I shouldn’t look at old ghost pictures, but I do. An extra arm among friends, a face peering over the shoulder of a long-dead school chum, a shadowy billow of gown on a stairway. I click through the slide show on MSN with glee. And then this “boy” apparates:
A reality check: this photo is a hoax. The Amityville ghost story has been pretty thoroughly debunked. This photo, from 1976, likely shows a man who worked on the team that captured the image. But reality isn’t involved with my reaction to this photo. Ghosts are all about seeing faces that shouldn’t be there. Looking out rain-streaked windows and seeing another looking in. Turning a corner in the dark and running into a cold pool of otherness. Whispers, thuds, and slow moans. The hollow eyes of this face are everything I am afraid of in the dark.