Ghosts as sheet-sporting shades of the dead do not exist.
Ghosts as unpleasant manifestations of past trauma totally do exist. In fact, my corpus is a veritable spookhouse of such entities, and their visitations have grown more frequent in recent years.
Here’s a brief rundown of some of the more malevolent ones:
The Flayed Knee Nightmare: This one has been vexing me regularly since the last day of 9th grade, when I took a tumble off a scooter, stripping the skin of both my kneecaps and replacing it with bits of gravel and other road debris. My mother tried to exorcise it with long soaks in epsom-laced bathwater and peroxide washes, but the entity still manifests during long walks or any time I try to kneel.
The Carpal Phantom: The summoning process took roughly two decades but it’s been having a grand old time ever since. It’s frolicking in its domain even as I type this.
The Lumbar Devil: It came to me at my pan-washing station at the hospital kitchen. “You can totally lift that stack of twenty sheet pans over your head, Andrew,” it whispered to me. I was young and foolish. I listened to the beast. And my fate was sealed.
The Ankle-geist: Occasionally works in concert with the Lumbar Devil, but mostly shows up to remind of the many times I landed too hard or too awkwardly on my right foot over the years.
The Dead Finger: Not a presence but a void. No sensations can be felt on the pad of my right index finger, thanks to a curse inflicted by a rabbit who thought my digit was a carrot.
The Festering Maw: This is what happens when years of poverty, neglect, and laziness are allowed to ferment over a long period of time in a warm wet place. Sometimes agonizing, sometimes embarrassing, but always pretty disgusting. I’ve begun to bring this one to heel, but it has not been an easy (or cheap) process.