Ghost Stories

So, I have had a few people ask me if Cemetery Tours is a book about cemeteries.  I guess the title is a little misleading.  Clearing it up once and for all, no, Cemetery Tours is not a book about a bunch of graveyards.  Cemetery Tours is a novel, a fictional story, about a young man, Michael Sinclair, who can see and communicate with spirits, and who has tried to keep it a secret for his entire life.  The title Cemetery Tours comes from a paranormal investigation television series in the book, also called Cemetery Tours.  The television series was inspired by real TV shows like Ghost Adventures (my favorite!), Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, etc…

I’ve enjoyed ghost stories my entire life.  When I was a kid, I would get all sorts of nerdy science books on the solar system, volcanoes, dinosaurs, you name it.  But I was particularly into marine mammals and ghost stories (I know, the marine mammal thing is kind of irrelevant, but I would be lying if I said I was more into ghosts than whales and dolphins).  The idea that there was something beyond the physical realm, what we can see and hear, fascinated me, and it still does.  I love the possibility that there are things in life that can’t be explained, and maybe aren’t meant to be explained.

Last year, I discovered a new ghostly television show called My Ghost Story: Caught on Camera.  One episode featured a small town in Texas called Jefferson, said to be the  most haunted city in Texas and one of the most haunted in the nation.  This episode aired in early October, so in the spirit of Halloween, my dad and I decided to take a road trip out to explore the haunted town and to see if we would encounter any ghosts ourselves.

Jefferson, it turns out, is a really cool, historic town.

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It has some really beautiful cemeteries also.

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But my favorite photograph that I took on this trip was of a window on an old, boarded up building.  I was trying to peak inside, but the window was so dirty that I couldn’t see through the glass.  I noticed, however, an interesting pattern on the glass, so I snapped a picture of it.

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Now, I’ve caught orbs on camera before, but I’ve never been entirely sold on the notion that orbs are ghosts on film.  However, this orange and white mist, I can not explain.  It can’t be a reflection or a glimpse of something behind the glass, because it’s clearly in between the window and my camera.  My flash wasn’t on, and even if it had been, the distortion or anomaly would have shown up on the other side of the photograph.  It’s not a strand of my hair, because my hair is dark brown and was tied back that day.  By all accounts, the entire picture should have looked like the upper left-hand corner.  That’s all I saw when I took the picture.  But this is what showed up on my memory card.  I’m not saying it’s definitely a ghost, but I will say that I have absolutely no explanation as to what it could be.  All I know is that it shouldn’t be there.

All photographs copyright © Jacqueline E. Smith 2013

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