Who you gonna call?

“And Reason kens he herits in/A haunted house. Tenants unknown

Assert their squalid lease of sin/ With earlier title than his own.” *

I’ve said before we thought our house was haunted. We’ve been told that a lady died years ago in our yard, out back in the berry patch, a natural death, apparently, but still. The psychic we saw last summer agreed. She thought it was the spirit of a male relative of mine. You’d think he’d just say “hi.”

Not that we’ve seen people moving around the halls in designer sheets, mind you, but odd things occur. Water suddenly starts running from a faucet that no one turned on.  Wheeled toys move by themselves on the floor. Odd noises come from unoccupied areas of the house.

Little Miss has often over the years seemed to be having a silent conversation with someone unseen. But then she may just be having a good joke with herself. Hard to tell with her sometimes.

But the most obvious symptom is the electric power; specifically that it goes on and off. In weird ways. Without explanation. There is a fairly regular combination of lights in the house, two upstairs and three downstairs, that will go off together for about 20-40 minutes and then back on, even though there is no way they can be on the same circuit.

Lights we can work around. I figure if some old ghost needs a few more hours of shuteye, I can live with that. (A note in old fashioned pen and paper would be more efficient, I suppose, or even an email.) But this week, the erratic on/off feature started to apply to the water pump and the stove, except when it went off it went off for 12 hours. Not so useful. The Cabana Boy is conversant with such things but he finally reached the point where he’d tested everything for which he had equipment, and he was mystified. Time to call an electrician.

We’d really hesitated to take such a step, first because the house was 100 years old, and heaven KNOWS what kind of wiring issues it might have, and second because however bad the wiring was before my ex-husband got hold of it, surely after he started re-wiring (“Oh hell yes I know what I’m doing–don’t worry!”) there would be major issues.

The man came in this morning, armed with just a tool bag, and went straight to work after asking several questions. I could tell he thought he had this sewed up. He went down to the basement and out to his truck and down and out and down and out a couple of times, and finally my secretary says, “Maybe when you come back you should bring an exorcist.”

To his credit he did return (sans Father Merrin), despite the odd look and the fact he ran past her desk this time. He actually found a short in one of the outlets the Ex had installed (surprise, surprise, surprise!) and closed it off, so maybe that will stop the flickering. The water’s running–for now. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. Maybe light a candle, too, or some sage. Meanwhile, anyone have the number to the Ghostbusters?

* from “Low Barometer” by poet Robert Bridges


9 thoughts on “Who you gonna call?

  1. OMG, I would be so out of there.. I too had a 100 year old house–had to refurbish it though, but no signs of ghosts were around–trust me I listened and looked!! creepy!!

  2. Wow, I so much prefer the idea of a ghost than a short in your wiring.

    But, I wouldn’t wish being without water on anyone.

    My house is 100 years old too and when we bought I would bet it was haunted. But, we gutted that baby and any ghosts high tailed it.

    So, there you go. If you want to get rid of ghost, take on a very large remodel. That will do it.

    Good luck

  3. Several years ago we lived in an old house that had a poltergeist – we were actually able to communicate with him a couple of times. His favorite thing to do was turn on the TV in the middle of the night, and my electric toothbrush. Hope everything keeps working okay at your place!

  4. my gut reaction to ‘timed’ outages is ‘thermal short’, but if they’re not on the same circuit, hmmm….

    i’d also be more afraid of bad wiring than friendly, mischievious spirits…

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