what's left over

publisher's note

 
  Photo: Maggie Shannon

Photo: Maggie Shannon

 

One not-nice thing that adults say to children is that for all they know, ghosts might very well exist. God forbid you're tasked with turning the lights out in the wrong part of the house, once you hear something like that. I remember moving through the darkness with a speed no longer available to me, as though whatever might be haunting the room was dangerous enough to fear but slow enough to outrun. 

Looking back, I don't think I was afraid of anything supernatural. What was scary was the idea of the room and furniture alone with no one in it. What happens to objects in the absence of people? Think of all the silent hours that have passed in empty rooms — the immobile, unblinking life of furniture was the frightening thing left over in the dark, and I couldn't get away from it quickly enough.

This issue is more about that feeling than anything paranormal or overtly spooky. Halloween in New York, where storefronts and residences alike compete for the most gruesome window displays, offers more than enough to make the average reader jump. Ghouls aside, this issue asks: what's left over? What's left behind? We can't help but wonder what's inside, especially when it comes to those places and things—the safety deposit box, the tax-shelter, the old building on your street—that might, for all we know, be empty.

But if you sneak a peek often enough, you usually find some version of yourself in there, staring back at you. After all: there's no such thing as ghosts, only people who believe in them.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

  Issue-wide spot illustrations: Peter Gamlen

Issue-wide spot illustrations: Peter Gamlen