In honor of Halloween, I’m telling some ghost stories this week.
Ghosts I have seen:
- My first ghost was a woman who was dressed in white who walked across our front lawn back when we lived at Hardy Road. My parents were arguing about something in the kitchen. I was four. I didn’t like to hear them argue and I went and stared out the window.
- My grandfather in his long coat and dark hat, his too white skin, peering into the kitchen window.
- Everyone I know. Dead or alive.
- Myself, over and over again.
Weirdness that has happened at past seances:
- Piano playing.
- House catching fire
- Seances with pencils catching fire, drapes closing.
- Me predicting stuff that’s going to happen, over and over again, so much so that for a long while I didn’t know when I was talking about something I shouldn’t know or should.
I might go into detail later, or maybe not.
It’s weird how other people will try to tell your stories for you, how there are so many interpretations of truth. Like I remember talking to my mom about when I found the pot pipe in my stepsister Lori’s bedroom. I don’t remember much about it other than it was super pretty and I was playing with it. My mom, freaked out. But according to my brother I ran out of Lori’s bedroom with the pipe and a bag of weed.
I was six.
“You were such a narc,” he said. “You were always such a narc.”
I don’t remember any of that except my mom gasping when I held the pipe and said it was pretty and her telling me it was dirty and to give it to her.
My mother likes to tell this story about when I was one year old and had just had an eye operation. When I was born, my eyes didn’t track on objects at all so they thought I was blind. Then they realized I saw – but I just saw blurs and maybe color. So, they operated on my eyes, and afterwards put patches on them so for a month or so, when I was a year old, I was in complete darkness.
My mom marveled because I would kind of toddle around the house on the same paths I always took. I’d crawl behind the couch, stand up at the end, walk to the picture window, press my cheek against the cold glass and stand there. I would talk to people who weren’t there. I would shake people’s hands. There was nobody there to shake with.
“Spirits,” my Aunt Rosie would whisper. “She talks to spirits.”
When I was born, I came out with the caul around my head and body, the umbilical cord tightening around my neck. Caul in Latin is caput galeatum, which means ‘helmeted head,’ and it’s basically when a piece of membrane sticks to your head. People have been superstitious about it forever. It happens like one in every 80,000 births for a piece of the membrane to stick, but it’s even rarer to be born inside the amniotic sac, which is what I did. They call this born in a veil.
Spoiler: I’m not sure who ‘they’ are.
Aunt Rosie was my dad’s sister and she’s Portuguese so according to my mom she believed a lot of weird shit. I’m not sure what the correlation is other than maybe my mom being bigoted about Catholics maybe?
In the world of science, cauls usually happen to babies who are born early. According to my mom, I was over a month late.
Aunt Rosie insisted this made me see things, ghosts, futures, pasts. She brought me to a psychic who agreed but said I would never use my gift. He insisted I’d be a writer and a real estate agent… He was half-right, I guess.
Throughout history, caul bearers were persecuted because they were expected to be leaders and special.
Honestly, that sounds right even if caul bearers weren’t special, there was a panic that they might be. And for some people in power? Panic is enough to warrant death. A suspicion of losing their own power is enough to warrant crushing everyone else. Current leaders never want new leaders to arrive and suplant them. It’s way better to kill them off when they’re young before they can get powerful, before they can fight back. Humanity. Got to love us.
I’ll have ghost stories all week. I hope you have fun with them!
Next and Last Time Stoppers Book
People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.
The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?
It’s awesome and quirky and fun.
OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.
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Ebook on Sale for October!
And finally, for the month of July, my book NEEDis on sale in ebook version on Amazon. It’s a cheap way to have an awesome read in a book that’s basically about human-sized pixies trying to start an apocalypse.
I’m WRITING BARN FACULTY AND THERE’S A COURSE YOU CAN TAKE!
I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!
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