Sunday, January 29, 2006

Running From The Ghosts

My family was very open to paranormal experiences and, every now and then, each one of us harboured the memories of an event that we wouldn't share with the others.

I was no exception. Whenever there was nobody home, I heard the sound of running on the front porch. I could hear feet running from one end of the wooden porch to the other and back again. This would last for a few minutes. Then, after one last run back and forth, I could always hear the sound of the metal screen door being sharply kicked.

For a while, I didn't think about it. For a while, I'd forget about the porch. Then, when next I was alone, I would hear the running and the final kick again. Eventually, I realized that I could hear the running from any point in the house (and it didn't occur to me as strange, actually).

Then, one day, after my mother left to do some errands, I cranked the volume on my stereo. That was when it hit me: I could still hear the running. So, being as young as I was, I thought that this indicated that I was losing my mind: if it were actually happening, there would be times and places at which I wouldn't be able to hear it. I swore to myself that I would never speak of this to anyone.

One evening, my mother opened my bedroom door to tell me that she was going to work.

"Could you keep your door open for your sister?" My mother asked me.
"Uh, I guess," I replied. To me, it was a strange request.

We lived in an old mid-19th century home. My bedroom was on the second floor directly across from my sister's room. Then as now, I liked my privacy so I had only begrudgingly agreed.

"Why? Doesn't ---- want to be alone?"
"No, she just doesn't like to hear the ghosts on the porch."

My secret experience had been paranormal after all and not so secret. As it turned out, everyone in the family was aware of "the ghosts on the porch".

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