When I thought about my duties as a parent while pregnant for the first time, I thought about the good things like cuddling, playing and teaching my daughter how to ride a bike. I also contemplated the bad things like potty training, tantrums and bed times. However, I never thought ferreting out a ghost would be on that list.
This last week, my husband was studying in our living room, and I was washing dishes in the kitchen. Both children were sleeping. Pretty dull evening. I heard little footsteps in the room above me. Our two-almost-three old daughter has been having some issues sleeping. She was a stellar sleeper until little brother came along, and she’s started sneaking into our bed at night. Either newborn exhaustion is making me sleep unusually deep, or my daughter has been studying with a Jedi master and is officially a ninja. (I fully understand that doesn’t make any sense. I mean after all a Jedi is not a ninja. So, calm down fellow nerds) In fact a few weeks ago, I woke up with my daughter about three inches from my face whispering “I’m naked.” She was, in fact, quite naked.
Any who, judging by the direction of the footsteps, she was making the same play for our bed, but we weren’t in it yet. I heard my husband go upstairs to meet her.
About 10 minutes later, I hear my husband coming down the stairs and in comes my daughter with him. Well that unusual. She doesn’t get to come downstairs once its bedtime. My husband has this smirk on his face. “What?” I ask
“Um. Your daughter is creepy.”
“What do mean?”
“Well I went to put her asleep in our bed, and she pointed to the dark corner and said, ‘He is naughty.’”
“Whaaaaat? That is creepy.”
“No, it gets worse. I asked her ‘Who is creepy?’ and she answered ‘He’s gone now.’”
“Whoa. That’s not cool.”
“So, we’re going to watch a little Mickey to forget the creepy bedtime experience.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
So, I finish washing the dishes. All the while I can’t stop thinking about when we first moved in the house. When we first moved in, I told my husband I thought the house was haunted. Now, do I have any actual evidence? Uh no. Do I even believe in ghosts? Not really. However, since I was a kid I used to freak myself out to no end with reading “true” ghost story books. In fact, I used to sneak into the adult section of the library and check out “non-fiction” type ghost books about how to track them and get rid of them etc. Terrible terrible idea! I would read them under a flashlight in the dark at night, because nothing settles the mind like reading about how ghosts you can see are harmless but the real trouble makers are ones you can’t see, in a dark quiet house at midnight. Slept like a baby every night…with the lights on.
My high school boyfriend claimed his family owned a haunted house. Now, he pretty much exaggerated everything, but his much more logical brother backed up the crazy stories as true. I don’t know. Could they be true? Maybe. At the time, I thought it was pretty persuasive that they couldn’t sell the house and ended up demoing it…however now I really think it was because the area was just economically depressed. Adult perspective.
So, logical me doesn’t think they are real, but crazy reading ghost stories under the covers me thinks that this house is too old not to be creepy. I like to now think me thinking the house was haunted was more a new house, new area anxiety manifesting in an odd rationalization. I talked on a couple of parenting message boards for a while when we first moved here, and one lady claimed she could read a room’s aura or something crazy like that.
So every person started posting pictures of their rooms. Every reading was like “This room has great energy and I can feel the love that it emits.” Or some yada like that. So, I thought, hey, I’ll post a picture of this room, have her get some warm fuzzes and maybe I’ll convince myself it isn’t haunted.
So, she gets the picture of my room and says, “This room has a dark past. I can feel an evil presence here.”
WHAT THE HELL. Fan-freakin-tastic. I spent the rest of the day googling “removing evil presence from room.” FYI…not many options out there.
Eventually logic won over, and I have never thought the house was haunted since. Well until my daughter claims a naughty man is creeping in the corner staring at me while I slept. That’s just superb.
After I’m done with the dishes, we all go upstairs. I’m feeding the baby on one side of our bedroom. My daughter runs back over to the same corner and points to it and says, “He’s naughty. He went home.” Well, I want to curl up in a fetal position and cry. My husband reassures her there is nothing there. However, she wouldn’t be deterred. She probably talked about it for another 10 minutes as we did our night time routine. She kept saying, “I’m scared daddy. He’s naughty.” Or something like “He’s scary. He’s gone.”
Now, I should mention I have a daughter who is….”dramatic.” She’s dramatic in the sense she sits in front of the mirror and practices facial expressions, crying, begging, shaking her fist, yelling…pretty much every emotion. She also likes to make up tall tales. She fell down the stairs at my mother-in-law’s house last November, and she still tells the story to this day. However, it’s morphed from falling down the stairs, to first being bitten by a dog and then falling down the stairs. At times it’s even a vicious attack from several different dogs. I witnessed it all…while it was a traumatic stair fall, there was no dog biting involved.
Through all of this “haunting” business, she is never truly “scared”…I’ve seen her that way before with strangers, heights and the aforementioned stairs.
So, I lay down next to her in bed and she continued to whisper about the “thing” in the corner until she fell asleep. At about 3:00 am, she started to whimper and fuss in her sleep. That woke me up. And, I know it was my over active imagination and the lighting plus a fan moving a curtain, but I swore I saw a dark figure in the room. Talk about waking you right up. I shook it off, got up, went to the bathroom and came back to a dark hallway with Lila standing in it. Now, she normally does this when I get up and go to the bathroom, but given the nights’ events, I knew I was now in a paranormal project movie.
We both went to back to sleep without incident. The next morning while I was getting ready for work, she took my hand mirror and started her normal dramatic interpretation into the mirror. However, this time, she went over to “the corner” and showed the “thing” the mirror. She started talking to the “Thing” and held the mirror up like she was showing itself in the mirror and started pointed out ears, nose, etc.
UH. CREEPY. At this point, I’m about to start my excessive googling of “what to do when your child seems to be playing with a creepy naughty ghost in the corner.” I decided to first ask my toddler some questions about what she was doing. I asked her who she was talking to. She pointed to the corner. I then told her to go and touch what she was talking to. She touched the curtain. After several more questions and explaining, I figure out, she’s talking to the curtain that is moved by the fan. I also find out that the fan my husband has running 24/7 is being mean to the curtain because he’s blowing him about. No ghost! Today, she was talking to the fan about making the curtain feel cold.
WHEW. My brief encounter with the supernatural was just my daughter’s newly discovered imagination. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to sleep with the lights on. I mean I’m actually keeping the bedside light on because it’s easier to nurse my son…yeah…right.
***Side Note: For those of you that don't get the late 80's early 90's reference in this post's title, there used to be a movie called "Ghostbusters" in which they would hunt ghosts. It had a quite catchy tune attached to it. Try YouTube...probably under "Old Balls Movies" ***