Peel apart these ghosts

Sometimes I think about ghosts and haunting and what it means…the environment itself has memory then, the environment itself contains traces of us, traces of the dead, lingering around, waiting. These unreal things, flickering creatures of nonlight, they are a repetition of action and emotion, they are manifestations of abuse and trauma so powerful that they scar the landscape with their being. Haunted and haunted and haunted and haunted….

Houses and people and birds and mirrors all things haunted with what we’ve tried to leave behind, of pieces of ourselves we’ve forgotten to hold onto but can never let go. Things that refuse to become corporeal but refuse to leave, dreams and memories of things, all wrapped and clinging to objects and to ourselves. Is this immortality? Pain that cannot die? Pain that refuses to lie down and be quiet and do as it’s told? Pain that won’t stop being pain? Pain that is suffering is all things that crawl into us, childghost of the past curling up around our hearts, cutting into us?

What is a ghost story but a story about a past that won’t stop? Are all ghosts stories really stories about PTSD?

We are coated with ghosts. Can these things transcend one person, and cling to all things, and move on from generation to generation? I can’t sleep without being covered by a blanket. Before my grandfather died, and before he got senile, and before he forgot who he was, he told me about a house fire in New York City when he was a kid, and that when he was in the hospital all they had to give him was a blanket for babies that couldn’t cover him. So he tossed and turned all night, so cold, frightened, in a strange place, wanting to just be home, but home was eaten by flames.

Had I inherited this fear? Had I inherited this unreality? Was it his ghost clinging to me all these years? Not the ghost of him, he wasn’t dead yet no no, but the ghost of this memory?


2 thoughts on “Peel apart these ghosts

  1. We are our own past, making us ghosts of ourselves. Does the past live on without our physical presence? Or is it possible under certain circumstances to view the past?

    Interesting post, with much to think about. Nearly all ghost stories focus upon ghosts themselves as entities of the “other,” either those who once lived or demons or … something. But I’ve kicked around an idea for years about a ghost story in which the “ghosts” are merely mirages, like recordings, a window into the past opened by the stain of awful events. Maybe I’ll get around to writing it someday. Yeah, when I’m not busy writing a million other things. 🙂

    • Well, with me I’m constantly writing about ghosts. And I was thinking mostly about two things with this post- the idea of a cursed blood line that’s in most Gothic stories (Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher is a good example) and the haunted house genre of stories. Haunted house genre and it’s children are all about how traumas of the past cause trauma’s of the present, usually forcing someone to act out the trauma’s of the past, or experience them in a ghostly flashback kind of way. They’re also about seeing a hidden past, a forgotten past, one that people want to forget and can’t let go of. To me, this is a lot like PTSD, but it is in more than just a person, it exists in the environment, in more than one person. Just some thoughts. Glad it made you think.

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