Our Casper by Meg Gardner

The last thing we expected when we moved into our new (old) house was a ghost. Lucky for us, we didn’t get to know it until we had kids.

Lucky? Unlucky?  I say lucky because we got a good one.

It began when I had my first son and became a stay-at-home mom. I got to learn the ebb and flow of life at home during the day – the routines and the sounds.  Kids walking to school in the morning, the mailman after lunch, and the trains back and forth on the nearby tracks throughout the day.  The schedule became familiar until one day I heard a different kind of noise.

I was on the main floor in our dining room (turned toy room) with Jake one afternoon, when I heard something coming from the 2nd floor.  It sounded like running back and forth in the hallway.  Multiple feet, like a bunch of kids.  It was unmistakable.  (At the time, we had bad laminate flooring up there, so it was really unmistakable.)  I ran to the kitchen and it started again.  I ran up the stairs and it stopped.

A few months later, we heard another sound.

As a baby, Jake slept in his crib in the middle room on our 2nd floor.  Our master bedroom is just next to it, but, like all parents, we had a monitor.  At an ungodly hour early one morning, Jake woke up and started crying, and crying, and CRYING.  Steve and I were at our wits’ end and just wanted him to fall back asleep.  We lay still in our bed, neither of us moving, just hoping he’d stop.  The screams were getting louder on the monitor.  We wondered which of us was going to give in and get up.  Then, suddenly, we heard “Shhhhh….Shhhhh…Shhhhh…” through the receiver.

We froze. He calmed.  And in our sleep-deprived state, we all fell back asleep.

Over the years, we’d have the odd thing happen – a feeling, a noise – but I wasn’t concerned. I was sure our ghost was friendly.  Then, the more people we shared our stories with, the more I thought how nice it would be if we didn’t have to share our house anymore.

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Finally, many years later, Steve and I were sitting on the couch in the living room late one night watching TV. All three kids had gone to bed, Jake & Henry in their shared middle room.  There was a half-filled helium balloon from a birthday party in the dining room, sitting mid-air between the floor and the ceiling.  Suddenly, for no reason, it started moving.  It traveled horizontally, gliding out of the dining room, into the hallway and up the staircase.  We watched it from a distance as it floated up to the door of their shared bedroom and stopped.

I walked up to the 3rd floor, stood in the front bedroom and quietly said out loud how much we loved our house, that we would take care of it forever and please leave us in peace.

We haven’t heard from it since.

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Meg Gardner is a Home & Family blogger, and she blogs at Loving Albany.  Her beautiful house was featured on Apartment Therapy.  Check it out!  Plenty more Meg here.

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