I am an expert on ghosts — have been since 1990.
Seeing a ghost is one of those few experiences in life that can qualify you as an expert the very first time it happens. And by the way, it is nothing at all like that crazy TV show with those guys running around taking pictures with night vision cameras in places that are dangerous by virtue of the fact that they are falling down around their ears. If you need a visual here, think more along the lines of the movie The Sixth Sense. Ghosts, my friends, appear to be solid — even in bright light. Yup, they look real and can be mistaken for real. The difference is they tend to appear and disappear for no apparent reason (pardon the pun). Let me tell you my story.
A number of years ago I had the good fortune of having a group of friends who made a point of getting together on a bi-weekly basis to laugh, eat, and talk. Although I will admit to consuming large quantities of chocolate and other yummy desserts, none of us indulged in even a single glass of wine since no one wanted to get busted for driving home tipsy.
On this particular evening, we were at Patty’s (not her real name) home, gathered at the dining room table and grazing happily on the dessert du jour. From my seat, I had a straight-shot view into the living room of the single-story new home. Patty, by the way, had quite a flair for decorating, and an impressive talent for quilting. A new quilt, of her design, hung on the wall in the living room and throughout the evening I found my gaze wandering admiringly in that direction.
Then what to my wondering eyes did appear? No, not reindeer, but a brown cocker spaniel dog. Yup, a dog. It proceeded to trot across the well-lit room and disappear when reaching the sofa.
For a long moment I considered keeping my mouth shut, but — and this is so “me” — I could not.
After shifting around in my chair and clearing my throat a couple of times I said, “So, um, does anyone here happen to have a brown cocker?”
Patty all but leapt from her seat. “I do! Did. I did. My darling Angel was a brown cocker. She died two years ago. I miss her so much. She was the best.”
She sighed and got a bit teary at this point and though I wondered if I should mention what I’d seen least my friends think me nuts, you’ve got it right, I opened my mouth anyway.
“Well, I believe Angel is here. I just saw a brown cocker trot across the living room.”
Much to my surprise, no one scoffed — not even Patty.
“I knew it!” she said. “I knew she was here! For the past few nights I’ve had the feeling that she’s been curled up at the foot of my bed, just like she used to do. I’m so glad you saw her!” She scampered around the table and hugged me.
It shouldn’t have surprised me to find out how accepting my friends were of the paranormal since I’d known them all for several years, but it did. And, I wasn’t the only one surprised. Once that cat (so to speak) was out of the bag, another one of my friends, emboldened by my blurted observation, confessed to being a closet psychic. It was something she didn’t consider so much a gift as a cosmic bad joke that made her into a freak. We all refrained from the “didn’t you see that coming?” teasing, and no one snuck up behind me and yelled, “WOOF!” Such a thoughtful and sensitive group.
So … after all these years, do I include these things in my stories?
Of course I do, although I don’t write paranormal, per-se. I write mysteries with people and relationships who have lives that are slightly off-center from what we usually experience. Sure, it is fiction, but it has to be as close to real life as possible — which is why you’ll find some of the paranormal twined in. It is real life, after all.
Susan Schreyer lives in Monroe, Washington with her husband, two adult children and a whole bunch of cats. Her horse lives within easy driving distance. When not working diligently on mysteries about people in the next town being murdered, Susan trains horses and teaches people how to ride them. She also works part-time in a veterinarian’s office where she pretends to possess secretarial skills. In addition, she is co-president of the Puget Sound Chapter of SinC — mostly because no one else wanted the job. Susan is the author of the Thea Campbell Mystery Series, of which there are six mysteries and one romantic comedy available. The first in the series, Death by a Dark Horse, is available free as an e-book on every platform.
Susan can be run to earth at any of the following locations;
Susan Schreyer Mysteries website: www.susanschreyer.com
Things I Learned From My Horse blog: http://thingsilearnedfrommyhorse.blogspot.com
Writing Horses blog: http://writinghorses.blogspot.com
FaceBook: Susan Schreyer Mysteries