Around ten years ago, the last time I had money, I bought an expensive new home on the other end of town. It was a center hall colonial, very fancy and up to date, and had had only one owner before me, a young family who had chosen to move closer to the school their children attended.
Within a couple of months of moving into the house, I was aware that there was something other than me and my cats living there. For lack of a better term, I referred to it as a ghost.
I am neither superstitious nor religious. I don't believe in any sort of afterlife. But I've always had a fondness for the concept of ghosts. And the one that came with the house was hardly more than an irritant. No blood curdling howls. No strange apparitions in the middle of the night. Just a tendency to knock things over and move things around. Twice it turned on cassette players (one upstairs, one down, neither time with a cassette in the player). A couple of times it tilted all the paintings on the living room wall. A couple of times it took my comb out of the medicine cabinet and left it on the edge of the sink. Things I hadn't done and my cats couldn't do. Just dumb little things, maybe twenty such incidents over the years I was there.
One day I was walking from the staircase to the kitchen when I ran into the ghost going the other direction. I was so accustomed to coexisting with it, I wasn't even particularly startled. I remember being sorry I didn't have my camera with me, but that was about it, until the next day when I thought, Wow! I saw a ghost!
My recollection of the ghost was it was two or three feet long, torpedo shaped, with no features. It was about four feet off the ground, and it seemed to know where it was going (at least it didn't stop to ask for directions). It was a gauzy translucent white and bore an unfortunate resemblance to Casper The Friendly. One would like one's ghost to be a bit more original in appearance
I did some internet research to see if there was any scholarly work being done on ghosts, since I would have been happy to participate, but I couldn't find what I was looking for. I did locate a lot of websites where people spouted fiction as fact (ghosts like this; ghosts don't like that-as though someone had done a Zagat for ghosts). One place had lots of photographs; my favorite was The Ghost At The Bagel Bakery, which was a photograph of a ghost at a bagel bakery (no report on whether it favored cream cheese or butter).
Sometime after I'd run into the ghost, I attended a small gathering, maybe ten people, all adults, all sane. The subject of ghosts came up (my guess is I brought it up). It turned out three other people at that gathering had seen ghosts. One of the other ghost witnesses was a World War Two veteran, who had vivid memories of seeing a ghost when he was a young boy.
It fascinated me to think that 40% of the people there had seen a ghost. Actually, it still fascinates me. So I'm putting a poll on the left side of the blog, to see how many of you, oh beloved slowly gained readership, have seen a ghost. And if any of you want to share stories by way of the comments section, well, I'd love to read them. Your ghost is almost guaranteed to be more interesting than mine, although it may have a way to go before beating The Ghost At The Bagel Bakery!