October may be in the rearview, but our love of the paranormal persists. In The Paris Review, Sadie Stein recounts her first visit to the New York Spiritualist Church — and her family’s longstanding relationship with the spectral. Less a ghost story itself than an ode to the thin veil.

So ghosts were an established fact of my life when I was growing up, maybe the only real religious certainty we inherited. My grandmother—also a churchgoing Christian—accepted their existence with the same serene passivity with which she did everything. My mother claims to have seen a few. I have not. I used to think I’d never see a ghost because I wanted it too much, as though the spirits of dead people behaved like an underwritten man from an early season of Sex and the City. I’d even lived after college in a converted brownstone that was widely considered to be haunted—former tenants had seen apparitions and my roommate had had unsettling experiences with slamming pocket doors and rogue electronics. I never felt anything at all. But my faith is solid.