Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ghosts for All Seasons

Some time ago, a fellow writer of paranormal stories for the young, Jimmy Gordon, asked me about ghosts and hauntings during the summer time. (Jimmy is professionally known as J.D. Gordon and his latest book, Field of Screams, is available at Amazon. Check it out!) Jimmy's work in progress at the time involved a ghost in summertime. And he was struggling with it.

To Jimmy, ghosts properly belonged in autumn. That makes sense. All you really have to do to conjure up a mental ghost in the autumn is pay attention to the skeletal tree branches, the dead leaves that sweep down the street sometimes without any breeze to be noted, the harvest moon up in the sky that is bright enough to cause shadows on the earth below, and then remember that dark is going to creep up on us hours earlier than it did just a month or so ago. Autumn is a good season for every paranormal critter, come to think of it. Even vampires seem more likely under that harvest moon, when the cold draft of air rattling the window might be the wind. Or not.

So I reminded my friend and colleague that ghosts can be equally frightening any time of year. Winter is not far behind autumn for a good seasonal haunt. Christmas notwithstanding, the short cold days and long colder nights, a chill up the back for no apparent reason, tombstones frozen with snow that may only be blanketing what waits beneath - ah, yes, winter is also a dandy time for a haunting.

But what about spring? What about that glorious time of year when the weather begins to warm and the new leaves, joyous and bright green, are popping free along every branch and the first of the really colorful flowers raise their heads for the return of longer days? How can anyone possibly find a ghost in that kind of environment? Oh, easy-peasy. Think of all the home renovations that start up in the spring: new kitchens, knocking out a wall to create more space, enclosing a porch to add living area - and then think of all the unseen denizens in those homes who have been content with the status quo and are suddenly ensconced in change and renovation. More than one haunting has been kicked off when the new owners of a house decide to make some drastic changes.

And summer? No problem whatsoever. In summer, people stay up late into the night, looking up at the stars and lingering over drinks and conversation on the patio. And what was that we just heard in the house? You know, up on the second floor in the bedroom - when everyone is outside? Is it a bold but clumsy burglar, or is it something else? I had an experience that verged on poltergeist activity that lasted through almost an entire summer, once. But that is a completely different story!

So yes, hauntings can and do occur in every season. And it is up to those of us who chronicle such events to keep in mind that there is no season at all during the course of a year that is ghost-free. I kinda like that.

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