Do you believe in ghosts? I know people who swear that they have been visited by the spirit of a loved one. Evidently, my grandfather popped up in front of my mother while she was talking on the telephone. This was a few days after he had died, and he wanted to tell her that everything was alright. My mother may have been a little surprised, but it was a reassuring encounter.

There was a time when spiritualism was all the fad, and people were bilked a lot of money by mediums. I don't know if the extra large medium is unscrupulous, but the mediums in Spook and How it happened in Peach Hill certainly are.

There are welcome ghosts and then there are the malignant ghosts of horror stories. I have no truck with those ghosts - in a story or real life. If a nice ghost wanted to drop by for a chat, I might find that interesting. Maybe. But scary ghosts? No thanks.

Here are books about all kinds of ghosts:

The dark-thirty : Southern tales of the supernatural /McKissack, Pat,   J SC MCK

Ghost cats /Shreve, Susan Richards.   J F SHR

Lost boy/Newbery, Linda   J F NEW

The ghost in the Tokaido Inn /Hoobler, Dorothy.  J F HOO

How it happened in Peach Hill /Jocelyn, Marthe.  J F JOC

Shadow /Cendrars, Blaise,   E BRO

Ghost train /Yee, Paul.  E YEE

Kate Culhane, a ghost story /Hague, Michael.  J 398.2 HAG

The extra large medium /Slavin, Helen. F SLA

Spook : science tackles the afterlife /Roach, Mary.  129 ROA

The wolf at twilight : an Indian elder's journey through a land of ghosts and shadows /Nerburn, Kent,   978.004 NER

Are there ghosts in this photo? I took it on a ghost walk in Colonial Williamsburg, and it turned  out looking decidedly spooky.