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ROBERT PINSKY: In the 16th century the poet Fulke Greville wrote a poem that gives a convincing psychological analysis of why we see or pretend to see or believe we see spooks and goblins. What’s more, Greville’s rational analysis also retains the mystery and scariness of the phenomenon, even as he explains it. “
In night, when colors all to black are cast,
Distinction lost, or gone down with the light,
The eye, watch to inward senses placed,
Not seeing, yet still having power of sight,
Gives vain alarms to the inward sense,
Where fear, stirred up with witty tyranny,
Confounds all powers, and through self offense
Doth forge and raise impossibility,
Such as in thick, depriving darknesses,
Proper reflections of the error be.
And images of self-confusednesses,
Which hurt imaginations only see -
And from this nothing seen tell news of devils,
Which but expressions be of inward evils.
I wish you a good Halloween.