This post was originally posted December 13, 2005 as "The Ghost of Xmas Past" But since it's Halloween week, I thought it was a good story to resurrect from the blog grave yard to give you a little shiver... Enjoy!
Last week, the cold that had been desperately trying to take over my body since my return from the Orient finally won the battle over the Airborne vitamin fizzy things. My voice went, my throat was swollen and I had a hack that you wouldn't believe. I actually burned a sick day last week and stayed home and just laid around all day. I think it was just what the Dr. ordered, because by the weekend I felt much better.
Saturday morning about 3 AM I was hit with a coughing fit that forced me out of my warm cocoon of blankets into the kitchen to find some robotussin. As I walked into the living room, half asleep and without my glasses on, I noticed that the TV was on, no sound ‚ just picture. It was playing some black and white program, which cast an eerie glow over the living room.
In my half awake state, I thought I saw Jason sitting on the couch, but when I called his name and walked closer I realized there wasn't anyone there. I also remembered that Jason and I went to bed at the same time the night before. And we had turned the TV off.
It was at that point that I freaked out and ran back into the bedroom, woke-up Jason to go into the living room, turn off the TV and fetch me my Robo as I hid in bed with the covers over my head. You see, I believe in ghosts 100%. We used to live with one, and it freaked the shit out of me every night, and I vowed to never live in a haunted house again.
Yes, this is the point where you start laughing at me. But I'm telling the truth. When Jason and I were first engaged (and for the first 2 years of being married) we lived in this adorable duplex in Solana Beach. This house was owned by a very creative and handy couple that bought the place for about half of what it was worth. It was salmon pink with teal trim on the outside and had the best blue tile counters and a bathroom floor of beach rocks accented with little blue tiles that looked like an ocean wave. We loved this house and we loved our landlords. They even built us a front yard so we could get a dog... But after a few months in the house we started noticing things..
On more than one occasion I would be asleep in bed in the morning while Jason went out surfing. Laying there in that morning deep sleep, I would feel Jay's side of the bed dip and creek like someone looking for a warm cuddle after a chilly dip in the ocean. Only I would roll over, and Jason wouldn't be there. No one would be ther. Other times I would get up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water, and standing in the kitchen I would SWEAR TO GOD that someone was standing behind me. Little things that I would brush off as being half asleep or plain paranoia. Only Jason and I were both experiencing these situations - without telling each other about them.
I was also having these vivid dreams about things happening to me and having detailed conversations with people. Then one night my dead great grandmother came to me in my dream with a message.. and that was enough to prompt me to finally 'fess up to Jason. And you can imagine my shock and horror when he admitted that he felt the same strange sensations and was having similar experiences. We took a deep breath and uttered the word "ghost."
As time went on, we slept with a light on but accepted our spirit friend. The ghost became our "party story" you know, the story that gets retold to new people and rehashed by old friends at every get together. It became our "thing." We were the couple that was living with the ghost! How cool! We had a fun story and everyone loved to hear it over and over.
One night we had a bunch of people over for a party at our little place. At the end of the night someone brought up the ghost and we started to tell the story when one of our friends interrupted us...
"I didn't know if I should say anything to you guys. But yea, you have a ghost and her name is Julie."
We all just stared at him as went on to explain how he has this 6th sense type thing. It's not something he really talks about because, lets face it, people wont always believe you. But ghosts try to talk to him, and ours had a message for us. She wanted us to know that she wasn't going to hurt us, she was more there to help us and protect us. Apparently the ghost understood she freaked the shit out of us, and she was sorry about that, but she liked us. She wasn't going to interfere with our day-to-day lives, but she would send us messages if she felt they were important.
The next day we finally built up the nerve to say something to our landlord. He was out watering the cacti in the succulent garden out front when after a conversation about the trashcans we casually asked him if anyone has ever died in the house. Our landlord stopped gardening and turned to us and said, " Oh. Yea, didn't we tell you guys that before? So, huh. You guys felt the ghost?"
At this point Jason and I simultaneously got the chills even though it was the middle of the summer.
So the story was that they got the house very cheap because yes, someone had committed suicide in the back unit (their unit, we lived in the front unit) and the house was on the market for about 5 years because NO ONE wanted a house where someone hung themselves in their front closet. The seller was SO motivated to get rid of the property in the legal binding mortgage documents it states that at any time during the duration of them owning the home they deemed necessary, the mortgage co. will pay for an exorcism in the house. But our landlords never really deemed it necessary.
We actually ended up living there for about 2 more years. And in the end it was the lack of space and new drunken neighbors that backed into Jason's car when it was PARKED ACROSS THE STREET that prompted us to move. Julie was true to her "word" (??) and really stopped bugging us. But I never did feel 100% comfortable being alone in that house. Jason and I have often had the argument about what would we do if we came across this great house, great location and great price, but SURPRISE! Someone died here! I said that there is NO WAY IN HELL I would pay a dime for a house that might possibly be haunted spirits that refuse to admit they are dead. Personally, I think this is a fantastic reason to buy a brand new house. No one else has ever shit in the toilets and you know no one ever kicked the bucket while watching TV in the living room. Perfect! Jason, on the other hand, thinks "distressed realty" is a great way to score a great deal on a house.
Looking back, I can't believe we lived in that house as long as we did. Thankfully, neither of our two THREE houses since have had skeletons in the closet...