Sunday, March 30, 2008

Scary stories

I thought I'd better tell these tales before April 1st, in case you thought I was making them up! But they're true.

Two weeks ago when I was home visiting Mom, when I got up on Tuesday morning she had two incidents to tell me about. She woke up in the middle of the night, which was not unusual. She turned on her bedroom television with the sound muted to see the weather report. Suddenly, she heard her doorknob turn and by the light of the television saw the door swing open about a quarter of the way. She thought I'd gotten up and was coming into her bedroom. But, no one came through the door. She got up and looked into the guest room, where I was sleeping soundly. I must add that there was no one else in the house.

That morning, she walked through the kitchen to the breakfast room to find one of the windows raised and tilted in, as for cleaning. The window blind was still down and the drapes closed, bulging into the room over the dangling window sash. These windows have double latches at the top of the lower pane. They have to be raised several inches to be able to tilt them inside. You also have to depress the release pins on either side of the sash to tilt them. This window is over the cellar steps and is fairly inaccessible from the outside. It also has a screen, which was in place, undisturbed. At this point, I was suggesting we relocate to the Best Western in town!

There have been many weird goings-on in this house. About fifteen years ago, Mom had her quilting frame set up in the kitchen working on a quilt. Quilting is the only kind of sewing she does in the kitchen. She appliques and does hand sewing sitting in her bedroom or uses one of the sewing machine upstairs. She was quilting with white thread, which she what she usually uses. While she was threading her needle she dropped it on the white vinyl floor. Now, Mom never lets a lost needle go without finding it. This was drummed into me from an early age. Never lose a needle.

As she was looking for the needle, her aunt and aunt's husband dropped by for a visit. Her aunt's husband offered to look for the needle, but she said she would find it after they left. They sat in the living room talking for an hour or so, and then the couple left. Mom returned to the kitchen to look for the needle but couldn't find it. She stopped her search for a minute and walked into the other end of the house. When she returned to the kitchen a short time later, there in the middle of the floor in plain sight under her quilting frame lay a needle threaded with black thread.

This freaks me out because she never uses black thread. She doesn't sew or quilt with black and doesn't even wear black (she says it washes her out with her gray hair).

Oh, there are more stories. When I was in high school, Mom and I left town one evening as usual to go home and cook dinner. We always left about half an hour before dad closed the business and followed us. Mom and Dad were at their business and I was in school, so the house had been empty all day. We put away our coats and went into the kitchen to cook. Mom started to fill a pan with water. The sink was dry; no one had used the kitchen since breakfast. However, the faucet was hot to the touch and when she turned on the hot water it was scalding, as if the tap had been running long enough for the hot water to reach the kitchen. (It takes a while for hot water to get to the kitchen and bathroom from the water heater in the laundry room. I joke that when I shower I could get hot water from the neighbor's house faster than from her water heater.) We had no explanation for this.

There are more stories, like the glass pedestal cake plate that shattered and flung three large glass pieces across the kitchen, without disturbing the cake and dome on the cake plate! About a third of the cake had been eaten; the three pieces of glass were broken out of the area of the plate not covered by the cake. This happened when I was little - it was after Sunday dinner and we were all in the living room. We heard a noise in the kitchen, and she found one of the pieces of glass at the doorway when she went to investigate. The remaining two pieces were on the other side of the room.

I have no idea what all of this means, but it's true.


Joan J said...

OK - I have goosebumps...geesh!

Paula, the quilter said...

I'm a firm believer. When DH and I were still dating (before marrying) he lived in the upper floor of an old house that had been converted to 2 apartments. To get to his apartment one had to climb very creaky stairs that could be heard in the front room. There was a deadbolt on the door and the door was always kept locked. One day when his roommate was in the back of the apartment (the kitchen) and he and I were in the front room the deadbolt unlocked and then locked. Nobody had climbed the stairs. Nobody was outside the door when we checked. We closed the door and locked it, looked at each other and shrugged. But it still remains in my memory.

Elaine Adair said...

Weird goings on ...

julieQ said...

Oh, wow! This gives me a few goosebumps!!