Ghost Whisperer: it’s time for ghosts

Jennifer Love Hewitt in Ghost Whisperer - Presenze (2005)

Jennifer Love Hewitt in Ghost Whisperer - Presenze (2005) © IMDB

She can hear them, she can see them. Spirits are all around us and Melinda Gordon is the only one who can help them. On the occasion of Halloween, this month I am talking about Ghost Whisperer, the show that moved the audience between whispers and restless presences.

The life of Melinda

Ghost Whisperer - Presenze (2005)
Ghost Whisperer – Presenze (2005) © IMDB

Ghost Whisperer was born in 2005. The idea is that of a TV series that keeps your feet resting on the real world with your gaze towards a horizon of ghosts, spirits, lights and shadows. The story begins with the protagonist Melinda Gordon, played by American actress Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Melinda runs an antique shop but, among old relics, there are always unwanted guests. It is they, the ghosts, those presences that fill her life with shattered vessels, cold currents, and visions. The ghosts are here to ask her for help: only Melinda can discover the cause of their death and solve their pending cases.

It is at this point that the show abandons the supernatural to intertwine with the thriller. Melinda must investigate to understand what the burden is that keeps the spirit in question still tied to the Earth. To carry out this task, she makes use of some friends and some important helpers. One of these is Professor Rick Payne (Jay Mohr), who teaches courses on the occult, but proves to be skeptical by nature. And then there is Eli James (Jamie Kennedy), a professor of psychology, who undergoes a near-death experience that gives him the ability to hear the voices of ghosts. But the biggest help comes from Jim Clancy (David Conrad), the paramedic who will accept her for who she is and choose to marry her.

But Melinda’s ability has deep roots. It belongs to every woman in her family, handed down from generation to generation. It will also become part of the future when Melinda passes it on to her son Aiden, the first male in the family to be able to see spirits.

The ghosts

Ghost Whisperer - Presenze (2005)
Ghost Whisperer – Presenze (2005) © IMDB

But let’s get to the fundamental part of Ghost Whisperer: the ghosts. Restless spirits, men, women, and children who cannot find light in darkness, are condemned to wander the Earth for what once troubled them in life.

In this show, great importance is given to spirits. For the first time these supernatural figures, often left on the sidelines, take real shape and become part of the cycle of life. Melinda can perceive their pain, she can see with their eyes, and catch glimpses of their life, or their death. Cryptic and sometimes so broken that they can’t communicate clearly with her, these presences are desperate for help. Most of the time they want someone who can put them in touch with loved ones, so they can settle old quarrels and heal disputes.

Jennifer Love Hewitt and Mae Whitman in Ghost Whisperer - Presenze (2005)
Jennifer Love Hewitt and Mae Whitman in Ghost Whisperer – Presenze (2005) © IMDB

Some are violent and destructive, others insecure and shy, behind every ghost there is a story. Each episode sees a new spirit in need of help, a new intertwining of lives. Will Melinda be able to push them all towards peace? Maybe some of them don’t want to go beyond the light …

The good we do

Throughout the fifth and final season of Ghost Whisperer, which aired in 2010, Melinda’s powers begin to fade, while Aiden’s powers grow stronger. It is her son who will save her from the pressing darkness, and Melinda will explain to him how important the good we do is.

Jennifer Love Hewitt in Ghost Whisperer - Presenze (2005)
Jennifer Love Hewitt in Ghost Whisperer – Presenze (2005) © IMDB

Every gift we receive is important, it is part of us and we must learn to accept it; it tests us, makes us stronger, and can do good to others. Just as ghosts are also important; each of us wears them sewn on in the way we walk, in the way the eyebrows tighten while we are lost in thought, in the shape of the nose or that flaw on the neck. They are presences around us, they are the people who have been part of our past, and now they are no longer there, but who nevertheless continue to live through us.

Ghost Whisperer is not an action-packed show, it doesn’t see the supernatural as something to fight, and it doesn’t talk about monsters. Ghost Whisperer sees the occult as part of life, sees spirits as the essence of what we have been and what we will one day be.

This tv show talks about mourning, explores its dramatic sides, but knows how to look ahead. And this is exactly what we too should learn to do: live in mourning, explore it, but then let go, not to forget our loved ones, but also live for them and thus let them pass beyond the light, to do ourselves good.

A new show, therefore, arrives in the Old But Gold column. We make room for Ghost Whisperer, and remember that the spirits do not abandon us, they are always here, among us.

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