Family Ghosts by Mike Reeves-McMillan

Happy Day of the Dead!

I like Mike’s sense of humor/horror. This is one of my favorite ghost stories.


I’m haunted by my family.

No, really. All my dead relatives hang around as ghosts. When someone dies, you don’t lose them, they just gain the ability to walk through walls.

It’s been like that for generations. They gradually fade and become harder to converse with, so I can’t ask the original Scoville, but according to family tradition it was some sort of curse. Offended an old homeless woman, you know the sort of thing. We’re always careful to be nice to the homeless these days.

Not that it’s entirely a bad thing. Oral history projects are super easy, and you can go back a lot further, not that anyone will necessarily believe you. And family reunions are especially well attended.

The problem is that they do hang about at inconvenient times. In particular, they’re fussy about us–the male members of the family, since we carry the name and the curse–and who we marry.

It’s a wonder, really, that anyone gets married at all. Though coming from such a large, close family, you do want to carry on the tradition. The girls are lucky; although they see the ghosts, and become ghosts themselves, their husbands and children don’t. But we men transfer the curse to our wives.

That means we have to tell them all this at some point. The coward’s way (I’m looking at you, Great-Uncle Gregory, and you needn’t make that face; nobody’s frightened), is to wait until they see the ghosts, generally the morning after the wedding, and then tell them. The more risky way is to tell them first and propose afterwards.

The problem with that is that it sounds delusional.

You’re backing away, and I don’t blame you.

Um, is it too late to just do the proposal part? See, the older ghosts like it that you dress modestly, and it’s good that you wanted to wait to get, you know, more intimate, because with your family in the room all the time, that just wasn’t going to…

Oh, yes, fair enough. Well, goodbye.

Dammit.


How would  YOU  handle the marriage proposal?

FamilyGhosts

Read more by Mike Reeves-McMillan

 

Photo Credits:

“Family Ghosts” composite by Grace Buchanan. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Mom’s Bedroom” by Moto “Club4AG” Miwa. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Ancestors” by SyliusOwn work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Black, Chinese & White Laborers In A Gold Mine In South Africa” by Frank & Frances Carpenter [RESTORED by Ralph Repo]. Licensed by Ralph Repo under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Easington Pit Disaster” from Eastington District Council’s Past and Present Archive. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

Moise Cherezli and Claire Crespoin wedding“. Licensed by David Lisbona under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

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8 thoughts on “Family Ghosts by Mike Reeves-McMillan

      1. It never occurred to me that it was possible to limit. As a child I knew that on that side of incarnation everything is visible-all times and places perhaps/probably even inner thoughts and motivations. As a child my inner thoughts and motivations were pretty good so the only time this really worried me was on going to the loo;-)
        Even though I knew they could see everything I also knew the perspective and understanding of it was vastly different and wiser, bigger and far less judgemental I still didn’t quite like taking a whizz while aware that everyone disincarnate could check in on that; -) Later I realized little kids bathroom trips were probably way low on the list of interests of the spirit realm.
        Since in Peru they helped govern for centuries after crossing over, it seems like certain interests are not lost. I always wondered how the ancestors of people who don’t pay attention to them feel. I had a Polynesian friend on LiveJournal years ago who could recite his ancestors names back to 100 generations. In the West we have lost this level of connection. It seems really sad to me that after 3 or 4 generations most of our ancestors fade into the mist of lost memory.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So great to hear from you Ohnwentsya as always, especially on this topic. I share your understanding that our ancestors have transcended the need/inclination to be judgemental. I felt relieved on the day when I realized that my mother was not scolding me from the afterlife; she was only doing so in my memories of her.

          Reciting ancestors’ names back to 100 generations! What a sense of connectedness! Imagine if we could do something like that with the names of our cousins as well!

          Like

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