Happy Halloween. It's Ghost Week here under the Tulip Tree.
Those who believe in ghosts claim that spirits from the beyond are more likely to join us in the fall because that's when the veil between our world and theirs is thinner. Specters also supposedly get stirred up when there is renovation going on or an adolescent in the house. Of course, those things are enough to make anyone—alive or dead—have a come apart.
My neighborhood was burned to ground during the War or Northern Aggression and resurrected during the Victorian period. My own house was built in 1908 and, as far as I know, no one has ever died in it.
"You've got a ghost," the man said to me. He was turning the ugliest kitchen in America into something rather better and I was flying through on my lunch hour to see how things were progressing.
"I do not have a ghost," I told him. "What I've got are some ugly cabinets. That's what is scaring you; they scare me."
"It's not funny," he said.
"I agree. There's nothing at all amusing about stained plywood."
"If you don't have a ghost, what's all that thumping upstairs?"
"That would be a seventeen pound cat chasing a fifteen pound cat on uncarpeted hardwood floors."
"Oh," he said.
But not all the stories around my neighborhood are so easily debunked.
Bunco Babe, my good friend from around the corner, shares her house with six-year-old blue eyed blond boy. That wouldn't be so unusual, except, from the looks of his nightshirt and the candle he carries, he was probably born not long after the house was built in 1889.
She's used to him. So am I—at least as used to him as I'll ever be. He loves a houseful of women. I think his mother must have had ladies in regularly. One night when Bunco Babe hosted our Bunco group, Ghost Boy was particularly busy. He tromped up and down the stairs all evening, let the cat out of a locked room twice, and turned over a pitcher of margaritas. Finally, one of our party said, "I can't take this another minute," and left. I didn't. I'd gotten pretty cavalier about him—or so I thought.
That all changed when he paid me a visit
Ghost Boy is very attached and protective of Bunco Babe. She had given me a pair of pants that were too short for her and they went missing from my closet. I looked high and low, until I finally decided that I had mistakenly packed them away with last season's clothes.
Then one morning, Bunco Babe called me. "Why did you bring these pants back to me?" she asked. "I found them in a bag, hanging on my door knob." It stood to reason that she thought I had left them. We often leave things for each other employing the bag/doorknob method.
But not this time. I told her I had not returned them. In fact, I had been looking for the pants for a week. The only thing we could figure was that Ghost Boy thought I had cheated Bunco Babe out of her pants and retrieved them for her.
"I'll tell him I gave them too you," she promised. (She often has to scold him.) "And I'll bring them back to you."
I assured her that would not be necessary. In fact, it would not be tolerated. A little spilled drink and stair stomping is one thing. I don't want any pants that have been touched by ghost hands, no matter how cute they are.
Do you believe in ghosts? Have you had an experience?
Tell us about it and remember to check back with us every day this week for more haunted happenings.