The Displaced Nation

A home for international creatives

THE DISPLACED Q: On your travels … have you ever seen a ghost?

Tony+ScaryBoy_collageOn your travels, have you ever seen a ghost?

And if you have — who ya gonna call?

I know, I know, you saw that one coming!

Seriously, though, for today’s Displaced Q, I’m asking about your supernatural experiences. Between all of us, we’ve been to a lot of places. So if there’s any truth in spooks and spirits, some of us are bound to have seen them, right?

Getting into the spirit of things

Well, I’ve never seen a ghost; but that could well be because I’m about as psychic as a cheese. Seriously — I’m not what you’d call particularly sensitive. Even to the physical world around me, as my body can attest; it’s constantly covered in bruises from walking into walls, chairs, doors — anything that regular people have sufficient grace to avoid.

But I digress. Our topic today is ghosts, and I’m a big believer in them. Why is that, you may wonder — given that I haven’t had a particularly spooky encounter of my own? I’ve visited (allegedly) haunted pubs, and creepy castles by the bucketload (being a Brit has its advantages in this regard).

I’ve also been in tombs of many different kinds — from the long barrows of the old Celtic peoples to the chiseled-out mausoleums of Petra in Jordan, to the pyramids and underground catacombs of Egypt.

And … not a sausage!

You wouldn’t believe…

Yes, I’ve had those strange, hard-to-explain occurrences that I think everyone has at some point or other: doors opening on their own, things moving from one place to another; one time I was looking right at a mirror when it fell off the wall and smashed to pieces, after over a decade of hanging there unmoving!

More recently at my wedding, there were two important guests who were no longer with us. We invited them anyway, with our hearts and minds. Both were ladies who shared an obsession with butterflies, so we felt blessed by their presence when a pair of butterflies danced over our heads all the way through the ceremony!

And yet, I know such experiences are easy to explain. Maybe I want them to be paranormal in origin, but the logical part of my brain is too active. It soon rationalizes these kind of happenings until I feel foolish even mentioning them … so, generally, I don’t. (Unless of course, the Displaced Nation is doing a series of ghostie posties.)

The multilingual (and TCK) actor Robert Stack served as host of the TV program Unsolved Mysteries. As he once said:

I don’t mind UFOs and ghost stories, it’s just that I tend to give value to the storyteller rather than to the story itself.

Do ghosts escape from dreams?

But I do have dreams. Sometimes, when things happen, I swear I’ve already dreamt about them at least once. And then, just occasionally, I have dreams when I’m visited by the spirits of people I’ve lost.

Earlier this year I had to make that journey every expat dreads — back to my home country of England, all the way from Australia, to help look after a dying relative. It was my granddad, and we weren’t sure he was dying at the time, but whilst keeping vigil with him I had a dream that rang with prophecy. His wife — my grandmother — who had passed on almost ten years earlier, showed up in my dream, wandering about his house and looking under things. When I asked her what she was looking for, she replied that she was here to find her other half, and that it was somewhere in the room.

It was a curious dream, and a thought-provoking one, but not unpleasant. I had the presence of mind to tell my family about it as we prepared for another day caring for Gramp.

The doctors at the time were discussing weeks versus months, but he clearly had received his marching orders. He died that evening.

This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this, although I hope it will be the last; at least for a while. To have dreams of lost ones you first have to lose someone — and I’ve lost enough people this year to last me a lifetime.

That being said, I don’t think ghosts are evil, or vengeful spirits: just souls left behind, looking for something — or someone — they needed or cared for in life.

* * *

What do you think? Am I crazy?

To think that after all of my world travels, the most ghostly encounters I’ve had anywhere occurred back in my childhood home, in my bed.

Now that IS spooky!

So what about you folks? I’d love to hear your tales of what goes bump in the night. We’re coming up on Halloween, after all! In your travels, have you ever come across any restless spirits? Or had any experiences which made you think twice about them? Let me know in the comments!

Alternatively you can hit me up on Twitter: @TonyJamesSlater +/or @displacednation. I look forward to hearing from you!

STAY TUNED for Wednesday’s post, an interview with a Random Nomad who writes books about dead bodies!

If you enjoyed this post, we invite you to register for The Displaced Dispatch, a round up of weekly posts from The Displaced Nation, with seasonal recipes, book giveaways and other extras. Register for The Displaced Dispatch by clicking here!

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Image: Tony (L) and  Scary boy from MorgueFile (R)

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