I was just thinking about how murky the messages we get from the Otherside are. I’m not sure if the murk is on their side—because they don’t have the energy, or whatever, for full and clear disclosure—or if the murk is on our side and our inability to interpret correctly.

I was thinking in particular of the TV show, Celebrity Ghosts Stories. I didn’t watch it regularly when it was still being broadcast because I thought it was pretty dumb, but I noticed one evening not long after the death of David Carradine that there was a new episode featuring him. My morbid curiosity got the better of me, so I watched.

His segment was preceded by a message that said he’d filmed this story four months before he died. The segment was all about how he had married Annie, a widow with three young children. Annie’s husband, Dana, had died tragically at a young age of cancer (I believe). David moved into her house and talked about how much he loved her and the children.

But weird things kept happening. The closet door in their bedroom kept opening and closing and an unnatural cold seeped out of it. When he’d go in the closet, it would be much colder than the bedroom. David got the sense that it was the spirit of Annie’s husband. In particular, one of Dana’s ties was still in the closet, and it kept flipping over to reveal a logo that said, “Grateful Dead.”

David’s interpretation: “It was obviously a joke, that the dead were grateful . . . it was the only way he could communicate [that] he now felt like everything was settled, the kids were taken care of and I was gonna be there for them. And I will be.”

Do you remember how David died? Of autoerotic asphyxiation. Hanging naked in the closet of his hotel room in Thailand.

Could be a horrible coincidence, of course. But in hindsight, it appears Dana had a different message for David. Because we’re human, we tend to interpret things the way we want to, to rationalize and project our needs and desires. I don’t know why the dead are not “allowed” to just come right out with pronouncements like, “Dude, don’t try the whole autoerotic thing. My kids are depending on you.” Like I said, maybe they haven’t got enough energy for clear-cut messages, or maybe that whole free will thing comes into play and they can’t interfere with our own choices that directly.

I don’t know, but it’s creepy as hell.