Science fiction writers are by and large pretty rational people. So are fantasy writers. Isaac Asimov said something like: “Fantasy writers don’t talk with rabbits.” So, I assure the reader that I stand with both feet firmly planted on the ground.
So take this information in the manner which it is offered: My house is haunted.
It’s about sixty-five years old. Not ancient. It’s a small, suburban ranch-style home. Nothing Gothic. There’s no graveyard on the premises, no dark history of a brutal series of murders (not even one.) When the men replaced the roof last Fall they didn’t find a skeleton.
Granted, I bought the house from the late owner’s estate and he left a pair of shoes under the basement stairs, but this isn’t Collinwood. I moved in fifteen years ago. My husband (then boyfriend) moved in about ten years ago. I’ve been pretty happy here. The house is nice. No strange noises.
But little things move sometimes.
I’ve lost a couple of things. Nail clippers, pens, a video and found them later. Yeah, I know. Happens to us all. But not quite like this.
I got home early from work one afternoon, back when I was living alone. It started raining and I checked my refrigerator and found I needed a couple of things. I went to the bathroom and then went to the store. I made sure I locked the doors. It was still raining when I got back. Doors were still locked. No wet footprints on the carpet. And in the bathroom, the roll of toilet paper was nearly entirely unrolled and on the floor.
Nobody had gotten in the house. And the roll had not been unrolled when I left. I was so unnerved that I called my brother on my cellphone from the middle of the street to tell him what was going on. When I calmed down I went back into the house. Nothing else happened, but I had nightmares that night.
These things don’t happen every month. Or every year. But they happen.
One morning, I got up to go to work, leaving my husband snoring in bed. I walked to the bathroom, passing the dresser which had my wallet, keys and my watch with the big watchband sitting conspicuously by the wallet. I washed my hands and face and went back to the bedroom to grab my pants and shirt. I glanced at the dresser; my watch was gone. I looked behind the dresser, it hadn’t fallen behind there. My husband was still snoring. He doesn’t pull pranks and I would have heard if he’d crawled out of bed. I checked around the house to see if I’d put the watch somewhere else. Not there. It’s not a big house. I walked back into the bedroom.
The watch was sitting by my wallet on the dresser. Exactly where I left it. My husband still snoring.
There’s probably a story in all this if I wanted to write it. Maybe. But so far I have no corroborating witnesses and no proof of the events. And I have no reason to believe I’m hallucinating. I haven’t had any evidence of a malevolent presence in the house, just n occasionally inconvenient, even prankish one. So we live with it. It beats mice, I’ve had mice in a house! And when something goes wrong in the house or turns up missing, I blame George and Marion Kerby.
And I’m not touching those shoes under the stairs.
Jeff Baker blogs about reading and writing sci-fi, fantasy and horror on or about the thirteenth of every month. He has been published in “The Necronomicon of Solar Pons,” Queer SciFi’s “Innovation” and “Amazing Stories,” among other places. He lives happily with his husband Darryl who doesn’t believe in ghosts. He posts fiction on his bloghttps://authorjeffbaker.com/ and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Jeff-Baker-Author-176267409096907