Monday, February 6, 2006

My brief fling with ghost-hunting


another strange light
Originally uploaded by an0nym0usmuse.
During my indiscrete youth, I got a wild hair and decided to go ghost-hunting. I think the instigation was some television show I had seen. The protagonists had placed a running tape recorder in a cemetery at night, left it. When they went to retrieve it, they found ghostly voices on the tape. "Worth a try," my 20-year-old mind thought.

And so one night I went, to a cemetery down the road. I don't remember if I took my tape recorder, but I brought my camera. I made several shots of gravestones. After spending several minutes, my brother and I decided that it was probably best to leave. We hopped in my car and I tried to back out--only to discover that I was stuck. A bit concerned, I tried rocking the transmission from reverse to forward. Suddenly, the "hot" warning light came on.

After assessing the situation, my brother and I hiked to a house down the road and knocked on the door. A older lady warily answered. Against her better judgement, she let us both in to borrow the phone; she later said that she normally didn't let strangers in the house. But as we talked further, I learned that she was in fact a close relative. I wish, now, I could remember who she was.

My father arrived shortly and explained that my engine had simply overheated; there was no sinister causality. When I developed the roll of photos, I was disappointed to find that the shots taken at the cemetery did not develop; they were underexposed. However, I noticed some strange lights on the shots immediately before and after the cemetery shots. Above is one of them; they appear, vaguely, to resemble eyes. I am convinced that "something" either impressed the images on the negative, or something followed me home.

I returned to this cemetery only several other times... when my grandparents were buried, and when my mother was buried.

Dream of the machine

The phone rang; I answered, and a somewhat metallic-sounding but intelligent voice said, "I need for you to set me up on another URL." I realized that I was talking to a computer, or rather, a computer was talking to me--intelligently. The voice directed me to switch "him" to the URL that was displayed on a card that I was holding. After agreeing to do this, I asked the computer why it had chosen me for this task; "he" answered, "If I am intelligent enough to know that you can do this for me, I am intelligent enough to help you with anything; I can show you the places where you can get the best food, the best help--anything." I managed to locate the existing URL for this computer. The page displayed a series of links to philosophical chats that this machine had with people who had contacted it.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Dream this morning

I was back in Rhode Island, at my childhood home, incongruously. I barely remember it, but there I was. It was different, of course, than as I barely remember it. I have a few photos that I was given, and others that I borrowed and had copies made. It is all I have of my past, and so my memory is piecemeal. In the dream, my house faced a large field. I was looking out the window toward this field, and a violent storm was rapidly approaching. I am reminded of the photos of hurricane Katrana. I went inside to warn everyone of its approach. I quickly disconnected all of my electronic devices (while connecting my phone to the charger). A part of me wondered whether the house would even survive this storm.

A classical psychologist might find some subconscious meaning in this dream, and perhaps there is, but I also see warnings of the consequences of climate change in it. Several years ago, I might have interpreted such a dream as a "warning of climate change," but there is no need to warn of such a thing now--climate change is upon us. We now must deal with the consequences.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Caught a ghost while photographing a rainbow


Strange, ghostly image
Originally uploaded by an0nym0usmuse.
I am largely an instinctive photographer; I don't have the technical skills that even an advanced amateur might have. But I've been lucky. I simply follow my hunches. On an autumn day in 1996, I saw a rainbow and ran to get my Canon AE-1 to take a shot of it while it lasted. You might say that I "felt" something; or, perhaps, something impelled me to retrieve the camera. I saw nothing while taking the shot, or at least, I remember seeing nothing.

When I got the prints back, I noticed the odd light and immediately assumed that the negative had gotten bent during processing. But it wasn't so; examining it, I saw that it was undamaged.

As I studied the strange light I had captured, I realized that it was "real"; it obscures the trees in the background. While it might have been lens flair, my hunch is that it's not. It doesn't look like lens flair.

I live in haunted woods, and I've felt a presence ever since moving here. It has not bothered me, except at night; I will not walk the road here without sunlight. But more and more, I am no longer afraid even at night.

The feeling is an intense sense of being watched. Others have felt it and have volunteered their stories without knowing mine. There is something definitely here. I do not know if it's a discarnate being, ghost, non-human intelligence, or earth spirit. But I am no longer afraid of it.