Positive proof of a Dimensional Transition to the Other World. I'm not surprised you can't see it, you miserable cynic.
Yesterday, in the course of a lovely late-summer Sunday, during a visit from my dear sister and niece, through the agency of a completely accidental meeting and chat with its former owner, I discovered that the 1780's log cabin that serves as our den was, some thirty years ago, the scene of a horrifying shotgun murder-suicide. The fella, whose name I haven't yet gleaned, generously spreading the joy to those less able (or willing) than he, offed first his cat, and then himself. The body was found later by a local farmer who still lives nearby.
Who cleaned up the gore is anybody's guess. But they did a sovereign job; not a speck or splash have I been able to find.
And believe me, I've been looking.
After dinner, over dessert on the screen porch, thrilled as only a dedicated ghoul can be, I announced my gleeful discovery to six faces, each to some degree rapt. But just as there are different attitudes toward life's vagaries, various, too, were the attitudes that greeted my bloodthirsty recitation. I might theorize that the closer one feels to one's own demise, the less vulnerable one becomes to such revelations. Certainly my audients closest in time to their own births were the most horrified. The adults were able to achieve some level of detachment from the news; the young 'uns were (I've come to regret) chilled to the core with the understanding that someone had reached such a pass of despair that he'd seen no way out but to blow his own head clean off in the selfsame cheerful place they now enjoyed their Neapolitan ice cream and Pepperidge Farm cookies. No shells, no exoskeletons, had time endowed these youngsters against such horror.
I believe ghosts may have been foremost in their minds. I have noticed that Betty and Freddie have both given the den -- ordinarily the Mecca for televisual transport -- the widest of all possible berths since my revelation.
Which is why it was so fortuitous that this morning a lovely friend sent me a link to the best unintentionally hilarious web site I've seen in quite some time. The International Ghost Hunters Society offers a "Certified Ghost Researcher home study course [that] is the most comprehensive course available on the Internet." The offering apparently consists in its entirety of a rather unprepossessing CD-ROM. Splendidly incisive as the home-study course doubtless is, it is their Free Photo Gallery that most beguiles us. (You have to scroll past the enormous banner ads.) The photos themselves are a collection of the castoffs of people's holiday snaps and family minutiae, sent in by hopeful punters seeking assurance that their utter incompetence as photographers might be better excused as a harbinger of extrasensory perception and communication with Other Worlds.
No one is more willing to validate this happy delusion than the site's proprietor, one Dr. Dave. It's his commentary that is the true entertainment here. No camera-light-leak is so obvious, no bouncing flashlight trail so howlingly self-evident, no mirror-caught flashbulb, no double exposure, no inadvertent reflection in intervening glass so blatantly obvious, that it can't be explained away so that the sober truth -- that the Expired hop around among us pretty much as thick as junebugs on a tomato -- might prevail.
Len [who sent in this photo] said, "I have been in the photography field for over 30 years. I have worked in darkrooms since 1974. I know what it takes to produce a digitally enhanced pic like this as well as in a conventional darkroom. This camera used to take this film image wasn't a very sophisticated one and I was the only one using this camera at the time. If someone sent me a pic like this without any background I would be skeptical, too....God-DAMN! Science! I'm overcome by your crisp and pitiless logic!
Dr. Dave's Notes:
Len has confirmed that this is not a double exposed frame and he has not manipulated it in any way. I accept the Holmesian philosophy: When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. The skeptics prefer the principle of the Occam's razor: The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. In this case, the simplest explanation is double exposed frame, but Occam's razor fails to accont [sic; Dave's not one of history's proofreaders] for the testimony given by Len Bragg. This is one reason we support the Holmesian philosophy for evaluating photos.
This photo is from an even older cemetery by the name of Rosedale, Gladewater, Texas; clear night; 9:30 p.m., Nov. 2004. This shot was taken of a total black area of the cemetery."I love you, Dr. Dave. Don't you ever let that dumb ol' Occam's Razor slice your self-confidence.
Dr. Dave's Notes:
Our only explanation is ghost lights, if there is a natural explanation, I am not aware of what it would be.
My children are no longer afraid to go into our den, having looked -- and gotten huge, satisfying belly-laffs -- at your Ectoplasmatic Analysis. They loves them some Science, now, too.