I had the creepiest Thanksgiving happen when I was a young teenager in the 90’s. You first have to know some facts for this story to make sense so let me explain.
Fact one: My mom had a balloon business at the time. That means there were strings of fishing line hanging through our living room.
Fact two: I was in love with Keanu Reeves after Speed came out. My prize possession was a giant poster given to me a few years earlier. It was huge and would fall down all the time. The edges were covered in tape from being hung over and over again.
Fact three: My mom had been a single parent for years until she remarried. She worked a lot which means we kids were generally unruly and messy (to put it kindly). We were slobs. It took me joining the military to gain much better cleaning routines. So our house was generally chaotic.
Fact four: our house was haunted. We think we know by whom but I’ll share that next.
Now, the house we lived in was a cute Victorian in Belvidere, Illinois. We rented it from the son of someone Mom used to do home care for. She was a sweet old lady who was very clean. The house was all decked out in 70’s shag carpet and heavy gold blackout drapes. She loved me and I loved visiting her. So, when she died and we found ourselves needing a place to move to her son was more than happy to rent to us.
But shortly after moving in things started happening. All the cabinets opening by themselves, things flying off shelves, orbs flying through rooms (like actual balls of light flashing or floating around not dust on a camera lens), electronics turning on and off, tv channels changing by themselves, voices you can’t make out speaking, whistling in your ear while on the toilet, strange lights in the heating vents. You name it. Maybe some can be explained but put them all together and it doesn’t add up. Even if we had some kind of environmental issues you’d still be having to explain shared, identical hallucinations. I’ve tried to explain it away. This is how I can be an atheist who believes in ghosts.
I think now this sweet old lady was trying to scare us out of her clean beautiful home which now looked like a bomb had gone off inside.
This all culminated to an epic thanksgiving event in 1995.
We actually cleaned every year before the feast. So the house was put together. We were starving as the smells of all the best homemade dishes wafted through the house.
My dad (step dad but I always call him dad) invites his old friend over from the reservation for dinner. So he got the guest of honor seat at the head of the table which happened to be the only chair facing the kitchen with his back to the living room.
Dinner was almost ready when I realized my Speed poster had fallen down. I didn’t have time to hang it up and didn’t want it to wrinkle. So, being me; I decided to hang it up in the living room on the fishing line with clothes line clips. That means all through dinner I could look over at Keanu’s dreamy face. This is important later.
Finally, dinner was served, piping hot and smelling magical. One thing about my family is we have extra padding because we are great in the kitchen. Even my Mom, who is a health nut, is just amazing at cooking.
We all sit down around the dining room table, pray (I was Catholic at the time), and dig in.
Slowly, we started hearing this flapping noise. Looking around we noticed my poster bouncing around. It was an old house so we thought it might be a draft. It didn’t seem windy out but we were inside so it must be. We kept eating and laughed it off.
But it kept going. Up and down, up and down. The flapping became bouncing, bouncing became whipping. Until the sound of paper wrinkling as I now wonder how the poster even stayed put let alone how the fishing line wasn’t ripped from the wall.
Now we weren’t eating. We were staring slack-jawed. No one made a sound. It kept going and going for minutes.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere there was a huge explosion! It shook the living room. Moms instinct was to grab the kids and glasses like you do when you hit on the breaks too hard in the car. The food shook. It was like an earthquake. My ears were assaulted from the noise.
Our heads snapped around to the kitchen. What we saw was crazy. There was a huge box of foil balloons in the doorway. It took two men to move that box under the desk in the dining room. You don’t think about it when you buy foil balloons but deflated and stacked close together a big box is basically a brick of metal. It was at least four or five feet away right in the kitchen doorway.
There was only one witness as to what had happened.
My dad’s friend, having an awkward position was the only one to see what was going on as we were mesmerized by the flying poster.
He turned around to see movement catching his eye. Right before him he watched as the impossibly heavy box lifted off the ground of its own accord. He said it floated out from under the desk and flew up and up about 6 or 7 feet off the ground. Then as we were all still distracted the box just fell. Gravity suddenly turned back on and the resulting explosion was the equivalent of an ACME anvil dropping straight into our dining room minus the cloud of dust and Wiley Coyote.
That actually happened!
And we lived in that house for years. People who live there now don’t even believe in ghosts and nothing happens to them. I don’t know them but my cousin does and she was astounded when I told her what used to go on in there. But, then, the old lady must approve of them as they updated and improved the whole house.
Moral of the story: clean your house or ghosts will ruin your holidays! And speaking of that, I’m going to go clean right now. My house is, predictably, a mess. But, not for lack of trying, I promise.
Happy Feast Day!
Submitted to weird Darkness and My Haunted Life Too by Rachel Gates
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