Tuesday, October 22, 2019

An Absolutely 100% True Halloween Ghost Story

I'm certain that ghosts exist.
This story is a true account of how I've become so certain.

In the late 90's I bought a house in a suburb of San Francisco that was haunted.  OK, I'm not totally sure on how the term "haunted" is defined but I heard a pacing back and forth in my attic pretty much every night of my life back then.  It started on my very first night there.

It was a bit of a bother to get into the attic. You had to go into the garage and pull down a folding stair contraption from the ceiling so despite the incessant sound of someone heavy just about bursting through my ceiling, I just lied to myself that it must be some big animal caught up there and instead of getting up off the couch, just turned up the volume on the television.  Anyway, while lying to my own self was, as usual, in full and perfect working order, the blatant pacing was hard to ignore.

Finally, one night I just had to know.

I don't know what made the difference that night but when the ghost started his pacing back and forth I sprang up off the couch, grabbed a flashlight, raced to the garage, and climbed up the folding steps as fast as I could to face whatever seemingly demonic thing it was that I was about to face. For a while my faltering courage kept me firmly planted on the top stair step with me only pointing my flashlight into the attic at a safe distance.  I didn't see a thing. Not even a stray pigeon. Then I took that last step and for the first time was standing upright in my new attic. I walked every nook and cranny of it and still saw or heard nothing. I came through the small opening to get in there and had to use the same small opening to get out. The garage door was down and locked. Nothing could have gotten past me.

So I closed up the stairs and went back to couch. And it started again. It was then I had to come to terms with the reality of what had to be going on. Yes Virginia, you were right all along. There is no Santa Claus.

There are ghosts, however.

Living for any extended period with some kind of ghost in your house just plain tires you out.  At some point you surrender. You accept that you're sharing a house with what might be the devil.  Hey, I've had my share of live-in girlfriends and even wives throughout the years so it wasn't like sharing my house with someone who might possibly be related to Satan was altogether new territory for me.  Like anything else, you learn to get used to it. Still, in the dead of the night when the inside of the house got pitch black and the darkness became a one way mirror in the ghost's favor, I'd actually sit up in bed and say to it, as non-threatening as I could, "C'mon let's get this over with." That ghost lurked, paced, probably got close enough to breathe on me, and was just a royal pain in the ass, but never once did it want to "get it over with". It just wanted me gone. There was no other way out. At least not then.

While all this voodoo junk was still going on, I happened to have a dinner date that ended with us coming back to my house for a bit of a nightcap. We were on the couch doing that spooning thing that women enjoy for what it is, and men enjoy for where it might lead, when the footsteps started up again. When it happened she just asked somewhat incredulously, "Who's in your attic at this time of night?" Her words verbatim. This was a smart lady. From what I knew of her she didn't seem prone to mindless hysteria. I had no choice but to believe her. Nevertheless, I still actually responded that it must be an animal of some kind stuck up there. She sat up at that and now somewhat fearfully said, "There's a person walking in your attic. That's not an animal of any kind. It's a person."

In California there's an unwritten rule that mandates for all Californians to stay cool no matter what celebrity or outlandish gothic style punker kid happens to cross your path.  With that in mind, the doorbell rang the very next night and standing there was my eight year son's pediatrician and a witch. I think the politically correct word is "wiccan" these days but at that moment "witch" was the first thought that crossed my mind. Did I mention the pediatrician was my dinner date from the night before? One in the same.  Did I also mention the doctor and the witch were standing there hand in hand too? They were. Nevertheless, as the unwritten rule mandates, I was cool, did a perfectly scripted fake smile, and politely invited them in. Frankly, if you've lived in California long enough, finding a witch at your front door standing hand in hand with your son's pediatrician isn't by itself all that shocking.

So there we were, the three of us, me, my spooning partner from the night before, and a perfectly normal witch all sitting together on one couch having a drink of wine and making idle conversation. Then it started yet again. The sound of heavy footsteps purposefully pacing back and forth right above our heads.  The witch-wiccan woman didn't ask who was walking, instead she looked up at the ceiling and murmured, "The moment I walked in here I got a very bad feeling. There's something going on and it's not good." While she talked she kept her gaze pointed directly at the ceiling so I was rather sure she wasn't talking about me.

As it turned out, the good witch of the west and I almost immediately started spending a lot of time together. It was one of those cool relationships you remember fondly even though it didn't last forever, but that's an altogether different story for an altogether different time. Back to the ghost. For months we tried everything possible from engineers to some pretty serious minded people in the occult community (yes they have a community) to rid us of that damn thing but it just refused to leave. It took a year, give or take a month, but eventually we left instead. As crazy as it sounds, it was just too real to stay.

Last I heard about that house was a phone call from the new owners. They asked questions I couldn't rationally answer. Yet, after living in the house for as long as I did, in my mind there is no doubt, ghosts truly do exist.

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An Absolutely 100% True Halloween Ghost Story

I'm certain that ghosts exist. This story is a true account of how I've become so certain. In the late 90's I bought a hous...