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Varla Ventura

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Bride of the Bizarre: Zombies, Pillowy Brides and Wedding Night Ghosts

Posted: 08/24/11 03:06 PM ET

You may have read recently about this couple in California who staged the most incredibly awesome engagement photos of themselves. To announce their engagement, the couple posted pictures of the two of themselves in a lovely, wheaty field, picnicking and holding hands in the perfect sunlit moment, when suddenly a zombie invades their romantic scene! You can view the photos here, or just Google zombie + engagement photos. They are now an internet sensation! And I can't help thinking that I wish I had thought of that for my own wedding photos! Nothing says true love like the undead.

Bridal Bizarre is one of my favorite topics. I've been collecting stories of true freakisms for years and they are endless: a woman marrying a dolphin, a man marrying a body pillow (this story, which surfaced last year, sparked a discussion between myself and George Noory during an October kickoff Coast to Coast interview. It remains my most commented-about subject among the many, many bizarre subjects I traverse.) The heart's desire knows no bounds.

For me, my own Night of the Living Dead was an unusual dose of pre-wedding jitters that involved not a hot flash of doubt about whether or not I was making the right decision. The flutterings the night before the ceremony were sparked by the visitation of a ghost! That's right! A ghoulish specter to mark the beautiful occasion.

My husband and I eloped to Burlington, Vermont. We were married in the room of a towering Victorian bed and breakfast not far from the shores of picturesque Lake Champlain. We arrived on an icy November day and though there were over ten rooms to rent in the inn, they were all vacant. The spiral of rooms and staircases was dizzying, and we spent a good portion of the day exploring -- turning doorknobs and peeking inside closets, following hall runners to servant stairwells, and speculating about the previous residents. That night (the night before we got married -- come now, did you think Lady V was going to spill the details of the actual wedding night?) -- while I slept blissfully, my soon-to-be husband woke to see a figure at the foot of our bed. A man in his fifties, in a tuxedo, who seemed to be making a bed through the footboard of where we were sleeping. My groom sat up, rubbing his eyes with sleep, and the apparition remained. Hubby faded back into sleep and upon waking the next morning, told me what had happened. My eyes lit up. I was thrilled!! What could be a better portent for a lover of the odd than a ghostly guest?

Over breakfast we asked the innkeepers the history of the place. It had been many things over the years, including a retirement home, but was originally built as a single family residence. The room we had chosen for its turret and view of the lake was an attic room, perhaps once a servants' quarters? Now I know it is no zombie invasion, but it certainly solidified that I was making the right move. Marrying a man who could see ghosts! Short of marrying the reincarnation of Bela Lugosi, I don't think a gal like me could have done better.

In deep love and freakitude, Varla.