By Sabrina Eager
Art by Sophie Williams
We live in a world that is haunted, knows it is haunted, and denies its own hauntedness.
- Patricia Yaeger
I never know what to say when people ask if I believe in ghosts. Because in a way, I do. I believe that the dead stick around as spirits for a little while after they've passed. I believe that spaces are haunted by past inhabitants, by past events. I believe that we can feel the presence of those no longer in our lives, of those no longer on this earth, in the things they once loved or that we once shared.
But I don't believe that ghosts can turn the lights on or make the room cold. I don't think we can hear them in the walls or see them in our reflection. Ghosts are not actually forms reminiscent of white sheets with cut-out eyes. Instead, they are the fears that as images we think we see in the dark. They are people's internalized beliefs that appear as flickering moments of violence. They show themselves in our participation in socially situated, oppressive institutions.
This playlist is made of songs that, to me, feel haunted. Some are songs written on grief and loss, songs haunted by their subjects. Some are songs haunted by histories that don’t truly lie in the past. Some are songs haunted by the writers’ own inner ghosts. And some are songs that feel like an encounter with a ghost, songs that make me question whether my denial of corporeal ghosts is a true belief or just a desire.