Lately I’ve been paying a lot more attention to those Ghost shows on TV. You know, the ones where everybody is holding some sort of Ghost-Buster-style PKE (psycho kinetic energy) detector. In the low light everybody looks green ,with glowing eyes. Then, ALL OF A SUDDDEN, the camera fast pans to a chair in the corner where “somebody saw something”. Cut to commercial. When we come back from the commercial break we see most of the same footage again and the narrator asks, in forty different ways, if what they saw was a ghost. That’s entertainment?
I’m not against ghost shows, but I’d much rather tune in to watch real people take on the challenge of spending a night or two all alone in a haunted place. Here’s how it would work. We take our victim to a remote location, preferably at least 5 or 10 miles away from any type of civilization, and drop him/her in a house or a cabin to spend the night. On the way out the victim is informed of the haunted history of the place, along with the names and documented appearances of any ghosts that inhabit it. We rig cameras everywhere, drive away, and let the fun begin.
Even if no ghosts show up, how freaked out could one person get when they are truly alone in the dark? I know, first hand. One night, in just such a remote cabin, I was sleeping alone in a bed. In the same room, one bed over, a couple of my buddies were slumbering (they drew the short straws and had to share a bed). The generator was off. There was no moon. It was DARK in the room. In the middle of the night I felt the unmistakable presence of a giant tarantula crawling up my thigh. I woke up screaming, leaped to my feet, and dove across the space to land on my buddies. “SPIDER! HUGE SPIDER!!” After they recovered from the shock of me jumping on them we got out the flashlights to find the beast.
Nothing. There was definitely no spider in the room of any size. I thought about it for a while and then recalled the position I had been sleeping in: fetal,with my hands straight down, right next to my thighs. I was the spider. Or, rather, my fingers and brain had conjured it in the dark, eerie silence of the cabin. I’m just glad I didn’t have a gun. What if I had tried to shoot it?
So that’s my formula for a ghost show. Plant the idea, isolate the person, and let their imagination take them where it will. Any volunteers?