Monday, October 29, 2018

Ghost Stories

'I ain't afraid of no ghost.'

Although I diffidently believe in spirits, even of hauntings, but I'm not sure I'm totally sold on Ghosts.  Ghosts, being the physical manifestation of the spirits of the dead.  There have been times I think I have sensed a spirit was close, even possibly trying to communicate or send me a message. I;m just not sure these spirits take on the classic white, flowing ghostly appearance, and I have never witnessed the vision softly creeping across a room.

Haunting'ss on the other hand, I've experienced.  Not the hauntings of a specific spirit, but the hauntings of several old houses I've stayed in over the years.  These hauntings didn't lead to anyone being hurt, they come in the form of  strange sounds, strange movements, strange temperature differences, even within the same room.

The Phantom Phallus by Frisky Frolic

Of course, some of these can easily be explained by wind, by old construction and wood, by air vents and rodents in the walls, but many.... cannot.  I have come to believe there are some homes, homes in which dozens upon dozens of spirits were born, lived and died in, hold the past within.  The hauntings occur when the past meets the present, and when together, the core of the house reacts.

Like most people, my introduction to Ghost's came through Casper and other depictions in books, film and TV.  I think for many of us born in the 70's or 80's, there was one vision, one Ghost story that weaved the sensual, with the spiritual and scary, in a cinematically carnal and movie masturbatory way.

I was about 9 or 10 when I caught 1981's Ghost Story on TV.  I wasn't really paying attention, although the move was only 5 or 6 years old, to me, it seemed like a boring old movie.  My parents were watching, I was playing some game on the floor near the television with my younger brother.  Like all horror movies, at some points during the movie, there were jolts, there were screams, that had my brother and I look up for our game towards the television.

I am not exactly sure, but Ghost Story might be the first time I saw a penis on my television screen. For some reason, the full frontal in the film wasn't edited out for it's television airing.  It may have missed, or might just not have seemed a bit deal in the mid eighties, either way, I remember it.  I didn't know the actor, nor did I care, a penis was clearly visual on the naked man plummeting down to his death.

Craig Wasson 

As memorable as the scene was, it wasn't a memory that necessarily really stuck.  I had forgotten all about it until decades later when I saw the VHS box cover of Ghost Story at Blockbuster.  I didn't initially connect why, but there was something about the movie that was familiar, something that had me wanting to rent it.  It wasn't the story, when I began watching, none of it was familiar.  It wasn't the cast, although I had heard of Fred Astaire, he wasn't exactly a performer that drew my attention, unless of course it was his voice in Santa Clause is Coming To Town...

David & Don

You're dead!
And you will be, too. Dead and wet and cold.

It was of course that penis. As soon as I saw actor Craig Wasson on screen, I knew I why I rented that movie.  Craig played brothers Don and David.  Although both had sex in the film, it was David whose climax was followed by him flying through the window and down onto the granite tiles surrounding the swimming  below.

When I was thinking of Ghost Stories, think particular moment was one of the most vivid to come to mind.  Had me wondering if there are many others, who had their first experience seeing a penis on TV being Wasson's willy?

Given the special effects required for the scene, I also couldn't help but wonder about Wasson's experience filming the scene.  He would have to have been placed completely naked either on the floor, or on a wall in front of a blue screen. (It didn't become green until the 90's)  I am guessing director John Irvin gave the actor directions to wriggle around and flail his body around so it (and of course his penis) looked like it was in free fall.

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