Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday will not tempt the wrath of Alice

Hello, girls! It's Monday!

Alexandra - Your dragon was wonderful. Congrats on a well-completed challenge.

Carlyn - I'm still tempted to call shenanigans . . .

Christina - I hope France is wonderful and everything you were expecting, and I hope you're settling in very nicely! I look forward to hearing all about it in weeks to come.

And now for the theme of the week!

Do I believe in ghosts? . . . That's a difficult question. And yes, I know, I asked it, but still. The simplest answer is, I suppose, yes, but there are qualifiers.

First, I think humans see and sense the paranormal a little too easily. Alone in a room or a building and we hear a noise we can't explain, we get spooked, and we start to imagine all sorts of things lurking in the unknown. When we visit a place supposedly haunted, any unexplained voice will immediately have us screaming, "GHOST!" rather than, say, a grate that leads to the street, through which perfectly normal human voices are filtering.

That being said, though, I also believe in the scientific idea that nothing can be created or destroyed, it can only change form. Something has to happen to our life force and energy and essence once we die. If I believe that a person's soul can go to heaven, I also have to believe that it can choose to linger on the earth as well.

Thirdly, I believe that energy collects in a place, and I don't think it's a coincidence that often the most haunted places are prisons and the like, places where there has been a great deal of suffering. That energy lingers, in the same way that a home can be welcoming or feel cold before we ever meet the people who live there. The energy of a place lingers and resonates even when the people who once inhabited it are gone.

And finally, I believe in Alice.

This will be one of those points where my desire to keep an open mind and not shut any possibility out gets thrown out the window for the sake of theatre tradition. So, for instance, I will say that it is possible to be haunted, but not necessarily by ghosts, and that what we think of as ghosts may just be a residual spiritual energy, but I will also say without a shadow of a doubt that Alice is real and I believe in her whole-heartedly.

So, who is Alice, you may ask? I hesitate to say, because she doesn't like to be talked about, and I wouldn't anger her for the world. But I'm not in U Hall or even on campus, and there isn't a show coming up any time soon, so I think I'm safe. And Alice, you know from our dealings together that I hold you and have always held you in the highest respect.

Alice is the theatre ghost of BGSU. She haunts the Eva Marie Saint and Joe E Brown theatres. The legend goes that she was a theatre student here who was killed in a car accident on her way to accept an award back in the 1920s, I believe. So now, she haunts the theatres, and she's generally on pretty good terms with the theatre students, but there are a few things that will get her angry. One, talking about her in the theatre. Two, breaking theatre traditions (like saying "Macbeth" in the theatre). And three, failing to ask for her blessing or to invite her to the show. You can say what you want about the Macbeth superstition, that people psych themselves out and that it's a self-fulfilling prophecy and we bring the bad luck on ourselves, but offer a possible explanation for the fact that the last time Alice wasn't invited to a show, the main actor's throat started swelling shut for no reason in the middle of the afternoon on opening night. He had to be hospitalized, and the doctor's couldn't find any reason for the reaction.

So yeah, I believe in Alice. It also helps that I've had an Alice experience, which I won't go into here, but I know what I saw.

So, yeah. I think I've equivocated enough. I look forward to hearing what you think!

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