The Phantom Visitor

Everyone has a ghost story to tell. Or a story about something that happened to them that can’t be explained away easily. I’m no different. And while I have several I could tell, this one is my first experience with the ‘other’ side of life:

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It was over twenty years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was fourteen and it was summer. Which meant two things: I was too young to get a job, and my parents both worked, so I had the house to myself ALL day.

After rocking out to MTV the entire morning…wait, you DO know they actually played music videos back then, right? Yeah, I’m old, sue me. At any rate, I decided to go take a shower. I had the remote in my hand as I walked towards the restroom. I put the remote on the dining room table when I closed and locked the front door. (Fella has to be safe ya know.)

So, there I was, in the shower. I had just got all soapy when the dogs started going apeshit crazy. Our oldest, Prissy, only barked like that when a stranger came to the front door. So, I jumped out of the shower, wrapped a towel around me and went to see what the hub-bub was. There was no one at the front door.

Prissy, however, was hovering on my ankles. Which was completely unlike her. She was cuddly with one person, my stepdad. On any given day, she could care less if I was in the house. And here she was, post-barking frenzy, acting all lovey dovey on me. I told her to knock if off and walked back to the bathroom to finish my shower.

I got back into the water, and both dogs started barking like mad again. I decided I was clean enough for one day and my hair could wait a day or two for some conditioning. I rinsed off as fast as I could and came back into the living room.

The TV, which had been on MTV, was on the Learning Channel. The remote, which had been on the dining room table, was sitting on top of the cable box. And the top of the remote was covered in the fluffy dust that comes off the ceiling fans.

After a frenzied search of the house, I found that I was, indeed, the only one home. All of the doors were still locked and both dogs wouldn’t get out of my lap until my mom got home from work a couple hours later. When I told her what happened, she said she’d been seeing the houseplants moving at night even when the A/C was off, but didn’t want to say anything and freak me out.

I walked through the house and told whomever was there, that they weren’t nearly as funny as they thought they were, and that I wasn’t afraid of them. I also said they should ‘knock that shit off’. (Needless to say, mom wasn’t there, otherwise, she’d have smacked me.)

Nothing so grandiose as that happened the rest of the summer. It wasn’t until an aunt came to visit the following Thanksgiving that we got some sort of confirmation on our suspicions. My aunt is a self-proclaimed clairvoyant, and real estate agent. She used to give my parents tours of houses she tried to sell that were haunted. But I digress. She wasn’t told ANYTHING about what was going on, an my mom nearly crapped when the woman took two steps into the house and turned to my mom and said:

“Do you have anything strange going on around here? Missing keys, tv’s changing stations or anything like that?”

My mom said, “Why do you ask?”

“Because you have a poltergeist around here. It doesn’t live here, but comes to visit every now and then.”

All the proof I needed!

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So, like I said earlier, everyone has a ghost story that has happened to them, or their family in some way. And this is the perfect time of year to share those stories! Leave me a story of something that happened TO YOU or an immediate family member. (I don’t want to hear about some kid you heard about in school one time.) I want this to be as personal as possible.

After Halloween, I will pick out the one that I like the most, and you will win a live reading (either over the phone or Skype) of my short story “Bad Juju”.

What are you waiting for? Scare me.