An original, deeply moving memoir about how a man's quest to understand the supernatural led him to confront his own haunted past.
Writer and NPR executive Nuzum was a young teenager growing up in Ohio when he encountered his first ghost, a little girl in a blue dress who appeared to him in his dreams. As he grew up, the author became convinced that the girl “was a harbinger of my own self-destruction.” Perhaps she was. By the time Nuzum was 18, he was a “doped-up, undependable, unpredictable mess” who actively courted suicide. His bizarre, sometimes violent behavior eventually landed him in a psychiatric ward. When medical intervention failed, a beautiful and unconventional friend named Laura helped pull him back from the brink. But as he healed, their complex, enigmatic relationship faltered; soon he lost track of her altogether. Then, during his first year back at college, he received word that Laura had died after getting hit by a car. Although Nuzum moved on with his life, he remained permanently marked by his experiences. Closed doors still frightened him because they could “have ghosts hiding behind them.” Determined to confront his fears, he began investigating famous haunted places across America. His occasionally humorous encounters with the spirit world did nothing to cure his phobia, but they did push him into a reckoning with his past and with the ghost of Laura.
An elegiac testament to friendship, love and survival.