Tuesday, August 28, 2012


A writer friend of mine who publishes under the name Scarlett Dean had a book out several years ago titled Unfinished Business. The premise is that objects can be haunted and that anyone who brings such an object into his or her home also brings along the spirit attached to it.

Apparently, for those of us who are open to the concepts of the supernatural, this is more than just a premise. John Zaffis, for instance, a paranormal investigator, has his own TV series called "Haunted Collector," a show that deals with disturbed objects and the folks who are being disturbed by them. Just recently, I saw a special entitled "Possessed Possessions" that was rather like a haunted Antiques Road Show, except it was on board the very haunted Queen Mary and the evaluations were not for current worth, but for current supernatural manifestations. People brought in their auction-bought antique dolls, inherited porcelain tea cups, life-size wax statues of Rudolph Valentino, and even a 19th century Colt once owned by a Texas Ranger. The psychics and other investigators would give a reading on each object and then ask the owners questions to ascertain the accuracy of their readings. 

The one question they never asked was "And why exactly did you feel the need to have this in your house?" I can understand inherited items. I don't get purchasing something as creepy as an antique doll that you subsequently relegate to the storage facility because you don't want to have the thing anywhere near you.

Of course, I am being far too harsh. There are a number of resale and thrift shops around my house, and one day, I became enamored of a set of nesting porcelain bowls. They were a beautiful peach color with decorative green leaf work on one side, and they were both stunning and useful. My husband bought them for me as a surprise present and I was thrilled with them. Until I got them into my kitchen.

For about, oh, 10 years or so, these beautiful bowls have been languishing in a cabinet just to the right of the kitchen sink. I don't know why I've never used them other than the fact that they make me uneasy. They are as striking as they ever were, but if I never bring them out to look at them again, that's fine. So why did they seem so beautiful but also so ordinary at the store and not in my house? I have no idea. 

If anyone hears of a haunted Antiques Road Show turning up in the Chicago area some time in the near future, let me know, okay?


  1. My friend shops like this - she buys several things that look good at the store and when she gets them home and sees them in a different light she usually takes most of them back (this is clothes, of course) without ever wearing them. Honestly, I think she has a phobia about really making purchases and keeping them. She may buy a blouse, wear it once and then take it back to the store - which to me is dishonest - but who am I to say anything to her about it?

    It could be the bowls don't look the same in your house as they did in the store or that you really don't have any use for them now that they are in the house. They could be haunted items but that is probably not why you aren't using them. There is some reason other than the haunted possessions you may have.

    Maybe one day you will pull them out and use them and they will be just as ordinary as they were in the store. Good luck with it - E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of Finally Home, a middle grade/YA mystery written very similar to a Nancy Drew mystery

  2. I guess sometimes when we see something in a store we find it appealing. Then at home it doesn't look quite the same. Sometimes, I'm an impulse buyer and later wonder what to do with my purchase.

    I like antiques, but mostly those from my family or when I know the history of an object.