..The Intuitive Times


A Modern Day Haunting

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The following is an account of a current haunting in downtown Charlottetown, PEI. The address and the name have been with-held at the request of the owners. Editor

I first "met Mary" one hot August evening less than a year after we bought our house. It all started when our visitors from Scotland had arrived after a long trans-atlantic journey and we discovered that Audray was allergic to our four cats. We decided that, despite the summer heat baked through black shingles into the top floor of our older home, it was probably best to make up the guest room on the third floor. That part of the house is usually kept closed off and there would be the least amount of "invisible furballs" to bother Audray.

Thinking that it was surprisingly cool up there, I went about the business of preparing the room on the third floor - Mary's room - for our friends. Keeping in mind that there is something about a freshly made bed that attracts our furry "offenders" from all corners of the house, I was particulary vigilant in making sure that I closed and latched each door behind me lest some of our little sneaks were to follow! Although the members of our resident "cats-against-closed-doors club" are particularly adept at opening almost most doors, cupboards, bags/boxes, and kitty-treat containers, I admit to having the upper hand when I choose to shut them out and truly close the hundred year old, iron latched doors. Even the "president" of the club can't get in - despite her desperate howls of protest!

So up and down the stairs to the third floor I flew with the bits and pieces that I needed to set up my international visitors properly. Anxious to get back to my guests and the cold lemonade, I made one last trip with overloaded arms. I knew that I would have to put something down at the top of the stairs as I did not have a free hand to open the door to "Mary's Room". It was to my shock (and admittedly terror) that the moment I set foot on the top stair the door opened for me. It didn't simply open a "hair's breadth" or even a "bit" as it might have done IF there had been a breeze and IF I had I let my guard down and not properly latched it as I left. But I knew there was no wind, and I had made sure it was latched, and now, before my very eyes it was opening wide - as wide as it would open. I didn't even have to pause or rearrange my load in order to enter. So I tossed the extra blanket over the foot of the bed ,dropped the shelf almost in the middle of the room, slammed down the lamp, and plugged it in. I took a moment to gather myself before I headed back down to the living room and graciously offered my guests another round of lemonade - or perhaps something a little stronger this time? It might help us to sleep after all!

Although I had experienced first hand the torment caused by Colin and Audray's resident ghost in Scotland, I figured they would be less than enthusiastic at the prospect of sharing their 3 week holiday in Canada with another such individual. I was sure it wasn't the type of "spirited" time they were looking for so I said nothing and felt a bit of a twinge of guilt as I packed them off to bed that night.

It didn't take long for them to find me out though. The next day Audray approached me with the news that we share our home with a ghost. Apparently Mary was doing her utmost to "look after" my guests by periodically opening the door to check in on them! Having a ghost of their own, they recognized the behaviour and luckily were not afraid!

From then on, Mary seemed a regular presence in our activities. She seemed to thrive on the attention she was receiving as every time the subject came up she would leave a friendly reminder that she was very real. She particularly loved electronics. The tv, alarm clocks and especially the stereo were her favorites. These appliances would turn on or off at strange times - especially when you least expected it.

At first our Mary appeared to be fairly mischievious. She loved to turn on CBC radio (at volume level 10) in the middle of the night during their international programming. And let me tell you there is no more rude awakening than some guy shouting in a foreign language or funny accent at the foot of your bed at 4 am. She also liked to set off the alarm clock beside your head for 2 am on a Saturday morning.

In time Mary became more sensitive to the people she shared her home with. It was becoming increasingly evident that she loved music and chose it as her mode of communication. She still loved CBC radio, but she began to turn it on quietly on weekend mornings after 6 am. It was also evident that she couldn't help herself when the music started though - like a bad kid she cranked it - and it was usually some horrid version of a long forgotten song that only the CBC Weekend Mornings show could get away with pumping out onto the airwaves!

Mary seemed to be particularly fond of my husband. She would pace the hall and stairs as my husband literally overworked himself on the computer until he got up to come downstairs to accuse me of playing tricks on him. She also learned what music soothed him. One night as my husband and I were having a particularly stressful conversation about finances, my husband's favourite Eric Clapton instrumental song oozed out of our stereo speakers, lulling us into knowing everything would work itself out.

Mary hasn't visited us in a while now. Although it is nice to sleep undisturbed by radios and clocks and things, she was a pleasant presence to have around. Everyone who has ever come to our home comments on how it has such a warm and welcoming feeling about it. Even the cats have never, ever acted strangely and are in fact always looking for opportunities to get up those stairs to the third floor and have a nap on the bed in "Mary's room". I guess they must have warned her that I was hoping that she would start doing the dishes next...

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