Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Succumb to the Power of Suggestion. Again.

 Nathan and Sophia and their pack of goony friends are convinced that the basement is haunted.  And now their silliness is getting to me.  It's completely nonsensical for me to believe that there's something supernatural hanging out by the laundry room door, but now, when I am alone and go to the basement, I experience just a wee bit of the creeps.

A couple of months ago, Nate mentioned that sometimes when he's down there playing XBox and he's completely focused, he'll get that tingling sensation on the back of his neck as if someone is standing behind him.  He turns, but no one is there.  Sophia reported the same thing.  I clucked my tongue at them and told them that the power of suggestion is exactly that - powerful.

Then, a couple of days ago, I was alone in the house and I heard sounds coming from the basement.   "It's the washing machine," I told myself and went about typing whatever it was that I was working on.  A couple of minutes later, it occurred to me, because I'm quick like that, that I hadn't done any laundry.  My heart raced a little bit.

"Oh, maybe it's that stray cat that gets into the garage sometimes."  I thought, trying again to convince myself to ignore the occasional sounds coming from below me.  Finally, I got up and did a head count of the cats to see if it was one of ours who'd gotten down there without my knowledge.  Nope.  All cats were present and accounted for.

As if in answer to my questioning, that faint knocking sound came again from the basement.

"All right then.  You can drive yourself crazy with wondering or you can go see what that is."  I had now moved to the talking aloud to myself stage of agitation.

I went to the basement door, took a deep breath, admonished myself for being so ridiculous, turned the knob and pulled.  My heart was knocking against my ribcage.  There was nothing there.  Holding my breath, I went down the short flight of stairs and looked around, poised to flee like some kind of frightened rabbit.  Still nothing.  I opened the laundry room door.  Nothing.  Chloe's bedroom, the bathroom.  More nothing.  Just the hint of vinegar and green apples still penetrating the air from my last batch of homemade fabric softener.

"Such a dumbass."  I said to my inner ten year old.

I started back up the stairs and heard two sharp knocks coming from the laundry room.  I froze.  Did I really hear something?  I waited, but no more sound came.

"Okay, then.  Well, if you're here, let's all just get along, okay?  Stop scaring the kids."  I said shakily to the empty rooms.  There was no response.  "And while you're in there, toss in a load of laundry, will ya?"  False bravado and corny jokes.  Ghosts really respond to that.

I calmly walked up the stairs, opened the door, closed it behind me and then ran up the next flight of stairs, into my office and locked the door where I remained for the next hour and a half, experiencing no more weirdness other than what can be found on the internet.  Which is quite a lot.

Tales of otherwordly doings?  Let's hear them.


  1. They have you right where they want you, lounging about on a false sense of security. You're doomed. DOOMED. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  2. I think I am going to tell He-weasel that our laundry room is haunted so I don't have to go there. I might even tell him that a poltergeist lives in the dishwasher and that makes me afraid to empty the dishes. I am willing to invoke dark energies to get out of housework. Hmmm....thanks for the idea.;-)

  3. This is Georgia. No need for supernatural explanations -- it's just the roaches and the termites fighting turf wars.

  4. Isn't the power of suggestion wonderful??

    There are a number of things that could explain the sounds you heard. It could have been the water heater making noise as it heats the water or the house settling.

    There have been times when I've heard noises at the 'Ranch' UP on the Tundra, but I just tell myself it's my grandmother making noise because she's pissed at me for something!!

  5. Almost forgot. Up near our retirement bunker there used to be a haunted tree -- or a place where a tree used to be, because the actualt tree was cut down after someone committed suicide there. People swore that when you walked by that spot sometimes you'd hear someone counting backwards. Very strange.

  6. Okay, I tend to scare VERY easily. The logical side of my brain tells me It's Nothing - but my Wild Imagination takes over and usually wins!

    I would have been just as creeped out as you were if I heard unexplainable knocks coming from the basement / laundry room.

    Also - I may have run out of the house screaming!

    But, I did laugh out loud when I read this sentence:

    "False bravado and corny jokes. Ghosts really respond to that."

  7. I confess. It's me doing all that stuff. I also offed Jimmy Hoffa and I caused the earthquake in Chile too. I'm a busy guy.

  8. When my (crazy) brother lived with the girls and me, he once told me that ghosteses were in the kitchen of my house. We had a long, philosophical discussion about ghostses (in which I do not believe) and whether Jesus had spoken of ghosteses. "I hear them coughing," Brother said.

    Then one day, I was in the kitchen, alone in the house, washing dishes, and I heard a cough. I was just on the verge of saying to myself, "So there IS. . . ." when the a/c kicked in. Apparently, it makes a coughing noise just before starting up.

  9. My Dad was listening to a mystery theater radio show while on a rare, solo road trip. He was driving on a dark, isolated road, as he listened to the story of a vengeful ghost, who came back to get even with those who had wronged her in her lifetime. One such acts of revenge was she made a car tire go flat, when the person got out to change the tire, the ghost yanked the jack out from under the car & the person was crushed by the car.
    Just then, Dad's tire went flat. Rumor is he changed it so fast, he left the jack & tire iron there on the side of the road!

  10. Okay - I am convinced our basement has some sort of a ghost.

    I was working from home and heard the closet door in my son't room SLAM. I was on the wall next to it so I FELT it slam too.

    I was so freaked out I ran out of the house and called 911 - presuming someone had broken into his room through the egress.

    Nope. No one in my house except for the cop with his gun drawn as he went in to search and I cowered outside on my lawn.

  11. Although I don't discount anything, I believe 99% of ghosts have a logical explanations. You probably have a squirrel in the vent pipe, or the breeze is making the outer vent door bang.

    Once my kids were home alone, and on the edge of calling the police, for what turned out to be the ice machine dumping it's load.

    In my childhood my parents heard 3 distinctive knocks on their bedroom door late one night. They both heard it. And no one was there. 2 days later Mom opens the hall closet and discovered a large book from the top shelf had fallen, and hit all 3 lower shelves on it's way down.

  12. I always knew you were very suggestive - I mean suggestible :-) but ghosts are just beings who don't know they're dead yet. Remind them to go to the light.

  13. Many times there are viable definitions for things that go bump in the night.

    There are also events that just are what they are. I have a few experiences that could support a belief in something "beyond!"

    I'll be happy to share with you "Wall to Wall."

  14. I have had a few unaccountable experiences, including one that was quite scary in my childhood home. I wrote about them at my blog years ago, in an exchange with Angry Ballerina. I think if you type "ghost" in the search line you should find it.

    My wife told me a couple weeks ago that she had an odd experience. I work third shift, but occasionally get off work early. One morning, about fie a.m., she heard what she thought was me walking around downstairs. She waited for the sound of me walking up to the bedroom, and it didn't come. "He must be on the computer," she thought. She came downstairs to see me, and the downstairs was quite empty, because I was still at work.

    I asked her where our dog, a St. Bernard who is hardly light on his paws, was. Asleep on our bedroom floor was the answer.

    I have no thoughts on the matter other than "interesting".

  15. When I was a teenager, my mom and I volunteered to repaper our church dining hall--which took hours longer than we expected. There we were, locked inside this already somewhat creepy old building, alone in its silent basement. Now Mom's one of those gals who finishes what she starts; "Come back tomorrow" isn't in her.

    Along about 1 AM we heard this incredibly loud scraping noise that went on and on. Suddenly, bright lights began flashing past the tiny windows near the ceiling and then they'd vanish. Mom grabbed me and started to pray, but the noise and lights persisted. After 10 minutes or so, she said, "Let's get out of here. We'll come back tomorrow."

    We went outside to find a heavy snow had fallen and a truck plowing the restaurant parking lot next door!

    But I'm still spooked when I remember it...

  16. This is all providing a perfect segue to bring up Jennifer Love Hewitt 'the ghost whisperer' and her bedazzled vajayjay!

    Seriously though? I think it's something in the pipes.

  17. I have lived in houses that are supposed to be haunted and I did the same thing--I just bossed those ghosts right out of the house ;~)

  18. I am a huge chicken. I'd definitely stay out of the basement if I were home alone.

  19. one weird "otherworldy" thing that happened to me was about a year after my dear ,ahem ahem, sainted mother died.
    im on the golf course and my cell phone rings. the end
    no the phone rings, no caller ID and a female voice asks for Steven.
    I tell the woman I'm Steven and ask who this is and she replies "it's your Mom"
    Which freaked me the sh*t out
    turned out she had misdialed her sons phone and he was named Steven too.
    still to this day i don't turn the phone on much on the golf course

  20. I'm sure there are lots of explanations for most ghosties.
    When I first bought my house, things moved around lots. Big things, like furniture. Things would be stacked out of cupboards, when you knew they had minutes before not been out. One night while in bed, the end of the bed lifted about 5 cm off the floor, like someone had picked up the end of the bed and given it a good jolt. I haven't had anything for a while now but oh boy, I sure do believe some things really can't be explained!


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