When mentioning a circus, it conjures images of large glowing tents, the smell of cotton candy and popcorn, and the opening of a world far beyond. Oddly dressed performers showcase their talents by snubbing death and swinging from towers of vertigo to the collective gasps of onlookers. Strings of exotic animals from all over the world are paraded in a showcase matching nothing one would ever behold in a lifetime.
At some point, a performer will enter a cage with the fiercest of them all and magically remove the savagery with confidence and benevolence that the animal cannot withstand. At the vignette’s conclusion, Man and beast embrace in adoring affection to furious applause while foppish clowns drive the audience’s attention to the next wonder. It becomes an immutable and beloved memory–The stuff of future daydreams.
This is not that kind of circus. Though those elements exist here, they enter in a way that only a child’s imagination can truly grasp. Ghosts do not scare children; they protect them. Their methods are not as cheery as the Big Top tigers. However. Carolyn and her father would learn this in a slippery slight at their home in a small Irish village. It would come through a witch doctor’s arcane gift.