Imagine if everywhere in the world was haunted. They'd have to make TV shows about houses that weren't haunted. The shows would be called things like Britain's Most Unhaunted. 'Ooh, nothing has moved by itself for ages, creepy.' They would have seances and get really freaked out when the planchette didn't move. There would be legends of a headed horseman. Children would be scared that there is nothing under the bed. Superstitious people wouldn't like taking shortcuts through graveyards in case they didn't see a ghost. I could go on but you get the gist of it.
In a world like this ghosts would be common place. It would be accepted that you die and you become a ghost and you hang around your old haunts. In some respects it wouldn't be too bad being a ghost. The pressure would be off. You wouldn't have to earn money to feed and shelter yourself and all that. However, there would be a bad side. Ghosts stop. They stop still. They can't learn anymore. They can't understand new technology or social advances. They can't comprehend that times and preoccupations change. They can't mature or become wiser as people. They can't move on. They are like stuck records, stuck at the moment of their deaths. If they have a grievance or an issue that is unresolved it will remain unresolved. They will continue to fret and worry about it until the end of time. That's why ghosts are always seen doing the same thing, looking for someone they were parted with or whatever. Ghosts are a bit OCD.
In a world where everywhere is haunted people would accept the existence of ghosts but they would find ghosts pretty boring. 'Oh Jaysus, is he still going on about how he was wronged by his brother and thrown down the well. What a repetitive dick .' Ghosts would be considered something to be humoured and tolerated. They'd be a bit like the friends or colleagues we all have who keep banging on and on about the same thing over and over. You know the type. They get on their hobby horse and you just nod. You don't want to be rude but privately you wish they were dead. Except maybe they are dead. Maybe they keep going over and over the same ground because they are ghosts. Did you ever consider that? They'll always be there, going on and on and on and on and they'll never stop going on and on and on and on. They may be irritating but maybe you should pity them. It's sad really. You might even be a ghost yourself. Does the same shit go around and around and around and around in your head? Has this been going on for years? Well maybe you're a ghost. Maybe you're dead. If you're not dead yet you better address your obsessions. Otherwise, when you eventually do die, you'll be stuck with your obsessions until the end of time. Going on and on and on and on.
Come to think of it, I reckon I might be a ghost. I tend to just appear and corner people and moan and moan and moan about the same old crap. I'm usually moaning about the telly. Maybe in the future that's what ghosts will be seen doing – sitting in front of a spectral goggle box, continually pressing a remote control and muttering about what a useless tit Ryan Tubridy is.
I've a friend who's even worse than me. He got so repetitive it became a real problem. He became obsessed with how repetitive he was and he kept talking about it, which was very repetitive. The irony of that escaped him. He went to see a shrink about his problem. 'It's not a therapist you need, it's an exorcist', said the shrink as he walked my friend into a nearby graveyard and pointed at his tombstone. Then the shrink charged my friend €750. Being a ghost, my friend had no money so the shrink charged it to my friend's widow. She had to take the fee from the money my friend left her. She was outraged. She keeps going on about it. She'll take that grievance to her grave. And beyond.
I think I'll write about ghosts for the rest of the month because it's October and Halloween approaches. Halloween - a time when the souls of the dead return. The souls of the dead boring.