Last Halloween, The Hubs was deployed. I was so “not in the mood” to celebrate a holiday with him overseas that I didn’t even bother getting out the Halloween decorations. My nine-year-old wore an old costume of his brother’s, and my teenager wore a mask he found at the grocery store approximately a half hour before the trick-or-treat sirens went off. No cider mill, no haunted houses, no fall candles burning. I took the boys trick-or-treating, but even that got on my nerves. All of the happy families enjoying the beautiful, unseasonably warm fall evening together without a care in the world while my husband was half a world away, off on a dangerous mission in the middle of the desert….puke fest.
Not only was it a giant “mom fail” on my part, but I also cheated myself out of my absolute favorite time of the year. Fall in Michigan is beautiful enough to make all of the bitter winter nights and the hot, sticky summer days worth living here. I love everything about fall. The colors, the smells, apple cider, pumpkin patches, Halloween, haunted houses, etc. But when I think back on last fall, which I’m sure was just as gorgeous as the fall before it, all I remember is the cold, gray, rainy days, and I know it’s because I was in the throes of deployment depression at the time.
This year will be different. Very, very different. For one thing, The Hubs is home. For another, it’s our first fall in our new home, our country farmhouse with the acre and a half yard lined with hundreds of trees. Our yard is gorgeous right now, with all the leaves turning colors. Our house is so fun and cozy, with all the Halloween decorations out and the Yankee Harvest candles burning. Oh, and did I mention it’s haunted?
I’ve never been a huge believer in the paranormal. But I wouldn’t say I’m a non-believer, either. So I moved into our funky, turn-of-the-century house with an open mind, making jokes about how funny it would be if it were haunted. It was on our very first night in the house that the strange things started happening. I have it all detailed in what was supposed to be a funny “city girl in the country” type blog, but has since turned into something very different. You can find it here: www.gonecountry401.blogspot.com.
Long story short: brand new smoke detectors going off in the middle of the night (repeatedly), locked, unused doors being found open, dogs barking in the middle of the night at “something” only they could see, unexplainable noises, unaccounted for messes, things being moved when noone else was home, and then, the coup de gras: physical evidence that my family is not alone in our house. I woke up one morning to what I, at first, thought was puppy piddle on the floor by the end of my bed. Upon a closer look, I discovered that it was a set of very distinct footprints. Six of them, to be exact. (One right foot, five left.) The footprints ended at the edge of my bed, as if whoever they belonged to climbed up into the bed with me. Shudder. I knew, without question, that I would have noticed the footprints before I went to bed if they’d been there then. When I found them, I was the only one awake in the house. I took pictures, then went and got my trusty Swiffer Wet Jet out of the closet. Before I mopped up the “ectoplasm,” I had both boys come into my room and get their feet wet. We all made footprints next to the ones on my floor. None of ours were even close to a match.
I live in a fairly large city, which is surrounded by quite a few not-so-large cities. It’s known as the “tri-county area.” And in the tri-county area, there is one Top 40 radio station. 97.5 NOW FM. When I listen to the radio, it’s the only station I listen to. Every year, right around Halloween, they do a paranormal investigation in a local house. It’s a pretty big production. They bring in professional ghost hunters, set up surveillance cameras, and camp out for an entire night, broadcasting live from the house. A week or so after the investigation, there is a “reveal” broadcast, in which the family living in the house, the ghost hunters, and the DJs go over the findings of the investigation together.
Last week, I got an early morning text message from a friend asking me if I’d submitted my house for consideration for this year’s paranormal investigation. My immediate answer was “no.” If there are “others” in our house, I don’t want to upset the balance of peaceful co-existence we seem to have going on right now. But then I really thought about it. It was too cool of an opportunity to pass up. Besides, what was the harm in submitting our house for consideration? I mean, what were the odds that it would actually be chosen, right?
As it turns out, the odds were pretty good. We won. Won? I guess we’ll have to wait until the investigation’s over to see how “lucky” I feel. At any rate, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, a silly thing or a scary thing, I am having a slumber party with a houseful of paranormal investigators in a couple of weeks. And you can be there with us! The entire thing will be broadcast online, starting at 11pm EDT on October 20, 2012. There will be an all-night radio broadcast and a live video feed of the surveillance cameras on the radio station’s website, www.975now.com.
To read my submission letter, and for more information on the event as it draws closer, click here: 97.5 FM Paranormal Investigation. I’m extremely excited, but I’m also incredibly nervous. I don’t know what to expect, and that’s not a feeling that I’m ever comfortable with. My hope is that the night is utterly boring, and that the investigators find nothing. My thought is that they’ll find “something,” but that it will be a peaceful something with which my family can coexist. My fear is that they’ll find something evil, or that we’ll anger “them,” and our peaceful coexistence will become very unpeaceful. So good thoughts sent our way these next couple of weeks would be much appreciated!
Paranormal investigations aren’t for everyone. I know a lot of people don’t believe in ghosts. I wasn’t sure I did until I moved into a haunted house. So for those of you who find my open discussion about the possibility of “others” offensive, I apologize. (I probably should have put this disclaimer at the beginning of the post. Hindsight is 20/20.) But for those of you who love a good scare, please join us online on October 20th. The Hubs and I will be there, some fantastically entertaining radio personalities will be there, some real life ghost hunters will be there, and……well, I guess we’ll find out who else might be there during the investigation.
In closing, I would like to make a few final points:
A.) For all of you military spouses with deployed soldiers this Halloween, I feel your pain. I know how much it sucks. I was you last year. But take my word for it…NEXT YEAR WILL BE BETTER.
2.) Don’t move into a creepy old house unless you’re prepared for the possibility that it may be haunted.
C.) Never enter a contest that you’re not entirely sure you want to win.
4.) If The C Family perishes in a “freak household accident” any time within the next six months…..IT WAS NOT AN ACCIDENT.
E.) Have a VERY Happy Halloween!!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!! October 20, 2012, beginning at 11pm EDT . Be a part of Paranormal Activity: Army Edition!