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How to find your ghost (and keep it!)

October 30, 2014 13:32 IST

A scene from The ExorcistWant to get your spook on this Halloween? Just follow these rules.

Halloween arrives every year on October 31.

For my Indian brethren who remain untainted by the 'evil' Western culture that our elders are always muttering about, Halloween is basically the time when kids dress up as scary creatures, and there's a lot of candy involved.

It is believed that Halloween is the night when entities from the other world can enter into ours, and to prepare for this spiritual challenge, humans do the only rational thing there is to do -- they flock to the nearest cinema hall to watch the latest scary movie.

Predictably, Hollywood capitalises on the opportunity, dishing out one horror flick after another.

Now, before you brand this tradition and the films that are produced because of it as a waste of time, please note that if you watch enough horror films in a short span of time -- as I have in the last month -- you will realise that the films are trying to tell you something.

There are lessons to be learned from them -- the most important of which is how do people get haunted.

This October's horror fare has it all. It will teach you how to get your ghost on.

Just follow these rules:

1. You need to be white

You cannot expect a spirit to show interest in you if you're dark. Haven't the Fair and Lovely ads taught you that already?

Look at all the iconic horror films -- The Shinning, The Exorcist, The Blair Witch Project, Carrie. What do they all have in common?

That's right.

White people.

Sure, you may have folks of colour playing villians such as Mama Cecile and Papa Justify in The Skeleton Key (2005) or as Evelyn in Annabelle, who was a convenient plot device.

But did they get haunted? No, sir.

The moral of the story is that unless you can be pale as a ghost, you certainly aren't going to get one.

In the picture: A scene from The Exorcist.


Keanu Reeves and Rachael Weisz in Constantine2. You need to be a woman

Sorry boys, but in this case it is almost always girls who get to have all the fun.

It doesn't matter how good you look or how bad you are -- just look at Keanu Reeves' John Constantine in Constantine (2005).

He's surrounded by hordes of demons throughout the film, but who is the one that ends up being tortured by them? Who else but co-star Rachel Weisz!

Even the Insidious series, which features the Bride in Black, has a man dressed as a woman who possesses the boy and then his father along with the Bride's mother herself.

The recently released Annabelle had not only a possessed female doll but also a girl who went insane, joined a satanic cult and then killed herself to conjure a demon.

Men just can't seem to catch a break at finding their own space in this supernatural world and beyond.

In the picture: Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz in Constantine.


The house in The Amityville Horror3. You need to be rich

Much like elite preschools and matrimonial advertisements, ghosts and demons too need you to have a specific socioeconomic background for them to be even remotely interested in you.

See, the spirits/ghouls/demons clearly have a lot of emotional baggage and they need some place to put all the baggage that causes them to act out.

So unless you've got enough disposable income to be able to put a down payment on a large bungalow in a nice, quiet neighbourhood, please do not waste the time of the undead.

Having your own evil entity is far more expensive than having a dog.

Plus, you have to be able to foot the bill for all the antiques they'll be breaking in your 19th century mansion.

Not to mention all the electronics that keep going haywire every time your guest from the beyond throws a hissy fit. Can you imagine having to pay for that iPhone for the sixth time?

Well, now you know.

In the picture: The house in The Amityville Horror

Paloma Sharma/ in Mumbai