I always think about Shakespeare’s Hamlet around Halloween. It’s maybe the best literary ghost story ever. In case you’re not familiar with the plot, Hamlet meets his father’s ghost in the first act and sort of goes ’round the bend after that, trying to avenge his dad’s death by his uncle’s hand. His brush with the unexplained prompts him to say to his learned friend:
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophies.”
We don’t know what we don’t know but we know there’s something more out there. That’s Hamlet’s dilemma.
There are lots of things in our world that defy explanation. Even our ability to trust our own senses is limited. If you doubt me, just ask your dog. He can smell and hear tons of things that you aren’t aware of. We know for a fact that our homes and our bodies are bombarded daily by invisible electronic pulses that make our phones, TV’s and computers work, but we can’t see or feel a one of them. A single drop of water can teem with microscopic life–a whole world within ours–and not only can we not see them without special equipment, they’re not aware of us either.
So are we, for lack of a better analogy, drop-dwellers for some greater reality?
Are those unexplained things just something poking into our world from beyond our little water drop?
But I think about this stuff around Halloween when the veil between worlds seems a little thinner than usual. And I’m always looking for a good ghost story.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t do horror. Gorn (gore porn) will make me hurl a book across the room faster than a story with a wimpy hero. I’m pretty squeamish about blood and really dislike being scared. I could barely make it through The Sixth Sense.
But I love stories of the unexplained. How about you? Do you have a favorite ghost story you’d like to share?
Lexi’s first book in the Coldwater Cove is available RIGHT NOW! There aren’t any ghosts in this story, but she hopes you’ll love her “wounded warrior” hero, and the heroine who finds home right where she left it.
“This story will tug at your heart as a maligned heroine comes back under a cloud of suspicion and a damaged war hero helps her find a new happy ending.” – RTBOOKReviews
“The quirky characters, a minor mystery and the down-home feel in the first installment in Eddings’ Coldwater series will delight readers looking for a sweet small-town romance.” – C.L. Quillen, Booklist