Ghosts

The Willies

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Firstly I have to say that I’m not in any way religious. Not in the normal way at any rate. I do believe in a greater power, and I also believe that each of us has a purpose – something or things that we have to learn, do, or share along the way. So. I research a lot of old myths and legends for my Shadow People books, as well as ancient building sites and so on. I’ve been doing a lot of digging around about free will, death, the afterlife, reincarnation, angels and demons again too, and now I’ve given myself the proper willies. When I was writing Echoes of Narcissus I kept on thinking that some malignant narcissists are actually demonic entities inside. Having known my own, and seeing a couple of videos online they very often look and sound the part. Even if they’re physically gorgeous, it’s always in the eyes and the voice that you’ll see or hear those glimmers of darkness.

Some people believe that after you die you become pure spirit again, but I don’t reckon that sounds very logical. If you’ve been an evil sod during your life on Earth, why should you stop being an evil sod after popping your cork? No. You’ll enter your next incarnation with that evil remaining within you somewhere. I think that souls can be blackened by your choices, and once blackened you have to choose to unblacken them or they’ll just keep getting darker. I know that a lot of people don’t believe in any sort of life after death or spirits and that sort of thing, and that’s fine, and probably a lot less creepy, but I do believe in these things, and the more I research, the more I wonder about payback.

There is good and there is evil. It’s pretty obvious if you look around the world these days. Seeing good in any form gives you a good vibe, and seeing evil makes you feel bad – or angry or guilty. I like to think of myself as mostly as good as I can be these days, but I still do things that I know are wrong. Like those things we use in our daily lives that are produced to the detriment, pain, or deaths of others. I do try not to contribute to harm too much as I zoom along, but sometimes I’ve chosen to take the easy way and look away instead.

None of us know with any certainty whether there will be payback or not, but if there is some of us are in for a rather nasty surprise. Throughout history there have been people who have risen to greatness who shared pretty much the same messages of striving to be and do good. To do no harm and so on. While we as a species have raised them up and often worshipped them, as a whole we are all either doing, or allowing to be done, the opposite of all those things they said that we so strongly agree with.

We all appear to be watching helplessly as our world and all who sail on it are destroyed, but unless you are physically at the mercy of a stronger physical force I think that our helplessness is a choice. Free will. We are all able to be as good or as bad as we choose to be. Fair enough, heading off to have a stern talking to with those who somehow we’ve crazily allowed to rule the planet along the way isn’t going to happen (although really cool plot for a book!), but every single day we have choices that will either add or remove a black spot from our soul. Every little thing that we do is important I think, and life shouldn’t only be about self-gratification.

All of this research has me thinking now that all the bad you do, maybe you get to take that with you, and you get to stay that way until you exercise your right to free will. So those evil killers and torturers that have come and gone over the years. If they weren’t tossed into the deepest pits of hell, and if reincarnation is true, well then, they’re back with us today in some form or another, and they’ll either choose good or bad. Or maybe they’re just so bad that it’s too late for good. Or is it ever too late? Either way, there really are some evil buggers out there these days. Some pretty creepy photos of spooks too, never mind dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight.

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Image Credit: Paul Rubens

Shadow People

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What not to do at one o‘clock in the morning if you don’t want to get the creeps …. Google Shadow People, and then read articles about them. I’ve got lots of things on the go right now. One of them being the second book in the Shadow People series. I woke up at midnight with all my projects, and currently hectic real life bits also, zooming around my frontal cortex. Trying to go back to sleep was futile, so obviously it was time to start my day. There I was, innocently sipping a nice hot cup of tea, about to check my emails, when it occurred to me to have a squiz online for inspiration to resolve a tricky bit of Return to Lapillus. So…

The first article I opened told me what I already know. Shadow People is the name of things that many people claim to have had experiences with. They are shadowy apparitions that sometimes appear once only, but often hang around and terrorise specific people. They’re completely black, some have blood-red eyes, some totally white, and some have no eyeballs or features at all. There are quite a few theories about them. One scientific theory is that they are visions caused by an anomaly in certain individuals brains. Others range from the ghosts of dead people trying to manifest as full-body apparitions, alien beings from another dimension, or demonic entities. My Nefandus in Shadow People are a bit of a combination of all of these things, so not new news that brought on any light-bulb moments for me.

When I originally researched these critters I never looked at any of the comments attached to the articles I read. This time I did, expecting the laughter and jeering that this sort of thing seems to bring out in the online universe. Not so much this time though. Most of them were from those sharing their own experiences. Judging by the couple of hundred of accounts that I read, from people (most of whom seem to be just normal folk, leading ordinary lives) who say that they’ve not only seen these shadow people, they’ve been rendered immobile, and sometimes touched or hurt, I started to wonder how close to reality some of our fictional tales are. Given the weirdness of reality in general, I don’t see any reason to doubt the existence of these things.

Each one of the billions of us that inhabit this particular space-rock lives in a totally different reality. Life is experienced differently by all, and seen differently by each different set of eyeballs. Not one of us has any kind of proof as to why we’re here, or even if we’re here, and not part of the fevered dream of some unimaginable being, or the denizens of some wild computer game being played by more unimaginable beings. Scientifically we’re only starting to find out where we are, and it’s highly unlikely that the known universe that we can actually see is all that there is. What we can see is still a mystery anyway. We know that there is more “dark matter” (the invisible mass that must exist because it has a gravitational effect, and therefore weight) than there is matter that is visible.

I also read about a study done years ago, where it was found that the human body lost a couple of grams of body weight when we spiritually depart this mortal coil. I don’t know how true that is, but then again, maybe those grams are what make up the mysterious dark matter that makes up most of the universe. And it’s all over the place, so who’s to say whether or not, apart from possibly the souls of our benign great, great, great, great grannies, there aren’t a couple of Shadow People, lurking about in there, waiting to scare the daylights out of us in the dark of the night. Now I think I’ll just be off to turn on a few more lights.

Till next time friends.

Text © Jo Robinson 2013
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Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Shawna

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Shawna

Shawna screamed.

Could mommy not hear when she screamed?

The woman floated beside the bed. Red hair fell in a swathe across the alabaster face. Shawna didn’t want to see that face. She couldn’t scream any more. Mommy should have been here by now. Why wasn’t she here?

The woman slowly revolved. Shawna focused on the gap between the bottom of the woman’s skirt and the floor. Where were her feet? Did she not have feet? Her gaze moved slowly upwards. Red eyes pierced the blackness of the room. She lunged for the bedside light switch. Briefly, bright light overcame the dark. The terror. The bulb shattered, piercing her cheek with the violence of its explosive end.

“Mommy,” she whispered.

She couldn’t move. The woman spun. Whirling around the room, with no feet, and mouth gaping blackly, stretched in a silent scream. And then suddenly she was there, hovering horizontally above the bed, face to face with Shawna. She stared into viridian eyes. Eyes of blood set in a face now as black as coal. The coldness of hell engulfed her. Her body shuddered as she tried to jump up. Run away from the thing that now reached a black hand towards her face. But she couldn’t move. All went black.

*

“Lying is bad Shawna.” Mommy angrily swept up the shards of glass. “I can’t afford to buy you another bedside lamp. If you’re going to be throwing things around the room and breaking them you can just go without.”

“But—.”

“There is no such thing as ghosts! Maybe it’s just as well that you broke it. You can’t sleep with the light on every night. Light costs money!”

Shawna realised that she wasn’t alone any more. Something inside her was getting angry.

“And another thing. I need to sleep too. You’re far too big to expect me to come running every time you yell in the middle of the night.”

Shawna grinned down at the back of Mommy’s head, floating above her, light as a feather. She understood now. She had nothing to be scared of any more. It wasn’t her the lady wanted. It was Mommy.

“Mommy.”

“Really Shawna. Just shut—.”

Mommy looked up. The lady smiled.

Angel Ink