Our Haunted Vacation

most activity took place in the south kitchen
most activity took place in the south kitchen

You’ve been neglected. And I’m sorry. While you’ve been contemplating suicide because there hasn’t been a new post here in over a week, we were on vacation enjoying a private beach in the beautiful Cape Cod town of Chatham. My intent was to continue regular posts while we were there, but things like spotty wifi, kayaking, fancy seafood dinners, jigsaw puzzles, hammock naps, lobster rolls, copious amounts of cosmos and Whispering Angel, and general overall laziness got in the way. (I lied. It had nothing to do with the wifi. Even though it was spotty, I threw it in there to make it seem like I wasn’t just slacking off. But I totally was.) If it makes you feel any better, we’re back with several thousand loads of laundry and a strict diet of celery stalks and lemon water in our immediate future. Also, after a fitful night’s sleep, I’m attempting to write this without having had any coffee yet so if this trails off to three paragraphs of just “uy7hjyuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…” it means I’ve fallen asleep with my head on the keyboard. (And, yes, I did just lay my head on the keyboard to see what would actually happen because I care enough to bring you accurate information. It’s called research, people.)

In past family Cape vacations, we have a history of meeting up with random individuals who we’ve convinced ourselves are ghosts. Or angels. Or something otherworldly. (Click here to read about it in another post.) This year, we’re legitimately convinced the house was haunted. It started with one person – there was a total of twelve of us – mentioning that on a few occasions she felt that someone was standing near her in the kitchen (one of two kitchens — this place was huge) and would turn to find no one there. And then it escalated because almost everyone had a story. My nephew had a pantry door swing open as he walked past it and also found random kitchen cabinet doors open that had just previously been closed. Another nephew heard what he described as loud bangs continuously coming from above his bedroom when there was only attic space over him. I was following the grassy path to our beach when I heard what I thought was one of my daughters running to catch up with me to find no one there. My brother mentioned that when he showered, the steam revealed that someone had drawn two eyes on his mirror. My bathroom, which shared a wall with his, had the same effect but with a single, perfectly centered hand print. While we were discussing this, my nephew’s girlfriend (who had not yet been a part of any of these conversations) came in and asked who left the water running in their bathroom sink. And then my husband (who also had not yet been a part of any of these conversations) came downstairs complaining of nightmares he had suffered all night. Freaky ones that involved someone holding his wrists down and his screaming for me to help him. While all of this can most likely be reasoned away with logic, it makes a better ghost story to say it’s just too coincidental. If seven of the twelve of us had strange things happen, I like to think it was because we were in a strange place. Plus, it’s more like seven of ten because I’m not going to subject my young daughters to a line of questioning that will result in them never again going upstairs alone. And I haven’t grilled the other three to find out their stories – maybe they just haven’t disclosed their experiences yet.

Whatever was going on there, the reason I slept so poorly last night (thankfully our last night there) was because of the noises outside. And inside. The bedroom window was open and I woke to what I’ll describe as a distant continuous moan. I had pretty much convinced myself that it was an animal of some sort, but being the mental case I am, I woke up my husband to ask if he could also hear it. He said it was bullfrogs. Even though I’ve heard bullfrogs before and know this is most definitely not a noise a bullfrog makes, I googled it and basically reaffirmed that it wasn’t bullfrogs. (I tried to record it with my phone but it the noise was distant and all that seems to be evident is that there’s something wrong with my phone. Or, more likely, its user.) What we both did definitely hear was three knocks from downstairs, which was empty. So while I frantically interrogated my husband as to what could be causing the knocking noise, he casually responds that he doesn’t know and falls back to sleep, leaving me in the dark with not-bullfrog moaning and anticipating more knocks. I turned on a lamp and texted my sister (who had left a day early due to a prior engagement) “Ok, so it’s a little before 5 am & this house is so totally haunted. If I wasn’t so scared, I’d be downstairs cleaning up & packing the car. I woke him up to ask if he could hear the noises coming from outside & he claims they’re bullfrogs but I think he’s wrong. While we were listening we heard three knocks downstairs. I’m having heart palpitations. And how he’s already back to sleep and I swear it’s getting louder outside.” I love being able to count on her for support. She texts back “ARE U F***ING KIDDING ME?????????????????? Hurry up and come home!!!!!!&” (That’s a total of 18 question marks, six exclamation points, and one rogue ampersand, probably for effect. I counted them. Again, research.)

We all noped out of the house safely this morning, but not before noticing that the guestbook was signed by a woman thanking the owners for a wonderful time. She was one of a large group of women who had spent a weekend in late May/early June of this year and, as a special event on their last night in the house, had a medium come and do readings for everyone. Having to jump to conclusions and add to the spookiness of our week, we have determined that the medium brought in some spirits that decided to stay. (That’s how it works, right? I watch a lot of horror movies so that must make me an expert.) Now I need a nap in my safe house. While clutching my bible. And a crucifix. This house is clean.

(I need a braincation. Is that a thing? Because if it isn’t already a thing then I just made it one. You’re welcome.)

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