By WILL E. SANDERS
Do you know that point in a horror movie where suddenly the evidence of ghostly activity is overwhelming? That point where even the main protagonist (usually a hot brunette with fantastic muscle tone) is convinced her home is haunted, but still believes that investigating the mysterious thump in the basement is a good idea? And you’re sitting there watching it saying, “Well, if that was me I’d just run straight out of that house!”
This was the very same predicament I was in last night.
The scariest thing that’s ever happened to me in this house went down and it reeked of the paranormal. I was so scared that I almost did something I haven’t done since I was a toddler — I nearly soiled my undergarments simultaneously. I confess, I’m a huge scaredy-cat.
I have this bedroom closet that has an old rickety lock on the door. When I moved in here a decade ago I couldn’t open the closet door for days because of the humidity. Every time I tried to open the door it seemed like a force was pulling on knob from inside the closet. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it, but that door has never done that since.
In the last year the door has started opening all by itself. I bet most of you think I’m crazy, that I am not realizing I might have a drafty home and that’s causing the rustic lock to release and causing the door to slowly swing forward. That’s nothing to wet yourself about, you’re thinking.
To which I reply: Um, well that’s fine I guess. So you don’t mind if I shack up at your ghost-free house then, you know, until this whole closet poltergeist thing blows over? Oh, what’s that? You do mind? Well, why don’t you just shut your mouth then!
Here’s the weird thing though. The door has only been opening all by itself when I wake up in the middle of the night. Last night when I woke up I looked to see if it was ajar and then it suddenly started opening with a long, drawn-out creak.
There are certain things a person will do in bed when they are scared. I always pull any uncovered leg that is draped over the side of the bed underneath the covers. Getting all the way under the covers is a scared-in-bed mainstay. I’m not sure how that tactically fairs against a ghost. I find it hard to believe a monster would be fooled by that. A monster isn’t going to be like, “There’s nothing in bed but this human outline in the bed sheets. Even if that was a human, I can’t kill it. He pulled his legs under the blankets. That’s my one and only weakness.”
I want to talk about responsibilities of marriage for a moment. When we exchanged vows we agreed to a lot of stuff, but many things weren’t decided. Those details are sorted out later, specifically, which side of the bed you sleep on. I’m on the scary side the bed. I am on the side of the bed closest to the creepy closet door, which is why it is my responsibility for shutting it at night.
I get scared each time I slowly tiptoe toward the door to close it again. I usually wake Christine up before I do it, too. I’m not sure why. I guess if a set of outstretched arms pulls me into the darkness of the closet and slams the door that it will give Christine enough time to escape and survive.
Despite how thoughtful it is, she still tries to scare me each time. (That’s all right because I know what scares her. I love hiding dead wolf spiders all around the house in places where I know she will come across the arachnid corpses.)
I know it’s probably my overactive imagination, but I’m going to start barricading the door shut each night with the clothes hamper. And make sure both of my legs are fully covered up at night.
Email Will E. Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org.