I don’t know if ghosts exist or not. I’ve had some weird encounters (for instance, the Shilo Inn and Harry’s), but I didn’t have any kind of recording devices on me to capture any evidence. (And at that time I didn’t know about EVPs and such so even if I had had something, I wouldn’t have thought to use it.) But, as I’ve stated before, those kind of encounters sparked my interest in haunt jaunting.
However, yesterday as I watched stories emerge about James von Brunn’s shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, I thought about the guard who died. Stephen Tyrone Johns, age 39.
I’m 38. This year I was confronted with my own mortality. (Though it was cancer, not a gunman, whose barrel I stared down.) In fact, Haunt Jaunts the blog and HauntJaunts.net were born out of my will to live. (I explain about all that in the About section of the website.)
I once wrote about attachments and how I believe if I did end up as a ghost I’d probably haunt the house I grew up in. But most importantly I theorized that one becomes a ghost and ends up haunting wherever or whatever they were most attached to in life.
I thought about this again listening to all the hate that fills James von Brunn’s heart. (Though he probably doesn’t view it that way. He’d probably argue he just feels extremely strongly about his beliefs.) I couldn’t help but think, “Wow. With that much animosity, that’s the kind of guy who would end up as a ghost…and maybe the not too pleasant variety.”
See, the way I view it is he has unresolved issues. Ones that made it necessary for him to feel he needed to take action. Since he’s most likely going to leave this world before his vision of perfection comes to pass, he’s not going to be a happily departed soul.
Where will he end up haunting? Or what?
And what about that guard who had no way of knowing when he went to work that day that it would be his last? That the old man he thought he was helping by opening the door would shoot and kill him? In years to come will we hear ghost stories from the U.S. Holocaust Museum?
It gives me a new perspective to keep in mind if I do come across ghosts or spirits on my next haunt jaunts. It’s something Jay and Grant from Ghost Hunters say all the time, but that I didn’t fully appreciate until now.
Ghosts (if there are such things) were once people too.
They had dreams, desires, emotions, and maybe destinies they felt they’d left unfulfilled. When we encounter them it may be normal to feel alarmed, but we shouldn’t be frightened. We should extend them respect (most ghost hunters are pretty good about this) and remember to be as compassionate as possible. In fact, we should treat ghosts as unseen people who deserve the same level of respect that we’d like to receive.