A Real-Life Ghost Story
“Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”
So begins Charles Dickens’ long-beloved classic ghost story, ‘A Christmas Carol’, as told by the British writer, Charles Dickens.
“Mr. Talley does not believe in ghosts: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”
The reader should know that before going on to co-investigate with me the unexplained happenings recorded in this particular column.
Like any truly rational/scientific thinker, I constantly strive to apply “Occam’s Razor” - the brilliantly rational scientific precept that “the simplest explanation for any occurrence is usually the true one”. This method for revealing the truth is a time-honored construct which has served humanity well for centuries, freeing our minds from the Dark Ages of when so much of humanity once imagined there to be spirits lurking all around us unseen. Muuaaaahahahaha!
It’s very good that you know all that I’ve written above before I now go on to render the following remarkable account.
My son and I were hiking back down from our summiting of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in eastern America. It was the first day of fall, the autumn equinox, in the northern hemisphere.
On our ascent, we had given considerable time to discussing how the Cherokee tribe - and their ancestors, whatever they called themselves - had trod that very same land for millennia on end. We talked with due reverence of our deep respect for all Native Americans - and expressed aloud our even deeper regret for how they had been treated.
We shared with each other how it must have felt to be forced out of these beloved mountains and toward the Trail of Tears, to a reservation a thousand miles away. We talked of how at least a few of the natives must have evaded capture and stayed behind in these beloved mountains.
We even allowed ourselves to wistfully wonder aloud if their spirits might somehow still be there, where we were, in the pristine forest surrounding us.
I would also do well to note here that my son, much like his father, doesn’t “believe” in spirits and/or ghosts wandering around.
When you’re dead, you’re dead. No verifiable scientific evidence has ever been presented to the contrary in the history of humanity, no matter what you or I or anyone else under the sun may “believe” or “swear” to the contrary. There exists not an ounce of respectable, verifiable proof that ghosts/spirits exist. Period.
However, there also exists no proof that they do not.
David heard them first.
“Dad, I hear drums.”
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