Archive for the ‘ghosts’ Category

Please pass the spinach

Monday, June 20th, 2011

By Tiber 

I hope you had a good Father’s Day. Ours had its ups and downs.

Since everyone’s short of gift money, Dad said we could all just sing or do a dance or a dramatic reading for him.

Mom was smart and she just dressed up like Dad’s favorite, Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas,” so she didn’t have to speak at all.

The rest of us tried the singing and dancing and it was bad. The dogs didn’t just leave the room. They started packing small bags.

My brother, Kru, however, managed to come up with something that Dad really needed. In my previous post, I wrote about how we just heard on a recording what sounded like one of our ghosts saying the word “yam.”

Dad truly hates yams and he freaked.

But Kru thought there was something more on the recording. He took it to the ghost hunting team and they enhanced the audio.

And sure enough, they thought the phantom might be saying, “I am, I am,” or “I am what I am,” as if trying to announce and justify its presence. And it just sounded like “I yam” or “I yam what I yam.”

That sounded familiar to me. And, of course, I quickly figured out why.

Not only do we definitely have spirits in our house but now, clearly, we’re also being haunted by the ghost of Popeye.

Ah, quit your yammerin’

Friday, June 17th, 2011

By Tiber

As you know, we have ghosts. Even the pros have said so.

Most of us, nervously, just try to ignore them. Dad, however, gets completely exasperated with them.

When the ghost hunting team was here, they caught an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon of a disembodied voice) that seemed to say the word “accordion.”

My father went crazy and the paranormal team said he could consider getting an exorcism. Dad said if he ever caught a ghost playing an accordion in his house, he’d consider getting a ghost hitman.

Today, the triplets were recording something and they caught an EVP of a disembodied voice that seemed to say the word, “yam.”

Clearly, this ghost has a sense of humor. It would be hard to think of two things Dad hates more than accordions and yams.

The yam part stems from an unfortunate childhood incident where an already yam-hating Dad was offered some “sweet potato pie.” Dad loves pie and he dug in as if his tongue was an industrial front loader.

No one had told him that the delightful sounding “sweet potato” was actually the same thing as the potato’s evil twin! Now even the thought of yams makes him gag.

In reincarnation, some people are doomed to get involved with the same bad spouse. But for reasons we will never understand, Dad may be condemned to share his own house forever with an accordion-playing, yam-gnawing ghost.

Karma can not only be a bitch. Karma can just be weird.

Our Ghost Is Hosting

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

By Tiber

Not for remotely the first time, one of us has experienced something supernatural in this big, old house. Unfortunately, this time, that “one of us” was me.

I was making popcorn in the second floor kitchen (which we always give thanks for, since going down to the main kitchen and making popcorn will result in Cook’s popping your own head off).

So, I was happy to be in the second floor kitchen until…I heard a loud clank on the far side of the room. The metal corkscrew which I KNOW was resting on the drainboard by the sink had suddenly been launched across the room where it hit the refrigerator.

I didn’t bump it. I was nowhere near it. The house did not settle two feet. We did not have an earthquake..

As you know,  however, we’re well aware that we do have at least one ghost. We think he may have been a pirate.

Of course, with the house being in our family for so long, there’s a good chance we’re also haunted by at least one of our own ancestors.

So the question is, was the ghost just wanting some wine and a talk? Or was it trying to kill me with a pointy, metallic dart?

You’d probably say that sounded more like the pirate. But if my own family is any indicator, that could just as easily have been one of my ancestors.

Maybe the ghost was just trying to get my attention. Or maybe the ghost is hosting a party and he simply tripped and dropped the corkscrew.

Can somebody please get on with it and invent a ghost translating device?

“Look, I know you’re over there, dude, but what the hell are you trying to say?”

It’s just like playing Charades. But they’ve stuck you with the invisible team.

Stranger In A Very Strange Land…The unknown old woman in the attic

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

By Tiber 

As some of you know, a few months ago, Mom was up on the attic floor looking for something, and what she found instead was an old woman sitting comfortably in one of the rooms, reading a book. Mom was so startled that she just excused herself and left the stranger up there.

By New Year’s Eve, no one knew if the strange woman was still up there or not but when Mom, feeling festive, left her an open bottle of wine, we half expected to hear a  hammered rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” come warbling down the back stairs. The wine was polished off but no sound has ever been heard.

Until tonight.

Iris Nell, whose room is right next to mine on the third floor, flew in here with her face chalk-white.

“I know,” I said. “I’ve been hearing it too.”

It was 3AM but somebody was doing something up there. Of course, we do have a ghost, who may be a pirate and I’ve posed the question before. Who would you rather have slithering around behind your back? A young, crazy, male pirate who’s dead or an old, crazy, female stranger who’s alive? Plus, Aunt April occasionally leaves the rooms she took over and starts wandering around too. If the three of them ever meet, it will be as if we’re hosting the “Insane Uninvitational.”

The attic noises started up again.

“Is she tap-dancing, Tiber?”

“I think she might be throwing marbles.”

“Why would she do that?!?”

“Why is she up there at all?!?”

Then we heard that old rhythm for “shave and a haircut”- “dat-da-da dat-dat…” and there was a pause. Iris Nell’s superstitions kicked in and she became frantic to tap the ceiling twice just to finish the sequence.

“No, no!” I hissed, “Don’t engage her at all!”

Finally, I had to whisper the rejoinder “dat-dat” to Iris Nell myself, just to make her stop squirming.

The noises finally calmed down and Iris Nell felt that maybe she could get some sleep. She paused, though.

“I’ll bet the old lady can’t sleep at all now. Since we’re getting into summer, it’s probably really hot up there.”

Great. Now I can’t sleep.

If the noise we heard is the old lady shooting craps with the pirate ghost, then all is well.

But if the old lady’s throwing marbles while sitting around in her underwear trying to cool off, the ghost pirate’s not going to like that at all. And before long, he’s going to start spending all of his leisure time down here, barging through my walls and scaring the hell out of me.

If ghosts can walk through walls, why do they go bump in the night?

Friday, March 26th, 2010

By Tiber 

I love anything to do with ghosts.  And though I’m aware of all the supernatural occurrences, witnessed either by me or others, here in my parents’ house, I still have yet to come upon a full-body apparition. And a full-body apparition is what I want to see. It would be the Holy Grail of the paranormal.

Of course, not everyone might feel the same way.

We had a guest staying here last night and she had her own ghost experience first-hand. She had been given a bedroom that hadn’t been used in awhile and, in the middle of the night, she woke up and saw it – a dim, white apparition, wavering in the shadows on the far side of her room.

After a moment, the shimmering thing started floating, right towards her bed. And, to the woman’s horror, she felt something clammy brush against her feet, turning them both ice cold.

The guest dived under the covers so she wouldn’t see any more.  But then she felt the mattress vibrate. as if the ghost had actually sat down, almost right up against her, in the dark.

Was the thing conscious of her presence or not? Was it angered by her being in this bed or in this room?

The woman became too paralyzed with fear to make a run for it. All she could do was continue to hide until she finally got up enough courage to just peek out. By the time she did, the specter had vanished.

Even then, our guest was too terrified to scream, she was too terrified to move and since we just found out that Brunty, the butler, has started sleep-walking, we’re all too terrified to tell her.

Lights out, ghost in

Monday, February 8th, 2010


By Tiber

The storm came in and our power went out. You really don’t want to be in a house this big when the lights go off. We stumbled around and finally met up in Dad’s study.

The triplets fell asleep and then somebody had the brilliant idea to play “Truth or Dare” to pass the time. Note to the wise. Do not play “Truth or Dare” with your family. While funny or titillating with your friends, “Truth or Dare” with your family just becomes a litany of “Wo!” “Eeeeeeeeeew,” or “Oh, dear God, please don’t say any more or I’m going to hurl.”

Then, suddenly, the lights flickered on for a moment, and the little elevator by the main stairs was heard starting up on its own. Somebody said it was our house ghost, coming down to get us. But Duncan thought it might be going up.

“Why would it be leaving?”

“Have you been listening to our conversation for the past half hour?!?”

So the talk turned to our finding the little pirate treasure chest hidden in the house this week, with the human hand bones in front of it. Dad has decided that the chest probably didn’t belong to a relative or even to a female pirate after all, as he’d thought. It must have come from an earlier time from when the house was built in the 1860’s.

So why had people kept on moving the chest and hiding it in safe places instead of selling the contents themselves? Erin said maybe they were afraid of the ghost of the original pirate owner. It would then make sense that our house ghost was that original pirate, still attached to his treasure.

Plus, Mom reminded us that when the ghost hunters came here, they picked up on tape an unknown voice saying the word “accordion” and those little accordions used to be played onboard sailing ships.

Duncan put it all together.

“So our pirate ghost was the one who sliced off the hand of the one dude who tried to take his treasure!  Hey, Dad, remember when the ghost hunters said they’d heard the word “accordion” and you said you were damned if you were going to buy anybody an accordion, living or dead!”

Dad leaped in.

“No I didn’t!”

“Yes, you did!”

“No, I didn’t!!! I told the ghost I’d buy it anything it wanted! Accordion, keyboards, a trumpet-”

“No, you didn-”

Even in the dark, you could hear Dad going after Duncan to shut him up before the ghost heard any more. Nobody felt like going back upstairs then.

In the morning, Mrs. Brunty, the housekeeper, found us all, still in Dad’s study, asleep on the sofa, the chairs, the floor. She said we looked like a sweet litter of puppies.

Seriously? “A sweet litter of puppies?!?”
I’m not surprised about the dog part. That we have been called. I was just surprised that anybody would ever call us sweet.

Chauncey, the handyman

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010


By Tiber

We’ve had so much bad weather, somebody finally had to go up and check the attic rooms for leaks. We’re all so far away, down here on the other floors, it could get really bad before anyone knew it.

Dad couldn’t convince any of us to go up there, though, and he certainly wasn’t heading up there himself. We’ve all known about that unknown old woman in the attic since Mom first saw her awhile ago. Then Mom took up the New Year’s cookies and wine (hoping they would just sit there) and they were actually consumed. That’s made the old woman’s presence, wherever she is, a little too real for all of us.

So, despite wanting to save money, Dad had to call on Chauncey, the handyman. Yes, that‘s right. “Chauncey” is our handyman’s actual name. Evidently, with the film “Being There” coming out the year he was born and his mother in a movie mood, she decided to name him after the character, “Chauncey Gardiner.” Great film but, come on! “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” came out the same year so she could have just as soon gone with “James T.” instead of “Chauncey.” Hell, “Uhura” would have been better.

In any event, his name got him hired here. Mom heard about him and was worried that all of the “Spike” and “Moose” handymen were probably beating him up and stealing his jobs. And when he showed up and looked exactly like a “Chauncey,” we figured it might actually be true. But it turns out, he’s one strong guy. He’s like that glue in those tiny tubes, where you just can’t believe it can hold so much.

So Chauncey was dispatched up to the attic rooms to check for any water damage. He’s probably already heard that some people think our house is haunted. And nobody told him at all about the old woman.

It wasn’t long before he came down and headed right for the front door.

All he said as he left was, “No time. No leaks. No charge.”

Oh, he saw something up there, all right. The question is, which is worse? A staring, younger dead person or a crazy older live one?

The ghost hunters arrive

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

By Tiber

I’ve talked about my parents’ house before and it really is as alive as the people who live in it. Well, it’s as much alive as some of them. Being so big and so filled with history and emotion, people are always asking if it’s haunted.

Over the years, we have had some odd occurrences and then when our friends brought their baby over recently and he seemed to see something, Dad finally decided to call in a professional ghost hunting team.

They went all over, checking out our wing, the staff wing, the kitchen wing. And they did find some cold spots. The biggest cold spot was near the dining room, to which my idiot brother, Duncan, responded,

“Of course, my wife could have just walked through!”

After the team been told that sometimes the little elevator, by the main staircase, travels up all by itself, (though not when they were here, of course), the team said our ghost could be the trickster type, just trying to scare us by starting up the elevator motor. My sister, Iris Nell, became really indignant at that.

“Or maybe our poor ghost is just old. Do you have any idea how many stairs there are in this place?!?”

The ghost team gamely plowed on, finding their prime piece of evidence in the form of a good EVP (electronic voice phenomenon). A disembodied male voice seemed to say the word, “accordion.”

My father became so emotional, I was surprised that he’d be that afraid. But it turned out that wasn’t the case. Instead, he roared,

“I am not buying an accordion for anybody, living or dead!”

The ghost team said he could consider an exorcism. My father said if he ever heard anyone playing “Lady of Spain,” he’d consider a hitman.

My youngest sister, Erin, always guaranteed to be the most morbid of the group, came up with,

“Maybe one of our ancestors killed an accordionist and buried him somewhere in the house.”

Well, that cast a pall over everything. No one knew how to respond. It was my father, surprisingly, who finally gave in.

He said he wasn’t a completely unreasonable man and in time, he might consider at least buying the ghost a guitar.