At the age of about four, I was convinced our house was haunted. I believed in ghosts for two reasons. One, I could hear them in our house, and two, I could smell them in our house. That’s good enough for me. Never did I see one. Strangely, it was always on weekends, and it was always past midnight. They didn’t scare me because my mother protected me from them; not with guns, knives, spears or grenades, but with her usual casual and peaceful manner of reasoning. She always just wanted them to go to bed. Oddly, she never asked them to leave. This is the most courageous woman I’ve ever encountered, and she does exist.
These ghosts would open doors, close them, taunting me, not with haunting sounds, just irritating ones keeping one of my eyes open. I didn’t wish to see them with both. They would commonly have a strange rhythm to their gait, almost resembling a stumbling pattern. They’d also knock items over and open our refrigerator, spilling a blood like substance on the floor I might slip on in the morning companied with a yellow substance smelling like it may go great with the breadcrumbs strewed along the grout of our counter. Additionally, there was evidence of a possible potato chip encounter, where no chips were remaining, just some day old clam dip and open Ding Dong wrappers. How much did this ghost weigh, and how many carbs could a ghost inhale? Perhaps, in the other world, ghosts are allowed to purge too. Maybe not. After further analysis, the only physical evidence determining the presence was not of one, but perhaps nine poltergeists stumbling through our abode. That’s where it all began to make phony apparition sense.
Years later, after psychiatric evaluation, numerous counseling sessions and developing a brain, I put all the nine pieces together through mathematical, scientific and human as well as phantasm behavioral analysis.
One, as I later found out, I was the youngest of thirteen children. Two, I was four at the time, making the closest sibling four years older, the next, six years older and the next, eight years older. Calculating this on a Texas Instrument just purchased by my father made it quite easy for a simpleton like me. Brother, Tom, would have been eight, (I’m sounding amish) brother Greg ten, sister Maggie, twelve. How old were the rest of these siblings? Before there was a google search engine, I could just ask my mother or father.com for the answers to my ghastly questions. Evidently, the nine other siblings were either in Junior High, HIGH School, college, or just residing in our home on a weekend like basis. This all made sense. The whispering, the food, the ketchup, mustard…….everything……especially the smells. If nothing else I have to offer the world, I have a spooky honker. ( My nose detects items even CSI investigators couldn’t or wouldn’t wish to taste. Right now, I can smell the raindrop in the park located just a half mile from the office where I type, and I can tell you which cloud it descended from. Ghosts? Not nearly as spooky as my nose). My mom and I have the same ninth sense of smell. She whispered words in the middle of the night to my nine ghosts, turning out to be siblings, such as, “I smell liquor” and “Why do you smell like a skunk?, and “Do you know what time it is?” Their responses (excuses) seemed to be brushed off by my mom like lice from a 1970’s hairdo. Fortunately, for the ghosts, they could hear something far more frightening and sinister coming directly from our father’s bedroom…….his SNORING! That guy could wake a ghost up! He was the Texas Instrument Chainsaw Massacre of snoring. However, when he’d discontinue the prominent growls, and proceed to just pull the chain, then all ghosts would know he may stop snoring and actually wake up. That’s exactly when the ghosts hit the fan. Luckily, they could fly through the fan without having to adjust the sheets on their heads. All was quiet on the Gannon Front.
Those days are long gone, but fortunately, I have had the terrific fortune to meet all of my nine ghosts. They can be scary at times, but most of the time, they are quite friendly.
My really scary stories include one of my sister, Dorothy, dressing me up as the Tin Man. Not too ghoulish, but it does freak people out when you wear it and it’s not on Halloween.
The band “Kiss” Costumes: I didn’t wear them, but they did scare me on Locust Street when everyone else was dressed as Gene Simmons. That’s a creepy nightmare.
(What’s the best and worst costume you adorned on this pagan day? I’d love to read all about them!)
P.S. If your children show up on our doorstep, we only serve organic Kit Kats, non combustible razor blade free apples, free range chicken and lactose free milk pouches…..straws not included……they are like plastic spears for gosh sakes.
Oh, and by the way, other than coming from a family of thirteen, this story, I think, is mostly fictional. Sorry if I scared you, mom.