*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
I dated a man whose mother was a little unusual.
"She sees dead people," my boyfriend told me one night over dinner. "It started when I was a kid. My parents bought an old house. That's when my mother started hearing things."
"What kind of things?" I asked. I wasn't sure whether I believed any of it, but he certainly did.
After moving into the decrepit century-old house badly in need of repairs, my boyfriend's mother began having difficulty sleeping. As she lay awake at night, she heard what sounded like loud footsteps overhead... in the attic crawlspace.
The attic crawlspace was accessible only by the room her children shared, and she was certain she had locked the door that accessed the pull-down ladder. She didn't get up to check, reasoning what she had heard was either the house settling, or raccoons in the walls, or anything that didn't involve ghosts or otherworldly spirits going bump in the night.
The following morning, she checked the door. It was still locked just as she'd suspected... or hoped, and her kids were sound asleep in their beds, having heard nothing all night.
That night, it happened again. Heavy footsteps pounded overhead, leaving my boyfriend's mother unable to sleep.
She sent her husband upstairs to the attic crawlspace where he confirmed that there were no raccoons and not enough room for a man to get up to stomping speed overnight.
"If there was a man stomping around in heavy boots up there, he would have fallen through the ceiling," her husband said.
When she started seeing "visions," she decided to call in a priest.
The priest blessed the house, but that didn't slow down the auditory and visual hallucinations, or whatever they were.
My boyfriend's mom started seeing scenes played out in the living room. "It was like watching a movie on a screen," she told me. "Later, I learned some of the people I'd seen were the previous owners of the house. They were dead."
On one occasion, she heard low music and eerie chanting. She saw candlelight flickering from beneath the bottom of her children's bedroom door as if the entire room had been lit by candles. She rushed into the room to find her son sound asleep in his bed wearing headphones. There wasn't a sound in the room. There were no candles.
I visited the house once. It was empty. My boyfriend's family had moved out, but they were completing renovations before renting out the property.
While I didn't get a funny haunted feeling from any of the rooms of the house, I wouldn't want to spend the night. Just in case.
Thankfully, we've long since broken up. I never have to hear another creepy story or spend a moment inside that house again. I've never been happier. I can't say I really believed a word of it, but I don't want to take any chances.
Do you believe in ghosts? Comments are welcome.