What’s Haunting You?

There’s a portion at the beginning of Stephen King’s mass of felled trees, IT, where Mike Hanlon, our tour guide to the troubled town of Derry through much of that novel, goes over several definitions of the word haunt. It’s an interesting bit, and his ruminations on how each of the definitions applies to Derry and Pennywise (and even the Loser’s Club itself) are fascinating and well done.


But it got me thinking about hauntings and the things we believe, and the things we endure because of those beliefs.

I don’t hide the fact that I absolutely believe in spooks. I try not to be one of those wild-eyed lunatics who insist that every bit of unexplained sound, movement, or sensation means the Other Side is trying to reach out to us, but neither am I a completely hard-headed cynic who assumes such things cannot happen. When I’ve reached a certain point, I do assume that supernatural events have occurred, and my general explanation is spirits – whether formerly human or not – have done the deed.

Call me crazy if you like. I’m used to it.

But I don’t accept that as the only possible explanation. It’s merely the one that makes sense to me, here and now. I accept there could be other explanations. When someone proves carbon monoxide or infrasound can account for most paranormal situations, I’m willing to listen. If the aliens show up and tell us it was them all along, I’m willing to shift my beliefs. If they find a chemical cocktail that proves I was crazy all along and science can fix it, well, hey, sounds good to me.

But spooks, spirits, and alien visitations aren’t the only ways someone or something can be haunted. It can be troubled by memories that either don’t fade or have faded too much; regrets over past actions or anxiety regarding upcoming ones. A lot of things can gnaw at you in the wee hours of the morning.

For me it’s people. People I’ve known, and people I no longer know. Ghosts of those yet living, if you will. Where they are, what’s happened since I saw them last, what things could have changed or been prevented.

Sometimes I’m even haunted by myself. By the “mes” that could have been, the ones without this scar or that memory. I picture what their lives are like and what they might be doing, and if they’d even be alive right now. The answers aren’t always pretty.

But what haunts those of you out there? What about spooks, do you think they’re real or merely brought on by some other explanation? Let us know down below!

KA Spiral no signature

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