Creating a realistic ghost character may not be too difficult. After all, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of reports of actual sightings.
I'm not sure where this photo was taken, but I wouldn't want to see that image on my staircase when I wander into the kitchen at night for a glass of water. Are there actual facts about ghosts? Things they all have in common?
Almost as soon as I pondered that question, a friend told me about Lily Dale, NY, a place of pilgrimage for many Spiritualists and others interested in the paranormal. A large population of mediums and Spiritualist healers reside here and they host numerous events for visitors. I Googled it and saw that Lisa Williams was holding a two day workshop at Lily Dale. Here's her bio from the site, "Lisa has been able to communicate with the dead from a very young age. But it was Merv Griffin who launched her extraordinary career with her own show, Life Among the Dead. Two hit series, Voices from the Other Side and Lisa Williams Live followed, and all three are now airing around the world. Lisa has enjoyed sell-out international tours of her live show. She has also appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Lisa is the author of two bestselling books, Life Among the Dead and Survival of the Soul. Her workshop was entitled, Connecting Beyond.
From the HBO series
I figured I could get some good material for my novel, and I love an adventure, so decided to go. Like I always say, the joy is in the journey.
When I told my husband about it he said, "Don't go weird on me."
I said, "Too late."
When I told my girlfriends, they pleaded to come along. I would have loved the company, but it was the weekend after July 4th and most had plans. They sent me out as the guinea pig and made me promise that we'd all venture to this spiritual hot spot another time.
I've never even been to a psychic so was a bit nervous about making a trip to the unknown by myself, but my curiosity ruled. I rose at five o'clock the Friday morning of the event and was on the road by six. My GPS suggested a travel itinerary, but as usual I disagreed. I chose a slightly longer route, but with fewer traffic lights. Before I drove onto to the interstate, I stopped for a cup of coffee and selected a summer music playlist on my iPod. I was off to explore the world of ghosts.
The cruise control was set at sixty-five miles per hour and Kenny Chesney was singing about having a beer in Mexico when the unexpected happened. An adult deer leaped in front of my car. Before I had a chance to react, we collided.
No human was hurt, but the poor deer, and my car is in the body shop for at least two weeks. Instinctively, I pulled over to the side of the road and glanced at the dying animal. I thought I would be sick. I must have been in a bit of shock because I didn't even check the car. When I was on the road again, I realized that was a mistake. Fortunately, a rest area was only a mile away so I stopped, inspected the damage, and reported the incident to the state police.
I never made it to Lily Dale. Although my car was still drivable, the passenger door wouldn't open and the headlight was smashed. The obvious next step was to head home to deal with my grief and take care of business.
When a freak accident happens, it makes me wonder about time. How a mere thirty seconds can change everything. If I had made my coffee at home, if I had followed the GPS directions, if I had driven in silence instead of connecting my iPod, I would not have hit that deer. I would have gone to Lily Dale and who knows what would have happened. Something is telling me that my trip wasn't meant to be.
Will I try to go again?
Maybe with friends. It has the potential to be a fun trip. Then again, there are a lot of books written about ghosts, and really, can't a ghost be anything you want it to be. Like John Grisham said when he was questioned about inaccuracies in The Broker, "It's all fiction, folks."
Warning: Motorists hit over 80,000 deer on New York roadways between last July 1 and June 30 2012, according to estimates from the nation’s leading automobile insurance company.
State Farm used its own claims data and state licensed driver figures to compile the statistics.
New York drivers struck an estimated 80,262 whitetails during that period – the third highest figure in the country, behind only Pennsylvania (115,571) and Michigan (97,856).
Be Careful Out There!
BOOK OF THE WEEK
One of my all time favorites, Practical Magic by one of my favorite authors, Alice Hoffman. If you feel like a getaway into a magical world, this is the novel for you.
—Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic