Ghosts | Spirits | York | Grief | June Writing Challenge Day 5

My Thoughts About Ghosts and Spirits

What has this got to do with a trip to York and a song from 1969?


Tour guide wearing a black coat and a top hat, on a ghost walk in York, England.
Our guide on the ghost walk in York, England, June 2016. Author’s own photo

I don’t drink alcohol, so there’s only a ghost of a chance I’d be interested in spirits.

Oh. What’s that? You’re saying I’ve misunderstood the question again?


Seven years ago, I went to York for a couple of nights with Stephanie. We went on an evening ghost walk around the city, and it was a lot of fun, even if it felt surreal at times.

There might have been thirty people in the group, and the guide walked us to several places around the city that were supposedly haunted. There was definitely an atmosphere as we walked through narrow streets and heard spooky stories from the past.

There was a bizarre moment when the guide told us all to walk up to the window of a particular restaurant, then pull faces at the diners and shout “Bleurgh!”

Despite it being an entertaining evening, I don’t really believe in ghosts.

Notice I said ‘don’t really’, because a small part of me remains on the fence at times of distress. I still feel spooked in some situations, especially when walking around in the dark.


I want to believe the essence of those I’ve loved and lost persists. And I grew up listening to Norman Greenbaum’s 1969 song, Spirit In the Sky. However, I have never experienced anything resembling the presence of a spirit.

There have been times when I’ve felt lost and alone; I have wished my late wife or parents were still here to guide me.

I might have dreamt about them; or had some kind of daydream. But as much as I would like to believe, I have seen no evidence.

All that remains is a feeling of hope, and my memories of them.



Alan (AJ) Autistic Widower

Former electronics engineer & programmer in England, 50-something with a dry sense of humour. Sharing stories & opinions. Tip jar: