Last year, about this time, I wrote a silly little vampire short story for Halloween. You can read it by clicking here, if you want to. This year, I thought I’d share a couple of true stories.
Thirteen years ago, I moved with my family from Navy Housing into a great old house. Built in 1904, it was just the kind of house I’d always wanted. It had a big back yard, with a cute little garden shed and a giant pine tree. All the original woodwork was intact and unpainted. The house was loaded with character and charm.
And it was haunted.
Not that we knew it at the time.
He wasted no time in making his presence felt.
The day we moved in – a self-move, not a professional job – I was alone in the house with Rachel. The other two kids were at the old house with their father, loading more of our things into the car to bring to the new place. We were walking out the door, when the oddest thing happened…
The tv turned on.
Now, my first reaction was not, “Ghost!” It was, “Who stepped on the remote?” (And yes, the tv was plugged in – that was always one of the first priorities in a move…)
I reached over and turned off the set, and started back towards the front door.
It came back on.
Strange… Maybe the remote was under the sofa cushion the dog was lying on?
Um… no. It was on a table, nowhere near me, my daughter, or the dog.
Now that was a little scary.
I took a deep breath, and announced to the air, “We’re leaving now. Could you please not turn it back on?” And I snapped off the set.
This time, it stayed off.
Now, I could have put that down to coincidence if it had been the only thing that ever happened. It wasn’t. In the months and years that followed, we had dozens of little incidents. The girls would hear a male voice in their room in the early morning telling them to,” Get up!” (Not their dad – he was never up that early!) The dogs would stare intently at the empty stair landing, wagging their tales like they’d just seen an old friend. Even our sweet, blind pup, Cody, seemed at times to be playing with an unseen person.
The real clincher for me came one summer afternoon when we’d been there about 3 years. I was in the kitchen when Rachel came stomping down the stairs, and demanded that I “Make James stay out” of her room!
Problem – I could see James from the kitchen window, playing in the back yard with the boy from down the street. And, he’d been out there for hours. Sarah was at a friend’s house.
Rachel turned a little pale when I pointed out the boys in the yard. She had been lying on her bed, and seen a blond boy’s head poke through the door. Twice.
But, never scary. That house always felt welcoming. My son still lives there, with his father – who has never admitted to seeing or hearing anything there. James says he’s been fairly quiet recently, but who knows?
Tonight is his night…
Happy Halloween, all!
Pictures of the old house by James Snider – Thanks!