It was about that time when I slipped on the green, glowing ectoplasm, when the rattling ghosts dragged their way up to meet me.
Ghosts don't always come from someone who died and wasn't buried correctly, or from cranky, insidious goons whom the brothers Winchester must dispose. Many of the ghosts I've experienced have merely been the haunting of certain lingering, unresolved human essence. Many of these are both borne from and held back by funerary custom, which sprung from our own awareness of mortality. I'm certain that dolphins and elephants have experienced ghosts as well. Domesticated pets seem to find a physical analogue with these spirits, but is that something that they derived from their persistent interspecies contact with humanity?
Something doesn't necessarily want me going into such matters, which is what makes it far more worthwhile to tell, don't you think?
To describe what it's like slipping into the realm of the darkened dead is often thought of being this hole between worlds meticulously partitioned, spackled and patched through which some hulking breach of the universe's order has burst through a wall. Hmmmmmm, a bit overdramatic, and perhaps smacking of camp? Iiiiii'd say so. If we consider that existence acts as a spectrum of low- and high-wavelength frequencies, then those moments when the fantastical meet humanity on its own sensory plane are like those little glitches on a scratched DVD. Unlike a DVD, existence seems to share the organic quality of growing and healing, not unlike the phenomenon of "life", and so those scratches either heal or sometimes scar, and the viewing experience changes around the point of intersection to fit it into the story.
I digress. Many of the beings found at the "ghostly" wavelength have been too solid for too long, and their seemingly disruptive actions are attempts to find change and growth. To use an electron as an example, a ghostly being has been a particle for a tremendously long time, and under their relative existential gravity, they seek to become a wave once again. I'm not certain whether this is a consensus of these beings, but at least the ones that we experience seem to crave this.
Nevertheless, this comes up from a certain phantom likened to a played out situation. These ghosts are more personal visitations; they interact with the human heart and send carrion crows to squawk in a person's ear, as a friendly warning. As the life leaves the situation, the visited individual must follow, or find a piece of him or herself missing. The situation will mean something different for each person, yet the world of the one thusly visited requires a diseased branch be trimmed from its World Tree, to offer forth new growth.
My head pounds, my sinuses fill and drain, and I'm still sweating out the lager consumed to steel my nerves after that harrowing journey out from the collapsing den, yet it's worth it all to know that I've saved a piece of my soul.