Monday, May 24, 2010

Paradise for the Dead...

It felt wonderful last night to take a bit of time and explore the history of my new city of residence, San Diego. From an outsider's perspective there is quite a big absence of historical buildings in most neighborhoods here. Like most cities in the United States, the old haunts of past citizens are often lost to what is new and thriving in the present day. But all history is not lost to San Diegans. Scattered around the town and suburbs are little hints of the past... and possibly a few ghosts.

The sad part about this little southwestern paradise is its haunted legends. Don't get me wrong; some nationally famous ghost stories can be found between the canyons and the coast. Yet as is often the case, it's the same stories told and retold. People travel to Whaley House or Hotel del Coronado to stir up a few spirits. We fall in the trap of believing that history is limited to what we know and that with which we are familiar. Yet every place has hundreds--no, thousands--of years or past events buried below the grass and sand. A neighborhood may have been settled within the past century, yet even 100 years of life can provide fascinating stories.

I am once more digging up the bizarre past and interesting ghost stories forgotten by the mass media. And perhaps a few might make it into a sequel of Queer Hauntings (if I find the time and energy to tackle it). A former cemetery turned into a park, an old suspension bridge with perhaps a specter roaming the planks, haunted businesses and inns are but a few of the stories just beginning to be told here on the West Coast. My efforts at finding these new, undiscovered spots have just begun. At this point, the future of my life on the opposite end of the country is uncertain, as is the amount of time I shall stay. But as long as I'm in this new place, there are ghosts to find, stories to tell, and a wealth of past history to share with the world.

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