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Posts Tagged ‘ghosts’

The Haunting; Or, the Ghost of Ty Cobb

October 31, 2012 | by

In July, a bat of Ty Cobb’s sold at auction for $250,000. The buyer, a Denver collector named Tyler Tysdal, said the bat was a present for his two-year-old son, John Tyler. This seemed to me very risky: as a small child, I was terrified of the ghost of Ty Cobb.

I can only imagine this had its genesis with my own dad. When I was small, he wrote a novel that dealt with the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, and baseball players of the era were a frequent topic of dinner-table conversation. In any event, I was somehow aware of the outfielder’s penchant for virulent racism, spiking opposing players, and general nastiness.

The real fear, however, did not set in until the day in 1985 when Pete Rose broke Cobb’s all-time hit record. Read More »


Boo! And Other Ways to Scare Kids

October 31, 2012 | by

  • The top ten books for creeping out kids: a guide for parents.
  • “Give your ghost a life story, and other rules for writing a ghost story.”
  • What scares Neil Gaiman?
  • Scariest of all: “I wouldn’t have known about my Russian pirate translator had I not set a Google Alert for the title of my debut novel when it was published, in April 2011.” Peter Mountford chronicles an unlikely alliance.
  • “It was, perhaps, inevitable that Homo floresiensis, the three-foot-tall species of primitive human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores, would come to be widely known as ‘hobbits.’ After all, like J. R. R. Tolkien’s creation, ‘they were a little people, about half our height.’ But a New Zealand scientist planning an event about the species has been banned from describing the ancient people as ‘hobbits’ by representatives of the Tolkien estate.”




    Letter from a Haunted House: Part 2

    October 23, 2012 | by

    The story so far

    Usually I go to bed early, but given all the recent ghost activity in my house, I was getting a little spooked. So I was still up at eleven P.M., in bed and on the phone with my husband, Clancy. While we were talking, something black circled my bed twice, so fast I wasn’t sure I saw it, and then flew into a storage area where I have been slowly setting up a shrine. I yelled out twice while it circled me, but somehow Clancy didn’t hear me and continued talking.

    I said, “There’s a bat or a bird in my apartment.”

    “Is it a bat or a bird?”

    “I don’t know. It may be a bird. I think it’s a bat.”

    It had flown through so quickly, now I wasn’t sure I’d seen it. I said, “I think he’s in my shrine.”

    I got a broom and went to look. It was only my second experience with a bat, and I didn’t know if he would get scared and come flying at me.

    On the far wall, hanging from a pipe, was a very small thing. It might have been a clump of dust, or a piece of metal pipe with a cap over it, or it might have been a very tiny bat, hanging upside down, wings folded.

    Read More »


    Letter from a Haunted House: Part 1

    October 3, 2012 | by

    I rented my apartment, a large studio on the top floor of a three-story house listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, sight unseen, through Craigslist. When my mom asked me, months later, for its address, I had to do a Google search. Among the results was a mention of my place being haunted. I didn’t click on the link. I did mention it to my husband, Clancy, in passing.

    On the day I moved in, without giving it any thought, we started to refer to one storage space—there are three, two low-ceilinged ones on either side of the pitch-roofed room and one closet—as “the bad area.” We had barely walked in, we (at least I) had forgotten the ghost, and here we were—“the bad area.”

    In fairness to the rational-minded, the bad area was just that. It had a white door on hinges that came to my chest. The floorboards were unfinished. Brown insulation fiber had come loose in the ceilings and was all over the floor. It was dusty and full of cobwebs. An industrial, kevlar-and-aluminum fire-escape ladder was in one corner. The previous tenant lived here three years. I don't think he swept in there one time. I don't think anyone did. (The other storage area was half open, clean, with finished floors.)Read More »


    Letter from India: The Haunting

    September 6, 2012 | by

    “I think this hotel is haunted,” I told my traveling companion, Clancy.

    I have never said anything quite like that before. Now, I have unconventional beliefs. I believe when others tell me they have seen a ghost, particularly if they have details—say, a long nose and a tuxedo, or a suggestion from an old lady that we “touch now, dearie.” But it still sounds like crazy talk. I am aware of that.

    “You’re right,” he said.


    Then we were both afraid to turn out the light. We were in the Rajmata Suite, where the woman who lived in the hotel used to sleep, back when it was a home. Actually, the correct word is palace. When you turned out the light it was pitch black in the room. In that darkness, I felt—briefly—a unique dread. It was not a menace. Just a funny intimation. To put it into words is to coarsen what was fine: an intimation that one day I would die.

    Read More »


    Book Mazes, Ugly Covers, Hauntings

    July 20, 2012 | by

  • Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo have made a maze out of books.
  • Beautiful books, ugly covers.
  • Sure, e-books are huge, but are they heirlooms?
  • Regardless, Penguin has acquired self-publishing platform Author Solutions.
  • And the British government is looking into the whole public-library-e-book-lending situation.
  • In other news, a haunted bookstore?
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