Disclaimer: In 1989 I bought the cassette version of “Appetite for Destruction” by Guns n Roses. It kickstarted a life-long love of foul language that is evidenced by the filth that litters my blog posts, so some of you might not enjoy the gratuitous profanity in here. The moral of the story is that parents really need to monitor what their kids spend their pocket money on. It can fuck them up for life.
I have a habit of hamming things up on this blog, so sometimes people aren’t sure if I’m having a lend of them or not.
Case in point: if I had a dollar for every person who asked me if I really wear a bum bag I would be one of the richest mummy bloggers this country has ever seen. (For the record, yes I DO wear a bum bag. I would never mock the sanctity of practical accessories).
So, with that out of the way I am going to tell y’all something right now that will sound to any sane person like complete and utter horse shit. But it’s all true.
I lived in a haunted house with a ghost who wanted to kill me.
Grab the nearest crucifix, stuff a pair of spare undies down your bra and tiptoe with me down the hallway of my paranormal suburban hell. (Alternately, atheists can ditch the religious iconography for the latest edition of “The Skeptic’s Guide to Bloggers Who Are Full of Shit” instead).
Here’s how I knew my house was haunted:
#1 I kept finding my kitchen cupboard doors open all the time
Yeah, yeah, I know. TERRIFYING. Call Ghostbusters….
It seems innocuous, but I kept finding my cupboard doors open in the kitchen. Not fully open, like that scene from The Sixth Sense – just slightly ajar. It didn’t creep me out at the time, because I’m absentminded and kind of lazy. My total ineptitude could have explained a lot of this.
Except that it kept happening, even after I started making a conscious effort to close them. (For the record, it doesn’t happen in our new place. Ever. Maybe the ghosts here are lazy fuckers).
#2 Television, lights and electrics would do weird shit
We had weird stuff happening with the electrics but wrote it off as dodgy wiring, and it happened infrequently enough to have more of an “Oh, that’s weird” kind of vibe instead of a “FUCK, THAT’S CREEPY” kind of vibe.
We’d have lights and televisions turning on and off by themselves, sometimes at very strange hours. I mean, our place was only 35 years old and the wiring was totally fine, but no one WANTS to believe that their house is haunted, so we came up with all sorts of logical reasons to convince ourselves that it wasn’t.
Deny, deny, logic, explain. We’re rational people.
But then, shit escalated.
#3 I heard footsteps down the hallway but no one was there
One day I was at home while my two year old was asleep. He was a chronic catnapper so I knew I’d be lucky to get time for a cup of tea and a cursory scroll through Facebook before he made his premature reappearance. Not long after I put him to bed I distinctly heard footsteps coming down the hallway, so I sighed in irritation and got up to meet him.
There was no one there.
I walked down the hallway to see if he’d toddled into one of the other bedrooms. Nope. I stuck my head in his doorway and he was still in bed. Fast asleep.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I heard physical footsteps. The house was silent, the TV and radio were off (DON’T WAKE THE CATNAPPER) and there was no other background noise to confuse things. Creepy as fuck.
#4 I saw the shadow of a little boy ghost
Our bedroom was directly across the hall from my son’s room, and he would often wake up and come into our bed. One night around 3am I was woken by something and sat up. That was rather unusual, as I routinely sleep through Category 5 storms and my children crying at night (I am not proud of this).
The house was dark but my son had a night light in his room, which cast a dim glow across the hallway. I looked towards our open doorway and distinctly saw the shadow of a small boy pass across the door, so I shuffled over to make room for another nightly visit from my rogue three year old.
But the shadow wasn’t followed by an actual body.
I got up and checked his room. He was in bed. Fast asleep.
The rogue shadow did not belong to MY three year old.
(Yes, I am getting chills as I type this, several years later).
(And yes, I know how absolutely batshit fucking crazy this sounds).
#5 I woke up one night and the bed was shaking
God this sounds stupid. I know this sounds fucking stupid. YES, I woke up in the middle of the night one time and the bed was actually SHAKING.
The weird thing was that I remember looking over at my husband and thinking “HOLY FUCK WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING HERE?!” (I deadset thought it was an earthquake) but he was still fast asleep.
I don’t know what else to tell you. My husband didn’t feel it but I did, so I was starting to think that the ghost had it in for me.
I wasn’t wrong.
#6 I woke up one night and someone was choking me
If you’re still here, this is where things get really fucked up and if you didn’t think I was full of shit before you will surely crown me the Queen of Fecal Vomiting henceforth and forevermore.
But, I assure you, all metaphysical attempts to kill me were real.
One night I was abruptly woken with the sensation that someone was choking me. And when I say “sensation” I could literally see the dark outline of a person on top of me with its hands around my throat.
I couldn’t breathe. Or scream. Or make a sound.
I actually thought someone had broken into my house and was strangling me. Its presence was physical. I could see it and feel it. Eventually it released its vice-like grip on my throat and disappeared, at which point I realised that it wasn’t a person. It was a shadow.
It was a. fucking. shadow.
I can’t even explain the terrror. It was visceral. I still remember the gutteral rasp of my breathing once the pressure on my throat had been released; the adrenaline mixed with shock and relief. After that I was scared to go to sleep at night, and I’d lie awake shitting my metaphorical pants at every creak and groan the house made.
I was a grown-ass woman afraid of fucking ghosts.
The obvious response was to tell NO-ONE that some sort of spirit-demon had just tried to strangle me and to make a few lighthearted posts on my blog about doing a DIY exorcism to get my kid to sleep better at night. Yeah, to get my KID to sleep better at night…
Me burning sage and carrying a Bible and a cross around, because I am SO super-religious and all that… But fuck me, a ghost had just tried to kill me and it worked in The Exorcist so I Hail Mary’d the fuck out of that house anyway. Weirdly enough, it seemed to work.
Or so I thought….
#7 My HUSBAND woke up one night and someone was shaking him
Now this is where is gets REALLY good.
My husband is a bona-fide skeptic and does not believe in any of this sort of nonsense. If you’re rolling your eyes right now I guarantee you that his would be spinning like the Bingo cage at a seniors-run church fundraiser every time I talked about this shit.
He’s a total non-believer.
Or, he was, until my ghostly friend paid him a special visit.
My husband is a closed book. He plays his cards close to his chest – all those bullshit metaphors. He only offered this information up to me randomly one night when we were resoundingly PISSED on goon bag wine, not long after we’d moved into our new house – and well after it actually happened.
I’d been up at the Gold Coast with the kids a few months beforehand, leaving him at home alone. While we were away one night he was woken abruptly from his sleep too, but it wasn’t because he was being choked. According to my non-believing skeptic huband, he woke up because SOMETHING HAD GRABBED HIM BY THE ANKLES AND WAS VIGOROUSLY SHAKING HIM UP AND DOWN.
That motherfucker kept that little tidbit from me for MONTHS.
Said that he didn’t want to scare me. Dickhead. And finally admitted that I might have been onto something with all this ghost stuff. I mean shit, I was already terrified but if he’d actually told me about his playdate with the poltergeist at least I would have felt a little bit less fucking crazy about the whole thing.
And there concludes my highly-implausible story of paranormal hell. We moved out not long after the incident with my husband (totally unrelated, but I wish the new owners well…) and our new house is pleasingly devoid of malevolent demons who want to kill us. The End.
TL DR; Ghosts. They’re real.