Antiques + Ghosts: There’s Something Off-Key Here

A real-life honest-to-goodness made-me-smile conversation…

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“I ain’t afraid of no ghost.”

I met a friend for drinks and dinner.  She got talking about her part-time business, which is selling antiques.

She scouts around local Goodwills and garage sales, then takes her finds, tidies them up a bit, and puts them in a rented booth in an antique mall.  She’s done this for years, turning a modest profit on her efforts.

My friend told me that a ghost is now haunting her booth.  This ghost, who isn’t pleased with the way my friend is merchandising her hats and jewelry, moves items around within the booth.

And the ghost has gone so far as to break an item.  Bad ghost!

Come to find out this problem is part of dealing in antiques.  [Read more here.]  According to my friend you learn to accept the fact that as long as you have an item a ghost has attached itself to, you’re going to have difficulties.

Once the item is gone, either through a sale or by intentional destruction, the ghost leaves you alone.

The trick, of course, is figuring out which item is the one that has brought the ghost to your booth.

So far my friend has not been able to do this on her own, so she’s enlisted the help of other antique booth renters, asking them to keep an eye on her things, in case they see a ghost lurking about.

As one is wont to do, apparently, in antique malls.

Who knew?

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An entertaining ditty for your listening pleasure!

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

42 thoughts on “Antiques + Ghosts: There’s Something Off-Key Here”

      1. joanne, I never thought about this idea either until my friend clued me into it. I dunno if I believe in ghosts, but if they exist look for them in antiques, I guess. Something to be aware of… 😉

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    1. Kate, I don’t know, but it does seem like the buyer is getting a bit more for the same price, doesn’t it?

      “This hat now available with free ghost! Get one while supply lasts.” 😉

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  1. I like the casualness of this. Well of course the other dealers will help watch out for ghosts! I’ve never had a ghost-attached item. That’s something new to worry about, eh?

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    1. Zazzy, this was a completely off-the-cuff remark, said as if I knew all about the ghost problem with antiques. Now I do. Don’t you just love learning how other people think?

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    1. Janet, that’s a good point. You could be onto something there. Who’s to say that these antique-haunting ghosts weren’t designers and merchandisers in their lives?!! 😉

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  2. While I’ve heard of such things, as one does when one loves antiques, I can’t say I’ve had any bad experiences. How unfortunate for your friend. Perhaps my ghosts are not the possessive sort, all happy to have someone else enjoying the item they can no longer use.

    That music starts off so playful, but around :45, I couldn’t bear the shrill strangeness of its disconnect anymore.

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    1. joey, I’ve lived my whole life around antiques, and like you, never had an unhappy ghost attached to any of them. But my friend has not been so lucky. I know about that music. It is so off… in all ways. 0.o

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  3. Fascinating! I’m sure there are many reasons why they believe this, so who am I to discredit it? I would have had a tough time keeping a straight face!

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    1. Margaret, I didn’t exactly keep a straight face. I mean, I don’t deal in antiques so what do I know? Plus it makes for great stories to have ghosts causing you problems, and who doesn’t like a friend with stories?!!

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  4. Fascinating stuff. I am having a difficult time deciding if I would rather my rented booth be haunted with a ghost or live vermin capable of moving my merchandise around.

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    1. Allie P, you raise a good question: which is worse? Or are both equally plausible/implausible? No answer here, just reporting a conversation with a longtime friend who is a delight!

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  5. What a fascinating conversation! Why can’t any of my dinner conversations be so compelling?

    I will say that there are some antique/vintage items that I steer clear of because of the intimacy of them. Old portraits, for example. They unnerve me. I can’t imagine displaying or having anyone’s picture if I didn’t know him or her. Same with old letters.

    The article you linked to was a really good read. Thank you.

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    1. nance, I agree about some items being too personal. I never like old portraits unless I can explain why I have this person’s image in my possession. [Actually all photos of people kind of freak me out. Don’t like eyes staring at me.] I thought the article was interesting, too.

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  6. This reminds me of a syndicated program that was on TV in the late 80’s called “Friday the 13th: The Series.” It had nothing to do with Jason, the premise was that this family inherited an antique shop from an uncle who had made a deal with the devil to stay in business. Satan, in turn, cursed the items that were sold with some fiendishly evil characteristic that resulted in a lot of misery and death for whoever owned it. The job for the trio that were now in charge of the shop was to track down each of the cursed items and bring the back to the vault where they can no longer do any harm… and each episode generally dealt with the pursuit of a different cursed antique. Not the kind of show I’d watch these days (Too much gratuitous violence… being a friend of one of the three main characters was the equivalent of being a red shirted ensign on The Enterprise), but it entertained me and my sisses back in the boring says of our youth…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, I’ve never heard of that show, but it certainly sounds like it was along the same lines as the belief behind ghost-haunted antiques. Rather trippy to think about a TV show back then relating to an innocent conversation now. Perhaps the ghost + devil + antique + curse trope is a constant?

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    1. Chez Shea, as long as the ghost is friendly and/or indifferent then I’m cool with my antiques being ghost-infested. But when one decides it doesn’t like my decorating, then we’re going to have words!

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    1. Stephanie, this is something fun to know about, regardless of your personal beliefs about ghosts. It made for a great conversation at dinner and a good one here on the blog. The things you learn… 😉

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    1. philmouse, well said! I wonder if my friend will ever catch the ghost… or if she’ll sell the haunted item [whatever it is] to some unsuspecting buyer? No doubt there’ll be a rest of the story with this one. 😉

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        1. Well, you know Sarah, I did mention that it could be the night janitor who moved things around as he cleaned, but my friend assured me that was not the case… because it had happened in other booths, too. With logic like that I decided to just go with the story as is. No need to be a gloomy Gussie about ghost shenanigans.

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