The Ghosts of Mexico in Merced

My Grandfather's Disappearance Inspired My Film About the Dark Side of Immigration

I live in a forgotten region. Most Californians, if they know the Central Valley exists, forget it when they think of the state as a whole. Those that have been there often simply drive through it on their way to Yosemite. Very few actually visit this region. Perhaps the simple reason is that it offers up a direct contrast to the mythical California of sunlit beaches and sophisticated cities. The Valley has high levels of poverty, crime, and unemployment. Stretching for 450 miles, from Bakersfield to Redding, it is one …

Why the Winchester Rifle Heiress Built Herself a Haunted Mansion

Ghosts and Guilt Compelled the Wealthy Widow to Build San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House

Once the United States’ largest private residence and the most expensive to build, today you could almost miss it. The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, sits between the …

I Choose Not to Believe in Ghosts

There Are Enough Things in the World to Haunt Me

Last December, a woman I was dating told me she believed in ghosts. We were chatting at a holiday party with two other guests, one of whom manages communications at …

Ghost Stories (to be read to her child, at night)

She was watching from the window
Arms out, hanging from the ledge
Reaching toward me—
Your uncle was still an infant—
And when she stepped inside
I saw that I …

I Am Haunted by My Mother’s Ghost Story

She Told Us to Help Us Understand Her, but What Does She Want Us to Know?

The story comes unbidden. Unbidden? I mean to say that I never set out to tell it. Still, I’ve told it many times. There’s usually drinking involved, low lighting; it’s …