I have dealt with “things that go bump in the night” most my life, making we always wonder if I was a bit of a strange child, but I never thought I would end up living day to day with an entity. It can be just as spooky and unnerving as all the movies you have seen, but it can also be very stressful. You just have to keep laughing and get through it. Easy to say now, years later.
We moved into a huge house not far from San Francisco just before Christmas, 1986. I lived there alone with three children while their father commuted, coming home on the weekends.
The first night was filled with the new house exploration, the usual moving and settling in activities, keeping me heavily occupied both day and night. I knew there was a hidden cubbyhole in the kitchen cupboards, only two feet tall, two feet deep, one foot wide and about six feet off the ground. What puzzled us so greatly was the latch to prevent access to the hidden area was actually inside the cupboard door, meaning you had to be inside the cupboard to latch the door.
I was going back and forth through the house, three thousand square feet of house built in a lovely old French door style with large, wandering rooms and hallways, walk in closets, surprise turns and windows that led to nowhere. The children were asleep and I was sorting, room to room. Each time I passed the cupboard, the door was open. I would close it, continue on my way, only to pass by later and again, to find it open. I tried ever so hard to ignore the creepy feeling crawling up both arms to my neck. It kept occurring to me that I knew absolutely no one within a hundred miles. I was alone, with my three small children.
Christmas was just around the corner so I took the time when the children were asleep to wrap presents. I kept the wrapping papers in a very heavy, large, old trunk, opening at the top. When the trunk was opened, the top rested backwards heavily against the metal retaining straps. The balance of the lid was so that if the trunk had been empty, it would almost be in danger of tipping over backwards. I was in the process of removing rolls of paper from the trunk and had just withdrawn my hand when the lid came crashing closed and the animals ran from the room. It took my breath away and all remaining logical thoughts from my brain. I must have sat for several minutes, stunned, yearning for a logical explanation. The animals didn’t return for quite some time.
Further into the night, I was setting up the dining room table for meals, placing quilted placemats down for the family. One of the dog’s two-inch toy balls came rolling towards me, ever so slowly, ever so steadily, making the softest whispering sound as it gently rolled on the highly polished wooden floor. Not a sound could be heard except for the ball’s whisper. When the ball stopped, the house was filled with silence. Eerie uncomfortable silence. The parrot was silent, watching the ball. The dogs were motionless, looking at me and the ball with puzzled expressions. I tried to convince myself this was normal. There was some explanation. I picked it up, placing it on the placemat in front of me. I stood there for the longest time and watched it. Nothing. Not sound, no movement. It HAD to have been moved by an animal I did not notice. Okay, heart beat back to normal. Things to do. Just as I started to turn away, the ball leaped into the air about a half inch, rolled off the table and back onto the floor. I watched it, in shocked silence as it made its way to the dining room wall where it stopped and rested, silent, finished.
Adeline C, San Francisco
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