Spirits in the House
Rock, Bottom Left
This writing will differ from my usual fare. It will be less introspective and, hopefully, more fun. Almost two years ago, Joe and I experienced an occurrence that left us wondering if we had been visited by an entity from the other side, an entity we have affectionately begun to call Casper. Hope everyone remembers Casper the Friendly Ghost
Let me set the stage in order to make this tale make sense. I often work until late at night and even early morning, editing depositions that are expedited and need to be back to the court reporter to proof and send to the attorney. One particular night, I was working very late, the case was high profile. I was stressed. I had also consumed, at a minimum, a gallon of coffee. When I finally finished my work, I took a sleeping pill and stumbled to my bed.
After a few hours at a desk, I often take my laptop to the couch and work there, giving my aging back a break. This is what I had done the evening before. When I quit work the night before, my laptop was tucked under the bottom of the couch to prevent the cat chewing on my software key, which he is inclined to do, being the wretched animal that he is. When I woke about 9:30 the next morning, I staggered to the kitchen and poured a huge cup of coffee. I drink far too much, but I just don't care. I could not do my work without it.
Joe called me to the den. He asked, "What were you doing with this rock?" There on the couch cushion where I had sat the night before was the rock, or grinding stone. The rock's proper place is on the hearth. I was still half asleep and couldn't concentrate. My first reaction was to accuse him of putting it there, which made him laugh. When I thought about it, I understood the laugh. Why would he do that? He knew I was working extremely hard and under pressure; he just wouldn't do that. He thought I was doing some sort of research on the Internet about the rock.
Comparison in Size
The Rock, Closer Look
The rock belonged to my father-in-law, who lived with us for seven years before his death in 1993. He always told us it was a very old grinding stone, used by Native Americans years ago. As one can tell from the photos, it is hollowed out in the center. It is an extremely heavy rock.
Joe and I talked for the longest time about how the rock got from the fireplace to the couch without assistance. I could tell he was perplexed and a bit concerned about it. I was more than a bit concerned because it happened in a room where I spend most of my time. I did not look forward to the coming night. The only living creature in the house besides the two of us the night the rock moved was my cat. Although he is many things, few of them good, he is not strong enough to move that rock. We went on about our business, a bit apprehensive and also a bit excited. I don't know if we were relieved or disappointed when not a thing happened for many days.
We told a few friends about the incident. One man thought it was the spirit of my father-in-law, returning to visit us. My father-in-law did spend most of his time in that room. That never felt right to me, but I kept quiet and allowed him to say what he thought. At least he didn't treat the whole thing as a joke as some people did. Some thought one of us got up during the night, sleep walking, and moved the rock. Several people thought Joe was "messing with me." After 46 years, I like to think I know him better than that. It's just not something he would do.
I emailed Lynn Wilson, who is an astrologist I know, and asked her what she thought. She said that when we are in stressful situations, often what is going on inside manifests on the outside in events like the rock moving. She called it a poltergeist effect. That made more sense to me than anything else. Although I feared I might be after the happening, I have never been afraid in the house, even when Joe left for long periods during hunting season. I actually found myself hoping whatever visited would come back.
All was quiet for two weeks and we had both pretty much forgotten the rock-moving episode. We occasionally mentioned "Casper" and decided it was a one-time visit.
About two weeks later, Joe and I were having our house appraised. Interest rates were extremely low, and we wanted them. Anyone who knows me knows that housekeeping is not my favorite activity. Therefore, I had a lot to do to get the house spiffed up for the appraisal. I like the kitchen counters to be completely clear except for a coffee pot, but it seems we tend to leave anything we use out. That day, I was putting all the items on the counters in the kitchen and elsewhere that just didn't add anything to the overall picture out in the garage. There was Joe's blender, his measuring spoons that hang on a little tree-like thing, a food scale, etc. I put them all in a pile on a table in the garage -- or thought I did.
The day after the appraisal was done, Joe asked me for his food scales. His words were, "I know you moved a bunch of stuff for the appraisal. Where are my scales?" I immediately went to the garage and began looking. No scales. I decided I had been mistaken and probably put them somewhere in the house. I looked in every closet, cabinet, and corner I could think of. No scales. I was busy and told him I just didn't have time to look any longer. He was not happy, but he accepted that and went about his business, guesstimating how much ground meat to use for his recipe.
At least a week later, I was walking to the den and he said, "I see you found the scales." I immediately felt the hair on my arms rise and a tingly feeling down my spine. "What are you talking about?" He pointed to the scales. They were on the opposite side of the counter from where they were originally. We had stacked some preserves a friend gave us in their usual spot. We went through a rerun of the earlier scenario with the rock, accusing each other of doing it, saying they had been there all along, although we knew they hadn't. It was very, very strange and gave us the somewhat creepy, somewhat fun feeling of not being alone. We felt Casper hanging around. My impression of this happening was more of a prank, a spirit having fun. We told fewer people this time. I don't think people get it until it happens to them. Joe's many Republican friends think I'm from another planet, anyway; and I didn't want to exacerbate that theory, for his sake.
Casper Never Said Good-bye.
That was the end of our visits by whatever or whomever it was. By the time of the scales, we were both used to the idea and wanted the visits to continue. That wasn't to be. Casper has never returned. I think of him often late at night or in the early morning. Sometimes I think I feel a presence in the den when I'm working, but nothing moves and nothing appears. By the way, appearing would not be good. I don't think I would be cool with that, just in case you're reading this, Casper! To be perfectly clear, I am not down with appearing.
We were going through tough times financially during the rock episode. I wondered if it might be Joe's dad, telling us it would work out, which it did. But that just never felt right to me. The feeling I got was of a young playful spirit, just having fun with us. Or maybe one of us did sleepwalk for the first time in our lives. Who knows? The whole experience has given us both something to think about and wonder about. All I know is that I would have loved to have been present to see that rock move from where it was on the hearth to where it landed.
I think a lot of people have experiences like ours and just don't mention it for any number of reasons, including ridicule.
As for you, Casper the Friendly Ghost, please come back and give me a part two to write! (But no appearing, please.)
Recent Paranormal Activity
I wrote this article several years ago. Nothing unusual has happened until today. I think our playful/mischievous friend is back. My husband lost his kitchen funnel. He is very attached to his kitchen "stuff" and we looked everywhere for it. He finally decided he took it to the backyard for some chore and one of our thieving crows took it to its nest. I bought a set of three at Dollar General. They were too small. He bought the size he needed yesterday and commented "Now that I bought one, the other one is going to show up."
Today, he called me to the kitchen. There, in plain site on a shelf where we put away dishes on a daily (nightly) basis, was his funnel. This particular spirit seems to enjoy finding lost things! And, of course, I think it enjoys making us question: Was it there all along, in plain site? I don't think so!
My husband is convinced the spirit is hiding things, then bringing them back. I'm not too sure.
Chidren See Ghosts
One of the stories that has always haunted me -- pun intended -- involving a ghost came from a small child. She was five at the time my grandmother died. She had lived next door to my grandmother for two years and often visited her and did small chores for her, earning a nickel or a dime. Three days after my grandmother died, the child told her mother that she saw my grandmother standing in the backyard of the house she had lived in before she died. She said she was dressed in her "teddies," the old fashioned silk underwear old people still wore. She said her hair was down -- she usually wore it in a bun -- and hung all the way to her waist and that she was just standing in the backyard. The child's mother told her not to make up stories, which made the little girl cry and insist: "I saw her. I'm not making it up. I saw her."
I believed her, mostly because she was not a child who would lie but also because my grandmother was very modest and would never allow a child to see her in her underwear. I have often wondered why my grandmother stayed here, what she was looking for or what she wanted to do.