A Gilson Road tee-shirt is available at Amazon. I’m interested in what my friends think about it.
Frankly, I laughed out loud when I saw the shirt.
But when I posted about it at my Facebook page, the reaction was mixed.
Is this tee-shirt disrespectful?
Clearly, some people feel that way. I’m not happy when long-time researchers – who take this field seriously – are upset by those who take ghost hunting lightly.
I’m also sensitive when people ridicule paranormal research, as if we’re stupid, gullible, and prone to an over-active imagination.
Unfortunately, ghost hunting lost considerable credibility over the past few years. A lot of that can be blamed on the editing of ghost hunting TV shows. They were so sensationalized and so preposterous, they started looking like self-parodies.
That was sad.
It’s also a natural decay that happens to most fads and pop trends. I try to be realistic about these things.
On the positive side, I’m seeing a new generation of ghost hunters enter this field. That’s exciting. We need their challenging questions, and their unorthodox viewpoints.
With those fresh viewpoints, I’m also seeing a kind-of-snarky, kind-of-hipster humor. It’s self-deprecating, in a way.
It’s like they’re saying, “Yes, this subject is kind of ridiculous. It interests me anyway. I want to know the truth about ghosts.”
As long as people take the research seriously, I’m okay with the humor, even when it shows up as tee-shirts. If sarcastic humor keeps new researchers from running out the door in terror… that’s fine with me.
I might buy one of these tee-shirts, myself. It could spark an interesting conversation at the grocery store.
Every story I hear and every question I’m asked can be a very good thing.
- Questions are good. They keep us looking in fresh directions.
- First-person stories are even better. The more data points we collect, the clearer our understanding of what’s going on at haunted places, including Gilson Road Cemetery.
So yes, my first impulse is to get one of these shirts and wear it, just to see what happens.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to offend people. I know that, at times, my humor can be a bit raw and unconventional.
I’d like to know whether this kind of tee-shirt is sad, amusing, or in really poor taste.
Update: One reader gently reminded me that the tee-shirt audience isn’t entirely that “new generation” of ghost hungers.
As she said, a certain generation created the expression, “Been there. Done that. Got the tee-shirt.” And, for her, it’s still a thrill to have a tee-shirt as a memento of an adventure, or a series of adventures.
She’s right. I should have remembered this when I wrote my original article. Also, I know that many of my friends and fans have been part of the Hollow Hill community since the 1990s. I dashed off this article too quickly. I apologize.
What’s your opinion?