i've noticed that there's a lot of shows on paranormal subjects on tv lately, and a lot of them deal with hauntings and supernatural activity in people's homes, and it seems a lot of people are frightened just by the idea. but in my experience, most intelligent hauntings, where there seems to be an awareness attached to the energy, are benign, and to react to them in fear only calls in negative energy where none necessarily needs to be.
shortly after Beloved moved in, it was pretty clear that steve, the man who'd built the house and created the grounds, was still here in some fashion, even if he'd been found dead in the house a few years before. much as Beloved wants to dismiss and deny some of the things that happen here, some things - like the candle that burned through one halloween night outside all night along, despite heavy rain directly into it - just defy explanation.
my children asked me once if my grandmother's house was haunted. what makes you ask that, i replied, cautiously. we hear things, they said. footsteps where there shouldn't be footsteps and doors open and close by themselves. since i'd seen the same things, and more, but i didn't want to freak them out, i paused before answering. "look at it this way," i finally said, "anyone who's here, you're related to. they won't want to scare you - just tell them to go away and not to frighten you." i could see them thinking about it. "oh," said katie, always the spokesperson. "that's a good way to think about it."
and that's how i thought about it when it became manifestly clear that steve still very much considers himself a part of pond house. for one thing, it was clear there were certain changes he resented and certain things he approved of. he liked the fixing up Beloved did in the ground floor bedroom and bathroom, for example. he didn't like the blue tiles Beloved put down on top of steve's black ones. once my stepdaughter gasped and her eyes filled with tears as she passed the stairs down to the ground floor. what's wrong, we all asked. i just saw a man standing at the bottom of the steps. i told her later i had seen him, too.
things had a habit of disappearing in pond house, to reappear in places you knew they hadn't been. an example of this is a watch with a particularly noticeable band made up of chunky, brightly painted clay beads. i loved the watch - not so much because it worked (watches and i don't get along) - mostly because it was so bright and handmade and it was especially hard to lose. i was heartbroken when the strings broke at last and the beads scattered to the five directions. but anyways, one day it disappeared. i searched all over for it - my place, pond house, my purse, my car, my office, even Beloved's car, but it was no where to be found. then one morning i was lying in bed beside Beloved when i thought i saw a man-shaped shadow walk quickly past the bottom of the bed, toward the tv, carrying my watch. beside me, Beloved jumped. "what's wrong," i asked. "i thought i saw someone walk past the foot of the bed," he said. i didn't say anything then, but when i got up i looked on top of the tv. and there, in the corner, just where i knew it couldn't have been, was my watch.
i'll tell you more ghost stories later.
and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.