So I have this quirk..I may not completely believe everything that I read, but there’s a part of me that kind of wants to. My grandmother was the same way – very into UFO conspiracy theories and life in outer space. Granted, I’m not so big on that end of the spectrum, but there are things that I really, really love reading about.
Like I’ve said before, in many ways I’m kind of terrible at the whole being a girl thing.
It’s not even that I want to experience ghosts and creepy things that go bump in the night (though I’ve had a few experiences in my life that are very hard to explain). I’m the sort that walks the line…I’m willing to be skeptical because I do think imagination can run away with people, but I do genuinely think that there’s no way we have explanations for everything yet. So I suppose I’m skeptical with an open mind. And like I said, I’ve seen some weeeeiiiird stuff, man.
I love the book Weird Hauntings (and really, any of the Weird states series. They’re just glorious and if I could read all of them in one sitting I’d probably do it). The hauntings book covers things around the country, and for me it’s interesting to see how many themes every area has in common. We all have crybaby bridges, roads haunted by ghostly brides unable to be with their beloved for one reason or another, strange occurrences at graveyards, possible gates to hell. Granted, I’m not one to go and test out all these places, but I adore reading about peoples’ actual encounters, and this book is chock full of them. Awful encounters at lovers’ lanes, bridges where your car dies and things try to chase you, disembodied voices in old asylums…creepy and terrifying, but awesome.
I’m pretty much the girl that will go to the October display of the library and check out all the Haunted Indiana, Haunted Ohio, Haunted whatever books and have at it. I love them. I devour them. Although creepy house stories tend to freak me out, yet I do enjoy Amnityville Horror and the Poltergeist series when I get a chance to watch them, even though they freaked me out as a kid. I don’t know when I turned into the warped mind that I am now, but at one point The Sibling and I were able to quote a lot of Poltergeist 3. Yeah, I wonder about me too, sometimes.
For whatever reason, I also like reading about strange creatures. Love the Loch Ness Monster and I wish they’d find proof. I don’t know if they ever will, but I’d cheer the day that happened. I’m not as big on Bigfoot or Sasquatch…I don’t know why, but they kind of freak me out. The Mothman intrigues me (especially all the MIB stories that go with it), and I’ve read enough on chupacabras and Jersey devils to last a lifetime. I love tales of unexplained giant snakes randomly showing up on farms, or mysterious panthers and lions strutting around middle America, never to be caught or proven real, which is fascinating because a lot of times there are multiple accounts for these. And a lot of these accounts (same with hauntings, too) can be traced back a good hundred years or more, and are usually very similar in theme.
What is it about us as humans that gives us a need to have these strange happenings around us? I mean really, you would think there would be a huge push to not give any of this credence at all (and in some ways there is), but in a lot of ways it almost feels like we cling to these things, too. We want to have that fear that our ancestors did huddling in their caves or around the fire, nervous about what might be lurking just beyond the safe area. There are so many real worries and legitimate things to be afraid of, why do we give ourselves these, too? Do we need something unexplainable in our lives to keep us balanced out and sane? Even if it’s proven not true or given a legitimate explanation, there are times when the sensational reasoning still takes precedent. What is it that makes us want to not just hang onto these occurrences and creatures, but champion them? They’re great fodder for stories, for one. Whether the stories are real, supposedly real, or the themes are used in fiction really doesn’t matter. They’re some great, gut-wrenching, knee-jerk reaction-instilling things here. These creatures, these legends, these…whatevers…they definitely access some part of us that is pretty primal. Whether those reactions are ones of fear or ones of intrigue depend on the person.
What do you think? What are some of your favorite ghost story themes? What’s your favorite creature? Why do you think we still let these things affect us?