Personally, I think it has more to do with my Celtic roots, Samhain, and the thinning veil between the living and spirit worlds. There are just too many spooky stories surrounding Samhain to completely discount the possibility of visiting phantoms, and I have a few family tales, too weird to be explained away. Want to hear one? I thought you might. :)
It was a dark and stormy night. Kidding. It was night, and it was dark, but I don’t remember any storm happening. A quick C.J. history lesson—I grew up in the boonies. Miles from town, boxed in on two sides by endless acres of government-owned forestland, the closest neighbor a run-across-the-field away. On a good day, we got two television channels, and HBO wasn’t one of them. We lived in a double-wide mobile home with an attached garage, and the long driveway led straight into the garage. Any headlights shone right into the living room windows, so when visitors showed up, you knew it.
This particular night was the parental units’ romantic Saturday evening (aka bowling league) and my older sister was at a friend’s house, so it was just me and my younger sister, Cathy. We were hanging in the living room, watching whatever questionable television show our antennae would pick up, Hee-Haw, I think…did I mention this was long, long ago? Headlights reflected in the windows, and as it was about time for mom and dad’s return, we didn’t think much of it. The motor’s rumble echoed from the garage and cut out. The back door leading from garage to house clicked open and shut softly.
But no one came into the living room.
It took a couple minutes for my curiosity to kick in. What was taking mom and dad so long to come into the living room and why was it so quiet? Dad loved to prank us, and even though mom never played along, I suspected foul play. I strolled from the living room to the kitchen, fully prepared to foil his plans.
No one was there.
I peeked through the kitchen window into the garage.
Prickles ran down my arms as I tried to connect the empty garage with what my senses told me only minutes ago. A car had come up the driveway. Someone had come in.
Not willing to turn my back on the kitchen or the garage, I backed into the dining room. The large windows looking out into the night didn’t help the cold racing through my veins. The dining room and living room were connected, and Cathy was lounging in a recliner, still watching television. I said, “Mom and dad aren’t here. You saw the headlights, right? Didn’t you hear the car, the door open and shut?”
Thankfully, her disbelieving expression told me if I was going crazy, then so was she. Clinging to each other, we crept back into the kitchen. Nothing had changed, no car, no parents. We agreed we had to check the house because someone had come in. Someone was in our house with us, and there were three bedrooms and two bathrooms they could be hiding in. No way would we sit around, waiting.
Like so many horror movie victims before us, we armed ourselves with kitchen knives and inched down the hallway. My sister’s room was dark, the door open. Shaking, our knives gripped tight, we flipped on the light.
The room was empty. The closet held the usual clothes and shoes, no axe-wielding ghost clowns. But we had more rooms to go.
Nothing hid behind my bookcase or beneath our bunkbed. My heart roared, a stampede in my ears. We looked at each other. Only our parents’ room remained. This was it. The showdown. I could hardly breathe and my fingers ached from holding the knife so tight. Together, we opened the door and hit the light switch.
The bed was made, no red eyes peering from beneath. The bathroom was empty. We both turned to the closed closet door. Final spot. Cathy flung open the door as I yelled and flicked the switch.
Nothing. Nothing in the hanging clothes. Nothing crouched behind shoes boxes. Nothing clinging to the ceiling.
What the hell?
As relieved as I was to not confront some horror that my brain could never erase, it made no sense. We’d both seen the headlights. We’d both heard the car. We’d both acknowledged the door opening and shutting.
My parents came home some time later and didn’t seem to notice the way we huddled together on the couch, every light in the house on. Neither one of us mentioned anything. What could we possibly say?
Now, I can’t blame that weird incident on the thinning of the veil on Samhain, but it was during the autumn season, when life is dying and settling in for winter. Whatever the cause, I have never forgotten it.
Do you have any unexplainable occurrences to share? Any family haunts or tales?
FREE FOR YOU! Just in time for the Samhain season, the novella start-up of my future series, Moonlight and Madness, is available for anyone who wants it. The key to unlocking The Druid, the Witch, and the Love Curse is signing up for my newsletter HERE. Have a fabulous Halloween!
With only three days to live, an ancient druid must choose between true love or ultimate freedom.
Druid Kellen Ravenwood yearns for freedom. Cursed to an enchanted dungeon with only three days out every half century, he determines to finally break the hex during his respite, no matter the cost.
But when fresh-out-of-divorce court Maggie O’Malley shows up on Samhain with the key to his prison–and his heart–Kellen must decide what to sacrifice…love or liberty.
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