Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cuz Edna Told Me

Four words heard recently by myself and another N.A.P.S. investigator are likely to go down in infamy - at least for us. They were spoken to me and co-founder Kim Frith during a conversation we were having with a couple of people who stopped us while we were doing historic research into King's Tavern at the George Armstrong library. One of the nice ladies was eagerly explaining to us about another friend who had described to her some experiences she had while at King's Tavern. Then, she uttered the words I'm almost weary of hearing, "You know, a long time ago they discovered the mummified remains of three people, a female and two males, hidden in a fire place wall with a dagger sticking in the chest of the female." Upon hearing this and unable to contain myself, I immediately slipped into law officer mode and (probably rudely) interrupted her and in a very flat tone with direct eye contact queried, "And on what basis of fact do you have to know that this ever actually happened?" Stunned that I would ask that, her body language said it all. She reacted like a child caught with her hand in the cookie jar.  The gig was up.  Trapped and knowing what she was about to have to say, her eyes went to the floor, her chin dropped slightly and she uttered the now infamous words, "Cuz Edna told me."

Kim and I exchanged a knowing look, with a twinkle in our eye.

You see, those iconoclastic four words sum up what paranormal historical researchers into ghost stories have come to know. People, especially us southerners, love our stories...especially our ghost stories. It is almost considered rude to stop the story-teller and question whether the story is actually true! Rather than ask the question themselves, they've passed the story on from one generation to the next, embellishing a little more in each succeeding generation, to where all semblance of fact fades and we're left with a mixture of truth and fable. I don't need to tell you which is more weighted than the other. Entertaining though it may be, this hardly provides a basis on which to factually investigate a site. Asked to provide a little epistemology (how do you know the truth), and they are busted. They don't refer to court documents, a historical book, or to a police or coroner's report. What do they always mutter: Cuz Edna told me.

It's enough to make a paranormal researcher shake his head and smile.

1 comment:

  1. Who is this Edna & why don't I know her? Lol! Chris J.