The idea of phantoms, and paranormal activity peaks during the month of October as we begin to plan our Halloween parties, costumes, and the trip to a Superstore—where the shelves are lined with enough candy to fuel Dracula’s winged flight back to his Bran Castle in Transylvania.
In the spirit of ghosts and ghoulish delights, I refer back to my (March 2016) column when I wrote a story told to me by a friend entitled: “Don’t Ya Just Love a Good Ghost Story?” To this day I have no idea if he was telling a tall tale or a true story—either way, I know my friend had devoured a pillow case full of Halloween treats—sending his imagination on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. His brain was hi-jacked by the “feel good hormones”, making his spooky adventure quite entertaining.
I remember well that October 31st, the eve of All Saints’ Day. A group of fellow actors gathered for a Halloween party. There was more candy and haunting stories than guests. The Sugar Ghost was dancing in our heads that night—he was a pin-ball wizard, pinging sugar balls to light up our cerebral area—and sugar-coated not only my friend’s haunted house story, but everyone’s reminiscence of paranormal meetings, (fiction and nonfiction).
In between the spooky stories, the hot topic was the question of whether or not paranormal activity (ghosts) really exist? The more treats we ate, the more the Sugar Ghost fueled our imagination. And when the imagination is illuminated, the mind can go to some pretty scary places.
Is it unreasonable to believe in the paranormal? Do apparitions float amongst the living? Or are these stories made up to scare the chocolate-covered-raisins out of us…especially on Halloween night.
I will admit, I believe ghosts exist due to my close encounter of the spirit-world-kind—fortunately it was a good experience. I shiver at the thought of it being otherwise.
I told my ghost story that night and while it wasn’t spine-chilling—it was true:
In my twenties, I lived in Beverly Hills, California in an aging house, built in the 1940’s. The backyard was remarkably large for a home that sat smack in the heart of a busy city. The yard’s enchantment would often welcome me to pick fruit from the mature lemon and orange trees that had found sanctuary on the property.
In my bedroom there was a charming, French window that viewed the shaded backyard. I often kept the old window open—allowing the citrus scented air and the bird songs to give me serenity. It was on one such charmed afternoon my peripheral vision caught what looked like a translucent figure (resembling a woman) at my bedroom door. The figure vanished as quickly as it had appeared.
The transparent form returned every few days—always materializing at my bedroom door. It was as if The Lady(which she came to be called) wanted to visit the room. The Lady was a calming presence and never gave me cause to fear or worry. I began to actually look forward to her visits.
Not too long after the sightings began, I asked the Landlord if he knew the history of the house. I shall never forget his astonished expression when he said, “why do you ask!?”
I took a moment before I fearlessly spoke of The Lady.
“My Mother use to tell me the same story! She swore there was a woman that appeared at her bedroom door, but only for a few moments and then quickly disappear.”
The Landlord went on to say that his Mother had bought the house from a widower whose wife had died in the bedroom that his Mother had occupied, and was now my bedroom.
This story may sound far-fetched, but as Shakespeare wrote, “there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies.”
If I hadn’t personally experienced a ghost, I’m not so sure I would be a believer. But whether you believe or not, Halloween is a great time to dress up and play. To be a child again.To carve Pumpkins, and eat Pumpkin (Vegan) Pie. To stuff your belly full of treats!
In peace, love, and a happy halloweenie! Beach P.S. On October 31, beware of the Sugar Ghost and those monsters under the bed!