My mom 100% unabashedly believed in ghosts. I thus grew up with ghosts in my corner, or so that is where I placed them. It may be that nobody outs baby in the corner, but ghosts they readily belong therein. My son, until about the age of four, held regular ghost pizza parties. Apparently, ghosts have an extreme fondness of cheese pizza. Growing up, the mothers in my South Bronx neighborhood would get together and swap soldier stories. Or rather, they would swap stories about their encounter with and survival of a ghost spirit. In one particular apartment building, we moved three times because the first two apartments were haunted. Apparently, in one apartment, an old grandmother ghost would curl up in our corner chair and sob. That’s what my mom told me the other women told her after my mother had a horrible miscarriage in that room. I didn’t quite understand why at the age of seven I had to know this. But apparently, seven is a very important year in the life of a Puerto Rican girl. That’s a whole other blog. Overall, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say I grew up quite comfortable with the idea of ghosts. I must admit, however, I grew up deathly afraid of the beat of a drum for I associated it with angry warrior spirits giving me a warning. I was seven, what can I say?
Although, I grew up with said ghost sensibilities I was not particularly keen on ever again willingly living with them. As such, I avoid looking at mirrors at night (that’s when they stare back at you according to some Puerto Rican myths and superstitions). I recently came across this article on a house for sale in Pennsylvania that was not readily moving off the real estate market due to a slight problem. See, it is haunted or it is so advertised. Ghosts don’t seem to add to the market value or curb appeal of houses. On the market listing, it notes that the house is slightly haunted but that it is nothing serious. If there is nothing serious then why even note that it is haunted. The only way it would really sell is if it were severely haunted. No one wants a slightly haunted house. That is just an annoyance. Severely haunted, now that would be an adventure. Of course, one other major turnoff about the Pennsylvania house is that the ghost apparently hangs out in the mirror behind one. That I am not cool with.
I can see some positive aspects to living in a haunted house. For starters, you have a captive audience to do dry runs of your powerpoint presentations. My family is over hearing me talk social justice, community based participatory research, blah blah blah. A ghost, well what else they have going on? Second, if a burglar should drop by, the ghost can be a very cool home security system. Think not only of the money you’ll save on an alarm system but think also of how all your crap, I mean precious goods, will be protected. I would so become a hoarder at that point. Third, they can keep you grounded. When you think you are having a bad day, go home and converse with the ghost. They have to be having a slightly worse day than you, right? I mean they did just have to listen to you go on about how you got to venture forth into the cold, cold world. It’s all about perspective.
Did I note that this haunted house in Pennsylvania is listed at $144,000 for a four bedroom house? In New York, that asking price maybe gets you a closet or a parking space. I can work with slightly haunted for that amount.