I go to a lot of garage sales. It’s partly because I’m cheap, and was raised appreciating second hand things. I also love haggling for a cheap price, something you can’t do at WalMart. I hunt for beautiful, original, and vintage items.
So when I saw how pricey ladders are, the thought crossed my mind to find one at a garage sale. But then I thought, you don’t want a used ladder. What if the previous owner fell and died, and now their ghost haunts the ladder causing accidents for anyone that might use the ladder?
Where’s my writing journal, I thought, I need to write this down.
Looking through my collection (hoard), I have so many great objects that have the potential to be haunted items. Not really, but in a fictional kind of way. I’m not sure I even believe in ghosts. Spirits, souls, vibes, residual energies, maybe.
But in a horror fiction sense, I started thinking of a series of short stories surrounding haunted items. How does an item become haunted? The ghost must have a connection to the object, maybe it was something they cherished like a ring, or something they used everyday like a paintbrush. In the case of the ladder, maybe the object becomes haunted when it causes a death.
Can an object be haunted by more than one ghost? Can each person who falls from the cursed ladder end up connected to it, or is there a one ghost limit? Places can certainly have multiple hauntings, but what about objects?
Do certain materials attract and hold ghosts better than others? If so, is it connected to that material’s ability to conduct electricity?
Do ghosts haunt things because they have unfinished business, want revenge, weren’t ready to die, died suddenly?
So each story will describe an object. Then it will show how the item comes into the possession of the new owner and the resulting haunting. Then it will tie in to the previous owner.
The ring, it’s colours, the stone, maybe it’s from eBay. A woman buys it, and begins thinking she is someone else when she wears it, does things out of character for her, has weird memories. Turns out, a woman in an insane asylum wore it, and it was stolen when she died.
The paintbrush, what it’s handle and bristles are made of, it’s at an estate sale. The new artist finds when he uses it, he blacks out, and doesn’t remember painting what is on the canvas when he wakes up in the morning. The previous owner was an artist who never became famous, but whose spirit remains obsessed with making art.
I would photograph the objects and use a high contrast black and white filter to make them look spooky.
In the mean time I’m watching the fliers for ladder sales.