It’s cold here at the Ghostvillage.com world headquarters. Winter has us in its grip. Though the snow has mainly dodged us so far this season, the sky, the air, the feeling is winter. Maybe that’s why I started my day today listening to that song “Hazy Shade of Winter,” made most famous by the Bangles in 1987, but was actually written by Simon and Garfunkel back in 1966.
“I look around, leaves are brown / And the sky is a hazy shade of winter.”
There’s something so bleak about the lyrics. They take us to this dark place where it’s easy to imagine a time where we don’t venture outside much because the environment is hostile. We stay in, and with less sunlight and physical activity, our mood darkens. In that darkened mood, do we invite in darker spirits? It’s been said before that like is drawn to like.
“Seasons change with their scenery/ Weaving time in a tapestry / Won't you stop and remember me.”
Today I also found an old copy of my grandfather’s obituary in my closet. He died back in 2001 peacefully, but I can’t help but still miss him even all these years later. I don’t imagine that will ever stop. It got me thinking that this time of year lends itself to my more melancholy mood.
I don’t mean to depress you, but maybe if we’re aware of this natural tendency dictated by the season, we can work a little harder to overcome. We can compensate.
I’ve said before that every haunting has to fit in an historical context and an environmental context. We need to know what history took place in a location that left a mark. We also need to understand how that location or building fits into the context of its community. But maybe we should also include the season in this narrative? In cold months we don’t typically look for ghostly children in shorts and t-shirts, but we can imagine lost travelers struggling through the dark and frigid night. We can focus on those indoor apparitions who may also be trying to keep warm like we are.
The biggest part of the ghost experience is us. Living people who are tuning in to our environments because that’s what humans do to survive and thrive. We can’t discount the role our mood and the season plays in all of this. We’re like radios, and right now maybe we’re tuning to darker frequencies without even realizing that winter is pushing us in that direction.
Since winter began last month, I’ve been quite prolific in my writing. I’m working on two new books right now in addition to my weekly podcast, and working behind the scenes on the latest season of Ghost Adventures for the Travel Channel. I’m finding when I busy myself with my passion, my mood has less of a chance to creep into those dark corners and bring me down. It still happens, and like everyone else I have my own triggers, but at least I can work to overcome them.
Being the first newsletter of 2019, I want to wish you all the best for this new year full of new opportunities. My appearance schedule is already filling up for the year, which is a thrill! There’s nothing better than sharing these stories in person. I look forward to seeing you folks somewhere haunted real soon.