Ghosts! [... ] I almost think we are all of us ghosts. It is not only what we have inherited from our father and mother that 'walks' in us. It is all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we cannot shake them off. Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sands of the sea. And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.
(What are your ghosts like?) (They are on the insides of the lids of my eyes.) (This is also where my ghosts reside.) (You have ghosts?) (Of course I have ghosts.) (But you are a child.) (I am not a child.) (But you have not known love.) (These are my ghosts, the spaces amid love.)
Jonathan Safran Foer
We are all ghosts, " Morris Klapper said at last. "We are conceived in a moment of death and born out of ghost wombs, and we play in the streets with other little ghosts, chanting ghost-rhymes and scratching to become real. We are told that life is full of goals and that, although it is sadly necessary to fight, you can at least choose your war. But we learn that for ghosts there can only be one battle: to become real. A few of us make it, thus encouraging other ghosts to believe it can be done.
Peter S. Beagle
The summer I turned eleven, I found out that ghosts are real. Guess it's hard to rest nice and easy in your coffin if you got stuff on your mind. Your soul stays chained to earth instead of zipping up to heaven to sing in one of the angel choirs. Sometimes ghosts show up in the msot peculiar places. Sometimes ghosts fool you. Then you are those ghosts that hang around because we have unfinished business. Business that sinks like old crawfish left in a bucket for a week. That's some nasty smell let me tell you. But the most important thing I learned is that ghosts can help you spill your guts before guilt eats you up and leaves a hole that can't ever be fixed no matter how many patches you try to steam iron across it.
Kimberley Griffiths Little
There are two parts to the human dilemma. One is the belief that the end justifies the means. That push-button philosophy, that deliberate deafness to suffering, has become the monster in the war machine. The other is the betrayal of the human spirit: the assertion of dogma that closes the mind, and turns a nation, a civilization, into a regiment of ghosts--obedient ghosts or tortured ghosts.
American children hear no stories about ghosts. They spend a dime at the drugstore to buy a Superman comic book... Superman represents actual capabilities or future potential, while ghosts symbolize belief in and reverence for the accumulated past... How could ghosts gain a foothold in American cities? People move about like the tide, unable to form permanent ties with places, still less with other people... In a world without ghosts, life is free and easy. American eyes can gaze straight ahead. But still I think they lack something and I do not envy their life.
The problem about cutting out the best of your heart and giving it to people, is that 1. It hurts to do that; and 2. You never know if they are going to throw it away or not. But then you should still do it. Because any other way is cowardice. At the end of the day, it's about being brave and we are only haunted by the ghosts that we trap within ourselves; we are not haunted by the ghosts that we let out. We are haunted by the ghosts that we cover and hide. So you let those ghosts out in that best piece of your heart that you give to someone. And if the other person throws it away? Or doesn't want it to begin with? Someone else will come along one day, cut out from his/her heart that exact same jagged shape that you cut out of your own heart, and make their piece of heart fit into the rest of yours. Wait for that person. And you can fill their missing piece with your soul.
C. JoyBell C.
There are our ghosts, ' Smithers said. It was a word he liked to use, said Brewster. Like most of us Brewster had read a few ghost stories, and to him the word 'ghosts' summoned up the creaking floorboards of a haunted house, shrouded white figures gliding silently through darkness, fluttering robes moving of their own bodiless accord, strangely transparent coaches travelling swiftly down a midnight road, and other such images quite remote from the chanting and drumming of desert folk in gaudy garb, with jingling anklets and necklaces, under a hot fierce sun. But the sounds of the Thar came from some invisible source, and to Smithers they were sounds made by ghosts. ("Smithers And The Ghosts Of The Thar")
Is the ash in trees, babies, flowers, and visions of God better than the visions themselves? Then you think, none of this is tangible or concrete. So you have another cigarette and think about the (not one) but many ghosts you keep tucked away, under sheets, under beds, in notes, within other ghosts.
And that's why, when they want to get rid of anyone, they usually bring him down here (like they were doing with me) and say they'll leave him to the ghosts. But I always wondered if they didn't really drown 'em or cut their throats. I never quite believed in the ghosts. But those two cowards you've just shot believed all right. They were more scared of taking me to my death than I was of going.
C. S. Lewis
He blamed television, movies, and books for his love of ghosts. It was a fascination that's been with him since his youth. He always loved watching or reading anything that had to do with ghosts and haunted locations, especially historic sites like New Orleans, Salem, Tombstone, Gettysburg, and Old San Juan.
We are served by organic ghosts, he thought, who, speaking and writing, pass through this our new environment. Watching, wise, physical ghosts from the full-life world, elements of which have become for us invading but agreeable splinters of a substance that pulsates like a former heart.
Philip K. Dick
It's like the corporate world's full of ghosts ... maybe a fairer way of putting this would be to say that adulthood's full of ghosts ... these people who've ended up in one life instead of another and they are just so disappointed... They've done what's expected of them. They want to do something different but it's impossible now, there's a mortgage, kids, whatever, they're trapped ... High-functioning sleepwalkers, essentially.
Emily St. John Mandel
Superstition, bigotry and prejudice, ghosts though they are, cling tenaciously to life; they are shades armed with tooth and claw. They must be grappled with unceasingly, for it is a fateful part of human destiny that it is condemned to wage perpetual war against ghosts. A shade is not easily taken by the throat and destroyed.
Walt also had a humorous sign posted outside the mansion, recruiting ghosts who wanted to enjoy 'active retirement' in the "country club atmosphere' of this 'fashionable address'. Interested ghosts were to write to the 'Ghost Relations Dept. Disneyland, ' and were told, 'Do not apply in person.
Leslie Le Mon
Louis-Cesare and Ray were in trouble. I could tell because I could see them, not clearly, but in fits and starts, little glimmers like a couple of ghosts, if ghosts made "oh shit" faces on the one hand agitated French gestures on the other. And that sort of shit wasn't going to go unnoticed for long. Aaaaand it didn't.
Eventually scientists will discover something that explains ghosts, just like they discovered electricity, which explained lightning, and it might be something about people's brains, or something about the earth's magnetic field, or it might be some new force altogether. And then ghosts won't be mysteries. They will be like electricity and rainbows and nonstick frying pans.
Funny isn't it, that such a large percentage of people believe in the possibility of ghosts yet scoff at stories about then; whereas less than a fifth of one percent think there actually may be vampires, yet glamorize and romanticize them into millions of dollar of sales. Perhaps the real irony is that the thought of ghosts is just a little too close to people's comfort level.
Time can divorce us from the reality of people, it can separate us from people and turn them into ghosts. Or rather it is we who turn them into ghosts or demons. Some kinds of fruitless preoccupations with the past can create such simulacra, and they can exercise power, like those heroes at Troy fighting for a phantom Helen.
I was a coward. I used to be haunted by the fear of thieves, ghosts and serpents. I did not dare to stir out of doors at night. Darkness was a terror to me. It was almost impossible for me to sleep in the dark, as I would imagine ghosts coming from one direction, thieves from another and serpents from a third. I could not therefore bear to sleep without a light in the room.
Eisenhower managed to begin the Vietnam war by not following his normal instinct of staying out of mischief. In his memoirs, he tells us why we didn't honor the Geneva accords and hold elections in Vietnam: because some 80 percent of the country would have voted for Ho Chi Minh. This is very candid. The sort of thing one might have found in Stalin'smemoirs, had he not made ghosts even of ghosts.
Momma said that ghosts couldn't move over water. That's why Africans got trapped in the Americas.. They kept moving us over the water, stealing us away from our ghosts and ancestors, who cried salty rivers into the sand. That's where Momma was now, wailing at the water's edge, while her girls were pulled out of sight under white sails that cracked in the wind.
Laurie Halse Anderson
Do you believe in spirits? Or ghosts?...Yes, I do. I believe in ghosts....They're the ones who haunt us. The ones who have left us behind." "Vivian has come back to the idea that the people who matter in our lives stay with us, haunting our ordinary moments. They're with us in the grocery store, as we turn the corner, chat with a friend. They rise up through the pavement; we absorb them through our soles." "The things that matter stay with you, seep into your skin.
Christina Baker Kline
On the ghosts in Moorehawke & Into The Grey/Taken Away: The ghosts... are symbolic of those unresolved moments in history that linger, and affect the next generation. Sometimes this happens without that generation ever really knowing the truth of what has come before. This is so true of war, I think, where we are often only left the stories that the previous generation wanted us to hear... How much harder would the truth be to deny were it lingering about as an actual manifestation of the past?
Little girls have large maternal instincts, and they take the Feast of Hungry Ghosts very seriously, and they were making their rounds with small lanterns made from candles inside rolled lotus and sage leaves. I could feel ghosts all around us, moving toward the warmth of the sweet singing voices: You are not alone, the girls sang, you are not forgotten, we care and understand, our own lives are but a candle flame from yours.
The ghosts of Manhattan are not the spirits of the propertied classes; these are entombed in their names, their works, their constructions. New York's ghosts are the unresting souls of the poor, the marginal, the dispossessed, the depraved, the defective, the recalcitrant. They are the guardian spirits of the urban wilderness in which they lived and died. Unrecognized by the history that is common knowledge, they push invisibly behind it to erect their memorials in the collective unconscious.
Felix wasn't sure of his limits, if he had limits. After he'd been dead a while, he began to suspect he could swim to the bottom of the oceans. Beyond that. He suspected that he could swim so far down that he'd eventually go through the center of the earth and come out the other side. He could swim into the clouds, into the stars. Maybe there were ghosts on the other planets. Maybe there were ghosts laughing and splashing each other with the heat of the sun. He wasn't brave enough to find out.
Then you think, is this a better world, closer to the one before you knew of wars- earth wars? Before you found that canary in its cage laying, barely heaving. And you took it outside and said, Go Free! Go free! But it died there, right in your hands... like all of life. Is the ash in trees, babies, flowers, and visions of God better than the visions themselves? Then you think, none of this is tangible or concrete. So you have another cigarette and think about the (not one) but many ghosts you keep tucked away, under sheets, under beds, in notes, within other ghosts.
But the fevers are on me now, the virus mad to ravage my last fifty T cells. It's hard to keep the memory at full dazzle, with so much loss to mock it. Roger gone, Craig gone, Cesar gone, Stevie gone. And this feeling that I'm the last one left, in a world where only the ghosts still laugh. But at least they're the ghosts of full-grown men, proof that all of us got that far, free of the traps and the lies. And from that moment on the brink of summer's end, no one would ever tell me again that men like me couldn't love.
Ghosts Take shape under moonlight, materialize in dreams. Shadows. Silhouettes of what is no more. But ghosts don't bother me. The day brings bigger things to worry about than flimsy remains of yesterday. No, spooks don't scare me. Gauzy apparitions might prank your psyche or agitate your nightmares, but lacking flesh and blood they are powerless to hurt you-cannot hope to inflict the kind of damage that real, live people do.
At dusk in the Temple Gardens the barrier between past and present turned fluid and ghosts walked. Here and there if Buckler looked closely he caught a glimpse of knights filing toward the ancient round Church, heads bowed in penitence... Buckler didn't mind the spirits. In fact, he preferred their company to that of the general run of human. For the ghosts reminded him that man's petty cares, so all consuming in life, would one day become nothing more than fit matter for an amusing story.
But anyway, I look around sometimes and I think - this will maybe sound weird - it's like the corporate world's full of ghosts. And actually, let me revise that, my parents are in academia so I've had front row seats for that horror show, I know academia's no different, so maybe a fairer way of putting this would be to say that adulthood's full of ghosts." "I'm sorry, I'm not sure I quite -" "I'm talking about these people who've ended up in one life instead of another and they are just so disappointed. Do you know what I mean? They've done what's expected of them. They want to do something different but it's impossible now, there's a mortgage, kids, whatever, they're trapped. Dan's like that." "You don't think he likes his job, then." "Correct, " she said, "but I don't think he even realises it. You probably encounter people like him all the time. High-functioning sleepwalkers, essentially.
Emily St. John Mandel
They're ghosts, surely, and Rabbit absolutely believes in them. There are things in the world, strange machinations of physics and chemistry, queer intersections of biology and theology, that Rabbit hasn't the slightest interest in assuming he'll ever understand or be able to solve. They're simply there to be believed in, and Rabbit is a born believer. He wants to believe. He has always thought of life as pregnant with possibility- a freak twister or wardrobe the only thing separating him from another world- so ghosts, spirits, aliens and supreme beings coexist within Rabbit with ease. There's a kind of beauty in accepting the possibility, if not the plausibility, of everything imaginable.
Percy glanced over. He saw the fallen giant and seemed to understand what was happening. He yelled something that was lost in the wind, probably: Go! Then he slammed Riptide into the ice at his feet. The entire glacier shuddered. Ghosts fell to their knees. Behind Percy, a wave surged up from the bay-a wall of gray water even taller than the glacier. Water shot from the chasms and crevices in the ice. As the wave hit, the back half of the camp crumbled. The entire edge of the glacier peeled away, cascading into the void-carrying buildings, ghosts, and Percy Jackson over the edge.
You see, a witch has to have a familiar, some little animal like a cat or a toad. He helps her somehow. When the witch dies the familiar is suppose to die too, but sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, if it's absorbed enough magic, it lives on. Maybe this toad found its way south from Salem, from the days when Cotton Mather was hanging witches. Or maybe Lafitte had a Creole girl who called on the Black Man in the pirate-haven of Barataria. The Gulf is full of ghosts and memories, and one of those ghosts might very well be that of a woman with warlock blood who'd come from Europe a long time ago, and died on the new continent. And possibly her familiar didn't know the way home. There's not much room for magic in America now, but once there was room. ("Before I Wake... ")
But then, she wonders, just what kind of man would ever give her the courage to marry at all- to overcome that dreadful fear of death that seemed always to accompany the very thought of love? It was illogical, idiotic and childish. And yet the child was with her always; and always she would be afraid unless someone could place a light down there inside that dark and chilly heart of hers and chase all the ghosts away - the ghosts of Katherine Howard, of Jane Seymour and, not least, that of her own poor mother. They accompanied her always, those spirits - especially at this kind of time, a time of being alone, of being feminine and reflective. They would all gather round to whisper in her ear and warn her - so that even as she looks up once more into her mirror she almost expects to see them there, ranged behind her shoulders, their faces full of concern and anxiety. Never trust them - never trust the men, for they will betray you always the moment you surrender to them!
Robert Stephen Parry
There are some doubters even in the western villages. One woman told me last Christmas that she did not believe either in hell or in ghosts. Hell she thought was merely an invention got up by the priest to keep people good; and ghosts would not be permitted, she held, to go 'trapsin about the earth' at their own free will; 'but there are faeries, ' she added, 'and little leprechauns, and water-horses, and fallen angels.' I have met also a man with a mohawk Indian tattooed upon his arm, who held exactly similar beliefs and unbeliefs. No matter what one doubts one never doubts the faeries, for, as the man with the mohawk Indian on his arm said to me, 'they stand to reason.' Even the official mind does not escape this faith. ("Reason and Unreason")