― Christy A. Campbell
I'm not into spirit photography but I have to know who the ghost girl is in my photo shoot.
Now that she's in my dreams I know I'm obsessed— I admit a rainy morning is not exactly an occasion to resume taking pics of the Georgian House an hour's drive from here.
But these things I do especially when I'm consumed with a mystery.
I grab a coffee and bagel at Tim Horton’s takeout and head out west on highway 401 toward Elora. I find myself pushing the accelerator pedal hard and wanting to be there.
It’s crazy, she’s not real, I tell myself—but I can still taste those kisses and they’re more tender and real than any I’ve ever had.
I feel an intense longing to be with her—or just near her.
As I drive, it rains harder. The morning seems to be turning into one of those gray days of interminable rain and mist.
The photo shoot will be ruined—I don’t care. I need to see her again.
An hour and a half later, I’m parked in the drive. The house is somber—the bricks darkened with rain.
The overhanging leaves are bejewelled with water droplets and the lawn is covered with a silvery dew.
I get out and stand in the drizzle, feeling helpless, and staring at the house.
I glance across the circular drive at the lawn and my breath catches—there, inscribed in Spenserian handwriting in the dew is the message: Hello.
Some beautiful, invisible finger traced the lovely, flowing script. I crouch down and touch the “H” and feel a warm sensation pass through me.
When I close my eyes I can see her face. When I open them, a vaporous form is standing far off in the gray trees.
I walk toward the figure. It grows indistinct as I approach and vanishes into tendrils of mist.
I spend hours wandering the grounds, getting soaked to the skin, hoping to catch another glimpse.
Finally, I give up and go into town to the restaurant.
I take a window seat where I can see the river and the rain.
As I sip my hot coffee, a thought hits me—the library! The house must have a history.
The librarian is more than helpful. She produces material from the vertical file—old newspaper articles about the house.
In an archived issue of The Guelph Mercury, I find a history of the house and its original occupants—the Enright family—and at the end of the article a picture of Elizabeth—the girl in my photo.
The house was built in 1880 and I’m sitting there in the library looking at a family who lived 140 years ago and are now all dead.
It’s absurd. What’s the point of pursuing this further?
Still, I feel compelled to photocopy the article and the picture and as I do, my heart burns within my chest.
I drive back to the house and sit inside the SUV in the drive—staring at the house—willing Elizabeth to appear.
My feelings of curiosity and detached wonderment have been sublimed into an almost religious devotion—I’m driven by a deep need inside that longs for fulfillment, and obsessed and crazed as that may be I need to contact the girl from my dream.