Coffee Break Read – Mass Hysteria?

When people started seeing ghosts, everyone of a rational mind imagined it to be some sign of a new form of mass hysteria. Especially as there was no way to record the sightings. They seemed immune to any electronic method of photography. My social media feed was full of images of empty spaces and video clips of people running screaming from empty air. 

I saw my first ghost when I was eating my lunch sitting on a bench in the park outside my shop. It took me a few moments to realise it was a ghost. The outline looked like a normal person, but when you actually looked at it, the whole seemed translucent – as if there was some kind of projection. Apart from the eyes. They glowed with an eldritch red that made me almost choke on my avocado and three-bean sandwich.

I got back to my shop shaking, physically.

Now I understood why people were so afraid of these ghosts.

But how to prove they existed?

My shop sold old things. Things that were not really old enough to be antiques and were not really rare enough to be collectable. I called it the retro-shop. One thing I had a number of was old-style photographic cameras – including a couple of working polaroid’s that took instant pictures.

For the next week I went to lunch with one in my bag. But there was no ghost. I can’t say I’m sorry as it was not good for the digestion.

It was on the Friday when I was walking to the station having locked up the shop, that I heard a scream. Running I saw a teenager clutching a knife and stabbing at the ghost. The blade passing through. The lad dropped the knife and ran. 

My polaroid captured the moment – and the ghost. 

It went viral.

E.M. Swift-Hook

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