Monday, 28 April 2014

X marks the spot!

Further to our current callout for ghost stories inspired by, and in the style of the 19th century ghost story, today's blog considers evidence of spiritual manifestations with 'X marks the spot'!

Observation of a ghost passing through walls or poltergeist activity that results in physical motion of objects are obvious indications of paranormal activity. However these remain extreme examples as most spiritual hauntings are thought to reflect far more subtle behaviors.

Traditionally, localised cold spots have been proposed to indicate evidence of a spiritual presence or paranormal activity. The definition for what constitutes a 'cold spot' is a small defined area of intense cold which should be at least ten degrees lower than surrounding areas once any plausible explanation for temperature variation has been excluded.

Many folktales refer to the presence of a ghost specific to an area that was once associated with  the spirit in question. Perhaps such reflects a location where the individual died or had a particularly intense life experience. Perhaps they were murdered and the spirit is now restricted to the area where the remains were placed, waiting for a more respectful form of burial.

Unexplained manifestation of scents such as perfume or tobacco have been suggested to represent a spiritual presence and may offer clues towards establishing the identity of the restless soul.

Some people believe that animals are more sensitive to spirits and there are certainly many stories whereby animals refuse to enter haunted buildings or specific areas. Again, more anecdotal evidence suggesting ghostly localisation to a specific area.

So when composing a chilling ghost story, perhaps your supernatural being should be crafted with a showpiece scene that keeps in mind an 'X marking the ghostly spot' for hauntings and paranormal activity within the tale. Once a location has been established as potentially threatening, this can subsequently be used to help develop tension within the story.

Further reading:
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This blog post was written in the spirit of the April 2014 A-Z Challenge whereby a post is written every day during the month of April (with the exception of Sunday). The theme of each post is meant to correspond with a letter of the alphabet in sequential order. Tomorrow's post is on Y. For details and to visit the A-Z Challenge website, click here.


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