Strange things happen at my house. We built our home on thirty acres after moving from Southern California to Northeastern Oklahoma. And when I say we built it, I mean my husband. At the time, he owned a residential construction business so he literally laid the foundation, drove the nails in the sheet rock, and shingled the roof. It’s a modest little place really, an 1800 square foot brick and white frame cottage style house with a wrap-around porch. In spring, summer and fall, I decorate the front with pot after terracotta pot of geraniums, impatients, marigolds, and happy-faced pansies. It’s a pretty, homey and cozy.
Not that kind of house that looks haunted. But it is.
Odd sightings began long before my husband put the last coat of paint on the walls and we moved in. Once the front porch was built, the ghost of a man wearing an old gray fedora began to show up. We got used to seeing him from time to time sitting near the front steps as if waiting for the house to be finished and for us unload all our worldly belongings. The first time I saw him, I walked over to the guy ready to introduce myself. I thought maybe he was just some friendly neighbor. I took a couple of steps towards him….then…he wasn’t there. I stood for a few moments with my mouth hanging open, wondering, “Did that just happen?” It wasn’t nearly as scary as it was jarring. I had the sense that he meant no harm. He was only curious. Oddly, we haven’t seen him since the day we moved in fourteen years ago.
Shortly after getting settled in, we decided to have the house blessed. We arranged for a guy named Joe, who according to a friend, knew about these things, to come and perform the ceremony. When he was done, we talked about the ghost in the fedora. I wanted to try to contact him.
“You want to leave this alone,” Joe warned. “There’s a spirit here, one who guards. He’s playful but not mean. He keeps a dark one away. If you let one in, you let them both in. Leave it be.”
So, we live with weird stuff. Sometimes while the whole family is watching TV in the family room, the stereo in my daughter’s room will turn itself on. There are times when the printer comes on by itself and runs sheets and sheets of blank paper through it before it just stops. Hair brushes, toothpaste and soap jump off the bathroom counter at three in the morning. Our friendly ghost’s favorite game is to play “shut the bedroom door in Lynn’s face.” He thinks that’s a laugh riot.
Over the years we’ve gotten used to him. I like to think that maybe we’re the family he didn’t have in life.