In honor of Halloween, Life in the Boomer Lane will now regale her readers with the ABSOLUTELY TRUE STORY of how she lived in a HAUNTED HOUSE, with a GHOST. Don't let the word "ghost" scare you off. This ghost/spirit/whatever was friendly and wasn't accompanied by the usual creepy music. But speaking of creepy things in general, have you ever wondered why, in scary movies, the hero/heroine always opens the exact door that he/she knows contains the evil spirit? Is LBL the only person on the planet who would not only avoid that particular door but would, most likely, avoid the entire floor the door was on, the entire house the door was part of or the entire neighborhood the door was in? Now, back to the story:
In 1969, LBL and Then Husband attended grad school in Bloomington, Indiana. In 1970, they moved into half of a century-old farmhouse on First Ave (For you movie buffs, the hero in the film "Breaking Away" rode his bike past their house in one of the scenes). The other half of the house was occupied by another grad student, Dave. The original one-story/no attic/no basement house hadn't been changed in any way since it had been built, except to add a tiny second bathroom, carved out of the original dining room. This made for mighty creative use of all of the rooms. And, as there was no strong separation between the two halves of the house, LBL, Then Husband, and Dave became fast friends.
One day, the three of them were sitting in Dave's living room (originally a bedroom). They all heard heavy footsteps coming across the porch to his front door (which was the original side door of the house). They then heard a key turning in the lock, the door opening, then closing, then heavy footsteps in Dave's bedroom (the original whatever-it-was-room that accessed that side door). It took a moment for all of them to realize that all of them were together. No one was missing. They all rushed into Dave's bedroom. Of course, no one was there. And the door was still locked.
Soon after, LBL andTH would be in bed in their bedroom (the original dining room of the house, complete with low-hanging ceiling fixture) and would hear heavy footsteps across the ceiling that would suddenly stop exactly where their closet was (remarkably, actually originally a closet). They would jump out of bed, run to the closet, and of course there would be nothing but silence. People said, "Oh, you have squirrels." LBL asked, "Do squirrels in Indiana weigh about 200 lbs and wear combat boots?"
Dan and TH were determined to get to the bottom of this. They climbed up on the roof one day, and went over every square inch of it to see where the 200 lb squirrel could be getting in. No openings at all. As in zero. Zilch. Even tiny mutant squirrels would not have been able to squeeze under that roof.
Some time later, TH was seated at his desk in the living room (directly on the other side of the bedroom closet), doing what he did every evening, allegedly studying. At some point, he stood up and walked very quickly through the bedroom into the kitchen (or rather, their half of the kitchen). LBL was surprised that he was moving so quickly, but before she could ask him what the rush was about, they heard a crash.
They ran into the living room and saw that the ceiling had caved in directly above NH's chair.
"That was incredibly lucky that you left the room when you did," LBL said.
"I know," NH agreed. I was just sitting there and all of a sudden it was like I had this crazy urge to rush into the kitchen for no reason at all.
After that, all the footsteps and invisible comings and goings stopped. Now, when anyone asks LBL if she believes in ghosts, she says, "I don't know anything about ghosts, in general. I only know the one I lived with."
LBL would like to hear your ghost stories, so that she knows that she isn't the only one who lived with a ghost. And, oh yes, Happy Halloween.