I guess it’s fitting that the moment I sat down to write this, thunder boomed and lightening lit the sky.
The storm made our usually happy home feel as though it belonged in the establishing shot of an old horror movie. All that was missing was ominous organ music.
A more cautious man might have taken the storm as a sign to GO NO FURTHER because something REALLY SCARY was REALLY ANGRY.
But I’m not much of a believer in things that go BOO in the night. I generally don’t lose much sleep over the supernatural.
Lately, however, I’ve been drawn to the TV show “Ghosts of Shepherdstown.” You could even say it’s been keeping me from my busy nap schedule.
I have more than a passing interest.
For one thing, I consider Shepherdstown, West Virginia to be the seat of all Snyder power in the world.
I may not have grown up there (I was raised in Charleston, the state capital), but my Snyder forbears settled in Shepherdstown decades before the Civil War. Some family members still live there.
To steal a line from “Game of Thrones,” you could say there is always a Snyder in Shepherdstown, just as there must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Otherwise, who knows what might happen?
In this case, the dead didn’t exactly rise, but an old family ghost story DID get dramatized in a TV show.
You can thank – at least in part – my late Uncle Jack for the show’s claim that Shepherdstown is the most haunted town in America. Decades ago, he coaxed the old family ghost stories from his Aunts, the three daughters of his grandfather, Harry Lambright Snyder, the editor of the defunct “Shepherdstown Register” newspaper.
“Ghosts of Shepherdstown” is on the Destination America channel, but I initially found the show online after my wife brought it to my attention. A friend told her about an episode based on an old Snyder story Jack preserved about my great-grandmother haunting the old family home.
The first time I saw it, I half expected to see bats take flight and Scooby-Doo and the gang roll into town in the Mystery Machine. Scooby and Shaggy bumbling their way through Shepherdstown to 1970s bubblegum pop songs would have been a pleasure to see.
Instead, I felt like the story of my great-grandmother’s untimely death in a horse-and-buggy accident was ginned up to benefit someone else.
It’s been a few weeks since I first watched “Ghosts of Shepherdstown,” enough time for me to now see the humor. I can also take some pleasure that my Uncle Jack’s work to preserve family lore bore some fruit
Yet I also can’t help but think we’d all be better off if only those meddling kids had turned up to unmask the villain.