Ghosts, Goblins and Zombies

Let me say right now that I have never seen a ghost, a goblin or a zombie.   I have seen more movies, TV shows and plays then I can count wherein I was regaled with such characters.  I have been alternately charmed, frightened, amused and threatened by the antics of the “undead.”  From Casper, to Ghost Busters, to Count Dracula (a Vampire) to Bud Abbott and Lou Costello meet the Mummy, I have seen ghosts and other undead critters going back to before the Pharaohs.  Just last past spring, Karen and I attended a séance, in Kentucky at a “haunted” mansion.   Do I believe in the undead, in hauntings, in spirits, in creatures that have come back from the beyond to warn, inform or harm us?  You must be kidding!

It is 10:19 PM here in Frederic and I am all alone in my house.  Dare I ridicule or malign the spirit world?  Do I have the gumption of Houdini or Blackstone?  What if I am wrong and they come for me?  Who would know?  Such creatures are very sneaky as well as creepy.  I better say that while I don’t give much credence to such claims as the paranormal, parapsychology or para-anything, who is to say what exists in the beyond? Who is to say what might exist in the next world after this world?  Can 1/3 of the population that reportedly believes in ghosts and spirits be mistaken?  Can all of the reported sightings of spirits and other beings (besides the living) be hallucinations?  Can all of these sightings be attributed to daft, lying, gullible, naïve, superstitious and uneducated people?  Can I alone be right?  Do you really want to know?

My mother, sister, many friends, relatives, uncles, aunts and cousins believed in ghosts; spirits who still walk the world due to unfinished business.   Doomed to tread this earth until their souls are satisfied with remorse or retribution.  Perhaps their bodies were never found or their murderers remain free?  Perhaps they ran afoul of an evil spell or a curse assigning them to remain “undead” until they achieved some sort of resolution.  One of my favorite Marvel characters is “Ghost Rider.”

The Ghost Rider is former stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, who, in some kind of a deal with the devil, agreed to give his soul to “Satan” (later revealed to be an arch-demon named Mephisto).  At night and when around evil, Blaze finds his flesh consumed by hellfire, causing his head to become a flaming skull. He rides a fiery motorcycle and wields trademark blasts of hellfire from his skeletal hands.  He must forever travel the earth righting wrongs and suffering unrequited love.  There are various versions of this story but you can get find our more by reading the old Marvel comics or seeing the movies featuring Nicholas Gage as Johnny Storm.  Great graphics!


As I was saying, I am surrounded by indisputable evidence and testimony of the myriad visits and hauntings that plague our petty world.  Nary a country or culture exists that does not have stories of ghosts, goblins, witches, zombies, werewolves and other undead fantastical creatures.  Who am I to dispute the existence or possibility that such beings inhabit our world?  Would it make any difference if I were an “unbeliever?”

One night when I was only seven or eight years old, I was walking with my father and he decided to take a short cut through a cemetery to get home.  I was terrified.  I had perhaps just read a telling of the “Headless Horseman” or Poe’s “Raven.”  I loved horror stories back when there was more scare and less blood.  Nothing is as much fun as a good fright.  I was getting more and more frightened as we got deeper and deeper into the cemetery.  Towering pillars of granite and concrete screamed blood and curses at us as the night seemed to grow darker and darker.  We were leaving the land of the living and journeying through the land of the dead.  Each step brought us closer to evil and doom.  I could see specters rising out of indignation that we dared to disturb their resting places.  On and on we went as the night grew even blacker. Soon there was not a drop of moon light to guide our way.  I was sure we were hopelessly lost.  It only remained for the undead to arise and take us back down into the hades or whatever place lie beneath the earth.  We were doomed.  Finally, my father noticing my unrest and anxiety said the following words.  Words that forevermore changed my feelings about spirits and ghosts and other undead beings.  His exact words still echo in my thoughts and hardly a cemetery or a graveyard have I passed since wherein I have not reflected upon his words.  Here is what he said:

“Son, you have nothing to fear from the dead, only the living.”

The profundity and truth of his words have been proven to me more times than I can count.  I have never seen or heard of anyone killed, maimed, wounded, tortured, bombed, beaten, eaten, or abused by anyone who was dead. I have never seen a ghost, goblin or zombie on the “Most Wanted List.”  Do I believe in the undead?  Can the world be wrong?  Would a good agnostic not admit the possibility if not probability that such creatures might exist?  Could the human mind imagine such beings if they did not exist?  What about the Spanish, Africans, Basques, Irish, Malays, Hindus, Koreans, Haitians, Chinese, Japanese and other countries that have such undead creatures as:




Jiang Shi
















So many creatures, from so many different countries.  Can all these countries, can all these people from the north to the south, east to the west, from temperate climates to arctic climates to tropical climates be wrong?  Could they all be imagining such beings if they did not exist?  Would you like to know what I think?  Probably you do not care.

“Whence cometh the superstition that infests our world?”  No, this is not a quote from my dear departed dad or my dear departed mother, both of whom have never returned from the grave with even one further bit of advice for me.  I sit up at nights like this writing and waiting for a voice from the beyond to let me know how much longer I have on this earth.  What is to come next?  Where will I go?  Could I possibly become one of the undead?  What would it take for me to find peace on this world if I have not found it in this life?  I am surrounded by people who see ghosts in every room and on every street corner. Why am I denied such visitations?  What have I done not to be blessed with even one sighting?  Not one plate has jumped off my table, not one picture has fallen off a wall, not one unearthly midnight knock on my door. No spectral sightings or glowing blobs appear in any of my photos.  Why?  What have I done to offend the undead?  If they exist, why do they show themselves to everyone else but hide from me? What harm could I do them?  I have always said life is unfair but how could so many spirits ignore me?  I have been to over thirty countries and I have not yet encountered a ghost or a spirit anywhere.  It is not for want to trying.  I look under the bed and in my closet every night and not a ghost or a spirit have I yet found.

Well, it’s nearly 12 PM now and I am going to go out for a midnight walk.  There is a good old cemetery up on the hill nearby where several of my wife’s relatives are interred.  In fact, we have an old deed to two plots up there where we are going to be buried.  Perhaps, if I stroll up there silently I might catch a spirit hanging around a recent grave.  They cannot all have been satisfied with their lives.  Surely some of the spirits in the Maple Grove cemetery have unfinished business in this world?  I wonder if I could catch a spectral image on my new digital camera.  Do you suppose you need a certain amount of megapixels for a good image?   I wonder if I have enough.  If you do not receive any reply to comments to this blog that you post, would you please let the authorities know that I was perfectly healthy before I left for the cemetery and that I had no intention of leaving this earth any earlier than possible.  Thus, if they do not find my body, please check in any of the recent graves.  If you do not follow these instructions, I will be forced to come back to haunt you.   Don’t think I won’t.

When the night is dark and scary, and the moon is full and creatures are a flying and the wind goes Whoooooooooo,

you better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear, 

and cherish them that loves ya, and dry the orphans tears and help the poor and needy ones that cluster all about, 

or the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!!

 From – Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley

 Time for Questions:

Have you ever seen a Ghost?  Do you believe in Zombies and Goblins?  How about Angels?   Why do you suppose so many people believe in spirits? Are these the same people who believe in “extraterrestrial” beings?  How many of these spirits are just fantasy?  Do they make our lives less banal?  What about the “Holy Ghost?” Is the Holy Ghost a he or a she?  Why did we reject polytheism for monotheism and yet we still embrace the idea of “other” beings besides God?  What would be wrong with having multiple Gods like the Greeks and Romans did?

Life is just beginning.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanine
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 00:23:46

    Ghosts, Goblins and Zombies!! LOVED THIS BLOG. I was laughing out loud. Need I warn you not to be too cavalier about those things that go bump in the night!! One of these “Hallowed Eves”, you may get the surprise of your life!!!!



    • johnpersico
      Oct 10, 2013 @ 00:55:40

      Thanks Jeanine, let me know if you see any Ghosts in Coventry before Halloween. Karen and I will return to observe them. Wait!! I hear some thumping in the basement. Got to run.



  2. Greg Gorman
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 01:59:44

    Ghosts, Goblins, & Creatures of the night
    1. Have you ever seen a Ghost?
    I’m not sure. One time when I was about 8 or 9 I crept downstairs for a snack. The living room and kitchen were in darkness as I walked by the living room, I suddenly saw 2 red fiery eyes looking at me which reminded me to that maybe I wasn’t that hungry.
    2. Do you believe in Zombies and Goblins?
    No because they’re physically unsustainable.
    3. How about Angels?
    They don’t make a lot of sense either. But as you say, who am I to deny these things?
    4. Why do you suppose so many people believe in spirits?
    For the same reason that children believe in Santa Claus. It’s an easy explanation to complex and troubling issues.
    5. Are these the same people who believe in “extraterrestrial” beings?
    I don’t believe that one would be necessarily a subset of the other. Those that believe in extraterrestrial beings might be less likely to believe in spirits which are “earth bound” creatures having an existence based on earth bound ethics. An extraterrestrial creature would have an ethical foundation unknown to us now. So one would have to be open minded to new ideas, and at the same time practical to the evidence which forms the basis for the existence of these creatures.
    6. How many of these spirits are just fantasy?
    I would say that most night creatures disappeared with the creation of the street lamp and the urbanization of society.
    7. Do they make our lives less banal?
    Anyone who has participated in scouting and has told a tale of an old creature that lives in these here woods around an open fire to young boys with wide open eyes would have to say yes; it does make our lives less banal.
    8. What about the “Holy Ghost?” Is the Holy Ghost a he or a she?
    What does our Baltimore Catechism say about this? The Holy Ghost has been renamed the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is part of the Blessed Trinity which the fundamental object for worship in Catholicism. Oh yes, the Holy Spirit is a she.
    9. Why did we reject polytheism for monotheism and yet we still embrace the idea of “other” beings besides God?
    This would be a good title for your next blog. Who are the gods that we worship? We consider ourselves monotheism and yet even our God is really 3. This does not yet include the Virgin Mary and all the saints that we pray to in the hope that they will intercede for us.
    But what are the things that we truly worship? I would suggest money, power, beauty, and the accoutrements of wealth. Certainly there are more of them just waiting to be evaluated.

    10. What would be wrong with having multiple Gods like the Greeks and Romans did?
    Nothing! But if it didn’t work for them why would you want to duplicate their sad trail of gods from creation to general disbelief? Our collective human memory should be telling us seek another way.



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