Ghost Stories: What Are We Really Seeing?
A Haunting in Kentucky
Has everyone experienced this? Does everyone have their own ghost story?
I don't think so. I think the majority of people don't see anything that isn't ordinary, and if they do, they brush it off as an illusion. People who do observe unusual things are afraid to tell about them, especially in this day and age, when modern science has made medications that will cure those tendencies.
Are we rectifying a mental health issue, or just dulling our senses? I think it's probably a little of both. Back in the early 1970's, I was just a kid, and kids, of course, are more willing to believe in unusual things than adults are.
This instance happened to me somewhere between the ages of 7-9, somewhere in Kentucky. I'm not sure of the exact location. My sister left me at a friend's house to spend the night, and I don't remember ever going back there again. I know the approximate area, though. I'll make you a map. Somewhere in the Corinth, Cynthiana, Owenton area.
The stairs creaked... creak... creak... BOO!
Anyway, we were kids at a sleepover, three young girls sprawled about in the same room, telling stupid ghost stories much like the ones you share around the campfire. Holding a flashlight under your face, speaking in a very low voice, telling such urban legends as "Who's got my big toe." You know; jump-scare stories.
We were all giggling and laughing, but the smallest of us, she was about 5 I think, was a little scared and anxious. She didn't want to go to the bathroom alone. Of course, this was an excellent excuse for all of us to leave the room together and go on a midnight snack raid in the kitchen. We had every light in the bedroom on, but the rest of the house was dark because the adults were sleeping - and we didn't want to wake them up, so we stumbled blindly out of the bright light into the dark and felt our way through the living room towards the kitchen.
In the kitchen, there were little lights; green ones and red ones, showing that there were appliances in there, hooked up and ready to go. Reassuring lights on which we could focus. We blindly tottered toward them, but we didn't go through the kitchen door. Instead, we stopped and blinked at it, because the lights in the kitchen were a little fuzzy as if a fog covered them.
The best way to describe it is when someone comes out of a brightly lit room and into the dark; they often see a blurry white after-image of the light. You have to let your eyes adjust so you can see more clearly in the dark. Blundering out from such light into complete darkness is what we had just done, and so it was easy to deduce that the foggy white thing that was rapidly becoming a dense blob in the kitchen entryway was only an after-image from the lighted room.
Even at my age, the conclusion was obvious, and so I stumbled forward with my hands out, intending to plunge right through it and onward into the kitchen.
Don't you See That?!
My friend grabbed my arm and pulled me back. "Don't you see that?!" She whisper-hissed at me. She thrust her chin out, pointing in the direction of the fog since both her hands were firmly grasping my arm. "Yeah, but it's..." I started.
Then focused on it; not past it, the way I had been doing. You could still see the green and red lights that were in the kitchen right through it, but I stopped looking at those and focused on the blob. "Oh," I said lamely.
This part is going to sound very lame and cheesy because it's a shape a lot of people have described seeing since, well, forever, and overused in all the B movies and comic books, but what can I say? This is what we saw.
It was a hooded, robed figure. It was darker where the face should be. The robe ended with no feet. The hands were clasping each other at waist level in a classic monk pose. It just stood there, in the doorway, and did nothing.
"It has a hood," she said in an awed whisper.
"Yeah. And its hands are clasped in front of it."
For several long moments, we stood there, no further than a foot or two away. We merely discussed what it looked like as if we were chatting about a statue or some other ordinary thing.
Then she said, "What if it moves?"
I looked at its hooded head, with the darker spot where the face should be. It didn't move. It didn't do anything, but it didn't matter. At that point, the thought had finally occurred to us that it might actually... do something.
I think all three of us shrieked and ran at the same time, back to the safety of the lighted room. We dived under blankets, giggling, and the littlest one among us never did make it to the bathroom that night.
I honestly don't remember anything else after that. We weren't terrified or even scared. We felt exhilarated, and in the way of children, we never thought any more about it.
So what was it, really?
This incident is one of a handful of weird happenings that have occurred throughout my life, one of the few that I consider having some merit.
What was that? Was it just after effects from a lighted room or was it something more? Did we see what we described to each other, or did we describe to each other what we were seeing?
If I were going to make up a ghost story, the image of the Grim Reaper isn't the sort of thing I'd ever think to use. I'm not a believer in such entities; I'm more of a science buff myself. An orb or a blob of energy, maybe. Even when I was a kid, I would think up something more logical.
Later when I was reading up on the ancestry of my family, I found that Native Americans considered the Kentucky area to be off-limits to human habitation. You could hunt there, but you shouldn't ever live there - bad idea. I've been fascinated by this area shown on the map because, in this particular area, ghost stories abound if you can get people to tell them to you.
That's difficult, in this day and age. Mental Illness, while real, has also become the new witch hunt in some ways.
I'm not saying people don't need mental help; I'm just saying there is more to this world than we know, and we were obviously given the senses to explore it more thoroughly. Those senses seem to scare the crap out of us. We're very anxious about wanting to cover that up.
Science needs to look into this a little bit more. Why do our brains have temporal lobes if we are not supposed to use them? Why do we have the ability to see and sense weird things? Is it a fault in our brains, or are we just not using it and developing it correctly?
I think religion plays a massive part in our misguided understanding of all that we don't know because it attempts to give a manageable explanation of what we have yet to explain. Is a society that wants to concentrate on material possessions and money more prone to cover it up, so people pay more attention to their work and less on their spirit? I do wonder.