sidebrow

Ghost Story

“I am the ghost of answering questions. Beware me.


Keep me at a distance as I keep you at a distance.”


Jack Spicer



This is an essay on the phenomenon of ghosts and haunting. It occurs in relation to the possibility of a self or a site being haunted. I do not take this phenomenon to be negative or positive, only neutral. As I understand it, such occurrences reveal little about phantoms and visitations and are more disclosive of conditions that locate themselves in specific sites or persons. That is, certain conditions of temperament or history calibrate individuals or places, making them vulnerable to the heightened perception which is hauntedness. 



Being haunted, becoming aware of the presence of presence, would in some sense be ordinary then. 



The perceiver might be a sieve that experience falls through. 



The perceiver might be a mirror bouncing light from an outside source into the mundane world of his or her daily life. I posit that both things take place at once. 




Illustrative example:


I was recently shown a building which I had been told was infested with termites. Standing outside, I looked at the support beams. They had indeed been consumed by pests: it looked like the roof was being supported by long narrow sponges. At the same time, the owner of the building had recently repainted the building, and the porous beams threw off the lustrous gleam of enamel paint. Porous and glowing at the same time.