I grew up in a weird household. My mom claimed to be psychic. We saw and heard ghosts regularly and poltergeists were rife for a household containing adolescent girls and a rampaging step-father. Yes, things were a little chaotic to say the least. My mother, who sat outside in the back yard night after night looking through her telescope, is a UFO nut. She used to be a “spotter” for a UFO group in the Midwest and claims she has photos of UFOs taken from our back yard (the photos, not the UFOs 🙂 ). I’ve seen the photos and they could or could not be a UFO, but the point was that we were constantly surrounded by the weird and the unexplained.
While most little girls surrounded themselves with dolls and Easy Bake ovens, my sister and I were thumbing through mom’s old copies of True Crime magazines. You know the ones, the ones where the nude bodies of women had their eyes and nipples blacked out with a bar across them, as if the imagination couldn’t fill in those parts. I remember distinctly viewing my first dead body scene in one of those mags. It was the body of Elizabeth Smart in all of it’s sawn-in-half glory. Torture porn at its best. Yes, we rifled the pages of these magazines learning from those and our 6 foot, 200 lb. stepfather that being a woman in this world is going to be very, very dangerous. No wonder mom fled outside!
Mom was also big on seances and reading the cards to tell people’s fortunes. While only a dabbler, her ways set the stage for my credulity down the road when it came to ghosts, UFOs, and assassination conspiracy theories. Recently, she handed over to me her entire library of books on the JFK assassination. I was proud. But the LIFE magazines of that time period she sold for a pittance to a used book dealer uptown! She missed out on a fortune no less. So, in our childhood we grew up looking through Mom’s UFO clippings from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, her crime magazines, and books, and happily read the juicy parts out of The Godfather which sat on the bookshelf for all to see.
Is it any wonder that I love shows like Ghost Hunters? I mean come on! I would LOVE to go with these guys to find paranormal phenomenon. A few miles from where I live there are groups that do ghost tours around the older parts of town, but they also conduct paranormal investigations and my dream weekend would be to spend the night in a haunted place, camera and EMF meter in hand, and try to capture evidence of ghosts. I don’t really care if anyone believes they exist, because I think they do. The events in our childhood home proved that. Although mom later denied she ever saw or heard ghosts (she’s fallen in with fundamentalism and disavows any activity of hers pre-fundie time) in our house, I know she did, because my sister and I did too. Friends we had over did as well.
Anyway, Ghost Hunters had their season premier at Lisheen ruins in Ireland this past Wednesday night and although they debunked some things right up front, they also came up with some interesting noises on digital audio and used my favorite tool, a night imaging camera that measures the temps of the surrounding area to see it visually on screen, to record some strange goings-on. Fun. Why does everyone else always get the fun jobs and I get stuck shuffling paper for a church? Man, I need to re-prioritize!
So now you know…. I’m a pop-culture weirdo!