Friday, 16 September 2011

I ain't 'fraid of no ghosts

If there’s something strange in the neighbourhood, who you gonna call*? It’s me and the man on our first ever ghost hunt. It’s our anniversary on Sunday, 12 years of un-weddded bliss, and, not being able to face yet another boring steak dinner in one of the unmemorable pubs or restaurants in our local vicinity thought it was about time we did something a little more exciting. (Don’t get me wrong, a meal out is better than nothing – take note the man - but we hardly live in a gastronomic paradise, unless you count the 27 Chinese or Indian takeaways and a lonely chain Italian restaurant. 12 years is a long time and we are in danger of turning into George and Mildred. And if the secret to a long happy relationship is shared experiences, I want to make sure we have more than a few rubbery steak with crap chips dinners to talk about in our old age).

So I came up with this ghosthunting idea as something that would be more memorable and a bit more exciting. What could be more romantic than wandering around the ruins of a burnt out WW2 hospital at 2am? I have absolutely no idea what to expect. Will there be a Mystery Machine and a dog? The man could just about pass for Fred, but I think as much as I’d like to be Daphne, I’m probably more of a Thelma type.

In all my bravery and excitement at the time of booking it, I’m now actually quite scared. Ghosts have never bothered me, I grew up in a really old house which I believe was rammed full of spirits, but never felt in any danger from any of them. There was a fierce old man spirit, who wasn’t very nice, but there were a couple of lovely lady spirits and lots of children who made me feel safe. I loved that feeling of there being something “there” when I was home alone; it made me feel less lonely. I’m sure a scientist or psychologist would find ways of completely rubbishing what I think I’ve seen, heard and felt but there was a time that scientists believed the earth was flat and despite their know all beliefs, they still can’t explain how a bumble bee actually flies, so I don’t think ‘they’ know as much as they think they do.

I think it’s hard to say for definite whether or not you believe in something like ghosts, because the term ghost is very hard to define. What is a ghost, is it an imprint of time? Maybe our energy creates a kind of photograph of ourselves that is only visible at certain times. Life after death? If everyone who ever died automatically became a ghost we wouldn’t be able to move for spirits, it’s hard enough getting a seat on a train as it is. Maybe it’s people between worlds, either because they have unfinished business in this one or can’t bear to leave it? Either way I can’t say I believe in ghosts because I don’t actually know what one is.

In some ways I like that there is no definitive answer, the romance and mystery of not knowing. We know too much these days, so much can be explained away by science. There is fun in the fact that science is yet to find an answer. This is unfamiliar territory for me, someone who likes to know everything.

The man was away last night and I hate being in our house alone. It just feels empty to me. I have never felt anything here at all, and I usually get quite a strong sense of a place the moment I move in. But we have lived here for a year and so far, nothing. I was talking to a friend about it recently and she said she thinks she is less sensitive to spirits since having kids. Maybe that’s what it is. Maybe our new house is full of spirits but I just don’t feel them because I’m concentrating on keeping children from eating entire jars of Marmite with a spoon.

There are lots of reports that say ghosts don’t actually exist, it’s all in the mind. If you’re in a spooky place, with a spooky atmosphere and want to see something, you will. Well I was trying to feel something last night, willing a chair to move a little, or to get a funny smell or a cold draft, just so I knew I wasn’t alone. But despite our creaky old house, full of cobwebs and a mystery past, I felt nothing at all.

Either way I’m looking forward to our ghosthunt with a mixture of trepidation, excitement and total terror. On the one hand I hope we experience lots of ghostly phenomena, but on the other I kind of hope we find nothing so I don’t embarrass myself by being terrified. Think I’ll take the Rescue Remedy just in case.

*Ray Parker Jnr. (1984). Ghostbusters Theme


  1. Wooooooooooo - spooky! What a great night out. To be honest, I'd be so scared - don't actually know what I'd do if I saw a real ghost! Can't wait to hear about the Ghost Hunting x x

  2. I kid myself that I don't believe in ghosts, but actually I am such a scaredy-cat that I won't even go into a ghost-train at the fair, or the wax works museum, and I do not watch any scary movies at all. I've been living at my house for two years now - my other half spent a year renovating it whilst we lived in a caravan. The first few nights I spent in our bedroom, I kept getting this really strong whiff of perfume, and mentioned it to Dean as it was starting to freak me out. "oh yeah" he says casually, "I've been noticing that for months!". I kind of think that this is a sign of something, but I'm getting a good vibe so I'm not scared, funnily enough! However, I don't think I could ever be brave enough to actually go looking for ghosts! Rather you than me!

  3. LOL Harry you'd be ok, just pop your teacher head on!
    Anon- there was a lot of stuff about smells on the ghost hunt, it's really common apparently. We smelt perfume and alcohol (which was apparently a boozy butler!). I have never felt scared and have always put it down to the fact that in the main the spirits I have encountered have been nice ones. But the mediums on Saturday said that it was because my spirit guide is very protective and won't let bad spirits near me, maybe that's true of your spirit guide too! :-) x