I Think My House Is Trying To Kill Me

My house is haunted. I haven’t had ghost hunters investigate or anything, but I’m positive there are numerous spirits hanging out with me at any given moment. My cat likes them. They keep her company.

And I’m not joking.

I live in a brick townhome in Philadelphia that was built in 1832. Do you know how many people have probably lived (and died) in this house over the past 176 years? Andrew Jackson was president when this house was built. Georgia was forcing its resident Native Americans to relocate under the (later proved unconstitutional) Indian Removal Act. The electromagnetic telegraph was invented.

Think about it—that was a long time ago. I mean, there’s a sinkhole in my yard from where the outhouse used to be (though I can boast that my home still has the original floors).

It’s safe to say that at least one person died here. And I’m guessing many more.

That said, some strange things have happened. It started with my bedroom stereo. I bought a CD of classical piano music and, for months, whenever it was in CD player, the stereo would mysteriously start playing at random hours of the day. Now, I know what you’re thinking—it’s the sleep function or my cat or a power surge. My husband tried to rationalize it too. But A) I’ve never used the sleep function and I have no idea how to set it; B) it only happens when this particular classical CD is loaded; and C) in order to play a CD, someone needs to hit the power button, switch the “function” from radio to CD, then manually hit play—that’s a lot of buttons to blame on my cat (though she’s very smart) or random electricity.

I told friends about my ghosts, and they told me to talk to them (again, I think there’s more than one). So I do. One day, I kindly asked the ghosts to refrain from playing the stereo while I was in the house, but I gave them free reign to go nuts whenever I was gone.

It worked. Until they sat on me.

Yup, about a year ago, I woke up and couldn’t move. I don’t have any medical conditions (like seizures) that could account for my temporary paralysis, and I wasn’t dreaming. My eyes were wide open, I was looking all over my room and I was thinking, “I’m awake. I’m definitely awake. And I can’t move.” It felt like someone was sitting on my chest.

Then it stopped. Suddenly, the weight was lifted, and I could move again. I ran out of the room.

Now tonight, an evening when I had TONS of work to do, I fell down the stairs. This is the fourth time I’ve fallen down the stairs since I moved in. And I’m not that clumsy. Seriously. I take yoga. I can balance on one leg like nobody’s business. You should see me hold a Warrior Three or a Half Moon. But here I sit, with ice on my back and tailbone (ouch) in between ice cycles on my forearms (banged my elbows), blaming the mysterious spirits who should be a little more appreciative of the renovations we’ve done to raise the value of their humble abode.

Now in all fairness to the ghosts, I do live in a trinity (four-story house with one room per floor and the kitchen in the basement—it’s old school Philly style). So to get from my family room to my kitchen, I have to go down three flights of stairs. I’m not a statistician, but that ups my odds of falling considerably, I’m sure.

But still, I think sometimes the ghosts are just rebelling against me. Maybe they want me to put that CD back in.


This is less of a rant and more of a standing ovation. Did anyone see Boston Legal this week? I just watched it on DVR, and I must applaud the writers for exposing the idiocy of the democratic primary. All the pledged delegates, super delegates, open caucuses, smoke-filled-rooms—it’s utter madness. Why can’t we just go with the popular vote? Why can’t a candidate win a state and get all the points? It’s just silly and confusing, and I commend Boston Legal for pointing out that we shouldn’t be invading countries to set up democracies when we can’t even figure out our own.

Posted in ghosts, Philadelphia, young adult fiction author

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