Tuesday, August 28, 2012


A writer friend of mine who publishes under the name Scarlett Dean had a book out several years ago titled Unfinished Business. The premise is that objects can be haunted and that anyone who brings such an object into his or her home also brings along the spirit attached to it.

Apparently, for those of us who are open to the concepts of the supernatural, this is more than just a premise. John Zaffis, for instance, a paranormal investigator, has his own TV series called "Haunted Collector," a show that deals with disturbed objects and the folks who are being disturbed by them. Just recently, I saw a special entitled "Possessed Possessions" that was rather like a haunted Antiques Road Show, except it was on board the very haunted Queen Mary and the evaluations were not for current worth, but for current supernatural manifestations. People brought in their auction-bought antique dolls, inherited porcelain tea cups, life-size wax statues of Rudolph Valentino, and even a 19th century Colt once owned by a Texas Ranger. The psychics and other investigators would give a reading on each object and then ask the owners questions to ascertain the accuracy of their readings. 

The one question they never asked was "And why exactly did you feel the need to have this in your house?" I can understand inherited items. I don't get purchasing something as creepy as an antique doll that you subsequently relegate to the storage facility because you don't want to have the thing anywhere near you.

Of course, I am being far too harsh. There are a number of resale and thrift shops around my house, and one day, I became enamored of a set of nesting porcelain bowls. They were a beautiful peach color with decorative green leaf work on one side, and they were both stunning and useful. My husband bought them for me as a surprise present and I was thrilled with them. Until I got them into my kitchen.

For about, oh, 10 years or so, these beautiful bowls have been languishing in a cabinet just to the right of the kitchen sink. I don't know why I've never used them other than the fact that they make me uneasy. They are as striking as they ever were, but if I never bring them out to look at them again, that's fine. So why did they seem so beautiful but also so ordinary at the store and not in my house? I have no idea. 

If anyone hears of a haunted Antiques Road Show turning up in the Chicago area some time in the near future, let me know, okay?

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