I’ve always loved scary things. Movies, video games, stories, you name it. It was no surprise that I found inspiration in BuzzFeed’s, Two Sentence Scary Stories. I read them all, one at a time, loving the chill it gave me up my spine. As I continued on, I read something about a father seeing double of his son- one of them being under the bed. This was what really drew me in. When I was younger, I indeed had my father look under the bed. Well one night, I asked my dad to look under the bed and when he looked under the bed skirt, he froze. I immediately got up to my knees and looked over the edge toward where my father’s gaze was, but there was nothing. I couldn’t see my dad’s face. “Dad?” I questioned and as he looked at me, his face was covered in a character mask from the Tales from the Crypt comic book/tv show. It scared me half to death, which is what this two-sentence story reminded me of and what inspired me. Continue reading →
When I arose this morning,
I could not see my face.
The mirror showed the tiled wall
but nothing in my place.
Squinted, stretched, squirmed;
Still an empty space.
I would have puzzled forever
but I had not the time to waste.
The following post is by Morgan Blair, an undergraduate from the University of Louisville, and it deals with the concept of the uncanny as it is utilized by writer Georg Heym and director Robert Wiene. The uncanny itself is an important facet to consider when studying the paranormal, particularly ghosts and hauntings. Morgan’s post provides an intriguing look at Freud’s theory and presents an understanding that merits further consideration.
Ben Cooper’s 2007 album Ghost has easily become the soundtrack of my year and the background music for my DLR work. “Welcome Home,” the second song on the album and listed above, was the gateway song for me, sinking its claws deep into me by opening with wind chimes and with the verse “Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline/Like a row of captured ghosts over old dead grass.” Cooper released the solo album in 2007 under the name Radical Face, and has since released two other albums under that name. On his website, Cooper calls Ghost a “concept” album, saying that he pulled his inspiration from “the idea of houses having memories, and people leaving ghosts behind whenever they move from one place to the next. An idea that whatever we do in our homes is collected in the walls and might come out and haunt whoever moves in next.” Cooper claims that when he was in the process of the writing the songs, he noticed that “the songs are all short stories, tied together with a theme.”
The Conjuring (2013) presents to audiences a ghost who could be considered as pure evil–or perhaps she simply loves Satan. Bathsheba haunts the Perron family as they move into their new home in Rhode Island. Unbeknownst to the amiable Perron clan, they are relocating to a cursed plot of land. The not-so-honorable Bathsheba hexed it right after she sacrificed her newborn son to Satan. To ensure her ability to watch over the home forever, she hung herself from a tree near the house, trapping her spirit within the cursed land.
Q: Your most recent book revolves around a narrator who becomes trapped in a house haunted with ghosts of himself, and he learns that he died in that house and has always existed there. Would you care to elaborate upon that?
A: Yeah. When I was in high school I read Jean Paul Sartre’s No Exit, in which three characters are in hell, and they are forced to exist in eternity with each other. That eternity is their hell. I was inspired by this idea that eternity with someone you disliked would be horrifying, and that idea stuck with me. One day I asked myself what it would be like if one was forced to spend eternity with oneself, or rather ghosts of oneself. So, after the narrator becomes trapped in the house and he realizes that he will have to spend eternity with ghosts of himself he goes insane and kills himself, only to be reborn in the same life. Every life he is drawn once again to the house, where he finds all of the ghosts of his past suicides, and the cycle perpetuates.
Q: What an intriguing existence. I wish it truly were only speculative fiction.
A: As do I. Can I be the interviewer next time? I’ve never had the opportunity to wear the character. My clothes are still bloody.
We talk about ghosts like poltergeists in our homes, stacking chairs on tabletops, turning faucets on, creaking up the stairs at night. But ghosts can exist in a multitude of forms. While I have yet to experience anything remotely paranormal or inexplicable, I’ve found that there are ghosts in all the crevasses of my life. I over analyze and scrutinize memories and words, conversations, and the lines I write of all the poems I never finish. I am haunted by the unfinished and unresolved. The ghosts and questions linger at the end of every exhale of breath—exhales that are never followed by the words that haunt the peripherals of my mind. There are spaces between the words I say and write (and the words I don’t), a twenty-seventh letter of an alphabet that lingers and weaves into all the things I allow to haunt me.