Mar. 24, 2017

The Cleansing

Once we had decided to have our haunted home blessed, nothing paranormal happened for months; no footsteps, no noises. Melody, the cat stopped freaking out and watching unseen people walk around. She calmed down, too. I started to think maybe I was over exaggerating and put off taking my brother’s sound advice to have the house blessed.

Then the footsteps returned. The cat began stalking unseen visitors and sometimes running out of the room with her scathing meows. The noises came back as did the pacing dark figure. Things began moving by themselves. Like the wire whisk had done, one of my shirts in my closet started swaying back and forth on its own while the rest of the clothes on either side of it remained idle.

One night, I was awakened by someone leaning over me, like they were going to kiss me. They brushed my hair back from my face and I opened my eyes thinking it was my husband only to find no one was there! I convinced myself I had been dreaming and let it drop.

Not long after the phantom kiss, I was lying in bed. The light in my son’s old bedroom came on and I could hear someone loudly moving things around in there. The room is now used to put stuff into instead of having to crawl into the attic.

I called out my husband’s name; no answer but the light went off and the noise stopped. A few minutes later, the light came back on and the rearranging of things began again. This time, I called his name a little louder thinking my husband didn’t hear me the first time. Again, the light went off and the movements stopped. The third time the light came on and he started moving things around, I got really irritated because I had to get up at five in the morning for work and he was disturbing me. When I got out of bed, I could still see the light on under the door and hear the boxes being moved. I snatched open the door and snapped, “What are you doing in here!”

The room was dark and empty. I was a little shaken up but didn’t want to admit what had just happened. I went out to the living room telling myself I had obviously just missed him being in there.

I tried to remain calm as I asked, “What were you doing in the spare room?”

“What are you talking about,” he said sitting on the couch. He and my son looked at me like I was crazy.

“Dad has been sitting here the whole time,” my son insisted along with his father. “Neither one of us have moved.”

I was so upset. I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night and had to call one of my staff nurses in to cover me the following morning. She, being a Christian, and being aware of everything going on, including the phone call to my brother, Karl, said, “You need to do something soon, Michelle. You know your brother and sister are right - it is not your father.”

I agreed. However, I put off calling the pastor again. By this time, my nephew, Kevin, had moved in with us and was sharing a room with my son. They alternated sleeping in my son’s bedroom and couch (their choice) until we cleaned out the spare room and put a bed in there for Kevin. Besides, the last thing I wanted was for Kevin to go back and tell his father I was losing my mind having the house blessed and exorcised of ghosts.

After Kevin had slept on the couch one night I awoke to his complaints about me “stomping to the refrigerator” several times during the night.

I knew what he was talking about right away. Instead of addressing it though, I said, “How could you hear anyone walking around in the kitchen? You fell asleep with the TV on again.”

“That’s what I’m saying, Aunt Michelle. You were stomping around in there so hard even the glasses in the cupboard were shaking. Besides, every time you opened the fridge, the light would shine in here too.”

Some mornings, Kevin would complain about me rattling the pots and pans the previous night. He‘d chastise me saying, “What were you going to cook at three in the morning?” I remembered my brother’s complaints from years earlier but said nothing.

It was obvious that this entity was drawn to me, all the more reason people I shared this story with insisted it was my father’s ghost. I was afraid of this entity, this ghost that haunted my house. If it were my father’s ghost, as everyone insisted it were, I should not have been afraid of it and here, I was very unnerved by the presence. I no longer slept with the light off. I kept the bathroom light on as a night light. My husband used to joke about buying me a Mickey Mouse night-light. I accepted his offer. Although he was joking, I wasn’t.

About a month after Kevin had moved in with us, I found the straw that broke the camel’s back. Again, I was lying in bed. I had my eyes closed but was very wide awake. I had the distinct impression someone was staring at me. I remember smirking a little thinking it was my husband trying to sneak up on me.

I opened my eyes and saw, standing right next to me, no more than a foot away, the silhouette of a little boy and he was inching closer and closer to me. I gasped in surprise, very loudly, and rolled backwards in the bed, away from the shadow.

He stopped. Then all of a sudden, as if caught sneaking up on me, he ran away. I watched his shadow move along the walls as he exited my bedroom. Believe me when I say, it wasn’t Peter Pan! The pastor was at my house two days later.

The pastor came and blessed the house while I was at work. I asked everyone who was home, “Did he go to every room in the house?”

“Yes, yes, every room - especially your bedroom.”

That was on a Wednesday when the pastor came. That Monday, Kevin was in the bedroom sleeping since he had to get up early for work the next morning. All of a sudden he burst through the door into the living room.

“Aunt Michelle, you need to call the pastor back. I just saw a dark shadowy figure pacing back and forth at the end of the bed. He was going from one side to the other like he didn’t know what to do and then, all of a sudden, he vanished into the wall.”

“Kevin,” I scolded. “We just had the house blessed! If you keep talking about things like that, you will only invite it back!”

“I swear, Aunt Michelle, I swear, I saw it. I tried to call Reese but he wouldn’t answer his phone.”

“You did not call me,” my son insisted. “My phone is sitting right here. I would have heard it ring.”

“Check it,” Kevin demanded. “I called you twice! Reese looked at his phone and sure enough, he had two missed calls. “I’m not lying about this. I’m keeping the bedroom door open tonight.”

That was Monday night following the blessing. On Thursday, as I was cleaning some shelves off and putting things in boxes for the yard sale we were having the following weekend, I came across some Tarot Cards my husband had given me for Christmas one year. The same year my father had passed away.

I called my brother, Karl, back and brought him up to date on what’s happened. I also told him what I found. “Do you think these could have something to do with what’s going on?”

“Well yeah,” he declared laughing. “I asked if you had a Ouija Board.”

“But this is not a Ouija Board, Karl. I wouldn’t have one in my house. These are Tarot Cards.”

“Which are nothing more than a Ouija Board in card form. Get rid of them, and fast!”

I heeded his warning and nothing else has happened since I got rid of the Tarot Cards. Nonetheless, the experience, ten years long, did not leave me or, even my son, unscarred. Although my daughter’s old bedroom is no longer an ice-box, my son still prefers to sleep in the living room. He’s wary of any sudden noises or movements inside the house. His cat stays close to him for protection. After all, he is her Mommy.

For me, I still have a hard time sleeping in my bedroom, with or without my husband. I’m constantly looking and listening, just in case. If I do sleep in my room, I sleep with the lights when my husband isn’t there. Make no mistake, if I so much as think something has returned, I will be on the phone faster than you can say “Ghostbusters” and calling in reinforcements.