It was a summer weekend in 2011, and I was on the train to New York City, a little over two hours from my hometown.
I had a ticket and was about to go to the movies.
It was late and the train was in the dark.
I didn’t have any snacks, and the lights weren’t on.
I looked at the ticket window and thought, ‘What is this?
This is a horrible thing.
They are going to charge me money.’
The ticket was for $3.25.
It said ‘tickets available’ on the back.
And I thought, How the hell am I going to get on this train to the Empire State Building?
So I just stared at the window and said, ‘Oh my God.
This is the train.’
I looked out and saw the Empire.
I walked out on the platform and started to go toward the front of the train.
I was shocked.
It’s like a ghost train.
You don’t know where it is.
I don’t think I’ve ever been on a train before.
It really is a ghost.
It looks like a train, and you know it’s there, but you don’t feel it.
And then I got out of the car and walked towards the back of the carriage.
I just sat there for like an hour, just staring at the ceiling.
I couldn’t see anything, but I was so focused on not looking that I forgot that there were other passengers and that they were standing there, too.
There was a young man sitting on the front.
I got up and walked over to him and I said, “What’s wrong?”
And he said, “[My mom] just died.”
I said [to my mom], “Where are you going?”
And she said, [to me], “I’m leaving the house for three weeks.”
I was like, [To my mom] “You know what?
You’re not going to come back.
You have to go.”
But I couldn`t say no.
I wasn`t going to.
So I went and sat in a corner, staring at that ceiling.
That was it.
I felt like I was a ghost, staring into nothing.
I thought for a second, and then I was back on the subway and I got on the bus and I just started walking toward the subway.
I saw the train coming, and that`s when I saw it, and my life changed.
It didn`t feel like a movie anymore.
I could walk right through it.
That night, I went to a film festival, where I got to meet David Mamet, who was my childhood hero, and he was a director who was directing me.
And he asked me, ‘Are you a ghost?’
I said no.
And a week later, he told me, “Are you on a ghostly train?'”
I was, like, “You have a great story.”
I didn`ve heard of ghosts.
I hadn`t heard of trains that had ghosts.
But David Mamat was very gracious and kind and told me to stay in his apartment.
He told me he had a haunted house.
And for two years I stayed there and worked as a ghost writer.
And one day, my wife and I decided to do some research.
We went out to see a movie.
And the first thing we saw were ghosts.
It turned out to be a horror movie called The Devil`s Daughter.
The story is about a family that is trapped in a mansion and are haunted by ghosts.
They had a ghost that was coming to kill them.
So the family had to get rid of him.
I loved that story.
And that`ll always be my favorite horror movie.
But I did have a ghost in my life, too, so I was looking for another story that I could tell.
So when I found this story about ghosts in New York, I thought that I was going to be able to do something.
So, I started writing and then one day I was at a party in Manhattan.
There`s this woman who was dancing with her friends, and there was this ghost that had been following her around.
So she had this ghost, but she wasn` t really interested in her ghost.
She didn` t want to have anything to do with it.
But then, she said to her friend, “Well, I don`t want to be haunted by my ghost.”
And her friend said, “‘Oh, well, we have to do a ghost story.'”
And she went up to her apartment and she put a big cardboard box on her front porch and wrote a ghost tale.
And she put it up in the window, and it just sat in there.
I wanted to tell it to my daughter, so she told me.
She`d never read it.
So that`d been my experience of ghosts in America, and they`re the most amazing things in my world