Ghosts generally don’t bother me. We sort of have this I-won’tbother-you-if-you-don’t-botherme deal.
So my run-ins with spectres have been mostly noneventful, even in the haunted house where I once lived in Oglethorpe, Ga. There, my worst experience was a lady in a flowing, glowing white dress who would open my bedroom door and check on me sometimes at night.
I should have warned my wife about the ghosts there before she spent her first night in the house. She woke up screaming with a ghostly man in a uniform and cowboy hat hanging over her.
“Oh, that’s just Sheriff Jolly,” I said nonchalantly, not making her feel a whole lot better by having known the man who’d lived in the house years earlier and was now watching her sleep. “Don’t worry, he’s a nice ghost.”
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Since then, our experiences with spirits have been fairly minor in Columbus. There was that one tall, faceless man my wife and I both saw at once. And there was the time when my then 3-year-old son got out of the bathtub and while my wife was helping him dry off, he waved and said, “Hey!”
My wife looked at him strangely and asked with a smile, “Who are you saying ‘hey’ to?”
“That man back there.”
But that was it until we moved to Ellaville, Ga., recently into a home built in 1932. That’s practically brand new compared to the circa 1900 home in which I lived in Oglethorpe.
A few nights ago, loud bumps in the night began to emanate from the second floor. My son refused to sleep there. The bumping got louder and more frequent, even in the daytime. I climbed all over the roof and through the attic. I could find nothing. Because I know from experience that remodeling can stir up ghosts, I explained aloud to the longtime owners who’d died in a plane crash together that “We’re gonna make it look nice, I promise.”
Of course, most ghost stories have a logical explanation. As did this one. A sub-woofer attached to my son’s computer was popping and shaking the floor. We didn’t even know it was on.
The other explanation is that paranoia reigns at my house since my wife found a snake in the yard.
Before we discovered the “ghost,” she discovered something under the rug in the den when she stepped on it. She screamed and got an ash shovel from the fireplace and told me to kill whatever it was. Last time I killed a snake with a big shovel, the snake dang near bit me. The 3-foot-long ash shovel is hardly the top choice for critter killing.
“What is it?!” I yelled nervously, not being particularly fond of snakes, either, while my son was nearly in tears in the hallway.
“I don’t know, but it moved. Just kill it!”
So with one hand I reared the shovel back into position for a death blow and grabbed the corner of the rug to flip it back and reveal our latest terror-inducer:
A plastic hanger.
It’s going to be a long summer of ghosts and critters at my house.