Wednesday, January 23, 2008

17th Street Ghost

17th street is one of my favorites for some reason. When I went to the Brooklyn Ghost Society meet up group at the Connecticut Muffin, a woman told a story about a house she briefly lived in on that street. She and her husband moved into her husband's family's house. One day she was napping (always a good idea) and heard what sounded like someone rummaging through drawers on the floor above her. She assumed it was her husband, but when she looked for him, she found him in the backyard. They got the feeling that the noises were the spirit of her father-in-law, who was always tinkering around, fixing things up, digging through drawers to find a needed part.

That sounds so much like some of the people I know around here, especially first generation Italians like the ones that used to own our house: they knew how to fix things, and everything was immaculate. I am one hopeless clueless slob in comparison. When we moved into our house, there were 4 fruit trees, all bearing fruit, somehow wedged into a plot of soil roughly 12 feet square. How is that done? Those are the kind of things Maria's family could do. She was so funny and charming, but she would roll over in her grave if she saw the amount of dust accumulating behind our refrigerator and who knows where else.

Back to the ghost story: I hear stories like that, about spirits that think they need things, who continue to look for material things even after they die. One story involved a spirit who loved pepsi so much it possessed a college student who all the sudden started drinking uncharacteristic volumes of pepsi and watching TV non-stop. He eventually got shipped off for psychiatric help. I wonder if he recovered.

Sometimes spirits stick around to look after people. In the spring I was driving around Bartel Pritchard Square (circle) and the car in front of me had plates that read AUNTDODO. My own Aunt Dodo had died recently, so of course I paid attention in complete astonishment. How many Aunt Dodo's are there, and even if there's one, someone makes it their license plate? (Dodo is a nickname for Dolores) At the time, I brushed it off. But now I have even more questions about reality, and have been revisiting that moment with more of an open mind.

Someone concerned about me sent me an article from Skeptic Magazine today, debunking things like superstition and hauntings. I'm sure he's been reading this blog. It is terrible to be a slave to superstition and fear of spirits and things like that. I know. It would be nice to be a skeptic. But once you've seen a ghost, or a ghost dog, that's pretty hard to pull off.


Ed & Jeanne said...

I walked down 17th and it looks different. Oh wait...that's right, I'm in Portland...

Anonymous said...

17th Some great people use to live on that block. I knew them all from 8th avenue all the way to 11th!

Container Diaries

Anonymous said...

when is the next meeting?
i've got a few true stories.