Are Hungry Ghosts Eating At You?


Hungry Ghosts

They had worked long and hard, having waited anxiously for the last vestiges of spring to finally loosen their grip. Having prearranged their vacation days to coincide the young couple grew ever more anxious as the time drew nearer. All the while, “hungry ghosts” lurked nearby.

 A picture of a ghostly hand.The sun shone brightly through their patio door when that first day finally arrived, though neither gave it much thought. After loading the suitcases into the backseat of their car, they returned to have one final look around the house.

Unfortunately, what should have been looked forward to with great anticipatory fanfare fell far short of the mark. They had begrudgingly decided, due to financial limitations, to vacation in and around their relatively immediate area. The atmosphere was somber, each wearing overt disappointment on their sleeves. 

A picture of a man feeling depressed.Of course, both would have much preferred a week away at some fancy resort, but that was not to be. The stark reality of their budgetary limitation weighed heavy as they begrudgingly trudged down the highway. To make matters worse, they had no real specific destination even in mind.

To not be vacationing somewhere was one thing but to be traveling to absolutely nowhere was quite another. The mood in the car was sour. Each partner silently brooded, cycling through negative thoughts that placed the blame squarely on the other shoulders.

A picture of a ghostly figure behind a screen.Unbeknownst to them, the “hungry ghosts” had begun to possess their wanting minds. Slowly but surely eating away at the happiness and joy that was so rightfully theirs. Unaware of their unwanted guests, they opened the door wider still, inviting and entertaining them all the more. 

The traffic was light and unencumbering as mile upon mile they traversed southward. Lush green boreal forests bordered them on either side, but blind were they to their beauty. All the while the couple took no notice of small blue lakes, their shimmering surfaces reflecting the noon sun overhead.

A picture of a sun drenched highway.Flocks of ducks erupted into flight unnoticed, soaring over wetlands and marshes dotted with swaying cattails and tall, pale yellow reeds. Distant lighthouses along rocky shores served to warn those who’d gone astray, but neither one took heed. Their minds transfixed, singularly focused on the “what ifs” and “what could have been.”

A flock of ducks takes off in flight.Upon arriving in the general area that was to be their home base for the next few days, they began circling about various small towns in search of a suitable dwelling. Wandering aimlessly for several hours, their impatience with one another wore thinner with each minute. Passing by countless uninviting hotels and generic motels it seemed that maybe just going back home would be their best option.

They did not recognize the serendipity, taking the form of an old inn, when they haphazardly stumbled across it. Located on an elevated hillside, it afforded guests romantic, scenic views of a small cascading waterfall situated several hundred feet to the north.

Inn as the Falls.The establishment consisted of a small cluster of renovated Victorian homes loosely connected by a series of narrow intertwining streets. Adorning the lawns of each repurposed home, were small nameplates. Written upon each was a poetic name that placed the building into some historical context.

The individual names reflected different distinguishing attributes of each particular home. Some were based on their distinctive color or specific style and appearance while others still reflective of past notable family surnames. 

Gables Cottage Inn at the BayHaving already toured the area for the better part of the afternoon the couple decided it would be best to check into the old inn. They realized that their options were diminishing in concert with the setting sun. Not to mention, the old inn had a certain charm all it’s own which modestly lifted their dampened spirits. 

The first thing to greet their senses, upon stepping into the foyer of the once private dwelling, was the musty dank smell that old buildings often have. It wasn’t repulsive or offensive in any manner, but instead, it spoke to the long history of the house.

One could almost hear the distant sounds of children laughing and singing.  A now long-disused piano in the corner plinking out Chrismas carols to the delight all present.

Front foyer at the Inn at the FallsPlanked hardwood floors ran parallel to ornately decorated plaster ceilings. Antique furniture of the Victorian period gave off an air of warmth and welcoming. At the end of the hallway, a large oak staircase wound it’s way up to bedrooms once inhabited by family members of the original owners.

Making their way up the staircase, they arrived at their assigned room. An old skeleton key unlocked the heavily varnished oak door. It creaked and moaned as they slowly pushed it open, unveiling to them what had once functioned as a sewing room. Adjacent windows on abutting walls allowed rays from the now setting sun to flood the room with a soft, comforting light.

room at the Inn at the Falls.He gazed out one window while she, the other. Beneath he saw a lovely courtyard bestowed with white marble tables and green lattice chairs. Strategically planted mature trees gave those sitting beneath much-needed shade and shelter from the hot summers sun.

From her vantage point, she could see small birds perched in the branches of those same trees. Beneath, a waiter in white glided from table to table taking orders and serving plates filled with delicious entrees and delectable starters. The patio looked so inviting that she resigned at that moment to find their way down to the courtyard so as to bask in the ambiance and delight in its delicacies.

ghosts They still had not fully surrendered to the moment sitting as they were in the curtilage awaiting their meal. Instead of seeing it all as one great big adventure there mood was soured due to having nothing planned for the upcoming days. Their “hungry ghosts” still not pacified by the excellent meal the courteous waiter had laid out before them.

They arose from their seats and proceeded back toward the inner sanctum of the inn. Both feeling the need to be alone, she retreated to bed while he headed toward the front parlor. He sat alone in the grand living space. It was quiet and still. His mind drifted as he gazed around at the framed family photos that hung on the pale-colored walls. It was all quite benign and unmoving but pleasant enough. 

Inn at the Falls.After examing the room’s contents and filtering through his unguarded thoughts, he decided it was about time that he too call it a night. He headed up the stairs to the first room on the right.

Opening the door, he was surprised to see that his wife was still awake. ‘Where were you?” she asked. Her tonality had completely changed, appearing instead frightened and confused. “What’s wrong?” he queried, sensing all at once that something was amiss. “There were children here,” she bemused. “A young boy and girl.” 

Room at Inn at the Falls.She explained that she had just laid down to rest when she sensed a presence in the room. Before she could open her eyes, she heard a young girl speak. “Ssshhh,” the female voice whispered, “you’ll wake her up.” Hearing this, her eyes sprang open. She was shocked to see a small boy of four or five bending down toward her. A few steps behind him to the right stood a slightly older girl brandishing a floral party dress. 

Immediately upon making eye contact the two ghosts disappeared leaving her alone, wondering if it all had been real or all just a vivid dream. She sat up in bed and waited for her husband to return. 

An antique photo of a little girl.

Over the next few days, their initial disappointment began to wane. They walked beautifully serene nature trails that soared up over trees and lakes far below. The small towns and villages that surrounded them offered up a plethora of uniques shops and little boutiques. Vintage steamships sailed them around wind-swept shorelines of pristine ice age kettle lakes. 

A picture of a Muskoka Steamship.Soon enough, their last vacation day arrived. Glancing back one last time at the old sewing room, they closed the heavy wooden door behind them. Making their way down the oak staircase, she stopped suddenly.  “That’s them,” she exclaimed excitedly, staring intently at one of the framed pictures hanging on the wall. “That’s the little boy and girl I saw.”

He looked closely at the two siblings who did not want to wake his wife from her slumber. The boy was sporting a pea jacket; the young lady decked out in a beautiful floral party dress. 

CaptureA few months later, she did finally wake up. Realizing, in retrospect, just how much fun they indeed did have that week. In the end, it proved to be a grand adventure, precipitating and creating many a special memory.

Perhaps the woman’s otherworldly encounter was merely a dream, a trick of the mind. But I like to think that the playful children’s ghosts sensed the preying hungry ghosts and chose to intervene on the couple’s behalf. Thus reminding us that while everyone dies not everyone lives. 

Doyen Digital Nomads 253 (2)



*Tell us about any special vacations you may have had.*


Hungry Ghosts of the Wanting Mind

{When we’re in a state of wanting mind, we’re never satisfied, no matter what we have. If we attain the object of our longing, we simply replace the old desire with a new one. The problem is that wanting mind is rooted in the incorrect belief that something outside of ourselves is the key to lasting happiness. The reality is that no emotion or state of being, however strong, is permanent and that happiness can’t be found outside of ourselves — only within. Buddhists call this phenomenon of endless wanting and dissatisfaction the “hungry ghost.”}

48 thoughts on “Are Hungry Ghosts Eating At You?

  1. My last vacation was at sicily,Italy that is my late mother’s hometown. Coming back to this post you have wrote it in a way that anyone would think about it twice. It is a soooo much terrifyingly awesome. I am sharing it as well

    1. tenzendude says:

      It was unnerving. Of course the “couple” was my wife and I but could have been anyone.

  2. Thank you for writing this in such a thought-provoking way! I thoroughly enjoyed your perspective.

  3. Elizabeth O says:

    Your writing in this post is on point. I love the way you captured my attention with your words. I would have been terrified to have a ghostly experience lol

  4. iyalouisa says:

    I actually love this story. I too agree that when you want something too badly it can drive you insane. Sorry to do this but being a massive potter head. I can totally relate this to the mirror in the philosopher stone. Just because you desire something doesn’t mean that it will always work out or that is is best.

    1. tenzendude says:

      Indeed. Life has a funny way of taking you in unexpected directions.

  5. The longing will occupy the heart and the mind when there is no room for gratitude. The desire of the flesh sometimes is too huge for our senses to cope. It’s a very well thought of you to put the metamorphose of the hungry ghosts as our wanting mind.

  6. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    I was reading this post and I remembered an incident that happened to me years ago. I know I was asleep in the employees lounge at work and I knew I was alone. But then I was roused from my sleep by the sound of children giggling. I opened my eyes (I think I did) and I saw a little girl standing beside me and looking at me. Then she said, “Do you believe in God?” I was all of a sudden wide awake and found no children around me. Was it a reminder for me or a call to prayer? I am a Catholic, but I have not heard mass or said prayers for a long time. That was my wake up call.

    1. tenzendude says:

      That does sound like a pretty interesting experience. Reminds me a similar experience I read about when the gentleman was astral projecting.

  7. At some point, hungry ghosts lurk around us and for sure, they seem not to be leaving our minds too soon. Anyway, at some point we tend to want things too bad and definitely, that’s not healthy since it could lead to obsession. Oh my! Troubles of a wanting mind though…

  8. This is such an amazing post and I liked the way you portrayed the whole story of wanting minds. It is so true that wanting minds will always replace your old desires with new ones. And the cycle is endless.

    1. tenzendude says:

      It is indeed endless.

    2. tenzendude says:

      We all do it.

  9. Ahhh this was such a great read! I didn’t realize that there was a buddhist term for this. So many people have this, including myself. You want the fancy car, then you buy it. Now you want a fancy house, then you buy it. And so on, and you are never truly happy because you always end up wanting something else. This is something I actually have been intentionally working on this past year. Trying to focus on what I do have, and what I don’t have. I’m proud to say that the only shopping I do these days is for food. No more clothes, purses, shoes, etc. I am happy with what I have. Thank you for such a great and thought provoking post, and for teaching me something new today!

    1. tenzendude says:

      You are most welcome. I am happy to read of your increased inner awareness. Keep going. lol

  10. Nicely written article.Effort has also been made to make the photos amazing.Catchy words make this article really attractive.

  11. What an interesting perspective on what I believe to be greed. Really well written.

  12. Sigrid Says Blog says:

    Waaaaa That was some experience! By the way, you write beautifully. You vividly expressed your story and my imagination was stirred. Too bad I can’t say the same for your experience. hehe

    1. tenzendude says:

      Thank you for your kind words young lady.

  13. I love your writing style. I’m hooked with your story. I’m looking forward to read more!

    1. tenzendude says:

      Thank you for your kind words.

  14. Interesting read. I have a close friend who is Buddhist. I will ask him to tell me more about the “hungry ghosts.” I know there are a lot of people who have insatiable wants. I want to learn about it from a Buddhist’s perspective. Thanks for letting me know about this.

    1. tenzendude says:

      You are most welcome.

  15. This story has such a good message. I’ve never seen any ghosts but I think I have a travel nymph helping me . . . I’ve been upgraded in hotel rooms and plane tickets a few times!

  16. I sometimes feel like I see or hear things that play tricks on my mind. Interesting read.

    1. tenzendude says:

      I am sure you do hear and see them. The mind likes to protect us so it tends to dismiss such things.

  17. This is such a great read. I was memorized by the writing. It sends a great message for sure, and reminds me of something I’ve recently gone through and now trying to recoup from. I miss some of the days just embracing things like this, the simple times, the simple beauty of life and togetherness. I am thankful to read this today.

    1. tenzendude says:

      I am glad you enjoyed it and hope whatever you are going through works out for the best

  18. taylermorrell says:

    THis is quite an interesting post with an interesting idea and an interesting take….

  19. Hannah Marie says:

    You have a great talent for telling stories. I was literally imagining the actual events while reading. This is quite a pretty scary story.

    1. tenzendude says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read it.

    1. tenzendude says:

      Thank you for your kind words.

  20. Great story. We are often dissatisfied, and in this situation it is difficult for us to see how much we have reason to be happy about.

  21. Lovely written. This is so true that many of us can’t enjoy what we have, can’t simply be happy. Life is short we should celebrate every moment of it not matter where. Chase your hungry ghosts

    1. tenzendude says:

      Thank you. You are right to celebrate your life everyday. We never know when it may be our last.

  22. It’s a beautiful story. Has just the right amount of haunting and mystery to it at the same time. And it is true . . . not everyone truly lives and we should live life to the fullest. It’s why we are here.

  23. cleverlychanging says:

    More shows about the paranormal are becoming more and more popular. You really have a way with words and your writing is so engaging.

    1. tenzendude says:

      Thank you for saying so.

  24. Wow ! I love the post that keep my imagination awake, and yours is one of them. One of our recent trip was to the beach, near Liverpool. Just the two of us, food and the sea.

    1. tenzendude says:

      That sounds wonderful. I love the sea.

  25. Geraline Batarra says:

    This is such a nice post and I enjoy reading it but it is a bit scary. I’ve experience to see a ghost many times, at first it was scared me a lot but all of the sudden I learned how to handled it. I am just keep asking myself that I was able to see them but other people around are not.

    1. tenzendude says:

      So you are a sensitive. I am not sure why some people see spirits all around them but aren’t the first I know who can.

  26. Such an interesting way to present the information! And I adore family photo walls. It’s fun to see such a variety.

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