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The Spectral Voyager

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The Spectral Voyager is a spirit from the Ghostbusters RPG's Tobin's Spirit Guide (RPG).

Tobin's SummaryEdit

So many accounts involving this type of spirit have been reported, and so many other incidents are theoretically attributable to its existence, that one singular fact is undeniably clear: a great number of these spirits inhabit our world. People-particularly those who live or visit in urban areas-must be constantly on the lookout for them. They patrol the streets and byways endlessly and are utterly indiscriminate about what sorts of folk they abduct, although their victims most often seem to be those who are impetuous or of low intelligence.

By way of further explanation and elucidation, I defer to my colleague Shrewsbury Smith, who claims (and I believe him implicitly) to have had an experience with a spirit of this sort. I am indebted to Mrs' Ann Tickwoodie for her skill at transcription, by dint of which the reader may be assured that the account which follows this entry is accurate down to the last syllable.

Mr. Smith's tale is typical, in most respects, of the dozens of similar occurrences we have heard about and read about during our research into the voyage. An anonymous driver or horseman approaches a solitary pedestrian and offers transportation. Those solicited are free to decline, and if they do, nothing untoward happens to them. As for those who accept, that is another matter altogether; we have never heard from a person who took a ride from such a mysterious stranger and then returned to tell about it later.

Thanks to the large body of information we have on sightings, we can draw some rather specific conclusion about the sort of people who decline the rider's assistance. They turn down the offer either because they are perspicacious enough (as Mr. Smith was) to realize the danger, or simply because they have no real need for the spirit's "services."

Conversely, we can deduce that those who do accept fall into the opposite categories. The man who disappeared on the night of Mr. Smith's experience was at least slightly besotted, which may have dulled his judgment, and without meaning disrespect we might theorize that--even when sober, he was not a man of great intellectual prowess. The barmaid may have been cautious about accepting rides from strangers-an attitude that any woman in the city is well advised to adopt-but in this case, she was in a great hurry and may have decided that the risk of danger from the coachman was smaller than the possibility of incurring her employer's wrath for failing to report to work on time.

As to the intentions and motivation of this spirit, we have a clue in the substance of what the coachman said to Mr. Smith-which, again, is similar or identical to the dialogues that other people have reported. When the driver offers to take a pedestrian to his or her "destination," he refers not to the journey of the moment but to the ultimate destination at which all of us, sooner or later, must arrive--the end of our corporeal earthly existence.

What happens to those who accept the assistance of a Spectral Voyager? Obviously, we cannot know this for sure-but just as obviously, they do disappear and they probably do die, at least in one sense of the word. The consensus among my fellow researchers, a view which I share, suggests that each victim in turn takes the place of the driver, and the spirit of the previous coachman is thereby allowed to enjoy its final and eternal rest.

Of course, this leaves open the questions of how and why the original Spectral Voyager came to be, and why this type of spirit seems to be so proliferate. Conjecture is pointless here, for there exist as many different theories as there are scholars of the subject. My friend Shrewsbury, when asked for his thoughts on these topics, evinces perhaps the most sensible attitude of all: "What difference does it make?"

Editor's NoteEdit

The years since Tobin conducted his research have seen an explosion in the number and variety of vehicles for hire. While some spectral voyagers still appear in driving capes and handsome cabs, it is not uncommon to hear tales of phantom taxis, motor boats, or even charter planes, depending upon one's location and the availability of transportation. It would be no surprise to discover a spectral voyager plying a Venetian Gondola or a rickshaw in Hong Kong.

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