File this under Random…sort of. I do write paranormal, and this is a tale of paranormal happenings, so I suppose it isn’t all that random.
I think I’m being haunted, and I might be blaming Anne Rice.
I have no idea why I decided to start reading Ms. Rice’s The Witching Hour just before my husband had three business trips over the course of three weeks. When I’m home alone this big old house does a lot of settling and creaking, and things tend to go bump in the night. Reading a scary book at night when you’re alone in the house is not a good idea. Reading a book that puts frightening ideas in a mind that tends to have a fairly fertile imagination? Also not a great choice. Put the two together and you have a recipe for a haunting.
First a little background on this book. Of course it is fascinating—it IS Anne Rice!! And it is scary—it IS Anne Rice!! There is an evil entity that does nasty things to people. It might also be able to manipulate things and truly make things go bump in the night. As I tried to go to sleep on Monday night, after a good two hours of reading in bed, I was sure that there was some kind of entity in my house and it was going to do something during the night. Maybe just your basic minor destruction—I was fairly confident that it didn’t want to hurt me. (Yes, I was one of those kids who couldn’t go upstairs in the dark after watching something scary on the TV.)
But when I got up in the morning—and I DID sleep well!—I saw that everything looked just as I had left it the night before. Phew! Dodged that bullet. I didn’t, however, have any reason to go into the family room until later in the day. What I found was my high school graduation picture lying on the floor, the glass shattered into a zillion pieces. It had sat on that shelf for many, many years without deciding to fly off the shelf and flinging itself to the floor. Why now?
My reaction to this was exactly what you would expect of someone who was brought up to be a superstitious Irish Catholic girl. My father taught me to feed the fairies that lived under the toadstools, and there was a lot of knocking on wood and throwing salt over shoulders. Seeing the picture and the broken glass freaked me just a little. Okay, there may have been a search for some holy water, and what kind of Catholic am I that I have none? A cross may have been placed on the shelf where the picture had sat. Just rational precautionary measures, you know.
And I was FINE yesterday when the St. Brigid’s cross I was wearing came unclasped and was lost in my shirt. I obviously didn’t clasp it properly. The fact that I’m rather OCD about making sure necklaces are clasped is irrelevant. Later in the day, home alone in the house, when I felt someone tug on the back of my sweatshirt, I was as calm as can be, as I knew it was just settling into place. For some reason, unknown to me. But, ghost? No. Certainly not.
Husband came home last night. Thank God. A little bit ago he asked me if I’d pushed aside a bunch of stuff on his desk. Huh? Of course not. Why would I do that? And I know a ghost wouldn’t. Right.
There’s a reason I write paranormal. Yes, I was brought up to be a superstitious person. But I’ve also had a few psychic experiences throughout my life, from the mundane to the Oh My God, Are You Kidding Me type. That mystery of life has always fascinated me. I love to explore it in my fiction. Last fall, when I got to meet my favorite YA author Maggie Stiefvater I asked her about a precognition type dream she’d had and has mentioned a few times in interviews, as it was very similar to one I had when I was a girl. She shrugged it off and explained that all the women in her family are little psychic. Yes, Maggie, that explains your interest in writing the paranormal. And I guess it explains my interest as well.
As for our ghost here at Casa Knightley? And why now, after all these years? I have a theory. We’re starting to do a lot of updating to prepare the house to sell. Time for a little downsizing. We’ll be moving. Is someone trying to tell us that they’ll miss us?
Good thing this is all in my imagination. Put there, no doubt, by that fabulous Anne Rice!