A Haunting . . .

"Ghosts live in a state intermediary between this life and the next. They are held there by some earthly longing or affection, or some duty unfulfilled, or anger against the living."

W. B. Yeats


The notion of a haunted house has always been of interest to me, though even after having been on “ghost tours” in several cities, I’ve regrettably never felt the presence of one. I do, however, accept the possibility of ghosts and of life beyond the ones we live. I also believe that ghosts—just like the living—can have pleasant or unpleasant personalities.


Ghosts have certainly been portrayed on film in many different ways: the scary ghosts found in such classics as The Haunting of Hill House, based on the book by Shirley Jackson (1959); the endearing ones in Casper, the Friendly Ghost; the laughable ones in Ghostbusters; the enigmatic one in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense; or the hero in Bruce Joel Rubin’s Ghost. Then there is the new CBS sitcom Ghosts.


For those who believe ghosts do exist, it is usually with the caveat, as Yeats suggested, that there was something left unfinished—something keeping the spirit here on earth. It might be something they needed to tell someone, or it could be something as simple as confusion as to what had happened to them, or it could be there own stubbornness in resisting death. As a nurse, I 've become comfortable with the notion of an afterlife, having been with a number of people nearing death. I don’t know if they all “crossed over”, but I do know there is a transition and that there is often someone waiting to help that person to the other side. Knowing that gives me peace. Unfortunately, that notion didn’t comfort Helena. I hope you enjoy her story.


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