Halloween is fast approaching, and I must admit that this is my very favorite time of year.  I love the weather in the fall.  The leaves changing and falling, the cool breezes, night freezes that beg for the fireplace to be turned on.  I love the pumpkin-carving, apple-picking, pie-baking, trick-or-treating traditions that lead seamlessly into the holidays of family: Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This is definitely my most favorite time of year.

I also love to be scared.  I love ghost stories and horror movies and all things supernatural.  This started when I was a very little girl with my first scary movie viewing: Poltergeist.  I was in the third grade.  Barely 9 years old.  And I fell in love with the paranormal immediately.

The house I was born in and lived in until I was just a month over 9 years old was for all intents and purposes, "haunted."  The toilet would flush at random.  Doors would open and shut all over the house.  My older sister and I shared a bed and at night we'd huddle under the covers and watch the shadowed figures move across the room and terrify us.  It's no wonder my dreams were solely nightmares as a child and I was attracted to ghost stories and spooky films.

Eventually, we moved a few times and we landed in an old farmhouse outside of town.  Perfect setting for some spookiness, eh?  One night during Christmastime, I fell asleep on the couch in the living room and was left there to sleep since I was suffering from a mean case of strep throat and I needed my rest.  I was probably 13 years old at the time.  I was awakened in the middle of the night by the phone ringing.  Some employee needed my dad, who was a manager in his company.  I sleepily opened my eyes as a hall light turned dad or mom coming to answer the phone.  With the light dimly shining into the living room, I saw him.  Sitting at the end of the couch where my feet were, was an older man wearing a red flannel shirt.  He was staring straight ahead, facing the large picture window that looked out to the south of the farm and its cornfields.  He looked a bit like my grandfather, my mom's dad who is STILL alive.  And the really, really strange part?  I could see my feet through him.  He was sitting at/on/through(?) my feet.

I tried to get his attention.  I wiggled my feet.  Then someone (my mom or dad, can't remember it's been so long) made it to the first floor and answered the phone, and just like that, he was gone.  But I know he was there.  I was awake.  I saw him.  And when I brought it up to my mom a day or so later, she let me in on a secret she'd been keeping.   One day as she did dishes and looked out the kitchen window watching for our school bus to drive up the road, she felt she was being watched, that she wasn't alone in the room.  When she turned, she saw an old man in a flannel shirt standing in the kitchen with her.  She said he immediately reminded her of her father, but without glasses. Just like how I described him.  Then, in the blink of an eye, he was gone.  She got the feeling that he was just keeping her company, checking in on her because she was lonely and having trouble adjusting to our move.  I have the same feeling... that the night I was sick and sleeping on the couch, he chose to sit up with me and keep his eye on the sick little girl living in his farmhouse. There was nothing spooky or scary about him.  He was just a grandpa or a daddy keeping watch.

Neither of us ever saw him again.

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I am a wife, mommy, and all around productive member of society. Usually. I'm pretty much a legend in my own mind.


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