It was about three in the morning. I was awakened by the feeling of movement at the foot of the bed. I groaned softly, knowing that my daughter was climbing up to lay with me the way she tends to do after a nightmare. Without opening my eyes I waited, expecting to feel her make her way up to my pillow. More movement, and then I heard an exhale; a deep sigh that sounded as though it were right next to my ear. I turned my head and opened my eyes to look at my daughter, and found that no one was there.
What was that? Was I still asleep? The chill that went up my spine immediately following tells me that I was very aware of my surroundings. The next morning I told my husband what happened while he was sleeping soundly on the other side of our king sized bed. I got the typical response, “Freak.” He says it adoringly, but he is right. I have always been sort of a freak. I have always been open to the possibility that such a thing could occur.
I have heard numerous stories by people I know and trust who have seen and felt things themselves. I have a friend who saw a full bodied apparition. I have an acquaintance who felt the angry presence of what she believed to be the former owner of her house (who had died there and was not found for several days) to such a sickening extent that she had to move. I know people who have heard unexplained knockings and have had pets suddenly act strangely, as though the animals could see what the humans could not.
I have dismissed it before, but at the risk of sounding completely insane and losing all credibility, I am starting to wonder if there is something here. I wonder if there is anything to it when my daughter tells me that there have been people in her bedroom at night. My response was always to explain that she was dreaming, and her retort was always to insist that she was awake.
Because I am a very light sleeper we use a white noise machine in our bedroom, but it is not so loud that I cannot hear the children over the monitor, or hold a conversation within the room. I have several times awoken and thought that I had heard a woman’s voice. Every time I shook it off and told myself that I was dreaming or that the noise maker was playing tricks with my brain. I am still telling myself that is the case, but in truth while I could not discern what it was saying, that voice has stayed with me.
There is no area of my home that does not feel welcome. The three years we have lived here have been comfortable, but it was not until recently that I started to actually listen to my house. Now that I work from home I spend many hours in silence; no TV, no radio, no talking, just the quiet hum of my laptop and my fingers tapping the keys. During the past several months I have spent at home by myself in this solitude, I have come to understand that my house makes many sounds of its own. It breathes. This house creaks constantly and the reverberations are everywhere.
If you are able, turn off everything in your home and sit in silence for a half an hour. Does your house speak to you? Mine does. Even more disturbing, are the sounds of movement akin to footsteps that I have heard directly above me on several occasions. I’ll be typing away and suddenly halt, hands frozen on the keyboard, eyes shifted upwards to the sound of someone on the floor above me where no one should be. “What was that?” I whisper to myself with eyes trained on the ceiling. Directly above my workspace is my daughter’s bedroom.
I am not saying that my house is haunted. While I admit that I am a fan, I am not about to call up Ghost Hunters to ask TAPS to investigate my home. I do not believe there is anything disturbing here, but I am saying that there are some occurrences which I cannot explain.
The nightmare situation with my daughter is only slightly improved. She does not appear as distressed as she used to be, and her visits to my room are no longer nightly. We go in spurts; she will be fine for a few weeks and then it will pick back up again. When it does she always awakens between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. She will enter my room and claim that she had a bad dream. When prompted for more information she will state that she cannot remember what the dream was about. I have reached the point where I no longer believe she is having nightmares. I am not sure what it is, but something is waking her and when she is awakened she needs to seek comfort. It may be that claiming to have had a nightmare is just an easy excuse, one that she knows I will accept.
Last weekend while we were outside playing Sofia taught me how to play a new game. It’s called Ghost. It is a form of schoolyard tag. I have been trying to tell myself that it is just a coincidence that she has started playing this game. One player needs to pretend that they are sleeping, and the second player, who is the ghost, has to scare the first player awake. The ghost then chases the other player until they are caught and become a ghost as well. Coincidence be damned. I do realize that forms of Ghost Tag have been around for ages. I tried, but I could not find any reference to a Ghost Tag game that would involve the players pretending to sleep and being scared awake prior to the chase. Trust me, I’ve Googled it.
I have to consider the possibility that she is trying to work something out here, and because I am dismissing her she has been doing it alone. If it is not real I would rather be wrong and believe her than make a mistake that leaves her feeling isolated. I tried to talk with her about it, but she insists the game is just pretend play which someone taught her at day-care.
Maybe I’m over thinking the whole thing. Maybe some houses just creak. Maybe I have a very loud squirrel. Maybe I have a child who is simply a very light sleeper, has a vivid imagination, and is four years old and sometimes just wants her mommy. Maybe I have too vivid an imagination.
Wait…what was that?