To Believe or not to believe? That is the question.
Shamelessly rephrasing Shakespheare aside, I am referring to ghosts and the belief in whether or not they exist. I know of a certainty that believing is seeing, even when there’s nothing to see. Studies have shown that the mere idea of a haunting makes people more susecptible to encountering spooks and phantoms. The commn term of the phenomenon is mass hysteria and like fear and sneezing it is contagious.
But what about the other group, the nonbelievers? Is believing seeing? Nope. But it may nudge them in the direction of belief or at least shake their non beliefs.
Case in point: My sister, her husband and their son went to Scotland to visit a notorious haunted castle. My sister and her son are open to the idea of ghosts, her husband humors her.
The afternoon was waning by the time the tour started. Long shadows added to the spooky atmosphere and there was a palpable expectation, a breathless anticipation of an encounter to come. In one windowless room, the tour stopped and the guide told of the tragedies that unfolded. Voices from the group behind them echoed in the cavernous room but after a while, my sister and her family were able to ignore the murmurs and focus on the story.
It was then my sister and her son noticed the shadows on the rugs. More silhouettes than could be cast by the small tour. Some vanished while others appeared, yet the people stood still. When they moved on, my sister mentioned it to her husband. “A trick of the light,” he assured her.
Cold spots aside (it is a drafty, old castle), the tour ended with no other supernatural phenomenon. A little disappointed, my sister and her family prepared to leave. As they thanked their guide, her husband quiped that perhaps they should space the groups further apart because the talking from the tour behind them had been so loud that he had a hard time enjoying the retelling of history of the place.
With a start, the guide told them that their group had been the last one of the day. There had been no one behind them.
Did my brother-in-law change his beliefs? Nope. He’s certain there’s a rational (read nonspectral) explanation, but, maybe, just maybe…
In Ghost of a Chance, the hero Everett Grey is of the same rational. A no nonsense former Union spy, he knows there’s always a human culprit behind every bit of mischief. But doubts undermine his certainty when he hires Brighid Garvey as a wet nurse. Brighid knows the living and the restless spirits of the dead coexist, the constant presence of her Gran’s spirit won’t let her forget it.
And Gran is going to make certain Everett learns that death doesn’t stop some folks from protecting their loved ones.