One major problem you encounter when living in a haunted house is that things are always disappearing! SOMETIMES you eventually find them (in some odd place) but we lost things that were never to be seen again. I still wonder where they went? It’s a good question…WHERE do our physical things go when they seemingly disappear into thin air? Another dimension? Do they simply dematerialize and exist no more? It’s a mystery. For sure.

In our haunted old farmhouse, we lost many different items: toys, tools, books (the first book I wrote is among those lost items!), spices. Yeah, spices. I remember one day I decided to make an apple pie. I took a brand new can of ground cinnamon out of the cupboard and set it alongside all my other ingredients (I like to have everything RIGHT THERE when I need it!). My brothers broke out into a argument in the living room and so I went in to take care of it (I was babysitting at the time). After telling them to “knock it off”, I went back to the kitchen to finish putting my pie together. I noticed right away that the cinnamon was gone. Since all four of my siblings were in the living room when I went in to break up the fight, I knew they couldn’t have taken it. I looked everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE for that darned can of cinnamon. Nada. Zip. Nothing. I offered my greedy little siblings a dollar (big money back in the day!) for the one who found it. Still we got nothing. We never did find that can of spice.

There was another time that I had a picture of my grandparents blown up into several 8×10 photos. Since we didn’t have any picture frames to put them in when I finally received them in the mail (back when you had to send away to have such things done!), my mom told me to put the pictures up someplace safe. I put them behind the big-assed antique mirror on the dresser in my parents’ bedroom. One, the kids (the only ones I thought I needed to worry about destroying them) never went in my parents’ room. Two, the mirror was so heavy it wasn’t going anywhere and it would protect the pictures from getting damaged. Three, it was a GREAT hiding spot. My mom called my grandparents and told them the pictures had arrived and my grandfather came right over to get his copy. I ran upstairs to get them…GONE! We pulled that ten-ton (or so it seemed!) dresser from the wall, pulled out the drawers, checked the entire room…nada. Zip. We got nothing. Even when we finally moved out of that house, we never found those pictures. Bummer that because there are precious few pictures of my grandparents posing together.

BUT, the best story I’ve saved for last. I was twelve at the time and had a pet parakeet. We had one of those bird cages that hung from it’s own stand. We kept him in the corner of the living room. My parents were going away on a trip to Florida (without us kids which was a real bummer) and so the five of us got farmed out among friends and family. I stayed with my mom’s friend Beth who lived just up the road from the house. She had several cats and told me not to bring the bird. I was quite concerned about leaving him in the house alone but my grandfather assured me he’d go over every couple days or so and check on things (my parents were supposed to be away just over a week I think). So, even though I felt uneasy about leaving my bird, I had no choice but to go with the plan. Then came the phone call.

My Gramps was at the house and he wanted to know where the bird was. I told him he was in the living room where he’s always been (my grandfather was a frequent visitor to our home so he was quite familiar with everything). Gramps said he wasn’t there…that the cage and all was gone! Beth and I jumped in her car and skiddaddled down to the house to see for ourselves. Sure enough…my bird was gone. The newspaper was on the floor where the cage usually sat (he was a messy little thing!) but the cage, the pole it hung from…all was gone. Beth and Gramps decided that mom and dad must have found someone to take him. I didn’t think it likely, they didn’t much care about the bird and were not concerned in the least about leaving him in the house alone. But what other explanation was there?

So, days later my parents return and my mom calls Beth to tell her she can bring me back home. I urge Beth to ask my mom about my bird. I can remember this clear as day, “Judy, what did you do with Debbie’s bird?”, there’s a pause and then Beth looks incredulous (I think to myself, Oh no! Something has happened to him!). She looks at me and says, “Your mom says the bird is there at the house.” Then Beth says, “Did you bring him back because he’s been missing since you’ve been gone.” Again Beth looks incredulous. My mom tells her they didn’t do anything with that stupid bird. She claims it was there in the corner of the living room when they got home (a couple days early, mind you, because they said they missed us kids!). Beth and I hop in the car and head for the house. Did we think my mom was lying to us about the bird being right where he should be? I don’t know, but we had to see for ourselves. Yup, there he is, fat and happy in his CLEAN cage, his food and water dishes full. My mom doesn’t believe us that the bird has been missing and we don’t believe her that she didn’t have something to do with his disappearance! We never did settle that argument I don’t think because neither side could figure out any other explanation. It remains one of the strangest mysteries we encountered in that farm house to this day!

On a side note, I have to add how this tale of my parakeet came to an end. A few months after this incident, I had a dream that I was playing with my bird (I was trying to train him to sit on my finger) and after awhile, I closed his cage and started walking away. Just as I got to the door that leads out to the front hallway I felt a flutter near my head and ducked. It was my bird. He flew right out the open front door and off into the big blue sky. Disturbed by the dream, I stayed away from him all day. Finally, in the late afternoon, I decided if the dream was going to come true (I’d had several other dreams about things that ended up happening the very next day!) it would have done so already. I went to my bird and tried (unsuccessfully) to get him to sit on my finger. I was sure I closed his cage because, again, I was worried about that dream! So, as I was heading out of the living room, I felt something flutter over my head and I ducked. It was my bird. He flew right out the open door and was never seen again. End of story.

It’s quite frustrating to lose things YOU JUST HAD in your hand, but it happened all the time in that house. The five of us kids got blamed for a lot of it but I have to tell you, even we were baffled. Many times we discussed the situation among ourselves for really, we were quite honest with each other. Oh we had the occasional upset when we’d think my oldest brother was the guilty party (he really was a bit of a brat at times) but for the most part, we knew it wasn’t us taking all those things, or moving all those things, or opening all those doors or … well, you get the picture.  Those danged ghosts probably got a kick out of their pranks but we didn’t much enjoy them. No.

So, has anyone else had that sort of experience? I’d love to hear your stories. Until next time, many blessings to all and Peace Out!