As I write this, the afternoon sun hides deep behind storm clouds, thunder rolls violently every few minutes, and lighting flashes menacingly across the sky-threatening treetops and daring anyone or anything to venture out into the open. The lights have been flickering and this SAHM is both creeped out and kind of excited. Every year around this time, my curiosity peeks out from beneath the covers to get a glimpse at the things that go bump in the night. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a big 'fraidy cat, but each year before Halloween, I get curious. I don't like to be truly spooked out, but I do like living dangerously on the edge. I start watching shows like Ghost Hunters and looking into historical, nighttime walking tours. I've always been a sucker for a good ghost story, and unlike most of my immediate family, I believe in them.
My father has four sisters, all of whom believe in spirits, psychics, and haunted houses. I must have inherited that curiosity gene because I always inquire about the mysteries from beyond. I've had my tarot cards read several times in my adult life, but the one thing I've yet to do is visit a psychic. I've looked into it, they're expensive. I've been warned about them, they're scam artists or devil worshipers. I've also listened to personal encounters from two women that I completely trust. I won't write about their experiences, hopefully someday they can do a guest post and tell you themselves.
What I will tell you happened when I was about ten or eleven years old. Since it was over twenty years ago, I'm not exactly clear on the details. What I do recall is that the incident scared the crap out of me. When I was ten I was scared of EVERYTHING, so being home alone wasn't exactly on my top ten favorite things list. When I was home by myself, I would either hide in my sister's room (she had a t.v. and a phone) or in the living room behind the couch (with a book and the phone). I would never have answered the door to a stranger, gone into the basement, or left the house. It was ingrained in my anxious little brain that at all strangers were rapists and murderers and all basements are haunted.
I was in the kitchen, probably scrounging up a snack, when I saw my black cocker spaniel sitting beneath the kitchen table. She looked funny. I can't explain how or why, but her eyes didn't look quite right. Thinking she looked strange, I called out to her. "Molly," I said, and she peered back at me. She didn't budge, which wasn't completely unlike her. She loved a good pat, but like any naughty dog, she hid when she did something bad. I remember feeling uneasy with her strangeness. "Molly," I called again, "Molly, come." As soon as I called the second time, I heard a noise coming from my sister's bedroom, which was right off the kitchen. When I turned, I heard the tags on Molly's collar jingle as she jumped from my sister's bed and trotted into the kitchen to see what I wanted. Terrified I looked back under the table, where I thought my dog had been and saw nothing. Molly looked at me curiously from the doorway of my sister's bedroom, wondering why I interrupted her nap.
After I gave her a thorough once-over, I followed her back into my sister's bedroom to hide. I didn't let her out of my sight, and I'm pretty sure we didn't go back into the kitchen until someone else got home. It's not the scariest story, but it scared me enough to remember it twenty years later. I wasn't seeing things, there was a black dog under our table one second and the next second it was gone.
I've had a few strange happenings in my life. The dog story is one of two things that happened in that particular house. I've had strange phone calls, mysterious doorbell rings, and I swear I saw a ghost woman crying in the middle of the night. I'm all set with experiencing any more creepiness in the future. Like I said before, I more comfortable living on the edge of spookiness, but this time of year I feel like listening to what people have experienced. If you have a scary story I'd love to hear it!