Welcome back, readers. When we last left off, in PART ONE, I thought I had seen a ghost standing over my bed and couldn’t wait to share what had happened to me with the rest of my housemates. My excitement wasn’t because I was 100% convinced I had seen a ghost and was going to be the cool “supernatural” girl in the house, but because it all seemed so totally bizarre and weird and impossible that I just wanted to hear what everyone else thought of my experience. What if someone else had seen something? The fact that I wasn’t scared at the sighting really seemed strange to me, but what if someone had a friend who experienced the exact same sensation? What about being woken from my sleep by that stomach-turning “someone is staring at me” feeling?
So the next morning I came down for breakfast and said, “You guys aren’t going to believe me, but I really think I saw a ghost last night.” The reactions varied from “cool!” to “shut up, liar” to “don’t you dare say another thing about ghosts or I am never talking to you again.”
Turns out ghosts are a massively polarizing subject.
No more talking about the ghost, Carolyn declared (completely understandably). If we keep talking about the ghost, I have to move out. I already can’t get to sleep at night, I don’t need to be thinking some creeper ghost is staring at me.
So discussion of the ghost ceased. And here’s where it gets really, really weird.
A week or so later I wake up to the sound of my roommate LilyAnn screaming bloody murder. She’s barking,
“Who’s in here!?”
Scared, I wait for a moment. No one else wakes up. Ugh. Great.
“LilyAnn,” I call back as calmly as possible, “What’s wrong?”
“Who – who’s in here?”
“Just, us, LilyAnn! It’s me, and Carolyn, and Anna, and Ally, it’s just us…”
She suddenly goes really quiet.
“Oh, yeah, sorry,” she mutters.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, sorry, I’m fine. Sorry,” she keeps muttering, suddenly really embarrassed and apologetic.
“It’s okay, LilyAnn. Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I am. Sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry. Just… know I’m here, I guess. You can come sleep in my bed if you want.”
“No, no, I’m fine. I’m sorry.”
Silence. No more from LilyAnn – she’s asleep again. Feeling creeped out but trying to convince myself people have nightmares all the time, I go back to sleep, too.
WHAT??? I’m thinking. How in the world can you not know WHAT’S GOING ON WITH ME? But instead I say, “Hey, LilyAnn, do you remember anything weird about last night?”
She raises her eyebrow quizzically, but no other signs of recognition.
“Like, do you remember screaming last night? About someone… someone being in the room, maybe?”
Still, no signs of recollection or agreement flash across her face, and now I’m feeling like the insane one. Just as I’m about to drop the subject forever, LilyAnn slams her fist down on her bed.
“THE GHOST,” she shouts. “I SAW YOUR GHOST LAST NIGHT.”
She admitted to many of the same sensations that I had felt, including being simultaneously aware that she was both fast asleep and some stimulus wanted her to wake up. The ghost was standing between her bed and the wall, mere feet from where I’d seen him. (“And no real person could fit in that space!” she added, which was a detail I’d pondered myself but hadn’t said aloud because The Ghost Police forbid talking about it anymore.) The only thing that really differed between our stories is that LilyAnn felt immediately gripped by fear when she saw him, whereas I sort of lived in the space between bewilderment and mild apprehension.
“So what did he look like?” I finally asked.
“Not angry,” she said thoughtfully, “and not see-through, either. Kind of... weathered. And… okay, this is going to sound stupid, but he kind of looked like Mr. Salt?”
And that, my friends, is the nail in the coffin.
At the time, we were doing a kid-friendly version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with only seven actors. To make up for the few actors, we also all played the parents of the children by using large, painted puppets on sticks. Secretly, so that not to break the (once again, completely understandable) rule of not talking about the ghost in the house, I told my friend Josh that the ghost I’d seen looked like the puppet for Mr. Salt, Veruca Salt’s father.
Go ahead and make of that what you will.
Let’s flash forward to now: I don’t actually think about my ghost encounter often because it didn’t necessarily alter my life drastically, so my day-to-day trudges on as per usual. Also, it is pretty darn scary if I think about it at night, so I generally try to think about kittens or something when the lights are off.
But recently, I listened to an old podcast episode of “You Made It Weird” with Pete Holmes featuring the wonderful Jenny Slate (who am I obsessed with and you should be, too). She told a story about her childhood house, and how it was haunted. Apparently, one night her father woke up to the smell of a pipe in the house, and traipsed out into the hallway to investigate. Standing on the stairs was an old-timey, stern looking 1900s sea captain smoking a pipe and staring him down. Pete asked, “Wait, wait, how did your Dad know it was a ghost and not an intruder? Was he like, see-through?”
So, Crazytown readers: what do you think? Ever seen a ghost? Ever heard a particularly convincing ghost story from a friend? Or, maybe you think I’m a total whack job and have a perfectly logical explanation for everything I just mentioned – which would be very welcome, mind you, because I’m not crazy about the idea of ghosts being real things that I might see again some time in my life. Hit me up, if you so please, in the comments. I’ll be sure to respond. Spookily. Oooooooh.
 Screencap from the classic "Candlejack" episode of Freakazoid. Oh, no, I said his na -- !