Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, spirits and myths of old. Like the American bison, these folklores have begun to disappear as our towers stretch to the sky, and our mind’s shrink within ourselves. The modern age shuffles through our lives and these stories are relegated to white noise.
What happens when a Native American burial ground meets the blade of a 6,000 pound bulldozer? Where does a spirit roam when the 40-acre wood is turned into a shopping mall complex? However, you do hear the sensational on occasion. A hotel whose 50th floor is haunted. A house whose doors continue to open and close. A werewolf roaming about in New Hampshire, Michigan, or Wisconsin is reported, but one has yet to heed the howl from atop the Prudential Building in Boston.
Hunters seek out the answers, bravely venturing out into the night with equipment of science. They invade a creature’s woods, breaking into a spirit’s home. All in the name of proof. All in the name of answers. Searching for something that’s tangible. We want to touch it, smell it, or hear it.
The great irony is that almost from the start of understanding, we are fed the stories of the world around us, below us, and above us. The vast majority of us are paranormally blind. Our bulldozing lives have eroded our faith in anything that can’t be touched, bought off of the internet, or rationalized with a hot latte in hand.
It’s not that our belief has been taken away suddenly. No, it’s been decades of cultural modernization that have worn our shores of spirituality to nothing more than hard, cold rock. Unfeeling and unhindered by the dark or the light.
A spirit simply doesn’t walk through our capes and classic cottages any more. The ethereal has no place in the pool of the local YMCA. Sasquatch cannot compete with the local Stop n Gas. Werewolves are just children’s stories that are long past their expiration date. Those who don’t walk our corporeal plane simply don’t exist.
Or do they? Maybe, just maybe, our senses, just like our instincts, have been dulled by the drive-thrus more than anyone will care to admit. Maybe the other dimension is still here, but the HDTV and Wii are blocking it?
Our edifying development has grown a nictitating membrane. A third eyelid that blocks out the very edges of our imagination. Faith doesn’t require a leap anymore; it demands to be shot out of a canon. More and more, it needs to be surgically removed just to find it within ourselves.
Even ancient folklore has been made sexier, more seductive, more palatable. What once was terrifying is now tame and marketed. Vampires with teen angst dance amongst werewolves who can barely shave. These were not the creatures that petrified whole villages and whose legend spread across continents like a primordial virus.
Ghosts and spirits that may walk among us are now cold drafts of an open window or the bent reflections of a fading sun. Our logical minds twist the very wind that blows out the candle of our mind’s eye. Where does this leave us? Some would say we are modernized, efficient beings doing what we do best – living within ourselves. However, I have to wonder if our inner child isn’t truly bereft of fantasy and the fantastic. For all that we are or may be, we may be truly blind.