Monday, July 30, 2007

Who You Gonna Call?

A short quiz on how spooky a person you might be.

1) Have you ever gone to a graveyard for reasons other than a funeral, or to visit the last resting place of a relative or friend? (Looking for a quiet place to get laid counts as a "yes.")

2) Have you ever sneaked into a graveyard after dark?

3) At midnight?

4) While there, have you ever tried to have a two-way conversation with the spirits of the dead?

5) Have you ever seen a ghost?

6) More than once?

Give yourself five points for each "yes" answer.


0-5 points: You are mostly normal, probably no spookier anybody else, your shifty gaze notwithstanding.

10-15 points: You are spookier than the average person, probably have a mystical streak, but should be able to pass as sane most places.

20-25 points: You probably own a deck of Tarot cards, read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, and believe that if you could just find the right magic word like Captain Marvel, you could leap tall buildings. You make psychological test-givers nervous.

30 points: If something strange happens in my neighborhood, I'm calling you, because you probably work with Egon, Ray, Peter, Winston , and Janine down at Spook Central. Your nickname is almost certainly "Woo-woo ..."


Brad said...

I had to answer yes to each one. And I was even sober during some of them.

And no, I ain't admitting which ones.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

I've seen the Gray Man (Myrtle Beach) before Huricane Hugo.

Steve Perry said...

During our L.A. days, back when I wore a tie to work and was completely straight, never having inhaled the devil's hemp, nor nibbled the magic mushrooms, I worked at an aluminum company. Place was a giant warehouse of extruded and cast aluminum that we bought in bulk and then jobbed to the aircraft industry, with an office building directly attached.

Closed on weekends, but now and again, the order board -- inside sales -- had to go in and do some big quotes, which involved figuring out prices and checking stock in the cardex and then writing it up.

There were six of us working that Saturday morning. At maybe ten o'clock, I took a break, went out into the warehouse, where there was a Coke machine, to get a drink.

There were a couple warehouse guys with clipboards, taking inventory, I nodded at them, but didn't speak. Got my Coke, went back into the office. To my supervisor, I said, "I didn't know they were taking inventory today."

To which he said, "They aren't."

Oh, then who are those two guys in aisle four?

Well, as it turned out, nobody. Literally.

My boss and I and the other office dweebs went out to see. Nobody there. The placed was locked tight, dead-bolt locks, no windows. It had a ten-foot-tall barbed-wire topped chain link fence around it, a full-time gate guard/watchman, and nobody had signed in or out, save us.

Here's the kicker -- there weren't any unaccounted for cars, and this was L.A. so ...

It is certainly possible that somebody could have climbed the fence, picked the door lock, and wandered around with clipboards, then left the same way. But there was no evidence of that, and no reason for them have done it.
Aluminum sales weren't on anybody's list of industrial espionage targets.

So, what did I see? I could tell what clothes the two had on, hair color, boots, clipboards.

Did a stray cosmic ray hit a neuron crooked? Was my brain chemistry bubbling for some reason enough to cause a full-on visual hallucination? Or was it Ghost Writers in the Aisle ... ?

I don't know. Nobody had died in the warehouse, so whatever it was, it wasn't a traditional leftover spirit. But it was something.

The second time I saw a ghost, it wasn't a dead guy either, but one who was about to be ... well, let's leave that for another time ...

Dan Gambiera said...

Does it count if it was to set up telescopes for astronomy photos?

Steve Perry said...

Doing science doesn't count. Pseudoscience does -- if, instead of astronomy, you were doing astrology, that'd work.

Steve Perry said...

Second Ghost (third, if you count the first sighting as two, since there were a pair of 'em.)

Fourth of July weekend, 2001, Westercon, Portland, Oregon.

I was on a panel, had gotten there early, and the room was empty. I went up to the table in front, sat, was fiddling with some notes.

People started to arrive, and the first one was Poul Anderson, the writer. He sat out in the audience, smiled, I smiled and nodded back -- we had been bumping into each other for twenty-odd years, but had only a passing acquaintance. Been on a couple of panels together, like that.

People arrived, the panel cranked up, we did our thing, and I left.
Thought no more about it. (Didn't think anything of it at the time, actually).

A few weeks later, an online note: Poul Anderson had passed away, on the 31st of July.

Crap, I should have gone over and spoken to him. He was a nice guy, and I much admired his writing. A shame.

Then there was the obit in Locus and assorted places, and apparently, Anderson had been ill for some time, and had died at home, in hospice care, after having spent the last month in the hospital.

So he couldn't have been in Portland at the convention if he was in the hospital in Orinda, California ...

Poul Anderson was not a man I'd mistake for anybody else, I'da been willing to swear on anything anybody considers holy, had anybody asked, that I'd seen him in that room before that panel. I could pass a lie-detector test, I'm sure.

No reasonable explanation I've come up with. I had to be mistaken, it could not have been him, but ...

Dan Moran said...

Albert Finney died in my reality. I saw his obit on tv. This happened sometime in the early 90s. Then I saw him in "Erin Brockovich," and there he was, alive and everything. I still want to know what that obit was about.