If you haven’t read my first haunted house experience, you can go here to find out all about that. My second encounter with the paranormal wasn’t nearly as traumatic as that first one, thank goodness. It was rather benign, in fact.
When my family left the garage apartment that had held such terror, we moved to a much nicer house in Newport, North Carolina. I was about five years old at the time, getting ready to start kindergarten. The front and back yards were huge, giving me and my soon-to-be born brother plenty of room to play. Not only that, but there were stalls and a fenced-in corral out back. It wasn’t long before we had horses. I even had my own little dappled-gray pony, a gentle mare named Glory.
It was a lovely house that saw much laughter and anguish. It would be the last place we lived together as a family. My parents would split up and divorce two years down the road.
As I said, the not-of-this-world activity in this house was of a playful, benign nature, that of a poltergeist. For those of you not acquainted with this phenomenon, the word poltergeist translates as ‘noisy ghost’. Objects tend to disappear or move about the room. The activity can be as mild as a knick knack falling from a table to the floor, or as terrifying as a dish violently sailing across the room to crash into a wall or person. Poltergeist activity usually occurs around adolescent females, leaving some researchers to conclude the extra energy and angst of rampant hormones might be partly to blame for the phenomenon.
I was between the ages of five and seven during this time, my mother twenty-five to twenty-seven, neither of us anywhere near puberty. Was it the disintegrating marriage and heightened emotions that incited the strange happenings I experienced? Or did some unseen entity simply want to play tricks on me?
All I know is that time after time I would be playing with a toy in my bedroom, usually something very small like a plastic Indian or horse figure. I would turn my back on the object for an instant and when I went to grab it ... it was gone. I would look everywhere for it to no avail. After a few minutes, there would be a soft thump on my bed, as if something had fallen from the ceiling onto the mattress. And there on the bedspread would be my missing toy.
I couldn’t fathom how this was happening. Still jumpy from my experience in the previous house, I thought about ghosts. But nothing else ever happened. Certainly no headless entities or independent shadows wandered my new home as they had in the last.
After awhile, I was no longer fazed by my disappearing/re-appearing toys. It got to the point where if the toy I was playing with went missing, I would call out with all the righteous indignation of a wronged tot, “Give it back!” And though I never saw it fall, the telltale thump of the object landing on my bed let me know the game was up, the toy returned. And so it went until my parents broke up. Interestingly enough, after my mother moved out and my stepmother and her two adolescent daughters moved in, the activity ceased. My playful adversary stole no more toys, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the paranormal for the next four years.
But that’s another story.