Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ghosts? But of course!

A friend and his husband recently bought an old house "with a past."  This is part of an email I sent him:

Trust you aren't being plagued by house ghosts.   As I recall, you said something about foul deeds having been done there.  If the ghost likes you, it’ll just show up from time to time to remind you it’s around.  

I grew up with two ghosts:  a poltergeist in the basement and a far more sinister presence in the living room.  The poltergeist loved moving things around.  Mother would blame the re-placed items on me and kept asking me to stop; I’d tell her I didn't do it and suggested a ghost was responsible.  When I went away to college and things were still being moved, our suspicions were confirmed.  

The upstairs ghost made itself known by a really cold air.  We always had dogs, and the dogs would growl, the fur on their backs would rise whenever it came around.  I never saw it, but I felt that air, saw the dogs, and knew something was going on.  I wasn't scared, but I gave it respect.

One day after the parents moved to their new house, the mom of the family that moved into the farmhouse ran into my mother at the store.  After some hemming and hawing, she asked mother if she ever noticed anything odd in the house.  “Like what?”  The new resident talked about things that were moved in the basement and a chill in the living room.  My mother took great delight telling me that.

Many years later, they moved out of the house and another family moved in.  My sister wanted to show her kids and grand kids what the farmhouse looked like inside and asked the new family if they could visit.  On the way out, the lady of the house asked my sister if they could talk sometime.  It turns out that the poltergeist was now breaking things.  In the living room there were gas chandeliers that were wired for electricity.  She said that several times those chandeliers swung violently and most recently one smashed against the ceiling.  My sister saw the bare bulbs where frosted glass had been.  There was a corner cupboard…its doors were opened while people were in the room.  Dishes seemed to have been pushed out of one of the kitchen cupboards.  Apparently, the spirits liked us, tolerated the first new owners and did not much care for the newbies.  

My father and brother never mentioned anything about either spirit.  My sister was never quite sure if mother and I were pulling her leg until she talked to the new owner.  Mother and I – and a couple of dogs – knew.  On the other hand, none of us ever willingly opened the door to a closet under the basement stairs.  It was one of those things we never spoke of until later in life, and I thought it was funny that we all avoided it.  It was just too creepy.

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