to the dumb-ass Jewish woman.
You know, the ghost was quiet the first night we were in the house. The only hint something might be wrong came from the dog. Our golden retriever, Rosie, refused to go down the stairs into the basement. Absolutely and utterly refused. But… new environment, new smells… We were exhausted and I didn’t think much about it – until the marble top to the marble top table moved, of course.
But as you already know that freaky little introduction wasn’t a deal breaker because my husband, Mr. Pragmatist, thought I was just being silly. Cuz, yeah, that’s me, a big practical joker. Haha.
So second night. Noisy. Noisy as, dare I say… hell? Somebody– can’t imagine who– ran up and down the stairs the entire night. Sounded like he was dragging a rattling tool box behind him.
Here’s my husband – “What are those bleepin’ kids doing?”
Me – “It’s the ghost. The kids are asleep.”
“Very funny.” He climbs out of bed to go check. Returns to the bedroom. “The kids are asleep.”
Me- “Told ya.”
The sucker kept us up all night.
You have to understand, this early in the game I didn’t realize how truly evil this particular ghost was. I’d known noisy ghosts before. I could live with noise. Didn’t like it, didn’t want to deal with it, but I could live with it if absolutely necessary. I could even live with a little furniture moving (you know, macho posturing) provided he didn’t take it too far. I wasn’t happy about my husband’s pending departure, but I figured once this ghost got accustomed to us, he would settle down.
Boy was I wrong. Oh boy, I could not have been more wrong.
So the next day while I was busy putting stuff away my husband decided to get the kids outside, maybe find some other kids. He attached our Burley trailer to his bike, loaded up the baby and our three year old, and set off along with our six year old to explore the neighborhood. The dog stayed with me, following me from room to room. She refused to let me out of her sight.
I heard a door slam. It was a door down in the basement. I ignored the first slam, hoping maybe, just maybe, some wind I didn’t feel blew a door shut. But then the door slammed again. And again. And again. The dog began to whimper. She bumped me with her nose.
“Oh shit,” says I.
Let me digress. All my ancestral genes screamed at me to grab the dog and run from the house. My ancestors believed in ghosts, spirits, evil spirits, demons and yes, dybbuks. Dogs believe in ghosts. Cats believe in ghosts. I do too. Yet there is a tiny Mr. Spock-like area of my brain which says, “Logic dictates there is a logical explanation. To assume otherwise is illogical.”
Thus I walked over to the stairs. “Hello? Anybody down there?”
Slam. Bang. Slam. Bang.
Even though I knew better, I convinced myself that maybe my son had come in while I was making my bed. “Hey, honey, you down there?”
So I did something really stupid. I ignored the dog’s whining, I ignored the warnings of my genetic ancestors, and I descended the stairs to investigate. I’m a total fucking idiot.
As I neared the bottom of the stairs, here’s what I saw – and by the way, the memory still freaks me out– the door to that storeroom, you know, that storeroom leading to the the gates of hell, was opening and closing.
I don’t mean it was just moving open and then shut, like a door blowing back and forth in a stiff breeze, I mean I saw the doorknob turn, the door open, stop, and then slam shut.
So what did I do? Did I run away in terror? Did I at the very least attend to the dog’s panicked whining and back away?
No. Because I’m a total and complete dumb-ass I opened the door to the storeroom and walked inside. At that moment I was determined to find a logical explanation for an event that couldn’t be explained logically.
I reached for the light switch. Flipped it on. Followed the twisting and turning labyrinth. The deeper inside I got, the more uneasy I grew, the slower my steps. I felt eyes on me and the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. Suddenly the light switch flipped off and I was plunged into inky blackness.
I turned and sprinted for the door, dove past as it began to slam shut. I landed on my knees– rug burn for all the wrong reasons– flipped around just in time to see the door knob turn once again, the door open wide like the maw of a great white shark, and then once more slam shut.
I ran up the stairs and out the front door, the dog right on my heels. We didn’t stop running until I finally caught up with my husband.
I made him stop and I dragged him out of earshot of the kids.
“I’m not staying in that house,” I whispered. “That ghost just tried to kill me.”
“That’s ridiculous,” he said.
“No, it’s not ridiculous. You can’t leave us here. He’s a bad ghost. He’s a dangerous ghost. This house is a bad house. You can’t leave me.”
“Well I am leaving. I’m leaving tomorrow and you’re staying in this house. We signed a year’s lease.”
I so hate him. (My husband, not the ghost. I hate the ghost too.)
Tomorrow – Let the Toilet Flushing Begin.