same question).  A little background: After the assassination in 1865, Mary Todd became a little weird.  Let’s just say she was living out where the trains don’t run.  That’s not being unkind, mind you.  She was known to be a tad bothersome to her husband during his difficult years during the Civil War.  Her son, Robert Todd, had her committed to an asylum in her later years.  Her life surely wasn’t a bowl of cherries.

The photographer claims he did not know who she was when she sat for the photograph.

So, it’s up to you to decide if it’s genuine or not.

ANOTHER WARNING;  In the next posts, I’m going to make little or no comment.  I would like you to do it.  Just make a comment, tell a story or something in the COMMENT space.  I’d like to hear what YOU think.  (And, this posting is exhausting work.)

So, here’s the famous Lincoln photo:

Mumler_(Lincoln)