A Southern Halloween

grim-reaper.jpgHave you ever met a ghost?

I haven’t (as far as I know). But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. My friend Jeff believes he has met some ghosts and offers up some sobering thoughts and Halloween reflections on these denizens of the afterworld in his essay, “Stumbling in Endor.” I felt a shiver or two running up my spine (at least I think that’s all it was) when I read this, and I bet you will too.

With its storied tradition of gothic tragedy, it figures the South would produce more than its share of tortured souls wandering the earth in search of redemption and release. And that’s just counting the ones that are already dead.

On this All Saints Eve, give these matters some consideration as you hide from The Reaper and thumb your nose at Death. And if you have a good ghost story to share, then by all means, please do.


  1. Jon

    The story is one that my dad told me when I was little…maybe to get me to stay in bed, but anyways.

    The lived in a house that was built next to an Indian graveyard in South Dakota. One night they heard footsteps pacing in the hallway, too scared to investigate him and his brother (sleeping in the top bunk across the room) stayed under their covers. The footsteps continued and then stopped outside of their door. In a few seconds my grandpa opened the door and chastised the boys for running up and down the hallway and told them not to make a peep the rest of the night.

    My grandpa returned to bed and a *tap tap tap sound could be heard in the room. My dad asked my uncle if he heard that, but no reply was given. *Tap tap tap came the sound again. Suddenly my uncle launched himself from the top bunk to my dad’s bed on the opposite side of room. After the commotion my uncle said that he put his foot against the foot board and could feel the reverberations of the *tap tap tap on the footboard. Guess the ghost had stopped outside the door and my grandpa let it in when he went to their room.

  2. Jon

    Also my sister and I were always scared to stand next to the bed for fear of being grabbed and pulled under by whatever monster happened to be dwelling under there. After a while and several nights of forcing myself to stand next my bed I finally overcame my fear. I talked my sister into doing the same thing, except while she was in the bathroom getting ready for bed I slipped under her bed and when she stood next to the side of the bed I grabbed her ankles. I thought it was hilarious, my parents thought it was crime fit for 2 weeks grounding. But I’d do it again given the chance!?

  3. Mike the Eyeguy

    Attaboy Jon, way to get into the “spirit” of the day.

    The ankle grab was a classic.

    Our lights just started blinking here at work. Do you think that means anything?

  4. JRB

    Cheers for the link.

    Saturday night when I was drafting that piece, the house was quiet. The girls were asleep. We currently are renting a modern, cookie-cutter suburban, subdivision house without any peculiar spiritual energy one way or the other.

    As I wrote the heavy section about Jefferson the ghost, the lights dimmed and the ceiling fan started buzzing and wobbling in an unprecedented manner. Good grief, thought I, I’m an antennae for the goolies! I saved it and finished it up the next day after praying goodly prayers over our sleeping babies.

  5. Mike the Eyeguy

    JRB, my pleasure.

    But please do be careful. I know a Harding professor who taught a Bible class series on Satan in the early 80s. One night he awoke with a start, sensing a heavy, dark presence in his home. He walked from one corner of his house to the next, praying for deliverance for himself and his family. After some time wrestling with the forces of darkness, he felt immediate relief when the spirit left his house.

    He, too, is a rational, left-brained skeptic, much like me. I never doubted his story for a second.

  6. JRB

    Stay tuned for my terrifying tale of reading the end of Revelation out loud in an empty southern church building at 3:30 one winter morning. If were not convinced then, I am convinced now, of many things.

  7. Mike the Eyeguy

    Standing by (and shivering too).

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