Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kitchen Memory: Haunted, Part Five

Blog reader Jenny C. has been kind enough to send us a very detailed and suspenseful kitchen memory that also includes the bathroom, the rest of the house and the yard. We'll be running it in installments on Thursday afternoons. In part one, Jenny took a Polaroid of her family. When a blurry shape appears in the photo, Jenny teases her family by pretending it is a ghost. In part two, more Polaroids show a blurry shape that appears to be an actual ghost. In part three, Jenny and her infant daughter were locked in a bathroom out of earshot of help. And in part four last week, a friend’s skepticism about ghosts causes a ball of energy to appear in the kitchen, killing all the lights.

WHOA! Karen, Gene, Amy and I all begged Gary NOT to say that again. He yelled back from the back hallway to just simmer down- it was a blown fuse. He'd already grabbed a flashlight and made his way to the fuse box and replaced the fuse within seconds, releasing the lights to light again.

But the kitchen crowd was abuzz. In the month that we had lived there we had blown dozens of fuses- about one a day. But never, I say never before, had we had a lightning bolt fly out of our kitchen sink.

The smell of ozone still heavy in the air, we tried to convince Gary that it was a ghostly act. The engineer in the guys and myself tried to explain it away any other way. The phone lines are usually grounded on the cold water pipes. Thus the water pipes stored up enough energy to shoot big lightning balls out of the faucet as if Thor himself was in charge of the plumbing. The non-ghost theories were more far-fetched than the ghost theory ever was.

None of this conjecture was making any sense. So we blamed the lights and lightning incident on the ghost and Gary's mantra of disbelief, which we all felt was annoying the ghost as much as it was annoying us.
Some of us hypothesized that this mantra was a direct challenge to the ghost to prove himself. The light show may have been the ghost's chosen form of proof for all we knew.  And of course Gary just had to say it again, even though we begged him not to. We guessed where he was headed, with the conversation having been there already many times that night. But he did it anyway. He said it.

"I keep telling you guys, that there's no such thing as ghosts!"

No sooner had the words parted his lips, than the faucet returned an exact replica of that first lightning bolt into the kitchen sink. The next sound I heard was the slam of the back door as Gene and Karen yelled a hasty goodbye and "We'll call you in the morning to see if you all are still alive."

It was very difficult to get Amy to bed that night. She begged to sleep with us on the floor in our bedroom rather than in her room- the maid's quarters just above the kitchen. In order to convince her that all was well, we looked in closets, under beds, on the balcony, locked the balcony door, pulled back the shower curtains, and more than one round of this was demanded. Finally, she was calmed down and tucked into bed and we retired to our master bedroom where Gary reached for the maid's bell button on the wall. My pleas fell on deaf ears- really.  He grinned a devil's grin and pushed the button.

The sound of Amy hitting her door to open it inward, when she so desperately wanted to go outward, rang through the house. The thud of her feet pounding down the hallway into our bedroom had Gary doubled over in laughter. But Amy was hysterical.

While Gary recovered composure enough to demonstrate the bell to Amy and he "recleared” her room, I put Noel back to sleep. Finally we all went to bed and I know I slept. In fact I slept fairly soundly.

The next morning the phone rang as it was now working just fine, although no one had done anything at all to fix it during the night. Gene and Karen inquired on our state. I replied "Michigan" and Gary replied "Confusion” and our friends thus knew we were both normal as ever.

Joke about it or not, Gary will tell you he is now a believer and there just might be such a thing as ghosts.

Well, now you know when I became a true believer.  A believer with proof. It was during the summer of '79 in a house in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. One such event and you too will doubt no more- if you doubt at all, that is.

Sleep tight!
Thanks, Jenny!
Readers, we'd love to hear your kitchen memories, even if they don't involve ghosts. Send them to us here.

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