I decided to take Mark's suggestion about a theme. Although, I don't think I have enough personal ghost stories to continue the rest of the month, I can indeed come up with something. But I do have at least one more ghostly encounter of my own...
Right about the time I got pregnant with Molly we decided we needed more space than the two bedroom apartment we were living in. Now, in the apartments defense, it was a great apartment and it really wasn't small. But it was pricey. And since we were going to have very small children we realized that daycare would take up most of my salary and I wanted to stay home with the kids anyway. So we started looking around for a new place to call "home". I've always been lucky when it comes to finding new places and it was probably only a week in that I came across a two bedroom house that was going to cost less then our apartment. And it had a yard! A big, fenced in yard. In fact...it was pretty much perfect. There was a den complete w/fireplace, a large great room , a kitchen, a bath with double vanities and then upstairs were two bedrooms and a half bath. It was right across from a school and a block and half from a really nice park. It was everything we wanted for a really decent rental price. It was owned by a real estate agent and he was a super guy. Really sweet and a great landlord. We moved within the week.
The only immediately apparent downfall to the house was that the washer and dryer went in the basement. It was a dark concrete basement that really hadn't had much done to it. And it made me nervous. Like seriously nervous. There was small room built into the corner of the basement that had at one time been "secret" but had since been uncovered. The light never seemed to reach that corner and I hated turning my back on it. Unfortunately, the washer and dryer were set in the opposite corner of the basement and to do laundry I had to turn my back on it. I would finish my work down there as quickly as I could and then practically fly up the stairs (pregnant belly and all) and slam the door shut, convinced something had been watching me. My hubby found this behavior hilarious in a twenty one year old girl.
The second thing I noticed was that storms made me exceptionally jumpy in this house. Now, I've always loved thunderstorms and living in the Midwest, we are treated to them regularly. But for some reason, in this house I'd get jumpy as soon as a storm started and hated being alone during them. It got so bad that I would wake CJ up if he was sleeping just so I could rock him. Any mother of a nine month old knows this is crazy behavior!!
At this time, my hubby worked nights at a factory in town. He was gone from 4:00 pm to 3:30 am Monday thru Thursday and 2:30 pm to 11:30 pm on Fridays and sometimes Saturdays. So most nights I was on my own. I had a comfortable routine (CJ was a baby who loved his routines, now that we know he's autistic, this totally makes sense!). I'd rock him to sleep between 8:30 and 9:00. Then watch a little more tv and head to bed myself. Usually I climbed in bed around 10 and read for a bit. I'm a horror novel fan so lots of times it's was Stephen King or Dean Koontz on the nightstand. Well one night I woke up in the middle of the night and heard footsteps on the stairs. They continued up the stairs and down the hall, right to the middle of the bedroom where I was. They came right to the edge of the bed where I lay (with my back to them) and stopped. I thought it was my hubby coming home and rolled over to say something. Except there was no one there! Completely freaked out I turned the light on and waited for him to get home. Of course he told me it was a bad dream. But it started happening every night that he wasn't home. At 3 o'clock like clockwork. He dismissed my accounts and admonished me for reading Stephen King and getting myself all worked up. Honestly, I was never really scared of the presence, I just didn't want to see it. Or have it touch me or anything like that.
When I was 8 months pregnant I flew to Louisiana to visit my folks. My dad was stationed at a base there and I had never been to that state before. It was an unpleasant visit. CJ got a sinus infection and was sick and cranky the whole time. He refused to sleep most night and as a result, I was tired and cranky. And the state of Louisiana is unbearably humid in august. Not good when that pregnant. My hubby called everyday of the week we were there, to check on us. And on one night he said "tell me again about the footsteps". I knew by the sound of his voice that he'd heard them. I told him and then asked point blank "did you hear them too?". He admitted that he had, exactly like I described and apologized for thinking I was crazy. Ha! I remember feeling much relieved and vindicated.
Now, I don't remember exactly what the celebration was for, but for one reason or another, CJ ended up with a helium filled balloon one day. One of the foil ones that last forever. He played with that balloon alot during the day and sadly left it downstairs that night. Downstairs. In the den. Now to get from the den to the bedroom upstairs one had to walk through the living room, turn 90 degrees to the left, walk down the hall, turn 90 degrees to the right, go through a doorway, make another 90 degree turn to the right, up a steep flight of stairs, turn 90 degrees to the right, down a hall and into our room. Somehow, the balloon made it. When we woke up the next morning it was hovering over the middle of our bed. No, the heater nor air conditioning were on. So much for air currents.
And then there was Christmas. CJ was 15 months and Mo was 3 months. We did the usual rounds of family dinners and gift exchanges and made it home completely exhausted. We got the kids into bed and collapsed on the couch. When we'd brought all the presents we'd collected at various grandparents in, we'd piled them all in the den for sorting out later. At one of the grandparent's the kids had gotten wind up sesame street characters. I think we'd gotten Bert and Ernie. They were made of hard plastic and when you wound them up, the little arms moved to cover the eyes and uncover them in a game of peek-a-goo. The little feet moved and they played the sesame street theme. As my hubby and I were sprawled on the couch we heard the sesame street theme coming from the den. Now, we'd been home for hours, no one had been in the den and they didn't play unless you wound them up. I looked at him.
Me: You should go check that out.
Him: I'm not going in there. You go ghost girl.
Me: Not a chance. Let's go to bed instead.
And so we did. We only lived in the house another couple of months before we moved again in search of even cheaper rent. I must say I never felt threatened in the house, just jumpy. Even the footsteps weren't threatening it was more like an echo of something that had happened. Only the basement creeped me out. The day before we moved, I went over to say goodbye to the elderly couple that lived next door. We'd spoken a few times since we lived there and they were always friendly with me and the babies. As I sat in the living room, drinking tea, my neighbor lady remarked that they were sorry to see us go and that nobody ever seemed to live in the house long. And it was a shame because these houses were so full of history. She commented that she'd done some research on their house before they bought it and that both houses were over a hundred years old. And that our house had been a stop on the underground railroad. Didn't I know that's what that basement room had been? No. I hadn't known. But things made a lot more sense now.
Well, the house is still there, and I drive by it sometimes just for old time sakes. We had a happy year there, all things considered. It also fascinates me. It's had a variety of residents since we moved and oddly enough I received a call one morning from a girl my hubby had gone to school with.
Her: So I talked to (insert mutual friend's name here) and she said that I should call you because you used to live at (insert address here).
Me: oh yeah we did! We lived there about 3 years ago. I loved that house!
Her: well my fiance and I are in the process of buying it. Um. I was wondering...did you ever hear anything weird?
Me: oh you mean the footsteps?
Her. Yes! Omg. He told me it was just the rain!! We're remodeling the big bedroom so we're sleeping in the little one and last night I swear I heard footsteps come up the stairs and turn and go to the big bedroom. He tried to tell me I was just hearing the rain on the roof!!
Me: Nope. They're footsteps alright. But I don't think they're anything bad.
Her: And a wind up alarm clock, that was packed in a sealed box in the middle of the big bedroom went off the other night in the middle of the night!
I proceeded to tell her our stories, again assuring her I didn't think it was anything bad. But it didn't help. She moved out.
Anyone else got a ghost story for me? Are you scared yet?
things that go bump in the night,