Oct 28 2013

Hair-Raising Hiking

Melissa Crytzer Fry

In the spirit of the upcoming ghoulish holiday, I invite you on a visual tour of a local Arizona hiking trail, filled with the sinister and spine-chilling (or – if your mind isn’t primed for Halloween – you just may find these images beautiful … including the fresh mountain lion tracks traversing the trail, as if the stealthy ghost cat were walking right alongside me and hiking partner, Roxanne, without our knowing).

Click photos below to enlarge.

Oct 13 2013

Ghost in the Window?

Melissa Crytzer Fry

Back in August, I posed this question: “Do you think writers – or creative types, in general – are more open to the possibilities of the unknown, unexplained, the unseen, the supernatural?”

The catalyst for my pondering was the photo below — of something I couldn’t quite explain during a trip to Pennsylvania (Read the full post about the eerie face I saw staring back at me).

Don't see it? Click to enlarge. Then 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?

My cousin, who accompanied me on this August trip to the Armstrong Historical Society – also a Melissa – isn’t a big believer in the supernatural. But when she saw the photo, she admitted to some head scratching. Her husband, like mine, was sure there was some “logical explanation.” So, she decided she’d go back for more photos – just to investigate, to see if anything popped up.

Something did.

But first – my original zoomed out photo (for comparison to hers, below):

My original image. Click to enlarge.

This is cousin Melissa’s photo, taken from about the same angle as mine, at about the same time of night. Do you see anything familiar? Click to enlarge.

I have to admit to a bit of disappointment when I saw that she nearly duplicated the photo. The same curved “staff” seen in mine, the same hovering white apparition, was duly noted in her image.

Writes Cousin Melissa: “I purposefully went to the area of the room where the kitchen door would reflect in the fourth pane. I could see the cupboard clearly in the window, and that was what was reflecting. It matches almost exactly to yours.”

Oh poo, poo, poo, I thought.

BUT… Cousin Melissa’s photo didn’t reveal the smaller figure in the “furry white mask with compelling eyes and horns” as described by one reader, Linda … And I can’t see the eyes at the top of her photo, either – the eyes of a warrior that sought mine in the first image. (Granted, we can’t zoom in as close without losing all image quality, but Melissa confirms her photo lacked these details).

So you be the judge. You probably have figured where I land on this issue (are all writers stubborn mules like me?). But then maybe it goes back to the other question in my first post about believing: do I want to “believe” so badly that I’m seeing what I want to see?

Which made me wonder, is there real power in believing? You know – “If you believe it, it will happen.” Or maybe it’s called something else entirely. Maybe it’s that five-letter word … faith?

For Readers, Writers, Everyone: Is wishful thinking ever harmful? Can faith, positive thinking – whatever you want to call it – help you achieve and meet goals? Or, again, is my propensity to reject “reason” – and others’ determination to accept it – simply the mind’s way of assigning answers where maybe we don’t need them? Ambiguity, after all, is what makes life (especially the writer’s) interesting.