Archive for February, 2011


Bedtime at Spook Central: the time for all little ghosties to play!  Night lights pop on and off; towels get tossed; cell phones levitate from table tops and get plunked into the trashcan … and there’s no telling who or what might jump in bed beside you!  Years ago, my former mother-in-law was attacked during an afternoon nap … but, you’ll need to read my book to hear THAT story.

My nightly visitor has been my cat … but, not the one who’s presently alive.  She’s not allowed to sleep with me because she thinks it’s entirely proper to knead on my head at 3:00 AM.  I can lock her out, but I’m still trying to figure out how to ghost-proof  my bedroom door, because, every so often, I feel a small body jump on my pillow, four little paws slink across my bed … and just disappear.  This happens with the lights fully on, so I KNOW it’s not Savannah (my living cat).  The other night, it curled up next to me for a few seconds, then faded off.   Sigh.  At least it doesn’t bug me at 3:00 AM … yet.

Ghost cats in our house are not uncommon.  We’ve them romping around our home for a decade or so.  The primary one is my late kitty, Black Magic, who lived to the ripe old age of 17 and is buried in my peace lily garden in my back yard, covered by a wad of catnip and an alabaster “Kitty Crossing” sign.”  Magic left us two months before the birth of my first daughter, Erin, who is now in her late teens.   A few years after Magic’s death, Erin asked me why my former pet was hanging around her bedroom!  Kitty Ghostie Magic became Erin’s luminous little friend, along with another white spirit cat that liked to rub against my legs while I was cooking breakfast … but, again, those are stories found in my book!

As many of you know, there are so many ghosties floating around my 1928 house in Orlando that it’s been nicknamed “Spook Central.” Spooky stuff happens on a daily basis, but here’s a recent event that was a bit more exciting than the usual levitating baskets or doors opening by themselves:

Between 11 PM and midnight, I was laying in bed watching TV (closed-caption, with the sound off so I wouldn’t wake the rest of my family) when I heard my teenage daughter, Erin, scream from the downstairs front room, “MOM!!!” Seconds later, our golden retriever, Jack, burst into a barking cacophony. Terrified that someone had broken into our house and was on and my usually passive dog was in attack mode, hair raised on his shoulders, teeth bared, barking frantically at the empty front room.

I ran into the family room, which adjoins the front room. There sat Erin, calmly tapping away at the computer keyboard (probably on Facebook!) Not only had she not called for me, but she hadn’t heard a thing until Jack started barking. Since she didn’t see anything, she just ignored him.

Erin confessed that this wasn’t the first time this had happened: a few days prior, she had been alone in the house when she had heard the front door open and close, footsteps, and the distinct sound of my voice talking to her sister. When she walked into the room to say hello, the house was empty. the front door was still securely locked, and my car was nowhere in sight.

A few days later, phantom cries once again sent me frantically running around my house, this time looking for what sounded like my younger daughter’s cries for help. I’d had enough. While we are quite tolerant of most of our ghosts’ antics, mimicking our voices calling for help was NOT amusing – what if one of us really was in trouble, but our cries were ignored because the rest of our family were so used being duped by our talented impressionist spooks?
I gathered my daughters in the living room and we had a prayer session. No wailing and beating of chests and waving white candles around; we simply asked God to stop whatever was mimicking our voices. We haven’t heard a peep from the since that night … now if we can only get them to stop stealing our cell phones!