Not to mention things that go bump in the night
“Yeah,” I replied, not really looking up from my newspaper.
“Why didn’t you ever tell me that?” she asked, a patina of alarm in her voice.
“For two reasons,” I said. “The first, and most important one is, I don’t really believe in ghosts. The second one is, even if there are ghosts, I have never heard of a ghost hurting anybody.”
You see, Wendy thinks our house is haunted, and my positive response to her initial question left her feeling more disquieted than she was before. She immediately wanted to know what I had seen or felt.
I said it was just something in my peripheral vision. Out of the proverbial “corner of my eye,” as it were. I can be sitting on the living room sofa in my usual spot, reading or watching television. From my vantage point I have a good view of the hallway that leads to the bedrooms at the far end. Sometimes – just sometimes – a sort of movement will catch the outer limits of my vision. Nothing tangible, nothing that can be described; just a sort of fleeting motion. It doesn’t upset me, but I’ll admit it catches my attention in a slightly startling manner.
Yet, I am still skeptical. Why should our house be haunted? Who would be those restless spirits who hang out at the end of the hall? What are they doing down there, anyway? I mean, all that’s down there is the bedrooms (and I’ve never had visitations at night), the laundry room, and the entrance to the garage. I mean, if they are going to hang out down there, why don’t they sort some laundry? Or, hey, do some ironing. That would be a help.
You see, our house isn’t terribly old – about 15 years max, and we’ve been in it for nearly 10. It only had one other resident; the lady who had it built. Doreen was her name. She was a widow who took ill within a year of moving in. And, alas, she died within two years. But, she died of natural causes, so why should Doreen be back to distress my wife? I mean, we are taking good care of her house. We love it, as a matter of fact. And, I might add, we don’t go around chain-smoking and burning holes in the wall-to-wall, or hammering in 10-penny nails just to hang a simple picture, like a previous inhabitant was wont to do.
If she is pissed, it’s probably about the wallpaper. You see, when we did our first viewing of the house we were almost jarred to incontinence by the astonishingly frightening wall coverings in virtually every room. Doreen obviously liked color. At the same time, the concept of having colors – not to mention patterns – complimenting one another was apparently alien to her. So, one of our first tasks, after we had made the purchase, was to strip the awfulness from the walls. Subtle pastels made it more livable for us. But, maybe that was an affront to Doreen. If so, I apologize. At the same time, I would suggest to her, since you have all of eternity to brood about this, maybe it’s time you let it go.
All in all, I think the ghost thing is rather silly. I think it’s even sillier as a source of human fear, even in the most sentient human beings. At the same time, I have had my ethereal encounters, and I probably have had them off and on throughout my life.
My first was at about age 5 when I saw a ghostly face in the woods near my home. At first I thought it might be my Aunt Vivian out for a walk, but then I realized the face was even paler than Vivian’s was, even on a bad day. I don’t remember being terribly upset, but I went home and told my mother I’d seen a ghost. She was unnerved by it, even though I was just a child and children have fertile imaginations. But, Mom truly believed I’d seen an apparition. It frightened her.
Maybe women are more frightened by ghosts than males are, though I am not prepared to make such an assertion. Females of my acquaintance, however, seem more inclined to believe in them.
As I said at the beginning, I don’t believe in them, even if I do run into them once in a while.
Do you have any ghostly encounters you would like to share? I’d love to hear about them.