Sunday, August 18, 2013

MY friendly ghost

     As promised, today we are taking a closer look at the spirit realm.  For those of you who do not believe in ghosts, spirits, demons, and/or paranormal entities, let me attempt to enlighten you.  I wasn’t granted the luxury of choosing …
     I was only three years old when my family moved from our tiny row-home in Upper Darby to a single-family home, further out in the suburbs.  Our new home was over one hundred years old when we moved in.  We weren’t there long before I started to notice strange things.  Just like in the movies, my parents assured me that the strange noises were just “the house settling”.  You’d think that, after 100+ years, the house would have been settled but old homes make a great deal of noise. 
     Shortly after we moved in, “he” made contact.  It started innocently enough.  When I would wake in the middle of the night, a dark form, the size and shape of an adult, would be wandering around my bedroom.  The first time I saw him, I was too afraid to scream.  I pulled the covers up and watched him circle around my room until I eventually fell asleep again.  The next morning, my mother laughed and insisted I was just dreaming.  Yet, night after night he would be there.  Eventually, I realized he was not going to hurt me.  I was fortunate.  He was mischievous but never dangerous.  As I got older, he would move my things around and occasionally hide them. 
     Perhaps the most startling occurrence happened in my later teens.  It was the summer after high school graduation, and I was making the most of my freedom, before leaving for college.  I spent more time running around with my friends than I did at home that summer.  I was getting ready to head out again and I could not find my keys.  I distinctly remembered leaving them on the dining room table, but they were gone.  I asked my parents, and my little brother, but everyone swore they hadn’t touched my keys.  I finally found them, hidden underneath my nightstand, in my bedroom upstairs.  I actually had to lift the nightstand and move it away from the wall to reach the keys.  It was pretty obvious how they’d gotten there.  Annoyed that I was late, I grabbed my keys and dashed outside.  As I was backing my car out of our driveway, I saw him.  I saw him in my rearview mirror just as clearly as if he was sitting in my backseat.  When I turned around, he was gone and my backseat was empty.  Before I pulled away, I saw him heading back to the house.  I got the distinct impression he was sad that I wasn’t around as much anymore. 
     After I moved out, I had no interaction with him until years later.  My parents sold the property and, eventually, the house was torn down to make way for a newer model.  I started catching fleeting glimpses of a shadow in the dark.  I find myself wondering if he found me and has taken up residence in my home.  Every time I can’t find my keys, I smile and wonder if he’s playing pranks again.  Whether you believe it or not, there are spirits all around us but not all are harmless.  Sleep well.   

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