I started watching Ghost Hunters in 2007. The early 2000’s were still a time of skepticism in the paranormal realm, and that show really brought to light what everyone else was sweeping under the rug. T.A.P.S. taught me how to approach phenomenon in my house with a mindset to debunk, and to only claim evidence on what couldn’t be explained.
I tuned into the show because it related to my life. When I heard the claims of the home owners and the business owners of the show, their experiences sounded similar to mine. I hoped the show could provide insights to the truth about what had been going on. And it did.
I learned almost everything I know from Ghost Hunters. It wasn’t that their show sat me down in a class and taught me the 101 about ghosts or the afterlife because the truth is that no one knows for certain what happens after we die. But Ghost Hunters really established a scientific thinking in my mind, skeptical thinking even, that gave me the essentials to approach the activity I was experiencing more logically. You know, you grow up with ghosts, you always think ghosts when something strange happens. Being thirteen, I never thought about wiring or drafts or hell, even documenting what I had experienced. My scientific approach to the paranormal now is derived from that show, and I would love to thank them for being such diligent seekers and teachers.
Another Wednesday night. The marathon of Ghost Hunters would play from six PM until I had to throw in the towel for bed at ten. Most nights when I fall asleep, I keep the TV on in my room, but it’s to ABC where Whose Line is it Anyway would be playing reruns. You always follow up something scary with something funny, as Mom says.
Homework had been done since STRETCH class. Why else do they give you those extra hours at the end of the day? Most kids waste that time talking or playing or being on their phones, but I finished all my responsibilities so I could enjoy this night with my favorite show and a bowl of Ravioli. Of course, I had my notebook at my side on the couch because when those little boxes pop up on the bottom of the screen with a key word or a tip I needed to write down, I wanted to be ready.
After having started this show, I kept all my notes about ghosts in this red spiral notebook. It was a three subject notebook. I used the first subject for all the experiences I have had, and I was sure to write down all the ones I could remember from old houses and all the stuff that’s happened here in this house. I date them, write the time, and note where everyone in the house is so no one can claim later that it was one of my family members.
The second subject is for stuff I learn in the show. Like about equipment they use or things they debunk that might be messing with us here. Like high EMF ratings giving people that feeling of being watched. Last week, the only thing I wrote down was the meaning of ESP (extra-sensory perception) and the definition of it.
This week, T.A.P.S. is investigating a castle. I always wondered what they would think if they ever came to my house or what they would think about the things I’ve seen or experienced.
“Danny, it’s for you.”
Sara handed me the cordless phone.
“Hey. Did you do your science homework yet?”
It was Baker.
“Yeah, it’s just a coloring page.”
“Isn’t Mr. Hawley a visual learner?”
“So am I. I’m not complaining. I enjoyed something easy for a change.”
“Yeah. He made it sound like it was a hundred pages we had to write or something.”
“Yeah,” I said with a laugh.
“Do you see this castle they’re investigating?”
“You’re watching it, too?”
“I’m gonna give it a try. For you. But if I see a toy move or something, I’m turning it to Spongebob.”
I threw my head back laughing. “Sounds fair.”
“Is this the kinda stuff that happens in your house?”
“Well, our experiences are a little b it scarier than footsteps and doors opening by themselves.”
“Forget that I asked.”
“This show is why I love castles so much. I wanna go to Ireland and see all the beautiful castles.”
“There are lots of castles in England where Mum’s mum lives.”
“You’ve been to England?”
“Yeah. We go every couple of years to see my grandparents.”
“Well, that explains your mum’s accent. You have a little bit of an accent yourself.”
“So people tell me.”
My mouth had been open waiting for the fork to deliver a bite of Ravioli, but I was so caught up in the picture the castle tour guide was showing T.A.P.S. that the ravioli noodle got impatient and fell from the fork to my lap with a splash.
“What’s so funny?” Baker said when I started cracking up.
“I just dropped Ravioli on my lap.”
Baker laughed. “Real smooth.”
“I know! Hang on, I gotta get a towel.”
I sat the phone down and hurried to the kitchen to clean up. As soon as I made it to the rag drawer, there was a scream behind me.
Sara was racing up the basement stairs. She turned to close the basement door and screamed even louder. She slammed the door in a hurry and backed away from it into me. We death-gripped each other and stared at the door preparing ourselves for it to open on its own.
“What? What was it? What did you see?” I said.
Shaking, she said, “There was a man chasing me up the stairs. I could have sworn he was gonna grab my foot, and when I went to close the door, he was standing there at the top smiling at me like he was happy he scared me.”
“Come in here.” I pulled her into the Woodroom where my notebook was. I flipped to the right page. “Tell me what he looked like.” First came the date, the time and then I wrote down everything Sara told me about the guy.
“He’s white, young like he’s twenty. His face was dark, but he was a white guy. I don’t know how I know that because his whole body was black, too. And he was smiling. It was an evil smile, Danny. Really mean and evil.”
“Okay. Okay. Don’t freak out. I’m here.”
I closed my notebook and hugged my sister.
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