This drawing is from a sketchbook of mine from 1982 and the ONLY reason I'm posting it is because there is a ghost in it and it's Halloween. (Oh my....the only thing resembling me in that drawing is that layered hair in the process of growing out...and why the nightgown with the tight elastic wrists? Must have been the 1/2 inch thick pink synthetic flannel one my mom made that had elastic everywhere-I'm surprised elastic isn't around the neck too....okay, I better get going with the story because I'm getting too distracted with this drawing and not in a good way.) :-/
The guy on the left is my friend Kurt, also known throughout the neighborhood as "The Kid." He was a teaser. When he came over, he'd walk around the apartment with his arms over his head because he knew it really annoyed the cats. He also liked to mispronounce their names by adding an "s" to the front of them. I bring all this up because when he went to visit his sister in Connecticut, it drove her crazy because she lived in a house with a ghost. And when Kurt came to visit, he found ways to make the ghost crazy. The ghost would react to teasing by flicking the lights on and off. Kurt thought it was the funniest thing but his sister was not amused and kept telling him to stop tormenting the ghost.
My first ghost experience was late at night when I was a little kid in my bedroom sleeping...but I woke up when I heard some very slow footsteps walking around the house. Our house was carpeted. The footsteps were the sounds of feet on a harder surface. I grabbed all my blankets and pulled them over my head, got myself into a little ball and made sure my feet were covered and hidden too. In the morning I found out that my grandfather had passed away that night. My father couldn't sleep that night and neither could his two brothers in their homes. All three of them had smelled Musterole, a family cure-all.
Another time I was getting ready for work and was in the shower shampooing my hair when I started to hear knocking on the walls in my studio apartment. The knocking was coming from all over, all sides of the walls, the ceiling... I knew that someone in my family had passed away and that they were saying good-bye but I was a little unsure as to how to acknowledge that since I was in the shower, naked, shampoo piled on top of my head. That's not how I want to be remembered. So what to do.....I ended up finishing washing my hair and then got on the phone to my dad to see what had happened. My wonderful and very cool Aunt Helen had unexpectedly passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage.
The only other person in the family who experiences ghosts is my dad. And as always, his stories are always more dramatic than mine. :-) One winter my dad was repeatedly coming home to an open front door. If it had been open all day, the temperature inside the house would have changed. He figured that the door was opening just before he got home. Odd. He was talking about this with someone and seemed to think it was a friend of his that had passed away who was doing this (so Irish to suspect the supernatural but it was probably after accusing and yelling at my two brothers who he often times forgot had their own lives and homes of their own). This friend had written a book so my dad looked around the house to find it because there was a photograph of his friend in it and he wanted to show it to someone. I don't think he found the book. Maybe he had. But one time he returned home to find the book on the kitchen table, open to the last page, and the last sentence of the book read, "I am home." Creepy. But that confirmed to my dad who was doing this. I think the front door nonsense stopped but then a new level of ghost activity started. In the middle of the night when my dad was in bed, there was a lot of commotion in the kitchen. The cabinets would open and close and my dad could hear the sounds of a lot of people in the kitchen but when he would get up and go see what was going on....nothing. This happened several times and was freaking my dad out but it was funny to hear about the teen-age party ghosts that apparently my dad's ghost friend had invited over to the house. My dad said it was the oddest thing, he couldn't make out what anyone was talking about except one word, some ghost dude saying, "Yeeeeeeah."