Letter From The Editor

METRO-101416-FEATURE-OUTBREAK-AC-03This week, we decided to do something a little different in honor of Halloween: Our staffers share their own personal ghost stories. From possible hauntings in our own houses to investigating urban legends, we have had some spooky experiences.

The whole thing got me thinking: Why do people feel compelled to tell and retell ghost stories, anyway? As Jaimie Kim details in her tale, the story that she recounts quickly spread through her fifth-grade class. For me, it’s been years since I even thought about the incident that I wrote about — when my friends and I drove up to the Pali Lookout with pork — and longer still since it actually happened. But for some reason, it’s a story that I still feel compelled to tell. And (spoiler alert) I didn’t even see a ghost.

I think it maybe comes from a desire to try and establish with any degree of certainty that some sort of afterlife exists. Or maybe it’s just, as we explored in our story on interactive zombie play Outbreak a couple weeks ago, people enjoy being scared.

But it also got me thinking about the stories from our own lives in general.

For any story that we tell and retell, our relationship to them changes over time. The one I share is something that I have told to many people. But back after it first happened, it was a different story in a lot of ways. Sure, the facts of what happened didn’t change. But what I thought was important did. To my own surprise as I was writing it, the Ben character, a real-life person whom I used to be fairly close to, became of so little importance as far as the plot of the story is concerned that I considered editing him out entirely (sorry, Ben?).

The way we conceptualize our own stories changes over time. Ghost stories that once scared us no longer do; people that once meant something to us become parentheticals. These things shift and move and we see them with varying degrees of transparency.

Tl;dr: Go read about ghosts right here.