Conversations With Spirits

By E O Higgins

The story of a dissipated genius in a borrowed hat and coat

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Of all ghosts, the ghosts of our old loves are the worst

Thank you to everyone that came to the Edinburgh Literary Festival last month and saw myself and - The Confabulist author - Steven Galloway discuss ‘Fiction that Blurs Reality with Illusion’.

It was a morning of the strange and uncanny, I tell you; full with terrible omens and evil luck*; and tempers were destined to fray…

Unfortunately, being unaware that a large section of the audience were spiritualists from Edinburgh’s-own Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, in the course of answering the questions set to me, I somewhat blithely dismissed Spiritualism as 'so much nonsense', and spiritualists as either ‘shysters’ or badly informed…

This led to a rather more lively debate than expected when the floor was opened to questions.

Indeed, one gentleman in the front row - who gruffly identified himself as ‘one of the shysters’ (ah!) - was moved to demand that myself and Galloway return to Edinburgh next year in order to spar with two Spiritualist mediums. Then looked even more put-out when we both immediately agreed to do so.

Later, I was rounded on by one of their number (a lady called 'Mary'), who wore a bobble hat and criticised me about my lack of comprehension of matters psychical – then finished up by complimenting my speaking voice. 

Now it would seem I am on the front of the latest edition of Haunted Magazine being rudely fingered by a ghost...

Coincidence? Or am I meddling with forces I don’t understand?**

*I had just opened the toilet door in Mark Billingham's face.

**It’s a coincidence, isn’t it? 

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