Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Watch Ghost Shows Anymore (But Still Do)

I’m a supernatural and paranormal buff, and as such, I really, really love ghosts. One of my all-time favorite ghost shows is Ghost Adventures.

In my mind, these investigators are the best. They’re three guys, Zac, Nick, and Aaron, who have a bunch of scientific equipment and handheld cameras and go into super-haunted buildings (or “locations” because sometimes they’re not inside) to try to draw out evidence of the spirits that supposedly haunt various places around the world.

They don’t have big camera crews, they work in the dark, and they focus explicitly on the material they collect while they’re investigating. I love it and I still do.

Except the show terrifies me.

It’s not the only one, either. During October, I’m usually glued to the TV because they air all those shows about haunted homes or hotels or abandoned buildings or talk with psychics who go into these places — and I love all of this stuff. I watch it with abandon. To me, the paranormal and supernatural are fascinating and I can’t get enough.

Unless, of course, I’m the only one in the room. In that case, I tend to watch the show standing up. In the doorway. With all the lights in the house on.

If I have to leave to go into another room — presumably at night and presumably when everyone’s either upstairs or on the other side of the house — then I turn on every light along the way and race to get whatever I need to do.

If “leaving to go into another room” entails “falling asleep,” then I jump into bed, pull the covers up to my neck, and force myself to keep my eyes closed until morning.

Something creaks outside?

*It’s not a ghost, it’s not a ghost, it’s not a ghost*

Something creaks on the stairs?

*pleasedon’tbeaghostpleasedon’tbeaghost*

Something creaks outside my room?

*ohgodit’saghostitmustbeaghosthousesdon’tmoveontheirown*

This happens every. single. time…but I still love ghost shows.

No, I don’t like being scared. I hate it. I just like ghost shows more than I hate being frightened of them. That, and I’m too curious to let the opportunity to hear about another haunting pass me by.

You know who enjoys being scared? Little H. She went to Witches Woods last year and even though she says she got scared a little bit, she also says it wasn’t hugely scary and she enjoyed herself. She says she wants to do better, to go somewhere spookier.

Me? I get freaked out watching those Travel Channel specials where they take you through the haunted house attractions. I watch the actors attack the tourists in some cases and panic.

That could be me, I think, my eyes wide, even though I’m indirectly watching the show from the corner of my eye. They could just go up to anyone and do that.

The idea sends chills up my spine.

I also get freaked out by watching stories about actual ghosts. Specials revolving around Lizzie Borden and others draw me in and then I have to have someone in the next room in order to finish them. I like them because the accounts of people who visit reaffirm things in my mind about the existence of ghosts. (Kind of like how people go and listen to things they believe in to remind themselves of how right they are. It’s comforting.)

Yes, I believe in ghosts, and yes, I’m aware of how wacky and ridiculous some of those shows are. I might even go so far as to say they’re all wacky.

They make for damn good TV, though.

I haven’t watched Ghost Adventures in a while — meaning I haven’t looked them up since maybe last Halloween. They had an Exorcist episode where they went to the house where the exorcism happened, the one that inspired the movie.

I was captivated, if slightly sheepish, since I was watching it with my non-believer mom in the room and she was trying to do something adult-like, such as paying bills or fussing with our fussy printer. I still like their old episodes, even though I can spot the issues in their narrations and cringe every time.

Since they got popular, though, they’ve taken a turn for the repetitive. They’ve also added things onto their crew that removes them from the original, DIY show they were. I liked that they kept things simple at first. In their drive and desire to go to longer lengths at proving ghosts exist, though, things got scientific. More machines mean the evidence feels less compelling.

This doesn’t mean I’ve dismissed ghosts completely from my life, only that I’ve momentarily outgrown my burning interest in them. By next Halloween, though, that desire to quench my supernatural thirst will have returned and I’ll indulge myself.

Of course, I’ll be indulging from the safety of the closest well-lit room. One can never be too careful.

What show(s) do you watch that you probably really should just not be watching anymore?

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Song Challenge: Least Favorite Song

Soul Sister by Train. I don’t like this guy’s voice. Every time it comes on the radio, I have to change the station. Actually, when most anything by Train comes on the radio, I change the station. It’s his voice. Not a fan.

PS — Blurred Lines was going to be my first choice, but I didn’t want to link to the song.

Food for Thought: Letters to my Sisters

letter to sisters clmannarino
Stop singing
your heart out
to strange men
whose lips can kiss love
in multiple tongues,
but tremble
every time you ask them to spell loyalty.
Neha Ray, Letters to my Sisters

Because I’m Annoyed: An Open Letter

Dear Driver Who Keeps Riding My Ass:

What? Why? What have I done to you?

Let me guess, I’m going too slow. I’m blocking your way. I’m the car that just won’t pull over to let the rest of the world speed by. Well, guess what? I’m not going anywhere.

I’m going down a 30 mile per hour road at 40 and you’re still following me as if by giving me, I don’t know, ten feet of extra space would mean losing your place to another car. Despite the fact that we’re not on the highway.

I’m trying to drive, here. I know that’s not a foreign concept to you — you’re the kind of driver who probably drives too much. You live behind the wheel of your car. You ride other car’s bumpers the way hobos used to ride trains: in other words, as if it was going out of style.

But here’s the thing, I’m driving here, too. And I’d really appreciate it if you weren’t trying to run me off the road when I was already driving in front of you for the past ten miles. You just happened to catch up. That’s what happens, you know, when you choose to drive twenty miles per hour over the speed limit.

I know what you look like, too. You come in many shapes and sizes. You’re the woman in the mini van who wears the sunglasses and keeps her headlights on too bright. You’re the man in the too-big truck that barely fits into the parking space at the train station who also keeps his headlights on too bright. You’re the unidentified person in the sports car with the tinted windows who, again, keeps their headlights on too bright. You’re the angry person in the much older car that’s rumbling and rolling around behind me who, guess what? Keeps their headlights on too bright.

Seriously, what is with your headlights? Do you really need your high beams on all the time? Even when it’s in the middle of the day? You’re so close that the beams are casting my shadow onto the windshield in front of me. That’s unacceptable, Driver. And now, because I can’t see because of your headlights, I’m forced to go even slower.

What’s worse is that this isn’t the highway. On the highway, you could just pass me. I could stay in the slow lane and you could rush forward the way you like. You could even catch the cops for me. You used to, actually. All the time. My first year dealing with you and your mean little buddies, you’d pass me if the road was big enough. What happened, Driver? Why aren’t you doing that anymore? You have enough room. Just go.

Seriously. I’m not pulling over because guess what? I’ve got to get to work, too. I’m going the speed limit — I’m going five miles per hour over the speed limit. I’m going ten miles per hour over the speed limit. You’re still so close that your headlights fill my rear view mirrors.

And by the way: when that happens, that thing with the mirrors and your headlights being, oh, brighter than the sun would be if we were living on Venus? If I can’t see because of your headlights, I’m going to go slower.

Oh yeah. Much slower. I’m going to crawl. And you better hope I don’t see an animal in my way, Driver. You’ve been warned. I’m getting a bumper sticker, in fact. I have to talk to the Sierra Club about it, since I think they could make some big bucks from people like me, but it’s happening. It’ll read:

I break for ALL animals. You’ve been warned.

It’ll be glorious.

When it’s snowing, too, I’m going to go under the speed limit. I value my life, even if you don’t value yours. Or maybe you think you do, with your dumb Jeep and your snow tires and snow chains and alien reassurance that you’re not going to be the one to slip on the black ice because it’s never happened to you before. I’m not going to test my luck. I’m not going faster because I don’t want to die. Putting your high beams on, or honking at me, or shouting at me out your window isn’t going to change that.

Guess what? When you get on my nerves by doing those three things, I just go slower. Oh, and flip you the bird. You seem to care enough to yell at me, but I really don’t give a damn what you want. That’s the beauty of being the one who’s tailgated. :D

Guess what? If I stop short and you rear-end me, you’re the one who’s in trouble.

So do us all a favor and give me my ten required feet of extra space before you decide to ride my bumper.

I don’t hate you, Driver. Really I don’t. Your attempts to make me go faster or feel pressured into breaking the sound barriers on the speed limits are just obnoxious. You’re like a five year old who isn’t getting their way. They’re not intimidating, just a bother.

See you in rush hour,

CL

Do you have any lousy driving experiences that recur daily?

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Miss America Pageant

John Oliver is hilarious, but also, this episode is incredibly revealing and telling about the way we view women around the world, not to mention in this country, and how much we think they’re worth.

I’m with Kathy Griffith: it’s fine to judge women, as long as we’re also judging men by the same criteria. Or we could just stop judging everyone by outer appearances and make everything equal in terms of how much people as people are worth.

Food for Thought: Autumn

autumn clmannarino
“The soul needs autumn. Let what’s dead fall. Let the wind sweep it up and blow it away. Your colors are changing; it’s so beautiful. Don’t be sad it was a part of you and now is gone. Some things have to die. It’s their season. You can’t hold on. This is your season to let it all fall. Shed what’s dead. Be free, stand tall. There will be a time to bloom again.”
your roots remain // breanna-lynn

Song Challenge: Favorite Song

There’s always at least one prompt in these challenges that’s harder to respond to than others. I whine a lot about choices being difficult, don’t I?

Okay, I’m going to pick just one. It’s as close to being my favorite as anything’s going to get. Without further ado, my favorite song: Augustine by Vienna Teng

I like that it’s a song you have to sing out loud, instead of softly and to yourself. Her voice is lovely and the lyrics are fantastic. It’s such a fun, crashing song.

I also like that it’s called Augustine because St. Augustine seemed like a very normal person, spending time discovering pleasure before committing himself to religion. I like that he admitted this is what he wanted to do.

What’s your favorite song?

Food for Thought: What I Need

what I want clmannarino
I heard what you said. I’m not the silly romantic you think. I don’t want the heavens or the shooting stars. I don’t want gemstones or gold. I have those things already. I want…a steady hand. A kind soul. I want to fall asleep, and wake, knowing my heart is safe. I want to love, and be loved.
Shana Abe