Archive for October 26th, 2010

There were parts of writing about ghost stories for most of this month that were really fun, but I also experienced a lot of frustration. For all of the spooky, creepy graveyards we see in movies and tv and hear about in the wee hours of the morning around a crackling fire, the majority of cemetery ghost stories just don’t have much substance. Whether people truly believe in ghosts or not, most still can enjoy a spine-tingling story with lots of suspense and details, even if they are suspending disbelief to listen to it. But a lot of cemetery ghost stories lack that flair: mysterious lights that you shouldn’t investigate or “something bad” will happen? A grave you shouldn’t approach because…”something bad” will occur? “Something bad” is just not a compelling description of horror to make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.

Most people who study the paranormal argue that a cemetery is one of the least likely places to find ghosts. Those who perceive spirits usually attribute hauntings to strong emotion or major events that occurred during the ghost’s life, and there really aren’t many of us who spend a great deal of time in cemeteries before we die. There are exceptions, like the Ashtabula Horror ghosts who haunt the Chestnut Grove Cemetery (I’ve saved them for almost last), where the deceased were ripped so suddenly from life that they seem unable to figure out how to proceed.

And ultimately, I’m not sure that publishing ghost stories about cemeteries does the cemeteries much good. I don’t want my posts to be used as an excuse to vandalize and deface monuments. I want to write about ghost stories because I am interested in the way we remember the dead and the stories we tell ourselves about those places, but not everyone approaches the topic with that base level of respect. I will probably try to collect the spooky and the weird for next October, but I see that I will not be able to fill years worth of Octobers with those kinds of posts.

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