In honor of Halloween, I have two ghost stories, which is a little odd because I don’t believe in ghosts in the first place. They both happened to me during the summer two years ago, just after I’d moved to New York.
The first thing was, one night I woke up because there was an old woman, a crone, standing at the end of my bed. She was wearing a brimmed hat and held her hands lax in front of her chest, like a cartoon dinosaur. She was mostly scary because she was so old. I should note that while I’m a total coward if given the chance to think, when startled I tend to go on the attack. So I sat up and demanded to know what she was doing there, like an imperious crazy person, and then watched her fade away. I knew, even though my eyes were still open, that I was dreaming. She dissolved like sugar in tea. But if I believed in ghosts, I guess I would have believed that I’d seen one then.
The second story is about something that happened about a month later when I went to see an art exhibit in the East Village called “Strange Powers.” The exhibit was all about supernatural phenomena, so there was a framed curse — “do something evil” — hanging on the wall, and boring photographs of people’s auras, and a little headphones station where you could listen to records of ghosts, although when I tried them on it seemed to just be static and people speaking in German. German, I’m sorry, is a scary language to hear if you’re not well-prepared. Continue reading