Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Exhibit C: Bells and Whistles

As if the creepy cat and creepy cable guy weren't enough to keep me up at night, there have been other occurances around the C Family Estate that are absolutely unexplainable.  (I make this claim in spite of all the possible "explanations" I've been given for the things that have happened.)

The same night I found the front door unlocked and the back porch light burned out, something else happened....probably the scariest thing to happen in our new house to date.  It was my third night in the house, my first night with the boys there, and as I was upstairs with them helping them get ready for bed, the smoke detector in the foyer outside their rooms started going off.  Figuring it was the battery, I snatched it off the wall and yanked the battery out.  I wasn't cooking, there were no candles burning, and the other two smoke detectors within a five foot vicinity didn't go off, so I wasn't worried.  I carried the smoke detector downstairs with me and set it on the bench in the main hall, so I wouldn't forget that the battery needed to be replaced. 

A little while after my house-wide search for the psycho-killer cable guy, just before I went to bed, I went into the kitchen  to get a glass of ice water.  I set my glass on the stove, steadying it with my left hand, as I opened the refrigerator door with my right hand.  When I reached into the freezer to get a handful of ice, an electric shock surged up my hand and arm that was touching the stove.  I screamed, knocking the glass of water to the ground.  Man, did it hurt!  I checked to make sure none of the stove burners were on.  They weren't.  I made a mental note to call my landlord first thing in the morning.

Shaken up, and with my arm still aching, I went to bed.  I tossed and turned until about 3 am, when the smoke detector in the main hall started going off.  "Are you kidding me?!"  I grumbled as I jumped out of bed, stumbled my way to the front closet, pulled out the step ladder, and climbed up on it with my eyes only half open.  I ripped the detector off the wall, removed the battery, and was too tired to give much thought as to why two different smoke detectors would go off on the same night.

Those thoughts didn't begin until around 6 am, when a third smoke detector, the one in my room, started going off.  I shut it off before it woke the boys, and did another quick check of the house to make sure nothing was burning anywhere and there was no smoke coming from anything.

It's been argued that the landlord probably put all the batteries in at the same time, so of course they would die within a few hours of each other.  I don't believe that.  Especially since they were all different brands.  I verified with my landlord that the detectors are solely smoke detectors, not combination carbon monoxide/raydon detectors.  The only explanation is this.....our house is haunted.  We have a ghost.  I like to call him "Jokey the Ghost", since he thinks he's so funny.

The next night, as I was doing the dishes, I heard someone whistling in the back yard.  I turned off all the lights so I could see better out the window, and spent a good fifteen minutes on my hands and knees peering out the bottom of the big picture window, looking for the culprit behind the very loud, very deliberate, very unmistakable whistling.  I saw nothing. 

I told my husband about it.  I think he thought I was crazy.  Until the following night when I was in the bathroom, right around the same time, and heard it again.  The exact same sound.  I freaked.  Then I thought about the stop light just a couple houses down, the one that goes from a four way stop to a blinking yellow/red light at right about the same time I keep hearing the whistling every night.  I considered the fact that it might be some sort of audible alert that the light is about to change for the night.  But then I decided that was just silly and way too logical.  It was definitely something else....but was it Jokey the Ghost, or the Creepy Cable Guy with the pic axe??  That's the real question.....

(P.S. Try as they might, neither my landlord nor his maintenance guy can get the stove to "shock" them like it did me, even though it's happened to me a few times since, and happened to both of the boys over the weekend....I guess Jokey's a little shy when it comes to strangers.)

Exhibit B: The Creepy Cable Guy

(More evidence that my creepy house is haunted, and well....just creepy.)

The day after I moved in, the DirecTV guy arrived promptly (PROMPTLY!!) for his noon appointment to install a satellite dish and four receivers.  He showed up not in a big, white DirecTV van like I was expecting, but a 20+ year old brown van with a bashed in headlight and a spare tire on one of the rear wheels. 

Let me start by saying that I am not in the least bit afraid of "weirdos".  If you grew up in the neighborhood I grew up in, you'd understand why.  I'm generally trusting and unless I get a really weird vibe, I don't let a person's appearance dictate my opinion of them.  But this guy....this guy was effin' creepy!!!

Have you ever seen photographs of the freak that kidnapped Elizabeth Smart?  He looked JUST like him.  No joke, exactly like him.  He had scraggly, chin length hair, a dirt-smudged, leathery face, and hands and fingernails that were absolutely filthy.  His eyes were actually a pretty color, a very clear, pale blue.  But they seemed to look through me rather than at me, and there was definitely something not right behind them. 

Regardless, he was there to do a job and I was desperate to have my DirecTV installed before the new episode of Army Wives that night, so I invited him into my home with a smile, even though I felt very uneasy doing it.

I was incredibly thankful when, shortly after he arrived, my in-laws dropped by.  Without me saying a word, my mother-in-law whispered, "Oh my gosh, he looks like a serial killer!"  I nodded, trying to laugh it off.  My landlord, who came over to fix the shower, brought his 4-year-old little girl with him.  I kept her close to me while her dad worked, as I didn't want her winding up alone with the creepy guy.

But after my in-laws were done chit-chatting and tinkering, and after my landlord was done repairing and his daughter was done playing, it was just me and the creepy guy once again.  For the next eight hours.

EIGHT HOURS.  That's how long it took him to install the satellite dish and receivers.  Before he left, he asked me to give him all tens on his evaluation (yeah right!!!) and gave me his personal cell phone number in case of emergencies.  Satellite dish emergencies??

I watched as he pulled out of the driveway and disappeared into the night, and then locked and relocked every window and door in the house before going to bed.  The next day, my landlord came back over to check on his handy work and remarked, "Man...that cable guy was creepy.  Looked like a stalker or a kidnapper or something."  I laughed and agreed.  All day, I felt him watching me through the giant picture window in the living room.  I closed all the windows and all the blinds, even though I was enjoying the view and the breeze, and hunkered down on the couch with my eyes trained on the back yard, looking for signs of the murderous cable guy lurking among the trees.

I only took the dogs out when I was on the phone with my husband, rushing them both through their "business," which resulted me scrubbing puppy pee off the carpet multiple times that day.  I didn't care.  Puppy Pee vs. Crazed Maniac With A Pic Axe?  I'll take puppy pee every time.  I went about my routine of locking and relocking all the doors and windows before I went to bed.  When I got to the front door, the one we don't use because it sticks, I found it not only unlocked, but slightly open.

That solidified my fears.  I was officially being stalked by the creepy cable guy.  While a more reasonable explanation might have been that one of the boys tried to get the door open and gave up when they realized it really was as difficult as I told them it was, I would hear none of it.  It was him.  I know it.  

With my heart pounding, I grabbed the dogs' leashes to take them outside one last time.  I flipped on the porch light my landlord had just replaced a few weeks earlier.  Nothing happened.  It was burned out.  Freaking out, I turned on the tiny LED flashlight on my phone and took the dogs just to the edge of the driveway, scanning the pitch black woods with eyes that had not yet adjusted to the dark.

After a few minutes, we ran back inside.  I locked the door and stood with my phone in my hand and my mind racing as I calculated my next move.  I slowly, quietly, and very deliberately scoured the entire house for signs of the blue eyed intruder I just knew was hiding somewhere.  I looked in closets, behind doors....everywhere, until there was only one place left to look....the basement. 

My basement is scary during the daytime when you're not going down there for the sole purpose of searching for a serial killer.  So, as you can imagine, I was TERRIFIED as I slowly made my way down the stairs, my son's little league bat firmly in my grip.  Luckily, my basement is one large room and is pretty much empty and wide open, so it didn't take me long to verify that it was unoccupied.

As I hurried back up the stairs, I tried to ignore the small window leading to the crawl space under the addition on the back of the house.  That crawl space is big enough and creepy enough for all kinds of monsters and murderers to hide in.

I went to sleep that night sure that I was going to wake up in some abandoned warehouse in the middle of nowhere.  But the creepy cable dude didn't make his move that night.  I know he will, though.  He's out there somewhere, waiting....watching.  You can laugh if you want, but when I go missing.....it was Daryl from DirecTV.  Remember that.  That is all, my pretties.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Exhibit A: The Creepy Cat

(Yesterday I confessed that I'm pretty sure my new house is haunted, for a number of reasons.  Here is one of them....)


Before I even signed my lease, I met the creepy cat.  My landlord and I were walking around the outside of the house, and he was trying to sell me on renting a house I was only about 99% sure I wanted to live in.  From behind the garage came a gray and white tiger cat with bright green eyes, meowing loudly and staring me down.  “Oh, looks like I’ve already made a friend in the neighborhood,” I said.  “Don’t let him in the house,” the landlord said with a sense of urgency.  I figured at first that it was maybe just because he didn’t like cats….but I could be wrong.

Almost every time I went to the house from that point on, the cat was there.  One of my strangest encounters with Creepy Cat came the first weekend I was there painting, getting ready to move in.  The cat came up on the porch, meowing, begging to be let in.  I locked the screen door and called the kids downstairs.  “Your cat’s here to visit!” I yelled.  Although I have a great amount of apathy towards cats, my boys, especially my youngest, love them.  I was watching them talk to the cat through the screen when the cat suddenly, and seemingly deliberately, went from sitting perfectly still to rolling backwards down the cement porch steps.  When he landed at the bottom, he remained on his back, feet in the air, meowing the most pitiful meow I’ve ever heard.  “Mom, he’s hurt!” my 9-year-old said, reaching up to unlock the screen door.  “No!” I insisted.  “He’s fine.  Go back upstairs.”  I didn’t take my eyes off the cat as the boys made their way back to their rooms.  Did I just witness a stray cat fake an injury to gain sympathy in an attempt to get in my house?  I couldn’t believe it.

After a few minutes, the cat was back up at the top of the porch, meowing away.  “Go away!” I said, looking him dead in his cold, unblinking eyes.  With my mom as my witness, that cat began ramming his head into the screen, trying to force his way into the house.  I slammed the storm door, locking the deadbolt just in case.  What was with this cat?!?!

The cat still came around for a while after that, circling the porch, meowing, but nothing too out of the ordinary.  The only other strange encounter we had was the time I left the house late at night after a day of painting and found him rubbing his face all over the front of my van.  I yelled at him to “Get!” but he was relentless.  I was convinced he was putting a curse on the family vehicle.

I haven’t seen Creepy Cat in a couple weeks.  And that, perhaps, creeps me out more than anything….

Thursday, May 10, 2012

American Horror Story

Had I known I was going to move into a century old farmhouse in the not too distant future, I never would have watched season one of American Horror Story.  But as luck would have it, I didn’t miss an episode.  I spent every Tuesday night glued to the TV, and often went to bed with every light on in the house. 

Try as I might, I cannot escape thoughts of my favorite new show when I walk past the door to my creepy basement full of weird things (including an incinerator), when I hear the antique floorboards creak out of nowhere, when I feel a draft, or when one of the dogs starts barking for no reason.  And I especially can’t control my wildly overactive imagination at night, when just about everything is ten times scarier than usual.

Some might say I’m overreacting, or paranoid, or, well, crazy……but I have what I consider to be some very strong evidence that there is something just not right going on at The C Family Estate.  And despite others’ efforts to dissuade my fears using things like logic and facts, I am now convinced that my house is haunted.  Why, you ask?  Stay tuned......