Erm...well, not really. Actually, these folks are called Quinte Paranormal Research and they're due to arrive here within the hour.
Let me explain.
I've posted before about Matthew's "tingle" and how he seems to know random things he shouldn't. Conversations with whom I presume are imaginary friends, but am not always CERTAIN of that. Odd little "predictions" of the future. You know. The usual.
A few weeks back, while playing trains with me in the upstairs playroom, Matthew suddenly looked up at the empty doorway and asked, "Mummy, who's that man?"
Me: Uh, I don't know, sweetheart.
Matthew: Mummy, where did the man go?
Me: Erm...I didn't see where he went, sweetheart.
The next day, practicing shoelace-tying at the bottom of the stairs, Matthew once again looked up, gazing at the landing in the middle of the staircase: "Mummy, who's that man?"
Me: I don't know, sweetheart. Why don't you ask him?
Matthew: I can't. He's got something covering his head.
Insert TRIPLE "Gah!" face here.
Spent a few days mulling these conversations in my mind, trying to determine if Matthew simply has an especially vivid imagination, like his Mama. I am, in case you've not noticed, a bit prone to hyperbole myself. But I digress...
Time passes. The children continue to have restless nights, helped only, eerily, by playing the local Christian music station while they sleep. Or not, as the case may be. I spend several nights tossing about on their floor, having grown quite weary of carting crying redheads back to their beds all night long.
(I remember a weird conversation I had with Mark one night as we lay in our darkened bedroom, willing ourselves to sleep, listening to the boys snore and rustle via the monitor.
"So?" says Mark, "so one of them's up."
"No, they're BOTH sleeping. Listen!"
Sure enough, there is a a defiinite rattle-rattle of the dresser handles, as though someone is moving quietly about the room. Someone heavier than stealthy-footed leprechauns, who have learned to move quietly after dark, lest Mama realizes they're out of bed and makes them stay there.)
A few days pass without "incident" and I mostly forget (ok, block) about things that go bump and men without faces, until an unrelated conversation with my landlady.
We've been having issues with capenter ants and finally, admitting defeat, I called my landlords. They promptly called the exterminators and it was while discussing dates and times and theories as to how the ants were coming into the house, that the hidden staircase came up in conversation.
S. (Landlady. Lovely woman. Sane.): Maybe they're coming in through the back staircase.
Me: What back staircase?
S: The back one. It's boarded up now, but it goes directly into the boys' room.
S: Didn't you notice the stairs above your head when you went into the cellar?
Me: Uh, no. No, I didn't. I probably got distracted by the scary, dark and altogether creepy cellar. (Rush over to doorway and FLING open the door, to reveal, yes, there it is...a staircase. Leading up.)
So, the pest guys come and spray some stuff and all goes back to normal, except that "normal" now includes me obsessing about these stairs. It BUGS me that they're there, hidden. BUGS me that I now wonder if the rattling that sounds in the boys' room late at night is actually some spirit trying to trudge UP those stairs and getting stuck at the top. The dresser now sits where the entrance to the room would have been.
Well, still IS, it's just boarded up and carpeted over. Fan-effing-tastic.
I obsess. I brood. I hover. I spend more sleepless nights on the floor of the boys' room, hyper aware of every creak and moan made in our century old house. Brood some more.
Read what happened next here: BOO!