I apologize for being MIA during the last couple weeks. With my tween novel, Hear No Evil, coming out November 5, I’ve been preparing guest blog posts and tweets and making party plans and my brain often felt overloaded to the point I couldn’t put two thoughts together for this blog.
However, Halloween always reminds me of a house we inhabited back in the early 1990’s. It wasn’t exactly haunted but…well, you decide.
The sound of water running in the downstairs bathroom stopped me cold on the landing above. It wasn’t the first time I’d discovered water running with no one around. I’d always blamed it on the kids, thinking maybe my son forgot to turn off the faucet in his rush to get back outside with his friends. Or my little daughter, just tall enough to push the lever up to wash her hands but too short to pull it down when she finished. I’d always imagined a reasonable explanation.
Pulse racing alongside my imagination, I struggled to find an explanation for water gushing into the sink in that bathroom. The kids and I had played games in the downstairs family room all evening. We’d passed that bathroom on our way up to their rooms at bedtime. No water running then. No one had been down there since. The kids were all in bed and accounted for. So why am I hearing the faucet going full blast?
Is some psychopath down there waiting to kill us? Should I call the police? And tell them what? That the water is running in my downstairs bathroom? No, maybe I’ll call my next door neighbor, ask him to come over and check out the house for me. But I’d have to look up his number. In my address book. Downstairs.
Okay, seriously, if somebody wanted to kill me, he probably wouldn’t lure me downstairs by turning on the bathroom faucet and waiting for me to notice. I grab my son’s baseball bat anyway and silently descend the first six steps. The bathroom is at the bottom of the stairway on the left–the bathroom where the water is still running. I flip a switch, illuminating the family room below and take two more steps down. The water continues to run. Another step.
Holding my breath, I peek into the empty family room. Descending the next step, I swallow my heart that’s pounding in my throat. One more step. I twist the bat in my sweat-slick hands and raise it over my head as I reach the bottom. The water is still running.
I consider uttering a battle cry while I burst in swinging, but first I peek between the hinges…a little further…around the door until I see…..
Nobody. Just water gushing full blast into the sink. I slam the lever down, take the first three steps in one leap, race up the rest of the stairs and hide the bat under my pillow.
Hubby calls an hour or so later, and I ask, “Do you believe in ghosts?” He’s always out of town when things happen—floods, tornadoes, fires, ghosts.
“What kind of a question is that?”
I explain what happened, but since I’d never mentioned the earlier episodes of running water to him, he’s skeptical.
“There has to be a logical explanation for it,” he says.
Of course, there is. Like a psycho killer who lures his victims downstairs by turning on the faucet. I think I’m more comfortable with the ghost explanation–a ghost who likes to wash his hands.
Weeks later, Hubby comes down to breakfast, looking a bit sheepish.
“I couldn’t sleep last night so I went downstairs to read,” he said. “All of a sudden, the water came on in the bathroom, running full blast into the sink. I knew no one had gone in there because, where I sat, I was facing the bathroom. I would’ve seen them. I don’t blame you for being scared. I was scared.”
“Oh!” I said. “So you met Caspar.”
“Caspar?” he asked.
“Of course. Caspar the Cleanly Ghost.”