thomas’s poltergeist

One day after school our grandson Thomas could hardly wait to pass along some really neat news to  his grandpa and me. He was so excited I could just imagine his telling the story over and over at recess and lunch break to every gullible kid (or teacher) who would listen.

There’s a poltergeist in Liam’s grandma’s house!

Now Liam lives across the street from Thomas and is one of his best friends. He has an older brother Aiden who is his sometimes friend as well. There’s the usual big brother-little brother-and-friend fighting, so I thought there would be a sibling clue somewhere. I figured I could get the whole story by asking the right questions.

So how do you know this? I ask. I remember making up the same kind of stories to scare my younger cousins in my day, and figured this was what happened at grandma’s house. But Thomas insists he went with the boys one day to visit their grandma and he witnessed the phenomena himself, only he didn’t use such a big word.

The boys were sitting on the couch eating popcorn in Grandma’s basement family room while they were watching television. All of a sudden they notice a lone piece of popcorn lying on the floor nearby, but nobody bothers to pick it up. Boys will be boys, you know. (If my granddaughter had been there she would have picked it up and put it in the trashcan or eaten it herself depending on her mood.)

Thomas’s eyes were almost bulging when he told us what happened next. All of a sudden, the piece of popcorn was gone. Vanished.

Inwardly, I laughed. But I suggested various schemes, like Aiden dropped the popcorn on the floor so you would see it, then when neither of you noticed, he swooped it up and ate it. In spite of any argument I could offer, my grandson is convinced Liam’s grandmother’s house has a poltergeist. Now there was a word I hadn’t heard in awhile! If nothing else, I’m very impressed at the speed with which his vocabulary grows–almost as quickly as his curiosity about his expanding world.

You know how it is, not having heard a word used it for a long time, then all of a sudden it pops up over and over? Move ahead now to Saturday morning. When I walked into the kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee, Hubby looked up from the TV and asked, Did you light the candles on the table last night? I assured him I never lit the candles. That was a job I reserved for him.

Then something really spooky is going on in this house, he says.  He is not usually so bothered by things because as an engineer, he usually figures out concrete answers about the why to most everything in life.

I was curious about what would spook him, and figured it had something to do with my snoring him out of bed the previous night. (I really don’t snore, but he pretends I do to explain why he likes sleeping on couches!!!!) At the moment we’re having the bathroom/closets in the master bedroom redesigned to get more move-around-space in there, so by midweek–because of the choking dust and silt stirred up every day–we’d vacated the master bedroom to sleep in the guest room.

That means not only a switch from king-sized to double-sized bed, but from the ultra plush space age mattress we’ve enjoyed the past 10 or more years to an old and springy mattress. It also means Hubby’s ears are much closer to the snores coming from the other side of the bed. After going to bed early Friday night and tossing and turning without much hope for sleep, he decided around midnight to take his pillow and blanket to the couch at the other end of the house.

As he approached the family room in the dark, he noticed an eerie glow from one of the pillar candles in the candelabra on the dining room table. One candle was burning. We generally use the candles every evening to eat dinner by, but in this case the last time we’d burned the candles was Thursday evening and this was early Saturday morning. Friday dinner we didn’t use candles because we decided to eat our pizza in front of the TV. We were tired after picking up and watching grandkids most of the afternoon, so we didn’t bother to cook  much less set the table.

It’s hard to believe the candle could have burned not only Thursday all night but all day on Friday and into the wee hours of Saturday morning. They’re only about 4 inches tall after all. When I checked them that morning, they had all burned down to approximately the same place. If one candle burns about 36 hours longer than the others, you would expect it to have reached the bottom of the glass container wouldn’t you?

Now I have to get out my book on poltergeists and see what I can learn about this new phenomena. I think Liam’s grandmother’s poltergeist may have latched on to our grandson and lives here in his grandma’s house now. Either that, or there’s one more mystery about this 60-something-year-old house that may prove to be unsolvable.

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