Thursday, October 28, 2010
Maybe it's because we moved a lot when I was a kid, so we were never anywhere long enough for me to be too attached to a house to notice. Or maybe it's because our house was the one all the teenagers hung out at so there was too much commotion to think anything of it. It could even be that all of us secretly wondered but were too embarrassed to mention it. Until now.
I'm just going to say it. My parents' house is haunted. I feel ridiculous even suggesting it. There's no such thing as ghosts; that's just silliness. But once the subject was broached (In a serious manner, that is. My mom always joked about it when we were kids and she would ask who had done something, and my sister and I would feign ignorance. Her response was always, "Well, the little ghosties must have done it then!"), it turns out there's a lot more evidence to support it than one would think.
It all started in 1990 when my parents moved into the house they live in now. It's a patio home - basically a fancier version of a duplex. One wall is shared between their house and their neighbor's. The neighbor is an older woman who lives alone. I often would wake up in the middle of the night and hear voices talking, but I thought it was the neighbor. Why, I have no idea. Who would she be talking to? At 3am? In her garage which is what my room butted up against? (I was a naive, trusting teen who saw the world through rose-colored glasses as I believe all kids should be able to do.) Anyway, it never occurred to me to mention it.
Fast-forward a decade, the longest my parents have ever lived in the same dwelling. They've been empty nesters for awhile, and attribute a certain amount of questionable sights and sounds to their age, as do we. So when my dad says he hears my mom say something and she didn't, or my mom swears she heard my dad walking around upstairs when she was in the basement but finds he's still not home from work when she goes back up, none of us think much of it. We certainly don't attribute something ethereal to it. This type of thing went on for several years.
Then last year, something happened that took the spooky level up a notch. My great-aunt was staying at my parents' house while she was in town, and in the night needed to use the restroom. She got up, but the door to the bathroom was closed and the light was on. She heard the floor squeak and assumed my dad was in there, so she walked back to her room to wait. In doing so, she passed my parents' room. And my dad was sitting on the edge of the bed. My mom was next to him, still asleep. She mentioned she thought my dad was in the bathroom which clearly he wasn't, and he was about to get up to go there as well. They went back and the light was off and the door was open.
Now, I realize that this seems like it could have been that she dreamt it, and she is also advanced in age, but it was enough to prompt a discussion the next day. And that's when we discovered that all of us had at different times experienced odd happenings. We just had attributed them to our own inadequacies and shrugged them off. Suddenly, it seemed like way too many coincidences to be just that - coincidence. But we still didn't have a smoking gun, if you will.
Until a few months ago. My parents have a fireplace, above which is a mantel. On the mantel is a glass-domed clock we'd given them one Christmas among other decor. Above the clock is a large painting, probably two feet wide by three feet tall. It has a wire that runs across the back and hangs on two hooks. One night as my parents were sleeping all snug in their beds, there was a huge CRASH! They stumbled out to the living room and saw that the picture had fallen down on the clock and both had shattered on the hearth. The picture hooks were still in the wall. The wire was still intact. Something made that picture come up off the hooks and fall down on the mantel.
And that, my friends, was the final nail in the coffin. In my mind, there are definitely ghosts living in that house. Good thing they don't live in New York and have to disclose that if they decide to sell. Any other theories?