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  • Keith Snyder

Speaking of Ghosts – Schoolwork is Not Enough

I was a typical, bored fourteen-year-old boy going through the motions of trying to understand myself and my world in addition to eating, drinking, and sleeping playing baseball! I credit my parents with giving me the passion to read and learn as much as I could possibly absorb. So, during the winter months when playing baseball was a distant dream, my mother would drop me off at our local library to check out some books. Since this was the pre-internet era, books were the only way to thoroughly explore my own interests. My mother was thrilled that I was an avid learner, but she had no idea of my stealthy operations between the stacks of books!

At that time, there was no “paranormal” section in most libraries. Subjects on ghosts and the unexplained were placed in the “Occult” section! After researching the Card Catalog (young readers will have to look this up) for my picks, I quietly found my books in the stacks and did my best to hide them from prying eyes! Let me be totally honest; borrowing books from a public library

in the early eighties from the “Occult” section in our small-town library was not a practice I wanted to be publicly recognized as performing! After pulling my selections, I made my way to the librarian’s counter. It never failed! I was always called to the librarian who looked stern! After she asked “did you find everything you were looking for?”, I nodded affirmatively and handed her my pile of books. After presenting my library membership card, she took her time verifying and marking the check-out card at the back of each book. I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the next event; I received the inevitable stare down the bridge of her nose over her glasses implying to me she thought I was a worshipper of Satan or just plain deviant! Oh, the joy of me leaving that uncomfortable inquisition to my mother’s awaiting station wagon and her huge grin and happy exclamation “Oh, you found some books honey!”. “Yes mom, I sure did. Thanks!”

Each subsequent inquisition at the library only confirmed to me that during that era the subjects that interested me – other than baseball - were generally considered to be taboo in society. Oh well, I guess that I was not normal, but I damn well knew that cryptozoology, alien encounters and spirits and ghosts kept me interested and eager to learn and absorb information like a sponge!

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