My friend, Sylvia Shults, is both a writer and a real, live, ghost investigator. If you google her, you can find out all about her and her books. She’s even been on the show Ghost Hunters, so there you go.
Last November, while we were at the Psychic and Paranormal Expo over in Davenport, Iowa, I asked Sylvia if she had a bucket list of places she would like to investigate. And yes, she did. All of them were places I wouldn’t go within ten miles of, like the Villisca Ax Murder House. I don’t remember if she included the fun places like Waverley Sanitarium or the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. I don’t think it would have surprised me if she had; this is a woman who had a great time overnighting at the Lizzie Borden Museum/Bed and Breakfast.
But it made me start to think about my own bucket list. In terms of life in general, I don’t have one. I know people would tell me that of course I do, there must be SOME things I’d love to do before I die. Actually, though, I don’t think there are. There are a lot of things I’d like to do or try, but if that never happens, that’s fine. I can’t think of any particular place I absolutely need to get to, or any particular activity I absolutely need to try. I’m actually pretty content with my life, and that is a big blessing, as far as I’m concerned.
On the other hand, though, when it comes to the paranormal, (and I think I’ve written about this whole bucket-list thing before), there are a couple things I wouldn’t mind checking out before I check out permanently, even though I won’t feel disappointed if I never get there. One of them is the opportunity to see ghost lights. The closest ones to me that I know about are the Paulding Lights up in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan. I have a friend who has actually seen them and she got me interested in searching for them myself. Or I suppose if I ever wind up there, I’d be happy to check them out in Marfa, Texas, or Brown Mountain in North Carolina.
And then there’s my whole cryptid obsession. If I get to Maine, I want to see the International Cryptozoology Museum. That seems doable, too. A little dicier would be having an opportunity to see, in real life, a thunderbird. Those have fascinated me for forever. I wouldn’t mind getting a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster. I’d absolutely love to see a leprechaun. And maybe Bigfoot would be okay –like, from a huge distance. Through binoculars.
There are things I’d rather not see. I don’t feel the need to run into a chupacabra or Mothman. I don’t need to see the New Jersey Devil, either. I’d rather not get caught in a “buzzard-puke” rain –that is, the kind of downpour that literally consists of flesh and blood. No one can explain these particular “rains,” but they’ve been documented and I just think. No thank you, very much.
I learned recently, thanks to one of my FB connections, that the city of Sault Ste. Marie has one of the largest paranormal conferences in the Midwest. I wonder if I could ever pair that with a search for the Paulding ghost lights.
And if I got to Sault Ste. Marie, I know that’s also the home of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum which would be a must for me. Saving Jake, here we come! Besides, that museum has the bell that was raised from the Lake Superior-doomed ship, the Edmund Fitzgerald. I hear that when that bell was raised from the depths, it immediately began ringing, even though there was no wind blowing. They say the divers all got chills when they heard that long-silenced bell find its voice again.
I have been lucky, if that’s the right word for it, to have seen a ghost. Or two. I have also seen a UFO, although it was not up-close-and-personal. This was in the days before phone cameras, but even with one, I would not have been close enough to get a nice video of it. I just got to watch it as it zoomed across the night sky at a high rate of speed, abruptly changed directions –like literally stopping and then heading off another way- and then resumed its quick trek in the night. It did this several times, so I was able to watch it for a few minutes. It was fascinating. It was also a nice, deep, glowing red.
So ghosts and UFO’s. Two things I could check off of my list, if I had one. But I really don’t. Really. Well, maybe those ghost lights…