A photo started making the rounds around the interwebs recently that showed some clever real estate agent’s attempt to set himself apart in the New Orleans market. It made me laugh.
Indeed, lately it seems as if any structure that isn’t adequately lit or sits alone on an overgrown sidestreet inevitably comes fully equipped with hot and cold running ghosts. The subject of the paranormal is everywhere in popular culture, and humans being blessed/cursed with vivid imaginations cannot help but let certain pervasive fictions cross over into reality. Once the idea of something supernatural lurking in the dark has been planted in the mind, a person can’t help but jump to conclusions after the lights go out and the normal noises of the world at night take on an ominous tone.
In fact, this sensation is something we crave. It’s why horror stories have always been so popular. It’s why ghost tourism has become such a big business and why realtors in such supposedly spooky places as New Orleans have decided to publicize the fact that no, unlike every other building in the city, this one does not harbor a ghost. We are complicated animals, humans. We are drawn by that which frightens us. I can’t think of any other organism that could survive with such a trait.
I can remember, as a fresh-faced lad just off to college, being irresistibly drawn to the cemetery that lay just beyond the dorms. It was a quintessentially spooky place, and I loved it. It made me think of stories. Scary stories. My favorite kind of stories.
What’s the spookiest place you’ve ever been? Did you feel the need to leave? Or did you linger, unable to resist the urge to try to turn the knob and open the door, outwardly hoping the door will be locked by really knowing it won’t be. It will creak open at the slightest push because places like this are never locked.
It wants you to come in.