Are you afraid of the dark?

I have an absurd fascination with both prisons and cemeteries. I can't explain it. I just think a facility full of murderers and a plot of land full of hundreds of years of dead people and tragic stories is fabulously creepy. I love to be scared. Well, superficially scared, I guess. There is a difference between being terrified in the midst of a car accident and being afraid of the dark. I prefer the fear of the dark.

So when a friend and coworker asked if we'd join her on a ghost walk last night through the old cemetery in town, hell yes I was going to go. Ghosts! Really? I don't know that I believe in ghosts or spirits or any sort of haunting apparitions, but it is certainly not out of the question. And a walk through a dark cemetery on a cold night with actual ghost hunters is so fantastically scary I can't even handle it.

My friend's working on an article about the local "spirit hunters," if you will, and they offered us a ghost tour of the cemetery.

Four of us ladies, two ghost hunters, one photographer and a videographer weaved through the cemetery as the ghost hunters regaled stories of spirit investigations and ghost sightings at that very place.

Mandy and I, of course, were linked arm in arm because we're complete chickenshit concerned for each other's welfare.  And it was dark and there were shadows and the broad said something about a ghost dog that frequents the cemetery and that's about as terrifying as I can handle. Jesus. Have you seen Pet Sematary?

OMG.

The entire scenario felt very straight-from-a-movie, Blair Witch-like.  The cameras, the interviewing, the flashlights. And, you know, the wind and the dead people and the fact that she told us some spirits are hostile.

At one point, the spirit hunter took a photo into the dark with her digital camera to try to capture any "hot spots" or images of any kind, and sure enough, there was a small, yet significant, orb in the photo. I might have peed a little in my pants at that moment, although she admitted it could very well be a dust particle or any number of things that caused the appearance. When she snapped another photo in the same direction, the orb still appeared in the picture, only it had moved closer to the ground.

OMG.

This experience will not turn me into a ghostbuster and it certainly didn't prove the existence of spirits, but it was so fascinating. And fun. And exciting. And, I'm sorry, but squealing in the dark on a cold October night in a cemetery with your girl friends and some ghost hunters is awesome.

Later this month the spirit hunters are taking a walk behind the cemetery on a wooded trail along the river, where, apparently, hot spots and ghostly experiences are much more frequent. There's talk of shadow people, a cyclist, a man who drowned not long ago. All of whom haunt the trail.

OMG.

I am so there.