The Time my Smoke Alarm Nearly Killed Me – Really!
Most of us have heard frightening tales from other people who’ve had encounters with the supernatural or maybe you have your own personal daunting stories to tell. If you are one of the misfortunate ones who have experienced the unexplainable, then you will agree it is something you’ll never forget.
Coming from a background of boogieman movies, scary tales, ghostly experiences, including family members scaring the bejeebers out of me, and other strange happenings, I know for certain there are unexplainable things out there that are evil.
Personally, I do not delve in the “spirit world” or the like, not anymore. My focus now is solely on a much higher power; however, it does not mean I’ve stopped believing that they exist, to the contrary. I will begin my chilling story with the day I had to replace my old smoke alarm. What do spirits or ghosts have to do with my smoke alarm you ask? We will get to that in a moment.
When I purchased my house a little over fifteen years ago, it came with a couple of old electrical smoke detectors that apparently were installed when the house was built in 1990. About six years later after moving in, one of the smoke detectors began to go off. Making sure there was no fire or electrical problems to cause the alarm to go off, I concluded the electrical smoke detector was old and needed to be replaced.
Since I liked the electrical ones that came with the house because they did not require batteries, I decided to search for another one just like it. I went to my home improvement store and looked through the shelves stocked with all sorts of detectors, but I could not find one that only worked with electricity; they all required batteries. Giving up and just when I was about to walk away, I notice one box with the word “electrical” written on it. I skimmed over the features quickly and decided to buy it. “Great, it doesn’t need a battery!”
I got home, turned off the circuit breaker, grabbed a Phillips screwdriver and my 7-foot ladder, and jumped right to it or should I say, carefully stepped right on to the ladder, after all I wasn’t twenty anymore. Because I found the installation to be very easy, I did not bother to read the instructions to the end. I turned to look at the other old yellowing smoke detector and made a mental note to change that one next.
A few months passed and I had forgotten all about the new smoke detector I installed, when one night its alarm began to blare so loudly that I thought it would wake the entire neighborhood. Disoriented, groggy, shaking, and with my heart beating loudly I fumbled out of bed while trying to feel for my flip-flops on the floor. I ran to the kitchen turning on all the lights, searching for fire or smoke and found nothing. Then suddenly the alarm stops. Not convinced that everything was okay, I went back to bed anyway but could not fall back to sleep.
I was awake before my alarm clock went off and I literally had to drag myself to work. The entire day I worried that there may be something wrong in the house that was causing this electrical smoke detector to go off. That night, with that thought still in the back of my mind, I went to bed and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out like a light.
At around 2 or 3 in the morning, loud shrieks reverberated throughout the house jolting me out of bed again. Nearly tripping over the dogs, which were trying to find a place to hide, I flicked on the lights. I searched through the house and found nothing again. I walked over to the smoke detector and saw its little red light flashing. There was nothing out of the ordinary. “What in the world is going on here with this thing?!” By now, the whole experience was giving me the creeps.
Annoyed and frazzled, I went back to bed. Not ten minutes later, the smoke detector went off again. I grabbed my broom, walked over to it, and gently tapped it (more like beating it) a few times. Then I pushed a little button on it, and it stopped. About half an hour later, the alarm was going off again. Not wanting to take the ladder out in the middle of the night and yank the darn thing off the ceiling, I went to the circuit breaker and turned the power off. I got very little sleep that night, if any.
Morning light hit me like lightning. If I was tired the day before, that day I was beyond exhaustion. People at work would just stop, take a serious look at my face and frown. My boss walks by and teasingly says, “Burning the candle at both ends, huh?” I give him a quick dirty look, “don’t even ask… you don’t want to know.”
The third night was peaceful and quiet, but I began to think that maybe there was something wrong with the smoke detector, maybe it had an electrical short, “let’s be rational,” I thought. However, on the fourth night the blasted evil thing went off again in the middle of the night. Then it occurred to me, this was only happening in the middle of the night, not before I went to bed and not in the morning when I was up… BUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! Every time!
Now I am freaking out! I begin to think there’s an evil spirit or something in my house causing this to go off only when I’m sleeping. I begin to pray and read my Bible. I prayed all night, commanding these demons to leave my home (some of you can relate to this).
Trying to brush the scary experience out of my mind, I got ready and rushed to work but made it in late. I walk over to my supervisor’s office to explain briefly why I was late and ended up telling him the whole story, except for the part about the evil spirits. “Did you check the battery?” he asks. “It doesn’t have a battery; it’s an electrical smoke detector,” I explained. “Those also come with batteries,” he says. I remembered the back of the smoke detector while I was installing it, and there was no battery compartment. “No, this one doesn’t have one. I checked before installing it.” Rationality went out the window. I was convinced there was something evil behind the whole thing.
That night I decided I had enough and uninstalled the smoke detector before it got dark. The thought of coming near it gave me the creeps. Once off, I placed the stupid thing on my kitchen counter and had blessed uninterrupted sleep that night. The weekend finally rolls over but my supervisors’ words stuck with me. I walk over to the evil smoke detector on my kitchen counter and turn it over looking for a battery compartment.
“I was right, no battery compartment… wait, what’s this?” I see a small screw on top of what seems to be a lid. I unscrew the lid, and there it was – the 9-volt battery! I wanted to kick myself… several times!! I felt so stupid and I was so mortified that I just argued with myself the rest of the day. This thing nearly caused me a massive heart attack. I don’t think my nerves will ever be the same, as I said before I wasn’t twenty anymore.
After that, I decided not to tell anyone about what happened. This is one of those things you just keep to yourself and not tell anybody, right? Needless to say, I never re-installed the smoke detector.
If you thought this was going to turn out to be a real ghost story, sorry to disappoint you. Nope, there was no ghost or evil spirits. It was just plain stupidity. To make matters worse, I found out later that this is typical of smoke detectors going off at times for no apparent reasons. If only I had read the instructions in full.
And if you think this story was silly, then I’m not going to relate my account of the night I laid in bed unable to move from fear at the sight of a dark moving shadow that, by the way, had my old dog Poppy barking at it. I was so petrified that I couldn’t get up to check it out. Then in the morning I find the thing that kept me up nearly all night was a blouse I hung over a piece of furniture and had forgotten. There it was, flapping in the breeze that was coming from the ceiling fan. I won’t take the blame for that one. I blame my dog Poppy. He should have known better.
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