Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Haunting of Brennan House

It’s been awhile since I’ve heard a good ghost story. No, not that kind. If I just wanted to get into something spooky, I’d rent “The Haunting” (The 1963 version. The other one doesn’t really exist, in my opinion. Sure it’s denial, but I feel better that way). Of course, I could also get out my copy of “Famous Ghost Stories” and read “The Haunted and the Haunters” or “The Monkey’s Paw” for the millionth time (after 40 years, I still find it creepy. Even the version they did on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” depicting the son as a race car driver. The charred helmet sitting on the floor when the mother finally got the door open was a nice touch). No, this isn’t what I’m talking about. I mean a real ghost story. The kind where someone you know and trust tells you about some undeniably strange event that seems to involve the supernatural. Me? Do I believe in ghosts? Maybe not in the prosaic sense. But I do believe that images and “videos” composed of energy can be left behind when someone dies. Not their soul, mind you, but a recording of some sort. An energy imprint that some of us get to see.
The one that stands out most in my mind had to do with the townhouse my parents lived in when I was in the Army. I’d come back home for the weekend and my parents would nonchalantly relate this amazingly creepy tale about their occasional nightly “visitor”. Now, in order to understand just how strange this was, you’d have to know my parents. My father is a retired Army officer who served in World War 2 and Korea. He left the military and pursued a career in New York City’s Dept. of Hospitals ultimately retiring as Chief of Transportation. My mother is an ancient history buff and neither of them is given to flights of fancy. Now, I knew that the former residents of that townhouse consisted of a man who had died of a sudden illness and his wife sold the townhouse and left with their child. What I didn’t know was that, evidently, the man returns for periodic visits and appears to be looking for something (possibly his family). My parents would sit downstairs in the living room, each reading a book and this apparition would just waltz on by. Neither of my parents expressed any particular concern over this and it was “just one of those things”. I was always disappointed that I never got to see it. In a couple of months, my wife and I plan to go on vacation to our favorite location. New Orleans (the French Quarter). Maybe, this time, we’ll stay in one of those supposedly haunted hotels.


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