Anonymous Ghost to Anna Gonzalez, November 1, 1992

Man, if I was still alive, I'd probably be having sex all the time, not thinking about death.

Hi Anna,

Happy November!

So. Me and the other dead guys have been talking about it, and frankly, we’re sort of creeped out by this whole Day of the Dead thing. I know it’s a cultural thing and whatever, but it’s pretty weird to hang out in a cemetery all day, don’t you think? Basically, all the traditions of the Day of the Dead are super morbid, like dressing up the little skeleton dolls and decorating gravestones. Ugh. The skeleton dolls especially really freak me out.

Anyway, we think instead of spending all day thinking about death, you should just, I don’t know, pretend it doesn’t exist or something. That would be a lot more normal.

And don’t leave out food for us. We can’t eat. We’re dead. It’s just…disturbing.

Love,

Anonymous Ghost

p.s. But I guess if you’re gonna do it anyways, don’t forget my favorite food is flautas. And yeah fine, this is Gerry.

Analysis:

Do ghosts exist? And if so, how do they communicate with us in the living world? The answer is, “Probably not, but if they do, you can bet they’ll be sending letters.” This letter comes from South Texas, where “Gerry” is 12 year-old Gerry Schwartz, a young lad with a crush on his cute lab partner. Thanks to a healthy dose of Jewish neuroticism, he was filled with fear of death from a young age. When his pet rabbit “Hank” died, his mother told him that the creature would be sent to “wherever they send filthy rodents” and added “and where they’ll send you if you don’t finish your peas.” So young Gerry embarked on a quest to single-handedly end a popular Mexican holiday and make Anna like him. He failed, and is currently living as an accountant in San Antonio, where he is still terrified that one day he will die.

Despite the fact that this letter was a hoax, ghosts have been thought to communicate fairly regularly with the living. Mostly, these brief notes come in the form of post-it notes asking to turn down the heat or buy more chips. Occasionally, though, ghosts have been thought to leave long-winded screeds about the afterlife, dying, and socialism. Famously, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson was said to wander around the halls of Congress, until he became so depressed with it all that he killed himself (details are unclear; apparently ghosts can actually die and become spirits, but only if they obtain a special license).

Famously, the ghost of Jesus stopped by a church in Peoria in March of 1952, but was scared away by all the crucifixes.

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