Things That Go Bump In The Night

“The terms we use for what is considered supernatural are woefully inadequate. Beyond such terms as ghost, specter, poltergeist, angel, devil, or spirit, might there not be something more our purposeful blindness has prevented us from understanding? We accept the fact that there may be other worlds out in space, but might there not be other worlds here? Other worlds, in other dimensions, coexistent with this? If there are other worlds parallel to ours, are all the doors closed? Or does one, here or there, stand ajar?” 

― Louis L’Amour

Have you noticed as I have that stores everywhere are now advertising and selling costumes and related paraphernalia for our annual night of socially-accepted blackmail otherwise known as Halloween, where children dress in costumes and go door-to-door “trick-or-treating” – facetiously implying a nasty prank (trick) of some sort if some candy (treat) is not forthcoming? Its roots lie in the ancient Celtic belief that on that night the spirits of the dead come back to their earthly homes looking for hospitality, and if none is offered will play a mischief.

Now, being of Irish descent myself, I come honestly by my reluctant acceptance that possibly there may be some validity to “ghoulies and ghosties…beasties…things that go bump in the night”, and Halloween has nothing to do with it.

Because something eerie and strange has been happening in the neighborhood – more to the point, in our house.

A few months ago, while we were in bed asleep one night, I was woke up by what felt like someone walking across and on top of the foot of our bed. In my half-sleep, I thought it was one of our sons and was about to ask, “What are you doing? Go back to bed!” when I suddenly remembered neither have lived here for fifteen years. I chalked it up as a dream, maybe recalling an incident from when they did.

A few weeks later something awoke me again, I felt a “presence” standing at the foot of our bed. Jerking my head up, I saw nothing. Weird, thought I.

Shortly after, we were out to dinner with a couple who live just up the street and whose two sons were playmates to ours, and with whom we’ve been friends with for over thirty years. Somehow the subject of strange dreams came up in the conversation, and I related the above two incidents. The wife of that couple just stared at me and said, “I haven’t even told (her husband) this, but not long ago I awoke one night with the feeling that someone was sitting on the foot of our bed. I was too afraid to even look! And then I felt him get up, and then I didn’t feel him there at all.” She and I had a good nervous laugh, her husband and my wife merely glanced side-ways at both of us as I said there must be a ghost walking the neighborhood.

Later, at home, the subject came up and my wife reminded me that when our oldest son was old enough at age 10 to need his own room, his younger 6 year-old brother was moved to another bedroom. The younger hated it, said he kept seeing someone at night in his room, standing by the window. He was so scared we switched boys. Neither reported any issues with their new rooms. Problem solved.

I then reminded her of how, when the two oldest grandsons have spent the night here always sleeping together in that room our youngest had an issue with, there had been no problem until about a year ago, when she was out of town for the weekend and the then 12 year-old boy was at camp and the younger 10 year-old had asked to spend the weekend with me. Come bedtime that Friday night, I asked him to help me make up the futon for his bed in “their” bedroom. He said he’d rather sleep on the couch in the living room. Fine by me. But why? He said there’s something freaky about that room and he didn’t want to sleep in there. So I made up a sleeping bag in the living room and slept on the floor next to him (which is now the way both boys – and I, at their insistance – sleep whenever they stay over).

Now, every other grandchild has slept in there, other family members as well – all without complaint. What is it that my youngest son, and the younger grandson, sense with such fear in that room?

Then there was the other morning. I got up just before the wife left for work. She asked me if I’d gotten up earlier to pee while she was in the shower. Told her I hadn’t, why? She said she could swear that as she turned in the shower she saw through the glass door what she thought was me going back into the bedroom.

I laughed and reminded her of our “ghost”.

I don’t know if a spirit, a ghost or what, resides in that bedroom (and on at least one occasion took a stroll up the street to visit our friends), or when no one is in that room for a period of time, gets lonely and comes looking for company now in our bedroom (and has taken to peeking as we shower), or if there is a nexus, a portal, to some other dimension within the time-space continuum going on here.

But like I said, something eerie and strange has been happening.

And I’d be happy to give a treat to make it go away, if I only knew what.

– Bill


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