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My Ghostly Housemates

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#1 MmeNey


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Posted 30 October 2016 - 12:40 PM

I used to joke that it was unfair – I'd bought a 14th century house and not a single ghost inside.

This seemed to be the status quo for the first few years that I lived in that house. My renovations were progressing, and I'd tackled the roof truss, which needed extensive work, in the scope of that, I also wanted to take care of the "attic". The "attic" really is only a crawlspace in the tip of the roof. Too small to be used for anything.

A prior owner – not the one I bought the place from – whom I talked to told me that there used to always be a draft in some parts of the house, and he isolated the hell out of the attic. Turns out his idea of that was stuffing the entire crawlspace with mineral wool mats.

We wanted those gone. "We" being the house and I. They felt like an itch at the back of my mind, -must have been the house's itch – and I knew it was the mineral wool because I could taste it in my mouth. It needed to go.

So that day, I climbed up into that crawlspace and started tearing it all out. I figured we'd put proper and less itchy insulation in afterwards…

Did you know that mineral wool can restrain spirits? No? Neither did I.

That is, until I had progressed three or four rafters worth of distance – the "attic" was unfinished, it was really only exposed rafters and heaploads of rock wool at the time – and I can feel something stir somewhere in front of me and to my right. Something that is a.) radiating malevolence and b.) equally strongly radiating the feeling of wanting out. Not as in "let me out so I can get at you"-out and more as in "banging against a locked door/scratching at the cracks/trying to dig a way out"-out. It doesn't want to be here, which is fine because I don't want it to be here either, and the house isn't exactly too keen on it itself. I don't think I can get all the mineral wool sheets there out without crawling or at least reaching right through it, which I really don't want to – so it really, really has to go. I'm not sure what is keeping it, though, until I pull away the next mat and it comes rushing out in its wake, knocking me right over in the process.
It takes me a good moment to gather myself up and dust myself off a bit, and I have a face full of mineral wool, which is something I really don't recommend. But that thing is gone. It high-tailed it right out of there the moment it could get free. I've never seen it or anything like it again.

With it gone, though, there's less interference in that crawlspace, and I can feel two more presences - *much* more subdued, kind of resigned, and without any of the unpleasantness that accompanied the first. The first was just an "it", whereas these have distinct feelings of gender to them – one male, one female. It's as if I have two people sitting in that small space with me that were locked in and have forgotten how to hope they might be let out some day. Except of course that's not possible. They do nothing, so I ignore them and just keep working. It seems that eventually I tear out whichever bits they were caught by, and they very much follow the first example and get the hell out of that non-room.

Except they don't stay gone. A few hours later, I'm down from the crawlspace again and cleaning up for the night, I glimpse movement from the corner of my eye. I turn to look at it – it's gone, but it starts up in the corner of my other eye again.
I'm hot, I'm sweaty, I still have rock wool clinging to my hair, I want to get this done so I can take a shower, and then a bath, and then change and forget about renovations for a bit, and the absolutely last thing I feel like is playing hide and seek with whatever I let out of my attic.
"Look, if you want to stay, stay, but make yourself useful. Grab a broom and give me a hand here." I'm really just saying it because I want to say something to make my displeasure with the situation known. I don't expect them to actually do anything. And of course they don't. At least they don't exactly grab a broom to give me a hand. They retreat out of the room, though, and leave me alone.

Once the room's somewhat cleaned up, I go downstairs. I'm hot, I'm parched, I am in bad need of a cold drink – and someone has put out a glass of water by the kitchen sink. There is absolutely no way that I could have done that myself earlier – the work going on in the house is dusty, the dust gets everywhere, including inside the cabinets – you had to wash anything you wanted to use first at that time, and just leaving a glass of water out unprotected for tennish minutes while work was going on would have made it undrinkable. This was fresh. I said thank you.

They've been around since. Sometimes someone is moving boxes in the storeroom. There's a sound that we tell guests are mice in the walls. It's an old building. Mice are a logical explanation. Sometimes we get a "Yeah, right…" response. They open and close doors. Sometimes they let my birds out. They've been known to take things, but they return them when they're done, and they don't generally throw or break stuff. When it's getting dark and my husband and I are reading, especially when one of us is reading out loud, the lights will go on without anyone flipping the switch. Sometimes we find things we were just going to get already there on the table, or on the floor.
All in all, it's pretty nice to have them – so who cares that the draft is back, no matter the superior insulation I have in the attic now.

#2 VlawdeGStudy


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Posted 30 October 2016 - 03:03 PM

Very cool, sounds like you have a new friend!
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#3 MmeNey


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Posted 30 October 2016 - 03:45 PM

View PostVlawdeGStudy, on 30 October 2016 - 03:03 PM, said:

Very cool, sounds like you have a new friend!
Two! Luckily no one in my family is spooked easily, and well...we're living in a very rural area, lots of tradition, lots of folklore, lots of well-preserved knowledge still being passed on... I don't think any local is really surprised to encounter something not entirely of this world.

#4 earthlydelites


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Posted 30 October 2016 - 11:55 PM

Sounds like a good community to be a part of!
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#5 MmeNey


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Posted 31 October 2016 - 11:58 AM

Most of the time it's pretty cool. I fear she's a better housekeeper than I am, though... there was the time when I tried to put an empty spice tin back on the shelf to have it out of the way, and it kept falling off... and eventually flew all the way across the kitchen. I get it. We don't put empty containers back on the shelf.

#6 MacCGStudy


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Posted 31 October 2016 - 05:40 PM

I have one like that in my house. It would fix the antimacassar on one of the chairs in the parlor. Every time I'd sit in the chair, the antimacassar would end up down into the space between, the cushion and chair back. In the morning it would be back on the headrest in perfect order. I just wished it would do the dishes, but beggars can't be choosers... :lol:

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#7 MmeNey


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Posted 01 November 2016 - 01:10 AM

I guess doing the dishes is a bit much of an effort if one is not strictly speaking very substantial?

I have kind of wondered in the past if I unintentionally "set the rules" for them being in the house that first day, though - agreeing I'd do nothing to get rid of them if in return they pulled their own weight, little though it may be...Not complaining, though! A friend has a kind of depressed ghost that does nothing useful but keeps dragging small objects from his ground-floor store up onto the second floor and make noise.

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