Seeing the Unseen
Have you ever not seen something because you just weren’t looking closely enough?
What about here? Do you see anything out-of-the-ordinary in the photo below, taken at a historical museum and genealogical society in Western Pennsylvania?
When I combed through the photos I’d downloaded, I buzzed right past this image. (In honesty, this room didn’t really move me as the others had. I haphazardly took the photo “just because”). But something caught my eye as I reviewed the freshly downloaded images. Something looked out of place in this oblong room. So I zoomed in:
I truly didn’t expect to see anything – or anyone – staring back at me when I zoomed in, but when I saw the eyes, the nose, the full lips … the hair stood up on both arms and my eyes began this bizarre, unstoppable watering. It wasn’t crying, really. It was … well, unexplainable. I felt I had locked eyes with a fierce, sad soul.
And despite forewarned tales of a “woman in a white dress” haunting the museum – a house built in 1842 – it wasn’t her figure that I saw. I clearly saw the face of an Indian warrior staring back.
What do you see in the photo? If you see nothing, then you’re like my husband – a big ol’ debunker, sure there is some logical explanation for the image – the biggest Doubting Thomas of them all when it comes to things supernatural.
But would your mind change if I told you that once I returned to Arizona, downloaded the photos and sent them to my uncle, he shared with me the fact that a ghost-hunting group had once visited and claimed that a Delaware Native American Indian, Tewea, was “discovered there?” (Relax your eyes, tilt your head slightly to the right, and start at the very top of the “mass” in the window. You’ll see two eyes in the first rung of the blinds, a nose in the next rung, and full lips and a chin in the next. Do you also see the metal staff to the left? The sash across the chest?)
Maybe none of this moves you, still. Maybe, again, you see nothing. But when my cousin shared a drawing of this famous Indian (a seven-foot-tall man), my goose pimples returned with a vengeance.
Is this a restless spirit? Simply a photographic anomaly? Or do I want to “believe” so badly that I’m seeing what I want to see?
I don’t know. You be the judge.
For Writers, Readers: Do you think writers are more open to the possibilities of the unknown, unexplained, the unseen, the supernatural? Is it because we’re creative? Is it because we want to believe? Why might we be more open than others? As readers, what is it about the unexplained that is so enticing? Even if you aren’t a fan of supernatural fiction, are you drawn to the possibility of things unimagined? What do you think about the above museum-house photos? Mere coincidence? Or something more?
Stay tuned for my next “What I Saw (in Pennsylvania)” installment regarding the fascinating way I discovered my long-lost uncle and cousin – and helped fill in a missing branch of the family tree.