We have a cute sign on the wall next to our front staircase. It reads, “Remember, as far as anyone knows, we are a nice normal family.” I’ve often thought that I ought to create a smaller sign and hang it right underneath that would say, “Just please ignore the ghosts.”
However, quite frankly, some of our visitors have found our ghosts hard to ignore. I don’t know what it is about certain people, they just seem to bring out the “extra” in our normally introverted specters.
One summer afternoon, the entire family was visiting in the living room. My husband’s dear mother was visiting with us and we were all sharing stories. The dogs and cats were sprawled throughout the room, either insisting on attention or taking naps. Suddenly we heard footsteps above us. Loud enough to stop all of the conversation in the room. We listened and followed the sounds from the front bedroom across the hall into the middle bedroom. Everyone in the room knew that no one else was home. I went up the front staircase and my husband went up the rear staircase. Of course, there was no one there.
Another time, my son invited a friend to spend the night. They both stayed up way too late and had decided to sleep on the couches in the living room. The next morning, his friend relayed his spooky experience. He had been sleeping soundly when suddenly he woke up, feeling strange. The room was dark. (We live in the country, so there are no street lights to illuminate the night.) He looked around until his eyes adjusted to the dark and he could make out the various pieces of furniture in the room. A movement, a slight flash, caught his eye and he turned to look at the coffee table about six feet away from the couch. In the middle of the coffee table were his car keys that he had put down earlier that evening. In heart-stopping amazement, he watched as his car keys slowly moved themselves across the table and finally landed with a crash onto the floor. He told us he stared at the keys on the floor, thought about what probably moved them, and decided it was better to just pretend he didn’t see what just happened. Instead, he decided to pull the covers up over his head, turn away from the table, and go back to sleep. (By the way, click on the photo below for a spooky moment.)
Finally, my favorite story and the one that prompted me to write this column. My son-in-law has always had a polite, but slightly skeptical view of ghosts. He’s heard some things when visiting us, but was always able to use his brilliant engineering brain to explain it all away. We had the pleasure of having their family stay with us before they had to return out west to college. On the last night of their stay, with most of their things packed and loaded in a trailer, they spent the night on the pull-out couch in the living room.
Because of packing and organizing, my son-in-law was up much later than everyone else. It was past midnight when he finally clicked off the side lamp and put his head on the pillow. But about a half-hour later he was awake and bothered by something. He turned his head and looked toward the kitchen. There, standing next to the kitchen entrance was a man, looking back at him. The man was the same height as my husband and, for a moment, he thought my husband had come downstairs for something. But the man wasn’t moving. Keeping his eyes on the figure, he reached behind himself for his phone and when he shone the phone flashlight in the direction of the man, he had disappeared.
The next morning, when I got up to wish them well on their travels, he told me his story. He said he really would have preferred remaining skeptical, but now there was no way he could deny the existence of ghosts.
Yep, we’re just a nice normal family.