Ghost (myth) Busters

By Penny Caldwell »Penny Caldwell

This could turn into a spirited discussion

October 26th, 2011

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Guest post by Jackie Davis, assistant editor. Last month, a colleague here at Cottage Life sent me an e-mail about a continuing education course being offered in Toronto: “Everything You Want to Know About Ghosts, but Are Afraid to Ask.” People taking the course could, among other things, find out how to “clean and protect” their home or cottage from unwanted spirits. I don’t have any unwanted spirits in my home or at my family cottage on Canoe Lake, even though my cottage seems like the kind of place that should be haunted. It’s on a lake with some grim history (Tom Thomson drowned there mysteriously in 1917), and the building itself—an old lumberjack cabin—is remote, usually dusty, and filled with cobwebs, bats, and gauzy white curtains that flutter eerily pretty much all of the time. So in fact, I do have questions about ghosts, especially around Halloween.

What I Want to Know About Ghosts, But Am Afraid to Ask

1. If someone dies and then turns into a ghost, do they have to wear the clothes that they died in for all of eternity? (If yes, then I should probably avoid pre-ripped denim.)

2. If a ghost is a dead person, what the heck is a skeleton? And a zombie? Would any combination of the three result in a live person?

3. Ghosts seem kind of inconsiderate: They fling books off the shelves, slam doors, open and close cupboards unnecessarily, turn on the TV (and then just leave it on), and borrow your stuff without asking. This sounds like living with a teenager. Why do they think this is scary?

4. In the movies, people are always buying houses that turn out to be haunted (or, the house where they’ve lived for a while just all of a sudden becomes haunted). And then they continue to live there, despite the mounting creepiness and the eventual misery and gut-wrenching horror. Why don’t they move?

5. Why is Casper friendly? Seriously, what’s his angle?

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Penny Caldwell