A few months back, I read an article from Wired Magazine stating that Ghosts are the New Vampire. With the recent success of so many vampire novels and television series, I found it a little hard to believe. Could it be true? Could ghosts be ready to take a bite out of the paranormal market and unseat the reigning vampire?
At the time I read this, I was writing my own paranormal romance that featured a ghost, so while I was skeptical, this article was music to my ears. I finished my story and went about promoting it, not thinking that much more about the article. That was until I came across it again.
The author, Mary H.K. Choi, stated that ghosts were going to be the next big thing stating that they were just extra-emo versions of us. I would have to argue that they are much more than that. Most people believe in some form of life after death, so from there it’s a small jump into the spirit world.
Ghosts have the allure of the unknown and are tortured by their desire to make contact with the living. They suffer in ways that a blood sucking vampire or werewolf can’t compare (don’t get me wrong, I love me some Edward and Jacob). In art, these elusive beings are often demoted to cold spots or feelings of uneasiness, but perhaps it is time for more.
Maybe ghosts need to move beyond avenging their deaths and rattling chains much in the way that vampires had to move beyond coffins and stakes through the heart, or maybe ghosts need to use what they’ve got and get serious about frightening people, avenging their deaths, and finishing up the unfinished business.
This past October, the FX network released its new show American Horror Story about a California family that moves into an old Victorian mansion. Add in the grab bag of ghosts, creepy shots, and gothic feel and you have a paranormal sure thing. Perhaps the success of this and other ghost related shows will open the door for spirits in film and books.
While the odds of meeting a vampire are nil, sooner or later we are all going to die and this brings us closer to the world of ghosts than we will ever be to any other paranormal monster. In the end, we all hope that there is something more, even if it is only to roam about trying to finish the unfinished.
Dana Michelle Burnett is the author of the paranormal romance novel Spiritus, a story about a love affair between a ghost and a young woman. When Becca moves into her ancestral home in Corydon, Indiana, her life takes a puzzling and thrilling turn when she meets the ghost haunting the halls. As the seductive spirit lures her closer and closer, she learns about her own past and starts to understand that some mistakes are meant to last.