My Week 257: The Phantom Menace

Kate: Where’s Dad?
Me: He’s out on the porch.
K: What’s he doing?
Me: Spackling.
K: He’s what?
Me: Spackling. He’s spackling the railing.
K: Why do I feel like you’re just inventing words now?
Me: It’s a real word!
K: Use it in a sentence.
Me: Your dad is spackling the railings with…spackle.
K: So now it’s a verb AND a noun? I don’t buy it. Hey, Dad!
Ken: What?
K: What are you doing?
Ken: I’m using spackle to spackle the railings.
K (*rolls eyes*): You people.
Me: By the way, it’s your fault the house is haunted.

And then I had to explain how it came to be that I was blaming my only child for the series of spooky events that had recently befallen us. Last Tuesday, I came home from work, went upstairs to change, and noticed that the linen cupboard at the back of the house was wide open. So I went downstairs and asked Ken if he had opened it. He hadn’t. And neither had I. In fact, we couldn’t remember the last time someone had taken something out of that particular cupboard. Then I messaged Kate, who also hadn’t opened it.


Still, there had to be a logical explanation, right? Maybe it swung open on its own, right? Except that the door is extremely tight in the frame and needs a very strong tug to move it. Then, on Wednesday, I went upstairs to said cupboard to prove to myself that the door could have quite possibly opened on its own.

The cupboard on the left.

While I was standing there and tugging, I happened to glance to my right and realized that the guest bedroom door was half-closed. Which it hadn’t been the night before when I was getting my work clothes out of the closet in that exact guest bedroom. I stopped tugging on the linen cupboard and pushed open the guest bedroom door. Guess what I saw? My eyes immediately went to the bookcase in the corner of the bedroom, whose door was now wide open, a door which had been closed tight via a magnetic latch the night before when I was getting my work clothes out of the closet. So I did what any normal person would do—I backed out of the room very quietly, backed down the hall, tiptoed down the stairs and found Ken:

Me (*whispering shakily*) The door to the bookcase in the back bedroom is now wide open.
Ken: What?!
Me: Come and see.

Ken (*staring at bookcase*) Are you sure it wasn’t like this before? Did you get a book out of there today?
Me: I took a book out a couple of days ago but I closed it. It was still shut last night. Ken, we need to search the house.

Ken didn’t argue. But after looking under all the beds, in all the closets, which was a little terrifying to say the least, thinking that some random stranger might suddenly jump out at us, we both had to admit that there was no one in the house. As Ken put it, “There’s no physical presence here.”

Which, of course, leads me to the only explanation I can think of. At the beginning of the week, Ken and Kate decided to break apart the old stone stoop in front of our house with sledgehammers to make a new set of stairs with a “better slope”. While they were merrily demolishing it, they must have released some kind of spirit, who flew into the house after years of captivity, and whose only desire was to snuggle up in flannel with a good book. When I mentioned it to both of them yesterday in what some might call an accusatory tone, Ken’s immediate reaction was, “It was Kate’s idea!” Kate, of course, had a better explanation, that the sledgehammering had shifted the house slightly and gravity had caused all the doors to move. We went upstairs to try out the theory—the linen cupboard, if not closed properly, WILL swing all the way open. The bookcase door WILL NOT.

I’ve told a couple of friends about this and the advice has ranged from ‘put salt in all the corners of the room’ to ‘install motion sensor cameras’. But there haven’t been any more incidents since Wednesday, so maybe it was just a fly-by-night phantom. Fingers crossed.

I’m keeping my eye on this one.

61 thoughts on “My Week 257: The Phantom Menace

  1. The first thing to do in any haunting is blame someone else who lives in the house so you’ve got that covered. And I was momentarily thrown because you used “T” to refer to Tristan and I thought, well, if there’s anyone in the house who’s not confused by spackle it’s Titus. He’s probably out there helping Ken.
    Your blog is also haunted by advertising. That’s okay because it brings you some revenue, but for a moment the cupboard was replaced by a new exercise routine and I thought, well, it makes sense, it’s opening all those doors to build up the biceps.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. How creepy and yet awesome! I know that’s not something you wish to have inside your house, but I think it was Tristian. Just sayin’ kids will inadvertently do stuff like that. Like east all the Oreos, use up the last detergent pod or let in a ghost. 👻👻

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So how old is your house and did anyone ever die in it? Research goes a long way. Hopefully, if it is a spirit, it’s a playful one. On that note, a new TV series is coming on this fall called Evil. Want to watch it, not sure if I can. And you? At least you’re getting in the mood for Halloween. A little early, but if I can already be out shopping for Christmas, I suppose it’s not too early to prep for Halloween. Yikes! I’d keep Titus close by. Just saying, he’ll pick up on anything that’s not supposed to be around. Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    • Part of the house is 1878 and the rest is 1906, so anything is possible. The whole time we were searching the house, Titus sat at the bottom of the stairs standing guard and staring. It was…unusual 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny you should mention spackle. I was watching an old episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents a few nights ago and one of the characters walked up to a diner counter and ordered scrapple. Scrapple made me think of spackle and hence, the word spackle has popped into my brain an inordinate amount of times ever since — the most glaring of which was the reading of this post. You have a spackle ghost. If you leave plate of scrapple out on the kitchen table before you go to bed at night, this might reduce the specter’s need to rummage through cabinets and such.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. More like Phantom Dennis.

    Or maybe Peeves’ second cousin, head twice removed, has found a new comfy corner to crash in.

    Blame it on the pixies.

    The spirit hung close to the ceiling, a pearlescent shimmer oozed across its undulating surface, throbbing as if it still held a beating heart. When the woman turned to leave, a pendulum of essence drooped down to the latch on the bookcase, hooked and, with a will not known since the spirit’s owner, a banker, garroted in the very same room, had struggled to free himself of his murderer, flipped open the bookcase door.

    The shadow of the woman had barely crept from the hall when a faint squeak eased from the hinges of the antique door. The spirit withdrew its liquid appendage and began to lower itself en masse to the opening. But the stuttering squeak had stopped the woman cold. Soft as a cat padding after a mouse, she backtracked to the open bedroom doorway. There, the same door she’d just clicked shut hung agape. She peered around the room, the corners, beneath the desk, at the edge of the frill of the bedspread. Nothing shown. Nothing moved.

    Returning to the bookcase she reached to firmly shut the door. As her hand touched the tarnished brass knob, she felt her fingers slide through a veil of burning cold. She yanked back her hand but the sensation remained. Grew. The aching cold slid down her wrist which she gripped with her left. The chill penetrated her blouse and she gasped as the frigid breath of death touched her chest.

    The spirit had found a new home.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh dear… that reminds me of us last year, in bed at night together – he was asleep, I wasn’t – I suddenly heard what sounded like strange cackling (that’s cackling, not spackling). It didn’t stop and I thought… wtf? (As you do. Well, I do.) So I sort of slid under the sheets and tried to ignore it (with a lot of difficulty). Next day – nothing. Next night – same thing but hubby was awake so I asked him if he heard it and he did. Anyway… we never did get to the bottom (or top, or sides) of it, but we think it might have been the sound of an electricity or telephone wire from next door doing weird things with one of our trees… It continued for weeks, on and off, then suddenly stopped. Hopefully, atmospherics. Maybe yours is atmospherics too.

    You haven’t got a cat or dog or very clever parrot have you?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My house was built in 1907. I’ve had three ghosts make themselves known. two of those to me and the other one to a very freaked out lady renter upstairs who went ballistic… after I calmed her down we burnt sage. The ‘ones’ that let me know about them, one played the piano and one slammed pots and pans around. I preferred the piano player naturally. I’d trade for a linen stealing book reader any day! 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “…they must have released some kind of spirit, who flew into the house after years of captivity, and whose only desire was to snuggle up in flannel with a good book.”

    I’m dying! 🤣🤣🤣

    You may or may not remember, but we too have a ghost. His name is Sebastian, and I wrote about him in the now-defunct and lost to the aether old blog under the URL of or something like that. I have the original draft if you need proof.

    He dropped a chandelier on the ground, threw lawn chairs across the deck, caressed Mrs C’s buttocks, and made random footprints in the snow. According to a friend of mine who once lived in that same house he also watched TV in the attic a time or two. And according to my neighbor a man DID die in the house some years back. Ghosts, IMO, are fiction but (obviously) this one is real.

    But he stopped coming around after I exorcised him. I turned out all the lights and stood alone in a dark room and said to him, “okay, you know I don’t believe in your kind but if you’re real I’m scared to see you but show yourself!” He never did. Several days later I said “thanks for not scaring me the other drunken night now we can all live here together in peace. Beer?”

    There has never been another incident since.

    So, go ahead and give that a try and get back to me on how it went. If it goes differently than my encounter, please take pics. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. First of all, a very nice home you have! And I know you’re not going to believe me, but just as I finished reading this post an eerie long sound, sort of between escaping steam or dog whine just came into my apartment. Most people around me are still home. It could have been a muffled scream? But if you think I’m checking it out, the answer is No! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your opening conversation had me gasping for breath. So chuffin funny. I don’t know what spackle is. I don’t want to Google it either, in case I spell it wrong. The rest of your post set the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. And the comments made it worse! I’m going to be in my house alone one night next week. Won’t be the first time, but we’ve ripped a carpet up since then. Who knows what the hell we may have unleashed. I wanted to like and comment on Anonymole’s story, but was worried any connection I made to it may implicate me as a potential victim. I hope from this day forth your doors stay closed and your beer fridge is well-stocked!

    Liked by 1 person

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