Things that go thump in the night


The last scary movie I subjected myself to was The Ring.  Too scary.  (if that clip was too scary, watch the Disney spoof to lighten the mood)  I made a noise in the theater that was like a gutteral moan of some kind, surrounding the word “f#*k,” as I tried to get as small as I could in my petri-dish of a movie theater seat.  My husband refused to go to the movies with me for a while after that.  I guess my moan of psychotic distress was a bit louder than I realized.

I watched every one of the Nightmare on Elmstreet movies… making me a Johnny Depp fan from a very early age.  I know the song “One, two, Freddie’s coming for you…”  The first Friday the 13th was filmed in my high school town.  Scary movies were a major part of my teenage years!  No one ever told me that one day I would wake up, and some sort of scary movie switch would to be turned off and I wouldn’t even be able to handle an episode of Law and Order.  What a weenie.

Anyway, the ghostly part of the story: when I was pregnant, each night, 15 minutes after turning off the lights, there would be a knocking at my wall.  It didn’t matter if I varied the time I turned out the light.  Right next to my head.  The first few times, it scared me.  I investigated the wall outside the house.  Nothing.  No trees hitting.  No possible raccoon entrances.  Nada. Eventually, the precise timing of it all became almost amusing.   My husband tried to catch the sound, but he is a man and incapable of maintaining consciousness for more than 33 seconds after introducing his head to his pillow.  Once I had my baby, I forgot about the knocking.  I typically dozed on the couch, nodding off to VH1 videos or 4 a.m. reruns of Conan.  I heard no knocking.  Just Gwen Stephanie singing, “If I was a rich girl…nanananana…you’re body is NEVER going to look like mine… I’m a mom too, but I work out eight hours a day and eat dandelions and pine needles…nanananan.”  Muddled sleep deprived thoughts took over, and the knocking was the last thing on my mind. Until she was four-months old and we moved her into her own room.  I slept with her the first night (for my own soothing) and there it was, 15 minutes after I turned off the light, “knock knock knock.” Sheeeeeeeiiitttt.  It had followed her!   This was a different room in the house!  So, I did some wack-a-doo hippy things and “smudged” the house.  I figured that if it smelled bad enough to chase my husband from the house, there was a possibility that it would  have the same effect on ghosts.

Maybe it worked.  Life took over again.  I was working and being a baby-mama, and I was too tired to worry about knocking.    She got to an age when she could tell me about her nightmares.  They were normal kid dreams.  A Giant Mickey Mouse chasing her through the forest.  Ahhhh.  I can handle this, I prematurely thought to myself.   Just when I started to relax, the thumping began.

I think we have a ghost, and its name is Thumper.

For a couple of years now, at least once a week, my daughter will wake up screaming.  I bolt up the stairs, still asleep, and she’s just lays there screaming and kicking and says that she thought she felt something thumping on her bed.  I immediately thought of the knocking. Of course, I told her it was just her brain settling down.  Or just her imagination.  Or just the cats running down the hall.  And, it probably is one of these things.  Right?

Two nights ago, I hear her starting to talk really fast in her sleep.  I ducked my head in, only to find her sitting bold upright in her bed, eyes wide open, staring at the corner of her room, unaware of my presence.  Thoughts of The Exorcist danced in my head.  Egads. She laid her sweet head back down on her pillow and continued sleeping.  There were LOADs of thumps that night.  Thumper was hosting some sort of ghostly dance party. Probably listening to some old school Madonna.   She woke us up four times, screaming.

My husband told me that she had explained what she was feeling to him.  She told him, “I hear footsteps coming towards me, and then they’re on my bed.  Last night I opened my eyes and saw a glowing person in my room.”  Ummm.  Hello?  Who knows. She said it rather casually, not like she was looking to freak him out.  And, she didn’t sound scared. But things like that just don’t sound scary when the sun is shining, do they?

So, it looks like this bubble inhabiting mama is going to have to pull out her hippie bag of tricks and do some more work.  I once was a fan of scary movies.  Ghost stories.  Johnny Depp (oh, I still am).   I’m sure the spooky things don’t want to hurt us.  But c’mon Thumper – first get permission before haphazarldly holding a rave in my daughter’s room. Since you weren’t invited, here comes the smudge stick, baby!  Our neighbor’s don’t recycle.  Maybe you could go over there, instead.


2 responses »

  1. Girl, you are HILARIOUS! I’ve enjoyed reading this–especially this one, because I used to love horror movies and now I have become a ‘weenie’ too. So much for my cool girl image. My son Teddy dreams vividly like me too. Strange…

  2. Thanks, Kathy! Last night she told me it was actually “white air” that she saw – rather than a “glowing person,” and it was talking. Try getting a good nights sleep after that. Jeeze!

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