Well hurricane Michael sure made things interesting today! The kids got an early closure to school when the winds knocked the power out. I just finished talking to Alex on the phone about going home. The public school board posted their update to say students would be dismissed at 12:30 and then the power came back on. :) The kids got to spend the afternoon at home with full power. Wish I could have done the same!
The power outage made things busy around work. I'm on call this week so I made the decision to stay close to home tonight. No TOPS meeting. I'll be there next week though!
I started reading a book through the Libby app last week which didn't turn out to be at all what I expected. I was looking for something to go with Hallowe'en and this title caught my attention "Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places."
Colin Dickey is on the trail of America's ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and "zombie homes," Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as "the most haunted mansion in America," or "the most haunted prison"; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget.
With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living--how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are made--and why those changes are made--Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved. Spellbinding, scary, and wickedly insightful, Ghostland discovers the past we're most afraid to speak of aloud in the bright light of day is the same past that tends to linger in the ghost stories we whisper in the dark.
I loved reading the ghost stories and his research and opinions on how and why they get created. For instance - I'm sure we all know about the Winchester Mansion and the story/movie where Winchester's widow was said to have visited a psychic that told her she would die as soon as the building stopped on her house. The story I'm familiar with is that the widow Winchester continually had rooms and odd staircases that led to nowhere added to the house to "confuse" spirits. But what if that's not the truth? Another possibility? The widow Winchester was very well off at a time when many were poor and disliked/were jealous of her for all the money made off the revolving rifle that killed so many innocents. Stories were made up. What if she was trying to help labourers in otherwise tough times have employment, even if it was just building rooms? There were other possibilities but I won't get into that. It was just a totally different take on on the story. Not meant to ruin a good ghost story but still interesting. Definitely worth a read. :)
Anyhow that's my update for tonight. I need to get my lunch ready for tomorrow and my gym clothes packed to teach POUND tomorrow night in Stratford!