Most of the time when I write my weekly post, I am focused on apparitions. Specters in the bedroom, or down the hall or on the staircase or in a picture or even looking back at you from your own mirror. Here's the thing, though: most of the ghosts I write about are things that are seen. I once took a preferred-learning-mode test and found out that I learn things 98% visually. Maybe that's why most of my descriptions are about what can be seen.
So this time, maybe I'll connect with the auditory learners I know and go for spectral sounds. And now that I think of it, sound is probably as scary if not scarier than vision when it comes to the supernatural. Who hasn't heard that unexplained thump in the deserted basement, or the voice in the other empty room? Who hasn't heard the sound of a door closing or creaking open, or those footsteps approaching you when you know that all the doors are locked and you're home alone?
There is also an ability called "clairaudient" as opposed to "clairvoyant" and it has to do with hearing voices. Now, before everyone starts going down the roads of psychotic episodes or schizophrenia, let's talk about this. Just as some people seem to have the ability to see dead people, some others (or in some cases, the same people) also have the ability to hear dead people. I looked into this a little, and every site I checked out specifically mentioned hearing the voices of the dead. I guess those of us hearing the other kinds of noises -the thumps, the bangs, the footsteps- are hearing what those spirits can do, not what they say.
I had a friend who was clairaudient. This made sleeping in new or different places extremely difficult for her, because she would hear people talking, even if there were no possible way there were actual people speaking anywhere in earshot. She had an apartment in San Francisco that got on her nerves for the year or so that she leased it because she could hear conversations in her rooms, and was able to verify that it wasn't due to people on the street or coming from neighbors in adjacent apartments. Whatever or whoever was talking would frequently whisper into her ear, literally. Especially when she was in bed. YIKES. I'm no longer in touch with her but I wonder sometimes if she lives with earbuds in her ears twenty-four, seven. I think I might. I also would have left that apartment a lot sooner than she did.
I have given two of my characters a bit of this ability: Cassie Valentine from the BPC series, and Philip Corts from Saving Jake and Missing Persons. (Well, I guess Michael Penfield had a little bit of that in Dead Voices, but for the most part he's all about seeing the dead.) Neither Cassie nor Corts always hears the dead speaking, but there are times that they do. I don't envy them that.
I guess the closest I ever got to it were the few totally creepy occasions when I heard a child call my name, back in the old house where I grew up. That is very unsettling because it is not a voice you recognize, but it fricking know who you are. Luckily, I don't think this ever happened to me more than twice. I think. I was more likely to hear that same child's voice singing something not discernible, but definitely singing. That wasn't the most comfortable thing either.
So since I don't have experience in this area, it has not turned up much in my work so far, but it's something to consider. I'd need to do more research. And maybe find someone with that ability who was willing to talk to me. (If you're reading this and you are clairaudient, hey, email me through my website or something!)
In the meantime, I guess I am fine with both my characters' and my own tendencies to hear the noises ghosts make as opposed to the words they might whisper. In fact, let's keep it that way.
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