Haiku: Thumbs Up

They weigh my sins, they

balance my good deeds.

But wait.  There’s a thumb

on the scale.

***

j.o.   6/30/17

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Haiku: Oops

Coffin’ed, he went down

Into disrupted

earth.  The bottom floor:

all out.

 

The ride down had been

Smooth.  Not a gelled thin

Hair had been dislodged.

His hands

 

clasped a rosary;

he wore a scapular:

(not his, he was

Jewish).

***

j.o.  6/29/17

Hot Date

(A story from Rest in Fleece:  Ghosts  Tall Tales & Horror Stories by Jan Olandese)

Product Details

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Jake had tired of being single. After his breakup with Trisha, things had been good:  no more bitching about who didn’t take out the garbage, who didn’t wipe the dishes,  who didn’t this, who didn’t that, blah, blah, blah. But after a time, his own company (and having to iron his shirts) got old.  You can only eat so many frozen dinners.

What to do? Jake’s buddy Cal had done well with online dating services. (In Marin County, the women outnumbered the men seven to one).   So Jake followed suit and claimed he was from Mill Valley.  Jake was actually from Richmond. There were other wee variations from reality in his dating profiles: his height (more), weight (less), his occupation (a better one), his age (younger), and his interests (what interests?).

Jake was, to be brutally frank, an utter cad.  His social rap sheet was rife with many particularly vile examples of assholery. He had been known to excuse himself to go to the men’s room at the end of the meal, then slip out the back door, leaving his date to pick up the enormous tab.  He was also deft at texting other women while on dates, even carrying on phone conversations (a Luddite, he still wore one of those Bluetooth devices over his ear, under the mistaken impression it was a cool look).  The light blinked, hypnotizing his already stupified dates.  Those who managed to stay conscious thought he had a third eye.

He was disrespectful, late and laggardly. He refused to open doors or pull seats out. His was the Genghis Khan School of Etiquette.  Occasionally (if he wanted something) he’d pull out all the stops and buy flowers (two day old, half price bouquets, from the supermarket).

Jake accepted dinner invitations from women who cooked, and usually by the second course had already found things about which to complain.  He’d say he had allergies. If a woman grilled steaks, he’d be vegetarian.  Fish: he would informatively discuss toxic mercury levels in the ocean.  If he got chicken piccata, he’d whinge about capers.  It was always something. To make matters yet worse, his phone was right there on the table, so he could text other women and receive their calls.

When out on the town, it was not unusual for him to ditch his date for someone cuter across the room. (He liked to keep his options open).  He also (at least once that I know of) had been known to strand a woman by leaving her at one party, while he moved on to the next, better one.

The holidays were his favorite season. He would hint at wonderful presents in order to be sure the woman got him something good. Then when gift exchange time came, he’d say earnestly “I sent it back, it wasn’t good enough for you.”

He insisted his women all be slender as anorexics, making him king of the unwelcome remark:  “Dessert? Really?” “That top makes you look fat.” “She’ll have the salad, no croutons, no dressing.”

How you ask, did he get by with it?  Simple.  He was very attractive and dressed well.  He looked good (on paper). No new dates knew how the old ones had gone. When asked how it was that he was still single (this question never came up after a date) he would reply “I just haven’t met Ms Right. Until maybe now!”  People always hope for the best. And so it would go.

***

One night, Jake sees an ad for a new dating service on late night tv, cutting into his movie. Matchsticks dot com.  Our Matches Stick Forever!  He can’t resist. He gets to the website, registers and logs on. It has an immediate effect on him, almost as if the very website emitted a magic that made it unusually delicious and magnetic.

Jake is certainly blown away. Never has he seen so many unspeakably beautiful ladies in one place. (Usually they were all dogs).  He wonders briefly if this is one of those rip off mail order bride sites.  But no, they’re not Moldavian.

He decides to try the Matchsticks Matrix, even though it costs him a tenner (generally he is averse to ponying up money in his search for love).  He plugs in his astrological sign (he writes Aries. His real sign is Dungheap), hobbies (he makes these up: lacrosse, polo, fine dining).   He finishes his personal inventory and presses “enter.”  In a very short time his computer dings: he has received an email with a list of potential matches.  He opens it and to a slew of highly eye-catching photos.  He adores them all.

He ponders his choices: Lillythe, an attorney, a gorgeous brunette.  Hekatie, a ski instructor from Vail.  Isis, a restaurateur. But wait.  Hold the phone.  Who’s this? His eyes bug out like those of a cartoon character who has just ingested a bottle of arsenic.

Her name, it says, is Charlotte Ann Abaddon.  Her motto:  “Call me Bad.” She is completely fetching” tall, blonde, huge blue eyes, long legs. Her profile says she’s a professional, an actuarial accountant with the firm Brackisch, Dante and Sludge.  She models for that fashion mag, Vive le France, and likes wine tasting, opera, poetry and art.  She’s dressed in cool, urban-chic black.

Profiles like this might intimidate many guys.  But not Jake, whose self esteem knows no bounds: it spills over, drowning his common sense.  He snaps a fast selfie with his iPhone, downloads it to his computer to airbrush, then sends that with a quick note to Charlotte Ann.

The next day, Jake gets an email from Matchsticks that Charlotte Ann has responded to his message.  He logs on, reads her missive, and is quite giddy with pleasure.  She can’t wait to meet him.  (Again, his intuition, such as it is, sits downcast in the corner of his consciousness, shouted down by the bully: his ego).

Charlotte Ann invites him to cocktails at the Fairmont. He says yes, and leaves work early to take BART into the city.  He stops at Nordstrom’s to get new clothes (his entire wardrobe lies crumpled in a smelly, moldy pile next to his washer and old newspapers he forgot to take out) and changes in the store.  He arrives early and wanders up to the Hurricane Bar.

Jake doesn’t bother to soak in the atmosphere at this famous spot. His phone holds more allure. He’s busily texting away when the lovely and statuesque Charlotte Ann arrives at his table.

“Hi, I’m Charlotte Ann.  You must be Jake.  My, you look so much better than your photo. So often it’s the other way around,” she says, shaking her lovely head.

“So true,” Jake commiserates.  “A pleasure to meet you.  You. Look. Marvelous.” (He spews out that tired Ricardo Montalban line like some third-rate Hollywood agent).

Charlotte Ann smiles (her teeth are Crest White Stripped, and just slightly long) and asks for the drinks menu.  She orders a Zombie. (Hint).  Jake gets a Singapore Sling.  They sit there with their umbrella drinks. For once, Jake is really taken with a date. She is so stunning.  He keeps his Bluetooth in his pocket, along with his iPhone.  He gazes into Charlotte Ann’s eyes and falls, hard.  This is new for him.   He is awash in the rosy glow of love at first sight.  Unfortunately, no second sight was involved.

Soaking in his new infatuation (and alcohol), Jake doesn’t observe little things:  the server knowing exactly how Charlotte Ann likes her drinks, or the bartender reading her hand signs like a baseball pitcher watching the catcher.   He doesn’t for a nanosecond wonder why such a hot ticket is hanging on his every (lame) word, not to mention his endless monologue about football. It’s all there for Jake to see, but it’s hiding behind his hubris: invisible.

Several drinks and appetizers later, Charlotte Ann excuses herself to powder her nose.  Jake waits for her return. He people watches. He waits. He plays with his cell. And waits.

“Sir,” says the server, and presents Jake with the check.  It’s a steep one: after all, this is the Fairmont.  Jake wonders if he has enough credit on his bank card.  He hands it to the waiter and holds his breath.  Meanwhile he begins to feel slightly sick.  He goes to the men’s room to wash his face.

The door automatically clangs shut behind him. It’s sealed tighter than a bank vault.  Jake is befuddled.  But not for long.  Because his brain fog is a result of the loaded drinks: now he’s in a state of encroaching paralysis. As he stands there, the men’s room makes up for his lack of motion and swings to and fro. (Hey, it’s San Francisco. It’s an earthquake).

After it’s over (safety first), the men’s room, with a sound like a muffled fart, begins to descend. It’s really an elevator. And it’s going down.  ‘Way down.

No.  Further.

***

Ding! The elevator stops. It’s been a long ride indeed, and Jake has fallen asleep on the floor. Jake’s consciousness switches to the “on” position at the sound of another fart, which heralds the unbolting of the door.  It is opened by a  . . . wha’?

A daemon!  Even now, Jake is shallow.  Rather than his destination, he’s all about appearances.  “Eeeuu, so ugly,” he thinks. Look at that scaly skin, the ET eyes, the claws, the tail.  And fat.  Rolls and rolls of it.  If daemons had weight, this one would be an easy half ton.

Noting the flames and brimstone in the background, Jake now regrets the countless skipped Sunday schools, slept-through sermons, the “I’m not religious.” They were RIGHT.  Uh oh.

He looks at the daemon again and suddenly recognizes the shoes.  Those Louboutins were the exact same pair on Charlotte Ann’s pretty feet!  Did the daemon capture her, too? No wonder she didn’t come back! He’d better see where she is.

“Jake, Jake.”  The daemon spoke, but in Charlotte Ann’s voice.

Jake nearly pisses all over himself.  What a turn of events this is.

“Are, are, are you, uh,” he stammers.  Charlotte Ann cuts him off.

“Yes, the very same.  Call me Bad.  Come on down. Welcome to Purgatory. I’m in charge of this department.”

“Which is?” asks Jake, still numb.

“‘Our Matches Stick Forever.’ Truth in advertising, you know.”  Charlotte Ann took a moment to pick her snout with an aardvark claw, examining her lode before releasing it to the fire pit on her immediate right, where it sizzled a moment.

“Come on, Jake, sweet pea. Time for our second date.  We have all eternity.”  She shows her teeth (somehow, they are still sparkling white) and prods him with her trident.

***

from Rest in Fleece: Ghosts  Tall Tales and Horror Stories by Jan Olandese

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=rest+in+fleece%2B+jan+olandese

Product Details

Haiku: Rest In Fleece

May you sleep soundly

In the ruched rayon

Of your casket. May

You fart

At your wake, startling

Your frenemies, there

For free food and booze.

May you

 

Grace the viewing room

At Lethe Brothers, and

May all the chairs be

Taken.

 

May your funeral

Be solemn, refined.

May the priest not flub

His lines.

 

May your burial

Go smoothly. May your

Casket not be dropped

Head first.

 

May your Other Side

Be fun, and not a drag.

May you always rest

In fleece.

***

(From Rest In Fleece: Ghosts  Tall Tales & Horror Stories, by Jan Olandese)

https://www.amazon.com/Rest-Fleece-Ghosts-Horror-Stories-ebook/dp/B0721NW6R3/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

Say Cheese: Ghost Photography!

(This is an excerpt from my book About Ghosts:  A Useful Handbook, on amazon) about ghosts coverwhh sevenmumler 2Image_of_a_ghost,_produced_by_double_exposure_in_1899mumler 17

With a little digging, it’s easy to find ghostly photographs.  Some show actual ghosts (or fakes) and some, streaks of light, orbs, or other irregularities that signal a paranormal presence. An interesting place to explore for examples is http://www.ghostresearch.org, which analyzes photos for paranormal contents. There are links to many photos that look ghostly but aren’t, as well as those they’ve deemed authentic.

The best known spirit photographers of their time  (whose work made up the illustrations in my book, About Ghosts:  A Useful Handbook) were  William Hope and William Mumler.  Hope was English; and Mumler, who was American, was considered the father of spirit photography. Both were proven to have produced fraudulent photographs.  The work of both photographers remained popular, despite this, because of their appeal to sentiment (and probably, wishful thinking).

The history of ghost photography is as old as the camera.  In mid-Victorian times, people were believers: spiritualism was a popular fad. There were séances and all kinds of spirit phenomena (again, much of it fake).  There was much societal upheaval caused by the industrial revolution in the mid to late 1800’s, which created a great deal of emotional and spiritual discomfort and insecurity.  People reached out to the mediums and others who offered support from the Other Side.

The camera was coming into its own.  So were creative photographers willing to take advantage of a wanting-to-believe public. A majority of the ghost photos from this period have been debunked by the experts.

The popularity of spirit photography has soared during times when culture and society were hungry for spiritual nurture.  The Great War was such a time.  Nothing like it had been experienced by the world.  The death toll was enormous.  People were hungry for reassurance that connection with their loved ones might bring. So planchettes (or Ouija boards) and table tipping, séances and mediums all grew in popularity during this period.

The most famous ghost photo of all, the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, was studied in the 1930’s by the well-known and reputable expert, Harry Price.  Price thought it authentic, but this assessment has been disputed by some modern photographers.

Some ghosts seen in cell phone camera shots are just a result of the way these cameras work, and are not actual phantoms.  Some: but not all.

Currently, ghosts are popular topics for television, podcasts, and youTube. We live in uncertain times.  Terrorism pops up unpredictably.  International relations have become at times quite strained.  Many never recovered from the economic downturn of 2008-9, generated by the housing crisis. It is possible that society’s insecurities push this, but certainly modern technology does.  Today it is relatively easy to make videos for popular internet consumption, to blog and share special interest websites.  This makes information much more accessible for those interested, as well as easier to disseminate by those who have material to share.

Have you taken a photograph that contains a ghostly image?  I did, once.  I used a 35mm throwaway camera on a trip (around 1996) to Victoria, B.C.  In the Empress Hotel, my group had tea in a parlor apart from the main crowd.  It contained period furnishings and portraits.  I used the portrait wall as a backdrop and when everyone was seated, I took a snapshot.

When developed, it had very odd streaks of light (over the heads of the group and in front of the portraits), which I think might be more than photographic anomalies.  I’d had a feeling of being watched during our tea, and I learned later that the Empress has quite the reputation as a haunted hotel. Witnesses have supplied many reports of paranormal phenomena there.

Most ghost photography doesn’t actually capture apparitions, but there are a percentage of these pictures in which paranormal phenomena cannot be ruled out.  Most cell phone ghosts are cell phone oddities. But that weird image caught on your iPhone photo may be a ghost, after all.

***

 

 

About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook

I’m happy to announce my new book is now available(!!)   It’s a nonfiction collection of essays about ghosts: their types, some ideas about their greater meaning in terms of the psyche, culture and spirituality, and a selection of true accounts of ghostly encounters.  About Ghosts:  A Useful Handbook is concise, original, and offers new perspectives about this slice of the paranormal.  Illustrated with antique “spirit photos” from the past.  If you’re intrigued by ghosts, or have encountered them yourself, this may have your name on it!  Thank you for checking it out, and for sharing the link with any friends who may be interested!    

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books/book-detail-page?ie=UTF8&bookASIN=B072Z36R8H&index=default

Types of Ghosts

Talk is cheap.  We can tell stories all day long, but what exactly are we talking about when we say “ghosts?”  Based upon sightings, these vary considerably.

The ghost as filmstrip: This kind of ghost appears like a slice of another time. It walks through walls as if they don’t exist (and maybe in his time, they didn’t.  This ghost appears to be non-sentient, just a visual trace of someone from the past.

The ghost as sentient being:  This ghost appears aware of those present. It may or may not communicate with them.

The ghost as messenger: This ghost may or may not be someone known to the witness, but he has a message to convey which he does telepathically, verbally, or in other ways.  An example would be a ghost appearing someplace significant in a way that would be meaningful to a witness. A ghost like this may appear to someone during a crisis of some kind.

The ghost as harbinger: This kind of manifestation appears to warn us about something.

The negative ghost:  This ghost doesn’t want you to be there and will make that clear.  These presences as reported by witnesses can be quite terrifying.

The angelic or daemonic presence:  not actually ghosts, but paranormal presences.  They are self-descriptive.

Spirits of the once living:  This ghost was a relative, or perhaps just a person who lived in the home before you moved there. It is usually neutral or sometimes even welcoming.  Witnesses notice something’s there, even if it’s not visible. Pets do, too.

Elementals: These are an entity which was never  human. They’re something else.  Nature spirits (called devas by the Findhorn people), fairies, other beings fall into this category.

Spirit of some other kind: not an elemental but not a human spirit, either.  Witnesses see these as shadows, among other things.  Spiritualist tradition warns that these can be dangerous, but they are not daemons.

Ghosts with an agenda: These spirits have something on their minds, some purpose that propels them and some would say prevents them from “crossing over.”

Ghosts with issues:  These ghosts seem to exist in a spiral of dysfunction: absorbed by issues that are as dead as they, yet held back from crossing over by those very problems.  Needy ghosts (codependents) fit into this category.

Ghosts of Contagion:  These ghosts appear to have a negative energy field, which can be very unpleasant to be around.  They spread malaise.  A type of negative ghost.

These basic classifications are just a starting place. There are more.  Also, these are ghosts, as opposed to other paranormal beings:  perhaps vampires, werewolves or other folkloric creatures. But it gives us something to work with as we explore ghosts in terms of psychological, spiritual and cultural symbolism.

Types of Ghosts

Talk is cheap.  We can tell stories all day long, but what exactly are we talking about when we say “ghosts?”  Based upon sightings, these vary considerably.

  • The ghost as filmstrip. This kind of ghost appears like a slice of another time. It walks through walls as if they don’t exist (and maybe in his time, they didn’t.

This ghost appears to be non-sentient, just a visual trace of someone from the past.

  • The ghost as sentient being. This ghost appears aware of those present. It may or may not communicate with them.
  • The ghost as messenger. This ghost may or may not be someone known to the witness, but he has a message to convey which he does telepathically, verbally or signaling in other ways. An example would be a ghost appearing someplace significant in a way that would be meaningful to a witness. A ghost like this may appear to someone during a crisis of some kind.
  • The ghost as harbinger. This kind of manifestation appears to warn us about something.
  • The negative ghost. This ghost is doesn’t want you to be there and will make that clear.  These presences as reported by witnesses can be quite terrifying.
  • The angelic or daemonic presence: not actually ghosts, but paranormal presences.  They are self-descriptive.
  • Spirit of the once living. This ghost was a relative, or perhaps just a person who lived in the home before you moved there. It is usually neutral or sometimes even welcoming.  Witnesses notice something’s there, even if it’s not visible. Pets do, too.
  • These are an entity which was never  human. They’re something else.  Nature spirits (called devas by the Findhorn people), fairies, other beings fall into this category.
  • Spirit of some other kind: not an elemental but not a human spirit, either. Witnesses see these as shadows, among other things.  Spiritualist tradition warns that these can be dangerous, but they are not daemons.
  • Ghosts with an agenda. These spirits have something on their minds, some purpose that propels them and some would say prevents them from “crossing over.”

These basic classifications are just a place to embark.  There are more!  Also, these are ghosts, as opposed to other paranormal beings:  perhaps vampires, werewolves or other folkloric creatures. But it gives us something to work with as we explore ghosts in terms of psychological, spiritual and cultural symbolism.

Say Cheese: Ghost Photography

With a little digging it’s easy to find ghostly photographs online or in books.  Some show actual ghosts (or fakes) and some, streaks of light, orbs, or other irregularities that signal a paranormal presence. An interesting place to explore for examples is www.ghostresearch.org, which analyzes photos for paranormal contents. There are links to many photos that look ghostly but aren’t, as well as those they’ve deemed authentic.

The history of ghost photography is as old as the camera.  In mid-Victorian times, people were believers: spiritualism was a popular fad. There were séances and all kinds of spirit phenomena (again, much of it fake).  There was much societal upheaval caused by the industrial revolution in the mid to late 1800’s, which created much emotional and spiritual discomfort.  People reached out to the mediums and others who offered support from the Other Side.  The camera was coming into its own.  So were creative photographers willing to take advantage of a wanting-to-believe public. A great many of the photos of this period have been debunked by the experts.

The popularity of spirit photography has soared during times when culture and society were hungry for spiritual nurture.  The Great War was such a time.  Nothing like it had been experienced by the world.  The death and injury toll was enormous.  People were hungry for reassurance that connection with their loved ones might bring. So planchettes (or Ouija boards) and table tipping, séances and mediums all grew in popularity during this period.

The most famous ghost photo of all, the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, was studied in the 1930’s by the well-known and reputable expert, Harry Price.  Price thought it authentic, but this assessment has been disputed by some modern photographers.

Some ghosts seen in cell phone camera shots are a result of the way these cameras work, and are not actual phantoms.  Some: but not all.

Currently, ghosts are popular topics for television, podcasts, and youTube. We live in uncertain times.  Terrorism pops up unpredictably.  International relations have become at times quite strained.  Many never recovered from the economic downturn of 2008-9, generated by the housing crisis. It is possible that society’s insecurities push this but certainly modern technology does.  Today it is relatively easy to make videos for popular internet consumption, to blog and share special interest websites.  This makes information much more accessible for those interested as well as easier to disseminate by those who have material to share.

Have you taken a photograph that contains a ghostly image?  I did, once.  I used a 35mm throwaway camera on a trip (around 1996) to Victoria, B.C.  In the Empress Hotel, my group had tea in a parlor apart from the main crowd.  It contained period furnishings and portraits.  I used the portrait wall as a backdrop and when everyone was seated, I took a snapshot.  When developed, it  had very odd streaks of light (over the heads of the group and in front of the portraits), which I think might be more than photographic anomalies.  I’d had a feeling of being watched during our tea, and I learned later that the Empress has a reputation as a haunted hotel, and witnesses have supplied many reports of paranormal phenomena there.

Most ghost photography doesn’t actually capture apparitions, but there are a percentage of these pictures in which paranormal phenomena cannot be ruled out.  Most cell phone ghosts are cell phone oddities, but maybe that weird image caught on your iPhone photo is genuine, after all.

Hauntings as Modern Dysfunctions

The Amityville Horror, a contemporary case (regarded by some as real, by some as pure fiction), is about a house on Long Island that became reportedly progressively more haunted by some kind of daemonic power.

As with so many haunted houses in fiction or real life, it was a bargain. (Thus another lesson: you get what you pay for).   The longer the family remained, the worse things became.

The overriding theme in Amityville case and other similar stories, something everyone but those affected seems to grasp, is “get out of there!”  Yet the inhabitants doggedly hang in, even as the distressing events escalate to terrifying level.

The haunted house/haunted inhabitants might be taken out of a paranormal context and placed in one that is contemporary and psycho/spiritual.  The ghost or haunt might represent symbiosis, codependence, or abusive situations. In the stories, the people always remain in the haunted house, up until it nearly kills them (unless, in some cases, it does).  As people remain in unhealthy relationships, attached for the wrong reasons, people stay in haunted houses.

Think of this in terms of addiction or compulsion as well. These are very real dangers:  as destructive as any phantom.  As is the case in hauntings, the individual must first admit there’s a problem.  Also, he must heed the warnings (interventions) and avoid the triggers (whether a substance, a behavior, a person, or the case of actual haunting, a place) in order to heal. So in this way, the ghosts or haunts of old folklore and legend appear to correlate to problems which haunt modern individuals and culture.

A book that exemplifies haunting as dysfunction is Stephen King’s The Shining.  In it, the Torrances, a couple and their young son, move to the remote Overlook Hotel in the mountains of Colorado. The father got a job as a caretaker, hoping to write.  But he struggles with alcoholism and anger issues.  The latter are like the furnace boiler in the basement of the hotel which we are told has to be watched very closely by the caretaker so it doesn’t explode.

The Overlook can be likened to the superego/ subconscious of the caretaker.  The hotel is haunted (as is the caretaker).  The hotel is the stage, the dysfunctions are the actors or ghosts.  The caretaker becomes overwhelmed by these and goes crazy and is indeed ‘a danger to himself and others.’  True to form as exemplified in classic hauntings, he refuses leave the place. While they do need the money (and in most haunted houses people don’t leave because they cannot afford to move again), his increasing symbiosis with the Overlook and his issues with anger and substance abuse are his primary motivation for staying.

The reader is given a hint: the origin of the name Torrance is Scottish and it means ‘from the craggy hills’ – ‘tor’ may also mean ‘watchtower.’  These are perfect choices for the plot and tie in with the dual purpose: a great ghost/horror story and a fine and effective allegory.

In The Shining, the ghosts enable the caretaker: they become the devil on his shoulder. In other hauntings, ghosts may alternatively be messengers from our subconscious, or perhaps from the Divine, coming to warn us that here lies danger.

According to Jeremy Taylor, the noted dream work author, a nightmare is simply your subconscious, tugging at your sleeve, trying to get your attention when other hints have failed.  Perhaps in the context of modern dysfunction, this might apply to ghosts and hauntings, as well.

The haunted house, in fact, might be a symbol of an unhappy or unhealthy state of emotional or spiritual being.  The being, the ‘housing’ of the psyche and the spirit, is out of balance for one of the abovementioned reasons.  And it thus becomes an unhealthy, disintegrated, haunted.

To heal, become integrated and whole, and to exorcise the haunt or the dysfunctions it symbolizes, one must first acknowledge it/the dysfunctions exist, and then be rid of it by whatever means are at hand.

When we read of daemonic possession, we have the impression if some unholy power has taken over an individual.  An exorcist is eventually called in when all else fails.  Think of possession as a level of sickness, of disintegration (remember, the words health, oneness or integration come from the same Latin root word).  When one is struggling with an addiction, or an addictive behavior and an unhealthy behavior or dysfunction, one is, in a way, possessed.  The equivalent of an exorcist might be a medical, psychological or spiritual specialist:  a doctor, a counselor or psychologist, or clergy.  And sometimes an exorcist may indeed be called for. There are situations in which exorcism has been effective when nothing else worked, and when other causes of malady have been ruled out.

Folklore, myth and story offer us stories and symbols which are more than frightening-good entertainment. They are that: but they are also meaningful in terms of the daemons and ghosts which inhabit our beings from time to time, with which we struggle.