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  • Sue Hawley

Do You see dead people?

It’s that time of year again when we dress up the kids and have them pester the neighborhood for treats—or maybe tricks. I love Halloween candy; not just candy corn, but ALL of it. It comes in perfect bites size pieces, which allow me to pretend I’m really not cheating on any given diet I may be participating in at the moment. It’s amazing how many of those suckers a person can pop in their mouth and not even think to keep a running total of exactly how many are being consumed.

Other than candy, Halloween also conjures up ghostly images. These images are practically everywhere; greeting cards, cakes, cookies, and even the Internet participates in the fun. Which brings us to the crux of this blog: GHOSTS.

Quite often people will ask me if the Peg Shaw series is autobiographical—not the murder/mystery part of the stories, but everyone seems to want to know if I personally see ghosts. I always laugh and answer in the negative because I don’t interact with dead people the way Peg does, and I wouldn’t know how to solve a murder if you paid me gallizons of dollars. However, to be fair, I have had a couple of strange experiences.

Almost ten years ago I had a dream that was quite odd to me at the time. My deceased mother was in a darkened area with the number 146 everywhere. She was emphatically pointing to the numbers, obviously trying to convey some type of information to me. I woke up for a trip to the bathroom and thought it was one of the oddest dreams I had ever experienced. When I returned to bed and fell asleep, the exact same dream began again---except this time Mother was even more emphatic (and maybe a bit irritated at my stupidity for not being able to figure out what she was telling me). The next morning I told my husband about the dream, but he had no idea what to think either. Because of the strangeness of the dream, I wrote down the date but pretty much forgot about it as the days went by. Until about a month later when I received a call from my sister in Texas telling me our 93 year old dad had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. The memory of the dream came back to me in a flash. I counted the days from the dream and landed on August 7th. A few months later, on the 7th of August, he passed away. Coincidence? I think not.

Around the same time I was sitting in our living room one sunny afternoon, enjoying the peace and quiet when I saw a man walk through our yard. He was a big guy, obviously balding, and looked to be in his sixties. My husband was out of town on business so I zipped outside to see who was roaming around our yard- only to find the entire property empty. There was no possibility I would have missed him, or passed him without seeing him; he had simply vanished. When my husband returned home, I told him about it, describing the man and where he had been walking. He knew immediately who the guy was and dug out a picture from the family stack of photos. Bingo! It was the same man! The only problem was he was my husband’s great-uncle and had been dead for decades. Creepy? Just a tad.

Those are my main connections with the next world and as far as I know, the only significant ones I have ever had---though I admit it’s possible I’ve passed dead people many times at the grocery or mall and never knew—I assume dead folks can be pretty sneaky. Maybe it’s time for another bite size Snickers and focus on candy rather than the dead.

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