There are ghosts in my House, but I don’t believe in ghosts. I’ve always averred that “Dead folks have got better things to do than hang out in my kitchen!” And I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to the paranormal. I’d love to think that all sorts of fantastical spirits and creatures inhabit the world with us! Fairies, monsters, demons, Bigfoot, aliens, unicorns, dragons, and vampires would make this a much more interesting place. But, alas, they don’t exist.
Sometimes I think ghosts and hauntings belong in the same category as the Loch Ness Monster, a fanciful notion but non-existent. Except, there are ghosts in my house. Ghosts I’ve seen with my own eyes, heard with my own ears despite my disbelief. Am I seeing and hearing the spirits of the dead? I don’t know, but I do know that I am sane and I can trust my senses.
We’ve heard the ghosts in our House for a long time: strange noises from the kitchen, phantom doors opening and closing, our names whispered in the darkness. And we’ve seen them, both of them. There is a black shadow person, well over six feet tall, and a white, misty child-sized one. Shadow Man likes to peek around doorways and stand in corners, and he is the one who whispers my name.
One night, not too long ago, I had trouble sleeping and arose in the wee hours of the morning. I tried going back to sleep on the couch in the living room and just as I was drifting off I heard, “Prairie” (actually my real first name) whispered in my ear. There was a slight puff of breath, an exhalation that ruffled my hair. I thought it was Mr. Prairie needing me for some reason. I turned my head to look at him and he wasn’t there. The room was dark but there was a tall, slender deeper darkness next to the couch that quickly dissipated. Sleep utterly fled at that point.
Last night, after the kids were tucked in bed and presumably asleep, Mr. Prairie and I both heard a child singing and playing and laughing. Certain that my daughter was out of her bed and playing, I crept silently down the hall. Oddly, the sound of laughter got no louder the closer I got to my daughter’s room. I opened her door to find the child fast asleep, her room quiet. Then I walked to my son’s room thinking he may be out of bed and playing on his computer. Another opened door, another sleeping child. The laughter was gone and I stood in the hall willing the sound to return, to be normal. I noticed there was an impossible chill in that hall, every door off the hall was closed and I felt no errant breeze.
I think I heard the small, misty spirit at play, while the living children slept. We don’t know who this ghost child is or from whence it came. We live on the site of an old farm; perhaps the ghost came with the land and not the house. Or maybe, more likely, we are hearing the echoes of the past still resonating here in the present.
My own ghosts haunt my heart, things and people lost to me, and time. So it comes as no surprise to live in a haunted house, even though I don’t believe in ghosts.