Are you there, Casper?

Photo by flickr user Sean MacEntee

So, I think my house might be haunted. And no, I’m not just making this up because it’s really close to Halloween and everyone loves a good ghost story. It actually started about a month or two ago…

That night, I had a nightcap. Every once in awhile, I’ll sip some Bailey’s before bed and it makes me feel all warm and toasty inside. Usually, it helps me sleep, but that definitely wasn’t the case the night of my first “sighting.” I woke up at 2:30 am and upon opening my eyes, I saw an illuminated, white figure take two steps toward my bed. It was obviously male and such a detailed image that I could make out he was wearing glasses, had slicked back hair, and wore a button-up shirt tucked into jeans and a belt. He wasn’t smiling. Creepy McCreeperton.

I stilled myself, counted to three, and then rushed to turn on my bedside lamp. Of course, the room blossomed with light and there was nothing there. I took a few minutes to calm my racing heart, turned on my TV, and tried to settle in for the rest of the night. No dice. I maybe dozed for another hour, but that was all I could manage, scared that I would wake up to that image at the foot of my bed again.

Since then, sleeping in my house has been a little unnerving. I’ve trained myself to keep my eyes closed when I wake up in the middle of the night. I make sure Biscuit sleeps in my room, because dogs are supposed to sense the paranormal, right?

Every once in awhile, I see her staring up my flight of stairs to the second floor, but I always dismiss it as some neighborhood noise she’s tuned into that I can’t hear with my feeble human ears. During the first “sighting” she stayed fast asleep on her doggie bed. So, there couldn’t really have been something in my room, right?

Do you see what I see – a flicker of white? Photo by flickr user BIGDOG3c (J. Todd Poling)

I’ve chocked it up to an overactive imagination, the curse of the creative writer, the paranoid personality. Or I could always take Jamie Fox’s advice and “blame it on the alcohol.”

After all, I saw this figure in few moments after waking, when my subconscious is likely still dreaming. Also, the space where I saw my “ghost” is about five feet from a white door. Unfocused eyes, white door, you get the picture.

And all has been quiet on the western front…until last Sunday. Same story. I settled in for the night, albeit there was no Bailey’s this time around. I had a hard time getting to sleep, but when I did, I dreamt deeply. I woke up at one point and felt a little anxious, so I turned on the TV in my room, found the movie “Something’s Gotta Give,” and watched it until I started to doze.

I woke up, turned over, glanced in the general direction of where I’d seen my “ghost” before, and intermingling with the light from the TV was a partial image of my “ghost,” like he was caught between reality and fantasy. I blinked hard a couple of times and the image was gone. I sighed and reached for my phone to see what time it was.

2:30 am. On the dot. Yeah, that’s not weird at all.

Needless to say, that was a restless night. And now I’m starting to wonder if I’m just cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs or there is legitimately a presence in my house.

I believe in energy and spirits to a certain extent. I think we all leave an imprint on this earth, but I don’t know what the measure of that is. I don’t know if we just leave energy (a la Powder – brilliant film) or if we leave something more tangible. Who knows where we end up, and I don’t really have an opinion on heaven, hell, or purgatory.

I do wonder about the history of my house now. It was built in 2003, I bought it in 2008, and I haven’t had any issues/sightings until recently.

People having been burning sage for centuries to drive out bad energies, spirits, and feelings. Photo by flickr user bunchadogs & Susan [breathing, just]

If I do have a ghost, I’m okay as long as he’s of the Casper variety, a friendly ghost who would understand that a girl needs her sleep. I’m not okay if he’s a lost soul. I could only imagine how cranky I’d be if I were lost and someone else was hanging out in my house. Here’s hoping it’s the latter. I’d be good with Devon Sawa.

While sharing this story recently, one of my friends told me that her husband (before they were married) moved into a house in Pennsylvania that could have been haunted. Apparently, the previous owner had committed suicide in the basement. Restless, lost soul? Check!

Her husband, with the help of his friends, burned some sage in the basement; then beers were cracked open and a conversation was had between the previous house owner and its current resident. It was along the lines of, “I’m living here now. I’m not trying to cause any trouble. If you have ill intent, you gotta go.”

Apparently, that heart-to-heart worked, because there were no incidents.

Maybe that’s the right course for me, too. I do have some pumpkin ale in my fridge, and I’m a good conversationalist. I guess I just have to find some sage.