Monday, October 1, 2007

Ghostly Apparition at Book Signing Event

I must admit to being a little apprehensive about having a book signing event in a shop known for its resident ghost. Stories of assistants having their braids pulled from behind, feelings of “being watched” and experiences such as “I felt a sharp pain on my forearm and then saw bite marks” all seemed quite extraordinary and far fetched. Needless to say, I was a little nervous but intrigued.

On the day of the book signing, the store owner sat me in a prominent part of the shop and served me a wonderful pot of English tea. As people walked into the store, purchased my books and brought them to me for signature, I noticed a young man taking lots of photographs. He was a military man, home on leave from the service due to a leg injury and was enjoying himself taking photographs.

At the end of the event, having drunk a whole pot of tea, I needed to use the rest room before my long journey home. I asked where the rest room was located and the owner said, “Well, if you’re ever going to see the ghost, that’s where it hangs out – down by the store room, next to the restroom.” Great! This was just what I needed to know. Nevertheless, not being a timid person by nature, I decided to be very brave (or very stupid) by challenging the ghost and said, “If you’re here – show yourself!” Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing! Confident of no ghostly apparitions, I strode confidently back to the table, collected my books and belongings and drove home.

Two weeks later, I was back at the store and asked the owner why the young man had taken so many photographs. “Oh, he was hoping your presence would stimulate some activity with the ghost,” she replied. I chuckled at the thought, but then she showed me the photographs taken at the book signing event. I couldn’t believe my eyes; one photograph clearly showed the image of a man standing in the aisle close to the table where I was signing books! Although I could see the man’s image, I could also plainly see the product on the shelves! Another photograph showed the Scottish flag that was pinned to the top of a wall. On the bottom left hand side, the flag was inexplicably curling up from the corner – very strange indeed!

In an attempt to identify the ghost, the owners brought in the ‘Ghost Busters’ with their sophisticated electronic devices, and set up for the night in the 100+ year shop. Evidently they were able to pick up voices and noises that the average individual could not detect – that of a man, woman and I believe a child’s voice. It’s the owner’s understanding that the shop was once a mortuary in the late 1890s and a fire at the mortuary had taken the life of a young child. The ghost busters also said the resident ghost was an “angry man” who liked cheap perfume and that his favorite color was red. Believe it or not!