“I ain’t afraid of no ghost!”


For some of you, this is going to classify me as one of those freaky hippy-dippy types, but here goes.

I believe in Ghosts.

Not only do I believe in them, I feel that something about me – my family – attracts them. Maybe it’s the luck of the draw in where I have lived. Maybe it’s an overactive imagination. Maybe it’s growing up and overhearing the stories between my Aunt and Mother about her house having an active poltergeist. Whatever the case may be, those who have known me for a long time, have experienced things that just seem very paranormal around me.

Now some of it I will admit ends up with perfectly logical explanations. Like the couple of nights I woke to a muffled, yet blaring AC/DC at exactly the same time each night. There were no cars nearby, and no way in HELL, the family downstairs was rocking it out at 2AM. The first night I was too tired and too lazy to investigate, and just muffled the noise with a pillow, cursing the bastards who started a party so late in the night. It stopped after about an hour. The following night when it occurred again, I was pissed. And confused. I got up this time, and on opening  my bedroom door I quickly realized the sound was coming from my own living room. I ran out confused, assessed that it was my ipod speakers at full volume, immediately shut off the music, and wondered how in the hell THAT happened. Ghosts, the back of my mind whispered. Pshaw, I internally replied shakily and went back to bed. But when it happened two more times at the exact time in the middle of the night it did start to alarm me. Was there a message in the song? Why was this happening?

So yes, I have to admit that there are times I run to Ghosts as my Go-To excuse.

It ended up that I had inadvertently set a timer on my speakers to play the music. A timer I hadn’t even been aware existed in all the time I owned the system. The music went off at precisely the same time, because it was set to. I was happy to know I didn’t have a head banging rockin’ insomniac ghost haunting my apartment, and wondered what my neighbors must have thought of ME those few nights of loud music.

Sometimes what appears to be unexplainable paranormal shit, is in reality just something temporarily unexplainable.

It doesn’t explain the house I had that everyone said “sort of gave them the creeps” in a bad mojo/ghost vibe-y sort of way. I have a plethora of stories about that place – another time. It also doesn’t explain a situation my own daughter went thru that scared her so deep, she couldn’t even talk to me about it for a year or two. Or the hotel in Northern Oregon where my boyfriend and I shared the exact same encounter – one that scared us enough to get the hell out of that hotel the next morning. He didn’t even believe in Ghosts.

My point is that there are things that go bump in the night, and then there are things that go bump in the night.

Because I scare easily, and my imagination can run like a madman on the loose, I have to come up with ways to deal with these things from time to time. For instance I had read that confronting a spirit, ghost, whatever you like to call it (I don’t like to call it an entity, because then I really get scared) can sometimes do the trick. So when some shit was going down in my apartment about ten years ago and I was all alone, I called out that this shit was NOT making me happy. I’ve also been very vocal about NOT wanting to see anything. I know it sounds kooky, and it even felt a tad silly talking out loud like that (little did I know I would start to talk to myself in grocery stores as I shopped alone only a few years later…) – but whether it was the power of suggestion in my own brain, or the spirit realizing that whatever they were doing was not creating the effect they wanted – the stuff occurring? It stopped immediately.

For some reason, I suspect a lot of this stuff is my Mother. First, she had the most sadistic sense of humor I’ve ever encountered. It’s part of what makes me a little twisted and sick in what makes me laugh. It’s also part of what makes me a jumpy, hyper-tense individual. She loved to scare the shit out of me, and would set up pranks that would take days for me to discover, but would end with her (and sometimes her cohort, my brother) dissolving into laughter.

I could totally picture her doing stuff like this to give me the willies. To have me shaking under the covers. And to also realize maybe she was taking it a bit too far and backing off a bit after getting a good yelling at.

I get that I could possibly want it to be my mother. I mean we tell small children that lose their parents that they are watching over them, so why wouldn’t those of us with a childlike imagination, not believe that maybe even as adults they are still watching over us? Even a neurotic ghost mother with a darkened sense of what should make us laugh, beats no ghost mother at all.

I’ve heard from many people that dreaming of your loved ones that have passed on is their way of trying to communicate with you. I’d love to believe that to be true, but it’s just too hard for me. I know — I believe that they can live in my house, but not communicate in my dreams. Like where does my line in the sand of reality start and end, right? I just believe that our dreams are complicated explanations of our subconscious and not a transmitter between worlds. Most of the dreams I have of family gone are of my mother. Makes the most sense. My Aunt, who was a second mother to me, is also in them. Sometimes even my Grandfather, who I adored more than any man on the face of this earth.

Strangely enough I don’t dream of my Grandmother much, which actually saddens me a bit, because most of these dreams usually leave me happy. It’s like an evening I get to spend with these wonderful people who meant so much to me. As much as I adored my Grandfather, my Grandmother was my rock. I was her listener, and I really loved the time I spent with her.

Last night I had a touch of insomnia. I don’t know what people with chronic insomnia do to be perfectly honest. When I get it, it runs like this. I sleep in an almost half sleep phase for about an hour, and then PING! I’m wide awake. My brain is running around like a three year-old who just had his first mochaccino, hyped on the caffeine and sugar. Last night when it hit me, I lay there, wondering if I possibly just didn’t move if I might fall back asleep, while the three year-old in my head is starting to bang on proverbial pots and pans and scream YAAAAAY MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT YAAAAYYYYY! I refused to acknowledge him, and instead just sort of felt content. My mind wandered over to the thoughts I just explained above. Why don’t I dream of my Grandmother? That lent itself to all of the most awesome things I loved about my Grandmother. I smile thinking of the small things she taught me that still stick with me (like washing your clothes in cold water, because it keeps the life of the fabric longer) and all of those family stories she shared with me, and the clothes she would sew for me. I was seriously in such a happy place I had even quieted down my inner three year old who was raptly listening to me explain about this awesome woman.

The T.V. had shut off from sleep mode so the house was deafeningly quiet. No bell from Eva romping around the living room. And then a very loud PLIIINNK-PLIINNK-PLINK, a very distinct sound of a wind up music box started to play three notes. Almost like when the box is winding down and just has those last notes to hit. But it wasn’t just three more notes – after the slow PLINK PLINK PLINK, Brahms Lullaby kicked into a full verse. I know it was a full verse, because I’ve never known the words to Brahms, and I used to make up my own when I sang it to Sam as a baby. I sang the entire song in my head as it played last night.

The first thoughts that went thru my head were:

  1. WTF? Is that a music box?
  2. INA! Is that her music box? (Ina is my grandmothers name and what we called her. Not Grandma, or Grandmother. We were are a weird family) I have an antique music box of hers that sat on her dresser and I questioned if that was the one I was hearing.
  3. No, that is definitely Brahms Lullaby
  4. That is coming from Bunny Baby
  5. INA? Mother? Eva?

Bunny Baby is a beautiful china baby doll in a full bunny suit that my mother bought for my youngest for Christmas when she was a baby. She has a key in her back that when you wind plays Brahms Lullaby, and she slowly moves her head and maybe arms. I don’t think Sam has an affinity for her, because she recently moved out and in packing went thru a bag in the garage full of her old stuffed animals. As she was pulling out the ones to take to her new house, Bunny Baby definitely didn’t look like it was going to make the cut, so I snatched her up, and dusted her off and brought her into the house. I knew my mother had probably paid a lot for her, and any gift from my mom to my kids, especially my youngest means a lot to me, because there were so few holidays they had with one another.

So Bunny Baby has happily sat in the guest room for two months now, completely untouched since I placed her on a shelf. Once I figured out what music box it was last night, the rational side of me thought CAT. Bunny Baby sits on a lower shelf. I waited to listen for Eva’s little bell around her collar. I purposely got a bell, so she wouldn’t startle me. Maybe, I thought, Eva didn’t like Bunny Baby, and smacked her. Or wanted to play wither her. But it was weird that there was no bell sound. I can almost always hear Eva, especially when the house is that quiet. I wasn’t creeped out per say, but as the minutes ticked away, I sort of felt I had to prove to my inner self that it was the cat. So up I got (I needed some water anyway) and headed into the kitchen and on the way passed my cat. Sleeping all curled up in her cat bed. She barely lifted her head at me when I went by.

It most definitely wasn’t the cat.

Had I conjured up my Grandmother in thinking such happy, warm thoughts of her? Likely not. I don’t know what the explanation is. A couple of plinks from that music box would be totally understandable – humidity or cold air, or whatever indoor weather thing could have loosened up the teeth in the music box to play a note or two. But an entire verse?

I wish I had the answer to this. I wish I knew why this weird stuff happens to me all the time. I am sure there are a lot more explanations, ala The Timer on the Speakers, that I simply haven’t figured out. But I also think – well as I said at the beginning. I believe in Ghosts.

In closing, I sent this story over to my youngest, the owner of Bunny Baby this morning. I thought it would be something she would get a weird kick out of, like I did. I didn’t put any type of spooky spin to the story, but I didn’t need to, because she immediately did. She is trying to convince me that I’m harbinging a ghost from the garage. “Garage ghosts are especially scary because they are bitter about being left in the garage for so long….” she wrote me this morning.

I see that sadistic sense of humor I wrote of has been appropriately passed down yet another generation”, I couldn’t help but think of dryly.





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