It's almost Halloween and that means it's time for ghost stories.
Fourteen years ago, I inherited my Gramma's house (after buying out my sisters shares) after she and my dad died within a couple of weeks of each other. We spent several months going through 40+ years of Gramma's life and doing some updating/remodeling before we were able to say "See ya, Sucker!" to our old house in Norwalk. The house that I'm POSITIVE was built on cursed, unhallowed, unholy ground, stories of which I will relate at a later time.
Almost immediately after settling in to Casa de Gramma, "things" began to happen that made me think that Gramma was still hanging out. For starters, I would see Gramma at times. Usually in Thing 1's bedroom because that had been Gramma's room (she and Grandpa had separate rooms due to his sawmill snoring). From where our bed was placed in the master bedroom, I could see out the bedroom door and straight into Thing 1's room. Sometimes at night, I'd hear something, sit up and I'd see her standing in her former room for just a second or two and then I'd blink and she'd be gone and I'd roll over and go back to sleep.
And then there was the footsteps. Usually around 2:00am, I'd hear footsteps coming from Thing 1's (Gramma's) room, down the hall and into the kitchen, stopping at about the kitchen sink. Sometimes I'd hear the return steps but not always. You see, when my Grandpa was still alive, Gramma would get up every night around 2:00am to give him his heart medication. She'd walk down the hall to the kitchen, stand at the sink to get a drink of water, peer through the blinds of the window over the sink and then walk back to bed. She continued this habit for years until she was felled by a stroke while standing at the kitchen sink.
So, after hearing the nightly walk for several weeks, I finally mentioned it to TheManTheMyth, thinking he'd look at me like I was kookoopants or something. His reaction? "Oh my God, I thought it was just me! Hell yeah I hear the footsteps and hell no I'm not getting up to see who or what it is!" My big, brave husband!
Over the years, the activity comes and goes. Sometimes I'll see movement out of the corner of my eye of someone walking in or out of the hall doorway but when I turn my head completely, nothing is there. Or I'd hear her voice calling my name, clear as a bell. A couple of weeks after Gramma died, the lady next door, who had been very close to Gramma, came over with a story. She was driving around the corner one day and saw Gramma standing on the front lawn with her broom (Gramma would sweep the leaves off the lawn every day). She said Gramma waved like she always did and Lisa waved back, just like she always did. Lisa said that it was so real it didn't register for a few minutes that she had just waved to a woman whose funeral she had attended a couple of weeks earlier.
Our family takes it in stride but overnight guests can be caught off guard. The bed in my office used to be placed in such a way that if you sat up, you'd see straight through to the kitchen. One of our most frequent overnight guests told me that he'd hear the footsteps going into the kitchen but he'd never hear them leave the kitchen. He said one time he dared to peer over the covers and saw a shadow figure standing there in the kitchen. He dove back under the covers and from that point on, would sleep with his head under the covers.
I cracked up one time (ok, more than once) listening to two of Thing 1's cronies discussing their experiences. One said, "It's no big deal, you hear stuff but you don't SEE stuff." and the other one said, "Oh you SEE stuff all right." The bed has since been repositioned so that you can't see into the kitchen anymore and Wyatt thanks me for that.
So last night, we go to bed. Sleep sleep, snore, snore. All of a sudden, I'm woken up because the light turns on. I'm getting ready to complain to TheManTheMyth for turning on the light while he's getting ready for work when I realize that A) he's asleep next to me and B) it's 2:15am. Odd, I think to myself, but I get out of bed and walk over to the wall switch and turn the light off. Sleep sleep sleep. Suddenly, I'm woken up by TheManTheMyth sitting up in bed. Why was he sitting up in bed? Because the overhead light just turned back on but came on slowly, as if someone was turning the dimmer switch to full light. Except there is no dimmer switch. We both look at the clock. It's 3:15am. Exactly one hour since the last time the light turned on. He gives me a funny look, gets out of bed and heads to the bathroom. Comes back and DOESN'T turn off the light but just gets back in bed. Hello? Turn off the light, dude! So I get out of bed and turn the light off yet again.
I fall back asleep. Once again I'm woken up because the light is slowly turning on AGAIN. The time is 4:15am. TheManTheMyth mutters, "What the fuck?" and I'm now irritated because my desperately needed beauty sleep keeps getting interrupted. I get out of bed and turn off the light yet again and bark out, "Knock it off!" and get back in bed where I was able to get 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Oddly, we experienced the same thing back in the Norwalk house right after Thing 2 was born. The light in the nursery had a habit of turning on by itself in the middle of the night. I thought TheManTheMyth was doing it so he could check on the baby in the middle of the night and he thought it was me. He checked the electrical wiring but couldn't find anything wrong that would cause the light to turn on by itself. Just another of the many experiences we had in that house.
So. I don't know if this is Gramma letting me know she's come for a visit or what but I can think of better ways she could pop in and say "Hi" without interrupting my sleep.
Love ya, Gramma!