When it comes to ghosts, there are only two types of people, those that believe in ghosts and those that don’t; few people keep an open mind. I don’t believe in ghosts. They are the product of religious beliefs invented to subjugate the masses. As a born-again atheist, I have no such religious beliefs or superstitions.
Ghosts are also a product of grief, people wanting to believe their loved one have some life after death. They are the creations of Hollywood producers, screenwriters, and authors. Ghosts are the invention of shysters and conmen looking to move the price of real estate down or the number of tourists up.
As a child, I live in an old Victorian house in the English countryside with eighteen rooms. No doubt multiple people had died there, but I never saw a ghost. Later my parents moved to an even older, bigger house in Scotland with secret passages, a cellar, and an antic. It had belonged to the owner of White and MacKay whisky, another money pit. They eventually split it into three flats which became another of my father’s failed business ventures with the MOOCH, my younger sibling. These ventures included a failed asbestos removal business and a disastrous charter yacht service. My father bought him first a 35 foot yacht, then a bigger 50 foot one so he could lose even more money on the eventual fire sale of both boats. But I never saw a ghost there either, although I limited my stay to a week a year.
My best friend has a two-hundred-year-old house in Staffordshire, a beautiful, three-story brick, grade two listed building, set on twelve acres, with no ghosts. Another has a French farmhouse with buildings on the property dating back to Roman times, with no ghosts. I have stayed all over France, Italy, and Spain in various chateaux hotels dating back hundreds of years, yet I have never seen a ghost. All old properties creek and groan; the wind plays tricks with the doors and windows, but there are no ghosts.
Then twenty years ago, I was in Chicago for a convention in a new steel and glass hotel twenty stories above the ground. I dined in the hotel, had a couple of beers, and retired at ten o’clock. Tired from travel, I fell asleep quickly, as is my habit. At two twenty-three, I woke glancing left at the large green numerals of the digital clock on the table adjacent to the King size bed…