Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ghosts-- Are They Real?

Hey all,

As you know, my latest book, Luck Be A Lady, has a hunky ghost--ooops, excuse me, Justin--an Ethereal as it's hero.  And even though he is a spirit, he has all the characteristics of a mortal man, complete with temper, desire and of course, the ability to fall in love.

In fiction an author can make those ghosts/Ethereals act in any way they choose.  That's the fun of being a writer.  We build our own world.

But we also pull from this one.  Any author worth her salt will research and see just what makes a ghost a ghost.  We'll check out sightings and history and even interview people who've had a ghostly experience.  Then we put all that information together and come up with whatever story is percolating in our brain.

Yet, as you're doing that research, you find literally thousands of sites about ghosts, hauntings and spirits.  And each one has their own take on this subject.  Ghosts are disembodied spirits with unfinished business here on earth.  Spirits are evil demonic entities come from Hell to do damage to mankind.  Ghosts?  Please...there are no such thing as ghosts.

As you can imagine, such a disparity of opinions makes rich fodder for we authors.  So many beliefs and ideas to draw from.  And you can see it in all the different books that are out there.  You have books like The Shining, by Stephen King, where the ghosts are obviously malevolent, spirits who are trying to get wrongs righted as the ones did in the psychological thriller The Sixth Sense by M. Knight Shyamalan, (a great movie too) or those most famous ghosts who were trying to teach a miserly old man a lesson in Charles Dicken's,  A Christmas Carol.

But which belief is correct?  Do ghosts truly exist?  Are there disembodied souls drifting around the planet with work to do before they can go on to their final rewards?  Or are all the ghost sightings and hauntings nothing more than hoaxes, mistaken identities or, as our friend Dicken's put it,

"...You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!"

And my personal opinion?  I believe.  IMHO, there is just too much compelling evidence to ignore the existence of ghost, spirits, poltergeists and a world between this one and the next.  An hour spent on line, a conversation with a friend you trust or one of the many documentaries you can see on TV.  Can so many people be crazy, mistaken or out to scam us?

But for me, the most persuasive reason for my believing in ghosts is personal experience.  I believe in spirits because I've seen them.  Several times in fact, and I know I wasn't mistaken, I have no reason to scam anyone and recieved no renumeration for my stories and most importantly,  I'm not crazy (well...maybe a little)  *grin*

The first time I saw a ghost I was a teenager.  About seventeen.  And I can remember it as well today as the day it happened.  I was on my way home from a late night 4-H meeting at a place we called the Old Town Hall.  There were lots of people in the hall, but I left early for some reason and was walking to my car.  I was lost in thought, and had just pulled my keys out of my purse to unlock the car door when I heard a sound.

A deep growling noise I will never, ever forget.  It came from right behind me and made every hair on the back of my neck stand straight up.  Even writing out the experience right now, I'm shivering from the memory.  I whirled around, thinking there must be a rabid dog in the parking lot, the snarl was so heart-stopping, but there was no one behind me.  No animal, no person...nothing.  I looked around for several seconds, my heart beating so hard it hurt, then I turned back around to jump in my car.  And that's when I saw it.

Two red glowing eyes floating less than two feet in front of me.

You know how you read in books about a character's mouth going dry?  Well, it does happen.  I couldn't have said a word for the life of me.  I was absolutely frozen in fear.  I knew instinctively, those eyes meant me harm.  I can't explain the hate and fury I saw in them.  And I've never forgotten them.

The flight or fight response kicked in, and since there was nothing to fight...I ran.  Right back into the Town Hall where I cowered in the foyer until a large group of people left the building.  I joined them, made it to my car and headed straight home.

I never saw the eyes again. 

Even today, the memory of those eyes scare the life out of me.  I knew then, just as I believe now, I was in the presence of not just some spirit, but of a ghost or demonic entity that was as predatory as any ravaging wolf.

So, like the Cowardly Lion, I do believe in spooks.  And since that terrifying day, I've read about , researched and experienced many different ghostly sightings.  I've done ghost tours and seen and felt things I can't explain. I've explored graveyards and tombs all over the word and sensed there was more to them than marble and dirt.   My apartment in Macau even overlooks a beautiful Chinese cemetery . I find myself drawn to the idea there is more to our world than just what we can touch.

Now...how about you?  I know there are those out there who have decided opinions on this subject.  Do you believe in ghosts?  Had an experience that made you a supporter of the idea of a world we might not be able to see or touch?  Are you a skeptic, maybe willing to be convinced, but you haven't seen anything to do so as of yet.  Or, are you an unbeliever?  Someone who has debunked spirit sightings and you don't believe a word of personal experiences?

Tell me in the comments below.  I want to hear your stories and ideas.  Seen a ghost?  Relate what happened.  Felt something freaky?  Tell us all.  Think I'm crazy? (I did say it was a possibility) Vent about it here.  All I ask is that all comments be polite and using language your kids could read.  *grin*

I look forward to hearing from you all and don't forget to pick up your copy of Luck Be A Lady and see how ghosts act in CJ England's fantasy world!

We'll be back on Friday with Guest Blogger, Dominique Eastwick who I'm sure will enthrall us with what's going on in her life!

Hugs to all,

CJ England  

Follow Your Dreams
http://cjengland.com/luckbealady/luckbealady.htm

17 comments:

Julie said...

I'm a believer, I've seen too many things not to believe.

Quite a few of the things that have happened to me involve family. But when I was 6 or 7 there was a man in our apartment or more specifically my bedroom. I would hear him pacing the floor nightly. And I would lay in my bed and see him sitting on our couch. He was just a dark shadow. If I think about it now he never did anything all that scary. But at the time he scared me to death almost every night.

CJ England said...

Julie,

As a child it's always so much scarier. And to have it go on every night??? (shudder)

CJ England said...

*put up for Lisa*

Here is my response:
I had a similar experience with the red eyes. When I lived in Mexico, we were traveling in the mountains and passed this small hut. There was this huge black dog entering the hut. As it went through the door the dog stopped and looked at me, it had red eyes and scared me to death. You could feel the evil of the thing. This was over twenty years ago, yet it still scares me to think about it. I've also had a few other encounters with "ghosts" over the years.

cj-england said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Julie said...

Yeah, and to have no one believe you. Mom always tried to explain away the shadow on the couch as laundry. But I knew there wasn't laundry there 24/7 LOL

Phylis said...

I have never actually had an experience. I would like to go on a ghost tour or something to find out. My mother, when she was more mobile would go cemetary hopping. Researching genealogy they would visit cememtaries and take pictures of the headstones. One time they were at a cemetary and it got really cold and she felt like and electric charge from one of the graves. Spooked her good.
So I'm a somewhat skeptic but open minded. I'm sure my mother wasn't lying! My Aunt felt the cold too.

Dominique Eastwick said...

Cj I am a beleiver tooo. No doubts.

CJ England said...

Julie,

Laundry? Seriously? Why do parents always think kids are stupid? Maybe because they don't want to believe.

CJ England said...

Phylis,

Because of my empathic gift, I feel a lot in cemeteries. Maybe that is why I enjoy them. Sometimes they're benign, sometimes, not so much.

Jonathon had to pull me out from one church in England. I was in the tomb area and was totally overcome by this feeling of such sadness I froze and started weeping.

Knowing what happened, he had me outside in seconds, but it took a while before I recovered. Never have I felt such a profound unhappiness.

CJ England said...

Dominique,

Have you ever had an experience to make you believe? Or are you just naturally open minded?

CJ England said...

Lisa,

Forgot to answer your comment when I put it up. LOL

In my next Peacekeeper book, Shades of Love which tells Patrick's story, there is another demon called a Grimm.

It is also known as the Black Dog of Death. When I did research on this demon it was quite scary.

Maybe you saw a Grimm.

Sherry Gloag said...

Interesting post, and yes I'm a believer, and yes I've seen a ghost. This occasion I was between 8 & 10 when this ghost walked through the dormitory. I wasn't the only one to see it. We asked about it the next day, and the adult reaction's (althouugh they denied it) confirmed the truth of our sightings.

CJ England said...

Sherry,

I still to this day don't understand why adults think they are protecting kids by lying to them about this stuff. My mom tried to poo-poo what I saw, but I knew I wasn't tired or crazy or whatever else.

I just knew that thing was evil.

Dominique Eastwick said...

Cj,

I have had experiences, I worked in theatre for 15 years and yes every theatre says they have a ghost, we even put out ghost lights to keep them company at night. (NOT KIDDING WE DO) but there was one aisle, this there was theatre in the round, the 12 o clock aisle was always colder and when ever you took a picture there, there was always a streak through it ALWAYS

CJ England said...

Dominique,

You're talking to a card carrying member of IATZE and I've worked in more theatres than I can name. And you are 100% right.

The term ghost light comes from putting a night light out to keep the ghosties company. LOL

And I remember this one theatre in San Francisco back in the day where no one used this one dressing room because a woman had killed herself after finding her lover with another woman.

It gave you shivers to walk in there. Theatres are rich fodder for ghost stories.

Connie Northrop said...

CJ, I know they're real. I grew up in a house that had at least 2 and one moved with us when we moved to where I live now. I've seen and felt them all of my life. Most are harmless but we do find the bad ones from time to time.

There is a not nice/bad entity where I live now but I've learned how to keep it at bay. I refuse to be run out of my own home.

CJ England said...

Take care. I'm not afraid of what I've encountered, but I'm always aware and careful. Last thing I want to do is set of a chain of events that ends badly.