I’m going to jump off the end of my last post. Because I realized I hadn’t talked about it yet, so why not. And, Halloween-time is ripe for ghost-talk. Not to mention, Halloween just reminds me of ghosts and all things paranormal-ish that happen/relate to my family. So this is kind of a play-off of my last post in some ways.
Lots of the people in my family believe in ghosts. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t “normal” to believe in them until I was in perhaps 4th or 5th grade, when a kid was laughing about some episode of The X-Files or maybe it was Law & Order where it mentioned ghosts and a character believing in them. I don’t remember. It was a popular TV show though, and it mentioned ghosts, and the kid said that you had to be an “idiot” to believe in anything like that. I never thought twice about it, since it’s not like it’s a huge deal in my family.
My mom saw ghosts in her first apartment out of high school, or at least one of them after she moved out. My grandma’s told me that she remembers seeing my mom talking to “no one” when she was a little kid, full-blown conversations. Or at least, no one that my grandma could see, but my mom could clearly see a person that she was talking to at the front door. My cousins used to see ghosts when they were younger. It isn’t unusual in my family, kind of a non-issue for us. Unless it’s a more frightening experience, we don’t really find any reason to make a huge deal about it. It’s just one of those things that we don’t really see a need to mention, or at least, my side of the family never has.
I used to hear and sense ghosts. I saw a spirit or something once when I was 7, and then I saw my grandma after she died 2 years ago. I don’t know if I want to be able to see them. That would not be pleasant I think. Hearing and sensing them when I was younger was more than enough for me. It didn’t scare me when I was little, not in the first house I grew up in, or in visiting my grandparent’s old Victorian house. Neither one of those houses really bothered me. There was one house where the vibe seriously bothered me, and the ghost in that one actually did scare me. Sensing them and hearing them doesn’t bother me as much as I think actually seeing them would though. But then again, my absolute terror of seeing horror film commercials kind of tells me that I’m a total baby about these kinds of things. I do better with hearing, perhaps because I’m able to ignore visual cues that I don’t see. I kind of like knowing that Iwon’t see anything. It’s a kind of security to know that I’ll sense and hear something, but there’s the security of knowing I don’t have to see whatever it is.
The “Maxwell House” (my name for the house we lived in) was the one place that seriously scared me. That one…sensing was bad enough. I mean, at first it was okay. I’d be home alone, or in the house alone, and I’d hear jazz music coming from downstairs in the library. Which is impossible, because the TV was off, and I’m the only person in my whole family who likes jazz/big band swing, let alone who would play that kind of music. Or, you’d hear party sounds, like an old-time cocktail party going on downstairs at odd hours of the night when it’s deathly quiet in the house, with everyone just reading quietly upstairs. All that was just fine.
But then, about 6-9 months after we moved in, the lady started showing up around us. She was only ever around in the basement, which was converted. It was laundry/storage. I don’t know what it was originally, probably a cellar, knowing how Victorian and Edwardian houses were built. And she haunted what was the laundry room. She seemed to like me though. So she’d play with my hair, re-arrange my curls, tug lightly at them. Which is just really scary when you’re 10-13 years old, and the ghost just seems to have this freaky ability to make the hair stand up on your arms whenever you have to go down into the basement. I seriously suspect, given the history of that house that I remember, that it was not a happy ending for her, or at least not a happy life. I just don’t think I’d want to see what she looked like.
Then again…I think that’s just me. If I don’t see it, it gives me more distance from something. I like that slight distance, and so perhaps that’s why it never bothered me that I never could see ghosts. I know that some people seem to think it strange that I’ve only seen them 2x in my whole life, and that it doesn’t concern me, but I figure, I’ve always been this way. I think, if I suddenly started seeing ghosts, as well as the sensing and hearing, I might wonder if there was something going on. Because that’s never been the way this has gone for me. I suppose, it’s just a matter that, for me, I don’t see these things. It doesn’t concern me, because I’ve always been this way.
Ghosts are just, I guess, kind of a non-subject of discussion in my family. We all believe in them, so I hadn’t really thought to write anything about it. We all believe this stuff, so I don’t consciously think to address anything about it. It’s just a normal thing to believe in within my family.∗