I love it when an article surprises me and makes me think about a subject I know almost nothing about. Last Sunday’s New York Times, for example, had an article by Amisha Patel called “Written in the Stars….” that informed me that India leads the world in astrology. Amisha says, “I have read that India may be home to more astrologers than the rest of the world combined because so many people there seek astrological advice on questions large and small.” She goes on to tell the story of her broken engagement. Shortly afterwards, her parents gave her a moonstone, recommended she try Matri Vision, a supposedly psychic organization that specializes in matrimonial counseling, and reminded her that an astrologer once predicted that she would have a bright matrimonial future only after an obstacle was removed. Her quest began.
Yesterday, for no reason, I reached behind a stack of papers in a closet and found a yellowing article from The New York Times from 2013 called “The Ghosts of Amsterdam”. It somehow reminded me of Amisha’s article because they both focus on unexplainable events. The article had been lost behind that pile for 2 years. Was finding it just a coincidence? My life is full of that. But why did I find it yesterday?
In the Outback several years ago Ruth and I sat around a campfire with a bunch of Australians. The conversation turned to ghosts, and several of the adults told hair-raising (I wish) stories of eerie encounters. They were convinced the occurrences were real. I was so fascinated that I almost set fire to the only shoes I had with me. Too close to the fire, they had begun to smolder.
We’re planning a trip that includes Dallas, Texas. Last year we stayed at the historic Adolphus Hotel there. On the way up to our room in the elevator, another guest asked which floor we were on. We told her and she informed us that ours was the haunted one. The Adolphus, like many other hotels, has a resident ghost, and I looked forward to an encounter all night.
This morning I googled Haunted Cities and was amazed at the number of websites that came up One listed the 21 most haunted places in the world. #1 was the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. #8 was the Banff Springs Hotel. #15 was Edinburgh Castle. #21 was The White House! I’ve been to all 4 places = zero ghosts.
Another website dealt with America’s 10 most haunted cities. New Orleans, the town with above-ground tombs, and Savannah, where Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was set, were on the list. Neither surprised me. However, I live across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, and it was on the list because of the Shanghai Tunnels, which I had never heard of.
Amsterdam is supposedly haunted by the spirits of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered there in 2004, Anne Frank, etc. Again, why did I just happen to find that article yesterday? I wonder….