Sunday, October 31, 2010

Things That Go Bump In The Night...

My guest today is Jim Whitaker, humorous and talented author of Hill of Beans. Jim's been here before because I generally "blogjack" his posts, but always with his blessing. Enjoy his take on Halloween:

Halloween – A Few Transparent Thoughts about Ghosts

So, why so self-assured that your home is not haunted?

Granted …Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … flung the last known ice cube tray back into the freezer overturned with just one cube left in it.

Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … spread cheese popcorn residue all over the living room carpet you just vacuumed.
Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … locked the door you just exited with your keys inside lying on the kitchen table.

Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … left your toolbox open on the driveway in the evening and the rain poured at midnight.

Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … keeps resetting your computer to all things Justin Bieber.

Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … exchanged those four $20's you know you had in your wallet just minutes ago with a single $1 bill.

Your home isn't necessarily haunted, but … maybe. Ha, ha. (Insert a throaty, ominous chuckle there, thank you.)

We never truly know what lurks amidst the at-rest nights or the time-we-are-away days in our homes, now do we? Does that realization evoke in you an apprehension, a chill, a cautionary shudder? Well, it's probably all just the dumb cat so give it a piece of cheese, throw it out and disavow any knowledge of its whereabouts.

And what if it's not the dumb cat? What if it's a dumb ghost after all?

To find out you can call in professional ghost hunters or local paranormal society investigators. Then watch in layman-wonder as these experts in spooky-spooky set up in your home dozens of elaborate cameras and recorders and thermometers and meters and laser fields, all high-tech gear enabling them – after dark with the lights out – to better run around bumping into one another screaming "Oh, (bleep)" and "What the (bleep) was that?" every time your goldfish gurgles in its bowl. I think the bleeps are free as part of the service.

To find out if there is a "presence" in your home you can call in one of those medium –small, large, whatever – people who claim communication with the deceased. They say they can "see" and ask questions of and get responses from any passed-away relative or friend of yours. Except, of course, that vanished third cousin who evidently passed over before repaying the $259.78 you lent him to buy cigarettes and a tank of gas. Even if he's just faking death that guy's way outa here and he ain't comin' back.

To find out if a ghost is floating about you can consult what's called a "sensitive." Many sensitives promote themselves with dramatic paintings of young Native American maidens wearing feather boas and little or nothing else – a ticklish prospect. A full-fledged sensitive is allegedly able to feel, smell, hear, know, taste and see the presence of passed spirits. I'm sensitive enough to feel that if you spend money on these people then they smelled, heard, knew, tasted and saw you coming.
Now before you ghost hunters and mediums – large or small, whatever – and believers in the realm of spirits think me an irrational skeptic, would I ever discount the existence of ghosts here in the season of Halloween? "Never," he cried with an eerie, distorted laugh and a contorted countenance highlighting his scarred and tangled brow while his gnarled fingers pounded with ee-vil belligerence the faded keys of the dusty and ancient pipe organ.

In fact, let me tell you the true story about Helen.

Several years back, a couple we know rented a stone house in one of the nearby macbeths – I mean hamlets.

The house was cozy, cool and subdued in the summer, warm and welcoming in the winter. And talk about location, location, location.

After the couple moved in … well, things started happening (you were expecting otherwise?) They'd leave and return to a thermostat reset at a temperature higher than they had left it. Plates moved. Glasses rattled. A pipe from his collection disappeared. Voices could be heard when the windows were open.

They named their ethereal resident "Anastasia."

Scary stuff, huh?

Of course, after they replaced the thermostat, bought a new china cabinet, discovered that one of the neighbors had taken up smoking to ease stress brought on by asthma, and shut the windows … Anastasia moved out. Just couldn't stand all those changes.

So if you suspect you have a ghost in your home this Halloween, throw a white sheet over him and force him to sit on the front porch all evening. A night of some of those trick or treaters will exorcise anybody … or any thing.

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