Sunday, October 24, 2010

Newspaper column

I know it's fashionable this time of year to indulge in a little horror and gore, but it's fun to allow your imagination to run wild. For many, Halloween means haunted hay rides, scary movie marathons on TV and perhaps giving paranormal activity a little more thought.

At least that's what always seems to happen at our house.

My daughter has just gotten to the age where she has started complaining about ghosts at night, prompting a full and thorough search under her bed, behind her door and in her closet before lights out. But when I'm done reassuring her there aren't any spooky spirits in our house, then I have to convince my husband.

Granted, our house is more than a century old, which gives Jerry's suspicions a little more merit. But I also know that if they were ever confirmed, we'd have a "For Sale" sign in our front yard the very next day. He's just too superstitious.

As someone who spent a year living in an apartment where the radio dial would spin until I asked it to stop, doors would open and close multiple times at random, and personal items would lift off my dresser and suspend in mid-air for a few seconds before dropping to the floor, it takes a lot to convince me of ghosts. I've learned that one weird happenstance is likely just that.

Jerry, however, is determined there is something in our basement. He always points to the fact that the lights come on when no one is down there. But I know he has a tendency to leave them on. In fact, I often follow him around the house, flipping switches when he leaves a room. I'm just not behind him when he's done using his home gym or bringing up a load of laundry.

It makes sense that he only notices it at night when the light is visible from the crack under the basement door, but I suspect that means the bulbs were left on all day -- a real nightmare to our electric bill.

When I was sharing this story with a friend recently, instead of laughing, she got really quiet and eventually whispered, "I think I have a ghost in my house, too."

She only has one instance to rely on, but it was a little more hair-raising than basement light ulbs.

After bringing her baby home from the hospital, she and her husband hooked up their infant monitors. A few days later, when her son was starting to stir from a nap, my friend heard some strange static, loud crackling and then a woman's voice through the device.

"Shh ... shh ... shh ..."

Then the lullaby started. "Hush little baby, don't you cry ..."

My friend said her protective instincts far overrode any fear, so she burst into the room, grabbed her son and ran outside, heart racing. She said she didn't see anything in the nursery, but the air was cold. They have since unplugged the monitors and I'm told he now sleeps in a bassinet in their room at night within arm's reach.

I didn't have much to say other than try my best to reassure her, but if that had happened at our house, I think I would've raced Jerry to the phone to call our real estate agent.

Lightbulbs I can handle. Ghostly electronic devices are best left for sci-fi shows I can turn off when I get spooked.


Natalie at Our Old Southern House said...

our house has two that we can figure out: a woman w/long hair and a man who wears dress shoes and paces back and forth in one of the upstairs bedrooms. i hear a woman with the most beautiful laugh through mm's monitor and last week i heard her humming downstairs in the middle of the night.

Shal said...

That was probably interference on the baby monitor.. but the timing of that is pretty freaky...

Marizka said...

I have an explanation for your friend. We are due with baby #1 in the next 5 days, and have been researching baby monitors.

We we're specifically interested in the video kind, and spoke to my brother-in-law about the one they have been using. Turns out their neighbor had a baby around the same time they did, and the frequencies of the monitors would sometimes "cross" and they'd see images of the baby next door.

Either way, I would have been scared to death had your friend's experience happened to me.

The Plainsman said...

"Cool" story about your friend's experience, though I think first time readers will wonder at your nonchalance about the weird happenings in your old apartment, as well, LOL! Tell Jerry I have one of those basement light spirits here too!

Ray said...

Wow, your friend's story is scary! I would have cried if I heard something like that! ;o/

Lauren said...

Didn't you write about the haunted apartment? I would love to read that post again I I'm not mistaken about it!

Anonymous said...

oh....that happened to me also. turns out my neighbor had the same monitor as i did and i was hearing her over my monitor. i'm sure that's what happened with your friend. hope that helps her sleep better at

Lauren said...

Me again! I found the story (Oct 2005) - don't know why I didn't think of it before! I forgot Xanga even existed. Makes me realize how long I have been following you. A long time.