These old hills are haunted. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the spirits of those who have passed on can still be felt around the hollows and fields, along the garden rows their hands turned, in the old sheds, where idle tractors and plows rust as they wait for their master’s return.
Almost every native you meet can tell you a terrifying personal ghost story. Many mountain people are firm believers, but some are not. The non-believers call it superstition and overactive imagination, thinking folks are putting two-and-two together and getting a lot more than four. That’s possible. We have seen so many spooky movies that a certain set of circumstances might conjure something out of the shadows. A stormy night, thick fog, a power failure, creaking boards upstairs… Nights like those can certainly play with your head.
But then again… is it possible that being able to perceive a transient being has something to do with mindset? Might it be necessary to have an “open mind” in order to see these apparitions? Might there be portals in our consciousness that can both send and receive, that might allow the invisible to become visible? Maybe some folks are so dead set against the supernatural, they literally can’t see it because the pathway is closed, like when we convince ourselves we can’t do something and then we can’t. That, too, is possible.
Or could it be that there really is something tangible there, some life force as yet unknown, colored by our myths and superstitions? Before the microscope, if someone had mentioned a unicellular organism, I imagine the concept would probably have been greeted with incredulity and even laughter. Maybe we just don’t have the machinery we need to examine these beings.
Or maybe they are exactly what many people think they are.
If you are curious and would like to go in search of, here are a few places to start, some of them right here in Western North Carolina. Don’t forget your flashlight.