I do NOT believe in ghosts, phantoms, haunting spirits, exorcisms, or any such nonsense.
I do believe in science and, in particular, physics. Which is infinitely more bizarre than any of the above.
I live in a building built pre-Civil War, redone as a modern day hive called condos. It was a textile mill where thousands of people labored with machinery long before the protections of OSHA, workmen’s compensation, medical insurance, sick, or vacation time.
The ceiling overhead is the original wide plank wooden floors. The walls are brick.
I have no doubt people died here. In some of the most sudden, unnatural, missing-a-limb-bleeding-ground up-squashed-to-death ways one could imagine.
If anyplace was fertile ground for ghosts, this is it.
My wife and daughter believe they exist here, because the dogs see them.
Our dogs, one of which is the dog version of the Cowardly Lion, the other a reincarnation of Godzilla, will occasionally act as if they hear, see, or smell something.
Yet there is nothing there.
I think of all the blood, sweat, tears, belches, burps, farts, vomit, coughs, sneezes, and wheezes that these porous wooden and brick surfaces have absorbed.
I suspect that, over time, these may be released into the air.
Once trapped, now released, bubbling, ferments of the past.
The dogs smell the detritus of our past, bui doi; the dust of life.
They are the sloughed off pieces of us all we leave involuntarily behind as we churn through our moment in time. Replacing each cell over and over until we stop.
Lying dormant until the pieces of what we were scare the dogs of the future.
I look at the walls and wish they could tell me the things they’ve seen. Because here was also laughter, tears of joy, friendship. Here was history made.
I wouldn’t be afraid, I would welcome the chance.