The Lobotomy

October 31, 2017

brain to think removed

the pumpkin could merely grin

his Carver was pleased

The Ghosts´╗┐

October 31, 2017

The ghosts watch in horror

as we waste life away

“You’re running out of time!”

they shriek

But we only hear

an occasional creak

the house settling

or a shutter in the wind

I’ve Seen a Ghost

October 30, 2015

I saw a ghost once.  At least I think I did.  I wasn’t a small child, it wasn’t dark, I wasn’t tip-toeing around some creepy place.  I was thirteen years old and was watching TV with a friend after school one sunny afternoon.  We saw this thing, looked at each other, then bolted out the front door and sprinted the block to his house without saying a word.

This wasn’t the first or last time I experienced what could be considered paranormal activity.  I used to experience a lot of things like this.  When I was a young child I had an imaginary friend named Bobby.  My parents say we had deep conversations and played together daily.  I realize this is normal for children, in fact my son had an imaginary friend, too.  Oddly, though, my son’s friend was also named Bobby…  Lights in my bedroom were switched (not flickered) on and off, the faucet in my bathroom turned on by itself, things in my room were moved or turned over.  The strangest thing ever was hearing someone sing “Amazing Grace” while I was trying to go to sleep one night.  But I only saw something that one time — it was a woman by the way, just like the unseen hymn songstress.

I wasn’t the only one who experienced strange things in my home.  When I was a baby my parents say that a step-ladder, leaning against the wall of my nursery because wallpaper was being hung, mysteriously fell over in the middle of the night.  A decade later my entire family was startled awake when our basement door, which was always kept closed, slammed so hard in the middle of the night that the entire house shook.

My younger sister heard sounds and saw shadows, we had several babysitters who refused to come back after their first job (one said she heard a noise coming from a closet), another close friend swore that someone called out his name while he was in our basement.  By the time I was in high school my house was kind of a living urban legend.  A lot of people claimed to have experienced something bizarre, but I only saw something that one time.

Weird things continued to happen around me until I was about eighteen, or so.  But they pretty much stopped after that.  It was about that age that I started questioning myself.  Was I really having these experiences, or was it my imagination?  It had to be real — some of it anyway — because others experienced it, too.  There were things like the faucet turning on and the lights going out, which were definitely real, but was there a logical explanation?  Did I really see a ghost, or was it some strange flash of light?  If something supernatural or paranormal was going on, was it because of me?  Did I both cause the things to happen, but also cause them to stop somehow?  Did the oddities stop happening, so I quit believing, or was it the other way around?

I worked in the residential remodeling industry for almost twenty years, and have been in hundreds of different homes over the years.  Every once in a while I would enter a house and immediately sense something was wrong.  I never saw or heard anything, I just knew something was different.  I felt like something bad had happened there at some point.  Because I had been through so many frightening things as a kid, I was never exactly scared in any of these instances, but they still rattled me slightly.  The hair on my neck stood up and I’d get a slight chill.  These rare feelings I got in clients’ homes have been the only eerie experiences I’ve had in the last quarter century.  Until something else happened recently.

My daughter is five years old.  She is smart, happy and outgoing.  She has never been afraid of monsters, ghosts or goblins.  Last week I was woken by her in the middle of the night.

“Daddy,” she very calmly said, “there was just a man sitting in my room when I woke up.  He walked out and I got up and I saw him go down the stairs and turn into the kitchen.”

“You’re dreaming, sweetheart.  Go back to bed,” I groggily replied.

“Okay.  But I wasn’t dreaming.  Can I just sleep in your room?”

Soon my daughter was silently nestled between me and my wife, but I was awake.  Lying still, I listened, but could only hear the deep breathing of the two next to me.  I listened harder.  I heard it…something.  Then again.  A creak in the floor that should really only happen if weight is placed on it.  I know about houses.  I know there are all kinds of strange noises that can be explained.  I also know when I hear something that I shouldn’t.

I grabbed the baseball bat from under my bed and crept downstairs.  What if there actually was some deranged sicko watching my daughter sleep?  When I got to the main level, I found nothing out of the ordinary.  The windows and doors were locked up.  Everything was in its place.  Still, I got that feeling that I had so many times as a kid.  The hair on my neck stood tall.

The next morning my daughter and I were having breakfast when she casually brought it up.

“Oh, remember last night when I saw that man?  I was not dreaming.”

I’m sure she was dreaming, but the believer in me has to wonder if there could be more to it.  Was there (is there) something special about me that my daughter also possesses?  Can my daughter see something the rest of us just need to be willing to allow our minds to look for?  How many things are possible, if we don’t let maturity and rationalization take over our thoughts?

It’s late as I’m writing this and my family is fast asleep.  There is that sound again — and another I’ve not heard before.  Now that chill I get.  I’m starting to believe the possibility that the strange occurrences stopped because I forced myself to be unwilling to see.  Now I’m afraid to look…