Monster 50

The ghost.

The ghost has been a staple of scary stories for no doubt thousands of years. It’s practically an antique by now, a haunted one.

We have ghosts to thank for A Christmas Carol, any ghost hunter show, The Sixth Sense and Pac-Man to name a few. Ebenezer Scrooge would still be a stingy curmudgeon if it weren’t for the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, not to mention the ghost of dear old Marley.

Who hasn’t dressed as a ghost for Halloween? A costume so simple, yet so satisfying on a primitive level, that children all over are bewitched by it. Even Charlie Brown couldn’t mess it up by cutting to many holes in it, only making it more endearing somehow.

A few of my favorite ghost stories: The Others, a deliciously gothic movie featuring Nicole Kidman and a pair of light-sensitive kids. The Conjuring, a movie based on the experience which inspired the Amityville Horror story. A Christmas Carol, naturally. The Innkeepers, movie set in an old inn during the last weekend of its closing, and the amateur ghost investigators employed there. The Fog, movie by John Carpenter where a strange fog floats in from the bay harboring vengeful ghosts of lepers from the doomed ship The Elizabeth Dane. Time of Their Lives, an Abbott and Costello movie two ghosts incorrectly branded as traitors during the Revolutionary War must clear their names to find release from a curse.

Of course, there are the myriads of ghost stories passed down through the ages by tradition or experience. I am thinking of phantom hitchhiker tales like Resurrection Mary, Andrew Jackson still stalking around the White House,  or the Bell Witch.

I could go on and mention such famous ghosts as Casper, Beeteljuice, Slimer, the Headless Horseman (stay tuned to the Monster 50 for this one) and Boo Berry. I think you get the meaning.

Ghosts are cool…sometimes cold as ice.