I don’t believe in ghosts for one simple reason: ghosts aren’t real. But I like scary movies and ghost stories, and I figured what better day to weave a paranormal yarn than Easter? (Why Easter? Because it is the world’s best known zombie story.)
I went on a ghost hunt in Georgia with my buddies Jeff and Sarah. We heard whispering, and there was a slamming door that has thus far been unexplained. Ghosts! So when Jeff and I were coming home from a show earlier this week, reminiscing about the ghost hunt, and I revealed that I don’t believe in ghosts, he was shocked. He couldn’t fathom that I went on a ghost hunt with him while being worse than a skeptic. The horror, I was a straight up nonbeliever.
Then he said, “How can you not believe in ghosts when your house is haunted?”
Oh, yeah. That.
There have been friends who are actually afraid to come visit because of this “haunting.” Let me put your mind at ease. There are no such things as ghosts, therefore my house is not haunted.
Yes, okay, alarm clocks and radios turn on by themselves all the time. In the guest room, the alarm has this habit of randomly blaring impossibly loud white noise at all hours of the night. It’s annoying, but I’m sure there’s a worldly explanation, I just never feel like debunking it when I’m stumbling around half-asleep to turn it off.
The faucets turning on when I’m not in the room is a little weirder, particularly since it’s not confined to a single faucet, but there’s nothing scary about faucets turning on. Sometimes I just leave dish soap in the sink so when it does turn on, I get a no fuss scrub. Thanks, phantoms!
Now, onto the bouncing ball bearing sound in the living room. Haven’t quite finished the troubleshooting on that yet. It’s just the sound of a metal ball bouncing against the ground floor tile. Strange, but not frightening. I can’t even imagine what that would mean even if it could attributed to a ghost. What, is it a marble playing spirit? Nerd alert. I kind of like the ball bearing sound. It freaks out the cats, which is fun. It makes Spaz tear ass up the stairs, and Rogue invariably runs headfirst into the sliding glass door whenever the plinkplinkplink starts. I’m not sure I’d get rid of that even if I knew how.
The footsteps were an isolated incident. It was a night when I had a hard time falling asleep, and when I finally did, my furry prisoners decided it would be fantastic to go all Master Blaster on me. I managed to fall asleep, but before long, their shenanigans woke me up again. I yelled at the cats to stop, like any rational human being, and threw a couple of pillows across the room. But they didn’t stop, and eventually I woke up more fully to discover both cats were on the bed, staring in the direction of the absurdly loud footsteps, hackles raised, tails a’fluffed. The footsteps didn’t cease when I woke up, either. Movie ghosts always have the decency to stop once you notice them. These footsteps just kept clomping around, loud as hell, for another fifteen minutes. It was exactly three a.m., which according to Jeff, is the active hour for paranormal activity. I don’t care, I just don’t like being pulled from sleep for something stupid, like disembodied footsteps. Either materialize or don’t, but I have to be at work in four hours. Do I think this was a ghost? No. I do not. I don’t know what it was, but I gifted it with one of my more creative streaks of curse words, and it hasn’t been back. If it was a ghost, it definitely didn’t appreciate being called a fungdart.
The only thing that is a bit more difficult to shrug off is the pictures. A couple days before my book was published, I was experiencing a bit of stress (re: freakoutmeltdown). I haven’t talked to my dad since he died. I never felt the need to, and let’s face it, the last thing I need to add to my repertoire is an imaginary friend. However, I was feeling powerless and a smidge irrational, and I might have said something like, “Dad, I don’t know what kind of pull you have with the universe, but if you could magically fix my internet, that would be really helpful.”
Two minutes later, a picture frame featuring five shots of my dad, my brothers, and myself fell off the wall. It had been hanging on the wall for a year and a half without incident, and it came right down and fell down behind the bookshelf. I heard the noise but couldn’t figure out what it was until I went to bed and realized the spot on the wall looked strangely bare.
The next morning, I walked down the stairs and found two pictures on the floor, Polaroids from the day I was born, me and my dad. They were not in the frame that fell the night before, and they were not on the floor when I went to bed. They had been in a memory box on the shelf, which was still where it was supposed to be. No way to blame the cats for that one.
Do I think the ghost of my father was there? Absolutely not. For one, Dad would have hated to have picture frames fall off the wall. This is the man who had a conniption fit when I moved the DVD player from the right side of the entertainment center to the left. For another, I needed him to fix my internet, not create a mess. So if it was him, thanks a million, Dad. Now my internet is broken and there’s glass in my feet. Awesome divine intervention.
So on this day when we celebrate our Zombie Lord and Savior, allow me to set all of your minds at ease. The house is not haunted. Nothing is haunted. It’s fun to pretend, but there’s no reason to fear my home, future guests.
The nocturnal screaming notwithstanding.