Ghosts have been around for many years. I remember Friday night slumber parties where the girls in my class at school would take turns spending the night with each other. One highlight would be telling ghost stories. One night in particular, we were at Julie's house. She lived by a creek, which was mostly dry. The creek had a "haunted" cave. Our mission for the night was to see the haunted cave for ourselves. We told Julie's parents of our plot to check out the cave for ghost. While we were getting ready to go, her dad sneaked down to the cave. When we got there, a "ghost" jumped at us. We turned and ran all the way home as fast as we could go.
In the 1961 movie The Innocents, directed by Jack Clayton and based on the Henry James novella, The Turn of the Screw, Miss Giddens saw ghosts. Miss Giddens, portrayed by Deborah Kerr, was hired as a governess to oversee two children. Strange things happened to her, and she saw strange things. She told of her sightings to Mrs. Grose, played by Megs Jenkins, who explained that the people she was seeing were Peter Quint, depicted by Peter Wyngarde, and Miss Jessel, acted by Clytie Jessop. There was one thing odd about these people-they were dead. No one else ever saw the ghosts besides Mrs. Giddens, although she thought the others had done so.
In the 1999 movie, The Sixth Sense, directed by M. Night Shyaman, Cole, portrayed by Haley Joel Osmond, stated one of the most famous movie lines-"I see dead people." Cole had an ability to see people that others did not see.
Were these ghosts real, or were they figments of the people's imagination? I know someone who dabbles in the "spirit world." He says he has seen ghosts and communicates with them. He told me of several ghost sightings in his hometown of Owensboro and at Murray State University in the Fine Arts Building and Wells Hall. For him, he believes the ghosts are real. I have never had a real sighting, so I do not believe in ghosts, although I do not have an explanation for his question. He, like Miss Giddens, did a lot of reading, so much of it could be attributed to a vivid imagination.
Whether there are ghost or figments of imagination, ghost stories make for fun slumber parties, as well as intriguing books and films, such as The Turn of the Screw and The Innocents.