Raising the Family Ghosts

Earth is the Greatest Haunted House. Hourly you walk among crowds of semi-conscious gaseous “ghosts.” To them you are the gaseous folk, while they are the visible and substantial realities. Men’s ignorance of this fact does not change the fact.

—With our thanks to you, who are our Ghost Writer.

This message is written in thick black pencil on a scrap of paper that I keep in a handmade wooden box near my bedside, along with various keepsakes and good luck charms. It was written by my great-grandfather Grant Wallace (1868–1954), who in every sense of the word was one of history’s most famous ghostwriters.

Growing up in my conventional family household in the 1980s, my siblings and I lived in blissful innocence when it came to the otherworldly accomplishments of our mom’s dad’s dad. We did not know much about him being a spiritualist philosopher and medium to past lives, alien life forms, and spirit worlds. We mostly knew of him by my mom’s description—a famous newspaper man who collected a famous circle of friends.

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